“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” – President Theodore Roosevelt
That’s especially true for your patients and how you grow a health practice.
When we’re sick, injured and in pain we emotionally revert back to the age of 5. We still want Mommy or Daddy to kiss the bad place and make everything well again.
We tend to give up control and assume everybody wearing a white jacket, with a fancy degree hanging on their wall and letters after their name knows what they’re doing. We want to believe in our healthcare service providers.
Of course, it helps a lot when they have good reason to believe you have the professional skills they require.
And already know, like and trust you.
A Great Bedside Manner and Aura of Competence is Great Marketing for Health Service Providers
So, you say, that’s terrific for the patients who do come into my office, but what about the people who come one time only?
Or just once a year?
Or who have never even heard of me, even though they need my services?
No, this is not another article advising you to get on social media. That’s all right if you like, but the most effective tool for growing relationships with your patients (and potential patients) is an email newsletter.
Get (Virtually) Intimate With Your Patients
Email is the most intimate form of online communication. While people will write and read outrageous things on Facebook and Twitter, those platforms belong to those companies.
Your email inbox is “yours.” Nobody reads your emails over your shoulder or sees how you respond to each message.
That’s why people are so particular about who they give their email address to. It’s why they get so outraged about spam even though they just ignore advertising on the websites they visit.
Every e-Newsletter You Send Embodies Your Compassion and Competence
That’s because each one contains useful, timely information your patients can use to improve their health. You’re not getting paid for that advice, so it shows you care.
Sure, everybody knows (though most won’t think about it consciously), you’re sending it out to build your practice.
But they won’t care because they always have the choice to receive it or not, read it or not, act on it or not, call you up and make a new appointment or not, and keep the appointment or not.
And, sure, many recipients will benefit from the information without ever spending a dime with you. Just be okay with that.
Because others will respond.
The 3 Ways to Grow a Health Practice
I. Attract more patients.
II. See those patients more often.
III. Offer those patients more services.
Number Three may or may not be a good fit for you. But ways One and Two are how you attract more money by helping the world.
Newsletters sent out by email have the fastest, most direct impact on Number Two.
By regularly contacting the patients who already know you, you reinforce their good feelings about you and your services. You remind them of everything you can do for them, which they might otherwise forget from day to day.
Therefore, they’re more likely to keep their appointments. And to make more appointments more often for your services, depending on what those are.
Put the informational articles up on a blog, and you’ll attract new customers, especially if you make sure Google knows your location. That way people searching for the services you provide within your local area will find you.
And see that you have not just a business card-style website with one of those red pointer balloons of Google’s and an address and telephone number, but useful information as well.
When you send a good newsletter, some of the recipients will share it with other people they know. They might forward your email or share links to it your blog on social media.
That’s the best way to use social media to grow a healthcare practice – stimulate your patients to do it for you.
How Do You Find Time to Write and Send e-Newsletters?
You don’t have to.
Plenty of people will gladly do it for you.
They’ll write the article, add anything else relevant (friendly, currrent news about you and your staff are always good), and send it out for you.
Afraid it won’t then be yours?
That’s only true if you hand all responsibility over to the writer, which I don’t advise.
(Though many online “experts” not only don’t guide writers, they hire the cheapest they can find, paying only $5 or even less per article. What kind of articles do you think they get for $5? Not articles you’d want to send out in YOUR name, I hope.)
A professional writer can talk with you and “get” your voice. If you’re not sure what to write about in each issue of your newsletter, they can suggest topics based on your field of expertise. If you have a viewpoint you want to express, they’ll do so for you.
Your viewpoint, strongly worded. In your voice. With facts, figures and logic to back it up (when applicable).
If Your Viewpoint is Controversial, So Much the Better!
Articles that go against the “common wisdom” of the major media and mainstream medicine excite and delight people.
A word of caution: unless you believe you’d offend many of your patients. You don’t want to drive them away.
Even if you lose a few, the ones that stick with you will love you all the more.
Good professional writers know how to write an article from YOU, not themselves.
That’s especially true of writers, such as myself (*cough as you can see here cough*) who have published novels. Fiction requires the writer to express the viewpoints and feelings of many characters, all different from the writer and from each other.
Let your patients know you are always thinking about them.
Because you regularly follow up with useful, entertaining information they can use.
You stay “top of mind,” so when they need your healthcare services, you’re the provider they call.
For more information about the many possible ways to grow your practice with an email newsletter, click here now.