How effectively are you marketing your Private Practice? How do you even know if your marketing is working (or not)?
When we say the word ‘marketing’, many Clinicians’ thoughts run to adverts. Whilst it’s entirely possible to effectively use paid marketing to promote your Private Practice, the term ‘marketing’ is far broader than that. And besides, I wouldn’t advocate you put any money behind marketing, until you know what works organically.
So, what should be thinking about in terms or Private Practice marketing, and how can we be sure that we’re not wasting a whole heap of time?
Time for a little auditing 👍
How effective are you at forming and nurturing relations with referrers?
COVID has been the perfect excuse for not reaching out to potential referrers, but now that we’re all online, there’s nothing to stop you.
I’m not talking about connecting with GPs (which is work ticking off your list but is unlikely to reap a big harvest). I’m talking about reaching out to physios, osteos, and Clinicians with parallel interests. For example, if you’re a dermatologist, when was the last time you connected with rheumatologists, and if you’re anendocrinologist, when was the last time you connected with a sports physician, or a neurologist?
Look up Clinicians on LinkedIn, through a private hospital online directory, or a review site like Doctify, and ask to have a natter. These diagonal referrals are a win-win for everyone. You’re not indirect competition, the patient benefits from shared expert care, and you’ll likely be the recipient of referral traffic going the other way.
And don’t stop at new relationships. Look back in your patient management system and see who there has been a referral relationship with. Go say hello to the people who have referred to you recently (and ‘show some love’) and go to say hello to the people you’re not heard from recently.
All too often referrers can wander off, because someone else caught their eye.
Referral relationships are like friendships; they need to be nurtured. So, keep track of who you connect up with, and set some alerts in your diary to make sure you’re doing enough nurturing (e.g. have a proper natter 2-3 times a year).
Support your referrers on social; share their posts and leave useful comments. This has the added advantage of other people seeing you and associating you with the social posts of someone they respect.
What are you doing to connect with potential patients?
This is the biggy and it’s where there’s a tendency to get a little lost.
Patients come to us in several way; for example:
They were a previous patient of ours
They were referred to us by a previous patient
They were referred to us by a referrer
They found us via the web
They found us via social media
They found us via review site (e.g. Doctify)
The problem is, many clinicians don’t track how their patients come to book in. A response such as ‘I found you on Google’ isn’t that helpful unless you dig a little deeper.
Did they look up your contact details on Google, because their physio had mentioned your name?
Did they stumble across a blog post you’d written about post-COVID deafness?
Did they search for ‘best bunion surgeon in Brighton’?
Or, did they click on a Google Ad?
We can certainly set up all kinds of tracking code in Google analytics, but it’s also easy to ask for a more detailed answer on how the patient came to find you. So, ASK. Put it in a lovely nerdy spreadsheet and do more of what’s working.
Seems like too much effort? If you spend just 10 seconds doing this for every new patient you see in a week, and the info you glean means you know how to get further patients, it’ time very well spent.
Next you need to roll up your sleeves and go see what patients are looking at when they go and visit your website. If you’re going to put the time and effort into producing content for your site (and you should do), you need to know what’s working. That’s where Google Analytics comes in – something we’ll be teaching in the PPN Academy.
But if the big GA seems a little too daunting for your stage in Private Practice, there are plenty of sites you cut your teeth on, such as https://moz.com/explorerwhere you’ll be able to glean some useful, free information about the kinds of keywords you are ranking for (a keyword being a search term that people actually put into Google when they are searching for something).
Take a look at your site – you may be surprised at what you find. If you really want to be known as the go-to bunion surgeon, but you’re not even ranking for the term, you need to be making different content.
How well are you doing on social media?
Finally, move on to see what’s happening with your social media. Think of social as the icing on the cake and not the backbone of your marketing efforts.
Are you getting followers who are appropriate (e.g. physios, if you’re an orthopaedic surgeon), or are you just appealing to peers who are effectively the competition?
Remember also, that it’s not about the size of your following, it’s about whether you have an engaged audience who will either go on to become patients, or will become people who will refer to you. Having 21K Instagram followers is pointless if it’s just an elaborate exercise in social media vanity.
Does your social media drive people to your website (Google Analytics will tell you if it is), and are you getting engagement from your followers that actually leads to new referrals or joining with potential referrers?
Are you consistently posting, or only showing up every now and then? If you’re not showing up for your audience, they will show up for someone else.
Marketing can and must be measured if you’re going to make it successful.
If you want to learn more about how to grow your Private Practice with effective marketing, why not join the Private Practice Ninja Academy, where you’ll learn all the skills you need to do just that.
See you next time!