Everything You Know About Marketing Your Business is Wrong
There are lots of things you know about your business, and that’s great. You’re the expert. But when it comes to marketing your business, unless you were literally born yesterday, you are probably suffering from a condition I call “conventional wisdom.” Conventional wisdom sounds good, but it is usually not true.
Here are some examples.
- Advertise your medical business, clinic, or practice in the yellow pages. That’s how people find medical help.
- Take out an occasional ad in the newspaper to get new patients.
- Expect that patients will tell their friends about your practice and increase your referrals.
- Assume that if a person has a bad experience at your practice or business, there is no place for him to vent.
- Don’t worry about websites or other gimmicks.
- If you’re in private practice or run a small medical business, don’t even worry about marketing.
None of those are true, and thinking they are can hurt your business.
1. The yellow pages has gone the way of the horse-drawn carriage. People who want to find phone numbers or businesses go online, most of the time from a mobile device. While it might be worthwhile to be listed in the yellow pages, your advertising dollar is not working hard for you there.
2. Newspapers are going the way of the yellow pages.
3. People, particularly the younger hipper variety, are not really into being fonts of information for their peers. The old tell-a-friend network is breaking down. People are more likely to consult Angie’s List to find some kind of specialists or technical help than they are to ask a friend or neighbor. That doesn’t mean referrals are dead–they have just changed. People are OK with anonymous referrals now.
4. There are entire websites that allow people to write reviews of your practice or business. Most people are not inclined to bother with this if they like you. This means that a disproportionate number of online reviews are going to be nasty. Now get this–these reviews are aggregated (that means collected) by various sources and posted together. People who look up your practice in something like Google Places are going to see any negative reviews you have–even if you never saw them yourself.
5. You need a website. About half of doctors in private practice do not have them. Now don’t expect your website to wow people. They’re a given now. Sort of like people expect you to have a door. They expect you to have a website.
6. Marketing may not be your favorite thing, but we live in a hyper-marketed environment. With commercials, ads, online sites, mobile media, and other things poking up at every turn, you have to market to survive. Fortunately, you can outsource this to us without breaking the bank.