01 Jun 3 Practice Marketing Strategies That Are Wasting Your Time
It takes a lot of commitment, drive, and dedication to get a practice started.
You have to go through what feels like an eternity of schooling.
You have to get licensed.
You have to build a positive reputation with your patients.
Building a practice isn’t for everyone. You’ve got to be a go-getter.
And when you’re building your practice, it makes sense to apply that go-getter mentality to your marketing efforts.
The more marketing you do, the more patients you’ll get — right?
If you apply that go-getting attitude to the wrong marketing strategies, not only will you end up not finding new patients and wasting a lot of time and energy — but if you’re not careful, it can actually kill your practice.
Let’s take a look at three practice marketing strategies that are wasting your time and energy (time and energy you could be spending helping your patients):
#1: Newspaper Ads
Maybe running ads in your local newspaper was a decent way to find new patients… in 1993.
But today, newspaper ads are one of the biggest wastes of time in the marketing world.
Not only does no one actually read newspaper ads today, but they’re also impossible to track — so you have no way of tracking how many people see the ad and how many patients it drives into your practice.
Paying for a marketing strategy without the ability to track your results is inexcusable in 2018 — don’t waste your time or money.
Not only are newspaper ads completely ineffective, but even if people were reading them, they’re not the right format to drive new patients.
With online advertising, not only can you track how your money is being spent and exactly where your leads are coming from, but you can also use your marketing as a way to educate, engage, and connect with your patients — which will make all the difference in driving them into your practice.
With newspaper ads, there’s no education, no engagement, no connection. It’s just words on a page — and that’s not enough to build your practice.
#2: Visiting GPs and Building a Referral Network
We understand why the idea of visiting general practitioners and building a referral network sounds like a good idea.
The intention behind this strategy is sound, but in practice, it just doesn’t work.
First of all, tracking down a bunch of GPs? It’s hard work.
You have to make a ton of phone calls, travel from office to office, and cross your fingers you’ll catch the GP at a good time.
Truth is, most GPs don’t have time to sit down and meet with other practitioners during the day — so when you use this marketing strategy, the majority of your day is spent trying to chase them down.
Not exactly a good use of your time.
Not only is tracking down and meeting with GPs time-consuming, but it also puts you in a challenging position.
When you’re chasing down GPs in hopes of building a referral network, you put the power in their hands.
It kills your authority and, in a lot of ways, makes you look desperate for patients.
On the flip side, when you market yourself online, you get to establish yourself as the authority, the expert, and the go-to leader in your space.
And when you market yourself in that way, you don’t need to chase down GPs for referrals — patients will come to you.
But that’s not to say that partnerships can’t be beneficial in driving new patients to your practice.
You just need to approach the partnership in a strategic way.
Instead of spending all day chasing GPs for referrals, work with your Joint Venture partners on creating educational and engaging video content you can push out online to connect with potential patients.
It’s a win-win; you get to position yourself as the go-to authority in your field, you get exposure to a new audience of potential patients (and so does your JV partner), and your patients get the information they need to make a decision about working with your practice.
Sounds a lot more effective than banging down the doors at your local GP's office, right?
#3: Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Twenty years ago, word-of-mouth marketing happened in person; you grabbed coffee with a friend and they told you about this amazing physio you have to go see.
Today, word-of-mouth marketing takes place on social media and popular review sites.
But relying on word of mouth as a marketing strategy? It’s a waste of time.
Now, don’t get us wrong: you ALWAYS want to provide the kind of service to your patients that inspires them to share your practice with family and friends.
But word of mouth is ineffective as a marketing strategy because there’s too much left to chance.
You can’t force your patients to leave you an online review or share your practice page with a potential patient.
There’s too much up in the air.
If you want your marketing to be effective, you can’t leave it up to chance — which is why you need to be proactively marketing your practice online to get results.
Feeling Overwhelmed? It’s Okay!
Now, if you’re still implementing these marketing strategies in your practice — or if you feel like online marketing is way over your head — take a deep breath! It’s okay.
Making the change from “traditional” marketing methods to online marketing can be daunting — especially if you don’t know where to start.
But transitioning to online marketing doesn’t have to be overwhelming — at least now that you have the right systems in place.
With the right structures, processes, and frameworks, you can take the guesswork out of online marketing, optimise your marketing strategies, and stop wasting your time on marketing that just doesn’t work.
If you need some tips on getting started you should check out my mini training on how to do exactly that!
Because when you stop wasting your time on ineffective marketing strategies, that’s time you get back — time you can spend better helping your patients.
There’s no excuse to stay in the Dark Ages and continue to waste your time on marketing strategies that just don’t work — and if you do, you won’t be in business in 2019.
So do yourself a favor — get with the times and start spending your time marketing online.