Taking Command of Your Direction…

Last week, I wrote extensively on really taking command of the direction of your practice, and your life as a powerful economic stimulus. In reality, it’s all you have in private practice. There are some really simple ways to do this, but before we talk about that, here’s an “Economic Summit” reality check-up.

If I told you right now there are doctors like you doing 7 figures cash/year, would you believe me?

If not, why?

Well, here is another huge economic management tip.

Regular benchmarking of your results against your goals helps put you at the head of the class.

There is a real easy way to get this done. This tip alone might put another 10K in the income column this month.

The first thing to do is take your list of basic daily, weekly and monthly targets. Higher performing CEOs/CFOs do this daily. Use your white legal pad, but better yet for this one is an Excel spreadsheet (because you can graph it easily and tweak it in all sorts of ways).

Put your goals or targets (BOLD) on one axis, and simply enter your results on another. Save room for notes, photos, and maybe even video clips.

Next, post this somewhere you can see it all the time during the day. Admittedly in the office, maybe it’s in your portfolio, which you pull out during the day, or simply, hidden on your desktop or handheld. Just be sure to look at it at least once daily.

Here’s why this is so powerful. Because it’s a glimpse of right now.

Many people who have trouble setting goals find new life with this method. It keeps you in the moment as well. For us type A’s, it can actually be a better way of dealing with “Futurizing”, which some might say is an unhealthy psychological trait.

But to make sure your not deluding yourself, if you use daily targets, they must be the correct fraction of the weekly/monthly/yearly whole.

Just by doing this daily exercise, some great things start to happen. Many times, I have found breaking so many things in life down into daily pieces really simplifies accomplishment and helps move me forward instead of stalling or going into overwhelm…

Watch for another powerful WCS 2010 follow-Up later today…


Serious About Your Future?
Then Why Not Schedule a No Charge Phone Strategy Session Or Client Consultation HERE

Private Practice Building and New Patient Calls

In Private Practice Building, Prioritize Calls from New Patients

All your private practice building efforts will go down the drain if you don’t train your staff on how to receive calls from new patients.

It’s true that we recently talked about the importance of focusing on your existing patients for private practice building—keeping them truly happy so they keep coming back for more.

But there is an element of private practice building that is equally important and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Too often, private practice owners think that if they’ve got a great marketing campaign out there, then the calls will roll in. But what if calls come in from prospective patients, and your staff doesn’t handle them appropriately?

The first phone call is the missing link between your efforts at private practice building and the scheduling of new patients. Your marketing isn’t “done” until the new patient walks out the door after their first (wonderful) visit.

That’s why it’s so important to train your staff on the exact procedure you want them to use in responding to new patient calls.

The first line of defense is to make sure you have at least two team members behind the desk at ALL times. That’s because it’s inevitable that new patients will call when a lone staffer is interacting in person with existing patients. What you don’t want is for that person to have to answer the phone and put that new patient on hold! How many people do you think will wait for more than a few seconds before hanging up?

There’s another vital component of how new patient calls affect your private practice building success, and it lies within the phone conversion skills of your staff. Remember, simply answering the phone and making an appointment isn’t good enough.

Your staff has to be able to make the new patient feel appreciated and special from the first moment in the call, and your staff also has to be able to effectively answer any questions that the new patient may have about your private practice.

How well would your staff do on the new patient call test?

 

Wrong Approach to Marketing Private Practice

The Wrong Approach to Marketing Your Private Practice

You might be getting it all wrong when it comes to marketing your private practice—most people do! Here’s how to distinguish your practice effectively.

Frankly, most private practice owners get it all wrong.

They think they’re working hard at marketing—but in reality, they’re spinning their wheels.

Here are some classic ways that most private practice owners fail in their marketing—along with more effective alternatives that can make a real difference in practice building.

“Talking at” the prospective patient instead of listening to his or her unique needs.

Effective marketing is not a monologue. Honestly, whether we’re talking about a billboard or a website, prospective patients are turned off when they sense that your marketing is all about you. Patients want to hear about themselves. Good marketing is an invitation to an ongoing dialogue about the patient’s needs.

Having no idea about your target market.

If the audience you’re trying to reach with your marketing materials is “everyone in the local area,” you’ve already failed. Your private practice can’t cater to “everyone,” and identifying your ideal patient (demographics, buying habits, personal preferences) will make a world of difference in the long-term sustainability of your practice.

Thinking it’s enough if the community knows your name.

Once upon a time, the idea was to “get your name out there” and rely on name recognition as your primary marketing tool for private practice. But it’s not a small-town world anymore, and patients know they have a lot of choices in where to take their business. You absolutely must craft an effective message about your private practice and target it at the right kind of patient.

Betting on one marketing venue to bring in all your new patients.

You might think it’s not a good idea to spread yourself thin in terms of allotting a marketing budget to too many venues, and there’s some truth to that. But don’t swing too far the other way and put every cent into one single approach.

There’s a reason why private practice owners tend to think that marketing is overwhelming and difficult—without guidance, it can be.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

Private Practice Marketing Strategy

Private Practice Marketing Strategy: Are You Way Behind?

If you’re way behind in marketing your private practice (like most private practice owners), here’s a step-by-step plan to rescue your marketing plan today.

It’s a sad fact that most private practice owners leave marketing tasks somewhere at the bottom of their to-do lists.

What’s even worse is that most of them don’t even have a comprehensive marketing plan—so whatever marketing does happen, it’s chaotic and ineffective.

Every week that you ignore marketing is another week that your private practice falls behind. That means your competitors are out there winning over YOUR patients while you look the other way.

It goes without saying that this is not the way to build a sustainable private practice.

Here are the simple steps to rescuing your private practice marketing so that you and your business can thrive in the long term.

Schedule planning time for marketing. Put it on your calendar. Ideally, you’d be devoting a few minutes to this every day. If that seems impossible right now, try an hour a week to start. Make it an uninterrupted hour when no one else is around, whether that means an early morning or a late evening for you.

Know your marketing budget. Most private practice owners pick a figure out of the air when it comes to allotting a marketing budget. Others ignore the budget concept altogether and simply spend a little here and a little there. To do this right, you absolutely must know what you’re willing and able to spend.

Define your marketing goals, long term and short term. It’s not enough to have an idea of what you’d like to do to market your private practice; you have to understand WHY you intend to do it and what the intended outcome will be.

Consider the ways that you can improve internal marketing opportunities. Before you spend money on ads or any external marketing approach, look at the missed opportunities in terms of your existing patient base. What can you do right now to improve customer service and increase referrals?

Improve your website. Your online presence is the number one way you’re putting yourself out there. If a prospective patient is compelled by an ad to go to your website, but then the patient is confused or turned off by what he/she finds on your site, you’ve lost an opportunity.

Find effective ways to track the ROI of your marketing efforts. Don’t throw your private practice marketing funds down the drain by never assessing how well each promotional effort has worked. If you don’t know what has already proven effective (and what bombed), how will you know what to do next?

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

 

What “Word of Mouth” Really Means for Your Private Practice

Don’t take it for granted that you know what “word of mouth” means—and how it affects your private practice success.

Some things never change in marketing a private practice—like the power of “word of mouth” advertising.

But wait! “Word of mouth” doesn’t mean what it used to mean.

Years ago, when we talked about word of mouth, we meant that people talked to each other about things. They talked over the water cooler at work, at social gatherings, and in casual interactions with familiar faces at the post office or grocery store.

Nowadays, it’s a digital era. For better or worse, folks just don’t talk to each other in the same way face to face. When it comes to word of mouth marketing these days, it’s all about Internet interactions. People who are happy with a service will “like” the private practice page on Facebook or give it several stars on Yelp. People who are actively searching for a service like yours in their area will turn to those online resources looking for social proof.

What does that mean for your private practice? It means that you need to be online, not just in a standard “meets expectations” kind of way, but in a big way.

These days, when we talk about differentiating yourself from the competition, we’re not talking about having a better ad in the Yellow Pages. We’re talking about your private practice website. Not just that you HAVE a website, but that the site actively works to recruit new patients and maintain relationships with existing ones.

Even if it turns out to be a traditional “word of mouth” and face to face referral, it’s very likely that the prospective patient will stick check out your private practice website. He or she may just be looking for directions to your office—but chances are, the real information being gathered is a sense of fit. Today’s patient is a savvy consumer.

Does your private practice website have what it takes to win over today’s high patient expectations?

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

Your Private Practice Needs Serious Help

Private Practice Owners Must Use Content Marketing Effectively (Here’s Why It Matters)

For private practice owners, effective content marketing can make or break your long-term success.

You’ve heard about “content marketing” and that private practice owners should be using it to build their businesses. But do you really know what content marketing means—or why it’s so important to the long-term success of your private practice?

In short, content marketing means that through your online presence (your website, your social media accounts, and so on), you are providing valuable information to potential and current patients. The goal is to enrich their lives through building a teaching relationship with them.

There are several reasons why private practice owners absolutely must embrace content marketing and use it effectively for private practice building.

Your content enhances your branding. There is much, much more to branding for private practice owners than just your logo and website design. Every message you share with your local audience enhances and develops your brand by emphasizing the ways that you serve patients and the community.

Patients are constantly looking for information online, and they are eager to find a trusted source. Private practice owners can use effective content to capture the attention of their ideal patients, not just right now, but for the long term.

Great content marketing is about building relationships. Rather than focusing on the interests and specialties of private practice owners, it emphasizes the needs and interests of the audience—your prospective patients. In other words, content marketing isn’t a monologue; it’s a conversation.

Content marketing is an opportunity for private practice owners to use storytelling as a way to engage audiences and humanize providers. Human beings love stories, and potential patients will feel a bond with you when they read relevant personal information and hear significant information in your “voice.” These patients will follow you over time, and they’ll tell others about you.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

Private Practice Marketing Strategy

Are Patients Truly Top Priority in Your Private Practice?

You may think your private practice puts an emphasis on customer service, but do your patients think so?

It’s common knowledge that customer service has to be a key focus in order for a private practice to survive and thrive in the long term.

Customer service is just as important as excellent clinical practice… maybe even more important, from the customer’s perspective. Many patients value the overall experience (including staff interactions and convenience) more than the specific interaction with the clinical provider.

Unfortunately, many private practice owners think they’re doing a great job in customer service, when in reality their patients might not give the same feedback.

Is your private practice just giving lip service to customer service? Or are you making patients’ experience truly your TOP priority above all else?

Here’s how you can examine and improve your private practice in terms of customer service. How do you rate on the following questions?

  1. Have you looked closely at every possible point of patient interaction? Take a look at every communication (or failed communication opportunity), beginning with appointment scheduling and going all the way through patient follow-up after the visit. (If you’re not doing consistent and meaningful follow-up, start there.)
  2. Is your private practice built around patients’ needs, or your own preferences? This aspect includes everything from your office hours to your ability to make same-day appointments for some kinds of urgent situations. Patients can tell whether the top priority in your office is their needs… or yours.
  3. Have you built your customer service policies and procedures around standard expectations, or an expectation of WOW? Patients don’t forget when you over-deliver, and what’s more, they will happily tell others about you when you go above and beyond what they’ve been trained to expect from other providers. Distinguish yourself, not just in your marketing but in your everyday interactions with the people you serve.
  4. Do you expect your staff to deliver exceptional customer service without specific instruction on how to do that? Like you, your team members probably feel that they deliver amazing customer service every single day because they’re working hard at it. But if everyone isn’t on the same page about the specific expectations of your private practice, then the service delivered will not be consistently excellent from the patient point of view.

Remember, your patients could go anywhere for the service you provide (or something similar). Are you giving them compelling, consistent reasons to choose YOUR private practice?

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

 

Private Practice Owners Can’t Afford Missed Appointments

Missed appointments may be inevitable, but your no-show rate has a direct effect on private practice sustainability over time.

When patients don’t show for scheduled appointments, your private practice schedule gets thrown off—and you lose money.

Many private practice owners treat no-shows as a minor annoyance that’s regrettable, but inevitable. And that’s a huge mistake.

If you have several missed appointments each week, you are potentially losing thousands of dollars every year.

The good news is, you DO have some control over missed appointments in your private practice.

First, understand why patients miss appointments:

  • They forgot about the appointment.
  • It was just too hard to get away from work.
  • Their childcare fell through.
  • They had a change of heart because of the expected cost of treatment.
  • They simply felt better by the day of the appointment and decided not to come after all.
  • They were laid out with an unrelated illness (a common occurrence during cold and flu season).

But by far, most missed appointments can be attributed to “just forgetting.” Just as you are very busy at your private practice, patients are very busy and distracted in their professional and personal lives. It’s genuinely hard for many patients to remember their appointments with your office.

For that reason, the best way to reduce missed appointments is to implement a streamlined appointment reminder system in your private practice.

Appointment reminders can take many forms. (Keep in mind, too, that your private practice may need to follow specific regulations about patient communications.)

Reminder calls by staff. This may seem old-fashioned and even inefficient, but many private practice owners swear by the personal reminder calls. In an impersonal era when we all get robo-reminders from pharmacies, libraries, and everyone else, a personal call helps to cement the provider-patient relationship. It also provides an opportunity to immediately reschedule if illness or personal conflicts are going to prevent the patient from keeping the scheduled appointment.

Automated reminder calls. Some private practice owners choose this option. There are software packages available that offer automated reminders for patients. In some private practice settings, this could be the most appropriate form of default reminder.

Email reminders. Many patients seem to prefer email communications these days. Of course, you’ll need to be careful about following regulations to protect patient privacy.

Text reminders. In an era when we’re all glued to our smart phones and other mobile devices, texting could be the most direct way to reach patients, as well as the easiest way for them to notify you if they need to cancel an appointment.

The best reminder format might even be a combination of these. Perhaps your private practice could make personal phone reminders the day before the appointment as a default, but additionally provide email or text reminders a week ahead for patients who request them.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

Private Practice Building and New Patient Calls

Are You Giving Your Private Practice Patients What They Want?

You’ll retain more patients, not to mention garnering more frequent referrals, when you’re able to give patients exactly what they’re looking for in your private practice.

Understanding the needs and desires of your patients is key to success in private practice. But do you really know what they want?

Naturally, they want excellent service by their clinical provider and by the staff. That’s a given.

You might be surprised at some of the other things that private practice patients want—especially in a private pay model, where patients expect more.

Consider some of these points, which you may not have considered as necessary in your private practice (or you may not have thought about some of them at all):

Patients want to feel understood. Are you and your private practice staff making an effort to provide empathy to every patient, every time? The human connection is vital in terms of the patient’s perception of “quality of care.” And it’s important to realize that patients who feel cared about and understood will be less bothered by inevitable hiccups, like having to wait longer than expected for an appointment.

Patients want technological benefits. It’s not enough to have current magazines or a TV in your waiting area. What about free wi-fi so they can read email or work on a laptop while waiting? Also, think of other ways you could use technology in the name of customer service. Some private practice offices have begun offering to send a text to the patient’s cell phone if the office schedule is running behind, for example.

Patients want to be happy. The more your private practice is able to address this desire, the more satisfied patients will be (and the more often they will refer others to you). When you go beyond resolving a physical pain and make them feel good in general, they’ll be loyal fans for life.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

Private Practice Marketing Blunders

Don’t be a victim of these Private Practice Marketing Blunders

One of the most enjoyable parts of what I do, when helping clients with marketing, is proofing ads. Having been a student of marketing, copy writing, and advertising I hear Yogi Berra in my head saying, “You can observe a lot just by watching.

And you know what? This never changes. Errors from layout as well as placement are so common. Sometimes, a well-meaning person changes a tested font or something else that causes the un-proofed ad to tank.

Here are a few things that I have seen just in the last few months.

A radio announcer for an urban doc spoke so fast on his ad, the docs phone number was not identifiable. Needless to say, a totally failed radio campaign—and a very costly error. Almost unbelievably, another client’s radio ad was shortened, with the phone number omitted!

A TV campaign was run that had no call to action inserted in the ad—where space was left just for that purpose.

An artist didn’t like the submitted newsprint layout, so she substitutes images and rearranges tested headlines.

A salesperson takes a ¼ page ad that is designed to be a “booster”, usually run for a couple hundred bucks, turns the same content into a half page ad costing over $2000.

Testimonials omitted. No clear call to action. No offer. No deadline.
No website URL in an online ad.

And so the end result is no reason at all for patients to see only you.

The list could go on forever. It makes no difference in the media you are using; basically the same rules will still apply.

Of course, these are all preventable by very careful attention to the ad structure, layout, and component function, no matter where your media goes.

Needless to say, we have saved our clients from many needless disasters by tweaking, fine-tuning, and making sure all is as good as can be BEFORE a campaign to promote their private practice ever launches.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

Retaining Your Private Practice Patients

For Private Practice Success, Focus on Keeping Current Patients Happy

It’s time to reconsider how you market your private practice and put the emphasis on retaining patients, not just attracting new ones.

What’s more important, bringing in new business or keeping current patients happy?

Of course, the answer is that both are vitally important… but too often, private practice owners focus almost exclusively on attracting new patients. The thing is, if you’re looking for long-term success in private practice, the bulk of your attention should focus on the patients you already have.

After all, the most effective marketing tool out there is word of mouth and patient referrals to friends and family. But those things won’t happen unless you are truly meeting patients’ needs and fully exceeding (not just meeting) their expectations.

Unfortunately, it’s too easy to assume that your current patients are happy with you and simply hope that they refer when they have a chance.

There are two major problems with this approach. First, patients rarely refer unless you give them a gentle and frequent reminder—it’s just not on their minds to talk you up to friends and family unless you are direct about it on a regular basis. Second, most unhappy patients won’t complain to you. They will simply disappear, and only those friends and family will hear their complaints!

To complicate things even more, patient satisfaction is built on so much more than their clinical interaction with you, the provider.

What really makes or breaks the patient experience—and the likelihood that they will speak positively about you to others—is the customer service experience. That’s everything from the first phone call to how the waiting room looks and feels, the length of time that clinical staff spend with them, and follow-up from you and/or office staff about their visit.

The next time you are wearing your marketing cap as a private practice owner, consider this: you are three times as likely to keep the business of a fully satisfied patient than to get an initial visit from a brand-new patient through external marketing.

Doesn’t it make sense, then, to spend three times as much effort on retaining existing patients and asking for referrals?

These kinds of details are hard for private practice owners to navigate on their own. Looking for expert assistance in marketing and other business aspects of private practice? We can help!

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

Referrals for Private Practice

Do You Know How to Effectively Ask for Patient Referrals in Your Private Practice?

Even when you’re providing excellent service in private practice, most patients won’t automatically refer. Here are two key points that explain why.

It’s a cold, hard fact of private practice: simply being excellent at patient care does not guarantee referrals.

Actually, your reluctance to directly ask for referrals is a guarantee that you won’t get them.

Even worse, if you’ve only been asking for referrals in an informal way that’s impossible to track, you might feel that you’re putting forth a lot of internal marketing effort with nothing to show for it.

What you need is a simple referral-eliciting system that gets EVERY patient thinking about referring you, and it’s got to be one that’s also easy for your staff to monitor so that you know when you’re getting results.

When you are shaping your referral system, keep in mind these two key ideas about why patients fail to refer:

  1. Patients have no idea how much each referral will help you. If you seem to be doing pretty well—a full waiting room, up-to-date equipment, and so on—most patients will assume that you don’t need any help from them. On the other hand, if they understand how easy and powerful it can be when they refer friends and family, they’ll make a point of telling others about your excellent service.
  2. You’re focused on how referrals will help YOU, not how the act of referring to a trusted provider will earn the gratitude of your patient’s friends and family. No one wants to pick a provider at random when they can rely on personal testimony.

Another important thing to remember about patient referrals is that once a patient has referred a loved one to your office, your patient will be even more loyal to you in the future. In essence, he or she wants to believe you are the very best possible provider, after having passed on this message to friends and family!

 

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

 

 

Benchmarking to Measure Your Practice’s Success

I’ve written extensively on really taking command of the direction of your practice, and your life as a powerful economic stimulus.

In reality, it’s all you have in private practice. There are some really simple ways to do this such as benchmarking, but before we talk about that, here’s an “Economic Summit” reality check-up.

If I told you right now there are doctors like you doing 7 figures cash/year, would you believe me?

If not, why?

Likely, it’s a very limited worldview on what you can really accomplish with all the correct systems and tools. And far too often, this is so defeating if it takes place early in ones career.

If I also told you Concierge MDs are collecting 10-15k per patient per year cash, and these same patients gladly pay, and in fact request that type of healthcare, and also pay health insurance premiums, what does that say about how you value, and price your services?

We’ll touch more on this very topic, with some really incredible guest instructors for members, in the near future. Some absolutely brilliant ways to look at life and practice in this brave new world. Yes, even in a down economy.

Well, here is another huge economic management tip.

Regular benchmarking of your results against your goals helps put you at the head of the class.

There is a real easy way to get this done. This tip alone might put another 10K in the income column this month.

The first thing to do is take your list of basic daily, weekly and monthly targets. Higher performing CEOs/CFOs do this daily. Use your white legal pad, but better yet for this one is an Excel spreadsheet (because you can graph it easily and tweak it in all sorts of ways).

My basic daily targets are body weight, miles run or cycled, hours skied, services and income, dollars saved. Yours might be totally different, as it should be. You really can do some incredible things with these numbers, but resist that temptation in the beginning.

Put your goals or targets (BOLD) on one axis, and simply enter your results on another. Save room for notes, photos, and maybe even video clips.

Next, post this somewhere you can see it all the time during the day. Admittedly in the office, maybe it’s in your portfolio, which you pull out during the day, or simply, hidden on your desktop or handheld. Just be sure to look at it at least once daily.

Here’s why this is so powerful. Because it’s a glimpse of right now.

Many people who have trouble setting goals find new life with this method. It keeps you in the moment as well. For us type A’s, it can actually be a better way of dealing with “Futurizing”, which some might say is an unhealthy psychological trait.

But to make sure you’re not deluding yourself, if you use daily targets, they must be the correct fraction of the weekly/monthly/yearly whole.

Just by doing this daily exercise, some great things start to happen. Many times, I have found breaking so many things in life down into daily pieces really simplifies accomplishment and helps move me forward instead of stalling or going into overwhelm.

Now, you are forcing yourself to look at your goals. In fact, now you have actually set goals!

Next, you are inspecting what you expect, automatically!

And finally, you are really taking advantage of a tremendously powerful principle.

That which can be measured, like your results, can be improved!

And herein lies the most powerful tip of all.

Continuing to improve your results and changing your targets to suit your desires in any endeavor is the ultimate in human accomplishment.

This single hallmark of a powerful life is shaping and molding that which we can control. It is creative energy harnessed. It is fulfillment vs. frustration. Happiness vs. resentment and regret.

When combined with all the other key components of Living and Practicing by Design™, it adds a totally new dimension to who and what you can become.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

 

Private Practice Owners and Online Reputation Management

Private Practice on the Web: Does Your Website Have These Essential Features?

In private practice, your website has to have specific components in order to effectively draw in new patients.

Here’s a fact: Most patients these days are finding medical providers online. Even if you’re recommended by someone else, there’s a good chance that new patients are going to take a look at your website before calling to make that first appointment.

We’ve put together a list of the most essential features that your private practice website needs to act as a beacon for growing your practice.

Your private practice website should:

  • Load almost instantly. People won’t wait for more than a few seconds to see what’s there.
    Offer up-to-date and useful content for patients. You need to be adding new content, whether it’s a blog or a library of articles, several times monthly.
  • Allow you to track who visits, what they click on, and other metrics. This is key to knowing what you need to change on your private practice site. Without data, you’re just guessing.
  • Include links to your presence on social media sites such as Facebook. Ideally, every blog post or article also has a “share” link so that patients can tell others about your content.
  • Provide a “call to action” on every page. Sometimes this is an actual action you’d like the viewer to take, such as calling for an appointment. Sometimes it’s just nudging readers to click on a different page in order to keep them on the site.
  • Use appropriate keywords, but in an organic and natural-sounding way. If you don’t have the right keywords, search engines will ignore your private practice site. But if the content on your website seems forced or irrelevant because it’s too focused on keyword usage, then both human readers and Google will lose interest. Balance is key.
  • Work correctly in every browser and on mobile devices. It’s imperative to test your website on multiple browsers and viewing devices. You’d be surprised at how many potential patients are looking at your website on their smart phone or a tablet, and it’s a real turn-off if your site looks awful in a mobile format.

Overwhelmed by all this technical stuff? Even private practice owners need to get up to speed on the world of online marketing in order to survive and thrive. But you don’t have to go it alone.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

4 Local SEO Tips for Your Private Practice

The only thing better than great SEO for your private practice website is targeted local SEO. Here are 4 simple ways to attract local traffic to your practice website.

For most in healthcare-related private practice, it’s essential not only to rank highly in search engine results but also to rank for local search. Your patients want the best provider—and they want someone nearby.

Is your private practice website helping you garner local SEO results?

SEO is, of course Search Engine Optimization. Put simply, your website needs to have key information strategically placed for Google and other search engines to find it.

Here are 4 effective ways to get noticed by search engines so that local patients will find you.

1. Add relevant local detail to your provider bio on your private practice About Us page.

In addition to the usual details about your training, specialty interests, and family or hobbies, be sure to include information about local civic duties, which local sports team you’re rooting for, and the like. This kind of information will endear you to any potential patient reading the page, and it will also attract more attention from Google.

2. Get listed in local profiles for each search engine.

You’re missing out if your private practice website isn’t listed with sites like Bing Places, Google+ Business, Yelp, and Yahoo! Local. Sure, it takes a little time to set up, but it’s free—and you’ll be glad you did.

3. Add fresh content to your private practice website on a regular basis.

Search engines hate stale, out-of-date websites. Even if you don’t have a blog on your site, you can add new pages featuring useful articles and other information. The more often you update your site with great content, the better you’ll rank. Whenever you see an opportunity to organically include local keywords, do it!

4. Make good use of pages on your private practice site with local contact information.

Instead of simply attaching a map, write out the directions to your office from major roads in the area. Instead of only offering an 800 number, provide a phone number with a local area code. Even a little detail like including the time zone in your stated hours of operation will help the search engines recognize your location.

SEO may seem complicated and overwhelming at times—or perhaps it’s something that you tend to let others handle for you. At any rate, it’s important to know that just a few simple tweaks to your private practice website can help more local patients find you online.

If you’ve found this information helpful, why not consider how much further your private practice could reach with help from a trusted expert who’s been there? Click here to read more about our mentoring and coaching programs.

Mobile Marketing for Private Practice Owners

Private Practice SEO: What You Need to Know

In private practice, SEO is vital to understand. Here’s what you need to know about search engine optimization for your business.

As a private practice owner, you know that getting high-quality traffic to your website is important for new referrals and your professional reputation. But you may have been tempted to think, “I don’t have to understand that keyword stuff. I can leave the private practice SEO mumbo-jumbo to my website guy.”

This is a huge mistake. Sure, let your website guy handle the tech details, but as the owner and director of your private practice, SEO and keyword optimization are ultimately up to you.

The good news is, even if sometime it seems that private practice SEO is a tricky business, the basic components are fairly easy to understand.

What it all comes down to is that the best private practice website in the world is totally useless if patients can’t find it.

Here are a few of the most basic concepts behind private practice SEO. There are a lot of great guides out there online (and, of course, a lot of trash as well), but this will get you started in getting your business onto Google’s first page of results for your keyword.

The right SEO keyword phrase

First, you’ll need to make sure that you optimize for the keyword phrase that will bring the right search traffic to your site. In general, it needs to be local and specific, such as “Baltimore physical therapist.” You’ll need to do keyword research with a tool like Google Adwords—what sounds like a great keyword phrase to you may not be what potential patients are actually typing into the search bar.

Using your keyword often enough (but not too often)

You want your keyword to appear throughout your site. If not, search engines won’t pay attention. On the other hand, using a keyword too often, an outdated practice known as “keyword stuffing,” is the worst thing you can do for private practice SEO and will actually harm your chances of Google ranking your site highly.

Active content on your website

Having a private practice blog or adding regularly to a library of informative topic-based articles is a great way to keep your site fresh. It’s also an opportunity to add in keywords in appropriate places, and search engines will notice. Just make sure that you’re adding quality content that new patients will want to read.

Fast loading times

Don’t let your web designer make your site too Flash-heavy. These kinds of applications make your site look great, but they increase the time it takes for the site to load. That will hurt you in terms of private practice SEO results, and it may also drive away the traffic that you’re working so hard to attract.

Private practice SEO can be tricky to get right, and it’s an ever-changing target. That’s why it’s important to stay up-to-date and become part of a network of private practice owners who get regular training on essential business concepts.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

Private Practice Website Mistakes You Should Avoid At All Costs

Your private practice website is so much more than a professional calling card. Does your site measure up to patient expectations?

The worst mistake you can make as a private practice owner is to stop marketing when your practice is comfortably full. And the very worst kind of marketing slump nearly always involves your private practice website.

Maybe you don’t have a website at all. Maybe there’s a rudimentary site in place, but it’s not complete. Or maybe you set it up so long ago that the site is visually outdated. Any of these problems will turn away new patients in a heartbeat.

Patients know that effective private practice owners maintain an active, up-to-date website. Not just a fancy business card with one phone number and an auto-link to Mapquest in lieu of directions to the office.

Today’s patients are web savvy, and their expectations are high. They expect your site to be interactive, allowing them to schedule their appointment online. They expect to get a clear sense of who you are as a specialist—more than just a generic headshot (or worse, a blurry snapshot of your staff). They’re looking for a blog or a library of informative articles.

Does your site measure up?

Remember, your website is either actively attracting your ideal patients, or it’s driving them away. There is no neutral ground.

If you don’t have an effective and engaging website, it’s a sure bet that one of your competitors does have one… and that’s where your potential new patients are going, right after they click away from your site.
How does your website measure up to the best of what’s out there?

Like any other aspect of private practice, your website is not an area in which you can effectively go it alone. Isn’t it time to seek out a mentor for those areas of private practice where you’re weakest?

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

 

Benefits of a Staff-Driven Private Practice

The Benefits of Creating a Staff-Driven Private Practice

Make Your Private Practice Sing By Training Your Staff To Take Charge of Practice Success. Here’s Why.

Yes, you’re the CEO and executive director of your private practice. But smart private practice owners seek to create a practice in which their entire team—including every staff member—takes an active, autonomous role in building and maintaining the practice.

In this type of  practice, the owner provides daily and weekly instructions to staff simply as a means of coordinating efforts, rather than as external motivation to do their jobs.

For this system to work, you need a trustworthy and competent staff in which every member has been fully trained on their job duties AND on the mission of your private practice. This kind of staff member doesn’t simply show up, do their assigned duties, and leave. They are an integral part of the success of the practice because they create and expand the job every day.

In a private practice that is staff-driven, all staff members share equally in the responsibility and positive energy of daily struggles and triumphs in the office.

Some of the benefits of a staff-driven private practice include:

  • Increased morale. Staff members will worker harder and smarter when they understand and support the vision of your practice. They’ll have a sense of belonging that leads them to take pride in their work and innovate new ideas and solutions as needed.
  • Improved work-life balance for you as the private practice owner. Without a staff-driven practice, you’ll find yourself feeling like a stagecoach driver flogging a tired horse. When your office runs smoothly and on its own volition, taking direction from you on improvements and growth rather than relying on you for motivation to produce simply average results, you’ll be able to spend more of your time on the rest of your life outside the office.
  • Building for the future. It’s short-sighted to focus only on this quarter and this year. What about ten years in the future? What about retiring and selling your private practice? When you’ve built a staff-driven practice, you’ll be able to step away without the entire practice crumbling—and that means you’ll have a valuable asset when you’re ready to sell.

You may wonder how to get to this point from where you are now. What kind of hiring, managing, and executive direction skills are needed to build a staff-driven private practice?

invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

Benefits of a Staff-Driven Private Practice

Private Practice Owners Must Understand This Key Idea About Staff Morale

Many Private Practice Owners Don’t Know How to Keep Their Staff Members Productive. The Answer Is Simple.

Like so many other private practice owners, you’ve worked hard to build your staff. After going to all of the expense and trouble of hiring and training support staff who are competent and trustworthy, you’d like to keep them on as long as possible.

But how can you do that? What really keeps private practice staff happy and productive?

The key lies in customer service… in which your staff is your number one customer.

Yes, it’s true that without patients, there would be no private practice. In that sense, the customer comes first. But consider where you’d be without that dedicated staff. How could you serve patients then?

If you make sure to devote time and energy to keeping your staff morale high—not just occasionally, but every day—you will find that you’ll keep patients coming back, too. A happy staff is a welcoming, attentive staff, and patients will notice the difference.

So what are some concrete ways that private practice owners can keep their staff members satisfied and productive?

Say “thank you.” Not occasionally, not just at staff meetings, but in every moment possible. Verbalize your appreciation every chance you get, in big (formal) ways and small (informal) ways. Build in a reward system for meeting productivity goals. Private practice owners who want to prosper make their staff feel valued.

Ask for employee input, and actually take it into consideration. Your staff has an intimate knowledge of what makes their work environment positive—and what makes their professional lives difficult. Find multiple ways to invite input, both public and private. When staff raise a good idea, implement it!

Get to know the personal lives and preferences of individual staff members. Learn their birthdays, the names of their spouses and children and dogs, and their favorite sports teams. Spell their names correctly in memos—you’d be surprised how many private practice owners don’t bother with this detail!

Don’t assume that staff are happy in their current positions or even career fields. If you are having conversations with staff (formal and informal) about their career goals and hopes for the future, you’ll be able to support them in relevant milestones. Just as important, you won’t be caught off guard by a sudden career change.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

 

Private Practice Owners, Tell Your Patients What to Do

You Need Cash Patients in Your Private Practice—But How Do You Draw Them In?

Attracting new patients who are willing to pay cash for services is the future of private practice. Here’s what you need to know about how to get and keep private pay customers.

Here is the hard reality of running a cash-based private practice. Patients who pay up front for services, almost without exception, expect you to be an expert. Not just an expert in your field, but an expert who focuses on the precise problem they are experiencing.

In other words, if you want to attract cash-paying patients to your private practice, your advertising needs to target patients with specific conditions. The fact is that if you don’t highly focus your marketing to attract specific types of cash patients, you’ll be competing with all of the other generalists out there—and you are unlikely to succeed over time.

To bring in more cash-based patients to your private practice, you need to do four things:

1. Identify a profitable niche that is in demand in your area. It is critical to distinguish yourself from all other specialists in your area, and make sure that you’re not just offering the same broad menu of potential services as every other private practice out there. But it has to be something that people want and will pay out of pocket to receive.

2. Know the demographics and psychographics of the patients you want to attract within that niche. It does no good to pick a marketing niche if you haven’t paid attention to the available data about exactly WHO is reading and responding. Psychology is everything in marketing a private practice.

3. Effectively use the appropriate marketing channels, including social media and articles on your own private practice website, to get noticed by these patients. Too many private practice owners are frightened of social media, blogging, and other current-day means of advertising. The fact is, things like postcard mailings and phone book listings just don’t have the same impact and may even be a waste of your advertising dollars—especially if that’s all you’re doing.

4. Provide such top-rate service to new clients, including both clinical interactions and customer service, that they will speak positively of you to others and actively refer friends and family. This is the bottom line. It’s not enough to get new patients in the door. They have to have such a great experience that they can’t wait to come back. There is nothing more powerful than social proof, so focus on getting the patients you want and making them want to share what they know about your services.

If all of this seems overwhelming, that’s because effective marketing is a huge job for private practice owners. But we can help! For support and training around marketing and other private practice concerns, read about our Mentoring and Coaching programs.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team