Many solo practitioners have created successful practices solely on the back of their own talent and hard work. But to grow their practice and become profitable, they must learn how to market their practice online.
Although many solo practitioners are interested in expanding their reach, few know how to go about it. And even fewer have the time to learn how to market themselves effectively while also running a practice.
So whether you’re a general practitioner who wants to transition to a more specialized practice or a plastic surgeon who wants to attract more clients, this article is for you. Here are some tips to get you started.
Step one: Create a website
If you’re just getting started, it’s a good idea to choose a niche and go for it. The most popular specialties right now are mental health and addiction medicine. If you’ve always wanted to specialize in these areas, now is the perfect time to dive in. You can use your website to show cases of your work, write articles for medical publications, and much more. In fact, if you get really creative, you can even incorporate live chat into your website. This helps establish you as a thought leader in your field, which in turn, attracts more patients to your practice.
If you decide to go the website route, be sure to pick a domain that is both unique and memorable. Having a website that is difficult to find can help greatly with the discoverability of your practice. Once you have your site, don’t just stop there. Continue to build out content and add more value to it. You can also use your site to accept payments for your services. If you choose a free platform like WordPress, you can use online money transfer service providers like Stripe or Square to take payments directly on your site.
Step two: Build your online community
Once you have a website, you can start to build your online community. Communities give you the opportunity to connect with other practitioners and patients, share advice, and more. Launching a forum or a blog is a great way to do this. Having a space that is dedicated to helping practitioners develop their skills is a wonderful way to connect with your ideal client. As a solo practitioner, you’re essentially running the show. So it’s important to build your team around you. You can start small by putting out a call for volunteers to join your blog or forum. Once you have a few members, you can start to look for sponsorships, or choose to write products reviews for online directories like Google Reviews.
Your community can serve as both a source of information and support when needed, as well as an advertisement for your practice. The fact that people are actively looking for services and products you offer means they have an interest in what you have to say. This is why it’s important to develop your community quickly.
Step three: Create online content regularly
Now that you have a website and online community, it’s time to start producing content. For solo practitioners, creating and maintaining content is a full time job, so don’t expect to be able to do this every day. However, you should create content at least once a week, if not daily. This way, you continue to build out your online presence while also providing value to your target audience. If possible, create videos to accompany your content. It’s amazing how much content you can find on YouTube for virtually any niche or subject matter. There are also professionals who can help you find the right video content for your needs.
The content that you create should be valuable and solve a problem that your target audience is experiencing or seeking to experience. For example, if you are a GP and your target audience is other GPs, then your content should focus on helping them improve their practice and become more efficient. Your content can also be used to promote events or training sessions that you or your practice may be involved in. Finally, don’t forget about SEO – making your content easy to find via search engine optimization.
Step four: Use social media to build your brand
With all the different platforms existing today, it’s important to find the one that is right for you. If you have a large social media following, you can take advantage of the platform’s ‘reputation’ system, which allows users to give and receive feedback on your content. Using these platforms to provide value to your audience and establish yourself as an expert in your field is a great way to grow your practice. Some examples of social media platforms include:
These are all free platforms, and you can use them to their full extent to grow your practice. In fact, many solo practitioners I work with have a following on one or more of these platforms. By taking the time to learn how to use these platforms effectively, they were able to build substantial followings and make their practices much more than just a website.
Step five: Use SEO and content to build your practice
Once you have a large social media following, you can start to use SEO and content to bring in more patients to your practice. When a patient arrives at your website via a search engine, you should see a significant increase in new patient registrations. To learn more, read this article on search engine optimization for the medical practice.
Creating and maintaining content for SEO is a full time job in itself, so don’t expect to be able to do this once you have a practice. However, you can hire an SEO specialist to help you with this process. This way, you continue to build out your online presence while also attracting more patients to your practice.
The steps mentioned above can help get you started. Once you have a practice, the most important thing to do is to learn to market yourself online. While there are several platforms and tools available to help, the most successful solo practitioners learn to use the internet and social media to their advantage. With a little bit of effort, anyone can do this. And if you’re looking to change the way you practice or looking for ways to grow your practice, now is the perfect time to get started.