The most important philosophy throughout my 25-year career, running multiple businesses, has been to do the basics to a high standard.
This core philosophy has served me well, and when it comes to your marketing, you should have the same belief system.
The good news is, the basics rarely require a big marketing budget.
Instead, they require you to do the work.
That’s why, in this article, I’m going to share 14 ways to more effectively market your business, drive more revenue, and future-proof your offering, all in which are no to low cost.
My advice is to pick a handful of these that feel more relevant to you at this moment and spend just one-two hours per week working ON your business rather than IN your business.
#1 – Call Your Previous Patients to Check-In
With the world being somewhat dismantled at this moment, you have permission to call your patients to simply check-in.
They’ll love to hear from you and you’ll be able to ensure that they’re okay, that their hearing devices are performing, and simply see if they need any help with anything.
This will achieve three things.
- It will deliver phenomenal customer service and will show that you care.
- It will allow you to strengthen relationships with existing patients.
- It will effortlessly lead to opportunities, whether an accessory, a referral, or an upgrade.
If your front of office team or providers are quieter than usual with less patients walking through your door, then this would be a perfect task for them.
#2 – Capture Detailed Patient Stories
When a patient is choosing a provider, they’re looking for “show me that you know me” when they view your website.
Do you speak to them and do you help people like them?
One of the most powerful ways to do this is to capture your existing patients’ stories.
This isn’t a testimonial, but it’s a detailed story that shares the fears/concerns a patient had before stepping into better hearing and how you have impacted their world.
This could be done via an interview or you could invite patients to complete a questionnaire. It costs nothing but will allow you to start building proof that you are who you say you are to the outside world.
#3 – Find Trusted Partnerships in Your Community
The most valuable currency in the world of marketing is trust. In today’s market, patients are looking for a provider that they believe they can trust.
One of the biggest short cuts to developing trust through your online presence is to prove that you’re trusted by others, and you should start at the top.
The question is, who is the most trusted organization, charity, or company in your community that you could partner or work with?
For example, if you are in New York, imagine being able to say that you’re trusted by the New York Fire Department. You could complete free annual screenings for them and be able to proudly have this on your website.
To the outside world, if you’re good enough for the local fire department, then you’re good enough for them.
Consider who your local trusted organization is, and start taking the steps to be able to help them and prove their trust towards you.
#4 – Upgrade Your Photography for Today’s World
Most imagery on websites within this industry is either horrendous stock imagery or pictures of smiling providers pre-COVID.
With this new normal likely to be around for the significant future, your photography should reflect today’s world.
This will give trust to new patients that you’re taking the right measures, and ensure that you’re not just giving new patients confidence, but you’re also giving their family confidence.
Whether these are taken by a professional photographer or taken on your cell phone, please be sure to update these key images.
#5 – Run a Small Personalized Upgrade Campaign
Don’t get it twisted – you don’t have to send everybody on your database an upgrade campaign that screams about new technology.
You can be much more selective on a small budget and send more personalized mailers.
In fact, we helped many of our members to run a small upgrade campaign during March, April, and May that delivered them some record results when many of their doors were shut.
They only sent it to 20-80 people.
By having a laser-targeted message and being selective of who they sent the mailing to, they were able to get some huge results with many of them printing and stuffing the mailings in their office.
#6 – Contact Your Local Physicians
No, I don’t want you to send a big information pack or bribe them with a morning Starbucks by turning up unannounced to their office.
Instead, I want you to treat them like humans.
If a physician has referred to you over the past several months, then send them a handwritten thank you card/letter and explain how their referrals seriously helped your business and you’re incredibly thankful.
Will they be inclined to refer more people? You bet.
If a physician has never referred anybody, you could send a card that shares how face masks are causing hard-of-hearing people to struggle and explain that if they come across any patients that need hearing help, that you’re available to help them.
This takes some time to personalize the card/letters and has the cost of a stamp, but this simple touch will make a bigger difference than any big information pack.
#7 – Recycle Old Content
I’m sure you have a treasure trove of old content.
Whether videos, articles, or images.
The question is, how you can recycle this content and create other assets from it.
- If you have a video, you can create a blog about it.
- If you have an article, you can create social posts from it.
- If you have an image, you can create a blog and social posts about it.
Once again, it takes work, but you don’t have to constantly reinvent the wheel and come up with new ideas when you’re considering what to post or share on your website/socials.
#8 – Develop a Patient Referral Program
Who do your patients spend time with? People like themselves.
That’s why a patient referral program is the simplest thing that you can add to your business that will have the greatest impact.
It could be a “friends & family” style referral program where you hand patients 3 referral cards that qualify the recipient to a complimentary hearing assessment, and encourage them to give them to anybody that they believe would benefit.
Or it could be a “lunch on us” referral program, where patients receive a gift card to a local restaurant when they refer somebody for a hearing assessment.
All you have to do is print the referral cards and then ensure you include this into each patient conversation.
#9 – Send Handwritten Cards to Patients
In a world that has become painfully digitalized, your patients would love to receive a nostalgic handwritten card.
It takes little to no effort and can be built into a simple process within your business, but if after several months, you sent patients a handwritten card to let them know that you’re there if they need anything and wish them all the best, then this will have a significant impact.
The thank you card will sit in their home and will undoubtedly trigger conversations when friends or family visit.
It’s a small touch that costs hardly anything yet makes a significant impact.
#10 – Create “Frequently Asked Questions” Articles
Patients want to know that they’re working with experts. One of the best ways to do this is to craft expert articles answering your most frequently asked questions.
A great way to do this is to have your front of office team take notes of the questions that they’re asked on a daily basis.
If the same question continues to come up, then you should write an article answering this question in detail that can sit on your website.
This article will help your front of office team by giving them somewhere to direct patients towards when this question is asked, it will improve your Google rankings, and it will allow you to start educating your community to build a pipeline of future patients that are in the research phase of their journey.
#11 – Theme a Specific Month to Raise Awareness/Drive Attention
Choose an upcoming month and decide a theme for it.
September could be your local “Hearing Health Awareness Month,” October could be your “Buy Back on Existing Patients’ Devices Month,” and November could be your “Give Back to the Community Month.”
By selecting a theme, you can then run specific marketing towards this and have a story to constantly be telling, rather than feeling unsure what message to use or feeling like your marketing messages will become stagnant.
For example, for our “Inner Circle” members, we’re running a “Hearing Health Awareness Month” right now during August. It’s allowing us to make a lot of noise throughout socials, blogs, local press, internal conversations, posters in the office, etc. Does it require a big marketing budget? No.
Will it drive referrals, attention, and make people question their own personal hearing challenges? You bet.
#12 – Submit Press Releases to Local Journalist to Win Media Coverage
The most powerful yet 100% free way to market your business is through the local news station.
By documenting the great work that you’re doing, finding a newsworthy story, and then sharing this with local journalists, you’re able to raise attention with the right stories being picked up and covered.
With our “Inner Circle” members appearing in local press, state-wide media, and even in the New York Times – finding your newsworthy angle and sending this to journalists is a free yet powerful way to get huge coverage.
Best of all, this isn’t you leaning into your community and shouting about how great you are. This is your trusted local media sharing the great work you’re doing.
#13 – Document The Work You Have Done During COVID
If you continued to serve patients – whether remotely or in-person – during the peaks of COVID, then this is a story that you should be sharing.
Not only does it show your community all the work you have done, but it also means that when patients check you out in the future, they can see that you were there for your patients during a global pandemic.
Collect your key numbers/data points from March to June and be sure to document this story.
This can be produced into a blog and shared via socials.
#14 – Ensure Your Directory Listings are Up to Date
One of the biggest impacts on your SEO results is the accuracy of your directory listings.
This is called “NAP” (name, address, phone number).
Discrepancies between different directory listings gives Google major trust issues that will negatively impact where you rank on Google.
Make sure that the formatting and information is congruent across platforms, avoid tracking numbers on online directories, and check as far and wide as you can.
It’s not a pretty job, but one of the biggest influencers on how you rank online in today’s world.
What To Do Now
Some of these tactics may have stood out, some may not seem so relevant.
My advice to you is to pick one to two of these and solely focus on them until they’re done … when done, you can then move on to the next.
They all require minimal investment and will help you to establish yourself as the number one provider in a market where so much opportunity is up for grabs.