Look, I know you’re busy Doc, but we live in a world of online communication and you can’t really afford to ignore your online presence anymore.
The good news is, even if you don’t have the time nor want to spend a ton of money on marketing, there are a couple easy and cheap things you can start right now, that will help you in the long run.
The trick to creating an online presence that helps your practice grow is doing these 5 little things consistently over time.
And they aren’t time-consuming, just simple habits that need to be incorporated into your existing practice.
And those these practices seem simple, if done repeatedly over time, they will have a compounding positive impact, boost your online presence, and help your practice grow.
1. Update your reference profiles.
You can’t ignore platforms like Yelp, Google reviews, ZocDoc, and Healthgrades anymore.
You just can’t.
70 percent of new patients look for online reviews before making an appointment. And if you don’t have a profile, or worse, are unaware that someone else created one for you and is collecting unmanaged reviews… well, you’re letting a free marketing platform run the show instead of leveraging it to your advantage.
Take the time to check through your profiles and be sure they are up-to-date and accurate. Don’t let these powerful representations of your practice run rampant without your oversight.
2. Remind your beloved patients to leave reviews.
Unfortunately, people who have bad experiences are 52 percent more likely to write a review than those that have a positive experience.
Which is why it’s vital to remind your patients, especially those with long lasting relationships, to hop online and leave a 60-second review.
It’s not beneath you or unusual to ask for a positive online review. Most people understand the importance of online reviews and your patients will be happy to help if you simply ask.
You can even print out a quick sign and leave it in the waiting room for people to see. And they’re probably already perusing social media, so it’s really not asking a lot.
3. Don’t be afraid of negative reviews.
Some doctors avoid reviews altogether because they fear negative reviews. But studies show patients won’t write you off because of a negative comment. What they look for is a genuine, human, and calm response. They want to see that you’ve listened to the criticism and considered it.
If you have a negative review on any of these platforms, take the time to write a heartfelt, empathetic response.
Bonus points if you write it personally, so they know the doctor is listening. Responding with a calm and reasonable voice speaks volumes to prospective patients.
Remember, patients who feel like a doctor is listening to them are more likely to feel satisfied with their visit and return to your office. Responding to reviews is a public arena where you can convey your bedside manner and win patients.
4. Clean up your website. (And if you don’t have a website – Goodness gracious…GET ONE!)
Your website doesn’t need to be an extravagant and expensive endeavor. You can buy a simple WordPress theme for around $60 and have your nephew fill out the right info if that’s the route you want to go.
Bonus points: These simple themes usually come mobile-friendly! And most people are looking you up on their phones.
In all seriousness, it’s better that you have a simple, clean, updated website that your nephew built, than an old website, complete with earth tones and a 90’s headshot.
Don’t let your website hurt you. Remember that people are looking at your online presence and making a judgment call.
And if you want to take it a step further… make sure your website is content focused.
Instead of spending 2k on a fancy schmancy website, invest in high-quality, medical and marketing-focused copywriting. Copywriting also helps with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is how Google helps patients find you.
You are a business that brings value to your patients’ lives through helpful information and your website should do the same.
5. Dedicate some time to social media and focus locally.
Again, setting up your social media isn’t that hard and doesn’t take that long. Think about it, Facebook is a free platform where you can market yourself, why wouldn’t you take advantage of that?
Using Facebook to help your business grow can look as simple as setting up the main profile and asking your office manager to share a couple of relevant articles twice a day.
This may not seem like a big deal – but it is. Over time as your history grows, your audience, and engagement grows too.
And when a new patient Googles you… Your Facebook page pops up and they can get a feel for what kind of a doctor you are and that you care about your patients, based on what you share.
Also, don’t feel like you need to only share mainstream medical information, local information can carry a bigger punch.
Follow and engage with local groups and you’ll quickly stand out in the community as a doctor who cares.
To take social media to the next level, start a blog. That’s the best way to earn trust, demonstrate expertise, and win new patients.
Dedicate only 20 minutes a day and watch your business grow
If you were to take 20 minutes a day to work on your online presence, that would work out to and 1 hour and 40 minutes a week, 6 hours and 40 minutes a month, and about 320 hours a year!
These simple habits use minimal time, effort, and money to transform your online presence, which in turn will transform your practice.
It’s never too late to start, incorporate these simple tips today!