Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some initial questions many clients have when they first contact Top Practices. The questions below may address many initial concerns you may have. If you don't find the answers here, you should contact us for answers to questions specific to your case. The consultation is free.

  • Page 2
  • Is the Top Practices copywriting course helpful for practice marketers?

    The Top Practices Copywriter’s Workshop course was specifically designed for medical practices to help them write good, effective copy for their websites. It covers Rem’s rules for copywriting and how to produce articles actually work for you, as well as uses tips and examples to help you learn. We wouldn’t promote it if it didn’t work, but it’s better to hear about its effectiveness from a practice marketer who has really used it and seen the difference better writing can make.

    Lynn Chapman is the marketer for Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City—the Seattle-based practice owned by Dr. Rion Berg. She ordered the Copywriter’s Workshop to help her improve the blog content on the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City’s blog. Since making some changes to how the practice approached their blogging, Lynn says they’ve seen a lot more hits on their content. They’ve started using a more conversational tone and a catchy title to engage readers, as well as included more pictures.

    Lynn also notes that, since taking the course, blogging has gotten easier for her. She followed the instructions about coming up with a list of ideas and potential titles before writing anything—which has since helped her to “go ahead and write” when she’s not sure what to cover some weeks. Writing regularly has increased her speed on a number of topics as well.

    At Top Practices, we’re not interested in selling you gimmicky marketing ploys, but rather in providing you with practical tools to market your practice more effectively. We’re excited that Lynn Chapman and Dr. Rion Berg’s team have seen positive results from better content. If you’d like to know more about the Copywriter’s Workshop, or any of the other programs designed for medical practice marketing, just contact us! Call (717) 725-2679 or shoot us an e-mail at [email protected]

  • Does an active internet presence really translate to more patients?

    Even though the internet is pretty universal today, some doctors are still skeptical that building their web presence will actually translate to more patients in their offices. At Top Practices, we know for a fact that the internet is important for your marketing and that it does bring more patients through your doors. But sometimes it’s better to hear the facts from a real, currently-working doctor who has seen the growth for himself.

    Dr. Keith McSpadden is a podiatrist at North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute. He joined the Top Practices Mastermind group in January of 2015, and decided to use our Virtual Marketing Director (VMD) Services to help him improve his web presence. He started those services in February of 2015. Dr. McSpadden already had a website and was somewhat invested in his internet footprint. When he started to put more effort into marketing his practice online, he noticed a significant jump in his new patient numbers. After just two months of building up his internet presence through social media, content on his website, and more, his office climbed from averaging a little over 55 new patients in a month to more than 75 in a month. He saw an increase in returning patients, too, as his total monthly patient numbers jumped upward by about 50 people!

    What’s important to note, however, is that more than half of those new patients told Dr. McSpadden’s office that they had found them on the internet. He’s even had to hire a few more staff members to keep up with the growth his practice is seeing by diving right into their marketing.

    We’re thrilled for Dr. McSpadden and the success he’s already experiencing in his practice. His story isn’t an anomaly, though. Plenty of others have had similar experiences. If you’d like to learn more about our Mastermind group or our VMD Services, contact us! You can call (717) 725-2679 or e-mail [email protected]

  • Do the Top Practices podiatry book campaigns really work?

    The quick answer is “yes!” They really do bring patients into your office. But we don’t want you to have to take our word for it. We’d much rather you hear from a fellow podiatrist who launched a book campaign in spring of 2014: Dr. Evan Merrill.

    Dr. Evan Merrill has seen significant interest in his book by bringing it to and marketing it at running events, as well as on his website. In the first year that the campaign was active, he saw multiple patients make appointment and come to see him specifically because they had requested his free book.

    At the very first running event where the practice featured his book, Dr. Merrill received “90-100 book requests. And that was the first time we ever tried…advertising the book.” After the event, the practice saw a slow but steady stream of book requests through the website.

    More importantly, over the course of the year, they started to see patients who’d decided to make their appointment because of reading Dr. Merrill’s book: “With books you don’t really receive a phone call the next day…it’s more for education. But we’ve seen people over the past year just kind of trickle in. We’ll ask them, ‘How did you find out about us?’ Some will specifically say, ‘Well, I got your book.’ Or they have a friend who has a book.”

    One important thing to realize is that a campaign is more than a book. As Dr. Merrill says, “You have to realize that it’s not just giving a book out and that’s it. That’s how I thought of it at first. I thought, I’ll buy a few books and I’ll have them available, and if people request one we’ll send it to them. I didn’t realize the full 18-step campaign behind it…. It really helps it to function better than just giving a book out.”

    Dr. Evan Merrill’s success isn’t isolated, either. You can see the same growth. If you’d like to know more about the Top Practices book campaigns, just contact us. You can e-mail [email protected], or call (717) 725-2679.

  • Is using YouTube worth my time?

    Over the years, YouTube has become one of the most-used search engines and social media platforms on the internet. People spend a significant amount of time watching and sharing videos online, and YouTube is by far and away the most commonly used platform. It’s easy to search and find things on the platform (if the content is optimized correctly). Just as importantly, YouTube is actually owned and operated by King Google. Google highly values YouTube videos, giving them priority in organic Google search results over other video platforms. Thus, if you’re using video marketing—and you should be—you should be putting it on YouTube as well as on your website.

    Video is an increasingly important part of a well-rounded visual content strategy. After all, it’s estimated 80% of web visitors will watch a short video, while only 20% will read text. The content is easy to digest and easier to pass on to friends, increasing how many people your practice is able to reach. Just remember to make videos that your patients and potential patients will find interesting, not just you.

    At Top Practices, we do know that most doctors how no idea how to post, much less optimize, a YouTube video. That is why we have a team that can help do this for you. If you have videos, or you’d like to make videos, and you need to establish your YouTube presence, our VMD Services team can help you. Just contact Lori Hibma by e-mailing [email protected] or calling us directly at (616) 931-1040.

  • How can I use my list to make sure patients come back?

    No doctor wants to lose patients for any reason. You want your patients to come back to your practice when they need help again, not forget about you and end up in someone else’s office. Even if a patient returns just once and refers only one other person to you, they have a high value to your practice. Building relationships with your patients by effectively marketing to your list is the best way to bring patients back to your office in the future, because you remain in communication with them over time. The key is, of course, using your list effectively.

    This means reaching out to people regularly through multiple communication avenues. Newsletters are your best friend here—they are an incredibly effective tool. They can and should be sent both electronically and through traditional mail. E-mail marketing is another valuable tool for communicating to your list. It allows you to reach out to people on a regular basis and provide helpful information. If you have a fully automated database for your list, you can run campaigns, too, like yearly appointment reminders and birthday notices. All of these simple marketing touches keep you in the minds of people who already know, like, and trust you.

    We have a whole teleseminar on this topic that goes into greater detail. We’ve also established a highly effective marketing database program for our own Mastermind members to help you succeed in this area. If you’d like to know more, contact us! You can e-mail [email protected] or call (717) 725-2679.

  • How do I use the Goal Worksheets?

    The Top Practices Goal Worksheets are a key part of succeeding and seeing the changes you want to make in your medical practice. The important thing to remember is that this is not some list that you make and then occasionally glance at over the course of the year. That’s not how you use these worksheets. These worksheets, designed and refined over the years to help doctors define their goals, are the starting point for enactable plans to actually achieve the things you need and want to do.

    You start by setting aside time to really think about goals for all areas of your life—not just a half-hour over lunch before you rush back to your busy day, either. Spend dedicated time and figure out everything on your life to-do lists. Not just your work lists, either: cover finances, family life, health plans, hobbies, and so forth. The work sheets will help you organize all of these to-dos and prioritize them. From there, you use these lists to focus in on just a couple goals at a time for limited bursts. Then you actually take steps to achieve them within the time frame you are allotted. When that time is up and your to-dos are accomplished, you move on down your list. This requires you to not only look at your Goal Worksheets constantly, but to cut out the things in life that will prevent you from achieving everything you want to do.

    Our Mastermind members have been using this approach to making changes in their practices for years now, so we can say with authority that this really does work. If you’d like to know more about how to use these worksheets, or about our Mastermind group program, just let us know! Contact us at [email protected], or call (717) 725-2679.

  • What are the Goal Worksheets for?

    Goal worksheets are a valuable tool that we use here at Top Practices to organize and plan out immediate and long-term goals for your practice and your life in general. Let’s face it—you’re busy and your list of to-dos is far longer than anything you can accomplish right now. Even if you write down everything, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the things you need and want to do in your life. The Top Practice’s goal worksheets are different. They aren’t just a list that you can glance at occasionally. These worksheets are meant to help you get organized, identify SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound) goals, and create plans to actually accomplish them. That way you can put those plans into practice and see the changes and growth you’ve always wanted.

    They do this by helping you prioritize everything you’d like to accomplish, then establish a plan to apply a laser-like focus to one or two of your goals for a limited period of time. Rem Jackson has done in-depth workshops on this whole process and gone over these worksheets many times with the Top Practices Mastermind members. It’s helped many doctors change how they manage their practices and see incredible growth. If you’d like to know more about our goal worksheets, or the Mastermind group in general, send us an e-mail at [email protected], or call (717) 725-2679. 

  • Why even bother with e-mail marketing?

    Lots of medical professionals, and even other business people, sincerely believe that e-mail has gone the way of the dinosaur and it’s no longer a relevant marketing tool. That is simply not true! E-mail marketing to your carefully cultivated List of patients from your office—or to people who have requested information from you—is one of the more powerful tools you have in your tool belt. It’s a valuable and important part of your internal or database marketing. Why?

    Because billions of people use e-mail every single day. It’s considered more professional and adults are far more likely to engage with it than with social media posts. In fact, studies put e-mail as a far more effective tool for converting people than social media—three times more effective. With specific campaigns, you can use it to send valuable, relevant information to specific groups of people who are actually interested in what you have to say, rather than spewing out information and hoping it will hit someone who will convert to a patient or return to your office. Overall, it allows you to maintain personalized, targeted contact with your database.

    Of course, there is a key to e-mail marketing: don’t send boring e-mails. You don’t open boring e-mails. You shouldn’t expect the people you’re marketing to with e-mail to do anything differently. You don’t have to guess how to write these messages, however. If you’re not already using e-mail marketing, or aren’t finding it very effective, Top Practices can help. Top Practices Mastermind Members  learn how to organize and use e-mail marketing to connect with and help convert contacts into patients. That way you can craft appropriate e-mails with the following components:

    • An excellent subject line that gets people to open the message
    • Well-constructed content that educates, informs, and sells
    • A clear call-to-action that transforms the e-mail from education to marketing so it gets results

    We even have members-only services that can make your e-mail marketing happen for you automatically. If you have questions about e-mail marketing, the Top Practices Mastermind group, or any of our programs, you can e-mail us at [email protected] or call us at (717) 725-2679.

  • What is database marketing and what can it do for me?

    More and more, we recognize the need for help with quality internal marketing. Your patients are incredibly valuable to your practice. You can’t afford to neglect that relationship. However, to market to them effectively, you need to have a fully-functional database program to organize your patient list and execute your various “campaigns.” This could involve sending out a newsletter, mailing recall postcards, e-mailing happy birthday messages, providing a free book offer, and so on.

    Setting up this database and using it effectively, though, can be overwhelming and difficult. That’s where our team comes in. We take the hassle out of establishing a database by doing all the heavy lifting for you. We help you set up your program so that it’s fully automated and meets the needs of your campaigns. We then either train you to manage the program yourself, or do all the management and troubleshooting for you. We can also fulfill the week-to-week tasks of sending out your marketing materials. All of this is designed to help you succeed in your internal marketing. If you’d like to know more, give us a call at (616) 931-1041.

  • How do I see more of a particular kind of patient?

    Seeing more of a particular kind of patient boils down to your marketing. After all, you are trying to attract new people with a specific problem or group of problems to your office. You have to reach out to those people and let them know you can help them. You do this by targeting all of your marketing to cover the concerns and the medical issues that those ideal patients have.

    For example, say you are a podiatrist and you want to see more fungal toenail patients. Or say you’re a plastic surgeon, and you want to perform more tummy tuck procedures. You would need to tailor your informational marketing to specifically address people who might already be interested in these topics. This means writing webpages and blogs about those issues, posting content on social media, sending out e-mails to your database, and finding other outlets where you can promote how you help the particular patients that you want in your office.

    Why do all that? People suffering with fungal toenails or who are interested in a tummy tuck are hoping to find, or are actively seeking, information about their problems. If your marketing demonstrates that you know how to fix their problems, they will notice you. You will stand out—and those ideal, desired patients will start making more and more appointments over time. At Top Practices we know this approach works, because it completely transformed the practices of several of our members. Our VMD Services team are experts at the online portion of this. If you’d like to know more about attracting certain patients, check out our Mastermind group or e-mail Lori Hibma ([email protected]), head of our podiatry marketing team, for more information.

  • Why is writing down my goals so important?

    Everyone has both professional and personal goals for their lives. These are the things you want to achieve for yourself and for your practice. But while everyone has goals, not everyone completes them. Writing down your goals is the key to helping you succeed and meet the goals you set.

    The importance of the act of actually writing down your goals cannot be overstated. People think about their future and current to-do lists all the time. This is almost always a source of stress. People simply have too much to do right now to handle the urgent things that must be done to keep a medical practice and a personal life afloat. Every now and again, one or two important-but-not-urgent goals will drift to the forefront of your mind and remind you of all the things you aren’t doing before sinking below more pressing obligations again, increasing your stress.

    Writing down goals puts everything that’s important to you and that you want to achieve, both professionally and personally, right in front of you. This way you can constantly review it all and see clearly what you would need to do to achieve them. This also allows you focus in on saying “no” to the otherwise good things in life that would just distract you from accomplishing your goals. At Top Practices, we believe very strongly in the value of writing down goals, which is why we expertly guide all of our members through this process when they join Top Practices. For more information, call us at (717) 725-2679 or e-mail us at [email protected]. We’ve got the answers to your questions

  • What social media platforms should I be using to market my practice?

    There are dozens of social media platforms that seem to pop up out of nowhere, skyrocket in popularity, and then fizzle out and disappear just as quickly. Remember MySpace? Since social media fluctuates so much, it can be hard to know what platforms are worth investing in. As a general rule, however, there are five that are beneficial for marketing a podiatry practice—or any medical office, for that matter: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. YouTube is also valuable if you’re willing to invest in making videos.

    Each of these has a slightly different purpose and a slightly different audience. Facebook is large and a good way to start conversations and share information with people who’ve “liked” your business. Google+ is used by many tech-savvy and industry-related people, which also makes it great for sharing content. Twitter is for timely, in-the-moment communication with followers. Pinterest allows you to share photos that can drive traffic to your website. And LinkedIn is used by professionals to help build connections within your industry. All of these help you reach out to the current and potential patients you want to see in your office.

    Don’t take social media for granted. Social media is a powerful tool for connecting to people if you know how to use it well. If you need help setting up platforms, or you’re not sure how to manage them, let the Top Practices VMD Services team help. Just contact Lori Hibma by e-mailing [email protected].

  • What does it look like to be number one in my local market?

    Being Number One in your market may not look the way you think. It doesn’t mean being the biggest practice around. Some big practices with lots of doctors and multiple locations still struggle to be profitable. Plenty of small practices with only one office and one podiatrist have managed to dominate their local market. So size is not an accurate indicator of success. At Top Practices, we’ve defined eleven ways you can know you are Number One in your local market:

    1. You’re happy.

    2. You have little to no stress in your work.

    3. Your staff is proud and pleased to work with you and each other.

    4. Your patients love you and think you’re the best thing that has ever happened to them.

    5. Your patients go out and tell everyone how great you are.

    6. You’re recognized and respected in your community for many different reasons.

    7. You’re constantly getting calls from new patients.

    8. You’re the top practice in your local market on Google’s first page of search results.

    9. Your social media overwhelms every other practice in your local market.

    10. You wake up excited to go to work.

    11. You are making the income that you want to be able to provide for the emotional and financial stability and security of your loved ones.

    This last factor is the real reason you’re in practice at all, and it’s our ultimate goal in helping you at Top Practices. If you’d like to know more about how our Mastermind group has helped other doctors become Number One in their local markets, contact us. You can e-mail [email protected] or call (717) 725-2679.

  • How can I succeed when all predictions for the medical world are so negative?

    It does seem like everyone is making negative predictions for medicine. That’s all you hear at national conventions, state meetings, and other medical-related get-togethers nowadays: how difficult it is to be a doctor. The good news is that doctors who are facing the same problems, changes, and challenges that you are facing have been able to succeed. They have growing, thriving practices and are able to live the lives they want to live.

    See, the problem is that when you focus on the negative in your chosen profession, you are almost guaranteeing that you’ll just get more of the same. Negativity paralyzes you and perpetuates the problem. It becomes the Great Disabling Distracter. Doctors who are succeeding in a challenging environment have stopped focusing on that Great Disabling Distracter and, instead, focus on their goals. They spend their time and energy working on their patient outcomes and profitability, adjusting their practice management and marketing until it works smoothly and helps them achieve those goals.

    This is something you can do, too. It’s not luck. It’s learning the key strategies and techniques that will help you succeed. At Top Practices, our goal is to help you become Number One in your market. We’ve already helped hundreds of other doctors in our Mastermind group implement these strategies—and they’ve seen the growth they need. Check out the website for more information, or reach out to us directly. Just call (717) 725-2679 or e-mail us at [email protected]

  • What is a Mastermind group for podiatrists?

    A Mastermind group is a group of like-minded professionals who meet on a regular basis to share ideas, brainstorm solutions to problems, and challenge each other to meet goals. A Mastermind group for podiatrists is what we offer here at Top Practices: a group of podiatrists from all over the world who connect through monthly calls to Mastermind ways to grow and manage their practices. It’s a gathering of some of the brightest and most successful minds in the podiatry field, so they can all share ideas and work to improve their respective practices year after year.

    This idea of professionals sharing their creativity and expertise is actually an old one. Originally created and championed by the early 20th century business genius, Napoleon Hill, we know just how powerful it can be when podiatrists commit and participate in the Masterminding process. That’s why it’s at the very core of Top Practices. When you become a member, you have multiple opportunities every month to hear from or discuss with the best and most successful doctors in podiatry today. They share honestly about what works and what doesn’t, as well as brainstorm new solutions to problems, giving you a chance to learn from their mistakes—and for them to learn from you!

    The benefits to the people who participate in a Mastermind Group can be astounding (and usually are). If you’d like to know more or you’re interested in joining, check out our application. You can also reach out to us by emailing [email protected] or by calling (717) 725-2679.

  • Is Google+ something I should be doing?

    If you’re not already using Google+ for your practice, you are missing a crucial part of your online marketing. Currently, the Google+ network is completely integrated into Google searches. This means that information about you on the social network, including profile details and content that you share, affect your Google rankings. Believe it or not, using the social network can help people find you in a normal online search more easily.

    For example: when potential patients search for your office online, your Google+ profile appears in the results, displaying pictures, maps, and content you’ve recently shared. The blog posts, web content, videos, and photos that you post tend to be read and indexed by Google more quickly than if you just upload to your website, too. Also, if that content gets shared or +1’d by others, it’s considered more valuable and will rank higher in searches.

    You also need to remember that real people in your community are on this social network and actually using it. These tend to be more technically-minded and business-savvy individuals. By posting regularly and entering into conversation with them, you are still reaching out to people who have health needs that you could meet.

    Therefore, Google+ is an important part of your online footprint. If you’re not sure how to get started, let the Top Practices VMD Services team help you set up your profile and begin using it right away. Just call Lori Hibma at (616) 931-1040 for more information, or e-mail her at [email protected].

  • What are some of the changes that challenge doctors in practice today?

    All of medicine is changing dramatically. Record-keeping, coding, insurance, liability, government regulations, hospitals—all of these aspects of practicing medicine are changing and challenging doctors today. Even in the last decade, expectations of doctors have grown. What makes it even harder for you as a doctor is that, honestly, you didn’t sign up for this when you went into medicine. You went into medicine to help people and to treat their problems. You didn’t likely go into it to fill out paperwork, or to wrestle insurance companies for your reimbursements, or to fulfill government requirements for “meaningful use.” And yet, those are exactly the things doctors must deal with in practice today.

    So now you find yourself in a world you did not sign up for, dealing with issues you didn’t expect. This is what we call the Great Disabling Distracter. Everyone around you at national conventions and in the medical community talks about how terrible these changes have made medicine, casting a cloud of negativity that distracts and disables you from learning how to adjust and get back to enjoying your practice. The problem is that focusing on the negatives keeps you from moving forward—ensuring you’ll just get more of the same.

    There are really two ways to approach these changes: to worry and complain about how they are affecting your practice, or to see them as learning opportunities that can help you grow. Our goal at Top Practices is to enable you to grow and be Number One in your market. We’re already helping hundreds of podiatrists do just that. If you’d like more information, browse our website or contact us. You can call us at (717) 725-2679 or e-mail [email protected]

  • This Sounds Good, but Will it Work in MY Practice?

    The short answer is “YES!” Our marketing program and Mastermind group have both been proven to work in any type of practice, time and time again, by our own members. Hundreds of different practices with different needs have come to us over the years and seen the growth and changes they wanted. The size of your practice, the number of years you’ve been working, the location and patient demographics you serve—none of these change the Top Practices approach to marketing.

    The longer answer is this: our marketing program and Mastermind group CAN work for your practice, but whether or not it actually does is entirely up to you. Making any sort of changes takes time and real, serious effort. ANY doctor who is ready to get his or her hands dirty and take the time needed to see real results, no matter what his or her practice is like, will find that what we do really does work. Browse our web library for more information about our approach to marketing, or ask us more information. You can reach us by e-mailing [email protected] or calling (717) 725-2679.

  • What is the Risk of the Top Practices Program for Me?

    There is no risk involved for you. You don’t have to put in a deposit, sign a minimum-time contract—or any contract at all—or worry about fine print in an agreement. You can try out our Mastermind group at no risk to yourself. Membership with Top Practices also comes with what I call Rem Jackson’s Personal Super-Strength Guarantee: if you are not satisfied with the results you see and the value you receive, you can drop your membership at any time. There’s no hassle and no fuss for you; you simply let us know if you plan to cancel.

    We believe so strongly in our methods and techniques, though, that we’re sure your practice really will grow and improve as a Mastermind group member. That’s why we have the super-strength guarantee. We have quite a few members who joined when Top Practices first launched in 2007 who are still with us today. We truly believe we can help you transform your practice into the one you want it to be. Since there’s no risk to yourself, don’t let uncertainty hold you back! Contact us for more information about membership with Top Practices. Just e-mail [email protected] or call (717) 725-2679.

  • What’s in it for Me?

    Membership with Top Practices is chock-full of benefits, information, and exclusive resources for you and your practice. First and foremost is the Mastermind group. This is a group of doctors who are all striving to grow their practices and are willing to discuss their ideas and learn from each other. By sharing thoughts and challenging each other, you come up with better ideas than you could have imagined on your own that you can tweak for your personal practice.

    In addition, you also get me, Rem Jackson, as a coach and mentor. My more than 20 years of experience in marketing is available to answer your questions and help you meet your goals. I lead idea-sharing calls and work with groups to discuss strategies, techniques, how-tos, and changes in the field of marketing. You have access to the group-wide monthly calls every month, as well as my considerable, members-only, online library of marketing resources. You also have access to special Top Practices services, like our Newsletter program, Practice Management courses, and online podiatry marketing services from our Virtual Marketing Directors.

    If you’d like to know more about everything available to you as a Top Practices member, or would like to apply, check out our application! You can also reach out to us for more information by e-mailing [email protected] or calling (717) 725-2679.