The #1 goal of this piece is to give independent health and wellness providers the confidence and actionable tactics to launch your practice and get more patients – FAST.
The #1 question we hear at MediSeen Health is “How can I get more patients?”
Every week, we hear from health and wellness professionals like physicians, dietitians, counselors, psychologists, physical therapists, and chiropractors that are tired.
Maybe you feel the same way?
You’re tired of the long hours, of healthcare bureaucracy, and of not being able to serve your patients and clients the way that you want.
You aren’t making enough income, don’t have enough control, and aren’t spending enough time with your patients.
You have skills and talents that make a real and significant impact on your patients’ lives, but feel constrained, tied down, and restricted.
Maybe you work for a nameless, faceless hospital run by “healthcare administrators” that have no idea what it’s like to care for patients 8 hours a day… only to be bogged down by charting and administrative tasks after hours on end.
Maybe you feel like the current system is artificially constrained by long clinic hours, arbitrary wait times, and massive bureaucracy that gets in the way of doing what you love – caring for your patients.
Worst of all, deep down you know you could be making a bigger impact – but don’t know how to do it.
What if you could keep 100% of your income, set your own schedule, and work on your own terms?
What if you could feel more confident, do more and be more as a clinician, and really show up for your patients?
What if you could start your own practice and never have to go work for a clinic again?
What if you imagined a clinicless future, one where you could be in direct contact with your patients via video, phone calls, text messages, and even in-home visits?
What if you could market yourself in a way that attracts your ideal patients, and then leverage technology to serve them better and faster?
The good news is that you can.
There’s a massive opportunity for you to launch your own practice, be your own boss, and treat your patients how they deserve to be treated – if you know how to do it.
Savvy providers know that the future of health care is personal.
In this day and age, the providers that are going to “win” are the ones that show up for their patients in a big way; personal phone calls and text messages, in-home visits, flexible telehealth options, a strong online presence, and meaningful interactions with you.
There’s no better time than now to get started and create a practice that truly serves your patients.
More and more patients these days are tech-savvy and rely on online reviews and content when choosing a provider to work with.
That means as a provider, you have to be where your patients are; Facebook, Instagram, Quora, Yelp, Google, and YouTube.
You don’t have to become a content marketing superstar, but you do need to build a trusted online presence so you can amplify your message and attract the right patients.
The future of care is personal, tech-driven, and consumer-based – and you’re perfectly positioned to use the tools at your fingertips to launch your practice and create a life and lifestyle you love.
This guide will show you how.
A Quick Word on Mindset:
Launching your own practice is no small feat.
It requires an entrepreneurial drive, a willingness to try (and fail at) new things, and unbridled self-confidence and belief.
It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you do it right, the rewards are amazing.
The tips we share below work, if you work them.
It can seem daunting and uncomfortable, but that’s why managing your mindset is so critically important.
A simple tip we like to use is to imagine yourself as the successful practitioner you want to be.
Talk to yourself like they would talk to themselves. Think how they would think. Act how they would act.
They would take their marketing seriously, they’d test and try new things, they’d invest in themselves and their business, and above all, they would figure out what they need to do to make their business successful.
That’s the same mindset you’ll need to make this work.
With that said, here’s how you can find new clients and launch your practice.
1). Create AMAZING Positioning That Conveys Authority and Attracts Your Ideal Customer
The biggest thing you can do to differentiate yourself from everyone else that does what you do is to position yourself as unique, different, and personal.
As the old adage goes “the riches are in the niches”
The idea is to narrowly define a niche so well, that you instantly become the big fish in a small pond, which boosts your overall credibility and authority.
Here are a few examples:
The Physical Therapist for Car Crash Victims
The Chiropractor for Weekend-Warrior Athletes
The Marriage Counselor for Busy Entrepreneurs and Execs Whose Marriage is Falling Apart
The Dietitian for New Mothers
The “Dad Bod to Rad Bod” Personal Trainer
You get the idea.
When you position yourself like this, you not only neutralize your competition, in fact, you can even collaborate with them (we’ll explain how in a bit)
It also conveys your expertise and authority, and naturally attracts patients to you.
The truth is that people love working with other people who understand them – so defining a niche makes you really stand out (who would have thought!)
2). Go Where Your Patients Already Are
Now that you’ve nailed down your niche and positioned yourself as THE expert, the next step is to simply go where your ideal customer hangs out.
Think in terms of online and physical locations. You can also think in terms of paid and free methods.
What websites, blogs, podcasts does your audience visit? What types of topics do they publish? What kinds of comments and reviews do people leave?
All of that gives insights into what their audience actually likes and responds to. If you have a unique take and compelling story, you can easily reach out and ask if you can contribute your own content or be a guest on their podcast.
Same with social media, think about content on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
You don’t have to be a content producer yourself, but you CAN reach out to them and be featured on their channel.
Also think in terms of physical locations that your ideal client spends time; grocery stores, churches, waiting rooms of other physicians.
Let’s say you’re a dietitian that helps new mothers – what if you reached out to local OB/GYN offices?
Or let’s say that you’re a marriage counselor that helps executives, maybe you could reach out to HR departments at local companies and do free presentations on how to manage relationship stress?
Or what if you’re a chiropractor that helps athletes and reach out to local gyms, colleges, and intramural sports clubs?
You see why it’s so powerful to define a niche for yourself and create killer positioning? It makes it much easier to build relationships.
If you have a unique take and compelling story, you can easily be featured by people with big audiences.
3). Create an Industry Leading Blog That Acts As a Hub
This is a long-term strategy, but we’ve seen countless businesses grow into million-dollar empires from a simple blog.
The key is to create compelling, useful, engaging, actionable content that your potential clients and patients will rely on.
Think of HealthLine.com or Examine.com
Back in 2012 Kris Gunnarson, a medical student from Iceland created a weight loss blog with a keen emphasis on backing up his claims with scientific research.
He created a TON of traction by writing “how to” articles focusing on weight loss topics related topics and using search engine optimization to rank them highly in Google.
In a few years, he rebranded to AuthorityNutrition.com and gained even more traffic (millions of visitors per month)
A few years after that, he rebranded again to Healthline.com, a behemoth of a site that makes millions of dollars per year.
You don’t have to invest the same level of time or energy into your blog, but writing in-depth articles about problems that your users are facing will build your authority and earn their trust.
4). Experiment with Paid Ads (more than Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Instagram)
This is an advanced strategy, but once you define your ideal client, refine your messaging to speak directly to them, and know where they hang out, you should consider paid advertising to get in front of them.
Everyone knows about the big players like Facebook, Google, Pinterest, and Instagram, but there are a host of smaller, niche platforms that you can target.
Sites like Yelp, ZocDoc, ThumbTack, and PsychologyToday allow you to create detailed profiles that highlight your business.
You can then target very specific geographic locations with messaging that speaks directly to them.
While we’re on the topic of advertising, think about physical advertising like postcards, direct mail, and traditional flyers.
The key is with any paid advertising is to be targeted and strategic – make sure that your messaging is on-point and that you’re getting in front of the right audience.
5). Get Published on Quora
One of the fastest ways to get ideas for content and build your authority is to use Q&A sites like Quora.com
Quora allows users to submit questions and for experts like you to answer them.
Not only does Quora receive hundreds of millions of visitors per month, major websites like Time Magazine, Inc Magazine, and The Ladders routinely republish top answers in their publications.
So if you write detailed, in-depth answers, full of story, imagery, and emotion, you’ll get a lot of views.
If you include images, use bullet points, and write answers with “lists”, the answers will get lots of “upvotes” and traction.
The trick is to look for questions that have lots of followers (more than 50 is good) because they tend to get a lot more views.
You can take your most popular answers, rewrite them and expound upon them on your own blog or on other relevant blogs and websites
6). Build Relationships with Potential Referral Sources
Specialized physicians like endocrinologists, neonatologists, dermatologists, and cardiologists build their entire practices on referrals from primary care physicians – and it’s all done through the consult letter that they send back to the referring physician.
A well-written letter quickly and easily diagnoses the problem and documents the treatment plan. A well-written consult letter is a specialist’s #1 marketing tool.
When it comes down to it, primary care physicians send their patients to specialists who take the time to create clear and concise consult letters.
You should do the same.
Think about all of the potential referral sources that could send patients your way; medical groups, hospitals, nonprofit organizations, schools, universities, corporations, professional associations, gyms, etc.
Introduce yourself to them by sending a package that includes a bio and headshot, a list of services, the results you provide, brochures for them to keep in their waiting room, and a professionally designed referral pad so that they can give a written referral to their patients.
Sending these packages to potential referral sources will open doors (profitable doors at that)
But just like a cardiologist or endocrinologist, be sure to send update letters to your referrers – it will keep you top of mind and reassure them that you really are good at what you do.
7). Tell Your Friends and Family on Social Media
When you first start your business, you have to scream it out from the rooftops.
The best place to start is with friends and family. They’ll be excited to hear that you’re stepping out on your own and will support you anyway they can.
Let’s say you’re a natural doctor that helps women with hormonal balance during menopause – mention it on social media.
The best way is to do it on Facebook and Instagram and ask them to tag people that could use your services.
It can feel strange and very vulnerable, but you may be pleasantly surprised at how easy (and effective) it is.
And it will only get better over time.
Your friends and family will be your biggest advocates, especially in the beginning, so maybe you could share a status update that says something like:
“I just launched my own private practice helping people with ___________. If you need help, or know anyone that does, I’d LOVE if you could send them my way!”
8). Become Comfortable Giving Talks and Presentations
If you’re an expert at what you do, you’ll find lots of venues that are willing to let you give a talk.
Pick a few topics that you can give a brief 30 minute talk about; be sure to make them interesting, full of facts, and actionable.
Then, reach out to the HR or wellbeing department at local gyms, organizations, hospitals, or corporations and ask if you can give a presentation to their members and employees.
You could talk about injury prevention when working out. Or how to create healthy meals on a budget. Or how to incorporate mindfulness into their daily routine.
Most organizations would jump at the chance to have a professional give a hiqh-quality talk for free.
It provides an avalanche of exposure, credibility, and intimacy with your audience – many of whom are ideal candidates for your service.
9). Create a High-Ticket Course or Coaching Program
This is one of our favorite methods to grow your business because it requires very little upfront investment and allows you to generate lots of revenue – FAST.
This strategy is used by so many business-minded providers to make hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars in yearly revenue that it isn’t funny.
Coaching and online courses, where clients pay you directly, isn’t bogged down by charting, insurance reimbursements, or red tape.
That way, you don’t get paid for merely seeing your client, you get paid for helping them achieve an outcome – because people are willing to pay to get the results they want.
The idea is to create a high-value offering that focuses on solving a painful problem.
For example, 27 year old personal trainer Tanner Chidester launched a 7-figure personal training business doing this exact same thing.
He was a former Division 1 college football player and dropped out of college just before graduating. He struggled for years, selling fitness and diet plans for $40 a pop.
It wasn’t until he learned how to monetize his expertise and convert it into a high-ticket offer that he started making real money in his business.
He offered personalized nutrition and workout coaching for $1500 each and eventually made $10k in one week. The key was to target clients that had a burning problem – and could afford those prices.
Eventually, he was able to scale that up to $30k to $50k per month and eventually earned $1 million of income per year.
Think about a high-ticket course or coaching program that you can offer your clients. Make it specific, focus on a burning problem that they need to have solved, and then work closely with them to achieve that transformation.
Think of it this way, let’s say you create a $3,000 coaching package that helps busy entrepreneurs save their marriage. Compared to paying a divorce lawyer $20,000 and then having to pay alimony and child support for years on end, a $3k coaching program that delivers real results is peanuts.
(Sure, $3k is a hefty price tag, but you’re also targeting an affluent audience with an expensive problem)
10). Interact in Relevant Facebook Groups:
At the time of this writing, Facebook is investing in promoting their Groups feature.
The beauty of Facebook groups is that they’re chock-full of passionate, inquisitive, curious members that are looking for answers to their questions.
All you have to do is simply join relevant groups; from weight loss groups, to marriage groups, to athletics groups, to groups for new moms – any group that your ideal client would be in.
The key is to answer their questions and solve their problems. Do NOT promote yourself or make sales pitches.
Instead, write in-depth, actionable, heartfelt answers that provide tangible results – and watch people contact you via direct message.
11). Get Local Media Coverage
Local media outlets are always looking for interesting and engaging stories and go-to experts.
Make it easy for them to cover you by creating a compelling angle or story around your business.
Maybe you can donate your time to a local children’s hospital, or to help senior citizens, or the disabled. This will easily make you a source for a “feel good” news story in local media.
You can even theme your advice around the season or specific holidays. For example, if you’re a dietitian, you can share tips to stay slim during the holidays.
If you’re a therapist, you can share tips on how to avoid seasonal affective disorder and depression in the winter.
If you’re creative and unique, you can easily position yourself as a trusted media source and get local media coverage.
12). Collaborate With Others:
One of the most overlooked ways to grow your business is to collaborate with people that would otherwise be your competitors.
Many businesses do joint ventures, where they create a joint event (online or in-person) and promote it to each other’s audiences.
For example, if you’re a therapist, you can collaborate with other therapists and create an online event where you each share tips on how to solve a specific problem with other therapists.
You can even create a bigger event and invite other providers that are related to what you do.
This is an amazing strategy to work with other people that might have originally been competitors.
These steps are the tried-and-true methods to get your first clients. If you’re consistent and creative, you’ll get amazing results.