Welcome to the crazy world of marketing to attract new patients to your practice. Whether you like it or not, whether you want to partake of it or not, you ARE in the middle of it and part of it. You can’t have a successful practice with no business coming in your front door. Uh-uh, no way!
Maybe you are relying solely and only on word of mouth. Hundreds of healthcare professionals have told me that’s all they do marketing-wise. Well, if it is not getting you enough new patients to be fully booked out a few weeks, then do it better by working out how to create an extraordinary patient or client experience for every person who walks in your door so they go out of your practice telling the world about you.
Interestingly enough, the enthusiastic patient that you and your team just impressed the heck out of is likely to go and tell his or her friends, family and co-workers about you by sending a text, an email or posting a Google Review. And so, there you have it — you are actually marketing online, without even meaning to. It is now the way a majority of the world communicates and you are part of it.
The best thing then is to join the online world and get some help with it if you yourself are not inclined to learn how to do it. Sometimes you may find that you have really willing staff who are knowledgeable about social media. Work with them to set up a plan of how to use all the online marketing platforms available. You yourself do not have to be an expert at it, but you do have to know what is being put out online in your name as it is YOUR reputation that will be affected, positively or negatively.
If that option is not available to you, there are companies in the thousands that can be paid to do the marketing for you. Again, keep an eye on what is being posted or sent out. Vigilance is key to a unified message or image as to who you are and what your practice represents. There are good social media companies and bad, as with any business. The end result of their efforts, i.e. new business walking in the door and requiring your services as a consequence of the marketing, is the statistic you want to measure and tabulate.
Return on investment is a really key term and yet a bit nebulous unless you find out and record how every new patient arrived in your practice and check monthly to ensure that it is happening.
Consistency and persistence are two key words when it comes to marketing. Otherwise you get a roller coaster effect from “now you do it and now you don’t” and your income follows the pattern. Not advisable!
Moral of the story: Don’t turn a blind eye to marketing – whether online or offline. You need to attract your fair share of the available new patients so that you can fulfill your original goal of giving lots of patients the highest standard of care, and making a good living doing it. So go to it!!