Here’s a question we’d like you to answer:
Are you seeing the kinds of patients that:
A) Make you the most money?
B) Are the most effective use of your time?
C) You enjoy seeing?
These are what we consider to be your perfect patients.
From our experience in helping podiatrists across the country grow their practices through digital marketing, we know—even with it being a “yes or no” question”—there are going to be a range of answers:
- Some podiatrists give us a “yes, but I want to see more.”
- Others say, “no, but I don’t know how.”
- And still others have to admit “I don’t know what a perfect patient is.” (And that’s okay because we’ve got your back!)
No matter which applies to you, we’re here for you.
Let’s take a look at ideal patients and how to create a perfect strategy so you can reach more of them than ever.
How do you know who your perfect patients are?
It’s remarkably difficult to overstate just how important it is for you to see more of the kinds of patients you want to see (your perfect patients).
And here’s the thing about that:
How you choose your perfect patient isn’t necessarily going to be the same as how other podiatrists choose theirs.
With that being the case, a couple of factors to consider are:
- Profitability. Certain conditions simply tend to be more profitable to treat than others. If you want to increase your revenue, then you should target patients who need treatment for those types of conditions.
- Expenses. Certain types of patients cost more to see than others. Whether it’s a reduced fee structure from private insurance or more of your staff’s time is taken by them, paying close attention to what your costs are will also help identify what type of patient is best for your practice.
- Expertise. Another reason you should identify your perfect patient is if you are especially skilled at performing certain procedures or treating specific conditions. In this case, patient experiences and results are exceptional (which can mean more positive online reviews for your practice).
- Personal preference. Some podiatrists want to see more patients who have particular conditions simply because they enjoy treating them. This sense of satisfaction is invaluable, so you can customize your marketing to reach patients who need those treatments.
No matter how you decide who your perfect patient is, the simple fact of the matter is that one of your goals should be seeing as many of them as you can.
So how do you do that?
Well, as with any objective or goal you work to achieve, it starts with a strategy.
What is a digital marketing strategy?
Along with laying out the route you need to take, it also establishes milestones, responsibilities, and tasks.
Essentially, your strategy allows you to know who is doing what and when to keep your practice moving ahead as you strive to ultimately achieve your goals.
For that to happen, you need to one of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:
Start with the end in mind.
So make sure you spend time at the beginning to establish your goals.
After all, a roadmap without a destination isn’t going to lead you anywhere!
That means seeing more of your perfect patients, right?
Eh, not quite.
It’s in the right ballpark, but there is a problem with that – it’s not a SMART goal.
If you’ve never heard of a SMART goal, it stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timebound.
You need to take the general “see more perfect patients” and apply those elements.
For example, you might say “I want to see 23% more heel pain patients on a monthly basis than I’m currently seeing by December 31.”If that’s attainable (realistic) and relevant to what you want to accomplish, your goal has now graduated to SMART status!
But your podiatry practice’s digital marketing strategy doesn’t stop there. Remember, this is just the starting point. Now that you have your destination in mind, it’s time to map out how you are going to get there.
At this point, you can figure out who’s doing what and when, and what milestones you’ll use to mark progress and determine if you’re on track.
Will digital marketing bring more perfect patients into your office?
Before we move on, let’s clear something up quick:
Your overall marketing strategy should be linked to perfect patients scheduling appointments.
Your digital marketing strategy should be linked to perfect patients contacting your office.
That’s an important distinction to make.
For the overall results you want to see, you must incorporate all the marketing resources you have at your disposal and in all areas that relate to marketing and advertising.
So… how do you create a strategy to reach perfect patients? Here is a summary of the four steps you need to take if you want to engage with your perfect patients in your digital marketing:
- Understand them. There are different factors for who you consider to be your perfect patient. Once you have that nailed down in a general sense, it’s time to get more specific. This includes creating patient personas – data you gather about demographical insights (location, age, interests, etc.) for your perfect patients. Your personas should also include insights into how, when, and where they are being exposed to your practice’s brand and content.
- Speak their language. You have an advanced medical degree. An overwhelming majority of your patients do not. Many aren’t seeing you because they know they have plantar fasciitis – they just know their heels hurt!By paying attention to the way your patients speak to you and the exact phrases they use to describe things, you’ll be better equipped to know what they search for online, which leads us to…
- Do your homework. If you want to reach them online—and you absolutely do—then you need to do additional research. Specifically, you need to find the right keywords they are using when searching for information about what’s causing them pain or difficulty.
- Now, along with the words and phrases you hear from current patients, you should use some online tools that will provide you with keywords to incorporate in your content. Some popular options for this include SEMRush, Wordtracker, and SpyFu.
- Know how you’ll stay connected. Not all your perfect patients are ready to call your office right now and schedule an appointment for today (even if that’s exactly what they should do).Meaning, it’s essential you stay connected after a potential patient has interacted with your brand. For that to happen, you need to do things like establish social media accounts for your podiatry practice and invest in CRM (customer relationship management) software to automate email campaigns and stay connected.
What is the best way to implement a digital marketing strategy?
After you’ve taken the time to dive into understanding your perfect patients and how to reach them, you need to create your strategy.
This can be intimidating at first—after all, there are so many elements to digital marketing, and best practices change so frequently it can make your head spin. Not to mention that you have to consider more than just the digital aspect when developing the strategy.
Fortunately, we have a tool that can help:
Check it out and you’ll see how you can take that information about your perfect patients and apply it to a strategy.
Of course, we also understand this is all a lot of work. If you’d rather spend your time treating patients, running your practice, and enjoying your nights and weekends, then you might prefer to have someone else handle it all for you.
Our team of digital marketing rock stars would love to utilize the best current digital marketing practices for you, all so you get in position to achieve your (SMART) goals.
Want to learn more? Ready for a marketing partnership that can produce outstanding ROI? Give us a call at (833) 823-3335 and let’s chat!