Many hats are required to run the modern practice. A physician must function as not only provider, but educator, coworker, manager, practice executive and even patient to maximize professional engagement on all levels and move forth with corresponding business.
Indeed, it’s an elaborate, fluctuating transference of roles that can certainly take its mental and physical toll, but never in vain according to Robin Samora, public relations firm president and marketing strategist for LetsMakeYouShine.com.
For the MD in particular, Samora has found, it can really pay off when a doctor emphasizes and hones his or her educator capabilities. And it’s always beneficial to dust off the friendly caregiver cap and practice one’s penmanship, even in the realm of medicine.
Below, Samora highlights for PhysBizTech the 10 most useful guises physicians can enhance to better market their practice, round out more fully their professional image and ultimately encourage more precisely patient involvement.
1. The Educator. Give free educational presentations to patients and information seekers. Offer Q&A sessions, and opportunities for follow-up by staff. Be genuine with your intention and delivery. Non-verbal communication is key.
2. Dr. Interactive. Stay in touch with your clients and prospects via email newsletters, and brochures sent to their home address. Discuss new services and treatments that will benefit your patients. Make it easy for them to call for an appointment and ask questions. Offer a demonstration or private consultation so they can easily sign up.
3. The Humble Host. Post a sign in your waiting room that you are accepting new patients. This same message should also be on invoices, brochures, newsletters and all communication to your clients. When there’s a referral, send a thank-you note to the referring patient, and if appropriate, a small discount or gift. It’s a memorable way of saying thanks.
4. The Pen Pal. Twice a year, write a personalized letter to your patients telling them what you’re doing with your work, what charities you may be involved with, and how you’re helping the community. People want to know what their doctors are doing, and that they care. It’s also an opportunity to thank patients and ask if there’s anyone who may benefit from the MD’s services.
5. The Coffee Companion. Offer a “Meet the Doctor” coffee event. This could be for new patients and raving fans. It’s a one-on-one opportunity to have face time that’s so hard to get. Key staff should also be present.
6. The Industry Orator. Invite patients to hear you speak at an industry event. Even if they don’t attend, they’ll feel honored that they’ve been invited. A written invitation would be appropriate. This strengthens the patient/doctor bond, which strengthens referrals.
7. The Expert. Get your name out there as an expert. Be proactive in knowing the importance of what’s being said about you in the press. If you don’t have a media department behind you, consider hiring a PR or social media assistant or office admin to respond to online media requests such as HARO (Help A Reporter Out) and Profnet. Responses to the media should be respectful, polite and on target. Every published response is worth its’ weight in SEO.
8. The Scholar. Write an article or publish results that cite you as an expert. Promote the article and post copies in the waiting room of your office, and offer links to your website.
9. The Hometown Hero. Stay connected to your hometown and professional community. Support important social events and everyday events — even if it’s for a brief time. Remember the power of hello.
10. Dynamic, MD. Get out of your office, operating room or lab. Be a spokesperson for your specialty. Represent a local charity. Make a keynote.
“Every chance you get, further your brand so people can find you,” Samora concluded. In a world with so many hats to choose from, that possibility for furthering seems to span on infinitely.