While market visibility, credibility and building relationships are imperative for attracting new patients towards your medical practice, you can do so even without an extravagant advertisement budget.
These five extremely simple, inexpensive techniques will exponentially enhance your practice’s potential patient reach and lead to an influx of new clients.
1. Brand identity
Brand message, goal and inexpensive marketing
A distinct and clear brand identity will distinguish a physician’s practice from his competition by building trust and loyalty between him and his patients.
First, you need to determine your brand identity. Your ideal patient? Why would he come to you? Do people instantly think of your practice in situations where your services are required?
This brand identity needs to be associated with a goal, one reflected on every marketable item that represents your practice. Every medical pad, stationery item, appointment card and online source (your website, Facebook page, etc) should bear your brand name and logo. Your brand message could be a catchphrase, a logo or even a word, but it needs to be an image people instantly start to associate your practice with.
2. The Internet: Broaden your horizons.
Facebook, Twitter, your website, review sites and blogs
Publish your contact details, brand message and other essentials along with a few pictures of your practice on your website. If you do not have a website, interaction with patients is still possible via patient portals that Electronic Health Record (EHR) software provide.
Additionally, review and rating websites are another way for potential clients to gauge your practice’s credibility, and in negative cases shift elsewhere. So you need to look at what patients have to say about you there and reply accordingly. You can receive e-mail notifications whenever someone comments regarding your practice. Dedicate 5-10 minutes of your time to such pages.
A survey in 2010 revealed that 43% of US citizens are Facebook users. With the figures exponentially rising, Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites are a great avenue to market your practice. When scores of people are communicating on such portals on a day-to-day basis, why shouldn’t a portion of them talk about you?
Make sure you are present on these mediums for both existing patients to review on and for potential patients to read up on. Managing accounts is free and if you designate just a few minutes per day to comment on reviews, post health-related articles and videos and make your presence felt in general, you will definitely see new patients come to you.
3. Keeping existing patients onboard
Reminders, alerts, birthday greetings
Referrals via word of mouth hold a significant place in bringing more patients to a practice. Patient satisfaction with your practice does not mean they are not neglected. If they feel distanced from your practice, they might shift elsewhere. Many physicians have started using technology to ensure their patients stay happy. Simple Electronic Health Record (EHR) software sends patients automated reminders and alerts. Moreover, this simple technology has services such as patient portals which allow patients to communicate with their physicians and even incorporate the transfer of reports, x-ray scans and such information.
4. Education and the community
Health seminars, charity workshops, online blogs, open house sessions
The caring doctor
Have you organized a two-day mobile clinic for the underprivileged or attended your town’s annual health seminar? Ever visited your son’s school on career day? Try doing something of the sort and become the talk of the town. Give something back to the community and consequently enhance your client base.
The educational resource
The country’s growing concern about staying healthy, eating healthy, and being healthy in general means that both existing and potential patients are extremely likely to appreciate health-related articles, videos and information on your website or blog. If you do not have a webpage, you can always use EHR technology which facilitates patient portals to educate your patients. Informative e-mails, health seminar invites and open house sessions are other simple ways to promote your practice.