“Marketing your practice” is not a class you missed in medical school. You didn’t bypass it to take another class that you thought would help your suturing skills. It’s not offered. You probably never even thought about it, until you hung out your shingle and waited. Waited for all of those doctor referrals that the hospital told you that would be coming your way. Waited for the word of mouth advertising from those patients whose lives you changed. Waited for the schedule to be full and the insurance reimbursements to pay off your student loans.
Stop waiting and make it happen. Medicine is big business and you need a plan to get your name and services in front of your potential patients. Depending on your specialty and location you have many opportunities to get in front them. Here are the top 5 first steps that you should be taking
- Google yourself- There is a ton of information here that can help or hurt your practice.
- Is your address, phone number, website and any other critical information correct? If not reach out to those sites and make sure any updates get done.
- Doctor review sites pop up every day. Make sure that your information on them is correct, upload images and logos or anything else that will help drive traffic to you. Solicit positive reviews from happy patients. Know your options on each site to combat any negative remarks.
- Create some social media profiles. Depending on your specialty, some sites might be better than others at getting your message out. Also, the advertising varies by platform
- Facebook – Create a business profile and post frequently. You can post images and videos However, do not post with your personal facebook profile. That will limit advertising options.
- YouTube- There are many reasons why YouTube is a great platform to showcase your business.
- It’s owned by Google- so if you want to show up well in Google searches, this is a great place to be.
- People really enjoy watching videos. Most would rather watch something than have to read an article or scan a site to get information. A YouTube channel can house professionally produced videos or even videos shot on a smart phone.
- Instagram- if patient transformations is what you specialize in, then show it off here. Weight loss, plastic surgery and even pain management can be highlighted with this very visual site. You will have to master the art of hashtags and understand the search terms around your specialty, but if you have visual results and a younger demographic, this is where you should be.
- Pinterest- very similar to Instagram, Pinterest is a visual platform and works great to show off before and after pictures. The demographic is a little older with more disposable income.
- LinkedIn- do you rely on referrals from other doctors? If you want to be the “specialist” that gets referrals, then show off your specialty. Make frequent posts about the procedures and services that you offer to explain why you should be getting their referrals. Reach out to any physicians that could refer to you or that could influence others to refer to you.
- Twitter- This is great to post blogs about topics in your field and share articles and stories that can benefit your patient. Twitter is also a great tool to reach the referring doctors and show them your expertise.
- If you don’t have a website, get one. Make sure it is responsive or Mobile friendly. Most of the online traffic is coming from phones now. Patients will move on to another doctor if they struggle getting information on your website. It doesn’t have to be tons of pages, but patients have abandoned the yellow pages and moved online to find services. You need to have a presence online and it shouldn’t have to cost a fortune. Show potential patients who you are, how to contact you, where to find you and what to expect when they come to see you. Healthcare is scary for many patients. Help them feel comfortable with you and your office and you are starting to break down the barriers.
- Create your image and stick with it- Look back over steps 1-3 make sure your message and name are consistent across all of the profiles. If you have goals of growing to be a multi physician practice, go ahead and plan to use a business name that doesn’t just focus on 1 doctor, after all, you will want to be able to sit back at some point and let others help to bring in patients and cases.
- Marketing materials- You will need items that people can take with them as they leave your office. Business cards are a staple, but so should be branded folders, trifold brochures and post cards with details on services, procedures and other areas for additional information (like a listing of all of your social media sites)
If this seems daunting to you, there are many companies out there that can manage all of this for you. If possible, find one that understands the medical profession and understands HIPAA. It is “social” media, so you will need to interact some with the patients, but always keep it professional and make sure any patient videos or posts have been covered with signed consents from your patients.
For more information on how MD Integrated Marketing can help you fill your waiting room and handle all of your marketing needs, give us a call today 817-527-6558.