Does your practice have an identity?
Most practices don’t and wonder why they don’t get more patients in their door. You can’t get recognized without a noticeable identity.
Building an identity takes some thinking and thought-out strategy. It doesn’t just happen by being open–doesn’t matter how many years you are in business. I know practices open for over 10 years and still have no identity.
What makes up a practice’s identity?
Well, just like YOU (as an individual) have an identity and what makes up YOUR identity is what makes up the identity of your business or practice.
|Face||Logo, Facebook, Website,|
|What you believe||Your mission statement|
|What you have accomplished||Achievements, Certificates|
|Interests||Network with other businesses|
|Good deeds||Charities you support|
|What others say about you||Testimonials from patients, physicians, mayor, and more.|
You have no identity initially (to the ones that matter) because they don’t know you. Ensure a good impression when they do! Your marketing and advertising tools must be professional and high quality. Your ad’s, signs, business cards, letterhead, etcetera are all extensions of you. Others will judge you in part by your materials.
Later during the second and third years your staff, service, and reputation will contribute, but for the time being lets focus on the immediate.
How important is it to develop your identity?
This is your number one priority when beginning your business! In case you didn’t hear me…this is your number one priority when beginning your business! You can have strong grasps on billing codes, reimbursement and collections, and productivity and internal bookkeeping but if you don’t have patients coming through your door, none of it matters! On the flip side, if you have a lot of patients coming through your door, there is no problem big enough that you can’t handle or overcome!
“Your marketing tools become extensions of your practice’s identity.” -JamesPT
It is from these tools most will use when formulating an impression of you. Did you hear me?… They will judge you by the marketing tools you disseminate! If they are professional and of high quality so to the impression of you will be professional and high quality. If they are cheap and unsophisticated so to you will be.
Your marketing tools should effectively communicate who you are, your uniqueness, and your expertise. If you can accomplish this you are on your way to creating a strong demand for yourself and your services! Begin the designing process as soon as possible! It takes time to develop logos, themes, and illustrations that fit your business so begin this process now. Later, as soon as you confirm your business location be ready to print! We can help you through the design, print, and implementation process for a nominal fee. Just ask!
Where do I begin?
This is a list of required tools you’ll need. Generate them in the sequence listed. Spend as much money as you can in this phase. Most of the tools can be designed by professional designers or with the help of IndeAdvertising (
- *Logo and/or theme
- All your tools should share a common theme by way of color(s), illustration, or logo. A great place to get a great logo for a great price is http://logoworks.com
- *Newsletter View Sample. Download a two-page template here. Learn how to write a winning newsletter package here.
- *Personalized Email Address
- Gives you more professionalism and credibility.
- *Business Card
- Recommend you get the full color with an illustration. View a sample.
- *Friends & Family Voucher or Postcard
- Every patient or person inquiring must recieve one of these! View sample below.
- *Custom Letterhead w/Envelopes
- Get your logo, letterhead and business cards all together from the beginning to stay consistent and professional.
- *Referral pad for MD’s View sample. Do not make the mistake of making your referral pad a menu for MD’s to tell you what to do. Use it as an item to help educate and market your practice and services. If the referring physician wants you to do something specific like “massage” etc. then make them write it out or come up with it on their own. Do not make it easy for them to tell you what to do! Ask IndeFree for help with design. View another sample.
- *Staff Profile Sheet Include pictures and what each specializes in. Ask IndeFree for help.
- *Programs and Services Sheet Include pictures of patients with their testimonies. Ask IndeFree for help.
- *Facility and Specialized Equipment Sheet Include pictures of equipment and facility and how it’s ideal for what you do.
- *Thank You Cards/Postcards (for MD Referrals)
- Personalize a card: http://www.revive-inc.com/MarketingMaterials/mainpage.htm
- *Fax Cover Sheet Just modify Microsoft Words fax template and add confidentiality statement. See sample here.
- *Yellow Page Ad
- Do not let the salesperson design the ad. View their versions. Ask IndeFree for help. See the IndeFree version. See the difference!
- Poster promotion of “Family Friends Referral Program” Your primary way of promoting word-of-mouth should be in writing then reinforced verbally. See sample below.
- MD Satisfaction Survey Send the message that you value their input.
- *Patient Satisfaction Survey Required to obtain needed patient testimonies and great way to motivate staff. Learn more in section 14b.
- Postcard for your Services
- *Patient Thank You to MD postcard
- View sample below. MD’s love good mail. http://www.revive-inc.com/MarketingMaterials/mainpage.htm
- Poster Promoting Patients to say Thank You to their MD Essential to internal marketing success.
- Product Promo postcard
- Great way to gain new patients and increase revenue! http://www.revive-inc.com/MarketingMaterials/mainpage.htm
- Product Pricelist
- If it’s not written down on paper your missing out on 300% more sales.
- Point of Purchase Displays
- Helps increase more sales of not only products but elective services.
- Newspaper Article
- Send to all community newspapers. It will get printed! Free publicity!
- Referral Program Sheet for Competitors
- Explain how you will refer to them and how they should refer to you. You’ll see immediate results
- Product Packaging
- Adds credibility and professionalism to your practice!
- Signs & Banners Have them ready and available for health fairs, expos, etc.
- Website http://www.revive-inc.com/MarketingMaterials/mainpage.htm
- Samples and Giveaways
- Everyone loves free things. Give new patients something on their first visit to encourage word-of-mouth.
- *Patient Testimonies Take the patient testimonies from the Satisfaction Surveys and Postcards and use them to display in your lobby and send to your referral sources via a “Hear What Patients are Saying…” postcard.sample
- On-hold music http://www.sonicriver.com/
- MD testimonies
- Get physicians to comment about you and your facility and hang them on your wall near the front counter. Even better if you can add their picture! Our CD with Tools & Forms has a convenient letter template which makes collecting MD testimonies easy!
*Recommended must haves.
Six Features of Graphic Design that Sell
- One thing dominates the page
- Minimize typeface variety
- White space should be present
- Use easy-to-read text
- Use relevant illustrations
- Clear, visible logo and call to action
Why Direct Mail?
Our unique patient demographic (mostly between 33-83) still check and read their mail.
The Art of Direct Mailing
In any industry, direct mail shots remain one of the most effective means of drumming up new business. To ensure the mail shots themselves are of a high standard there are three main criteria to be observed, namely;
Content: Use your six key words and 26 word description. Find a good balance between benefits and features.
Design: If you are familiar with Adobe Ilustrator then you can get great design ideas from magazines and other company materials. Otherwise get professionally designed.
Target list: Check your local yellow pages (book and online) for business listings. For residential lists Google “Marketing lists”.
The latter is, in a way, the most important, as without a comprehensive and accurate list of names and addresses, your direct mail shot is simply a waste of paper.
The key to compiling a good direct mail list is to utilize all available sources e.g. yellow pages, local newspapers, personal contacts etc… It is then up to you to be constantly aware of opportunities to add to this list, thereby maintaining and expanding it.
Content and design are also of vital importance, as they should grab the attention of your existing and prospective customer. If the design in terms of layout, color and graphics is eye-catching, your mail shot will almost certainly be read.
The main significance of direct mailing as a marketing tool is that apart from bringing in new business, it can maintain and strengthen relationships with existing or past patients.
If you want to increase your visibility throughout your market then direct mailing is a more subtle way than other means of advertising. A direct mail shot reaches people in their own space and is therefore more personal and less invasive, as your (prospective customer) will turn their attention to it at a time that is convenient.
Perseverance is important when setting up your marketing program, for just as it takes four or five exposures before your name is remembered, it may take six or seven mail shots to see significant increases in new patients . A constant direct mail system therefore allows you the necessary exposure at an affordable price.
Mail shots are useful in helping to build your reputation for having a different approach to others in your industry and area, for it may be that your competition are “too busy” to have a regular direct mail program, therefore it may be that at least a portion of your business growth will come at their expense.
Later in section 10b. “Recruit Employees” you see this is the method of choice in recruiting a Physical Therapist to work for or with you.
Here are the steps to creating a great direct mailing campaign.
Get a bulk mailing permit at the post office and mail out at a discount. (talk to your local post office)
Sit back and wait for the calls and walk-ins!
Make sure to leave plenty of lead time to account for potential slow mail when using deadlines or “Offer ends..” in your mailers. Remember, once that date passes if you have any left over mailers they are pretty much useless. Direct mailings will cost roughly $200-$400 for every thousand postcards with a 2-5% return. So in other words, if you send out 1000 mailers to the target population (take time to understand who your demographic will be for the promotion you are doing) than you should get a response from 20 to 50 people via phone call, email, or walk-in.
Be clear in what you are offering and when responses come in make sure to get their contact information (email, phone number, address, how they heard about you) immediately before answering questions about your product or service. We’ll talk more about this in section 11a.
Key to Success
Have all 29 items designed, printed, and implemented before you start or at least within the next six months.
Create a database of contacts and patients for easy mailings and/or announcements on specials or promotions via email or direct mail.
Generate each item in the sequence listed. Trust me!
If you have any trouble with this section (which most do) than let us help at firstname.lastname@example.org