Author: JustinAllan

CONVENIENCE is What Your Patients Want!

If you can find a way to deliver convenience to a specific target market, you will create a very successful practice. This is even more true if you want to create a telemedicine practice! People are looking for convenience in this day and age. We are all busy with work, hobbies, our children, friends, and family. The last thing anyone wants to do is go sit in some medical practice lobby for 3 hours.

This is where the nurse practitioner entrepreneur can shine! If you can deliver fast, convenient, and safe care, you will become busy very fast. This is part of creating VALUE to your patients.

No one wants to add complication to their life.

The reason why people see me at my medical cannabis clinic is because it is simple and fast. I do not complicate the process. Everything is done to the standard of care, but I deliver it conveniently!

The reason why the urgent care I work at has increased its volume significantly over the past 2 years is because the average door to door time when I am working is 15-20 minutes. How many people can say their last urgent care visit was completed in less than 30 minutes?

The reason why my telemedicine practice is exploding in growth right now is because we deliver CONVENIENT, private, and secure care from the comfort of the patient’s home.

My men’s health and testosterone clinic is growing rapidly because we are the most CONVENIENT men’s health practice in the state. We have created processes that make treatment easy. I follow up with my patients over the phone! They love it! I will be opening my second location next month utilizing the same model because it WORKS and it is CONVENIENT for the patient.

You must create convenience within your practice if you want to see it grow by leaps and bounds!

How do you deliver convenience to your patient? There are multiple ways. The more you can implement, the better!

1) Optimize your practices processes: You must figure out a workflow that is fast and efficient. The urgent care I work at has a long registration process, for example. The patient must sign a big stack of paperwork and the receptionists have to enter data into 2 different systems. The registration takes longer than the actual visit! Remember, patients do not want a complicated process. They expect the transaction to be smooth and simple.

It is VITAL you examine the process from start to finish. You need to step in the shoes of the patient. Go through the process from when they call/schedule an appointment, all the way to the end of the visit when the intervention is performed/prescribed. If there is anything burdensome, get rid of it and figure out a way to make it more streamline.

After you do that, go through the process of the provider from start to finish. After that, go through the process of your receptionist or any other staff you might have.

This will only take you a couple hours to do but will save you countless more hours of wasted time in the future and it will make your clinic more convenient for the patient.

When I started my telemedicine practice, I created dummy emails/patient accounts and went step by step through the process a patient would need to take to schedule an appointment, pay their bill, login to the visit, etc. I found inefficient tasks and multiple hang-ups along the way. This allowed me to make the process as simple as possible.

2) Delivering care via telemedicine: One of the BIGGEST selling points of any telemedicine practice is the convenience factor of your care! If you do not have the keyword “convenience” within your marketing campaign for your telemedicine practice, you are doing yourself a tremendous disservice. This is one of the reasons why the patient is reaching out to you for telemedicine services. Going to a medical office is INCONVENIENT, whereas making a phone call or hopping on a video chat from their phone is very CONVENIENT.

As I described in the last point, you need to go through the entire process from start to finish for the patient and the provider with your telemedicine practice. Patients do not want to go through multiple different steps to obtain treatment. Try to make this as convenient as possible!

3) Contacting your practice: This is absolutely critical as part of your overall marketing strategy. It is even more important for the telemedicine practice. Patients must be able to contact you easily! How do you do this? By having your phone number embedded all over your website and a simple contact us form on the bottom of every page. You should also make sure your Google listing is updated. You should be easy to contact by potential patients, if it is difficult, they will give up. It is that simple.

4) Deliver fast care: Patients do not want to sit in a lobby for an hour. When they arrive for their appointment, they should be seen within 10 minutes. If you find yourself having very long wait times, then you are lacking in your time management skills. This could be because you are spending too much time on busy work, over scheduling yourself, or spending too much time with the patient unnecessarily. Most patients are there for the service you provide, not to chit chat about the weather or family. If you are finding yourself having long wait times, you need to evaluate the reason why this is happening and fix it.

I have found that patient’s value fast care vs burdensome long care. Yes, there is a place for long and thorough visits, but for the majority of medical visits, especially ones where niche services are delivered, the visit can be completed within 15-30 minutes.

My men’s health visits typically last about 60 minutes for the initial evaluation and then 10 minutes for follow ups. I do the follow ups over the phone; it is VERY convenient for these busy men.

5) Do not make care complicated: I have worked with dozens of nurse practitioners in urgent care and emergency room settings where they complicate care. They are asking questions that are not relevant to the complaint at hand and are performing unnecessary medical interventions. Less is more! Do not order a bunch of unnecessary tests that do not change the outcome of your intervention. Keep care simple. Use common sense. If it looks like strep, it is probably strep!

One of the reasons many people avoid going to a medical office is because they worry about it being unnecessarily intrusive. Make sure your care is FOCUSED on the problem at hand. I knew an NP that used to look at people’s ears for a complaint of urinary frequency… Come on, how is that relevant?

If you are in the start up phase of opening your practice, you really need to create processes that are as simple as possible. This needs to be everything from scheduling, registering the patient, the visits, documentation, etc. Really spend the time and go through each process step by step for everyone involved, especially the patient!

If you already have a practice, figure out where time is being wasted. Ask patients what they find INCONVENIENT about your practice and fix the issue!

If you can make your practice convenient for the patient, your patient retention rate and word of mouth referrals will go up significantly!

How to Find a Physician Collaborator.

For the nurse practitioner who practices in a restrictive state, having a physician collaborator is a necessary evil per state law. Some nurse practitioners will utilize the collaborator to help them clinically, but most nurse practitioners who are at the point of starting their own practice do not need one, it is simply a legal requirement. How much you should pay a collaborator is discussed here and here.

So, how do you go about finding a collaborator? There are multiple ways to do so.

1) Ask a physician friend or colleague: This will be the cheapest and easiest option for you. Even if you do not have close relationships with physicians you have worked with, it is still a connection. You should utilize this relationship. These physicians know how you work and can trust you as long as you have shown value and safe clinical practice.  So, this should be step one in finding a collaborator! It will be the fastest way to obtain your collaborator.

2) Ask friends if they know anyone: You would be surprised who a fellow nurse, nurse practitioner, or other healthcare worker might know. There are physicians out there that make a living doing nothing but supervising “mid-levels.” I hate that term… You might not know who these physicians are, but I guarantee another nurse practitioner, or a physician assistant knows who they are. Ask around your local area. Even go online to various Facebook groups and ask there. This is a simple, cost effective, and easy approach to take as well.

3) Post a job posting online: If you do not have the luxury of knowing a physician to assist you, then this will be your best option. Many nurse practitioners find their collaborator this way. You would be amazed at how many physicians will respond to a simple job posting that states “Looking for a physician (MD or DO) to collaborate with a nurse practitioner ran clinic.” I have talked to many nurse practitioners who have stated they literally received a dozen applications in 1 week. This is good, you can pick the cheapest one out of the litter!

Where should you post these ads? I would stick with Indeed, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist first. Do not complicate this and post all over the web at dozens of sites, or god forbid hire someone to find this collaborator for you. Try this first, you would be surprised how many physicians will apply!

4) Cold call offices: I know a lot of nurse practitioners who have gone this route. Go to Google and start looking up all the primary care, pain management, alternative medicine, and psych offices in your area. Call each one and state “I am so and so, I am a nurse practitioner wanting to start a clinic and I am in need of a physician collaborator. I wanted to know if the physician there would be interested in collaborating with me for a fee. Could you please relay this message to them? Thank you.” It is that simple. You might have to call 10 offices before one calls you back, but trust me, there are plenty of physicians out there looking to make an easy buck.

It is that simple guys. Do not let finding a physician collaborator pose a barrier to your success. You can find one easily if you look hard enough, I guarantee it! Just make sure you negotiate the rate. Do not settle for the first physician that approaches you. You need to ensure that you work out the cheapest price possible. Do not pay $2,000 a month for a collaborator for a part time niche practice… That would be very unwise. Remember, everything in business can be negotiated!

Clinical Pearl Wednesday #37

Do not keep wounds dry! It amazes me that providers teach patients to keep their wounds dry. This does not facilitate healing. Giving it “air” does not promote healing.

Wounds need to be kept moist so the cells within the tissue can utilize it as a “scaffolding” to grow.

When applying dressings to a wound, ensure that a topical antibiotic (Neosporin, triple antibiotic ointment, etc.) is applied 1-2x daily before the dressing is applied. This will facilitate healing and also prevent the dressing from sticking to the wound (which rips off healthy skin).

Don’t Accept Low Ball Salary Offers!

I see on multiple Facebook groups and message boards nurse practitioners who are accepting very low salaries. I understand that many nurse practitioners out there are desperate to secure employment. You need some income, I get it and I feel for you, but the issue is that there are too many nurse practitioners accepting low salary positions. The market is getting more saturated, employers know this, and they are taking advantage of it.

There are two things that happen when a nurse practitioner accepts a low-ball offer:

  1. It decreases the overall salary average.
  2. It justifies employers to continue to pay less and less.

When the overall salary average decreases, it drives salaries down across the board. Many employers and large organizations use these averages to determine the salary of a new position. As the average goes down, the salaries go down. This is happening folks. Nurse practitioners are getting paid LESS than what they were 10 years ago in many areas of the country. It is absolutely INSANE.

A nurse practitioner who has been practicing for 20 years is making less or the same amount they were when they first started practicing. Are administrators making the same or less than what they were 10 years ago? HELL NO! They are making SIGNIFICANTLY more now. You are busting your ass and making your employer hundreds of thousands if not MILLIONS of dollars a year. Do you see any of the fruits of your labor? The managers and high-level administrators certainly love how productive you are!

I worked for a medical group once where I had a capped salary. I made a lower base salary but earned production up to a point, and then I made nothing more for the rest of the fiscal year. Do you know how much the CEO was making in his quarterly bonuses? $100,000-$200,000… This was not some huge organization, there were about 20 practices within this medical group. This guy was making a million dollars a year and they had the audacity to cap my salary because that is what the “average” is nationwide. Oh blow me… Guess what happened after I hit my production cap? I became less productive. Surprise surprise…

The employer JUSTIFIED paying me a low salary because that was the “average” according to the MGMA (google it). This average is based off the droves of nurse practitioners that are accepting low salary position after another. It lowers the salary expectations across the board. It is a real disservice to our profession when nurse practitioners accept low salaries.

So, what can we do about it? We must band together as a profession, put our foot down, and say NO to low salaries. You are more valuable than you think. Nurse practitioners are becoming the backbone of the healthcare system in this country. We provide quality care at an affordable rate. Why should we not be fairly compensated for the hard work we do day in and day out? Why should a bunch of pencil pushers enrichen themselves off our sweat? Why should physician collaborators enrichen themselves by “collaborating” with us when in fact they do very little most of the time?

We all need to understand what we bring to the table. Once you understand that, you will expect a higher salary. When you accept a low salary, it lowers the salaries for everyone else. Compound this by the thousands of nurse practitioners being pumped out of school and you get the perfect storm for low salaries. There is a large supply of fresh blood entering the market and there are droves of nurse practitioners accepting these insultingly low salaries. This is a very nasty and dangerous storm for the future of our profession friends.

Talking to legislators will do nothing. Going to the various boards of nursing will do nothing. Asking our credentialing organizations such as the AANP could possibly help push the issue, but I doubt it will change much. Remember, the AANP and ANCC want as many nurse practitioners to graduate as possible, it increases their revenue through testing and certification. Therefore, it is in each one of our hands to shape change.

What you can do is talk to your fellow nurse practitioners. You need to educate them about how valuable they are. You need to encourage them to NEGOTIATE a salary vs. accepting the low-ball offer. Share this article with them. Open their eyes to the power they harness through their license.

You don’t need to take insultingly low salaries; you can negotiate that salary higher. I have NEVER accepted the first offer… In fact, I start the setting point during salary negotiation. Remember, the first one who makes the offer SETS the starting point. Read this article about job negotiation here.

This is all we can do folks. Once thousands and thousands of nurse practitioners get on the band wagon then salaries across the board will increase. Getting your DNP or another certification will not increase your salary. If it does, it usually won’t be significant enough to justify the time investment it took to obtain it. What will increase your salary is learning how to negotiate,mustering up the courage to say NO, and walk away from low salary positions.

Lets band together and say no! Everyone who does so will be the ones trail blazing our profession to new heights. The others are just doing a great disservice to everyone else.

Of course, one way you can give a middle finger to the entire system is to just start your own business… Then there is no chance of having a low salary. In fact, you will be that CEO giving yourself six figure bonuses! It is the only way I have found to be compensated what I am worth. If you feel like your only worth $90,000 a year, then you need to open your eyes to what you can do. If you feel like you are worth $300,000 a year, then get over your fear, negotiate a high salary, and start a side practice.

If you are a new reader to the blog, review The Elite Nurse Practitioner Model and integrate these principles into your life. You will be far from “average” and begin to walk the path towards financial freedom. I have, and so have countless others…

The Advanced Medical Practice Marketing Course Is Now On Sale!

The only marketing course designed by a nurse practitioner for nurse practitioners is now on sale! The course will be available for just $227 until July 3rd at midnight EST. After that, the price will go up to $277 indefinitely. You will have unlimited access to this course indefinitely. This is a worthwhile investment for those that are serious about taking their practice/business to the next level! You MUST market if you want to have a healthy volume of patients… It is the only way to increase your volume and ultimately your success! You can either spend THOUSANDS on hiring a marketer to do it for you, or take the responsibility yourself as a business owner and do it yourself! That is what this course will teach you.

Remember, I am also including a FREE BONUS with this course! You will receive a 7-page mini eBook that goes over step by step on how to copywrite effectively. Copywriting is the process of writing effective advertisements. Just because you understand how to market does not mean you will succeed. You also need to understand how to write an effective advertisement! This eBook goes over all the principles of developing effective ad copy and will help you create those eye catching ads that convert into patient appointments!

To recap, marketing is the number one function of any type of business. It does not matter if you are opening a furniture store or a high-end medical practice, marketing is the key on how to drive customers and patients through the door.

Small businesses that do not market appropriately are doomed to fail. This is why it is absolutely CRITICAL you understand how to market your practice. It literally is what will make or break your side practice.

You cannot go into entrepreneurship without knowing how to market. It is like flying an aircraft without going to flight school. You will crash and burn. Therefore, every potential practice entrepreneur out there needs to understand the principles, concepts, and processes behind modern day marketing.

Because of this reason, I am pleased to announce The Advanced Medical Practice Marketing Course. Dozens of my readers have requested for an advanced guide on how to market their practice outside of my short marketing eBook. I have worked tirelessly developing this course. I wanted to provide my readers with an all in one guide on how to market, so I decided to even consult with a marketing expert on this one!

This course is designed for the nurse practitioner entrepreneur who wants to start a practice with the right marketing campaign or for the nurse practitioner practice owner who wants to take their practice to the next level. The only way you can scale your business is by developing an effective marketing campaign. IT IS THE ONLY WAY!

You must learn how to identify a NARROW target market that will consume your niche medical service. THIS IS CRITICAL and is what I will teach you how to do in this course.

One of the best aspects of this course is that it can literally be used for any type of business as well. It is tailored towards nurse practitioners who want to learn how to market their practice effectively, but it could also be used if you wanted to start a clothing store. All the concepts are the same!

You will learn:

  • The basic principles of marketing.
  • How to develop your practices brand, including its name, theme, logo, colors, and brand messaging.
  • How to identify your target market.
  • How to narrow down your target market by interests, hobbies, job title, and other demographics.
  • How to find that NICHE practice idea that a specific group of people will consume.
  • How to market effectively utilizing digital platforms.
  • The concepts of an effective and attractive website.
  • The foundation of Search Engine Optimization so your site ranks FIRST when potential patients search for the services you provide.
  • How to integrate keywords and hot terms into your website.
  • How to market on social media including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
  • How to create digital ads.
  • How to create ads that specifically target a specific audience that will consume your niche service.
  • How to utilize Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, and a various other assortment of free marketing tools.
  • How to advertise on Google and how to employ everything it has to offer.
  • How to advertise using non-digital platforms such as print material, events, radio, television, billboards, and direct mail.
  • How to write an advertisement that effectively attracts potential patients to your practice.
  • How to create a customer retention and loyalty program.
  • How to budget for marketing (remember, it should be one of your biggest expenses).
  • How to obtain a solid return on investment with your marketing dollars! It is just like investing in a rental property, you need to know what you are doing!
  • How to track and measure all your marketing efforts so you know what is working and what is not!
  • And much more….

There are over 3 hours of video content with this course where I go over a 151-slide presentation about all the topics that I just mentioned. This is the largest course I have developed… There are also MP3s for you to download so you can learn on the go.

This course also includes an additional resources section that includes dozens of links to more advanced topics that will walk you through step by step on how to create a Facebook or Instagram ad, how to integrate Google analytics into your website, and much more.

If you follow the information presented in this course, you will know how to create a rock-solid marketing strategy that will help your practice and business succeed. You must understand how to market, it is the only way to get new patients through the door and this is what the course will help you do! I guarantee that statement 100% or I will refund you no questions asked or provide you a free 1 on 1 consultation.

If you want to start a practice with a high number of initial patients or increase the patient volume of your current practice, have multiple marketing campaigns over several marketing platforms, and obtain a healthy return on your marketing budget investment, then this will be one of the most important courses you can take for your business…

Clinical Pearl Wednesday #36

Have a pulmonary patient who uses an inhaled corticosteroid dry powder inhaler who is complaining of dysphonia (hoarse voice)?

Hoarseness is a common side effect with inhaled dry powder corticosteroids. Risk factors include poor technique and not using a spacer. Another common risk factor is not rinsing the mouth after the inhalation.

How do you fix this issue? Teach proper technique, utilize a spacer, or consider switching the patient from a dry powder inhaler to a metered dose inhaler.

Also take a good look at their pharynx! Candida can often be to blame as well!

Announcing The Advanced Medical Practice Marketing Course!

The Elite Nurse Practitioner Advanced Medical Practice Marketing Course is the only marketing course on the market designed by a nurse practitioner that will help the nurse practitioner entrepreneur create a highly effective marketing campaign to increase patient volume!

Remember, marketing is the number one function of any type of business. It does not matter if you are opening a furniture store or a high-end medical practice, marketing is the key on how to drive customers and patients through the door.

Small businesses that do not market appropriately are doomed to fail. This is why it is absolutely CRITICAL you understand how to market your practice. It literally is what will make or break your side practice.

You cannot go into entrepreneurship without knowing how to market. It is like flying an aircraft without going to flight school. You will crash and burn. Therefore, every potential practice entrepreneur out there needs to understand the principles, concepts, and processes behind modern day marketing.

Because of this reason, I am pleased to announce The Advanced Medical Practice Marketing Course. Dozens of my readers have requested for an advanced guide on how to market their practice outside of my short marketing eBook. I have worked tirelessly developing this course. I wanted to provide my readers with an all in one guide on how to market, so I decided to even consult with a marketing expert on this one!

This course is designed for the nurse practitioner entrepreneur who wants to start a practice with the right marketing campaign or for the nurse practitioner practice owner who wants to take their practice to the next level. The only way you can scale your business is by developing an effective marketing campaign. IT IS THE ONLY WAY!

You must learn how to identify a NARROW target market that will consume your niche medical service. THIS IS CRITICAL and is what I will teach you how to do in this course.

One of the best aspects of this course is that it can literally be used for any type of business as well. It is tailored towards nurse practitioners who want to learn how to market their practice effectively, but it could also be used if you wanted to start a clothing store. All the concepts are the same!

You will learn:

  • The basic principles of marketing.
  • How to develop your practices brand, including its name, theme, logo, colors, and brand messaging.
  • How to identify your target market.
  • How to narrow down your target market by interests, hobbies, job title, and other demographics.
  • How to find that NICHE practice idea that a specific group of people will consume.
  • How to market effectively utilizing digital platforms.
  • The concepts of an effective and attractive website.
  • The foundation of Search Engine Optimization so your site ranks FIRST when potential patients search for the services you provide.
  • How to integrate keywords and hot terms into your website.
  • How to market on social media including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
  • How to create digital ads.
  • How to create ads that specifically target a specific audience that will consume your niche service.
  • How to utilize Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, and a various other assortment of free marketing tools.
  • How to advertise on Google and how to employ everything it has to offer.
  • How to advertise using non-digital platforms such as print material, events, radio, television, billboards, and direct mail.
  • How to write an advertisement that effectively attracts potential patients to your practice.
  • How to create a customer retention and loyalty program.
  • How to budget for marketing (remember, it should be one of your biggest expenses).
  • How to obtain a solid return on investment with your marketing dollars! It is just like investing in a rental property, you need to know what you are doing!
  • How to track and measure all your marketing efforts so you know what is working and what is not!
  • And much more….

There are over 3 hours of video content with this course where I go over a 151-slide presentation about all the topics that I just mentioned. This is the largest course I have developed… There are also MP3s for you to download so you can learn on the go.

This course also includes an additional resources section that includes dozens of links to more advanced topics that will walk you through step by step on how to create a Facebook or Instagram ad, how to integrate Google analytics into your website, and much more.

If you follow the information presented in this course, you will know how to create a rock-solid marketing strategy that will help your practice and business succeed. You must understand how to market, it is the only way to get new patients through the door and this is what the course will help you do! I guarantee that statement 100% or I will refund you no questions asked or provide you a free 1 on 1 consultation.

This course will be released on June 26th at midnight EST and will be on sale for just $227 until July 3rd at midnight EST. After that, the price will go up to $277 indefinitely. This is cheaper than what a 1-hour marketing consultation would cost you with an “expert.”  This is also a 100% tax deductible expense!

I am also including a free bonus with this course! I have created a 7-page mini eBook that goes over step by step on how to copywrite effectively. Copywriting is the process of writing effective advertisements. Just because you understand how to market does not mean you will succeed. You also need to understand how to write an effective advertisement! This eBook goes over all the principles of developing effective ad copy. Similar guides cost over $100, but I am including this free in the course!

If you want to start a practice with a high number of initial patients or increase the patient volume of your current practice, have multiple marketing campaigns over several marketing platforms, and obtain a healthy return on your marketing budget investment, then this will be one of the most important courses you can take for your business…

Be on the lookout for the official release announcement that will include links to the course so you can start getting that amazing marketing campaign set up!

Building Your Brand

There is a difference between a generic practice and a brand. The generic practice is just your every day family practice office. There is nothing really special about it outside of the patient care it provides. The generic practice does not have a unique face or personality to it. A brand on the other hand is the theme and personality of your business. A brand makes your practice DISTINCT from all the other ones. It is what helps drive your marketing efforts. That is why it is vital you create a brand… You do not want to be another forgotten small business.

Think to yourself right now, do you remember the name, logo, colors, or theme of the medical offices you have visited before? You might remember the care, which is EXTREMELY important, but do you remember anything outside of that? Was there anything that was distinctive or memorable about it? Was it an experience or just a “blah” visit?

If you don’t remember much, it was probably because it was not a brand, it was just a generic practice. A brand is a feature of your business that identifies your service and products as DISTINCT from other businesses. This feature can be a logo, symbol, name, slogan, color scheme, or design. The point is that it creates a memory for your patient and customers.

What are brands that you remember? What are other businesses that you don’t remember? Wal-Mart is a brand and you remember it by its colors, name, and overall design. On the other hand, do you remember a generic store that lacked a feature that sets itself apart?

What about restaurants? You remember places like Olive Garden, McDonald’s, and Chick-Fil-A because they are brands. Do you remember the name of the burger place you went to out of town on vacation? If you do, it was probably because of their food, if you don’t though, it was probably because there was not a brand behind it.

Building a brand for your practice is vital for 2 reasons:

  1. It is memorable to patients.
  2. It sets you apart.

You want these with your side practice. You want people to remember you because they will refer others to you and you want to be distinct from your competition. You don’t want your patients saying “Ya, I just go to that little clinic on the corner of Main and 1st street.” Instead, you want your patients to say “Ya, I go to the Testosterone Center for Men!” That is what I am talking about!

You want people to see your logo and instantly know the name of your practice and what service you provide. That is a brand folks.

So, what are the parts of a brand?

  1. A name.
  2. A logo and color scheme.
  3. A background story.
  4. The practices value and mission statements.

If you have took any of my courses, you know how important of a point I make about creating a name. You must create a name that is different yet explains the service you provide. A generic name that does not elude to what you do does not work well. It needs to be something memorable!

You must have a logo and/or a symbol that sets you apart. This logo needs to be simple. This logo needs to be memorable. Do not create a logo that is complicated with too many moving parts. Think of a simple clip art type image. Examples of this would be a tree, geometric shape, or an animal. It needs to be SIMPLE as with everything else in business. SIMPLE IS BETTER.

The colors of your logo and name need to be simple as well. You don’t need more than 1-2 colors. Anything more than that creates to many moving parts. Again, think simple!

People love stories, and they especially love the story behind a business. Most people respect the entrepreneur and they love hearing the story behind why you created your practice. This is something that can be on a brochure or on the “about us” section of your website. You do not need to write a book, just a couple paragraphs are fine!

Lastly, you need to have a value and/or mission statement. This can be your slogan. You do not need to write out a list of 10 values or mission statements like they teach us in those BS nursing management classes we had to take. The slogan for The Elite Nurse Practitioner is also the mission of it “Dedicated to helping nurse practitioners to create successful financial, professional, and personal lives.” That is my mission, and that is why I created this site. My slogan and mission for my men’s health practice is “Getting men back to being themselves again!” My patients remember that and it is the reason they come see me.

This is how you create a brand. Do not just open a practice with a generic name, logo, color scheme and insincere slogan. Put some creative thought into this! If you lack the creative ability to do this, email me for help or hire a creative designer off upwork.com.

When you create every part a brand, your practice moves from a simple transactional service to an experience. People remember the personality of your practice. They remember the way it makes them feel. This creates a memory, which will turn into referral and word of mouth business. This is free marketing and is as simple as creating a memorable name, logo, color scheme, background store, and a heartfelt mission statement! If you already have a practice and are having lackluster results, then you need to stand back and ask yourself the question “is this a brand?”

You must create a brand to help set yourself apart! If you do not create a brand, you will be lost in the ocean of unmemorable and failing small businesses.

Marketing Should Be the Number One Function of Your Practice.

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.

Clinical Pearl Wednesday #35

Have a patient with a fire ant sting? Apply toothpaste to the sting.

It does not matter what type of toothpaste you use. Apply a thin strip of toothpaste to the sting for 5-10 minutes and then rinse it off. This will neutralize the poison from the ant bite which will defuse the annoying burn and itch of the sting. It also prevents a lesion from forming!

I have a small tube of toothpaste at the urgent care I work at just for ant bites. This tube has lasted 2 years and has provided relief to dozens of patients. Thank you Crest!

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