Starting a private medical practice these days is no easy task, but luckily there are many ways to achieve a successful marketing plan. No longer can a doctor put up a sign in the window and expect patients to start pouring in, unfortunately those days are over. Physicians stepping out into the medical field today have to compete to gain the trust of a loyal patient following.
Fortunately, the internet and social media has made life much easier for a wide variety of industries including medicine. Combining your efforts between traditional printed marketing tools and the current social media trend makes for a happy marriage of both worlds. Here’s a look at the ABCs of marketing your private practice.
Patient Referrals – No matter what era you live in, the marketing tool that will stand the test of time is the patient referral. A happy patient is the best advertising any doctor could ask for and best of all it’s free. People that have had a great experience will more than likely tell their friends and family, but doctors can take this a step further.
Have patients fill out testimonials that you can use in your professional brochure printing or on your website. Update these on your site as often as possible to keep things current and relevant.
Content Marketing – You went to medical school not business school, but in today’s competitive climate you have to get educated on the latest marketing efforts. It’s all about content marketing. Content marketing consists of your practice’s website, Blogs and social media.
Start Blogging about your area of expertise. For instance, if you are an orthopedic surgeon Blog about the latest news in knee replacement procedures. You also want to use Facebook and YouTube to demonstrate your patient success stories through pictures and video. Most importantly, always update your website. A website with information dating back over a few years looks unprofessional and will be dismissed by many potential clients.
The power of mail – It’s critical that you put together a promotional campaign before the grand opening of your private practice. There are several ways to go about this.
One, design captivating postcards with your contact information and a brief list of services that you provide including your specialty. Seek out other physicians that do not offer the same services as you and ask them to leave a pile of postcards at their front desk. Offer to do the same for them. Two, send out emails to patients you treated in the past as well as those in your local community.
Educate – Make it your duty to educate people about methods they can employ to get on the road to better health. Whether you go the traditional route of catalog printing and attaching a standard business card or opt for video on your site or YouTube, you certainly can’t lose. Today’s patient wants to take a hands-on approach to their healthcare, so the more information you offer them the better.
Don’t consider yourself a great American author, no problem. Hire a copywriter with experience in the medical industry to pen your educational materials and Blogs. Keep your audience in mind and make them easy to read. After all, medical jargon is not easily understood by the majority of your patients.
Opening a medical practice, like any business, is a stressful undertaking. Take advantage of every marketing opportunity to get your name out there and promote yourself in your local community.
No one said it was going to be easy, but the best things in life never are! Let us know if these tips help and keep us posted on your progress.