Posts

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?

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

Private Practice Owners Must Avoid This Practice-Killing Marketing Error

For Private Practice Owners, These Deadly Sins of Marketing Could Topple Your Profitable Business 

Private practice owners often do it all. In addition to clinical work with patients, they juggle office management, administrative tasks, payroll, and customer service. Marketing might seem to fall pretty far down on the list.

Without effective marketing, though, your private practice won’t be around long. Private practice owners can’t afford to ignore the realities of marketing in today’s business environment.

What worked 20 or 50 years ago, perhaps even 5 to 10 years ago, simply won’t cut it today.

I see so many private practice owners whose marketing strategies are practically doomed because of three simple but damaging mistakes:

  • Focusing the advertising message on you as the provider—your credentials, training, clinical equipment, or areas of interest—rather than on the patient’s immediate needs.
  • Simply listing data or jargon related to office equipment or procedures, as if the average reader will know or care what these things mean.
  • Detailing every single thing that you offer to every kind of customer, so that no one thing stands out among the rest (and you look like every provider out there).

So, let’s take a look at the opposites of these major errors, so that you can determine what you SHOULD do to improve your advertising efforts. In sum, effective marketing for private practice owners must include these key factors:

  • Targeting a specific type of service to a limited audience
  • Making the advertising message about the customer, not about you as the service provider
  • Explaining exactly why and how your state-of-the-art equipment will benefit the customer

Following these three very effective tenets of marketing will take you far beyond your current advertising efforts.

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

Why Your Private Practice Needs Serious Help

If Your Private Practice Management Approach is “Going It Alone,” You Will Almost Certainly Go Down With the Ship.

In this society, we get a lot of messages about independence and self-reliance. You may have imagined that running a private practice would be a wonderful experience of autonomy, as you make every decision about how to make your business thrive.

And it’s true that all of these decisions are yours.

But are you thriving in the self-reliance model of private practice?

Are you honestly capable of doing an excellent (not average) job of every component of your business, from clinical work serving patients to front-end customer service to bookkeeping and practice management?

You already know that it takes a reliable and trustworthy staff to accomplish these things. You’re not a one-man band. But (to continue the musical metaphor) you are indeed the conductor who leads this orchestra.

That’s where many medical practititioners in private practice make a costly mistake—trying to do it all.

Smart private practice owners understand their limitations and find a way to support themselves in those areas of weakness. As the owner and director of a private medical practice, you will be able to deliver consistently excellent service to your customers and staff by seeking help with aspects of business that are less familiar to you.

There’s nothing wrong with seeking help—serious help. By that, I mean assistance from a proven leader who has years of experience in the very aspects of business that you are currently struggling with.

So what’s the next step to getting serious help for your private practice? Let us provide consulting help to aid you in avoiding costly mistakes in your business. With years of experience in practice management and practice building, we can be your guide along the path of making your practice truly thrive.

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

 

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.

 

Healthcare Changes and Your Specialty Practice

Specialty Practice Can Benefit from the New Competitive Patient Mindset

Recent changes in the healthcare landscape can provide a boost to growth in your specialty practice—if you have the right goals in mind.

Many specialty practice owners have been viewing new healthcare laws and systems in the United States with a mixture of fear, outrage, and dismay.

You may be wondering how all these changes will affect your private practice… and assuming that things will be changing for the worse. How can a specialty practice possibly survive in this environment?

If you’ve been viewing healthcare changes as a circumstance that will doom your specialty practice, it’s time to think again.

Why? Because all of these changes can actually HELP you to grow your specialty practice to its upper limit—as long as you have the right mindset about the direction you’re headed.

All of these healthcare law changes have caused a shift in the typical patient mindset. It used to be that patients would do whatever their doctor said to do, or have whatever procedure was covered as standard by their insurance company.

These days, self-pay patients are looking at value. They want the most bang for their buck. That means they’re shopping around and looking for the provider who will provide exceptional care that justifies the cost of services. They view provider rates as an investment in their long-term health, and they want a good return on their investment.

This is great news! This patient, who is discerning and makes an informed decision when choosing a specialty practice, is exactly the kind of patient that you need to attract and keep in order to make your specialty practice thrive.

You don’t want patients who follow the old episodic treatment model: coming into the office when they’re in pain and then falling away. You want patients who seek expert collaboration and a long-term relationship working toward their continuing health. That patient is the very picture of loyalty, and he or she will joyfully refer you to family and friends.

When your patients are focused on their long-term health, then the long-term health of your specialty practice will be a given.

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

Wrong Approach to Marketing Private Practice

Beyond Excuses: Why Your Private Practice ISN’T Thriving (and How to Fix It)

If your private practice is floundering, or coming to a standstill, you might think you know why…but take a close look at the problem. Is it a reason, or an excuse?

Unfortunately, too often, private practice owners get in their own way when it comes to success.

It’s all too human to think we “know” exactly what the problem is. Maybe we also “know” why various solutions can’t possibly work to fix the problem. In a way, this is a victim mentality.

Most of us are guilty of this at some point in our personal lives. But if this mindset carries over into your private practice, things aren’t going to go well.

If you’re going to be able to overcome obstacles in private practice, it’s essential to remain open to new ideas, useful feedback, and even tried-and-true solutions that you’ve already tried once. You’ve got to approach each new obstacle as if you’ve never encountered it before.

Why? Because if you’ve already labeled and judged what’s before you, you’re not seeing it clearly. And that means you’re blocking your own success by dooming the situation before anyone has addressed it.

So… how to get past this stumbling block? There are two keys to implementing a “no excuses” mind-shift in private practice.

The first key is a willingness to change. What you’re doing now is not effective, so a fresh approach is called for. This is a huge one! Don’t underestimate how your resistance to change could be impacting your private practice.

The second key is to call in a fresh viewpoint, someone who can give you unadulterated feedback about what you’re doing in your private practice that could be done better.

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

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

 

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