5 Tips for Doctors Looking to Expand their Business
Marketing is necessary in our media driven world, even for doctors. The Internet is a source of information for patients. Before calling a doctor, most people Google their symptoms. And, patients seeking a new primary care doctor will search for doctors in their area. If you want to come up on those lists and expand your practice, you’ll need to market yourself and your business.
Marketing doesn’t have to cost a fortune, nor does it take a great deal of effort. It’s simply a way to spread the word about your practice, and helps ensure that patients regularly attend to their health. Don’t wait until you’ve lost patients to a more savvy medical professional, take advantage of these tips to spread the word about the services you provide.
1. List Yourself and/or Your Practice on Healthgrades
“Healthgrades is where America finds a doctor.” Over one million times per day, Americans visit Healthgrades, and those Americans are two-times as likely to make an appointment with a doctor or specialist who has a complete profile. Give yourself an “unfair advantage” by completing a Healthgrades Premium Profile through Solutionreach, and then ask your favorite patients to log on and write you a positive review.
2. Brand Yourself on Social Media
You absolutely should brand and market your practice online. In an article published by Health Works Collective, its recommend that you answer the following questions in your social media profiles:
· “What can patients find with you that they won’t find with another doctor?”
· “What are your strengths when it comes to patient care?”
· “What aspect of medicine do you most enjoy?”
· “Do you have knowledge of a hobby or special interest which patients would benefit from your expertise on?”
The best thing about building a social media presence is that it’s free. It’s one of only a few ways to freely market yourself and build relationships directly with patients.
3. Network Locally through Public Speaking Engagements
Is there a health event happening somewhere in your neighborhood? If so, get a table and use it to network with the locals. Give away brochures about your practice, and encourage visitors to ask questions and really connect with you. This is a great opportunity to showcase your excellent bedside manner.
Look for public speaking opportunities that are relative to what you do, such as speaking at senior centers or at community groups. Patti Roy, a family physician in Muskegon, MI, talked to Medical Economics about her public speaking experience. By public speaking, she helped build up her new practice.
“For the first few years of my practice, I used to do a lot of public speaking, sometimes several nights a week. It was very effective, and I really enjoyed it. It doesn’t cost anything, but it does take a lot of time away from your family.”
4. Build a Website
If you haven’t already, it’s time to carve out a place for your practice online. By building a website, you’re also building up your search engine rankings. That means, when people Google for a local physician or specialist, you’ve increased the odds that your practice will show up on the results page. Moreover, if you add a blog you’ll start ranking for keywords and phrases. Plus, a blog will showcase your authority and expertise.
5. Word of Mouth
Physician referrals are a great way to generate new business. This final piece of advice is the easiest because it only requires that you talk to your patients. Ask them if they’d be willing to promote your services to their friends and family members in need of a new doctor. Give them brochures to hand out to people, and encourage them to help you out. It’s called relationship marketing, and it works.