More Ways Your Practice Can Discover its Ideal Patient

February 6, 2014

How to focus on your ideal patient, what their issues are, and what they need most right now.

Last week I covered some pretty easy to follow strategies to discovering your ideal patient, and also why you would want to discover such a thing. In your ideal patient profile, you are going to focus on who your ideal patient is, what their issues are, and what they need most right now to be successful in their health goals.

Here is the work you have done so far:

1. You have selected and sorted through a few days of patients, categorizing them in categories numbered one to five.

2. You have gathered your ones and twos and identified common threads that helped make them your most enjoyable patients.

3. You have taken those common threads and created a list of qualifiers for your ideal patient(s).

4. You have named your ideal patient and created a profile for them and began to identify areas in your practice that could cater to this patient population.

Now you will find where your patients hang out in groups.

Where do I find my practices ideal patients?

Start by taking a look at the common threads you found in your favorite patients to get ideas on where in your community you can begin to build a presence. For moms, perhaps it is at schools or gyms with childcare? For business professionals, perhaps it is at Starbucks, chamber meetings, or at large cubicle-filled corporations? If you are targeting seniors, maybe it is the local health fair?

One of my clients, a dermatologist, performed simple skin-cancer screenings in a 'feet on the ground" marketing plan for a large executive sales firm. She performed one afternoon of 31 exams and yielded 25 new ideal patients for her practice.

In addition to "feet on the ground" initiatives or getting out in your community, you also want to look at online to determine where these patients are hanging out digitally. Since it simply isn't possible to go through all of the places your ideal patient is collecting in droves in your community, let's go over a few places that you will need to be present online (including social media).

Your Website

You must design a patient attractive website that speaks to your ideal patient, and encourages your patients and prospective patients to stay in touch. Your website should be quick to load (less than four seconds), position you as a trustworthy expert, and feature content that focuses on solving your ideal patient's problems (it's not just about you, your practice, and your accolades).

You should avoid auto-starting videos on your home page and Flash graphics. You should avoid a cluttered and busy page by ensuring there is plenty of white space. Ensure there is an obvious plan and direction on what you want the viewer to do. You should also have a professional logo, and graphics and photos that are clean, clear, and professional.

Your Blog

Blogging blurs the line between website and social media as it fits into both categories. It is one of the items that I recommend that just about everyone take part in: This gives you an open platform to speak to your clients and boosts your search-engine ranking. If you are worried about content, there is no need to recreate the wheel; once you get a set of content together you can build on and use that content in many different formats. We can recommend content providers that can provide you with unique content for your practice.

Social Media

Participating in social media is no longer optional. The social media outlets you choose should be dependent upon your ideal patient. Don't try and be everywhere all the time; there are a few outlets you should be on simply because they boost your placement in the search engines but pick a few - two to three at most that are best for your business - and be present there with information that your ideal patients need to and want to know. It's imperative that you avoid trying to be on all media outlets. Be strategic; if your ideal patients are stay-at-home moms then don't spend too much time worrying about LinkedIn.

Stay In Touch

Staying in touch with your patients, both current and prospective, is what we like to call a "ninja" marketing move, and will put you light years above your colleagues. This gives you an open door to provide them with useful and helpful information and stay front of mind, and let them know when you have a new service that will be perfect for them.

Going back to my family practice client that works with executives: She used her stay-in-touch tactic to let her established patients know that she would be able to see them for telemedicine visits as they traveled … and the results were astounding.

To sum it up, discovering and marketing ro your ideal patient is key to growing a successful and personally fulfilling practice. Please feel free to comment on a trait your ideal patient possesses to help get the collective creative juices flowing.