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.

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  • 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.

  • I Have a Very Small Practice – Can Top Practices Work for Me?

    The short answer is “certainly!” Top Practices has members with practices of all sizes, ranging from large and well-established, multi-doctor and multi-location businesses, to very small, brand-new, single doctor offices. The strategies we use and teach do not change with the size of your practice. Across the board, we focus on using the four pillars of marketing to help you grow: internet, referral, internal, and external marketing approaches.

    With small practices, we focus on marketing in all these areas with a sensitivity toward their small marketing budget. The good news is that many of the things that will be highly beneficial for your small practice are available for free, or are very inexpensive. You just have to know what these are and how to use them. We are the experts in this area, advising members with both small and large practices on how to put together a plan that works specifically for them—meeting their goals and matching their budget.

    If you have a small practice and a real drive to succeed and grow, check out our Mastermind Group to see how we can help you. You can take a look at the application or contact us by e-mailing [email protected] or by calling (717) 725-2679.

  • Why Should I Mastermind with Other Podiatrists?

    Running a successful practice is challenging, especially if you feel alone and isolated with your problems. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Masterminding is a practice developed by Napoleon Hill, designed to bring driven professionals in a field of business together to challenge each other to grow and do better. They discuss actual challenges and brainstorm real solutions so that everyone in the group learns from each other. After all, “a rising tide floats all boats,” and bringing fresh perspectives to the field allows everyone to offer the best services to their patients—and to grow their practices.

    That is why you should be involved in Masterminding. It’s the best way to learn practice management and marketing techniques that actually work from doctors just like you who have put their strategies to the test. They aren’t working with theories; they’re using refined techniques that are being adapted to meet the changing world around you. If you’re trying to grow a slow or struggling practice, this is the place to start. If you’re already highly successful and want to take your practice to the next level, you need this supportive and challenging business community.

    Top Practices emphasizes this community, which is why the Mastermind Group is at the center of everything we do. If you’re ready to invest in your practice and work toward the growth you’ve always wanted, check out our Mastermind application and contact us for more information. You can e-mail us at ans[email protected] or call (717) 725-2679.

  • How Do I Make My Practice Stand Out?

    The way to stand out from all the other local practices in your area is to differentiate. You need to separate yourself from the other doctors and demonstrate, without saying it outright, that you are the best choice to solve the problems that people are struggling with. You do this through your marketing.

    Marketing allows you to function as a specialist and to reach out to the specific kinds of people you would like to see in your office. No, this doesn’t mean you stop seeing general podiatry patients. Those people will still play a large role in your patient base. Becoming a specialist in your marketing means you speak directly to niche areas within your market instead of focusing on the general problems people might have. If you want to see more bunion surgery patients, you need to market yourself as an expert in that niche area—specifically to the people who are already concerned about their feet. Don’t just announce you are the best. Show potential patients that you are the one person in their local market that can truly fix their problems by promoting information and education through your four pillars of marketing.

    If you look exactly like every other doctor on the block, you will never stand out. The key is to differentiate yourself. If you’re serious about getting started, see how the Top Practices Mastermind Group can help you. Just ask us for more information about the group and services that have already helped dozens of other practices. You can e-mail us at [email protected] or call (717) 725-2679.

  • Why Should I be a Specialist Instead of a Generalist?

    Specialists are much more highly valued than generalists. In fact, the more specialized you are, the higher your regular income. This doesn’t mean you find one tiny niche in your market and only work within that area. You don’t need to eliminate general podiatry care altogether from your practice. That will still be a big part of your patient base and income. What it does mean, however, is that you should focus your marketing efforts on those niche areas that you like to see and that will help improve your return on investment. This could be bunions, bunion surgery, fungal nails, heel pain, runners, children’s feet, sports injuries, diabetic foot care, or whatever other specialized areas of podiatry you enjoy. 

    Specializing your marketing makes you stand out to the people you want to treat. General podiatry patients will still come to see you. But you will start to see the kinds of patients that you’d prefer to treat coming through your door. You’ll get to care for more of the conditions you’d rather work with. Top Practices has been helping doctors successfully achieve this for years. Connect with us to find out what our Mastermind group can do to help you specialize. Just e-mail us at [email protected] or call (717) 725-2679 for more information.

  • Why Should I Have a Book to Market my Practice?

    You should have a book to market your practice because books are the absolute best offer you can make when marketing a medical practice. They offer people something valuable: information they need to manage their healthcare. This information answers the questions that are plaguing them at the moment and offers possible solutions that you offer to  treat their condition. It is far more interesting and attractive for people looking for answers about their foot and ankle problems than just hearing about you and your years of experience. Sorry to break the news, but people really don’t care about you, your education, or your great in-office technology—they care about whether or not you can solve their problems.

    Books are only the first and essential step in a comprehensive marketing campaign.  You also must reach out to your book requestors regularly and automatically by email and traditional mail. “Traditional” marketing has an average ROI of less than 1%—meaning less than 1% of the people impacted by your marketing will convert to being patients. Using a book, and then following it up with consistent, informative communication, leads to an ROI that’s anywhere from 12% to 30% after 8 months.  That’s why Top Practices has full book campaigns available for our members. If you don’t already have a book, you’re missing dozens, even hundreds, of potential new patients.

    Don’t waste a good book! If you’d like more information about getting a book for your practice, or if you’re interested in how Top Practices can help you grow your marketing, contact us. You can reach us by calling (717) 725-2679 or e-mailing [email protected].

  • How Can I Compete in a Competitive Market?

    Earl Nightingale once said that if you find yourself in a situation where you don’t know what to do, and you don’t have a guide or a mentor to help you move forward, then just look around at what everyone else is doing and do the opposite. Think about it. If the whole group is doing the same thing, that thing is average. It doesn’t stand out. It also may or may not be the best. You don’t know, because no one is doing anything different.

    The market is very competitive. People need to be able to hear your voice without you shouting, jumping around, or acting undignified in any way. The way to compete in a difficult, saturated, competitive market is to do the opposite of all the others so that you stand out. Everyone else is pushing their brand, talking about themselves and what they do, and going on about their qualifications. It’s all them, them, them. Really, no one else cares about that. This is your opportunity to do the opposite.

    Think about everyone in your market as an opera diva. All an opera singer wants to sing is, “Me me me me me!” Don’t be like that. You need to focus outward on your patients and potential patients. Make an offer that is focused on helping them deal with their worries, issues, and concerns. Build a relationship with people and stay with them forever. You will far out-perform everyone in your market who focuses on themselves. At Top Practices, we do all this with books, newsletters, and follow-up campaigns. For more information about the tools and strategies Top Practices uses to help you compete, contact us! Just call (717) 725-2679 or e-mail [email protected].

  • Is it possible for me to reach the top in a Google search?

    Yes, it is absolutely possible for you to reach the top in Google search results. It takes time and effort, but if you do the right things on your website, you can find yourself turning up on top. How you do this matters, though. Google, Yahoo, and Bing all look for ways to crack down on cheaters and anyone who tries to achieve the top spot dishonestly.

    There are two ways to get to the top: “white hat” marketing, and “black hat” marketing. Top Practices is exclusively white hat. This means we help clients produce and optimize relevant, regular, quality content and promote it correctly. This is content that people who are searching for a podiatrist in their area could actually use, rather than informational spam. This is the only truly effective way to attract the patients you want.

    Black hat techniques use dishonest practices in an attempt to trick Google and other search engines into ranking your content higher, or to trick searchers into clicking on your page. The content is loaded with things that aren’t useful to anyone—and in most cases, is very harmful. We don’t want to give anyone bad ideas by explaining exactly how that works, but keep this in mind: if a company promises to get you to the top of Google search without real work or fresh content, RUN. Don’t look back. Only trust companies that understand proper SEO and your medical market.

    If you’re looking for help getting to the top, our Virtual Marketing Director Services team has experts who do understand white hat SEO and podiatry marketing. Let our team help you succeed on the internet. Contact Lori Hibma for more information by e-mailing [email protected] or by calling (616) 931-1040.

  • What are the Four Pillars of Marketing and what can they do for me?

    Top Practices uses a highly effective plan called The Four Pillars of Marketing that we’ve refined to enable podiatrists to grow their practices. These four pillars include every area you need to address to market your practice effectively: web-based, referral, internal, and external marketing strategies. Together, these pillars allow you to reach out to the people in your market who are looking for foot and ankle help and direct them to your office. More importantly, it frees you from struggling with the frustration caused by using the traditional and ineffective ways of advertising a practice. The Top Practices marketing strategies use every pillar to address the worries and concerns of the patients you are trying to attract. We actually enter the conversation that is already going in their minds concerning their foot and ankle problems. By doing this, we lead them to call your office to make an appointment to come see you, or make a referral when appropriate.

    Many doctors make the mistake of focusing on just one or two of the marketing pillars and find it doesn’t work as well as they’d hoped. No single pillar in the four pillars of marketing plan will provide you with the growth you’re looking for. You need to consistently market in each area to achieve the results you desire. If you’re frustrated with marketing that doesn’t help your practice grow, see if the Top Practices four pillars of marketing and our Mastermind group can help you turn that around. Contact us at [email protected] or call us at (717) 725-2679 for more information.

  • Do I have to feel overworked and underpaid to have the "best practice"?

    Many doctors are working too hard and aren’t making the income they should be making, but the good news is that you can have a growing, thriving practice without feeling overworked or underpaid. So why do so many doctors burn out working so hard without seeing the result they want? The answer is that many of them don’t know how to appropriately organize and manage their practices. This is actually quite common—podiatrists (all doctors actually) are never taught how to properly manage their office so that it runs smoothly at all times, whether they’re in the office or not. If you feel like you’re the only one motivated to improve your office, struggle to stay organized, or find your job is controlling your life, you absolutely need to take a closer look at your management!

    That’s why we are proud to offer the Top Practices Practice Management Institute, designed to help you to learn from the very best and set up your own office for success with tried and true techniques.

    If you have questions about The Practice Management Institute or the Top Practices Mastermind Group you can email us at [email protected] or call us at (717) 725-2679.

  • Should I be using Top Practices' VMD Services?

    The Top Practices Virtual Marketing Director Services are a fantastic resource for Top Practices Mastermind members who don’t have the time or knowledge to execute their internet marketing effectively. Whether or not you should use this service depends on what you need or want. Having an active internet presence is a necessity in today’s connected world. Maybe you know all about social media and have ideas about what you’d like to see on your website, but you and your staff don’t have the time to engage these platforms fully. Maybe you have e-mail and a website, but don’t know why you’d bother with Twitter or Google Local, much less know how to use them.

    Whether you’re tech-savvy or tech-challenged, the VMD Services team can help you boost your internet marketing. This well-trained team stays on top of the ever-changing landscape of search engines, social media, review sites, websites, and how to make the most of them. They can help you set up and manage everything you’ll need for an active and successful presence on the web.

    If you’re struggling with your internet marketing, need help getting started, or have to update your online “footprint,” let Lori Hibma ([email protected]) know. She’ll make sure your web presence is a successful one.

  • Why should I be doing video?

    Video marketing is a big part of your content strategy—or at least, it should be! Video is an interactive media that allows watchers to absorb new information relatively quickly. Many people are more willing to watch a quick, 1-minute video that answers their questions than read through a whole webpage to find the information they want. Videos are also easy to share. Plenty of people are willing to pass along a quick clip in their social media, increasing your reach. Watching something keeps visitors on your website longer, too, which increases the odds that they’ll convert from a passing visitor to someone requesting more information, or even an appointment. Just as importantly, Google now indexes the media and uses it for your search rankings.

    At Top Practices, we recognize the role that this media is playing in online marketing. That’s why our Virtual Marketing Director Services team is here to help you edit and produce your videos. If you aren’t already investing in this type of content creation, or would like help making your video marketing even better, contact Lori Hibma ([email protected] for more information.

  • Why should I have a newsletter?

    Newsletters that you both e-mail to your patients and have printed and mailed to them are one of the most effective tools you have for marketing your podiatry practice. The beauty is that you are marketing by simply teaching and staying in touch, and by not selling.

    Newsletters are also one of the most underutilized tools that doctors have available. Your database of patients and contacts is the most valuable asset you have in your practice, other than yourself and your well-trained staff. Communicating to this list of people, nurturing those relationships, and keeping them close to you results in significantly increased referrals and reactivations. It’s really that simple and yet so misunderstood. People will forget your name in 3-9 months if you don’t stay in touch.  Every professional practice—every business that understands this simple concept—finds their reception room full of patients who need and want their services.

    When you produce an interesting newsletter (not a boring one), you have an audience waiting for it that actually wants to read it. Believe it or not, people will ask you where your newsletter is if you miss sending it out for some reason, but only if it is interesting and engaging. Producing fresh content every month ensures you stay in regular contact with this list of people who are happy to refer and return to you.

    This is also a fantastic tool for letting patients know about services you have and conditions you treat, so they are regularly reminded how you can help them. If you aren’t already taking advantage of this, you should be. That’s why we have taken all the challenges and roadblocks to producing newsletters out of the way by creating a special Top Practices newsletter for podiatry offices that we customize specifically for you. You can e-mail us at [email protected] or call us at (717) 725-2679 for more information about this service and find out how Top Practices can help you grow your practice.

  • Why is social media important?

    Social media marketing strategies are an extremely important part of the Top Practices strategy for marketing online for several reasons, including these two important ones: Engagement and Exposure. Millions of users are active on a variety of social media platforms, which gives you the potential for a wide reach. Significantly, a disproportionate number of these social media users are women. And women are the decision makers for the healthcare of their entire extended family. When you get involved and “in the game” on social media, you are far more likely to be found online. It’s also a great way to share your web content. Even if just a fraction of the people in your local area who use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, or YouTube find your practice and engage with you online, you could dramatically increase your new patients.

    Social Media is also a prefect way to stay connected in an educational and fun way with your existing patient base. If you’re not already on social media to share your content and engage people, you could be missing significant opportunities for practice growth. Don’t put this off. It’s quick and easy to use, though you need to do it the right way.  Our Virtual Marketing Director Services team here at Top Practices is available to help any of our members get started on their social media campaigns.  If you have any questions about your internet marketing, or wonder how Top Practices could help your office, you can call us at (717) 725-2679. You can also email us at [email protected].  You can find out more about the Top Practices Marketing Mastermind Group here

  • Who can do my marketing for me?

    We can. Top Practices has a team of talented and sophisticated people who know how to market a podiatry practice, and we do it every day of the week.  We call them Virtual Marketing Directors – our doctors call them superstars.  No kidding!

    It’s become exceedingly clear to everyone that internet based marketing is changing the rules of the game.  Everybody uses the internet – 9 year olds to 90 year olds, they are online and searching.

    Shortly after beginning Top Practices, we knew that we needed to help our members get their marketing done. Doctors are busy and they don’t have time to become internet marketing experts.  But it can be very hard to find an individual with the skillset who understands how to promote and market a podiatry practice.  So we hired them and we trained them for you. They are rewriting the rules for our doctors and getting them found online.

    This service is exclusively provided to members of our Top Practices Mastermind Group. We limit this service to our members, because while we believe the doctor doesn’t have to do the marketing work himself, or even know “how” to do it, they must know “why” to do it. And that is what the Top Practices Marketing and Management Mastermind Group teaches our doctors each and every month in an easy-to-use way to go about this.

    Check it out.  Top Practices can do your marketing for you.  

  • What is the best thing for marketing a podiatry practice?

    This is one of those questions that doesn’t have a very satisfying answer, because there is NO single best thing you can do to market your podiatry practice. There just isn’t a silver bullet or a purple pill you can take and make your marketing really good.

    Marketing your practice is just like everything else in your life. 

    If you want to lose weight, you have to eat well and exercise.  What’s the best diet? The one that has you consuming less calories than you use in a day and works for you. What’s the best exercise plan? The one you’ll actually keep doing.

    What’s the best marketing plan? A plan that includes activities in these four areas:

    • Internet marketing.
    • Referral marketing to medical and non-medical referral sources in your local market.
    • Marketing to your existing database of people who know you, like you, and trust you.
    • Marketing to your community.

    The best thing you can do to market your practice is to have a comprehensive marketing program that addresses the four areas above – I call them the Four Pillars of Marketing. If you fail to take this seriously and don’t work on marketing in each of these areas weekly, you will struggle.

    There is no silver bullet or purple pill, but there is a marketing program that can keep your reception room full of patients that you want to see every day of the week.  Check it out.

  • Is the Top Practices Summit worth it?

    There is only one real way to answer this question.  What do past attendees say about the Summit?

    If you’ve taken the time to read what your colleagues have to say about this conference, then you know it’s changing things for the better in dramatic ways for dozens and dozens of your fellow podiatrists.

    Several additional things to consider:

    1. It’s guaranteed.  Here is the Summit Guarantee:

    If at any time, during the Summit, you feel that you came to the wrong place or we are not addressing the issues we said we would, you may turn in your materials and receive a full refund of your seminar registration fee – no questions asked; no small print.

    1. The Top Practices Summit is designed to enable serious doctors who are ready to make the changes they need to make to get moving and executing.  It is not for everyone. True success doesn’t transfer by osmosis. You’ve got to want to get serious about positioning your practice and your career for success in the complex future facing all of us.
    2. If you are already doing well and consider yourself to be a good marketer, then the Summit is absolutely for you. Winners like to be around and learn from other winners.  You know that if you get just one or two great ideas that you can use it will be worth your time and investment.

    Is the Summit worth it?  Hundreds of podiatrists will tell you yes, but the real answer is, “Are you ready?”