To establish and maintain a healthy private practice it has to be you patients see in print, but in this day and age social media and Google.
How many times have you seen an ad in a magazine…Or A TV commercial…Or any other marketing message and thought “Hmmm…that just doesn’t sound right to me”?
The minute your “Bogus Meter” goes on high alert, the company vying for your dollars has zero chance of ever getting you to buy their product. The same goes for the patients and, even more so, the prospective patients in your private practice. Our patients may already have a hypersensitive Bogus Meter because they’ve tried so many other doctors. They’re still suffering.
With prospective patients, it doesn’t matter how much you spend on advertising or how polished your marketing is, if it doesn’t ring true, they won’t come to you for help. In short, it has to be you and it has to be true. Your message has to be authentic and it has to be honest if you want to really maintain a successful practice.
As with any other business, two of the ground rules of successful marketing are to make sure your message is 1) simple and 2) honest. Here are a couple of tips to help you reach the patients you really believe you can help:
1. Keep It Simple Simple
This is the K.I.S.S. marketing concept and it has worked for decades because:
· Simple messages are easier to remember and recall
· Simple messages are easier to repeat so your patients are more likely to pass them
on to other potential patients
· Simple messages are easier to understand and they stick with your prospective patients
If your prospective patients can remember, repeat and understand your message, it’s going to be more effective. Don’t confuse your patients with a long, complicated idea. Just keep it simple and speak their language. When you’re creating a message to your patients, never put more than one idea in a paragraph. One idea, supported by facts, per paragraph. Period. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
2. The Truth and Nothing But the Truth
It’s so easy for your patients to go online and fact check everything you tell them. If you’re not being totally honest about your skills, prospective outcomes, etc., they’ll find it out and in pretty short order. The minute your patients feel you’ve been less than honest with them, you’re done. You won’t see them in your office again. And when they go, they’ll take all their future referrals and testimonials with them. Just remember that tag line – The Truth and Nothing But the Truth. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver.
And another word to the wise – don’t use someone else’s voice in your marketing materials. It’s YOUR practice. The minute your prospective patient reads your marketing materials, they form an impression in their mind of who you are. Make sure it’s an authentic picture. Don’t repurpose someone else’s advertising materials. You may like their concept and you may want to use it to build your own successful practice, but make sure you’re using your own voice. Modify what worked for someone else to accurately represent you.
Keep it simple and keep it true and you’ll be well on your way to living and practicing by design. And even more importantly, by YOUR design.
Patti Hayes is CEO of Perfect Practice Web, and has 30+ years experience in practice management.
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