If you are fresh to the world of owning or running a healthcare practice, you may easily overlook the importance of properly marketing yourself and your new practice.
Or, perhaps, you know it’s important, but you don’t know where to begin.
It is this time in your career that is actually the best time to start planting imarketing seeds so that your future practice will have the best chance to grow, and thrive, in an increasingly-competitive online sphere.
To begin establishing your online presence and professional brand, it takes more than just having something to say; you must narrow the focus of your messaging to a more granular level.
Effective marketing doesn’t come across as someone shouting into a bullhorn, but as a conversation with someone who’s earned your trust. By utilizing the concept of patient personas, you will be able to make the right decisions regarding the content and tone of your whole image and brand, both online and off.
By starting this exercise now, even if you’re still in residency, you’ll set yourself apart from your competition, and be the doctor who patients find when looking online for answers. Once you are their trusted source for information, you can be sure your practice will see the benefit, and building your dream practice becomes more of a reality.
What kind of patients do you want in your waiting room?
All patients are not the same. How they find you, and what they see, will determine who your patients are (this holds especially true if you will be performing elective surgeries).
A marketing strategy that overreaches, and attempts to address too broad a demographic, will suffer from having a slight irrelevance to all. Speaking to everyone speaks to no one! Narrow the focus of your messaging, until you can speak as though you are talking to an audience of one, and your waiting room will never be empty.
Your marketing investment, whether monetary, time or both, needs to show good ROI. By targeting your ideal patient(s) through the use of personas, you will get just that.
We’ve put together a quick guide to show you how to get started.
Who is my ideal patient?
The patient persona you create to serve as a general guide for your new practice needs to reflect who you most want to be regularly working with. You have to consider various demographics, their goals, inner motivations and general behavior patterns based on actual research and data. By knowing who the patient is, you can begin to anticipate what the specific pain or problem the patient wants to solve, and other things that make them unique. Some categories to consider:
- Children vs. Adult
- One-time vs. Recurring Patient
- Simple vs. Complex Procedure
- Insured vs. OOP
- Get ready – We got you started on a few to think of above, but add any others that are particular to you and where you are located. What sorts of patients are you wanting to reach?
- Get personal – Have a conversation with some people who are in the categories from step one, and ask about their expectations and wishes when they find themselves looking for medical treatment like what you will be offering. What kind of likes, dislikes and frustrations do they experience when searching for a doctor, or even healthcare as a whole? All of this is valuable, and you will begin to recognize some commonalities among people in your targeted persona.
- Get organized – Take the info you found in step two, and create a spreadsheet allowing for easy comparison and analysis of the answers you received. From here, you can determine the most common frustrations and wishes your future clients share, and identify what makes them different from patients you do not want to target. You may even uncover a patient persona that you hadn’t even considered when started the exercise!
- Get targeted – Looking at the data from the above steps, you can decide the messages that will speak most directly and effectively to your preferred patient persona, and the online avenues where they are most likely to be seen. If you were targeting baby boomers, for example, you might consider developing your social media presence in the spaces they’re most likely to be found, or if you were targeting new patients, you might highlight the welcoming and friendly atmosphere at your clinic.
Amplify Results with InboundMD
Developing your patient personas is a crucial first step in marketing your new practice, but there is still much work to be done if you want to keep your appointment book full, year-round.
Develop effective, repeatable business growth tactics for your practice by teaming up with experts early in your career. A dedicated inbound marketer can guide you through a dynamic plan for your brand, and can best set you up to succeed, long-term.