Perhaps you became a doctor because you love to help people or because you have a passion for medicine. No matter what brought you to become a doctor, you have to face the fact that patients equal profits. Many doctors are reluctant about marketing their practice but it is essential if you want to grow your practice and attract new patients.
Many doctors mistakenly believe that if you are busy as a doctor, it is because you are a good at what you do. That may be the case sometimes but the majority of doctors who maintain busy schedules also have an effective marketing plan. There is a stigma attached to medical marketing but if you want to stay busy and avoid the dreaded famines that follow feasts, you need to get more patients through marketing your practice.
Why All Doctors Should Market
All doctors should market and promote their practice because no matter how great of a doctor you are, no one will know you exist unless you promote yourself. Contrary to popular belief,medical marketing is not always about having a huge advertising budget and placing expensive ads. There are several low-cost methods of marketing that doctors can use to match their practice with their patients’ needs.
Medical Marketing Basics
Many times doctors forge personal connections with their patients and thus attract new patients based on word-of-mouth. Current patients are an important resource when it comes to marketing your practice. Your patients already have trust in you so you can ask them for referrals, follow up with them, and encourage them to spread the word about your practice. Ensuring that you give each and every one of your patients a great experience is important if you want to cultivate strong relationships with them and increase patient loyalty.
Many doctors feel uncomfortable about asking their patients for referrals but it is necessary if you want to increase your clientele. Patients often tend to think that a doctor is too busy to take new patients and doesn’t really think of referring their doctor to friends and family in most instances. In order to encourage people to make referrals, take the time to provide them with the best service possible. Treat them as individuals, not numbers. Smile at them, make the billing process easier for them, and do whatever you can to make them have a great experience in your practice. This type of medical marketing is known as “internal marketing.” Essentially, every time a patient comes into contact with your practice, you are marketing.
Points in Your Practice to Review
In order to determine in which areas your practice needs work when it comes to marketing, here are some points to review.
Find Your Identity – How would you describe your practice in five adjectives? What kinds of services does your practice offer? How does your practice stand out from the pack? Answer these questions and then meet with your staff to ensure that you are living up to your proposed identity. If you want to come across as a friendly practice, you need to be sure that your staff members are smiley and friendly with patients.
Improve Your Workspace – Take a look at your practice as if you were a patient. Is it easy to navigate? Is the atmosphere pleasant? Does it take long to get in and out? Make sure the experience of being in your practice is as pleasant as possible and work on areas that need improvement.
Live Up to Your Price Tag – How much do you charge for your services in comparison to other doctors in the local area? Make sure your prices are appropriate for the services you offer and the market you are targeting. Don’t go too high or too low.
Market Consistently – Whether you rely solely on internal marketing or you are doing external marketing in addition, make sure your marketing efforts are consistent and professional. Even a little effort can make a huge difference down the line, whether you are ready to embrace traditional marketing methods or not.
Good Promotion, Good Product
If you are a doctor and want to stay ahead of your game, you need to start planning your medical marketing strategy now. As the market becomes increasingly competitive, it is more important than ever to boost your marketing strategy so you can stand out from the crowd.