In this episode, Dr. Barbara Hales discusses:

  • The Shiny Penny Syndrome
  • How to outsource businesses and medical practices
  • What to know when vetting companies to outsource services
  • How Marketing can help with building a Medical Practice

Key Takeaways:

“You have to invest time and effort into one thing. If that is working well, you could then go on to the next thing.” – Dr. Barbara Hales

Connect with Barbara Hales:

Twitter:   @DrBarbaraHales



Show website:



YouTube: TheMedicalStrategist



Dr. Barbara Hales: Welcome to another episode of marketing tips for doctors. I’m your host, Dr. Barbara Hales.

Today, we have an interesting topic that we would like to discuss. And that is a syndrome called chasing The Shiny Penny. This is a syndrome where you jump from strategy and platform to the next, and then the next.  Every time you hear something it sounds like it’s just what you need instead of focusing on your one plan of action.  And there are so many out there.

The Shiny Penny Syndrome

Dr. Barbara Hales: So you are chasing the new thing that is supposedly the “it” thing. That is going to get you the most patients, the most business right now, for the least amount of work, and in the least amount of time. And then you hear the next thing. So you look into that, or you start that and invest the money in it. And then you see the next thing and you say, “Now this one is even better.” That is what we call Chasing the Shiny Penny, or the Shiny Penny Syndrome because each new penny attracts you and diverts your attention.

You’re chasing the new opportunity and forgetting about all of your core marketing that brought you where you are today and the success that you’re currently having. Every time you chase a new thing, or a new marketing campaign, it’s just not going to work. Because the matter is that you have to invest time and effort into one thing, if that is working well, you could then go on to the next thing. But otherwise, you’re just chasing your tail. It’s just a vicious cycle.

Connecting with Patients

Dr. Barbara Hales: Now, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be creative or start new things. You just can’t be jumping from one thing to the next to the next. Maybe you’ve heard of TikTok, and maybe you even spent a lot of time looking at the videos and laughing and getting sucked into the black hole where one or two videos that you are going to see wind up being one or two hours later. Maybe you’ve listened to some clubhouses and said, “Wow, most of my colleagues are not on Clubhouse, yet I can really make an impression on prospective patients there and attract new patients.”

What you need to ask yourself is where do your patients actually hang out. Your goal is to educate, entertain, and engage. But consider how you get more patients, not simply how to be more popular on various new social media sites like the latest rage on TikTok or YouTube.

A Call to Action

Dr. Barbara Hales: Ideally, you’re not going for the most fans or the most followers. Instead, you’re going for what will bring in the ideal patients.  This brings me to the next mistake that people often make which is omitting a call to action. Sure, you want your blog posts, videos, and social media to be entertaining, but you don’t want to have viewers and readers say, “That was interesting,” and then click the next person’s entry. Rather, you want them to take the next step that you direct them to.

One of the main sources of marketing that every business and practice should have is email marketing, and that is because you don’t need to buy a list. You have patients presumably already. You’re getting referrals from patients already. What you need to do is get their email as part of registering them. Then you can start your email campaigns, sending them interesting bits of information that your patients would like to hear about and not just birthday announcements.

Call to action would be under the realm of the office to schedule an appointment. If people are viewing your site and are not quite ready to make that appointment, offer a  subscription to a newsletter or a lead magnet, like get the ten most popular questions and answers from the office, for instance.


Dr. Barbara Hales: But if marketing is something that’s important to you, which it should be so that you can let prospective patients in your community know about you, but you don’t have the time or interest to do it, no problem. Outsource it. Two questions asked in every business and medical practice now are “Should I outsource my marketing?” And “How do I find the source that suits my practice best?”

For the first question, on whether to outsource your marketing, ask yourself, do I have the time and interest in doing my marketing effectively? If not, then maybe outsourcing is for you. Most businesses, healthcare facilities, and doctor’s offices recognize that marketing plays a key role in helping the practice grow and standing out amongst the competition. Social media specialists also help with your reputation and damage control. Patients want to engage with you and do not want to be ignored.

Key Questions

Here are some questions to ask yourself when vetting companies to outsource services. Consider these key questions:

  • How do they look? Check out the company website. Look at the following traits.
  • Do you find the website design and graphics pleasing?
  • Is the site functional, or are the links that are broken?
  • Is it easy to navigate?
  • Is it user-friendly?
  • Is the content of high quality and without grammar or spelling errors?
  • Does it have a call to action?
  • Is it compatible with mobile devices? 80 to 90% of people these days are getting their information through their mobile devices like their cell phones or their laptops or their videos, professional or amateur in appearance.
  • What do their clients say? Testimonials speak loudly. You want to hear how detail-oriented easy to work with, and outstanding the business is by an independent outside source.
  • Are the people that use them as their clients mimic the type of services that you have?
  • Is the company forthright and transparent about subcontracting? Many companies subcontract parts of projects instead of relying solely on in-house staff. This ensures that the work meets the deadline and time crunches. If an unknown source performs all your work, it is bound to cost more and may be inconsistent.
  • Is the company up to date on all of the latest marketing trends? Look for choices in the newer marketing options like podcasts and the latest social media channels that your patients may be on.
  • Does the company show how effective its marketing is? There are analytical tools that demonstrate the effectiveness of your marketing, and the company should be able to show them to you.
  • Is the company accustomed to working with the health niche and your type of practice? Find the company experienced with medical practices.
  • How acquainted is the company with your practice? They should be well acquainted with you and your brand. Making a proper assessment for a marketer means the difference between successful outsourcing and a costly mistake.

The Importance of Marketing

Dr. Barbara Hales: When I first did my medical practice, I had no patients, I did not buy a practice, and I had no partners bringing in patients. So I opened the door and had to figure out quickly how will I attract patients to my practice, or as the bill started mounting up, I’d be broke in no time and have to close the doors. Marketing, therefore, was paramount. After figuring out a system that worked, I went from no patients to 10,000 active patients.

Building a position and building a medical practice enabled me to see exactly what works for a medical practice and what doesn’t so that you do not have to go through a trial and error of your own.

Contact Dr. Barbara Hales

If you would like to discuss how you too can have a successful marketing program and how to start into it in a very easy fashion, contact me at for a free consultation. Let’s take a look at your needs and get you started!