Medical Professionals by and large are ahead of the curve when it comes to using the internet as an effective tool for marketing their practice. But, when it comes to having the mindset of a marketing doctor many plastics surgeons are just catching on to the idea of marketing themselves as well.
The basics of being a marketing doctor and marketing your practice are the same. In the article, Be Proactive about Your On-Line Reputation, we examined some basics of a sound internet marketing strategy. These include:
- Assume Everything Will Eventually Make its Way to the Web
- Find a Style that Matches You and Stick With It
- Put Your Best Foot Forward
- Join the Community and Above All Don’t Be Seen as a Pitch Man
- Check Your Online Reputation as Often as Your Stocks
- Know Your Weakest Link
Adding to those basics you need to begin to think and act like a marketing doctor. Assuming you are past the stigma of the term marketing, it is time to assume a personal and direct role in marketing not just your practice but yourself. The main difference in marketing your practice and becoming a marketing doctor is simple: the former involves telling people about your office, staff and available procedures while the later has to do with establishing your place as an expert in your field.
Becoming a marketing doctor takes places on three fronts:
Your Staff: Take time to teach your staff about who you are as a doctor. They need to know about your educational background, extended training and you areas of expertise. Oddly enough, many medical practice staff personnel don’t understand what their physician’s background or main focus of plastic surgery is. They need to see your vision for who you are as a doctor and what you want your practice to reflect. Once that happens they then become a great resource for staff testimonials on your blog or web site.
Your Patients: This same principle applies with current and former patients. Take the time to answer patients’ questions, use your web site as an educational and support tool, and highlight new procedures you have perfected. Your medical website can extend this outside of office hours and beyond the confines of your physical presence. The marketing doctor understands what a valuable asset satisfied patients are and encourages them to become a part of spreading the word.
A Referral Network: 40% of your business in doctor marketing relies on strong relationships with primary care physicians and specialists who need a plastic surgeon for which to refer patients. Most physicians have learned how to develop these relationships personally but that needs to carry a step further into your internet marketing strategy. Consider offering a referral on your blog to someone in your physicians’ network. Give them the limelight and ask for none in return.
Some doctors balk at the idea of being a marketing doctor. They wrongly believe their profession is above such “lowly tactics” as marketing. If you are one of those, stop and think about it more carefully for a moment. There was a time when renting an office and hanging up a sign was all the marketing a physician needed. Even so, that was still marketing. People had to know where you were and how you could help them. Think of your web site and other social media tools as the modern version of hanging out your shingle.