Embrace being different: How to make it work for your healthcare business
By Brad CoteFeatures Business Management Marketing business development business marketing clinic owner healthcare marketing patient outreach
We all have things that make us unique – our personalities, experiences, passions, and our overall interests. One of the most empowering things you can do as a healthcare practitioner is to be unique in your positioning within the marketplace and creating your own niche. Why this is important is simple: You want to be able to work with people that you’re most passionate about and skilled at dealing with.
When you’re first starting out, a large majority of your time will be seeing different types of patient cases: you may treat seniors, younger populations, people with different types of medical conditions, etc. During this process you start to really get a feel for who you most like working with. Now, it doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be working with other types of patients. But, you generally are going to start resonating more towards one population, condition or goal.
Over time, you will start to become more magnetically attracted to a passion or skill, as well as an overall fulfillment in your career to that specific niche. This can become tricky because often practitioners get into the mindset of “I really need to just treat everyone to grow my business.” This is simply not true and routed in a scarcity mindset. Patients are looking for experts to help them, if you are having car troubles you want the licensed mechanic not a friend of a friend who does it part time.
Some practitioners may want to start finding different courses to take, read different supporting research that helps them better define the types of patients they’re trying to attract. Ultimately, we want to build our business, marketing messages, and how we’re seen in the community and marketplace as the pre-eminent provider for those specific issues conditions or types of people that we want to work with.
Creating that “magnetic messaging” also allows us to stand out from a competition because we’re no longer just deemed the same as everyone else, weather that’s massage therapy or chiropractic, physical therapy, etc, we’re able to differentiate ourselves, just enough so that your ideal patient who has the problem that you can best solve and are most passionate at dealing with is able to seek you out confidently. To start creating your “magnetic messaging.” We want to address three keys:
1. Who is the ideal patient you are seeking?
Will they have the resources (financial, willinginess, travel time) to be able to follow through on on the treatments and plan of care you can recommend? If you are targeting professional athletes, for example, and you live in a town that’s outside the city, and has a lower population, chances are it’s going to be more challenging for those professional athletes to both find you, reach you, and utilize your services. It’s important to have the ideal perfect patient that we want to help.
2. Include messaging that talks about solutions and outcomes, instead of just your services.
People buy solutions, not services. If someone is dealing with chronic low back pain, they’re not thinking, “I need to go get my chiropractic adjustment.” They’re thinking, “I need to be able to overcome my low back pain so that I can sleep better, move without pain.” This is what the patient is looking at buying and your services are just tools to be able to facilitate those solutions. Most patients don’t know the difference between health practitioners, let alone, different modalities. The patient has a hard time delineating between what the best option for them specifically is when we craft our “magnetic messaging” and our positioning in the marketplace. As the preeminent provider for the specific condition or injury or type of individual.
The patient can now resonate with the outcomes that we’re looking at being able to help them achieve. It makes it an easier choice for them to be able to seek us out to get the help that they need and their desired results. Whether that is overcoming low back pain so that they can just simply not have to feel pain all day, or whether that might be being able to improve their balance and independence, so that they can live life on their own terms. Or maybe it’s something like being able to run without getting shin splints.
3. Where are you with your current messaging? The next step in your process of creating
magnetic messaging, and being able to differentiate yourself in the marketplace, is we need to understand where we actually are with our current messaging, as well as where other people are with theirs.
On the previous page, you’ll see an image: The left hand side is marked vague. Vague is what most practitioners are doing – marketing the service they provide. Potential patients get too overwhelmed or confused, and they end up doing nothing about their situation.
Specific is the other side of the spectrum. Too specific, and there are not enough people to potentially treat, and it becomes hard to find those types of people. (Ex. treating only Olympic athletes.)
We’re not telling people they will be 100% better within a week, but we start talking to them about being able to run without knee pain, or live without gastrointestinal issues, as examples, we start to be able to empower these populations of people with specific conditions, issues or goals, by educating them on why they’re having some of the challenges or roadblocks that they’re currently experiencing.This creates preeminence in the mind of the patient, as well as providing
The main takeaway is you want to be able to identify who you are most passionate and skilled at working with, and start to create messaging about how you can help them. You will end up working with people that you’re super passionate and love to help – whether that’s a specific condition, or a goal performance objective. Don’t forget that you can build relationships with other healthcare practitioners who specialize in other realms. In the meantime, embrace being different and find your niche!
BRAD COTE is the founder of Link Performance Therapy, a successful cash pay private practice with a focus on athletes. He has grown his clinic from zero to 7-figures revenue within 18 months of operation using a combination of proven structures, systems and strategies that he now shares with healthcare business owners across North America who are looking to gain new patients and grow their business.
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