Building a successful practice can be accomplished in a matter of a few years. It requires exact planning and marketing acumen. Regardless of your field (dental, medical or chiropractic), prosperity and sustainable success can be achieved in a matter of a few short years.
Where Building A Successful Practice Begins
Having personally coached and lectured to thousands of doctors and office managers over the last twenty years, I have carefully assembled a valuable bullpen of the best practices in marketing and patient retention know-how. I have formulated an extensive checklist of necessary actions that need to be put into place to proactively and predictably build a multimillion-dollar practice.
In a recent blog post, The Mindset In Business That Results In Financial Stress, it is clear that one must posses the mindset of an entrepreneur, not that of an accountant, to succeed in business. Entrepreneurs view life and business much differently than an accountant. Have you ever heard of an accountant launching a multimillion-dollar brand? Not that often. But with entrepreneurs, you hear about it in the news almost every day.
Accountants vs. Entrepreneurs
To an accountant, marketing is an expense that is to be cut when times get tough. To an entrepreneur, he knows that tough economic times are incredible opportunities to innovate new ideas and products. Recessions are prime time to grab significant market share from those who are cutting back and hunkering down for the worse.
Doctors that do not conduct themselves as entrepreneurs will become worried and concerned about budgets, not realizing the estimation of effort required to build massive success. I have rarely seen building a successful practice while being conservative, careful and worried about how much money he or she is spending on marketing. Successful practices are such because they go about their business like an entrepreneur.
If a doctor is not willing to set aside 8-14% of his practice’s monthly revenue towards effective, time-honored marketing methods, then he will get by or do “just OK”. He or she will watch other practices make a prosperous living.
Don’t Compete. Completely Dominate The Marketplace
You will not win in business if you try to compete with the same level of marketing as every other practice. Those large SEO companies that call you 8 times a day, telling you, “You’re not on page 1 of Google”, are selling that same cookie-cutter marketing program to every other doctor in your area. You can never win when one-hundred other practices within your city are doing exactly what you are doing with marketing.
Every practice has a website. Almost very practice wants more new patients as their top concern. Yet, less than 10% these doctors will actually build a multimillion-dollar practice.
You win when you dominate the market place. There is Coke and Pepsi, and I am not sure about the rest of the colas on the market. I’m sure that there are others, but can you name them? These major brands aren’t winning because they simply compete with other brands. They begin their day with the intent to utterly dominate the market place. This is their prime mindset and strategy.
Creating Multiple Streams of Revenue
To successfully build a multimillion-dollar practice, one has to realize that one cannot rely on just one or two marketing channels. Success is built upon a strong branding strategy, followed with a comprehensive plan that details what needs to be executed, by whom, with successes measured, which is then replicated throughout every day of the year.
When multiple marketing channels are being coordinated around one branding message, the entire effect is greater than its parts. Your practice will seem to be “everywhere” and in time, perceived and regarded as the premier leader in the community.
The 10 Pathways For Building A Successful Practice
Each of these 10 channels that acquire new patients are proven to produce measurable results. But when you execute all 10 methods, simultaneously and professionally, you completely assure the success of building a successful practice that is generating millions of dollars in annual revenue. Here they are:
- Referrals – To grow, these must be generated with a proactive strategy. One has to more than just accept them when they call or come in on their own initiative. One marketing expert, Jay Abraham, has cited over 90 ways to initiate more referrals.
- Website Design & Optimization – Most websites of doctors and their practices are quite minimal. These are one’s first evidence of cookie-cutter marketing. Most do not have an active blog. Over 96% of them are not Schema.org compliant, which has been determined to be a major SEO and ranking factor. On many websites, it is difficult to find their phone number, their map and a complete list of services. Well crafted and professionally designed websites, that are built with complete attention to the architect of the site itself, rank higher in search engines. More importantly, they convert more people into becoming new patients.
- Local Search Marketing – Aside from one’s website, it is crucial to pay attention to patient reviews on Yelp, Google, Facebook and other directories. Leveraging how local search works can increase your overall presence online, but as well assist in increasing the ranking of your main website. There are dozens of highly effective ways of being found in local search.
- Paid Advertising – Online advertising with Google, Facebook and other sites can drive significant traffic to your website and new patients into your practice. For those that have already attempted this marketing method with little success, I know that your campaigns were not conducted correctly. Paid online advertising can represent a major competitive difference in building a successful practice.
- Video Marketing – Videos rank higher on Google than most pages, because Google owns YouTube. These are highly favored in local search if one optimizes the video correctly. Moreover, your videos can be embedded in your website, emailed to your list, posted on social media and embedded in blog posts.
- Email Marketing – Email is over 40 years old and is more effective than search marketing and social media in increasing awareness and revenue. The problem is that most doctors do not use email correctly. Email marketing can not only reactivate your prior patients, be can be further shared by those on your email list to their own social media channels.
- Social Media Marketing – Social media is an amazing communication channel to create buzz and word of mouth. How many doctors have their patients check in and give a real time review? Very few. What about creating a video of your patient’s great results and then giving it to them, with all your branding embedded, and then asking them to share it on social media? Even fewer.
- Direct Mail – Postcards to residences and handwritten letters to existing patients are extremely effective when the lists are accurate and your offer is compelling. Bad marketing produces no response, so it is important that much thought be put into your strategy, messaging and the offer. You can even tie in your direct mailings with your website, requesting that the recipients of your direct mail go to your website for a special offer.
- Alliances & Collaborations – Some of the best sources of new patients is establishing alliances with other doctors, lawyers, HR directors, businesses and community groups. This is best accomplished when you hire a dedicated sales representative who goes outside the office and networks with other professionals.
- Events – Every city and county sponsors numerous events throughout the year. By attending these and being interactive, you can generate more new patients. I have witnessed practices signing up 30+ new patients in one weekend at a local event. Additionally, one should look at how to sponsor and promote one’s own events, such as educational workshops.
Success Can Occur When One Commits To Building A Successful Practice
A brand strategy built upon professionally executed marketing methodologies, with the purpose to dominate the marketplace, will ensure success for building a successful practice. If you would like assistance in building a successful practice, feel free to contact me for a complimentary marketing session.