Here’s a helpful hint. If you fumbled for an answer for more than ten seconds, the answer is YES. With 2015 just around the corner, building a solid action plan is absolutely essential to starting the new year strong, and setting off on a path to success.
Try thinking of your marketing plan as a glorified to-do list. “It’s a cinch by the inch!” Basically, if we break down monstrous tasks into smaller pieces that we can digest, the whole process becomes much less overwhelming. It will also help you to get started faster, rather than procrastinating your marketing tasks.
Take a second and picture the hinges on a door. Isn’t it true that a tiny hinge can open a big door? The same is true of your marketing! If you commit TODAY to making even a small change in how you go about your marketing, you’ll soon notice a surprisingly large result. All it takes is CONSISTENCY.
I’m going to walk you through some basic steps to creating a solid marketing plan. Keep in mind that the PURPOSE of having a clear plan of action is to increase your New Patients and to make marketing less painful… Ideally, you want your marketing to run on autopilot after some initial test drives. But first you have to establish some rules.
1) Identify your referral sources. You have streams of patients coming in every day. Find the source behind the flow! Every single person in your office must KNOW and be able to DEFINE your referral sources. They must understand why categorizing a referral from the appropriate source is so, SO important—it is a source of power and information. Everyone must be on the same page or this will backfire and you’ll be left with inaccurate data… which is worse than no data at all!
2. Supercharge your goal setting… Right now– let’s say your goal is 40 New Patients– you post your goal graph and track your statistics on a daily basis. That’s great, but it’d be even BETTER to start setting your goals by referral source. Ask yourself: “If we put more focus on this particular referral source, how many more New Patients could we get?” Then pick a number. I really want you to focus on the EASIEST sources of referrals. Increase the amount of time energy and money you spend to produce those referrals.
3. Create a marketing to-do list by referral source. Create a to-do list for each category of goals. Look at your Practice’s marketing history and see what has WORKED in the past. Maybe a welcome letter, or a New Patient audiotape that details the benefits of getting care and treatment and promotes referrals… Monthly newsletters, nutrition classes for patients, the options are endless. Be creative!
4. Recycle successes. If your tracking is consistent, you should be able to look back at the results of what you were able to do each month last year. Once you try out a marketing piece and track the results, it is officially in your “tool belt”… which means you can bring it back out and recycle it! I promise that your patients don’t remember what you did a year or two ago… If it worked—keep it. Some doctors are so focused on always hitting a home run that they totally neglect base hits… But MOST of your success will come from base hits!
5. Create a calendar action plan. First create goals, and then get out your marketing calendar… My personal suggestion is to get a 60 or 90 day dry erase calendar and fill it up! One-by-one, take each step off of your to-do list and put it on the marketing calendar.
6. Build a swipe file of pieces that work for patient referrals. Learn to take advantage of the marketing pieces that bombard your office and home. Take the stuff that really grabs your attention and put it in a “swipe” folder. At the end of the month, bring this to a marketing meeting, and review the pieces together. What elements work, and which ones don’t? Use these examples to help you create your marketing plan for the following months.
Because it is such unfamiliar territory for so many of our members, marketing tends to be one of the MOST overwhelming elements of running a business. Just remember, something as simple as consistently tracking your results can save you an ENORMOUS amount of time, energy, and money. If you’d like more information on ways to supercharge your marketing, call my team at 866-917-2808 or visit www.SchedulingInstitute.com.
Until next time,