Alright, so you’ve decided you need a new marketing plan. You’ve already taken a swat at digital marketing through the internet and social media, but you want more! What else can you do? Never fear, marketing has existed long before the internet and will probably exist in some fashion after nuclear war has pushed us out into the wasteland. It’s been a long time since we’ve relied strictly on analog tactics towards marketing your practice, so we’ve compiled a list of best practices for marketing your medical office without the internet!
The quick and obvious tip is to “be active in your community.” But, once again, just like saying “use the internet” in our digital list, this is a bit vague. What we’re talking about is the actual, physical community in which your office is located. Yes, even that is pretty broad, so let’s crack into some more specific options with another list!
- Referrals: “Know thy neighbor, love thy neighbor, refer thy neighbor to the proper specialist if it isn’t a part of your normal practice.” I think that’s how the expression goes anyways. Having a relationship with specialists who deal with issues commonly entering your practice is a great way to build a symbiotic relationship with neighboring practitioners while maintaining quality of care and expanding your patient list at the same time.
- Have an Open House: Place an ad in your local paper and invite people to come to your office for snacks and door prizes! Entice people to your office with pizza, popcorn, and drinks! Prizes can be as simple as t-shirts, pens, notepads, reusable grocery bags – or as fantastic and crowd drawing as an iPad. Remember, people love free stuff.
- Become the Local Expert: You’re a doctor, you didn’t go through nearly a decade of grueling medical school to not be recognized for it. Make yourself available to your local and national news sources, as well as online and print publications to comment on current health concerns facing your field. Conduct seminars and talks regarding issues you specialize in or are particularly passionate about.
- Send Handwritten “Thank You” Cards: This one isn’t so much a one-time event as an on-going practice for your office. After a first time patient comes in, send them a card with a handwritten “Thank You” note from you and your staff. It’s a personal touch that adds a sense of familiarity and builds trust within your clientele.
- Bonus Points: Keep a calendar of all your patients’ birthdays, and send another personalized “Happy Birthday” card from your office. Who doesn’t love birthday cards?
- Have a Clinical Presence at Local Events: This is going to be very similar to what your open house will probably be like, except it’s mobile! Get a foldable canopy and table with your logo and/or name on a tablecloth and get to an event with your business prizes! Local events can include sports functions at any level (From pee-wee up through high school all the way to the majors, if your city is big enough!), street fairs, grocery stores, bar mitzvahs, weddings. Anywhere you can bring these items, you can start your own event!
- Pro-Tip: Advertising your practice at a wedding, bar mitzvah, or unwarranted family gatherings are not recommended- but, if you’re really hurting for clients, why not shoot for the moon?
When you boil everything else away, your medical practice is a business and marketing has to be done for it the same as in any other field. Taking to the internet is a great resource, but it’s not the only option. There is a rising resurgence of demand for human interaction within people’s daily lives, so these tried-and-true methods might be just what the doctor ordered to get your practice going and growing strong.
Author: Cory Clark