If you’re an allied health practitioner looking to attract new clients, you’re in the right place. If not, these tips may still apply to you, so read on!
There are only 3 ways you will be found by patients:
Today we’ll be looking at the way allied health practitioners have harnessed the following marketing tools to get more clients. More clients = more business for you.
1. Have an awesome website
Expectations are high in 2020 when it comes to websites. A well presented, functional website is a must for allied health businesses.
Often, a website is one of the earliest impressions a client will have of your business. It’s a ‘virtual waiting room’ in a sense.
Just as in a physical waiting room, clients look around and form ideas about the business, based on what they see.
It is well understood in website UX design that the way your website looks will influence a potential patient's beliefs about the quality of your service, even more than the actual information presented. What kind of impression are you making with your website?
Give an impression of cohesion, professionalism and welcoming to clients who may be investigating your services online. If your website looks cluttered, dated and is difficult to use, prospective clients may click away.
Hire a website developer, or a UX / UI designer if you have the budget. Websites such as Upwork and Freelancer.com often provide cost-effective solutions.
Some specialise in healthcare and can give you an excellent site that speaks to your patients.
Short on financial resources? Do it yourself!
There are several easy to use website builders such as WordPress, Squarespace and Wix. Using tutorials online, you’ll be surprised what you can achieve. Build a website you can be proud of, and that clients will enjoy visiting.
2. Use Social Media Marketing
Social media allows you to engage with your existing clients and find new ones.
Don’t waste your time doing social media for the sake of it. Have a presence on the platform where your ideal patient spends time.
For some allied health professionals, this can mean Instagram, for others, maybe LinkedIn. Sometimes both. Sometimes neither.
Having a social media marketing strategy enables you to get the word out online about your business. Running targeted ads can be a helpful strategy, allowing you to interact with new clients in a way that is relevant in 2020.
Social media is an easy way to share information your clients may be interested in. Show your business to be one that is useful, by sharing tips and helpful info in your posts. Answer common questions and be as useful as possible.
The principle of reciprocity is very powerful in marketing. If you continuously provide value upfront with no expectation of anything in return, eventually you will be surprised how many people reach out to you when they encounter a health problem.
Try and consider what your clients would like to see in their feed and share accordingly. This is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of your brand and learn about your clients.
3. Word of mouth
This method is tried and true for a reason. If you’re looking for new clients, look to your existing ones. Ask yourself how you currently incentivise them to refer someone to your service?
For professionals regulated by AHPRA, this may be tricky. But there are still ways that make it easier for them to do so. Do you provide them with spare business cards with your contact detail so they can easily pass on your information to people they know?
For non-AHPRA regulated health professionals, do they get a reward for encouraging clients to refer friends and family to your business?
Social media interacts closely with this point. If you have a strong social media presence, it’s easy for clients to ‘tag’ and direct new clients to your business.
4. Build referral relationships with health professionals
Existing clients aren’t the only ones who can refer new clients to you. Develop a good rapport with the GPs and other health professionals in your area.
When people are looking for an allied health service, they will often ask for a recommendation from health professionals they are already in contact with. This means doctors, pharmacists, and nurses are all critical contacts for you to build a relationship with.
Look for allied health professionals who provide services you don’t. These businesses don’t have to be your competition. Instead, both businesses may benefit from a reciprocal referring relationship.
5. List yourself on directories and referral search engines.
It can be worth considering listing yourself on a range of online directories and referral search engines. As a new business, this can be a great way to get broader exposure.
Keep an eye on the return for your investment, and choose which referral search engines you list on carefully. Opt for those that are established and reputable, such as HealthEngine.
6. Offer to speak to local groups or businesses
Slightly outside of the box, this method works on building your practice and reputation as an ‘expert’ in your field. By speaking at events, to groups or businesses interested, you establish yourself in your field.
Consider what groups may be interested and what information you could present. You may be surprised what opportunities are out there for you. Some groups to consider may be aged care facilities, Probus or Rotary clubs, conferences or networking groups.
Not all speaking opportunities need to happen in person. Developing a webinar, or short online course can be an effective way of sharing your knowledge with interested parties. These can have a boosting effect on both your reputation and your client list!
7. Use effective signage
Many of the methods we’ve focused on so far occur primarily online. However, effective signage is one method of attracting new clients that is often underutilised.
Put yourself in the place of a new client visiting your practice for the first time. Signage can be in the form of brochure handouts or physical signage on a shopfront or reception desk. Is the signage visible and clear? If not, clients may become frustrated or anxious around locating your business.
Likewise, listing your services assists in transparency. A client may be using one service from you and heading elsewhere for another service because they’re unaware you offer both. Have a list of services visible in a prominent position in your business.
The waiting room is often a good place. Ensure the design of signage is easy to read and be considerate of those who may be visually impaired.
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