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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

 

Your Private Practice Needs Serious Help

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wish you the best along your journeys!

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

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

Private Practice Marketing Strategy

Are Patients Truly Top Priority in Your Private Practice?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wish you the best along your journeys!

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

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

 

Private Practice Owners Can’t Afford Missed Appointments

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

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

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

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

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

First, understand why patients miss appointments:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wish you the best along your journeys!

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

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

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

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

Private Practice Website Mistakes You Should Avoid At All Costs

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

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

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

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

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

Does your site measure up?

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

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

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

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

I wish you the best along your journeys!

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

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

 

Benefits of a Staff-Driven Private Practice

Private Practice Owners Must Understand This Key Idea About Staff Morale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wish you the best along your journeys!

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

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

 

Private Practice Owners, Tell Your Patients What to Do

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wish you the best along your journeys!

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

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

 

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.

 

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

For Private Practice Success, Check Your Mindset

The Missing Link in Private Practice Success: Check Your Mindset

You May Think That External Factors Will Make or Break Your Private Practice Success. In Reality, Your Mindset Drives Your Practice.

Every day you navigate the ins and outs of your private practice and wear a number of different hats. As a private practice owner, you make the key decisions that drive the future of your business. And as a clinician, of course, you’re also working in your practice from day to day as you treat patients.

But how do you treat them? As commodities, or as unique individuals?

How do you treat your business? As a job that you attend every day to bring in a paycheck, or as a delicate ecosystem that requires your own hand to survive and thrive?

Your mindset determines everything—from your earning power to your life-work balance and overall satisfaction.

In essence, private practice success is so dependent on mindset because it has two components. Your mindset drives your vision for private practice success, the long-term picture of your practice’s health. Your mindset also functions as your biggest and best marketing tool.

When patients feel heard, cared for, and well handled, they reward you with continued business and referrals. But if you come across as distracted, distant, or gruff, you’ll lose patients—not just the ones in your office right now, but also those referrals down the road. When patients are paying out of pocket, they expect more. Unsatisfied, they’ll take their business elsewhere—no matter how good you are as a clinician. It takes so much more than good technical work to achieve private practice success.

Building a successful mindset is more than just having a great attitude and effective bedside manner. In the end, it’s all about vision and planning.

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

Skiffs and Sunset - Enjoy life
Do You Have a FAVORITE Sunday Personal and FUN Act…

Do You Have a FAVORITE Sunday Personal and FUN Activity?

Find What Helps You Feel The BEST?

Then Do MORE of it!

You’ll enjoy Life and Practice so much more…

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. 

Private Practice Informed Consent

Private Practice, Best Practice: Informed Consent Every Step of the Way

In private practice, informed consent is more than just a piece of paper that your patients sign on their first visit—you should build it into every interaction.

Customer service isn’t all about providing perks that your private practice patients will like better than perks provided by the competition. It isn’t even limited to focusing on the quality of the provider-patient relationship.

Sometimes excellent customer service is about making sure you are giving your patients the information they need, every step of the way. You can think of this as making informed consent a priority in your private practice.

What does this look like? Let’s break it down into the basics.

Train your staff, and yourself, to provide a running narrative of what is happening now and what will happen next. Patients need to know the name and role of the staff they are talking with right now, along with the duration of the procedure or interaction. This works equally well for taking x-rays or for scheduling a new appointment. Likewise, make sure that phone interactions are given the same quality of attention and information.

Always provide an accurate estimate of time. (If you’re running an efficient private practice with great systems in place, this won’t be a problem.) As a courtesy, let patients know when the schedule falls behind, whether they are in the waiting area or already in an exam room—or go a step beyond and contact upcoming appointments to give them the option of arriving later or rescheduling.

Don’t leave patients hanging after the provider visit. Give them a specific plan or recommendation about what to do next. Make sure that your staff follows up appropriately after the visit.

An informed patient is an empowered patient, and when your private practice patients feel empowered by you, they’ll come back again and again.

Do you struggle with private practice questions like these? Get guidance and support from a guru! Read about our mentoring and coaching programs.

 

Private Practice and Social Media: Top 4 Tips for Social Media That Works

Does your private practice know how to use social media—the RIGHT way?

Every private practice owner knows that social media is a gold mine when it comes to marketing. Ignoring the potential of social media for your private practice growth is almost a recipe for certain failure these days.

Unfortunately, some private practice owners have found out the hard way that social media as a marketing tool needs to be handled appropriately so that it will be effective rather than disastrous.

Social media disasters happen for a lot of reasons. But many social media mistakes can be boiled down into just a few common elements.

Here are our top 4 tips for a social media strategy that works.

Put a policy in place. Before you post a single thing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any social media site, make decisions about appropriate social media use and put them in writing. Then decide which staff will be participating and train them accordingly.

Vet your content. Think carefully about which kinds of articles or memes you’ll share with your followers, and which ones are better left alone. Never share any article you haven’t read based on a headline, which can be misleading. Make half your content original material produced from your office, and the other half information that your patients need and want.

Get out there every day. What makes social media so effective is engagement on a regular basis. You’ll lose your audience very quickly if you’re not able to keep up with the norms for a particular social media site.

Have fun with it. One thing patients don’t want to see is boring, didactic, serious content from you day after day. Keep an eye out for things that are relevant but fun—ideally, something that shows the professional but relaxed milieu of your office environment.

Remember that every single post on social media represents your private practice.

Having trouble with marketing issues like this? It’s one of the things we address in our program 12 Secrets of Private Practice Mastery.

 

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.

 

Loyal Patients in Private Practice

How to Create Loyal Patients Who Refer Others to Your Private Practice

Your private practice needs to integrate these four elements to build loyalty among new and existing patients.

Loyal patients do two great things for your private practice.

First, they keep coming back. That means you don’t have to work as hard to fill empty appointment slots, because you can count on these patients to show up again and again.

Second, they tell other people in their lives to come to you as well. This is an even greater boost for any private practice. Imagine having patients do your marketing for you!

How to garner this kind of loyalty from patients may seem one of the great private practice mysteries—hit or miss. But you can employ a strategy to increase your patients’ sense of loyalty to your practice… leading to increased return visits and referrals.

Here are the four key elements of loyalty that you can cultivate in your private practice patients.

1. They believe that you regularly go above and beyond in your work—both clinical and customer service.

2. They have experienced a minor problem that your practice staff handled well. Or, they came to you initially with complaints of a problem with a different private practice, and your practice demonstrated better handling of that problem.

3. They trust you because you have built up the expectation of consistency.

4. They can’t imagine switching practices because you meet their needs so well.

In short, loyal patients have invested psychologically in your practice. You can, in turn, invest in them for greater returns on your overall marketing strategy. When you foster these strong relationships, you can spend less time actively marketing for new referrals and more time building your practice organically through existing relationships.

Would you like to increase patient loyalty in your private practice? This is just one of the aspects of private practice success that we cover in 12 Secrets of Private Practice Mastery.

 

Private Practice Owners and Online Reputation Management

Private Practice Owners, Are You Practicing Online Reputation Management?

The details of your online presence have a strong influence on long-term sustainability for private practice owners.

You already know that a strong online presence is essential to bring in new referrals and keep current patients engaged.

But have you ever thought about what patients see when they Google you? Rest assured, it’s more than just your private practice website.

And since the World Wide Web is changing and shifting all the time, online reputation management isn’t a one-time activity. You’ll need to set up regular monitoring and be able to address concerns quickly.

There are two aspects to online reputation management for private practice owners. The first aspect is your business name and any reviews, advertising, and content related to it. The second aspect is your own name as the private practice owner and clinician.

Both aspects function as a part of your brand messaging. And private practice owners have to take an active role in making sure that every aspect of brand messaging out there is an exact match for their marketing strategy.

There are companies out there who will handle things like online reputation management for private practice owners. You may wonder why it would be worth the effort and dedicated time to do this task yourself.

First of all, you should know that the two most effective ways to control your online reputation are both free and accessible to anyone. Since Google is by far the most popular search engine out there, private practice owners can use Google’s tools in two ways to monitor and update their online reputations.

To know exactly what people are seeing when they Google you, use the free online tool called Me on the Web, found on the Google dashboard. Private practice owners can use this tool to search for their own names, their business names, and the SEO keywords they are using in their content. You can also set up a Google alert so that you’ll be sent an email every time one of your search terms shows up online.

To take charge of your online reputation via Google, you can set up a Google Plus profile so that the content you create will among the first search results that people encounter.

Feeling overwhelmed by the complexities of online reputation management and other marketing conundrums? We help private practice owners like you get their footing. Take a look at 12 Secrets of Private Practice Mastery.