Attracting a steady flow of new patients is a crucial part of ensuring that your practice reaches its full potential. Acquiring new patients doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. In this article, we will explore a few quick and easy ways to get the ball rolling on patient acquisition.
Think about your ideal patient -- then go after them!
Before you start trying to market your practice to anyone and everyone in your town, it’s important to take a few moments to strategize, so that your efforts have the greatest positive return on investment (ROI).
The first thing you need to do is actually pinpoint the exact needs of the ideal patient you want to attract. Do you have a niche? How can you market your niche/specialty to let that ideal patient know that they’d get the best care from you? Think about your ideal patients’ pain points, and what they would value, and build your marketing strategy around solving problems and providing value for that demographic.
Build a network
By far, building a network within your community is the most fundamental way to ensure that you attract a sustainable source of new patients. This can be as simple as attending local events and volunteering in the community (e.g. town hall meetings, helping out at the food bank, etc.). Getting involved in the community is a great way to meet people and give your business more exposure to people in a natural way, without sounding like a salesperson or advertisement. Identify the influencers in your area, whether they’re city council members or prominent business owners in your town, and make sure to introduce yourself to them and make sure they know that you care about being a productive member of the local community.
To get started, search on websites like Eventbrite, Meetup, or on Facebook, and add relevant events to your calendar. You can also go door to door to make the effort to introduce yourself to small business owners in your area, e.g. acupuncturists, physical therapists, yoga instructors, nutritionists, and CrossFit gyms. Invite other local business owners to monthly get-togethers to discuss strategies and swap ideas about how to market your business and attract new patients. It’s a low-risk time investment and you’ll learn valuable lessons from others who are facing similar challenges, and think about ways that you might be able to partner with some of these business owners on future marketing efforts.
Make sure your website is targeted to new patients
In this day and age, your website is the introductory first touch for prospective patients who are considering whether or not they should book an appointment with you. Therefore, make sure that your website makes it easy for people to understand, at first glance, what it is that you do, and what a new patient can expect during their first appointment. Include a quick video tour of your practice, explain what new patients can expect during their first visit, and share testimonials from patients who benefited from your care. If you have a considerable amount of experience with treating certain issues (e.g. sports injuries), make sure you convey that on your website accordingly.
Get more referrals
Gaining referrals is one of the most valuable ways to attract new patients. This may not be feasible for you if you are just opening a brand-new practice, but it’s always a good idea to start thinking about how to attract quality patient referrals. Satisfied patients are more likely to give you referrals, so ensuring excellent care is the most important step toward attracting more referrals. However, it’s also important to remember that even if your patients may be satisfied with your care, it may not even occur to them to refer you to their friends and family unless you ask them for referrals. To sweeten the deal, you can offer various benefits, such as raffles or giveaways, to encourage existing patients to refer people in their network.
You can also use your existing patient base to get new patients in the door by hosting a party for your patients. Send out a professional email invitation using MailChimp or Paperless Post, and invite all of your existing patients to attend your party (and encourage them to bring their friends/family as well). At the party, you can offer free posture consultation sessions, adjustments, and tips on how to choose the correct office chair, pillow, and other products. This party serves two purposes -- it helps communicate to your existing patients that you appreciate their business, but it also helps introduce your services to new prospective patients (any guests your patients invite to the event).