In marketing, top-of-mind awareness (TOMA) is one of those annoying acronyms for a brand being first in customers’ minds when thinking of a particular industry or product category.
To be successful in private practice, you may want to generate a little TOMA as well.
I believe it’s something that’s very achievable if you put your mind to it.
So how do you go about it?
When I work with Doctors and therapists, one of the first questions which draws a baffled look is when I ask…
‘Do you have a list?’
‘A list?’ They ask, ‘Like a shopping or hit list?’
‘No, like an email list of all the people you want to regularly keep in touch with.’
Here’s a little-known fact amongst the private medical community:
Your email list is one of your most prized possessions.
If you don’t have one, you must start one. Like today.
‘Isn’t it enough that I’m on social media?’ I’ve been asked.
‘But I’ve got an e-mail sign up box on my website’s ‘Contact’ page. Can’t they just connect with me that way?’
‘It’s still nope.’
In the game of scissors, paper, stone (a.k.a. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), your email list continues to trump all of them.
It’s positively TOM-A-TOMIC.
Hmmm, you may be thinking. So, what’s not so fabulous about social media then?
For starters, the problem with social media is that it’s owned and controlled by guess who? The social media. You don’t actually own those followers. And it could all go away overnight if someone forgets to pay the lecky bill. Or gets sent to prison for something that’s very, very naughty in the marketing world. (Watch this space, it’s gonna happen sometime).
Over that last two years, we’ve seen the reach of organic Facebook posts fall dramatically, It’s pesky algorithm means that the awesome post you wrote and lovingly honed, will, in reality only be shown to single figures in terms of the percentage of your followers.
LinkedIn is following a similar pattern and that little Twitter birdie just isn’t as cute as he used to be, since they invented Instagram – (maybe they should have used a pink flamingo?)
Your email list allows you to send direct tailored messages directly to the inbox of you subscribers.
This means you can say goodbye to that dullsville, one-size fits all, generic pulpy post that you churned out for the masses. It can instead be a highly engaging, deeply informative piece of prose for those twenty-eight chaps who recently tore a hamstring during the Dads’ race at the school sports day. And split their pants.
It can instead be a highly engaging, deeply informative piece of prose for those twenty-eight chaps who recently tore a hamstring during the Dads’ race at the school sports day, and split their shorts.
Another nifty feature of email is that your messaged folk can reply to you privately with their questions. This means you get to learn about their needs, problems, desires, and they don’t have to talk about that embarrassing sticky rash in public.
How many of us are trying to minimise the amount of time we spend with the little blue bird? But I betchya you’ll take the time to check your email inbox on a daily basis!
Apart from the hour or two, it takes for you to write your splendiferous email (and maybe a few pounds per month to get an automated system if you’re feeling fancy), email is essentially free. Google Ads are not.
Even if you are hiding behind the excuse of ‘not being techy’, this should not be a good enough reason to stand in your way of going for it.
It may be true that some email software packages such as MailChimp and Infusionsoft (or is that ‘confusion soft’?) can be a little fiddly when you are trying to first navigate the controls or create ‘list segmentation’. The flip side is, marketing rebels have now spawned a new generation of intuitive, easy to use email marketing systems that even the most bad-ass, die-hard technophobe would embrace.
I am a particular evangelist when it comes to Convertkit, but there are many others.
Getting started with some regular emails and updates to your patients and referrers about interesting things that you have seen or been doing, is by far the best way to remain top of their minds.
If you need some quick and easy ways to construct a quality blog post which you could email to your list, click HERE to receive my free guide.
If you’re bored of trying re-invent the wheel and feeling overwhelmed with all this ‘marketing malarkey’, why not get a little Ninja assistance?
Sometimes, we all need a little extra help in building our practices – from a business perspective, as well as a clinical one.
Are looking for guidance and advice ?
We are waiting to help you gain more patients and boost your referrals
email or call us 0207 993 6425