When someone – a potential referring physician – asks “What is your address?” your immediate response is perhaps a street address, name of town or general area. Rarely do you blurt out a .com address. You are not alone. You may think digital address does not matter. But you must make that mind shift, paradigm shift now.
Make the Shift – Be a Leader
This way of thinking will work in your favor. Your practice may be in a prime desirable location in your city or town. Of course, you are not an ‘online business’ and patients have to physically come to your practice, and yet, so many more existing and prospective patients will visit you online every day. If you are not present online, the same patients will visit the next specialist that is just ‘one click away’.
It is this new age thinking that matters; it is the virtual web address that counts. This is where your efforts to ‘market’ your practice must begin – with your website.
How do you create a website that is primed to inform, educate both patients and referring providers?
You have to begin by spending some time defining, refining and differentiating your ‘Brand’ as a Specialist. Your Brand building begins by translating your strength as a caring Physician that is ahead of the curve in treating patients.
- Define your Practice in 160 characters or less, leaving medical terminology behind, speak in layman terms.
- Identify your practice’s three greatest strengths.
- List the keywords that patients are most likely going to use when searching for the types of services you provide, focusing on the symptoms and ailments they encounter.
- Describe how you will portray various symptoms and diagnosis in words, images and videos.
- Get your patients to describe their experiences on your website.
- Identify why your patients love you.
What is your Special Sauce?
What makes your practice unique? What makes you unique? Why patients prefer you versus another Specialist in town?
You and your team of clinicians must hash out what makes your practice special. Involve your entire team including front desk that speaks and connects with patients at a personal level every day. Factors can include:
- Providers’ deep experience and special education
- Awards and accolades
- Staff that builds close, interpersonal relationships with patients
- References and testimonials from patients as well as referring physicians.
- Affiliations with Universities, Hospitals, research institutions
- Media coverage
Practice Videos, Provider videos that show a ‘personal’ and human face to your Clinic is vital in building long lasting trust and relationships.
You should also put together a plan to get as many patient testimonials as possible – get them on a video if possible.
Finally – don’t ignore Social Media
Social media is sometimes considered a taboo in the healthcare industry. There are reasons for that, and we won’t go into the pros and cons in this blog (I'll cover that in a future blog), but suffice it to say, executed properly, it becomes a powerful connector with your patients – existing and future.