Imagine Thomas Edison only tinkering in his workshop, but never telling the world about inventing the lightbulb…crazy, right?
Yet that's exactly what many health care practitioners do, thinking that their clinical expertise alone should be enough to attract new patients!
As the co-creator of the Evolution of Medicine Practice Accelerator, I often hear from truly gifted clinicians that they are frustrated that their expertise isn’t well-known, and as a result, they find it difficult to enroll new patients or can’t charge what they’re worth.
That’s why pre-educating prospective patients is especially critical in holistic, integrative, naturopathic and functional medicine—because there’s an abundance of people who are looking for exactly this type of approach, yet don’t know it exists.
To create a successful practice, I believe it’s not enough to be a great health practitioner…you also have to be known as one!
So, if you ask yourself…
- Why are people questioning my pricing?
- Why are people not ready and excited to get started on care?
- Why do I have to keep selling people on the fact that I can help them, that I can serve them?
…then the answer might be that you don’t have enough preeminence.
Preeminence is about positioning yourself in the mind of the consumer so that they want to do business with you, because they know that you are the “one.” It’s about building up a name for yourself, a reputation, that precedes any one-on-one encounter with prospective patients.
Or, as Jay Abrahams explained it, “You want to be seen by everyone you deal with as the definitive expert source and the most trusted advisor that has their best interests at heart—not as a generic seller of services.”
In many ways, attracting patients is just like dating; the same three rules apply:
- You’ve got to look the part (your website needs to look the part)
- You’ve got to say the right things (your website needs to say the right things)
- You’ve got to get their phone number (your website needs to collect their email address)
During this “dating process,” both the patient and practitioner are evaluating each other. The patient is trying to ascertain if you’re the type of practitioner they’ve been looking for all along.
As the practitioner, you need to make it very easy to understand how you can help patients, and why you're relevant to their health challenges. That’s why in our Practice Accelerator course, we dedicate the entire first module to the concept of picking your niche.
In the absence of interacting with you one-on-one, your audience will take the content on social media and your website as a substitute to determine your expertise.
Given that patients have very short attention spans, it gives practitioners little time to get their point across. It becomes paramount to be consistent in your outbound marketing through spaced repetition of a tightly defined core message.
Imagine you met someone at a party, who’s going on a 10-minute rant about themselves, their job and their services, without ever asking anything about you. You would likely not want to go on a date with them, right?
The same is true for your social media and website. Rather than wowing your audience with the breadth of your expertise and experience, stay focused on what’s most relevant and interesting to your prospective patients.
If you’re curious about them and their health challenges, if you talk about what they are most interested in, it will get them interested enough to go on a first, second and third “date” with you, which allows you to establish preeminence.
If you enjoyed this post, you’ll love next week’s installment, where I discuss how to nurture your prospects to know, love and trust you through email marketing. If you’re interested in creating a low-stress, digitally advanced practice, the Practice Accelerator program is a great place to start.
As a veteran marketing expert and tech entrepreneur, Uli Iserloh has spent the past two decades building automated marketing systems that position health practitioners as the go-to experts in their community. In a world dominated by chronic disease, he advocates for an education-based marketing approach to inform prospective patients about the promise of integrative, holistic, and lifestyle/functional medicine.
After 10 years in the pharmaceutical industry, he founded Big Boost Marketing, an award-winning digital marketing agency serving many of today’s Functional Medicine leaders – helping health practitioners attract, nurture and convert more prospects into clients. In addition, he is also serving as the COO for the Evolution of Medicine, guiding the company’s marketing strategy and operations.