Like most allied health practitioners, you’re probably frustrated that you’re not only a better practitioner but also more caring, honest, and trustworthy.
And yet, no one seems to know how good you are until they buy.
So what’s the solution?
We believe that marketing for allied health isn’t about getting your name out there. It’s about getting the ideal patient through the door.
The Problem with Traditional Marketing Methods
Patients have become savvier and more health conscious in recent years. What does that mean?
We live in an era where information is at our fingertips. If we want to know more about a service or product, all we have to do is “Google it”. With this comes increased transparency, and reviews are easily accessible (a contentious issue, I know!)
Traditional marketing methods aim to get your name and brand out there. The thinking behind this was that if patients knew your name, they would be more likely to come to you when they needed help. But now that patients can research and find the best practitioner for their needs simply getting your name out there isn’t enough.
This type of marketing is called mass marketing. It’s a “spray-and-pray” approach where you cast a wide net and hope that some people you reach will need your services.
The problem is, it’s very expensive.
You must pay to place ads in magazines, newspapers, billboards, or TV. And, being a small business, we probably only have the budgets for a fraction of these.
Even worse, you never know who you’re reaching with mass marketing.
Are the people who see your ad actually in need of your services?
So if traditional marketing methods are no longer effective, what can you do to market your allied health practice?
The answer is simple: focus on getting the right patients through the door.
Getting the Right Patients Through the Door
The key to success is attracting patients who are a good match for your practice.
When you know your ideal patient, you can target your marketing efforts specifically at them. You’ll also be able to develop a rapport with them and build trust, which is essential for converting leads into paying clients.
So, how do we know who our ideal patient is? Like anything in life, we have to plan.
A marketing plan is a road map that will take you from where you are now to where you want to be. It will help you to identify your ideal patient, understand what they need and want, and develop a marketing strategy to reach them.
Your marketing plan should answer the following:
- Get Clear on where you want to go
- Identify your ideal patient. (Target Market)
- Establish a message to your target marketing
- Where to attract your ideal customer.
Creating an allied health marketing plan
This may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.
Start by watching our latest webinar, which will walk you through a simple way to create your marketing plan.
First, establish how you want this business to end.
Always have a goal in mind. Where do you want to grow your clinic too? What is the 5-year plan?
Some examples could be:
- I want to open three clinics in my city.
- I want to have a full schedule and be booked out four weeks in advance
- I want to work part-time to spend more time with my family.
- I want to take my business online and offer courses/programs
Identify your ideal patient
The best way to do this is to determine who your ideal patient is.
This might seem like a simple task, but you’d be surprised how many people skip over this step or don’t give it enough thought.
My approach is to go through the data.
Data tells a story. Look at your practice management software and analyse your most recent patients. Look at their demographics, major complaint, and how they found you. This will give you some great insights into who your ideal patient is.
If you don’t have a lot of data to work with yet, or if you want to get even more specific, consider using Google Analytics / Google Search Console and Facebook Insights to understand who is visiting your website and engaging with your content. These platforms can give you detailed information about the age, gender, location, interests, what they’re searching for on Google and the income of your website visitors and social media followers.
Once you have this data, start to build a picture of who your ideal patient is. Create a “patient persona” by giving them a name, an age, a job title
Then ask yourself: Who needs my help?
Some factors to consider when defining your ideal patient are:
- Income level
- Employment status
- Family situation
- Health condition/s
Establish the message to your target marketing
We’ve all heard of the elevator pitch. If not, the elevator pitch is a 30-second overview of your business that you can share with someone, should you find yourself in an elevator with them.
The premise behind the elevator pitch is that you never know when or where you’ll meet your next potential customer, so it’s important to be prepared.
Consider what sets your practice apart from others when creating your elevator pitch. What are the unique selling points (USPs) of your business?
Some examples of USPs could begin with:
- We offer a natural approach to health and well-being
- We have a convenient location
- We offer extended hours
- We offer a holistic approach to care
- Our team has extensive experience in treating a certain condition
In the below video, Dr. Evans teaches us the importance of developing a simple “elevator pitch” for the complicated and specialized work we do.
Establish where your target marketing is online
The internet is vast. Certain demographics tend to have different places they hang out online. Facebook, Facebook forums, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok. There are so many options, and deciding where to focus your time and energy can be difficult.
Again, looking at the data is the best way to approach this. Where are your ideal patients spending their time online? If unsure, consider asking which social media platforms or websites your target market visits when they’re next in the clinic.
You might find that your ideal patient is active in a particular Facebook group, or they might be reading a certain blog. Once you know where they are, you can start to engage with them in those spaces.
Another way to attract your ideal customer is by creating content that speaks to their needs. If you’re a naturopath and you want to attract patients with anxiety, consider writing blog posts or creating social media content around topics like “herbs for anxiety”, “natural ways to reduce stress”, or “how to deal with anxiety without medication”.
Content like this will attract your ideal patient and help establish you as an expert in your field.
To succeed in marketing for allied health, it’s important to focus on attracting the right patients rather than just getting your name out there. By tailoring your marketing messages to appeal to your ideal patient and developing a rapport with them, you’ll be able to build trust and convert leads into paying clients.