Doctors cannot advertise themselves in the traditional sense of the word. If they will market themselves, they have to do so with caution. State and federal laws impose restrictions on how physicians can promote their services. Although it is legal to advertise yourself as a physician, you have to make sure that the ads are not misleading, deceptive, and false. For marketers without a background on law and medicine, this is a tricky subject. But as a physician, you cannot forego the opportunities presented to you by simply marketing yourself to the right audience.
When it comes to advertising one’s profession as a healthcare practitioner, it’s critical to determine whether the ads are making false claims and representations. It should also never omit any material fact from the advertisement. And if there are claims made on the ads, you have to make sure that you can substantiate these claims or testimonies.
Offer Unique Services
Like other businesses, doctors must set themselves apart. One of the things that patients value in their healthcare providers is their inclusion in a mobile integrated healthcare (MIH) model. As part of the network, you can collaborate with other healthcare providers, technicians, dispatchers, and emergency personnel in providing a patient-based approach to treating patients. Instead of transporting the patients to an emergency room, an MIH program will determine the appropriate course of action based on the data in the system.
This kind of service will set you apart from the other physicians and healthcare facilities that automatically refer a patient’s case to the emergency room. When calling 911, patients rarely want to go to the ER. What they want is instant and critical care, which is something that the MIH program can provide.
Build a Website
Although physicians cannot market themselves the way a retail company can, they can have a website or social media page where they can talk about their products and services. They can even create a blog or vlog, so they can talk about the topics on which they are experts.
However, simply having a website isn’t enough to impress prospective clients. You also have to create great content that’s relevant to your prospective patients. Another thing you can do is to evaluate the experience of your customers both in the clinic and online. A survey form posted on the website asking them how they feel about the services they received will give you a glimpse of what you can do more to better your practice.
Upgrade Your Facilities
You should also look around your clinic. What does it tell your patients? Is it spa-like? Does it have a very stiff environment? Are your staff friendly? Sometimes, it all boils down to the simplest of things. The way your receptionist smiles to the patients when they arrive can make or break a practice. If you want patients to feel comfortable while in the waiting room, make sure to use ergonomic chairs and tables, as well as artworks that will help calm their anxieties and apprehensions.
Make Yourself an Expert
How can you convince patients that you are the right person they need to consult with? Patients rarely go to the emergency room or the doctor. They usually self-medicate because there are a million resources on the internet about various types of ailments, diseases, symptoms, treatments, and alternative medicines. But if they do have to consult with a doctor, they want to make sure they are going with the best.
That’s how you need to present yourself—the best in your field. So, how can you convince customers that you’re the best? You need to write blogs, make videos, and join podcasts. You need to talk about things that matter to your patients such as the coronavirus and its impacts on their physical health and mental well-being.
Improve Search Engine Optimization
You are basically a business. You are offering your medical expertise as a product. When patients consult with you, that’s a form of service. If you have a website or a Google My Business listing, make sure to optimize it for search engines. When prospective patients search using a keyword related to the services you offer, your website URL should be on top of that list.
Remember that although the rules about advertising your services as a physician are stricter compared to other businesses, it is not impossible to use the same marketing strategies they use. As long as you work within the parameters of what the law allows, you should be fine. Don’t be afraid to try to reach out to your patients. If anything, you are helping them become healthier and address their health concerns by reaching out to them.