Frequently Asked Questions About Growing Your Practice

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.

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  • Where do I seek out external marketing opportunities?

    External marketing is a one of the Four Marketing Pillars, and it uses a variety of sources other than the internet, word-of-mouth, and your marketing database to get your name “out there” in the community. How you find those sources is up to you and what’s available to you. It could be as simple as using print ads or submitting special articles to niche magazines or your local newspaper. You could contact your local radio stations and potentially run an ad or a special guest segment or interview on a radio show—and the same goes for local TV.

    Another great way to build up your external marketing is to sponsor a local event or sports team. As an official sponsor, your name will be highlighted, possibly in official materials. For some events you might be able to set up a booth and meet with people in your community directly, allowing you to establish some relationships. Health fairs are another opportunity for you to meet with potential patients and highlight your services.

    Ultimately, where you look for external marketing opportunities is up to you. It really depends on what’s available to marketing your name to your unique community. If you’re looking for more ideas, and really want to double down on a well-rounded marketing plan as a whole, contact us! Our Mastermind groups discuss this and other topics on a regular basis. Simply e-mail [email protected] or call (717) 725-2679.

  • Why should I Mastermind with other OB/GYNs?

    Joining a Mastermind group is a big choice and one that has incredible potential to help you meet your goals and succeed in the way you want. It’s a great idea for medical professionals, particularly those in a difficult field like OB/GYNs, because it helps you navigate the minefield of your practice with others who know what you’re going through. Masterminding was coined as a business concept by Napoleon Hill in the 1930s as a way to help people help each other. The idea is that a group of motivated professionals who want to push themselves and their businesses to the next level meet on a regular basis to discuss their challenges and brainstorm solutions. This meeting of the minds allows you to hear from different perspectives and create or be introduced to ideas you might never have thought of on your own. You and your peers can then implement the ideas into your respective practices, helping the whole group succeed.

    This is particularly helpful for OB/GYNs in today’s world of modern medicine, because things are changing rapidly and it can feel very isolating. This can contribute to burnout, stress, and general misery in your chosen field. It doesn’t have to be that way, though, because you are definitely not alone. Your practice problems are not unique—many other doctors have faced those same challenges. A Mastermind group allows you to learn from and work with peers who have life experiences and perspectives that could help you meet your own challenges and push you to make the changes you need to reach your goals.

    This whole concept is exactly why the Top Practices Mastermind program exists. We have a large group that meets regularly for calls, and smaller groups that help doctors get into the nitty-gritty of their own practices. If you’re a motivated OB/GYN looking to grow your practice and face the challenges of modern medicine, a Mastermind group might be what you need. Contact Top Practices today for more information or an application to join. You can e-mail us at [email protected] or call (717) 725-2679.

  • How can I tell if my social media is working?

    First and foremost, your social media is actually meant to be just a single component of a larger integrated internet marketing strategy. It’s meant to work together with and support your website, your blogs, and even (in some cases) your e-mail marketing and building your list. Measuring if it’s “working” apart from the rest of your online marketing isn’t the point; however, there are valuable ways to see how your online strategy is working as a whole, and to see how your social media is functioning inside that.

    The number one way to know if your digital marketing strategy is working is to track your new patients every single month and identify what brought them into your office. See if and how patients found you online. Compare those numbers to the new patient trends for the year. Are those numbers increasing? Compare those numbers to the new patients from the same month last year, too—in other words, compare the number of new patients from January of this year to January of last year. Have those numbers improved?

    You know your online marketing—and yes, your social media—is working if the number of patients who come to you from the internet is increasing over time.

    Your internet analytics can help you identify if your social media strategy in particular is helping your online marketing. Is the number of people seeing, “liking,” or otherwise interacting with your social media growing? Are people being directed back to your blogs or your website from your social media platforms? You should review these analytics on a monthly basis, which is one of the things our Virtual Marketing Director (VMD) Services does for members. If you’re interested in getting help with your analytics, or your internet marketing in general, let us know! You can contact the VMD team directly by calling (616) 931-1040.

  • How does a book campaign work to bring in more patients?

    A free book campaign can be an incredibly valuable marketing tool to increasingly bring in patients into your office over a period of many months. It’s a “slow drip” option that, unlike most forms of marketing, has a relatively high return on investment (ROI). It works by providing people with valuable information that answers their questions—in the form of the free book—in exchange for their contact information. After that, the campaign follows up with each person by continually providing them with additional useful information related to the book and the medical or cosmetic issues tied to it.

    This campaign spans several months, as a potential patient goes through the decision-making process from investigating their medical concerns to deciding to do something about it. Typically this does take quite some time. By providing regular information through multiple mediums, you’re “there” for them every step of the way. You end up being the doctor they think of when they finally decide to take action and deal with their problem. Since a book is easy to pass along to friends or family, or even to recommend to others, it can easily spread as it slowly brings in new patients.

    We’ve seen this working for doctors who really invest in promoting their book and make it a centerpiece in their marketing overall. This can definitely work for you, too. If you’d like to learn more about the Top Practices book campaigns, let us know. You can e-mail us at [email protected] or call us directly at (717) 725-2679.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • Who Else has Done this, and has it Worked for Them?

    Literally hundreds of doctors have joined Top Practices, participated in our Mastermind groups, and implemented our Four Pillars of Marketing strategies. These are physicians in all walks of life, with different levels of experience and practice styles. We have members with large, multi-million, multi-doctor, multi-location offices around big cities, and tiny, one-doctor-one-office practices in rural markets. Some are brand new to private practice, while others have been in practice for decades. Most of our members are here in North America, but others have started joining from around the world.

    We’ll be the first to say that our approach to marketing and managing a practice doesn’t work for everyone. If you’re not willing to learn new marketing strategies, participate in the Mastermind group, and actually take the time you need to transform your practice, this program won’t benefit you. On the other hand, if you’re serious and willing to put forward the effort to actually change your whole practice, then yes, our techniques work. Of course, you don’t have to take our word for it! See what current Mastermind members have to say instead. You can also contact us with your questions. E-mail [email protected] or call (717) 725-2679.

  • Why Would Other Podiatrists Want to Help ME Succeed?

    Something we firmly believe is that success leaves footprints. Sharing successful ideas and brainstorming solutions to problems with the brightest and best minds in your profession helps everyone involved reach the full potential for their practices. That’s exactly what the Top Practices Mastermind group does, and it’s why all our members are willing to share their ideas and help you succeed. Think of it this way: would you rather learn from the mistakes other people have made, or spend a lot of valuable time and money making the exact same mistakes yourself? If you’re at all interested in growing your practice, you’ll pick the first one.

    All our members have had their fair share of successes and mistakes. They’re willing to share these honestly because they understand the benefits of learning from each other. As the saying goes, “a rising tide floats all boats.” The reality of masterminding is that the process tends to create new, better strategies for success than any one member would have thought of on his or her own. If you’re willing to participate, share openly, and learn from others, we’d love to have you join! Take a look at our application to learn more, or contact us. You can reach us by calling (717) 725-2679 or e-mailing [email protected].  

  • How Do I Hire Quality Staff?

    The single most valuable asset in any practice is a well-trained staff. Without good staff supporting a doctor, it really doesn’t matter how talented or good he or she is. He or she will never be as effective as they could be. That is, in fact, the purpose of having staff. They allow you to reach your optimum effectiveness. However, the ability to judge or sense (or guess) how a potential candidate is going to approach a job is something that most doctors don’t have.  In fact, most businesses owners in general don’t possess this ability.

    We typically make poor decisions because of the enthusiasm someone presents at their interview. Unfortunately, that enthusiasm often evaporates in as little as a few weeks after the person has been hired, making it starkly clear if that person fits the job well or not. One of the missions of Top Practices is to connect doctors with the very best resources available to them. And in hiring any employee, from receptionist to medical assistant to associate doctor, we highly recommend DPM Hiring. The CEO of this company, Jay Henderson, and his team have helped several hundred Top Practices members hire exactly the right person for the job. Rem Jackson himself has often said he would never hire anyone, ever, without first consulting Jay Henderson and his system. You can find out more about this approach to hiring from the DPM Hiring website. You can also join our Mastermind group to learn more about managing your office and making it the best it could possibly be.

  • Should I be concerned about review sites, and is there anything I can do to improve them?

    Every single podiatry practice, small business, and professional needs to be concerned about review sites. They are now a fact of life. They’re also widely used by many, if not most, people on the internet. Consequently, having good review profiles is very, very important. You need to take this seriously. The good news is that there are several things you can do to maximize your profiles and build positive reviews.

    First and foremost, you need to be monitoring what people are saying about your practice. Many doctors make the mistake of believing that, if they don’t encourage patients to leave reviews, no one will and they won’t have to deal with negative comments. This is simply not true. Patients will review you whether you want them to or not. You are going to get a few negative reviews. It’s a fact of life and it won’t change any time soon.

    The other vital thing you must do is to encourage happy patients to leave good, positive reviews. In this way, you bury the negative reviews under a mountain of satisfied comments on your review sites. Here at Top Practices, we focus on ethical and appropriate strategies to encourage patients to share stories of the many ways you successfully helped their feet and ankles. If you want to see how our Mastermind group can help you with this, contact us for more information. Just e-mail [email protected] or call (717) 725-2679.