The following is a guest post by Daniel Gouw, Senior Strategist at EdnaDigitalMarketing.
You may be at the point where you know your practice needs to be online.
You’ve heard of all the ways to bring in new patients – Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Instagram Ads, TikTok…the list goes on and on.
But which is the right one to use?
If you talk to a Facebook Ads expert, they’ll tell you it’s Facebook. If you talk to a Google Ads expert, they’ll tell you Google. If you talk to an SEO expert, they’ll tell you SEO.
By the end of it, you are more confused than when you started.
However, all those strategies are forgetting one important factor.
The number one thing you do before anything else, is establish your online reputation.
What is your reputation online? What are your patients saying about you online?
In this day and age, especially now that we’re virtual, how you are perceived online is the reality.
Let me repeat that. How you are perceived online is the reality.
It doesn’t matter so much if you really are the best practitioner out there, you offer the best treatment out there.
What matters is, how are your potential patients perceiving you online?
Allow me to share a story with you.
I was talking with one of our doctors the other week. With this doctor, if you meet her, within two minutes you’ll know that she is probably the doctor that cares the most about her patients. There is just so much passion, so much care and love there.
I was showing her one of her competitors, who had a much stronger reputation online.
Her jaw hit the floor, because she’s like, “I know this person. And he is basically just giving out these painkillers to people, willy-nilly. They are not working in congruence with what the patient really needs. He’s just giving them what they want.”
After she said that, she understood my point immediately. “It’s exactly to your point, Daniel. Everyone is perceiving him as someone who’s better online and not me so much, even though I care so much more.”
So, number one, before you do any kind of marketing, you have to focus on, what is your online reputation.
Because if you don’t focus on that, if your reputation is poor and you start doing marketing, you’re actually going to drive those people to your competition instead, because they’re still looking to fix that pain point.
If they don’t feel that you are the right fit, because your online reputation is poor, they’re going to go to somebody else who has a better reputation.
So in essence, if you decide to skip this critical step, you could actually be paying for your competitor’s marketing instead.
So how do you get started?
First off, make sure you ask your patients to leave reviews online! Especially the ones you know better or the ones who just had an amazing experience with the care you just provided for them.
You can do this 1 of 2 ways:
- Ask them manually – either you ask them or have your front desk / patient coordinator ask them and send them a link right there on the spot.
The best place to start accumulating reviews is on your Google My Business page.
If you do not already have one of these, get it right away by going here and follow the prompts to create your Google My Business account.
Once you create the account, it’s common for Google to verify the account by mailing you a postcard with a code on it, which you will then enter into your Google My Business account.
After your account is verified, you can get your direct review link to give to patients by going to the Homepage of your Google My Business account, scrolling down, and then clicking on “share review form”
After you click that button, you will see the direct review link that you can text or email directly to your patient.
By doing it right there on the spot, there is a higher chance that your patient will leave you a great review!
2. The other way to get more reviews is to automatically send out review requests after a patient has had their treatment.
There are several review solicitation services out there, but the important thing is how you write the message.
You want to have a personal touch to it and make it sound like it came directly from someone in your office. Nothing turns people off faster than a corporate message.
An example of how you can write an email request a review is like the one below:
You should also send out a text message for those who respond back to texts more than email.
A sample text message would be the following:
No matter how many reviews you have, keep asking for more!
You can never have too many good reviews and all those good reviews will protect your online reputation when you eventually get the rare instances when a patient leaves you a 1 start review.
If you do this consistently you can go from this:
Make sure the world knows how great you are just like your patients do.
About the Author
You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.
You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.