Your practice is the most valuable asset you have, and chances are you want to invest in it properly. You want your office to grow and serve patients, as well as give you a good enough return to succeed in business. Marketing your practice is the best way to do this. The big, potentially million-dollar question is how to actually invest in marketing. Sometimes marketing can feel like a crapshoot. You won’t know if it’ll bring in a return or go bust until it does. The good news is that this isn’t true. There are right approaches to investing in marketing that actually work, and you can learn how to use them.
The Big Reasons Docs Don’t Invest
Before we answer how to invest in your marketing, the real question is why you need to invest—and why most podiatrists don’t. As it turns out, most podiatrists are reluctant to spend money on marketing their practice. This is really because they don’t see it as an investment—they see it as a cost. They aren’t able to see a return on the money they spend.
This can happen for a couple reasons: poor marketing experiences and an inability to measure the return. Many doctors have had bad experiences with their marketing in the past. They worked with salespeople who were trying to sell marketing media, ads, internet search engine optimization, and other products or strategies that weren’t targeted or refined for a podiatry practice. Doctors ended up spending a lot of money without a real return.
But even being able to tell if the cost was a good investment can be difficult. Most doctors don’t know how to track and measure their marketing efforts to see if they’re succeeding. This isn’t necessarily because they don’t know how track their numbers, though that can be the case. Most often they just aren’t sure what they’re trying to achieve. It’s always hard to tell if you’re reaching your goals and being successful if you don’t even know what that looks like for your practice. So it’s impossible to tell if your marketing investment was worth it if you can’t see your return or how it helped you succeed.
This ends up discouraging doctors from actually investing instead of just spending money.
Why Investing in Marketing Isn’t Optional for Success
So we return to the question we asked before: why do you need to invest in marketing your podiatry practice? Because you want to grow, succeed, and reach your goals. You can’t do this and achieve your fullest potential without marketing. New patients have no way of finding you if you don’t put your name out there. Referral sources have no reason to remember you, much less recommend you, if they don’t have something in front of them that shows you’re the kind of doctor who can solve people’s foot problems. Most importantly of all, though, is the hard truth that people don’t actually care about YOU—they are too busy with their own problems to pay attention to the cool technology you have or your years of experience or your top-notch education. They only care about whether or not you can fix their problems.
And that is exactly where marketing comes in.
The Million Dollar Question: How to Invest in Marketing
The difference between marketing being a cost and an investment two-fold: whether or not it helps you reach your goals, and whether or not it not only makes back the money you spent, but makes a profit. This means that the very first step of investing in marketing is clearly defining your goals.
What results are you looking for? You can’t afford to be vague. Define the exact numbers of both total and specific types of patients you’d like to see—new patients, diabetics, heel pain, sports injuries, bunion surgeries, children, seniors, etc.—and what sources you’d like to see bring them in. Knowing what you’re looking for helps you decide if your marketing is working.
This also helps you measure your return on investment. When you market correctly, every dollar you spend should ultimately come back to you as $2, or $5, or $10, or even more. This changes everything. When this happens, you’re no longer asking what the minimum is that you can spend on marketing and still be okay. You end up asking how you can invest more, because investing makes you money.
There Is a Right Way to Market a Practice
Back to that Million Dollar question. You invest in your marketing by investing in the four pillars. This approach is how Top Practices has helped turn mediocre, just-surviving offices into thriving ones. Like we said before, promoting your expensive technology, education, or experience doesn’t impress or attract people. People aren’t being unkind; they’re simply too busy worrying about their own problems.
The four pillars approach allows you to reach out through all possible venues and speak to the concerns people already have, demonstrating your ability to solves their problems. This means fully engaging people through the internet, your community referral sources, your current database of patients, and the larger community events around you. You can’t invest in just one of these four areas and hope you’ll get the return you’re looking for, either. These pillars are designed to work together to help you grow and reach your goals.
Top Practices has refined this approach for years. We’ve seen it work for dozens of podiatrists in all walks of life both nationally and internationally. If you’re serious about learning how to invest in marketing your practice, take a look through our website or the Mastermind application. Then contact us for more information. You can reach us by calling (717) 725-2679 or e-mailing [email protected].