Gone are the days when as a practicacional in the health industry, all you had to do is obtain your licence to practice and open your doors. These days with the increasing competition and the arrival of new service models, marketing is as much a part of the health industry as it is of any other field.
So how do you reach out to you prospective customers and market your service better? Before I tell you what to do, let me tell you what you shouldn’t do. When I open my mailbox and find out that a health practitioner down the road is offering 10% off for a limited time, my eyes don’t light up and my heart doesn’t skip a beat, despite what the marketing gurus may tell you. Because being an expert at something is different from running a restaurant. If you believe in the value of your service, then your clients will too. I am quite happy to save on the price of a meal out, or on the cost of a new dining set. But if an expert is offering a discount, then I may doubt the competence of that expert’s advice.
So if discounting is out, what’s left in the marketing toolbox? The answer is, you are the expert in your field – let your skill do the talking. I will go to a dentist for a root canal, but if I want to know for how long and how thoroughly I should brush my teeth, I want to get that information from the same place. I should be learning what running shoes are the best for my feet from my podiatrist and where is the best place to walk my dog from my vet. If I have to go to Dr Google to find out, that may not only expose me to harm from incompetent advise, it also signals a missed marketing opportunity.
A health practitioner should learn to become comfortable dispensing advice outside the traditional diagnosis-treatment paradigm. This shouldn’t be only face to face advice. Brochures, clinic handouts, online links from your business website to other reputable health websites, blogging and Facebook posts, are all opportunities to say ‘I am an expert in my field’. They draw your client in and create a level of connection beyond the pay for service model. Beats post box leaflets, doesn’t it?