As I coach my Osteopath clients in ways to attract more Perfect Patients I often recommend deploying ethical bribes, memes and e-zines or e-newsletters.
Many have no idea what I’m talking about! In fact, about 18 months ago I would have looked at you blankly too! Indeed, my own Osteopath calls me a marketing hoover because I’m constantly searching out and learning new techniques to use in my own business and in yours!
Online marketing has well and truly shoved physical advertising right out of the window. I hear time and again that Osteopaths have advertised fruitlessly in expensive publications. To be honest, that money is better off invested in learning how to target your market online.
Once you’ve got a grip on these skills, you only need to keep active by posting regularly to reap the rewards.
Why marketing is different now
In the beginning there was no communication whatsoever with your patient list. More recently, the occasional letter might be sent out in the mail but at great expense too.
But now with the advent of social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter, it is easier to identify where your potential patients hang out. This is the next best and most cost effective strategy after referrals from current patients, which of course are free.
Once you know what you’re doing, the only cost is your time, or that of an employee or virtual assistant, to maintain your online presence. And even that can be automated.
Here’s an example of my ethical bribe ’19 Essential Tips To Increase Your Patient List’ which is what you probably signed up to receive when you visited this website. It is really easy to compile a little e-book and add it into your website.
Think about your Perfect Patient and what kind of tips or advice might be of real interest to them. Do they need warm up exercises, tips for soothing a fractious infant, how to prevent damage to tendons or 3 delicious smoothie recipes for sparkling health?
Once they have signed up to receive your ethical bribe, or ‘freebies’ as they are also known, they will be automatically added to your email list so that you can continue to keep in touch. And of course, because you are using a proper online e-newsletter programme, people have the automatic legal right to unsubscribe should they wish to do so. We should never be emailing our list from a personal email address.
These days your list is not only your current and past patients. You now have some potential patients and, in getting to know you gradually and understanding the myriad ways you might be helpful to them, their trust in you and your skills will grow.
What on earth are Memes?
Memes are great little pieces of marketing! They are pictures and/or text which are eye-catching and easily shared. This one here is an example of a meme which I created very easily and at no cost! I use them regularly in my online marketing. If you make them stunning, funny or engaging people will share them around. So always add in your website address too which will promote you and give ownership of that design to you.
E-zines or e-newsletters
These are online versions of magazines and newsletters which are a great marketing tool. So many times I hear from clients, “I’ve been reading your e-newsletters for many months now and I’ve finally decided to get your help to build my business.”
I believe that it is vital to keep in touch with your patient list. I also believe in a ‘give to get’ mentality. So drop them a line regularly on a well-designed e-newsletter (you can get my training here) and give them useful tips and information which they will appreciate and value.
Introduce a new member of the team or show them a picture of the newly decorated clinic. Keep it light and add in personality.
And in all your marketing, don’t forget ~ people buy people!