Have you received an invoice in the mail to (urgently) renew your website domain name before it expires tomorrow? Or a frightening report card claiming your practice listings aren’t up to date on the most prominent review sites?

Don’t buy it. And don’t panic.

Physician practices are often perceived as businesses with deep pockets, and because you’re so busy, you may, in the heat of battle, write a check to pay for what seems to be a valid invoice. So, how can you tell what’s what?

You need someone on your team (inside or outside your office) that’s got your back, that you can trust completely, and who you can go to for guidance before firing off a check or signing up for something you don’t need. You also need a solid marketing strategy in place, with tactics and strategies already laid out, to help you decide how to proceed.

In this week’s episode, we sit down with Danielle Owings, Insight Marketing Group’s social media strategy and client care specialist, for an in-depth discussion about the kinds of shady practices you need to look out for to avoid massive headaches and loss of precious revenue.

Tune in to discover:

  • The latest tactics being used to separate you from your money
  • Why it’s critical to have a trustworthy go-to person on your team to deal with unnecessary marketing headaches
  • Common fraudulent scare tactics to look out for
  • Why you should never open or click on anything in a shady-looking email

Other Examples:

Free Healthcare Awareness 2024 Calendar

Nearly every month of the year has a health holiday or observance, and there are also a number of awareness months that your patients and staff would love to know about. You also don’t want to miss chances to celebrate with your practice’s followers.

Free Healthcare Awareness 2023 Calendar

Nearly every month of the year has a health holiday or observance, and there are also a number of awareness months that your patients and staff would love to know about. You also don’t want to miss chances to celebrate with your practice’s followers.


Speaker 1: Dr Marketing Tips, page G Dr Marketing Tips, Dr Marketing Tips you are needed in the marketing department.

Speaker 2: Welcome to the Dr Marketing Tips podcast, your prescription to the answers you seek to grow your medical practice easier, better and faster. This show is all about connecting practice administrators and medical marketing professionals with peers working in practices, learning from experiences, making mistakes and sharing successes. Let’s get started.

Jennifer: Hey there, welcome to the Dr Marketing Tips podcast. I am Jennifer and I am joined today by Danielle.

Danielle: Hey guys.

Jennifer: And Danielle has been a longtime fixture at our office over at Insight Marketing Group and she has evolved over the years but basically Danielle handles everything related to the reputation management and review process for all of our physician clients. And she handles the social media outreach and social media customer service and ongoing social media programs for about 30 clients across the board and has a small team of people that help her on a daily basis. And she really most recently has really like started in a client relations role, interacting every single day with practice managers.
And so I asked Danielle to join us on today’s Dr Marketing Tips podcast because she has some really unique things that she has been kind of talking clients off the cliff on and we thought it would really resonate with our listeners.
So did I cover kind of what you do, Danielle?

Danielle: Yeah, it’s a whole gammon of a little bit of everything and I think all of our hearts at Dr Marketing Tips change every single day so-

Jennifer: Absolutely.

Danielle: Yeah, I think you’ve covered it.

Jennifer: So we’ve got just kind of three things we want to bring to your attention. I don’t want to call them scams, but sometimes they are scams and I think a lot of it has to do with physician practices, being perceived as businesses that have deep pockets. And because you’re so busy, sometimes it’s easy to make decisions that maybe aren’t the best decisions from a marketing and a placement standpoint for your practice because really you’re just trying to make the doctors happy at the end of the day, and you’re trying to have an ongoing marketing program and keep things going and as a few headaches as possible.
So with that, Danielle, why don’t you tell us about the one thing that you got this week from a practice manager that prompted us to go ahead and record this episode?

Danielle: Yeah, and this is something I’ve actually gotten more than once in the last couple of weeks. So these are solicitations that you get in the mail, but the kind of scammy part of a solicitation is that it looks like an invoice. So I had a client text me a picture of the male that she got and said, “Hey, is this you guys, they’re asking us to pay to renew our domain.” And like Jen, as an office manager, you’re probably going through the motions, paying your invoices, thinking, Oh, if I not pay this or website is going to shut down or something like that, which is not true. And then in small print on this, what looks like an invoice that says this is a solicitation, not a request for payment. So a manager could be thinking that they’re just going through paying their bills and then write a $200 check to renew their domain.
But luckily she texted me the picture and I was like, no, that’s definitely not us we cover your domain, It’s already included in your own voice with us. And then not just two days later, I got it from another client. So one was a digestive disease client and another was an orthopedic practice, so it’s a targeting multiple specialties as well.

Jennifer: Absolutely. And I think that what they’re trying to do here is get your business and it’s just as chavy way about going to go about trying to get your business. But what it would do if you were to pay that invoice does it would prompt a series of actions or reactions and your website would transfer over to somebody else. And so what I think is the most important thing is that, for you to take away here is that you really need to understand or you really need to have somebody in your arsenal that you can go to that you completely trust who is making sure that they’ve got your back.
And I think that’s why people come to Danielle, they’re our clients, but they come to Danielle because she’s accessible and she’s right there. But if I could offer you one piece of advice or if we could offer you one piece of advice is to make sure you have some trusted people that are outside of your office or even a go to person within the office that you could ask these real simple questions prior to stroke in a check.
Because remember the perception is that practices like yours have deep pockets and you’re so busy and these things come on your desk and they come and go. So you should be looking at all those invoices prior to paying them.

Speaker 5: If you like what you’re hearing and needs some help marketing your medical practice this year, be sure and check us out @insightmg.com. That’s insight M as in marketing, G as in group.com. Don’t think you’ve got a budget for this kind of stuff? Think again we’ve got you covered. Make sure you schedule a free consult today.

Jennifer: Danielle, you have another couple that we talk about all the time and what are those?

Danielle: So reputation management as Jen said is a big part of what I do for our clients and that includes kind of everything about a client online, their reviews, their website and all those sorts of things. And so now I think a lot more medical practices are starting to pay attention to that, and they’re getting these emails that are almost scare tactics that your website is wrong on 65% of these listings or your phone number is wrong on 95% of these online listings your patients can’t find you. And like I said, it’s a scare tactic.
So my, or our kind of strategy for ORM, which is online reputation management, which we like to use are abbreviations all the time, is to focus on the big websites that people actually go to. So we focus on Google health grades rate, MDS, Yelp, and these crazy percentages that they send you saying you’re wrong on all these sites are usually just to scare you and it’s sites like yellowbought.com or like greenreviews.org and it’s like these aren’t sites that people go to, but you see this large percentage and think like, oh my God, my phone number wrong everywhere. And then you’re scared into paying $500 a month per provider to fix your website and fix your address and phone number.

Jennifer: Yeah. And I think that, I’ve seen this a lot lately because I will have practice managers that will email me or call me direct and show me these report cards that they receive from these companies that are literally trying to get you to sign up, so that they can go out and claim all of your listings and make sure that everything’s correct and then they get you for what I believe is just an outrageous price if you’re paying more than, I’m going to say if you’re paying more than a hundred bucks a month per subscription, you are paying too much.
I think we charge like 25, maybe $30 per subscription and that includes sending text alerts to patients after the fact. So there are services out there. So just look into those. But don’t be fooled by those report cards that people send you because if you’ve got a marketing team in place and you have a strategy in place, then your listings are claimed where they need to be.
Danielle reference, we focus mainly on the top ones. That’s true when we bring on a new client, we might focus on the 70, maybe a hundred sites out there. We focus on the top five, maybe the top seven immediately, but eventually they all get listed and all get claimed because there’s kind of a trickle down effect when you claim on Google or you claim on Health Grades, these other like obsolete sites like the yellowbought.com or something like that. They are getting their information from some of these big ones.
And so we focused on the things that are going to show up on the first, maybe the second page of Google. And if so when you get a report card in the mail, don’t rush, don’t be afraid of it, but have a trusted person that you can go to just to see what you’re really up against. And we see it also we get them all the time where, I don’t know why, but it’s like medical practices are the only ones that are left using the fax machine and we get it all the time where there will be a fax or a big fax blast that goes out and it’ll be health grades or it’ll be vitals or random D or some obsolete company that is sending faxes saying, make sure you claim your profile. And all of the profiles have already been claimed.
And so we get those at least a couple times a year. And we know when it happens because we’ll have 10 different clients calling us and asking why their profiles aren’t claimed. And then Danielle has to spend all kinds of back time explained to them, everything’s claimed, here’s your screenshot, don’t worry. Get back to running your practice.

Danielle: Right. Yeah and that’s kind of another one of those tactics where it’s like claim your profile, but it’s already claimed. But really there are also trying to sell you some Ads on their website as well. So it’s like a claim your profile so you can buy some Ads. So it’s just another way that they think doctors or medical practices have all this money just to spend on all these things.

Jennifer: Absolutely, and it’s a great sales tool, It’s a great tactic for sales. I just want to make sure that our listeners understand that sometimes they’re being sold, trying to be sold, and sometimes there’s something legitimate going on.

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Well visit us at insightmg.com to find out more about how our employee engagement and training platform can help you strengthen employee retention, develop patient service mindsets and give you peace of mind when it comes time for annual reviews. All without creating any additional work for you. And it’s only eight bucks a month. So check us out at Insight M as in marketing, G as in group.com we’ll be waiting for ya.

Jennifer: And I will say this too because I have one practice manager of a very large practice, and he likes to send me forwards all the time of companies that are trying to get his business and I’m like, stop sending them to me. Stop clicking on that stuff. Actually don’t stop sending them cause I like to know what people are doing but stop clicking on things and stop signing up for stuff. Because they’ve now got you into an email automation and every time you’re opening or clicking, it’s creating a next step in the email automation and they think you’re interested. So they keep sending you the information. Just be wary of it. And they’re doing their job and you’re doing your job. And that’s why, again, you need somebody trusted that you can go to to answer questions. So Danielle I think we’ve got one more kind of like questionable tactic that we see all the time. And so what does that one?

Danielle: Yeah, so I think if you work in a medical practice, you’re aware of all these best doctor, top doctor, wonderful doctor, fantastic doctor awards that your doctor can be voted on or either by the patients who are by their peers. There’s maybe a handful of them that are legit and probably the other handful of them that are just trying to sell you a plaque or a piece in their magazine. And really our strategy for the ones that are like magazine voting contest, those are great ways to engage your patients in, engage your followers online and as long as you have a plan for that to be successful and have a legitimate reason for why you’re doing it, those are great because like I said, you’re getting your patients to say, I voted for him, She’s the best doctor ever, I love them and then they’re sharing and voting and that stuff’s great. And then your posted online and then we can say our doctors have been top doctors for x number of years.
All that stuff’s great but then like I said, kind of the questionable side of it is whenever they’re like, hey, you have been voted excellent doctor, do you want to buy a thousand dollar plaque? Those are kind of like, I never entered some excellent doctor contest or it just kinda gets a little-

Jennifer: Yeah, and I think the lesson here is that it’s okay to participate in these contests, but just know that when somebody is coming to you and they’re like, hey, would you like to spend $1,000 on a print Ad so that you can be in our top doctor section or edition of the magazine? Just think twice about that because at the end of the day, if you have a marketing strategy in place that includes print and for many of the practices that we work with, they still really like to use traditional media outlets and we support that in many cases. If you have a strategy in place and you’ve already planned to do it, then great.
If not, don’t just react every time somebody comes to you with an opportunity, because every time you’re reacting, you’re opening the floodgates for everything else. And just like, Danielle was saying, it boils down to having a strategy in place. So if you have a strong social media team and a social strategy in place, when these contests come from publications or these associations and whatnot, yeah, go ahead and participate in them, but make it part of your marketing plan in your marketing efforts.
Because we’ll get them, and poor Danielle will go, there’ll be a new contest that’ll pop up that this year that wasn’t there last year. And she’s having her team create social media so that she can outreach and get patients to engage. And like she said, this is the kind of content that people love to engage in. And it’s once you win these little contest and they’re typically community-driven, you can put the the digital badge on your website. You can use it in social media. It’s a great way to get your patients involved.
But again, you just need somebody that you can have as a sounding board to have that conversation and just make sure that you are working in the marketing plan that you’ve set out for yourself and for the practice and make sure that your, the tactics for executing on that plan are already in place in that you have a game plan if you’re going to jump on any of these things that are thrown your way.

Danielle: Yeah. And I just wanted to add one more thing. There are, I think the two main ones that are kind of the most known or top doctor and best doctor, and I’m not trying to knock and say that these aren’t legitimate. Those are probably the two most legitimate awards the doctors receive their peer based or patient service-

Jennifer: Yeah they’re top notch legitimate.

Danielle: And those are ones that we every year we pay attention to. And make sure that our doctors check the boxes that need to check that.

Jennifer: And then there’s words like the US world and news, news and world report and things of that nature. Those are absolutely legitimate. It’s the little ones that are typically coming from a print publication and their sales might be a little bit slow. So they decide to do a physician or a local doctor section in their publication to get sales up. And at the same time they know that if they do a contest, they’ll get you in there. So these are things, again, these are all good things from a marketing standpoint, but make sure, I think at the end of the day you have to have a marketing plan, you have to have a strategy. And then if these things are in line with your strategy, then absolutely. Because remember we all make poor decisions when we’re just reacting to something and haven’t thought it through. So be proactive, have the strategy in place and then go out there and make the best decisions once you have the information in front of you.
Anything else that you’d like to add, Danielle?

Danielle: No, I think you just hit the nail on the head. I think something that we’ve been saying a lot in the last since the beginning of the year is being proactive and not reactive. And I think these three things that we discussed kind of reiterate that.

Jennifer: That’s awesome. So with that I am Jennifer.

Danielle: And I’m Danielle.

Jennifer: And we are going to say thank you for joining us on the Dr Marketing Tips podcast.

Danielle: Thank you.

Speaker 2: Thanks for listening to the DrMarketingtips.com podcast. If there’s anything from today sure you want to learn more about, checkout DrMarketingtips.com for our podcast resource center with all the notes, links in goodies we mentioned during the show. If you’re not already a subscriber to our show, please consider pressing the subscribe button on your podcast player so you never miss one of our future episodes. And if you haven’t given us a rating or review yet on iTunes, please find a spare minute and help us reach and educate even more of our medical practice peers. Thanks again for listening and we’ll catch you next time. Doctor’s orders.

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