One of the biggest business tasks that separate the successful practice from the failing one is how well you can market. I have said it numerous times and I will say it again, marketing should be the number one function of your business. Patient care is the number one function of practice, but the number one function of business is marketing. Marketing is what brings patients in the door. What does this equal? Revenue and money in your pocket. If you do not market, you are setting yourself up for failure. If you do market but have no idea what you are doing, you will waste thousands of dollars. You must understand how to market.
Marketing is the action of promoting and selling services and/or products. Another word you could use is ‘advertising’. How you market/advertise your practice is CRITICAL to it’s success. If you start a practice without marketing it, it will be very slow. Could it succeed? Yes, it still could with luck and offering amazing services, but you will rely on word of mouth to get new patients. Word of mouth is very important, but it is what happens after you establish yourself. Word of mouth just doesn’t happen when you first start out. You must establish yourself within the community, whether that is somewhere local/regional or online.
When you start a medical practice, you will be very excited about it. This will likely be one of the most important things you do in your life. You will sleep, eat, and breath that medical practice. But guess what? No one else cares. No one will just show up to the door begging you for the awesome niche service you are providing. The only way this will happen is with a structured and effective marketing campaign.
You need to spend a considerable amount of time marketing your practice during the start up phase. Setting up the business and making it a functional practice is a priority, but once that is done, you need to stop nitpicking on tasks that don’t matter and giving yourself analysis paralysis. Instead, you need to put 80% of all your energies into marketing the living hell out of your practice.
How do you do this? It totally depends on what you are doing. First off, are you creating a brick and mortar practice or a telemedicine practice? The way you market these will vary, not significantly, but it will be different.
If you have a brick and mortar practice, you must market on both digital and non-digital platforms. If you have a telemedicine practice, then marketing on just digital platforms will be fine.
Regardless of what type of practice you are creating, you MUST follow basic modern day marketing principles:
You need to create an awesome name, logo, theme and ultimately, a BRAND for your practice.
You need to create a killer website.
You need to optimize your website so search engines can find your site and rank you higher when people search for the services you provide.
You need to be able to write amazing ads (copywriting).
You need to understand how to identify your target market that will consume your niche service.
You need to understand how to use digital advertising so you can deliver your ads DIRECTLY to that target market. Is that going to be Caucasian soccer moms who are looking to lose weight? Is that going to be the 22 year old male college student who wants discrete STD testing and treatment? Or will that be the wealthy 55 year old former athlete who could benefit from stem cell injections in their knees?
You need to understand how to utilize social media, Google, YouTube and various other digital platforms.
You need to understand how to utilize multiple non-digital platforms such as billboards, newspapers, niche publications, and direct mail.
YOU MUST UNDERSTAND HOW TO BUDGET FOR MARKETING. Marketing should be the number one expensive of your practice!
Marketing is not as simple as just throwing up 1 billboard and putting an ad on Facebook. It is more complicated than that. You need to understand how to track your marketing campaigns. There has been an entire science developed behind marketing. You need to do this so you can ensure you are utilizing every marketing dollar to its fullest.
If you do this, you will be way ahead of your competition. You will be busy beyond belief. You will build a successful niche side practice! You need to dedicate as much time as you have to marketing your practice.
You need to unload your ammo 2 weeks before you open so you can get the word out in the community. You need to establish yourself if you want patients calling and scheduling appointments. You then need to continue marketing hard for at least 3 months after you open. If you can budget $3,000-$5,000 on marketing for the first 3 months you open, you will get busy very fast.
The more money you spend on marketing, the busier you will get in a shorter amount of time. Starting a practice without marketing will be painfully slow. You will be burning through your personal money and not reach autopilot status in a timely fashion. Remember, autopilot status is when your business is 100% self-sustainable. It is when you are no longer spending your personal money on keeping your business open. This is a milestone you should strive for as quickly as possible.
Once you achieve autopilot status, you can take your foot off the throttle SOME… After 3-6 months, word of mouth will be bringing in a nice steady flow of patients, but you must always be marketing. Sometimes it takes a patient to see your ad 10 times before they call. You need to establish yourself in the community and “keep the word out” at all times.
There are a plethora of books and websites out there that can help you with marketing. A simple Google search can reveal hundreds of free resources to help you along the way. This can become confusing and complex very fast though. For this reason, I have spent a considerable amount of time and money developing The Elite Nurse Practitioner Advanced Marketing Course for my readers. I consulted with a marketing specialist heavily for this one. I want to deliver the Elite Nurse Practitioner readers a stellar marketing course.
The marketing course is a straight to the point and detailed course that will teach you how to market a practice EFFECTIVELY. I am so excited about this one. It is not specific to a particular niche or practice,… it can be utilized for ANY BUSINESS, regardless if it is a furniture store or a high end men’s health practice. Most marketing principles are applicable to all business models. This course will be targeted towards medical practices obviously, but the principles can be carried over even if you want to open a clothing store. If you are interested in taking your practice to the next level, then this course is for you.