Fed up of slow growth in your Private Practice, but don’t have a big marketing budget?
Great. Let’s get stuck in.
It doesn’t matter which clinical discipline you’re in, I can guarantee that patients are searching for your kind of skills, online. They are looking for someone to help them with their problems, and they type it into Google. It’s that simple.
So how do you reach out to them, if you don’t have any spare cash to be spending on an expensive Google Ads or Facebook marketing?
Here are three effective ways to promote your Private Practice, without spending money on pay per click.
Help patients find you by optimising your website.
This is all about using the power of SEO to make sure you’re not getting at the bottom of Google’s rankings. Don’t panic – you don’t have to be an SEO geek – it’s actually super easy to do.
There are two key things you need to make sure that you take action on.
Firstly, you need to make sure you’re optimising your SEO for your location, and secondly, for your niche.
What does this mean? Well, unless you’re a clinician who services rock stars and flies all over the world, chances are, you’ll be seeing and treating patients in a set location or locations.
Patients are online researchers, and they are going to be looking for someone who can help them in a certain locality. Whilst it’s true that some patients will be willing to travel a very long distance for a clinical opinion, they don’t tend to be so willing to travel for regular treatment, so it’s important that the copy on your website speaks about your locality.
One of the best ways to do this, is to do some tweaking of your ‘Google My Business’ account. Want a step-by-step process to do this? Read:
As well as talking about your locality, it’s very important to also declare your niche.
Having a niche is crucial in Private Practice, and when we start out in practice, we often resist having a niche for fear of putting off patients because we need bums on seats.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Patients are looking for Private Practice experts, not generalists, so if you don’t declare yourself to be the go-to person for ‘x’ or for ‘y’, they’ll pass over you until the find Mr or Mrs ‘x’ or ‘y’.
Get started with email marketing.
Strictly speaking, this isn’t entirely free, but it’s going to cost you just a few pounds each month, and once up and running, it’s an amazing way to get patients in to see you.
What exactly is email marketing? Forget any experiences you’ve had of spam, or the idea that there’s no point since the GDPR came along. I can tell you from personal experiencing of promoting my own practice, that it’s a really powerful tool.
Why? Because patients (and referrers) need reminding about you and keeping in touch with them via email is a great way to do this.
Think about it for a moment.
Many of your patients will be ‘repeat’ customers. I’m not talking about over treating here, I’m talking about patients who come back to you with a different problem each time. They might be a runner who has an ankle sprain, then a stress fracture. Often these injury or illness events will be spaced out over considerable lengths of time – I recently had a patient return to see me, who last attended in 2013.
You might be counting on their warm and fluffy memories of how wonderfully you treated them the last time, but unless you’re keeping in touch, sending them useful information and up to date tips and tricks, they might wonder off and find another wonderful clinician.
Additionally, some patients have a hyperpolarised view of what we do. They may think that because they came to see you for their plantar fasciitis, that you might not necessarily be the obvious choice for their ankle sprain. They may think that as runner they should see an orthopaedic surgeon about their knee pain, even though they went to a specialist running physio about their shin pain previously. It’s up to you to remind them HOW YOU CAN HELP.
It’s really easy to set up a successful email marketing for Private Practice (without being salesy, and whilst being GDRP compliant).
There are many great email marketing tools that can integrate with your website and social media (I personally use ConvertKit), and you can attract patients and referrers to sign up by using a ‘lead magnet’ (which is marketing speak for a useful freebie- it could be a guide/top-tips/how-to aid, which they get in exchange for freely giving you their email address. You can use your website to promote your lead magnet and get people to sign up to your list.
Need help with figuring out your email marketing strategy?
Vlogging and repurposing your content.