You know it's no longer enough to rely on word of mouth to grow your private practice. You need to be getting out there on internet “things”, being visible and actively engaging on social media.
Google reminds us that 70% of folk who are looking to ‘purchase’ your services (as a healthcare service provider) have already made up their minds before they get in touch with you. One way that they find you is through social media.
It's tempting to be present on all platforms. Don’t. Instead, take some time to think where your ‘people’ are. In my instance and probably yours as well, LinkedIn is a treasure trove of great potential referrers for your private practice.
Firstly, really embrace using LinkedIn to its best advantage and forget about any fuddy-duddy experiences you may have had with in the past. LinkedIn has moved on. Big time.
Learn to strategically search for the right kind of people and build your connections.
Don't make this a random case of bumper car “hellos”. Just like Facebook, LinkedIn has an algorithm and they want to show you more of the kinds of things you have been looking at and engaging with. If you have a tendency to link up with colleagues who are in the same industry role as yourself, chances are you are going to keep bumping into them. So, if you’re orthopaedic surgeon who has a habit of linking up with other foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons, guess what? Yep, you’ll see lots more foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons appearing in your “connect with” list. Whilst it's very nice to link up with your old med school colleagues and generally take a nose at how well they are succeeding in life, it does sod all in terms of growing your referral base. Instead, you need to be very strategic and here is how…
For Example: What if you want to specifically connect with foot and ankle physios, podiatrists, or running coaches in your area?
LinkedIn is a fantastic search engine, all in itself. Tap in a keyword, for example, “running osteopath” into the search space, and change the location from being very broad to your required area and hey presto, you will get a list of all those lovely people that you can then connect with.
Don't stop there. LinkedIn will prompt you to customise your invitation with a personal message. This is your chance to prove that you are a human and not a “bot”. Be polite and to the point, and ask them something relating to what they do, or something about their bio or last post. You want them to connect and help your practice to grow, but dont jump in and tell them why they should think you’re so fantastic. Make it about them, or an interest you share.
People are more likely to engage with you when you regularly ‘post’ on LinkedIn.
Let's be clear about what a ‘post' is. It's a bit like when you update people on Facebook (in that general feed that scrolls by). It's different from an article (blog) that you might post up on LinkedIn as a longer piece of work. LinkedIn lets you ‘post’ up to 1300 characters. If you are not sure what that looks like, keep writing until LinkedIn prompts you with the words “see more”. At that point LinkedIn knows that you have got something juicy to say. This pleaseth LinkedIn. As a reward, LinkedIn posts tend to get better engagement than articles or blogs. Take advantage of this.
Here's the crazy bit…
Your Posts will be shown to more people when they are written in plain text, without pictures. To avoid your text looking like a boring wall of back to back words, you can break it up with emojis.
Don't be tempted to add an external link into your post to your website or something else you might like to promote. LinkedIn wants to penalise you for this (because it is directing people away from their LinkedIn website’s adverts) and it susses out quite quickly if you have set an external link.
All is not lost. Here is the even crazier thing…
If you go back and ‘edit’ the post after it's been published, and then insert the link, LinkedIn doesn't seem to mind! Use this workaround and you will get more visibility with your audience. (A hack discovered by copywriter, John Espirian.Sweet)
Try using the video function on LinkedIn.
Use it to send useful tips, advice, or maybe a commentary about something that is currently a hot topic in your field of work, to your audience. You can record a little video that lasts up to ten minutes. Now whilst you could record the video directly onto your iPhone and load it up from your phone’s images, LinkedIn will give you extra brownie points if you record the video directly into their app. Look for the little video camera icon in the top right-hand corner on your smartphone app, which is next to the traditional camera icon.
If you’re feeling lazy and want to cut and paste a link from YouTube, the bad news is, LinkedIn won't show it to so many people. If you think about it, because most of these platforms now are requiring different maximum lengths of time for their video, it makes sense to batch recordings for different platforms in one sitting. If you’re going to be recording one, you may as well be recording two. Think about where your people are hanging out in the social media world and remember you don't have to be on every different platform.
If you are feeling eager, you could even have a go at adding captions. Got £4.99 in your pocket? Then why not hop on over to the app store and purchase cliptomatic. This automatically transcribes what you are saying, and whilst it doesn't always get it right 100%, first time, all the time, it's pretty awesome, most of the time.
If you feel like your Private Practice needs help with systems, gaining referrals, effective ways to work within social media or if you have got any questions about GDPR and would like to discuss getting your GDPR compliance done and dusted. Please do not hesitate to contact us here…
Together we can grow your Private Practice.
email or call us 0207 993 6425