Attract New Patients and Grow Your Practice with a Strong Brand
Strengthening your brand not only increases visibility and awareness, but also supports your reputation with the public who have become mindful consumers of their health.
Studies show that despite any referrals by friends, families, or other doctors, 8 out of 10 people will go online to check out a doctor or health professional before making an appointment.
The question is whether you are content to let all the patients go to your colleagues instead of you or whether you would like to grow your practice and increase your revenue. Will you win the competition?
Think about who you are, what you provide, and the image you would like to portray.
This reminds me of an event that happened to me last week.
I won! An email announced me as a winner of dinner at a posh restaurant and a photo session sponsored by a portrait studio.
Eagerly, I made the appointment for the following week and showed up with two outfits for the camera shots. When asked why I came and what I hoped to get, I stated that new photos would be lovely to freshen my website.
After getting dressed and primping, I was led into a room with props and a photographer who directed me to stand or sit in various staid Victorian poses. After the session, I was led into another room where the photos were projected onto the wall and I was asked to select the one I liked the best for printing and framing. The purpose was to paint out imperfections and make them look like an artistic rendition.
At this point, I asked if they could send me the other photos in digital versions for my website and social media platforms for a fee. The response was strong and adamant. “We do not provide services like that. This is a studio that provides portraits”.
Again, I asked for the other photos for digital use and was flatly denied. The response was that providing quality portraits is what they do. If they were to veer off, it would sully their brand. Everyone knows that they represent portraits and when someone wants one, they know to call their studio. They knew their brand, others knew their branding and they were not willing to compromise on that.
The thing is, despite being disappointed, I knew they were right. Your reputation and the perception of who you are is everything.
Being a physician and a copywriter for the health community, I strengthen brands as part of what I do. This is what I am known for. Unlike most marketers, I am also a physician of medicine. This is unique.
Since I’ve worked in the trenches with you, I understand what you go through and what you do to attract your patients. There are various strategies that boost the perception of you being the best at what you do and it would be great if others knew more about you, the hard-working and deserving professional.
Brand value is what people perceive of your services and products. High-quality brands attract those mindful consumers as potential patients as well as retain those that are currently patients of your practice. Continuously bolstering your brand is necessary for the long-term success of your practice. It is no longer a matter only of success now. It is a matter of survival.
Strategy to strengthen your brand
There are 3 steps that you can implement now to strengthen your brand:
Having the same opinions, tone of voice, and language usage allows the mindful consumer to think of you (and allows the search engines to identify you as well).
Use the same color, fonts, and shapes on all your assets- website pages, newsletters, emails, blogs, social media posts, packaging, and anything else you produce. Speak with “one voice” so that others can identify with you.
As a professional, you will have degrees from universities. People want to know where your training is from. Of course, they also want to see that you are licensed in the state and field that you are practicing in. This is also a good section to be placing your awards and any recognition that you’ve received from associations, communities, and media.
Satisfaction comes from engagement and emotional connections. People need to feel that you are empathetic and caring. Having loyalty programs show value to patients.
Satisfaction is also reflected by ratings and reviews. This incorporates testimonials. It is crucial that you have reputation management in place because if this area is left ignored and there are poor reviews, your practice can tank overnight.
The value of your brand boils down to exclusivity or uniqueness. It’s the way you set yourself apart from all others in your field. You must be able to communicate well with others and be consistent throughout all marketing channels, all the while being mindful of your reputation.
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Barbara Hales is a physician, consultant, and freelance writer for the medical industry. She has appeared on CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, PBS, and over 50 radio shows. Dr. Hales produces a podcast called Marketing Tips for Doctors and can be reached at Barbara@barbarahalesmd.com