Launching a new practice involves a number of activities, including securing the right location, purchasing furniture and equipment, hiring staff, and making sure potential patients know you are open for business. There are several key marketing tactics for new independent practices that are low-cost and highly effective, to help you build your patient panel successfully.
A consistent brand. Think about some key questions when establishing your practice’s brand. How is your practice different from others in your area? Who is your target patient? What do you have to offer patients, beyond the quality care they expect? The answer to the last question might involve intangibles such as friendliness and accessibility as well as more concrete aspects of your practice, such as the latest in available technology.
Once you determine what you want your image to be, keep it consistent. When developing a logo, designing materials such as letterhead or brochures, and creating an online presence through a website and social media, keep your colors and images consistent with your established brand.
Website. Include on your website pertinent information about yourself, your team, and your practice. Offer a patient portal to encourage your patients to access their healthcare records and to become more actively engaged in their care.
Also include a blog, which should be updated regularly with current and helpful information. You can create content that will be educational, such as research on treatments and general information about medical conditions. You can also post content that will be helpful to patients wanting more information about your practice.
Social media. Choose one or two social media platforms, ideally where your patients are most active, to post on frequently. Provide information about new technology at your practice, tidbits about your team, topical and general guidance on seasonal conditions, and other information that can be shared in short bursts that don’t provide specific medical advice.
Be sure to watch your posts for comments and questions from patients. Respond appropriately, remaining HIPAA-compliant, to encourage engagement with prospective patients.
Online reviews. Marketing tactics for new independent practices do not have to be expensive. In fact, word of mouth has been proven to be the most effective marketing technique, as the referrals come from existing patients who are happy with the quality of care they receive from your practice.
As your practice launches its operations and you begin seeing patients, let them know you would appreciate their reviews on sites such as Yelp or Healthgrades. In today’s digital world, individuals who are in search of a new healthcare provider will typically turn to these review sites first. Your rating and reviews on these sites can be one of your most valuable marketing tactics for your new independent practice.
Community involvement. Getting involved in your community as a new independent physician benefits your practice and your patients, who probably live in that community. Offer to coach a little league team, head up a food drive, volunteer to help with fundraising walks, or get active in community organizations that align with your interests and abilities. Encourage your staff to do the same. As you give back to the community, you will develop a positive reputation as an individual and as a provider.