Question: I am ready to grow a cash-only medical practice in Los Angeles. Besides a web site, what can I do to build and grow a successful practice? – Dr. K.B., Internal Medicine
Answer: A web site is a good starting point, but it is only a beginning. If your true goal is to grow a cash-only or concierge “VIP”-type medical practice, then a strong valued brand is essential.
Your brand, or what marketing professionals call your “Unique Value Position” or the “Why You”, is critically important. This is especially true in the U.S., where patients view healthcare as a right and quite often expect to pay very little for great medical care.
Your brand is actually where you needed to start, even before developing your web site. A brand or value position that is easy and simple to understand by your target audience is what should be on your web site. A brand should differentiate you from the competition and tell simply and uniquely why you are the best choice for medical care.
In a cash-only practice, you will need to do internal marketing and have branded communication material, including brochures, a marketing bio on yourself and material that describes any and all of the services you offer. You will want to develop a patient recognition and reward system that rewards patients who refer to you, as this is one of the least costly methods of marketing.
When it comes to external marketing, there are numerous ways to promote your practice to the general public, one of those being your web site. Most importantly, your web site needs to be optimized for the key terms patients are searching for and to make sure your site appears on the first page of any web search. You may even want to employ a “Pay Per Click” strategy with paid listings.
After that, it really depends on your specific goals for the growth of the practice, both in desired volume of patients and their unique demographic. These specific goals will dictate what types of direct-to-public marketing could work best in achieving your overall marketing strategy and goals.