Are you starting to panic that you’ve not got enough clients coming through your door? Do you look at the empty appointments in your diary and wonder where your next patient is coming from?
Often times people who work in healthcare are great their jobs but marketing, less so. Sometimes promoting yourself feels awkward and uncomfortable and as a result you don’t have the flow of patients that you should have.
Here are 5 reasons why you don’t have the volume of patients that you should.
You’re not promoting yourself consistently
We all know that we need to be marketing ourselves consistently. This can be either with a regular blog post, a regular email, regularly posting on social media, holding regular events and so on. There are a lot of things that you can do regularly that will help build your profile.
Pick one thing you know you should be focusing on (you’ll know what it is. It’s the thing on your to do list you keep putting off!) and commit to doing that one thing daily, or weekly, but do it consistently!
You’re not clear on what you want potential clients to do
You may know what products or services yourself but do your potential customers? When you’re posting on social media do you tell people what you want them to do? Do you have a Call to Action? Do you say “make an appointment with me” or “click here to make a booking” or “download my top tips to find out how this can help you”? There are so many ways to ask somebody to take an action, are you asking people to do this?
If you don’t tell people what you want them to do they won’t know what to do.
There are so many ways to reach an audience. It’s tempting to try them all. So one week you’ll be posting on your Facebook page, then you’ll be tempted over to Twitter for a few weeks, then you’ll think everyone else is on Instagram so I should be there too and you’ll try that for a few weeks.
The result? You’ll end up with nothing!
Pick social media and get really good at that before you start posting on another. Most people start with Facebook and many just end there, but whichever you choose you will find potential clients and customers. People are everywhere on all sorts of social media so whatever you choose, if you stick with it and be consistent, you’ll find potential clients on there.
Who is your ideal client?
How well can you answer this question? Many people who work and health and wellness feel that everyone would benefit from seeing them. But that doesn’t mean that everyone wants to see you, all that you should be trying to target everyone. As Mark Schaefer says you’re not pizza so don’t try and appeal to everyone.
Pick one type of customer and talk to them only. Once you have got a flow of clients that match this profile then you can start to widen it. For example if you are an Osteopath then you will be helping lots of people with lower back pain, mostly caused by not moving enough and working at a desk. So think about what other characteristics these people have and talk to them through your marketing.
You don’t have a plan
Remember when you’re at school and as your exams were approaching, you would write a revision plan for all the revising you had to do in order to be ready for your exams? Or was that just me?!
Promoting your business is no different. You need to have a plan so you know what you’re doing and when. Not only does this mean that you know what’s coming up, but it makes life so much easier.
Your social media posts, your emails, your events and whatever other marketing tactics you are doing should all be in this calendar so you know what you’re saying and when.
If any of this sounds familiar and you’d like a strategy and plan to promote your business, let me know. We can set up a free 30 minute call where I’ll give you some tactics to get you going. (And if you’d like to take things further and really have someone make a difference to your business we can talk about that too!)
At the end of the year you see the posts on social media:
Have you got your plan for 2019?
Ready to start January with a bang?
What are your goals for the new year?
What’s your word of the year?
and so on….
Last year my word was relentless. And I wasn’t. I have two young children and I was being over-ambitious as last year they were even younger (a 3 year old and under one year old then!). Now, they’re slightly older, but I’ve realised I don’t want to be relentless.
I work two days a week, and the rest of the time I’m mum. That’s fine with me. My two boys will only be little for a short period of time, and I can work around them at the moment.
Instead this year I’ve decided to focus on how I want to feel, not what I want to do. And this year I want to feel like a heroine.
Yep. I’ve decided I get to be the hero, or heroine, in my story. So each time I feel uncomfortable about something, or I need to push myself, or I just need to eat that frog, I think about being a heroine, and what that means.
To me it means taking chances, putting myself out there, doing things I haven’t been doing and so on. And I’ve started as a I mean to go on in 2019. (More on that in another post!)
Here’s to a heroic 2019!
I’ve got an exclusive for you
See? Made you look didn’t it?!
The last few days I’ve received emails from various businesses that have given me an exclusive because I’m on their email list/ a loyal customer. This is what I’ve had:
- An email offering me first dibs on the heavily discounted range of children’s play products which are not in perfect condition.
- A discount off year round delivery from Oasis. They offer free delivery for a year for £10. I bought some clothes from there and paid £3 for delivery. They then sent me an email saying if I bought something else by the end of the month I could get year round delivery for £7 (as I spent £3 last time on delivery £3 + £7 = £10)
- Exclusive access to the Marks and Spencer sale online before it’s opened to the general public. (Next does this as well for their card holders)
- A discount of 70% off the next round of an online course I did recently.
We all love an exclusive offer because it makes us feel special, and wanted. That’s a really powerful way to treat your clients and patients. Give them something just for them, and they’ll love you in return.
So have a think. What could you offer just for your patients?
A time limited discount off your best selling service? Eg 15% off all sports massages but only if you book by Monday.
A buy 2 get 1 free on a product you sell
Refer a friend and you’ll both receive 20% off
An extra treatment at their next appointment
There are many ways to offer a discount or an extra, so have a think and see what you could offer your patients today.
Twitter – home to 284 million active users (Twitter), 63% of all brands (Jeff Bullas) and accounts for a platform where users commit 170 minutes every month (Rocket Post). All of which shows the benefits of being on Twitter, and making it work for you. So, here are 10 industry-insider hacks and short cuts to help you in building relationships and building your follower count.
- First of all – Work out why you’re on Twitter in the first place
Are you looking to establish yourself as a thought-leader, an industry-expert or source of news and views? Are you hoping to connect with influencers, local people, and local businesses? Perhaps you’re hoping to use Twitter to give exceptional customer service (just as these brands are doing). Working out why you want to be on Twitter will help shape any marketing strategy that you should be building around your goals.
- Engage with the platform yourself – Follow brands and people of interest
Twitter is a two-way street – follow active consumers or businesses in your target market. This is also a great way to gather some market research. What’s more, following your competitors can inform your own Tweeting approach.
- Opt for reciprocal following in your early days
Reciprocal following (where you follow people who sometimes choose to follow back) can be effective to build an initial following – so check in on your competitors’ followers.
A word of caution however – don’t do this on-mass, Twitter has strict policies on aggressive following and your account could get banned.
- Advertise your Twitter presence EVERYWHERE
Let people know they can connect with you on Twitter. Put it on your website, your email signature and onto every piece of printed material your business uses.
- Uncover conversations
Discover what people are talking about in relation to your industry by searching hashtags and key terms surrounded by quotation marks.
- Capitalise upon others’ content by re-tweeting updates your followers will find interesting
This tip is a quick-fire way to build a follower based – but don’t overdo it! Make sure you’re posting you own thoughts and content too.
- Get involved in the conversation and use hashtags
You know those hashtags you see pop up at the beginning of tv programmes? That’s for you to use when giving your thoughts on the tv programme on social media. Twitter is ALL about the conversation. So see what hashtags are trending, and join in with your thoughts. Tweet about what you’re watching on tv. Don’t forget to add your own hashtags to your posts too!
- Analyse what’s working, what isn’t and what needs a little work
In your twitter account you’ll find analytics. Take a look at these and see what types of tweets are working best for you, what time of day your tweets get the most engagement and tweak your tweets (easy to say!) so you get the most from the platform. The importance of comprehensive analysis of your social media efforts is not to be underestimated – platforms such as Hootsuite, Agorapulse or SocialPilot will provide insight into how each Tweet is performing – and even extends to the types of Tweets in relation to the action your visitors take on your website.
- Schedule your activity
Managing your social media is time consuming. You can use Hootsuite, Agorapulse or SocialPilot to streamline your efforts and keep you tweeting even when you’re too busy. Just remember however, that you still need to directly reply to anyone who tweets you!
- Don’t just tweet about work. Tweet personal things too!
It’s tempting when you just want to grow your business to only show your professional side on social media. But remember you’re a person with other interests and your potential patients like seeing what you like and do in your spare time. I’d suggest doing 80% professional tweets about your practice, your job, testimonials etc, but use the other 20% to talk about you and what you’re up to.
The other day I went to collect my two children from nursery. I have two boys – Ben and Tom. Ben is 3 and a half years old and Tom is 18 months old. When I was there I was speaking to the ladies that look after them and one of them said that they had been chatting to Ben about jobs.
They asked him, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” He said, “I want to be a firefighter.” Which is true he does want to be a firefighter when he grows up. They then asked him, “what does Daddy do?” He said, “He’s a pilot.” Which is also true, his dad flies planes. They then asked him what does Mummy do? Ben replied, “Mummy does washing up and things like that.”
My initial reaction was to laugh because it’s really quite funny. On the other hand it’s a bit cringe that my son thinks all I do is washing up. However, overall, it really doesn’t matter. The most important thing is that he is cared for, he’s loved, he’s safe, he’s happy, he’s learning, he’s playing and he’s doing all the things that young children should be doing.
The other reason it doesn’t matter is because he’s not my target market. It doesn’t matter that my three and a half year old thinks all I do is washing-up.
What matters is the people that I’m trying to reach know what I do. So, if you don’t know I help health and wellness business owners to get more clients, so they can build a thriving business without spending countless hours learning and doing their own marketing.
This got me thinking.
What are you doing to get your message out to your target market?
What are you doing to make sure that you are speaking to the people that you need to be speaking to?
Are you posting in local Facebook groups?
Are you connecting with local people on Twitter or Instagram?
Are you regularly emailing your past clients?
Are you giving presentations and talks?
Do you offer refer a friend schemes to your clients?
Are you updating your website regularly with a blog that you’re then promoting in your local area, whether that’s with local media or social media?
Are you being proactive to help get those clients and through your door? Because if you’re not then your target market doesn’t know who you are, doesn’t know what you can do, and doesn’t know how you can help them.
So my advice to you is to take a look at what you’re doing to promote your business and think of three actions you could take today to grow your business.
It might be something simple like:
- Schedule the next fortnight’s Facebook posts and tweets
- Find local Facebook groups that you can post in
- Find local Twitter chats that you can join
- See what local hashtags you can use on Instagram
- Take a look at your local newspapers and magazines, see what they write about, and think about what you could send to them that would get you featured in your local press.
So have a think, sit down now and just write 3 things that you could do, and do them today!