When you cut through the clutter, my clients have one simple goal:
They want to be the Obvious Choice.
Once people start to see you as an obvious choice to their problem, magic starts to happen.
You don’t have to spend as much on marketing.
Patients more actively refer their friends and family members.
You develop a reputation based on value, which means higher prices and an easier sell.
So how do you become the Obvious Choice?
Through Authority Signals. If you’re putting off the right Authority Signals, you’re “the one.”
Really it comes down to three major Authority Signals.
Back in the day, these were major mountains to climb, and here’s how they played out:
1. Practice – You had to be in practice for decades, long enough to accrue tens of thousands of patients who could refer you to others.
2. Promotion – You had to spend Big Money on marketing and self-promotion. Why? Because traditional media channels are expensive, and that was the gateway to awareness in the market.
3. Press – You had to create PR awareness through local market coverage in the news, articles and other media. While you were at the mercy of the media groups as to when, why and how they might feature you, this helped to validate your positioning.
But we’re not back in the day anymore.
You don’t have to ‘pay your dues’ while you climb the ladder to the top. (That’s what your peers and predecessors want you to believe, but it’s garbage, and I’ll show you why)
Thankfully, with new technology at our disposal and a fresh understanding of how people research and make decisions, you can turn these mountains into molehills and build your Authority Signals in record time.
Let’s work through this list to discuss some of the ways to do this.
Hack the Press
We’ll start with the press. No longer do the newscasters and writers hold the keys to the PR castle. You have plenty of ways to gain “press coverage” to show your market you are the authority.
Here are three off the top of my head:
1. Write and circulate press releases online.
There are dozens of websites that allow you to syndicate your news release to websites all over the country for a reasonable fee. Circulate the release, link to the major websites that showcase it, and share that on social media (with a boost to get it on front of other folks).
2. Target news station employees with Facebook or LinkedIn ads.
Why clog up the reporter’s inbox when you can use social media to get in their newsfeed?
3. Purchase a slot on a local talk show, then leverage the recording of your appearance.
This is one of my all-time favorites. Talk to your local network TV affiliates, see if you can buy an interview slot on one of their local morning shows. Chances are, you can. Make an appearance, and talk about the problems you solve for patients.
Here’s the trick – Then you get the recording of your appearance, put it on your website and use it to generate leads from Facebook ads. It’s not your standard commercial. It’s a news piece, which packs 10x the power of an ad.
Hack Your Practice Promotion
Spending millions in your local market to promote your practice? No thanks.
While traditional media still plays a role in your branding, you can use Facebook ads to pin-point your exact ideal patient online.
Want to target a mother of teenagers who enjoys yoga and lives with 5 miles of your office? You can do that on Facebook, and you can do it with an ad that speaks directly to her pain points.
Consider all the target demographics that may be ideal for your services:
- People with X-mile radius
- Men between the ages of X and Y
- Women between the ages of X and Y
- Mothers/fathers of young children
- Mothers/fathers of teenage children
- People who are outdoorsy
- People who do X job (X = virtually any profession)
- Women who just got engaged
- People with a birthday this month
- People who have visited your website already
That’s 10 different audience segments, and I can think of 3 ways to market to each one. You’re talking 30 different targeted campaigns, all of which you can test with a few dollars and see if they have traction.
The possibilities are endless, and at that price point, you have zero excuses.
Hack Your Best REferral Source
Happy patients are your best and cheapest referral source. But you don’t need an army of 20,000 patients to scrounge up a few personal referrals.
I’m sure you’ll get there one day, but in the meantime, let’s go ahead and hack this Authority Signal now.
YES, a word-of-mouth referral from a friend, family member or coworker is an important part of the decision-making process, especially with something like a medical procedure.
But here’s the thing – 8 out of 10 people say they put online reviews and personal recommendations in the same boat.
Meaning a friend’s referral is great, but recommendations from strangers will do just fine, thanks.
Then the question becomes “How can I get more patients recommending me to the world?”
How about the world’s largest search engine? The place where people are literally looking for your services.
I’m talking about Google. More specifically, Google reviews.
Every day, billions of searches take place on Google. People Googling their way to solutions.
And in your city, when someone searches your specialty, what do they see? A list of practices, all with a few reviews.
Go look for yourself. Maybe you have a couple dozen reviews, like your competitors. (If you have over 100, color me impressed.)
How would the public perceive you if you had 500 five-star reviews?
Do you think more people would click to your practice first? Would new patients automatically assume you have the solution they are looking for?
Would this be an ultimate Authority Signal for your practice? Would it position you as the Obvious Choice since you’ve clearly solved problems expertly for so many other patients?
But how do you get patients to leave you these incredibly valuable reviews?
No excuses – You can be the Obvious Choice
The barriers of building your Authority Signals are now gone. It’s not 1973 anymore. It doesn’t take decades to build a reputation and become the leader in your local market. You can take control of your practice positioning right now, which only leaves the question – Will you?
Need a hand? Someone to point you in the right direction, road map in hand, ready to conquer your local market and attract the lion’s share of new patients?