I really wanted to name this article "how to beat your competitors", but that seemed a little harsh. In reality though, you do want and need the right patients to know you and book with you for the right solutions ahead of other competing practices.
This is just the nature of being in business.
Otherwise how else can you grow, earn a living, be paid what you are worth, make a positive difference in people's lives and sustain your practice and commit to the people you help and employ?
Recent client conversation
I have the pleasure of speaking with a wide range of private practice business owners on a regular basis, and one recent conversation stood out. I share the gist of the discussion below as I think some of the topics might be helpful to you and your situation.
The gentleman told me that:
- The competitors in his local area always seem to get more clients than he does
- He has more qualifications and experience so why isn't he the one with the greatest demand?
- He has been in business longer than the others but isn't as busy
- He doesn't have time and money or a marketing team to badger people into seeing him
Sound familiar? While not everybody I talk to shares this outlook completely, there are a few common threads, particularly in relation to marketing overwhelm.
Here's what I actually heard from the conversation ...
Reading between the lines of the conversation, I picked up more than what was being said. I heard:
- It's not fair
- Aren't I already enough?
- Isn't my work enough?
- Shouldn't full patient books happen automatically?
- Marketing scares and overwhelms me
- Marketing feels unethical
- I don't know what to do so I'm going to do nothing
- I'm tired
What do you think? Can you relate to this situation? Did you hear anything else?
My response ...
Here's what I said in return:
- I'm sorry that marketing seems overwhelming, unworkable and confusing (and I truly am - it doesn't have to be this way)
- Marketing is a necessity for any business owner including health and medical practices
- I wish the situation were as simple as leasing an office, getting an attractive logo and signage and hanging up an "open for business" sign, but that's not enough (and actually never was)
- The overwhelm can be simplified
- Yes your competitors are ahead of the game, but you can expand your brand awareness and meet or exceed their visibility
- You can ethically leverage your expertise and experience
- You can attract more patients in ethical ways
- It's never too late to boost your business to the level it and you deserve
- You can start today
Hopefully you just breathed a sigh of relief.
Key ingredients for success
Here are some examples of what works well and achieves competitive advantage:
- Defining your niche
- Demonstrating your niche
- Local area visibility
- Being visible online
- Being easy to book and refer
- Adding value to your patients
- Claiming and communicating thought leadership
- Relationships with referral sources
- Delivering exceptional service
- Asking patients what they want and need
- Staying in touch and top of mind
- Building a community for your clients
For more information, see my blog "Top Six Lead Generation Strategies for Health Practices".
Putting your marketing program together
You can achieve competitive advantage in one to two hours per week. Download the following free checklist to evaluate your current marketing progress / success and identify areas for improvement:
For more information or assistance with your private practice marketing, please contact Megan Walker on 0417 602 390 or email megan[@]marketsavvy.com.au.