There can sometimes be a disconnect for Osteopaths trying to engage online with potential patients. They can be tempted to put on a fake ‘professional’ persona. There is the idea that our own true personality should be somewhat hidden or dumbed down and a more polished and bland version of ourselves presented to our public.
The trouble is that the average Joe can sniff out fakery in an instant! He has a BS radar which is finely tuned.
Be true to your potential patients
When you’re meeting potential patients at a networking event, for instance, you are interacting one to one. You are looking into each others’ eyes, sussing each other out and getting your point across about Osteopathy in an engaging manner.
But here’s the problem; when you’re marketing online, there is this assumption that you’re marketing to the entire world! It can feel like you’re broadcasting your message out into the ether to a gazillion people. What if they’re all looking down at you and judging you? What if they’re wondering who on earth do you think you are?
However, I like to look at online and social media marketing in a very different way.
You are only ever talking to your next potential patient – just the one! So you must be your own wonderful and colourful self just as you are in the real world.
Take off the fake professional veneer and show your passion for your work. Tell us why you love what you do. Share exactly how you can help us. Don’t be coy and hide your beautiful self or your vital message.
People buy people!
There will be a lot of eye rolling from my regular Osteos who hear me spout this over and over – but it’s so true! Potential patients need to see your face and hear or read your words to enable them to decide whether or not to trust you enough to book their poor old bodies in for a new kind of treatment.
More than that, potential patients are not actually looking for Osteopathy. (Shock horror!) They are looking for a solution to their pain; simple as that. So if you’re talking online only about where you studied or listing conditions the regulatory bodies say you are ‘allowed’ to treat you are missing the point.
Similarly, you don’t necessarily want a business development coach; you just want a full diary of patients who value what you do. It might just be that it eventually becomes apparent that to get the latter, you might benefit from harnessing the former.
So it is vital to get a strong message of hope out to your potential patients that you may well be able to help them back to health. And if your words are said with warmth and with integrity you will more likely be successful in connecting with your next potential patient who is in pain.
For that is who you are only ever talking to.