Putting together a strategy for how to get more patients without more hours in the clinic? Growing your business and helping more people is more clear-cut than you think.
You didn’t start your practice to spend long hours doing insurance paperwork. You started your practice because you have a passionate desire to help more people. So why aren’t you reaching them? Why is your business not where you want it to be, even with years of experience and training behind you?
You’ve tried referral programs with your patients and with other doctors. You have a solid team and great follow-through with your existing patients. Your online reviews are great, and you’ve built a strong, trusting relationship with your patients. How do you get more patients and grow your practice into the powerhouse it should be with you at the helm?
- 5 ways to reach more patients
- 1. Build (or rebuild) a professional website
- 2. Use social media wisely
- 3. Step out of the clinic
- 4. Look for speaking opportunities
- 5. Launch a book
- How to get more patients by being a thought leader
5 ways to reach more patients
The first thing you need to consider is whether you’re looking for how to get more patients or how to reach more patients. Here’s the difference.
Getting more patients in the clinic to see you is amazing, but you run into two problems. First, location. You’ll only be able to book patients who live in or near your geographical area. Second, time. There are only so many hours a day to book appointments and see patients.
Learning how to reach more patients is different from just learning how to get more patients. You can reach more patients by allowing them to access your expertise, even when they can’t book an appointment. When you can’t get more patients into the clinic, you can still grow your practice by reaching patients all over the world.
Kokeb McDonald is an occupational therapist who learned that reaching more patients allowed her to do more than booking appointments ever could. After realizing that she could use a book to reach more patients, she grew her practice away from the clinic entirely. She now focuses on creating teaching programs and tools that allow patients and practices to benefit from her expertise.
Not everyone is looking to move away from a clinical setting, but every practitioner can reach more patients and grow their business. Here’s how to get more patients and grow into reaching more people than you could possibly treat in person.
1. Build (or rebuild) a professional website
If you don’t already have one, it’s time to get a website. If you do already have one, make sure it’s up to date. There’s nothing wrong with using a template to create your site, but once it’s finished, it shouldn’t feel too much like a template. Your practice brings something unique to your community, and your website should reflect that!
Make sure to include photos and a short bio for every person on your team. You can look up some short bio examples, but again, don’t let it feel too much like a template. And this isn’t just a tip for how to get more patients, it’s good business practice to have a unique, professional website where people can explore what makes your clinic stand out.
2. Use social media wisely
Plenty of people say that the single best way to grow your brand is social media. And we agree… but there’s a caveat. The trick is using social media wisely. Chasing trends or copying posts within your niche won’t get you anywhere.
Solving the problem of how to get more patients by using social media requires three things: thoughtfulness, consistency, and some level of tech-saviness. You’ll need to think out what kind of content you want to put on social media and which channel you want to use. Social media apps love consistency, so for your content to get in front of the right eyes, you’ll need to post at about the same time, at least once a day. Social media can be a time-suck, so make sure that you’re tech-savvy enough to know how to create and schedule posts to go out on time without needing to be monitored.
And no social media advice is complete without a reminder that you’ll need a plan to handle trolls, errors, and negative feedback on your socials.
3. Step out of the clinic
Stepping out of the clinic can take different forms, but it’s key in how to get more patients. The easiest way to start is to reach out at community health and outreach events. If you don’t see any in your area, start one up! Or, go online and join a digital health event.
At these events, you’ll be networking, but you’ll also be listening. What are people saying about practitioners in your niche? What gaps do you see in people’s health and wellness that you know how to fill? What are the urgent needs, and what kinds of solutions can you help move forward?
Getting to know the people in your community and others who struggle with the problems you help to solve is powerful. In the business world, that’s “market research”. For you as a practitioner, it’s also crucial insight into how to get more patients and effectively communicate with them.
4. Look for speaking opportunities
In your practice, you might find yourself giving the same advice dozens of times a day. Speaking opportunities provide a way to give that same advice to hundreds or even thousands of people without needing to repeat yourself. You might have no idea how to become a public speaker, but that’s ok! You can learn, just like you’re learning how to get more patients in a way that works for your practice.
Start with small, local events and build on them from there. Speaking to smaller crowds is also a great way to overcome any nervousness you might feel around public speaking. And remember, you’re in this to reach more patients and help them in the way only you can. If you get overwhelmed with public speaking, try speaking as though you’re having a one-on-one with a patient.
5. Launch a book
A book is by far the most powerful tool you can use to grow your practice. Learning how to write a nonfiction book isn’t necessarily easy, but it’s not complicated, either. You can do it, especially if you have support. And you’ll find that having a book makes tasks like public speaking and social media easier since you have your most valuable expertise already distilled and ready to go.
Launching a book to reach more patients is daunting, but so is the problem of how to get more patients – especially if you can’t stretch your time in the clinic any further. Your book is the tool you’ll use to reach the patients who need you most, even if time and space prevent them from booking a spot on your calendar.
How to get more patients by being a thought leader
Your practice can grow beyond brief clinical interactions and constantly trying to figure out how to get more patients. Your expertise and ideas are the most valuable thing you can provide to your patients, and there are so many ways to share them. Reach out through speaking engagements. Build your social media platform. And write your book. Share your wealth of expertise through a non-fiction book that will stretch far beyond what you can do as a single practitioner. Your patients (and future readers) will thank you!