Hey, guys. This is Jennifer with the Dr. Marketing Tips podcast, and I was recently at a Dry Eye University in sunny Orlando, Florida where there were maybe 150, 200 practice managers, physicians, you name it, that were attending a conference to get information on how to better market dry eye within their optometry or ophthalmology practice. And they were from around the globe, as far as South Africa, and throughout the United States.
I had the opportunity to have some conversations with some folks about general marketing for their practice and what I’m going to do today is let you hear the number one challenge that these individuals are facing when it comes to marketing their practice, and give you my take on what those challenges are. I think you’re going to enjoy this. Take a couple minutes, grab a cup of coffee and let’s hear from the folks that attended Dry Eye University about what their biggest challenge for marketing their practice is.
You’re hearing to yourself, one, that making yourself stand out is the biggest obstacle for a practice and I couldn’t agree more. Every doctor out there it seems, in every practice for the most part, you should have highly qualified physicians. They’re board certified and they’re top in their game. As much as our physicians would like to think that they’re the reason that the practice is so special, and in many cases they are, that doesn’t necessarily differentiate you from the very special physician down the street.
We hear from another practice that their number one marketing concern is literally just filling the schedule, and I think that goes back to understanding what it is that differentiates yourself. And then finally, social media is social. And I couldn’t say that more, and I couldn’t have said it better myself, but the fact is social media is social and you do need to be accessible and approachable. With social media, it does feel as if you’re receiving a referral from a friend.
I’m going to go back and give one piece of thought to this entire area of marketing your practice, and it’s the advice that I gave each of these individuals when I was with them at Dry Eye University, and that is to start with your patient. It sounds simple. It sounds like one of those moments where you just knock yourself in the head because it is so simple, but the fact is, what differentiates you from the practice down the street that has the same physician qualifications is the fact that you have your outcomes.
Your patients are your patients, and so we talk about this all the time on this podcast and on our blogs. But when you lead with the patient, you can do no wrong. Whether it is a patient’s story in the form of a video, whether it is a patient’s story in the form of a written testimonial, whether it’s sharing those positive patient outcomes with potential patients on social media, when you get a patient testimonial and you use those patient outcomes in your marketing efforts, and that really is your marketing strategy … we refer to it as a patient forward strategy … then you are automatically setting yourself up to be different from every other practice on the block.
Start with a positive patient story. Get somebody to record that patient testimonial for you. Take that recording, which will break down to about a two or three minute video, and put that on YouTube. Put it on Facebook Autoplay. Use it to market your practice. Take that video, turn it into what we refer to as long form content.
There are two pieces of long form content for every video that needs to be done. There’s a long form YouTube description. Then there’s a long form written article. Take those articles and put that onto your website with the video. Then grab stills from your video. Use those stills in your social media on top of the Facebook Autoplay.
Now you can even go onto Instagram and do stories and videos on Instagram. Use that same patient testimonial. Do pullout quotes from that patient testimonial. Use it in any print advertising that you’re doing. Use it in any brochures that you do. Just make sure that you get a written release form. Lead with your patients and that’s your marketing strategy.
When we go back and we ask people what’s the number one obstacle that you face when it comes to marketing your practice, the answers are the same across the board. The answer is in the strategies. The answers are the same across the board, but the fact is, the strategies are not the same.
Most practices out there, 90% of them, don’t lead with the patient and the positive patient outcomes. Rather, they lead with the physicians. They say we’re the best. These are our doctors. They might even lead with price, but they don’t lead with the positive patient outcomes, and with the way that the world is these days, patient outcomes and those patient stories and patient testimonials are what those of us that live in this connected world are looking for.
It goes back to you’re getting referrals from your friends and family on social media channels. When you get a referral to go to a specialty physician from your primary care doctor, the very first thing you’re doing is looking up that referring physician that you’re being sent to. Heck, most of you … I know I have … the first thing when I go to make an appointment with my doctor that I go to all the time, is I want to check out and see what kind of reviews he’s had lately.
This is the way the world is. This is what the expectations are. This is your one shot, knock it out of the park golden nugget for marketing your practice. And that is lead with your patients.
This is Jennifer from Dr. Marketing Tips and I hope that you will take this little piece of advice and translate it into your marketing strategy, and all the success to you. I’ll see you next time on the Dr. Marketing Tips podcast.
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