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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

Mobile Marketing for Private Practice Owners

Private Practice Owners Cannot Afford to Ignore Social Media

You might be wary of getting involved in social media or feel confused about the best way to implement a social media strategy. But every private practice owner should understand the place of social media in marketing.

Almost without exception, your patients are online.

Are you?

I don’t just mean having a website or even a blog. If you’re not using social media—and using it to effectively promote your private practice—you are missing out on a willing audience.

These days, a patient’s first encounter with you happens long before they arrive for the first visit at your office—or even before they pick up the phone to speak with your staff about a consultation.

When you’ve established a reputation on social media, you will have won a new patient’s trust long before you actually meet in person. And the best thing about social media is that few medical professionals in private practice are using it. In part, that’s because they’re scared of “doing it wrong.”

But when you have a social media strategy in place, and you’re in control of the online impression you leave with potential patients, you’ll see that no private practice can survive for long while ignoring the impact of social media on marketing today.

There is no substitute for a strong online presence as a way of building your perceived authority. The fact is, an active and engaging social media presence will take your private practice to unimagined new heights—when you do it effectively. There are many examples out there of ineffective social media practices.

Too often, private practice owners avoid the social media question altogether… or they jump in headfirst, without a clear understanding of what they’re doing and why. You could even say that a misguided and muddled social media strategy is almost worse than totally avoiding getting involved at all.

That’s why a private practice mentor is essential for the success of your business as a medical professional. You are highly trained in your field and a stellar clinician… but what training have you had in marketing, administration, and other aspects of running a business?

When you’re ready to take your private practice to a higher level, let us know. We can provide the tools you need to increase your marketing reach and design a private practice that suits the life you want to create.

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

Marketing For Your Specialty Practice: How to Address What Patients Truly Want

Are You Trying To Market Your Specialty Practice By Focusing On All The Wrong Elements?

Too often, specialty practice owners spend valuable time and money on marketing that doesn’t work—usually because the language and focus of their marketing just isn’t what potential patients want.

It’s so easy to get caught up in wanting to draw attention to your specialized training, or the fancy new equipment you’ve invested in, or the wide array of services you can provide. But frankly, patients are shopping for a specific experience.

They don’t want to purchase dental work.
They want to feel more confident because of a dazzling smile.

They don’t want to pay for 30 minutes of treatment with a specially trained chiropractor.
They want relief from chronic lower back pain.

They don’t want to read the resume of a physical therapist.
They want to be able to stand fully upright without discomfort.

They don’t want to invest in an invasive surgery to ameliorate neuropathic pain.
They want to be able to weed the garden, knit, and do the Sunday crossword without burning and tingling in their dominant hand.

To effectively market your specialty practice, you will have to identify the true motivators for your patients.

Here are some of the strongest motivators that drive patients to pursue treatment at a specialty practice:

  • Relief from pain
    Improvement in their physical appearance
    Increased sense of confidence
    Ability to remain productive in activities that are meaningful to them
    Feeling in control of their health and at peace with medical decisions they make

When the marketing message for your specialty practice addresses one or more of these core motivators, you will see a higher return on investment for your advertising dollar.

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

Demographics and Psychographics in Chiropractic Practice Building

Chiropractic Practice Building Success Rests on Understanding Psychographics

In chiropractic practice building, knowing how to address both demographics and psychographics can make all the difference in marketing to the right patients.

Are you clear on the difference between demographics and psychographics—and how to use both in your marketing strategy for chiropractic practice building?

Here’s a breakdown of these basic concepts and how to apply them to your own promotional strategies.

In short, demographics are facts that describe characteristics of your current patients as well as prospective ones. These facts are things like gender, income level, age, marital status, education level, occupation, homeowner status, age and gender of children in the home, and location of the home and/or workplace. These are external facts that we can easily see and quantify.

On the other hand, psychographics are more difficult to discern because they are based on patterns of behavior. This means that psychographics are actually very valuable in chiropractic practice building, because they look at the psychology of your current and potential patients. Psychographics can include things like hobbies, buying patterns, lifestyle choices, political leanings, and personal values.

If you want to know WHO pays for your services, look at demographics. If you want to know WHY they do it—and for the purposes of chiropractic practice building, you definitely want to know this—then psychographics will be even more helpful.

Demographic information is relatively easy to obtain. For psychographics, though, you’ll need to interact directly with your target market to learn about their attitudes, buying choices, and lifestyle preferences. You can start by surveying your current patients, who can provide a wealth of information about why they continue to choose your chiropractic office over other options.

When you have psychographic data, you’ll have a very powerful tool for chiropractic practice building. It’s nearly useless to collect demographic data about your target market if you don’t also take a close look at the psychology of patients’ decision-making. Think about the difference between knowing how many current patients have referred others to your practice, and knowing precisely WHY they chose to do so.

An effective mix of demographics and psychographics allows you to tailor your marketing strategy to a specific group of people and to make sure your promotional messages address the particular needs of those people. And that means they are far more likely to become patients at your practice. That’s the bottom line in chiropractic practice building.

 

Marketing Your Specialty Practice

Specialty Practice Success Won’t Happen Through Traditional Marketing

Unless your specialty practice is brand-new, the backbone of your practice probably isn’t based on new referrals. Don’t overlook this key element of private practice success!

Whether you’ve been running your specialty practice just a few years, or dozens, there’s a good chance that the majority of your business is made up of repeat clients. In short, most of the patients walking in your door have been there before…and made the decision to come back.

If you’ve provided excellent service—not just a world-class treatment experience, but great customer service, too—then most of your patients will come back again and again. Maybe they’ll come in search of continued good health through maintenance. Or maybe a new injury or illness will arise, and because you’ve built their trust, you’ll be the first professional they call.

Eventually, nearly your ENTIRE specialty practice could (if you chose) be composed of regular patients who return time after time because of the relationship you’ve built with them.

But if you’ve paid any attention to the marketing how-to information that’s out there, you may be confused. That’s because the advice of traditional marketers is all about how to get new eyes on you—how to get in front of people who will buy what you’re selling.

The thing is, particularly in the service industry and in a specialty practice, the person who is most likely to buy from you is the very person who already has! They took that initial risk of trying your practice, found the benefits to be exceptional, and now have confidence that YOU are the professional who can make their lives better.

Now that you know repeat customers are the best customers, what can you do to encourage patients to come back?

First, say “thank you,” and say it often. Thank brand-new patients for giving your specialty practice a chance to help them. When they return for another visit, welcome them with open arms and an opportunity to give feedback—ask: “Can you let us know what made you decide to come again?”

Second, give those loyal patients a chance to get to know you better. Ask every new and returning patient if they’d like to join your email list. Send a monthly newsletter with practice news, including personal stories from your staff or yourself that make your office feel like a home away from home. It can also include a simple but useful health tip that’s relevant to your specialty practice, or a frequently asked question and your response. This doesn’t have to be a slick-looking newsletter template. In fact, many patients will respond more positively if it’s simple and has a “homegrown” feel, so that they know you’re actually writing it!

Also, have your staff maintain a list of patients who haven’t been in lately. Give them a courtesy call to see if they’d like to schedule a follow-up visit. This lets patients know that you remember them and care about how they’re doing.

The key to all of this is planning. You need an organized system, set to autopilot, so that these things will happen automatically at appropriate opportunities, and so that no patient gets overlooked. This is the only way to make effective follow-through happen on a regular basis for your specialty practice.

But most private practice owners won’t implement this kind of system.

That’s good news for you… if you’re willing to put in the time, knowing that your specialty practice can thrive while others barely survive.

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

 

Loyal Patients in Private Practice

Your Physical Therapy Business is Not a Desk Job

You’re the CEO of your physical therapy business, the leader and visionary for your team. But the last place you should be is behind a desk.

As the practice owner and chief decision-maker for your physical therapy business, you are effectively the CEO of your company. But if your mental picture of a CEO features someone sitting behind a large mahogany desk, you’d better think again.

If you want your physical therapy business to grow and thrive, you should be spending very little time at a desk. It’s time to step away from your desk and step into an active, hands-on role as a team leader.

As CEO, you’ll need to become deeply involved in every aspect of your business.

Of course, there’s a fine line between deep awareness and micromanaging. As you move around the office, don’t just step in between your staff and the work they’re doing—which might be viewed as intrusive and controlling. After all, you hired your team carefully with a view to being able to trust them to do their jobs well.

Instead, think of it from the perspective of simply being visible and present throughout the day. Make it a point to briefly shadow each team member at his or her job every few days, so that your team gets accustomed to having you right there. Keep in mind that the objective isn’t to monitor for mistakes. The idea is that you’ll be able to put yourself in your staff’s shoes and understand the key aspects of every role.

The goal is to become familiar with the workings of every aspect of your physical therapy business. Allow your team to become your teachers. If you don’t know or understand how something works, ask your staff to demonstrate or explain. You can rely on your staff, who do this job day in and day out, to provide the most effective input on what improvements are needed, rather than handing down directives about how to improve.

In short, you should spend very little time at your desk. Use this space for research and learning during quiet hours, before staff arrive or after they leave. During the workday, when staff and patients are in the office, be in the office. Strive to be an active part of the office environment on a daily and weekly basis, and you’ll find that your physical therapy business begins to really come alive.

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

Chiropractic Business Building Depends on Marketing (Not Jargon)

In chiropractic business building, effective marketing requires you to speak your patient’s language—the language of pain.

You’ve been to seminars and read articles on the essential components of chiropractic business building. They all emphasize that effective marketing is the way to get new patients in the door.

But here’s something those articles and seminars may have neglected to tell you… and I can almost guarantee that you didn’t learn this key concept about chiropractic business building in school.

Effective marketing means speaking your patient’s language. Patients don’t speak chiropractic. They speak the language of PAIN.

Take a look at this quick list of chiropractic jargon—concepts that are very familiar to you as a chiropractor:

  • Diversified technique
  • Gonstead technique
  • Innate intelligence
  • Subluxation
  • Activation technique

Think of how hard you have to work to educate your existing patients on what these terms mean and why they’re important.

Prospective patients won’t take the time and effort to understand what you’re talking about. To grab and keep their attention, you’ve got to talk about the things that are important to them. Here are examples of the language that prospective patients use:

  • I have chronic pain in my [body area].
  • My activities are limited.
  • I can’t walk / exercise / use my legs the way that I need to.
  • I can’t do my job anymore.
  • I’m having trouble sleeping because of this pain.

See the difference?

When you make the switch from jargon marketing—a focus on your specialized knowledge and training—to pain marketing, prospective patients will flock to your door. Chances are, you’ll be the only chiropractic practice in your area who is speaking directly TO the patient instead of trying to simply talk AT them. With pain marketing, you’re not saying, “I’m the best.” Instead, you’re saying, “You’re in pain, and I 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

Private Practice Owners, Tell Your Patients What to Do

Private Practice Owners, Are You Telling Your Patients What to Do?

Without a clear call to action in every communication, private practice owners leave patients floundering in a sea of good intentions.

We have previously explored on this blog some of the reasons WHY you need a clear call to action in every single communication with patients. In other words, it’s essential for private practice owners to tell patients exactly what to do and lead them by the hand to the next interaction.

But don’t think that calls to action are limited to a “buy now” or “make an appointment now” button at the end of a blog post.

A call to action can take many forms—most of which are overlooked by most private practice owners.

And that’s good news for you, because it means your competition likely hasn’t figured it all out yet. You can get ahead of the curve by innovating with calls to action.

Start by making a list of every type of way that you communicate with potential and current patients.

Now, for each item on that list, look for an opportunity to tell them what to do next. Think about what you want to accomplish through that communication, and then craft a brief but clear call to action that urges the patient to follow through with a specific action.

Remember that patients are more likely to follow through on a call to action that addresses one of the patient’s own desires. Private practice owners need to be sure to craft the message with an eye toward psychological factors. And keep it simple!

Here are a few potential examples of calls to action that go beyond a simple “call now.”

  • Give patients the opportunity for a no-cost group consultation or Q&A with you at specified times and require registration.
  • Direct patients to a specific social media page or event.
  • Ask patients to subscribe to your blog so they never miss a post.
  • Request for patients to email you with specific questions on certain topic so that you can respond in a blog post or create an event around it.

Sometimes private practice owners need to be told what to do next in their marketing—is this you? Check out our mentoring and coaching programs. 

Ways to Get More Private Pay Patients for Your Private Practice

You need private pay customers for your private practice. Have you considered these ways to expand your client base?

With the ongoing reduction of insurance reimbursements these days, it makes sense to increase your ratio of private pay patients. But how can your private practice attract more of these types of patients?

First, consider what your own strengths and interests might be. Is there an aspect of professional services you would enjoy providing that doesn’t exist in your current menu of services? What training of yours is going to waste right now? Or, what training would you be willing to undertake in order to expand services? Perhaps this is an opportunity to create a partnership with someone who provides related but different services in your community.

Next, evaluate needs in your community. What doesn’t make sense is to offer services that your target customer simply doesn’t want and won’t pay for. Begin by identifying what your private practice patients are truly looking for and ways to expand or adjust your services accordingly.

The simplest and most effective way to do this is by polling your existing patients. Take the opportunity to ask about specific possible services they may be interested in, as well as to find out what gaps exist in your current services. This is a win-win as far as customer service goes.

Also, take a look at your local competition. What services are your private practice competitors offering? Which ones would make sense for YOUR patients, and how can you improve on what is being offered?

Now, give substantial thought (and discussion with practice managers) around the types of services that fit well with your current practice. Think about services that have medical benefit but aren’t crisis oriented. Are there any services that are purely aesthetic rather than medically necessary that could be offered by your private practice? Could you combine existing offerings with one new offering into a focused package for specific types of patient demographics?

These are the kinds of questions we discuss in our private practice mentoring programs. Click here to learn more about coaching and mentoring for private practice owners.

 

Marketing Rules for Private Practice

4 Rules to Keep Your Private Practice Marketing Above Board

Don’t get caught making the biggest private practice mistake of all: using misleading marketing that can land you in legal hot water.

One of the stickiest points in marketing for private practice is toeing the line in advertising. Private practice owners want to use marketing materials that are compelling and effective to bring in new patients, but they’ve got to be careful to stay within the safe legal boundaries of what can and can’t be said in an ad.

Here are 4 strategies that will keep you in the clear in terms of HIPAA compliance, marketing ethics, and business law.

  1. Support every claim with data. Be careful not to exaggerate the likelihood of treatment success. Stick to the facts in all of your marketing content, and don’t imply specific results—make your claim absolutely clear and straightforward.
  2. Don’t use real patient stories (even a fictionalized version) without a written release. Some private practice owners think that they’ve adequately disguised the identity of a patient by changing one or two details of the story, but that’s usually not enough. Ideally, get a release and use the patient’s real (first) name, which turns a story into a testimonial. If that can’t happen, then stick to using a fictionalized composite of a “typical patient” and make it clear that it’s a composite, not a real person.
  3. Don’t promise specific outcomes. Make it absolutely clear that there are no guarantees, and steer away from hot-button words like “cure.”
  4. Know your local laws. Private practice owners have to comply with business law in their local area in addition to professional ethics and other national considerations.

Of course, the best tactic is to employ a good attorney who can help you keep on the right side of the law in private practice advertising.

You don’t have to struggle through these tricky private practice issues alone. Check out our mentoring and coaching programs.

 

Private Practice Website Call to Action

Private Practice Website Not Generating Results? Here’s Why

The most essential feature of your private practice website is the simplest (and easiest to overlook): the Call To Action.

Patients have to be told exactly what to do.

You may have found this to be true in your clinical work. And it is most definitely true on your private practice website.

It doesn’t matter what else a patient finds on your website or how well you have established authority for your private practice by building a foundation with content marketing. All of that effort is wasted unless every single page features a specific Call To Action (CTA).

In other words, have you told the patient exactly what to do?

A CTA can take many forms. Sometimes it might encourage a patient to “read more about” a particular topic by clicking on a link. Sometimes it asks them to download a free report that details possible treatments for their symptoms. Or you may simply be encouraging a patient to pick up the phone and call your private practice to make an appointment today.

Without specific encouragement, most patients will not take these actions on their own. They will aimlessly click away.

The CTA is even more important for private practice now, in the days of mobile marketing, when a huge percentage of people looking at your website are doing so with the use of their smart phone or other mobile device. For this reason, you’ll need to make sure not only that there is a distinct CTA on each page but also that the CTA is linked and clickable.

Even better, build a contact form into your private practice website that makes it simple for people to put in their name, number, and reason for contacting you—then make sure that your office staff are checking this multiple times a day and can get back to new patients within a few minutes.

Wondering what else you may be overlooking when it comes to marketing with your private practice website? We talk about issues like this in our coaching and mentoring programs.

 

Mobile Marketing for Private Practice Owners

Private Practice Owners Can’t Afford to Ignore Mobile Marketing

Private Practice Owners, Is Your Website “Mobile Friendly”? It Matters—and Here’s Why.

We all have some type of mobile device these days, whether it’s a smart phone or a tablet. And most people use these devices for far more than simply placing a call or checking email.

Gone are the days when you “could” use this to your advantage. Going mobile is no longer a choice for private practice owners.

In fact, these days, if you’re not actively using mobile marketing as a private practice owner, your business is already on its way downhill.

It’s not enough to have a great website, good reviews on Yelp, and a social media presence. Unless you are focused specifically on reaching mobile patients, none of the rest will matter.

Here’s why…

Not only do new patients look up information about you on the Internet before making an appointment, they often do this on the go. That means two things:

The prospective patient is standing in line at the post office, or waiting in the car pool line, while searching for information about your private practice. He or she has a very short attention span and will click away quickly.

No matter how awesome your website may appear on someone’s home computer, if it isn’t mobile friendly, you’ve already lost the majority of prospective patients out there. If it’s just too hard to view your site on a tiny iPhone screen, or if your site uses outdated code that doesn’t show up well on a phone or tablet, patients won’t keep trying. They’ll click away.

There’s plenty you can do to actively encourage mobile users. For example, did you realize that making your phone number clickable on your website means that many mobile users can simply tap the number to place a call? On the other hand, a non-clickable phone number has to be copied and pasted, and most prospective patients won’t bother.

It’s tough for private practice owners to navigate the mobile marketing waters alone. Looking for expert assistance? Check out our mentoring and coaching programs.

4 Aspects of Private Practice Marketing

4 Marketing Aspects You Can’t Ignore for Private Practice Success

These 4 aspects of private practice marketing can make or break your business.

Many times, private practice owners make two kinds of mistakes when it comes to marketing.

Some try to be the expert on every aspect of their business and wear too many hats. Since they can’t be everywhere and do everything, something is likely to fall through the cracks—and there’s a good chance that “something” will be related to marketing.

Others hire an entity to manage all their marketing needs. Outsourcing is terrific, but the mistake here is to be hands-off and allow “the expert” to do all the work without any oversight.

The happy medium is in knowing when to outsource, and knowing how to stay in touch with the basics of your marketing even when you’ve hired someone else to do the bulk of the work.

1. Understanding SEO for Your Private Practice Website

Do you know how to optimize your website to attract search engines and new patients? Too many private practice owners ignore this vital aspect of website building and maintenance. Worse, some may be using outdated practices from years ago that will actually penalize them in Google’s current ranking algorithms.

2. Getting a Grip on Social Media for Your Private Practice

Is your private practice active in social media? More important, are you doing it effectively? It’s not enough just to “be on Facebook,” and it’s vital to understand the etiquette for specific social media sites so that your marketing efforts don’t backfire.

3. Getting Substantive Content in Front of Your Potential Patients

Content marketing is the cornerstone of online marketing for private practice. It’s not enough anymore to set up a static website with your bio and a snapshot of your staff. Patients these days expect private practice owners to be publishing authoritative content on a regular basis.

4. Learning What You Need to Know about Online Reputation Management for Your Private Practice

Your private practice needs positive reviews on Yelp and other online review sites. If a potential patient goes to check your reviews before making an appointment, that person had better find multiple glowing reviews and few (or no) negative ones. The worst case scenario is for the patient to find no reviews at all. That patient is going to look elsewhere.

Don’t let someone else’s decisions drive your private practice success—or drive it into the ground. Keeping your finger on the pulse of your private practice marketing strategy is a major key to achieving your vision long-term.

Need help with private practice marketing? Check out our program 12 Secrets of Private Practice Mastery.

Storytelling for Private Practice Marketing

Marketing Your Private Practice with Storytelling

Storytelling is the most effective approach to private practice marketing. Here’s why.

As humans, we are hard-wired for storytelling. But too many private practice owners overlook this critical marketing tool… or they think, “That’s fine for some people, but I’m not creative enough to use stories in marketing.”

In truth, however, all it takes to effectively use storytelling in your private practice marketing is to identify important relationships and give them context.

A story, after all, is just a context (the setting or framework of the story) with at least one character who takes a significant action.

Why is the storytelling approach so much more effective than the straightforward messaging approach?

Patients are savvy consumers. They want to be told what to do, but they want to feel as if they’re making the choice. A story framework is persuasive without feeling controlling.

Looking at it from this point of view, there are so many possibilities for using story in your private practice marketing.

You could tell the story of your own struggles and triumphs as a clinician. Many private practice owners make the mistake of reciting their education, training, and specialty equipment like a simple laundry list—which is not compelling for the patient to read or hear.

Instead, offer an interesting narrative about how you felt frustrated with your limitations in providing XYZ treatment for your patients, so you set out to learn or innovate new techniques to transcend those limitations. If you can share a case study in an interesting way, even better.

The best way to use storytelling for marketing your private practice is to feature the “stories” of patient testimonials. The key here is to get enough detail when collecting testimonials that the compelling story will shine through, not just vague praise. You can control these elements by providing a detailed questionnaire that patients can fill out with positive or negative feedback about their experiences with you. The more detail you request, the more “story” will appear in the testimonial.

Get more practical tips for private practice marketing and other tricky topics in our coaching and mentoring programs.

What You Need to Know About Branding in Private Practice

Private Practice Tip: What You Need to Know About Branding

Effective branding for your private practice goes far beyond just your logo. It’s important to build your brand message into your everyday patient offerings.

You can’t escape it these days, the endless buzz about the need for “building your brand.”

You may have wondered if your private practice even has a brand, or if it needs one. Most people think of branding as being about a logo, or good signage, or a brochure, or the content of an ad. But there’s more to it—much more.

This may be one of the most important things you read today: everything you do in your private practice is your brand.

Your private practice branding includes everything you do and who you are, day to day. That means how and why you do your clinical work, but it also means every possible aspect of patient experience, from phone calls to office visits to follow-up.

Successful private practice owners know this and build it into their work every day.

As always in marketing, the point of branding lies in differentiating your private practice from the competition, and then building trust with patients through repeated positive experiences.

The best branding, from a customer point of view, is authentic and consistent in every aspect. There is a thread of integrity that runs through your private practice so that what the patient expects, based on your visual branding, is what they receive in their office experience and follow-up.

That’s one reason that branding doesn’t begin and end with the private practice owner. In fact, a huge percentage of the patient experience lies in the hands of your office staff, so it’s vital for each and every team member to understand your brand concept and strive to exemplify it in their day-to-day work with patients.

Looking for guidance about branding for your private practice and other tricky marketing topics? Check out our mentoring program, 12 Secrets of Private Practice Mastery.

 

Preventing Chronic Pain in Private Practice

In private practice, one of the most important things that you need to do is to pay attention.

For many years, we’ve known that patients who are going to develop chronic pain are those who do not manage acute pain and injuries well.

DoctorAs you know, there’s a tendency towards drug-only therapy early on, especially from the consumer’s perspective and heavy OTC drugs.

Be sure you fully understand the health risks here. The most important including liver failure from acetaminophen in all its forms and combinations that consumers frequently combine, as well as renal failure from NSAIDs.

It’s also critical to understand pain is complex phenomenon with emotional and psychological components as well as the very real physiologic changes to injury or illness.

From a clinical perspective, one of the most important things that you or I need to do is to pay attention. And pay attention early on.

As one of my professors once told me, the most important thing we need to understand is if we listen carefully, the patient oftentimes tell us exactly what is wrong with them!

There is no substitute for a professional and smooth running staff, which puts patients at ease and facilitates the history-taking process.

Don’t underestimate how mastering these simple practice efficiency tools can also help you build an enormous private practice!

But if you really want to help your community, understand what a large segment of the population clearly is not well-versed, and certainly not trained in practical as well as modern clinical pain control technology.

There’s enough information here for you to grow an enormous practice.

But this will only happen if you have all the business, clinical, and marketing systems, tools, and inroads you will find essential to private practice moving forward.

The rest is up to you.

We’re here to help, but only if you reach out!

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Deciding To Meet Patients Where They Are Today

Unless you present your services as new menus periodically—that are understandable and provide enough options—you will find practice much more difficult than it needs to be.

One of the most important things to understand about private practice, and self-paying patients in particular is that to be truly viable today you must meet the patient where they “are”, both financially and mentally.

receptionist with patientsJust like a fine restaurant or bar, you must provide a menu the patient can choose from. One thing that’s really critical to understand is, just like a fine restaurant experience, patients will only return for what they truly want. Never has this been truer than it is right now.

One of the mistakes too many private practice owners make is not having a clear menu, especially not having top-shelf care plans to choose from. Sometimes we let a poverty consciousness invade and this does not serve your patients.

Think of it like this: When patients visit their favorite restaurants, they don’t hesitate to ask and pay for what they really want. Sometimes they want and buy more than others. Some days it’s top-shelf only, and other days only within their pocket.

In reality, modern private practice is just the same. But unless you present your services as new menus periodically—that are understandable and provide enough options—you will find private practice much more difficult than it needs to be.

Always remember, you have an obligation to provide your patients with the top-shelf items. To not do so is an extreme disservice your patients and your community.

As one of my patients recently sent to me, “Dr Hayes, why would I not want what is the very best for my health? Good question.

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