For most clinics, employing dedicated marketing staff is out of the question. How do you do private practice marketing on a budget to actively push growth?
The reality is that marketing a private practice is difficult. But there are several techniques that can make it a lot easier. Instead of hiring new staff to drive sales, see if you could get existing staff to integrate marketing activities into their roles.
Private practice marketing on a budget can be easier
With all the online tools available today, small businesses don’t need a sales team or marketing department. With a little time and effort, there is a whole world of opportunities to spread the word about your business. Identify an employee, who can manage your clinic’s Facebook Page, review and respond to enquiries and posts, write articles about recent events and so on.
It should be standard practice that reception staff request contact details (especially email addresses) for new patients and enquirers for purpose of marketing. A mailing list is a great tool to keep existing clients engaged and to develop relationships with potential clients.
Be aware of employees’ skills and interests
If your staff (whether they are hands-on service providers or not) show an interest in social media, blogging or community involvement, make the most of it. For example, if one of your therapists likes to write about her speciality, ask them to write a weekly blog. This can include thoughts on the developments in the industry or any interesting observations. This is a great way for them to build personal authority too. Let them really run with it and make it their own.
Identify someone who can take the lead
If you have somebody in your practice who is particularly dynamic and organised, ask them to move into a business development role. If they are a skilled communicator, ask them to push referrals from physicians and patients. If you can, pick an enthusiastic and outgoing person who can easily talk to patients and is not afraid to ask them to recommend your clinic to friends and relatives. With the right person, this will be second nature.
Not everything should be handled in-house
Just remember that some professional services are best left to professionals. There is no point taking up your staff time that costs you $30 per hour for services that can be outsourced for much less. For example, website design and maintenance is not something you should do in-house.
It is important to find your employees’ strengths and allow them to be used in a way that is both natural to them and beneficial for your business. As a rule of thumb, it is best to maximise your existing talent pool before hiring externally.