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Medical Practice Business And Marketing Articles

Article #15 - Sep. 2010


“How To Use Social Marketing To Grow
Your Medical Practice”
(PART 1 OF 2)

Find out why social networking may not be for any doctor.

Don’t doubt it for a second!  We are living in a world where social interaction in one way or another affects our personal lives, our businesses, and the future of our careers.

The wildfire of social marketing has invaded the world so rapidly, like nobody has anything else to do but “tweet” their private word of mouth thoughts into the universal digital news wire, that it has become a focus of attention for everyone around the world. 

In a split second, an unknown replicant can type some thoughts into their computer and the world can read it a minute later. It’s another technological miracle that, from a business standpoint, can produce profits. And, for decaying medical practices, it is a tool that is riding the wave of
public sentiment.

As our Vice President, among others, have said, “let’s use this uncontrolled environmental unrest to our advantage.”
 

Methods for using social networking in your medical practice

In case you haven’t noticed, what used to be simple fun and social chatter
on social networks Twitter, Facebook, My Space, LinkedIn, and many other social networks sites on the Internet, is now a significant and productive platform for building businesses of almost any type. 

The process has evolved from idle communication to a business building model.  The proof of the model as a recruitment strategy for attracting customers is no longer questioned.

It works because of the age old “familiarity principle.”  When you get to know someone, you trust them.  When you trust them, you buy into what they are saying, selling, advocating, predicting, advising, or offering in exchange for being friends.

Are people so desperate for friendship that they are willing to sacrifice their privacy for the sake of online communications? From a business point of view, these are not lifetime value customers that all profitable businesses
urgently need.

Physicians and all other health care providers have an opportunity to tap into this recruitment system (successful businesses are built on systems).  For medical offices, it’s a means of attracting new patients, retaining present patients, and gathering back previously lost patients... if done appropriately.

However, the effort requires a full time person assigned to the task of posting messages day after day to accomplish recruiting significant numbers of patients. For commercial businesses the process may become lucrative. For professional offices... it's not.

You can apply these social marketing strategies in your medical office, in the public arena, and in the Internet sphere.  I do believe, and need to alert you, that this wave of social dependency is presently in its birthing stages.  Creative minds will continue to open new opportunities in this communication medium that no one has thought of yet. 

With the rapid technological expansion, you will probably discover many new methods for using social media for building your medical practice. You can try it and make your own evaluation whether it's worth the time, money
and effort. 

Practical applications of social marketing for your medical office that deserve far more of your attention...

  1. Patient bulletin board

    One of the most boring areas patients have to tolerate is the reception area or waiting room.  Patients rarely go directly from the check-in counter to the exam room, so a productive place to put up a bulletin board for patients is in the reception area.  It’s the perfect place for medical educational materials as well.  Patients will rarely pick up educational information on their way out of the office, but they will read and learn while waiting.

    Magazines, outdated often, have been the traditional way to occupy patients minds while they are waiting to see the medical provider.  It’s difficult provide a magazine or newspaper that is interesting enough for the majority of patients to pick up and read.  Patients have medical thoughts on their minds in that environment and you need to provide them materials for that need and desire. 

    Patients are far more likely to pay attention to and read literature about healthcare and medical problems, especially when they know they probably won’t run into the opportunity to have access to those informational products anywhere else, at least without having to
    pay for them. 

    A four by six foot cork bulletin board with a lockable glass door in the waiting room area should be easily manageable for most medical offices. 

    If you decide to have one, someone has to be responsible for keeping fresh materials posted there, or don’t have one.  An outdated bulletin board downgrades the perception of your office.  I visit a medical clinic a couple times a year and can’t help but notice that 95% of the posted materials never change on their bulletin board.

    The lockable door prevents predators from scavenging the posted items that irritates them, or they are too lazy to ask the receptionist to make a copy for them to take home.  Also, small children are attracted to the push pins, or clips, that hold the items on the bulletin board (a safety and liability issue), but we shouldn’t call them predators… right?
    Hence, the use of a glass lockable door.

    The bulletin board is strictly for your patient’s benefit, but secondarily for your benefit as well.  The purpose is to promote your medical practice by placement of items there that educate patients on the services you provide that other doctors don’t provide, or that you are better at than they are. 

    And, items that demonstrate to patients that you care about them, you understand their medical problems, are attuned to their issues with the health care problems, and are eager to ease the pain of what patients have to tolerate from the health care system.  Use you creative mind to make it a focal point for patients. 

    I recently read about a doctor who used a very effective marketing strategy using his bulletin board.  He would invite his patients to tell him about what things they are doing in the community that are exemplary, their awards and accomplishments, and their secrets for success and happiness. 

    He would then take clips about that from the newspaper or write up a summary of what the patient has done, added a photo of the patient, and had a corner of the bulletin board marked off specifically for featuring one of his patients each week or month. 

    Recognition is an emotional factor that affects a person more and longer than most other accolades they receive.  If you are a Nascar fan and watch every single winning driver’s actions in the winner’s circle after the race, then you know what I mean.
     

  2. Patient Health Newsletter

    Because most patients now have access to and use computers, the best distribution format is by digital email. Not only is it free to send, at least at this time, but may reach more of your patients than by direct mail to their mailbox. 

    The first problem usually is they have to find the email and then have to read it at a time when they’re overwhelmed by dozens of other emails filling their screen yet to read and scan. 

    Surveys often show that a printed hard copy health or medical newsletter is in more of a demand than an email newsletter for several reasons. 

    Literally hundreds of real and spammed emails hit your computer weekly.  Many are filtered out and the patient never sees them.  Most are deleted after they are read leaving nothing in memory to think about again later, nor anything a patient is likely by word of mouth to tell someone else about later.
     
    Printed newsletters sent to patients by direct mail (USPS), in my opinion, is much more effective for marketing your medical practice than email.  It has very little competition for the mental attention of the patient so it will be read more intently. 

    When the newsletter is lying on the kitchen counter or your reading stand, it can be picked up and read cover to cover at a quiet convenient time or carried to work and read on the coffee break, or at lunch time where others will latch on to it and read it as well. 

    Even neighbors visit their home and pick up the newsletter they have on top of the pile of “items to read,” because they are curious, and their doctor doesn’t have a newsletter for their patients.  Can you see the value of the process?

    The disadvantages of a print version of your health newsletter are cost of mailing, time spent on creating content for the newsletter, and keeping the news current.  Last week’s news just doesn’t cut it.  You can start with sending a medical newsletter once a month, never longer between than one month. 

    Then, when you get comfortable with the process and patients like what you write, you have the option of sending it every one to two weeks, never oftener than once a week.  As a last resort, many online websites allow you to use their medical articles and information for free.

{Part 2 will cover social marketing outside of your medical office}

The author, Curt Graham, is a highly experienced business and marketing expert, copywriter, and entrepreneur who has been published in various media over 50 years while in medical practice and after.
Discover what it takes for you to reach the optimal limits of your potential in medical practice, and how to do it: Click The Link NOW!
www.howtopropelyourmedicalpracticeincome.com

© 2004-2011, Curt Graham M.D., All rights reserved.

      handwritten signature of Dr. Graham

Article #15A

ARTICLE---DAN KENNEDY

photo Dan kenney riding on a bull

Why People Fail

A series of No B.S. articles from Dan Kennedy
 

"There Are Two Basic Ways"

There are two basic ways people can react, when they are have-not’s, observing have’s; when they are not doing nearly as well as some others in their field, industry or community. One is to justify their unsatisfactory results, make excuses, blame others, and develop resentment toward the exceptionally successful. The other is to study those who are achieving, seek information about their methods, accept full responsibility for results, and ultimately lift themselves up.

There are two basic ways people can react when they face adverse circumstances – anything from a slump in the economy making selling their wares or services more difficult to something more serious and personal, such as diagnosis of a debilitating disease. One is to surrender. The other is to acquire important ‘how-to’ information, aggressively make changes, develop personal motivation, and be a warrior.

There are two basic ways people can react, when they encounter subject matter they find difficult and complex, and that they don’t easily and quickly understand. One is to turn their back on it. Put the book away. Quit the course. Leave the group. Go in search of something easier, simpler and less demanding. Even insist “it doesn’t work” despite abundant evidence
that it does.

The other is to re-double efforts, get help from a tutor or mentor, burn the midnight oil, be creative, persistent. In essence, you can either move yourself up to a higher level of know-how, skill, capability and, thus, value, or you can settle into a more comfortable, less challenging, thus less rewarding routine and rhythm of living.

The most basic example of this: two people reading a book come upon a word they do not know the meaning of. One skips over it, and if he encounters too many ‘difficult words’ he sets the book aside. The other gets a dictionary and looks up the unknown words in order to improve himself. One stays put where he is intellectually, the other moves up.

The most important word in all of the above words is... can.

There is always something you can do about anything, in order to improve your situation. You aren’t a tree. You’re a human. You can move. When you walk past a Mrs. Fields Cookies store in the mall, know the entire company exists because, when nobody was coming in to her first store, Debbi Fields did not sit there – she put fresh-baked cookies on a platter and went
out onto the street.

When you walk past the Kenneth Cole shoe store, know that exists because, when lacking money to exhibit his line at his first trade show, and told by New York City he could not park a truck-based exhibit outside the hall in the street, he did not take ‘no’ for an answer and persisted and figured out a creative way to station that exhibit out on that street, and launched his line. 

After years of lackluster sales in department stores, the manufacturer of a little counter-top grill moved it to TV infomercials and hired George Foreman as its pitchperson. Jeff Bezos moved the bookstore to the internet and birthed amazon. Subway moved from just another fast food choice to being a weight loss program with Jared.

Jean Nidetech moved diets from the doctor’s office and drug-store to classes in living rooms, and created Weight-Watchers. Countless people have moved from ghetto, from orphanage, from bankruptcy, from scandal to success, wealth, prominence. Limited space here forces me to cut the examples short.

Years back, a book given to just about all wet-behind-ears sales rookies was written by Frank Bettger, a baseball player turned insurance salesman. Its title is: How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling. You need never read the book to know the first and most important “How”. It, Frank deciding that he could, and accepting responsibility for doing so.

The WHY PEOPLE FAIL articles are provided by Dan S. Kennedy, serial entrepreneur, from-scratch multi-millionaire, speaker,
consultant, coach,Author of over 13 books including the No B.S. series (
www.NoBSBooks.com), and editor of The
No B.S. Marketing Letter. WE HAVE
ARRANGED A SPECIAL FREE GIFT FROM DAN FOR YOU including
a 2-Month Free Membership in Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle, newsletters, audio CD’s and more: for information and to register, visit:

 

Articles © 2010/Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle LLC. All rights reserved.

GIFT OFFER FROM DR. GRAHAM-----  https://gkic.infusionsoft.com/go/newmifge/drgraham

 

masonic emblem bright colored American flag   Curt Graham, M.D.
   2404 Mason Ave.  Las Vegas, NV 89102
    E-mail = cgmdrx(at)gmail.com
 
     © 2004 - 2015  Curtis Graham, M.D.,  All Rights Reserved.