LinkedIn for Your Medical Practice

Using Linked In for a Medical Practice, Medical Marketing Enterprises

Every social media platform attracts a specific demographic. LinkedIn appeals to business professionals. There are some lawyers and fewer doctors. Still, you should consider engaging it. Develop your medical practice as a business.

Connect via Your Personal Business Relationships

Using the concept that everyone in the world is related by six degrees of separation or fewer, your LinkedIn network will be comprised of those you know directly, or indirectly (i.e. colleague of a colleague) through your professional work history.

The immediate appeal of LinkedIn is to keep track of your cronies in the business world. As the usual business professional often changes jobs, or, the business changes name, you can still keep in touch with your associates though landlines, addresses and emails disappear which each change of job. While physicians rarely close a medical practice and change jobs less frequently than almost any other industry, this is a great place for your administrators to keep up with their colleagues.

Most users on LinkedIn do so to maintain their personal professional relationships. They are not looking for health information or to make a purchase. They are probably not looking for a doctor, either.

How Can Your Practice Use LinkedIn?

The best way to use this social media platform is to list your medical practice…as a business. Show off to other practices and their administrators! Tell them what a great work environment you have created. Brag about your latest technology.

Use LinkedIn to attract quality, highly motivated, personnel to your office.

Ask your administrator (or someone just as passionate about your businesss) to set up your account, or profile. It is free. List those attributes (and keywords) of your medical practice of which you are most proud; incentive plans, benefits, flexible schedules, etc. Use your best attributes to attract the best employees.

With time, you will create a network around your practice. Remember, this is about your practice, not you.

Find Your Own References

One way to use LinkedIn is to use your own network to follow-up on a potential employee for your business. No longer are you dependent upon the list of references that the applicant provides, you can go find your own. You will be able to find people you “know” that also know the applicant.

Establish a profile on LinkedIn. Ask your office personnel to do the same. Create your own network to tell your colleagues what a great business you have!

3 Secrets to Writing Great Copy

3 Secrets to Great CopyWriting,
Great SEO copywriting for the web means writing articles that appeal to both your readers and the search engines. Your goal is to write content that interests your readers and is search engine optimized! Good SEO practices will allow your pages to rank higher.

Copywriting, or posting for your blog, is different than writing an English essay or a research paper. These 3 “rules” should help you achieve your goals of attracting both readers and high rankings.

Choose One Topic Per Post

One of the difficulties I had when getting started was trying to whittle down my message. I tried to stuff way too much information into the same article. In short, I was trying to say so much that it either diluted my real message or completely lost my reader.

Two reasons to limit yourself to one topic. First, it focuses your task of copywriting. By staying with one message, it is easier to construct meaningful titles, headlines and sub-titles that are necessary to grab your readers attention and, just as importantly, achieve great SEO.

Second, most people searching the Internet have a very specific question. Thus, they are searching for a specific answer. By limiting yourself to one topic, you are more likely to grab the attention of your readers as you’ll be providing a more direct answer.

“O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?”

You will not be reviewed by your colleagues. You are writing to your potential patients. Close your eyes and imagine one single person, patient or client to whom you are writing. Write in a style and use words that will appeal to that imaginary person, not your colleagues.

In a way, this is like writing a love letter, you want to reach out and appeal to your reader. Your writing has to strike home and make a connection with your audience. Don’t write to “show off.” Your readers will “bounce” away.

Effective writing requires that you communicate at the same level as your reader. Unlike most of your technical writing, you must write “down” to your reader. Writing “above” the reader will bore them.

One simple tactic I’ve used is to write down the hundreds of well rehearsed answers (lectures) I have given to patient questions. Over time, we all have our “pat” answers to commonly asked questions. As you know,these answers are well rehearsed because we have given them thousands of times. This is a great source of content…and you’ve already created it! Just write it down.

Size Matters

This is easy. You want your article to be about 300 – 600 words in length. Too short and you won’t index well. Too long and you’ll bore your readers and your “bounce” rate increases. Remember that your posts must grab the attention of the search engines and your potential clients!

In the next article, we’ll cover proper formatting to capture the attention of your readers!

Your Friends and Followers, Keep Them From Becoming Fickle

Friends and Followers to Market Your Medical Practice

Is a Friend by Any Other Name Still a Friend?

Connections. Friends. Followers. These are terms that we use a lot when we discuss social media but as you have likely learned by now, they don’t necessarily mean the same thing in the offline world as they do with social relationships. They suggest a depth to the relationship which may not actually exist and needs to be fostered.

Offline followers may be willing to listen to a speaker for a period of time, perhaps on TV or at a conference. However an online follower may give you a single second of their time before deciding whether or not to move on.

Relevance Breeds Authority

Who wants to listen to someone trying hard to sell themselves? We have to continually gain and keep respect by sharing good ideas and interesting content. Relevancy matters and we have to earn the right to share whatever message we have. Relevancy can breed respect and authority, and respect can generate traffic to your website and connect you with prospective patients.

I follow several physicians because they are sharing something of value; information and perspective from a professional on topics of interest to me. What I give these physicians in return is my loyalty. When I have the opportunity to refer someone, I’ll first turn to a practice I follow.

Friends Are Not Always Here to Stay

The Internet is a fickle environment and assuming that once you have connections they are there for good is risky.

The terms and definitions will evolve or be replaced over time to better capture the ways we relate online but the necessity of relevance will only increase.

There Are Real Connections Out There

My advice, be yourself. People will be more likely to listen to you and respond positively. And don’t forget that many of these connections are genuine and that real, valued relationships (and patients) can grow out of social media associations.

Market Research: Meeting the Needs of Your Patients

Market Research:  Define the Needs of Your Patients

Marketing experts spend countless hours researching the customer to understand wants, needs and behaviors. As a Physician or Medical Practice Administrator, you are tasked with the key business issue of growing the practice, but you can’t grow the practice until you’ve defined the needs of your patients. If you have not yet begun to implement a marketing strategy, you are likely still trying to figure out the best approach for your practice. Sounds like it’s time for some simple market research.

For instance, there has been a lot of talk here and elsewhere about the benefits of developing a web presence for your medical practice using social media, but do you really believe the hype? Maybe not and perhaps this is holding you back. Why not use the people you know, and trust, as a baseline to understand how prospective patients find and commit to new physician relationships?

Poll the People You Know

Start with people outside your practice. Develop a list of questions focused on how these people might approach the problem of finding a new doctor. Pose your questions to a variety of people; young/mature, locals/transplants, low-income/wealthy, those with time on their hands/ those who are extremely busy, those you know well/those you just met.

Use the feedback you received to craft additional questions that are relevant to your practice or specialty and ask your patients for their input. Consider asking about what they would like to hear about from you and what relevant topics they find of interest. This can be as easy as an in-office questionnaire or simply asking for input verbally.

Make sure that you ask your favorite patients and those who may be a bit more difficult to serve. Sometimes the most important feedback comes from those who tend to see the glass as half empty. Most people like to give their opinion and the feedback you gather can be vital to your approach and success.

Talking to Yourself about Yourself is a Short Conversation

Developing your strategy in a vacuum will prove ineffective. For you to be successful, research and then meet the needs of your patients. Above all, listen.

Resist the urge to move forward (or not move at all) based solely upon your biases and misbeliefs . Truly considering the wants, needs and behaviors of those you are trying to reach and incorporating their feedback into your marketing efforts will help you effectively reach and retain the attention of your patients, referring physicians, and the overall community.

How to Make Your Readers Read

Making Your Readers Want to Read, Medical Marketing Enterprises

Your readers do not naturally want to read every word you write. You must format your articles, or posts, in such a way that your readers want to read the entire article and not…click away. Grabbing the attention of your readers AND maximizing your SEO is easy!

Readers vs. Skimmers

There are those that read and those that “look” or skim.

Readers are those that start from the top of a page and read every word from top to bottom and from beginning to end. I personally can’t do that.

I love to skim the entire page in search of clues as to where to read and what to read. I don’t want have to read an entire article. I’ll read highlighted areas, captions, headings and subheadings.

Great copywriting will satisfy both types of visitors, both the readers and the skimmers.

Reading Behavior

Most readers scan in the following manner;

1. Headline: Read from left to right

2. Vertical Scan: Scan down the page looking for subheaders

3. Read the first line of the opening paragraph

Headline

While careers are made developing catchy headlines, grab their attention by giving them a clue about your awesome content. Remember: readers on the Internet are looking for answers, your headline should grab their attention by quickly telling them what lies within your article.

Sub Headers

Sub headers have three functions. It quickly clues in the reader about points you will be making urging the reader to continue!

Sub headers are also indexed (as is the title/header) by the search engines to improve your SEO. While it is true that the search engines catalog every text file and .pdf on the Internet, headers and subheaders receive slightly higher priority than text for SEO purposes.

Sub headers also physically break up what can be a long ominous looking paragraph into sizeable “chunks” of reading!

Bullets and Lists

Bullets and lists can not be overemphasized. The eye naturally gravitates to bulleted lists. Make the list about 3-5 items long. In this way your point is quickly made. It is a simple tool to motivate your reader to continue reading.

Short “Paragraphs”

Avoid long sentences and lengthy paragraphs. Sometimes you can’t avoid a long sentence, and I’d suggest curtailing any paragraph to 3-4 “lines.” So too, with the paragraph, keep them brief and no more than 3 sentences or so.

Smaller blocks of text are easier to read, give the feeling of brevity and speed to the reader.

Remember, you’ve spent a lot of time on your copywriting. You’ve written some powerful articles. Make sure that you give your readers every opportunity to read your content!