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Medical Practice Business And Marketing Articles
Article #16 - Oct. 2010
(Part 2 of 2)
“How To Use Social Marketing To Grow
Your Medical Practice”
Improving your sociability is good, but wasting time
to attract new patients is questionable.
(In Part 1 readers learned various approaches to social network marketing and the relative uselessness of that specific Internet trend for professionals, and why)
Social Marketing Options Usable Outside Your Medical Office
1. Medical Practice Website or Blog
On the Internet where these social networks sites are visible to millions of people around the world, you have the opportunity to tell the world who you are, what you do, and how you can make everyone’s health care problems better. You have to
have a patient’s permission before you are legally allowed to send them emails. You can manage that using Aweber.com or Get Response.com
On your medical practice website, they opt-in to a subscription of the newsletter
(I use www.Aweber.com). Aweber provides a gallery of various optin forms you can
copy and insert on your website. Direct mail pieces do not require permission. You can send your medical newsletter through the USPS to anyone, anywhere, anytime and hope to get a few new patients out of the mailing... if they are local residents convenient enough to your office.
A blog is another form of a social or business marketing website but is much more interactive with readers and has fewer restrictions on content, format, and context. You can plead your case for building your medical practice to millions of Internet surfers. Be sure to include your medical practice website information, and keep
your comments fresh and current.
Most successful businesses have a blog site in order to increase their visibility and sales. And, because of the social networks interaction on a blog, businesses are
able to sell more products and make more money than they can otherwise. The personal touch and relationship creates a higher level of trust in what you
A website and a blog complement each other well and should be used in
coordination with each other. Both can promote and sell products, link to other
sites in the same business, but preferably should not link to competitors sites and businesses for obvious reasons.
Every medical practice owned by any health care provider must have a business website and blog to remain viable in the future. If you don’t do it, your
competition for your patients will. You can easily have a medical practice
website built for you for a couple hundred dollars.
Many offer website building software you can download for free (MyFreeWebsiteBuilder.com) Go to www.elance.com or one of the other similar
sites to get bids on the doing your project for you. Also, a site called Fiverr.com
offers many services online for $5.
Amazon Mechanical Turk is a place where you can tap into many individuals in
third world countries where your projects can be done very inexpensively. They usually are quite reliable resources to use. Most are available in the Philippines, Indonesia, India, and China.
2. Social Network Marketing
Although Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the dominant social network sites for social networking, there are dozens of others that are often focused on specific services to the public. LinkedIn, for example, focuses on business and professional people interactions.
The burr under your saddle now is likely to cause a concern about your privacy. There are way too many people giving out way too much personal information on these social network sites. It’s information which can be used to track your activities, cause you personal harm, and come back to haunt you later in life.
Commenting about your beliefs, ideas, and your work attracts followers who have your same interests. It’s a way to become virtual friends and have them trust you enough to take your advice or buy from you. It takes time to stop your work and create a comment on your social networks almost daily to get any results.
However, for physicians and other professionals in health care provider businesses the networking can be a long run for a short slide if the goal is to attract new patients. The person you are friends with on the social site may live in Germany or New Zealand, not just down the street.
The advantages of using social networking for marketing for
physicians might be...
To sell information products you create, like a book you
wrote, reports you create on some medical related topic,
or instructional CDs relating to helping people
health-wise... a profitable sideline medical business.
A person might be moving to your area and become a
patient of yours.
Your website information may be exactly about what
someone or some company needs who will offer you
paid speaking engagements, stipend for writing a book
on the topic, or bring in job offers.
3. Outrageous Advertising
Physicians and attorneys often spend thousands of dollars a month for
ads on all the available social media formats to attract patients and
clients. The process does accomplish publicity and attract small numbers of patients. Yellow page ads have been shown to be a very poor use of marketing dollars.
However, the newer forms of advertising (old advertising that was
previously considered indiscreet) that has proven to do a much better
job of promotion and results. Once measurable statistics about their
profitability became reliable, this unusual advertising has been labeled Outrageous Advertising by marketing experts such as Bill Glazer and Dan Kennedy. The book with the same name by Bill Glazer was a NY Times best seller in 2010.
Outrageous advertising is a process of constructing ads that contain the 8 or more elements which trigger the emotions of potential customers to react to the ad in a known way, and take action of one type or another to respond.
In addition, the ad contains elements of unusual characteristics
that seem outrageous compared to the usual ads we all see every day and attract our attention, curiosity, and interest because of
You’ve probably already seen online and actual advertising with those
stimulators included. Such things as scribbled handwriting notes or comments in the margins of the sale page ad, ridiculous offers, added photos emphasizing an important factor mentioned in the ad, and a nonsense sounding headline.
Anything out of the ordinary in an ad is quickly picked up by your eyes and draws you to the spot for more evaluation and thought... exactly what the ad is supposed to do.
Spending your advertising dollars on that kind of advertising is well worth the money. Bill Glazer’s book, Outrageous Advertising, gives 200 plus examples of ads to copy or get ideas from. Many are used by doctors of all professions.
Social Marketing of a Personal Nature
Another important and often forgotten medical business marketing strategy is probably the most important for medical practice building and is something most physicians have no time for.
I’m sure you have come to know the attractiveness of “experiencing” an event, not just watching or participating in it. It’s a culture of providing a patient with much more than they expected. Watching an auto racing event in one thing, but, to get a ride in a race car is
What has become quite evident when examining medical businesses that earn in the upper six figure bracket consistently, is the universal idea of creating an environment where patients have an “experience” and not a “visit” to their office.
Certainly, the experience is different in each case with each patient.
Interestingly, patients will travel much further to see that doctor, remain much more loyal to his practice, pay more for the experience, and find no good reason to criticize the practice or the
The bad news is, most physicians don’t have the income to create that kind of expensive practice setting in the first place. You certainly can do creative and stimulating things for your patients that will be an experience for them. A little brainstorming helps.
Consider doing these practical easy marketing strategies...
Start featuring a “Patient Of The Month” on your bulletin board.
Offer one day each week where if your patient comes in for a doctor visit
and brings a new patient in with them who also schedules a doctor visit,
your patient gets basically a free office visit, no co-pay, even add a second free visit as well. Earning the income from just one visit by the new patient, more than pays for all the co-pays you don’t collect from your regular patient.
Once a year have an outdoor party for all your patients who wish to come
and who bring a friend or friends... lots of free food, games for kids or pony rides, spouses welcome, entertainment of some type, things to do and talk about.
I know of a life insurance salesman who doubled his income in a year by doing this... even had a pony ride for kids. Also, a physician friend of mine did the same and doubled his income by having a party for his successful IVF patients twice a year.
You can do all these outrageous things and the cost of each will more than pay for itself over time... FACT! I once calculated out what a medical patient might be worth to a medical practice using common office fees only (not surgery or hospital procedures). The figure I came up with was over $500 a year per patient for simple office visits.
When you add surgeries, office procedures, and follow-up visits you probably will come up with over a thousand dollars income per patient on the average.
If you have the average medical practice number of patients, usually
around 3000, you should expect to be making $3,000,000 a year
income… no, I must have multiplied wrong... I think.
Let’s just agree on $300,000 per year and disregard the dire financial
impact of government fee controls, increased malpractice insurance premiums, lost patients, poor investments, paying off the $200,000 education debt, and alimony as a result of overworking in
Figure it out for your own medical practice, when and if you ever have time. It might be a good idea to do it soon because Dec. 21, 2012 in closing in. There, I just used my favorite marketing tactic... creating urgency.
The author, Curt Graham, is a highly experienced business and marketing expert, copywriter, and entrepreneur who has been published in various media over 50 years while in medical practice and after.
Discover what it takes for you to reach the optimal limits of your potential in medical practice, and how to do it: Click The Link NOW!
© 2004-2011, Curt Graham M.D., All rights reserved.
Why People Fail
A series of No B.S. Articles from Dan Kennedy
"If You Want More,
Make Yourself More Valuable"
The mayor of a small town once wrote to Benjamin Franklin asking for a donation so the town could buy a bell for its town square. Franklin sent money with a note suggesting they forego the bell in favor of buying books for the town library. It is at the library we might find an answer to why so few succeed and why most fail – at anything, at everything.
Most people do not apply themselves to acquiring know-how nor apply the know-how they acquire. In short, they have the attention span of a gnat, the diligence of an idle, random breeze. They certainly don’t study.
I have become quite rich and somewhat celebrated, reaching the pinnacle of success in not one but three different fields. At each required skill-set, I once sucked. For me, there has always been a crawl to competence, then a fast rise to superiority. Part of the process is getting through of a lot of information in a hurry but also continuously.
For nearly 25 years, I read a book a day plus newspapers, trade journals, newsletters, visited the public library weekly; took on a needed skill and so thoroughly and intensely studied it as to become a world class expert.
When I was teaching myself to be an advertising copywriter, for example, I studied no less than an hour everyday, listened to recorded material on the subject constantly, sought out and got to know the top people in the field, and when one told me to take great direct-response ads and write them out longhand 21 times each, to teach my subconscious mind the rhythm of such writing, I did that with 100 ads.
I collected over 200 books on the subject and immersed myself in them. I built organized files of samples that fill a room. I traced one master back to his teachers, they to theirs, thus even knowing the genealogy of the field.
When I am asked by fledgling or journeymen copywriters how they, too, might have clients waiting in line to pay them $100,000.00 fees when there are thousands of copywriters advertising their availability for 1/10th that or less, and I tell them this answer, they reject it. They seek rewards out of kilter with their value and are unwilling to do what is necessary to build up their value.
The same answer could be given by the top earners in insurance, real estate, retail store ownership, dentistry – name the business or profession. The answer is the same.
I am told by people all the time that they simply do not have time to read and listen to all the material they have purchased or subscribed to. But time is democratic and just. Everyone has the same amount. When I choose to read with my mid-morning coffee break and you choose to blather about trivia with friends; when I choose to study for an hour sitting on my backyard deck at day’s end but you choose to watch a TIVO’d American Idol episode, we reveal much.
When someone says he does not have the time to apply himself to acquiring the know-how required to create sufficient value for his stated desires, he is
a farmer surrounded by ripe fruit and vegetables, whole grains and a herd of cattle on his own property who dies of starvation, unable to organize his time and discipline himself to eat.
Incidentally, success in every business, including yours, depends on mastery
of a handful of critical competencies (one of which is always marketing). The individual who sets out earnestly and diligently to acquire a wealth of know how in each winds up with wealth in his bank account. All others watch with envy and cry in their soup, two activities they do seem to find time for.
The WHY PEOPLE FAIL articles are provided by Dan S. Kennedy, serial entrepreneur,
from-scratch multi-millionaire, speaker, consultant, coach,
Author of over 13 books including the No B.S. series (www.NoBSBooks.com), and
editor of The No B.S. Marketing Letter. WE HAVE
ARRANGED A SPECIAL FREE GIFT FROM DAN FOR YOU including a 2-Month Free
Membership in Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle,
newsletters, audio CD’s and more: for information and to register, visit:
Articles © 2008/Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle LLC. All rights reserved.
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Curt Graham, M.D.
2404 Mason Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89102
E-mail = cgmdrx(at)gmail.com
© 2004 - 2015 Curtis Graham, M.D., All Rights Reserved.