Love it or loathe it, you know that marketing is a pretty big deal when it comes to keeping your business going…but what if you think a lot of marketing is cringe, you want it to be as honest and non-sleazy as possible, but you just don’t have time, energy or funds to go all in?
Well, it’s a good job you’ve got hold of this article, as you’re about to discover 14 ways to effectively market your business, drive more revenue, and future-proof your offering, all in which are no to low cost, put your patient first and don’t feel sleazy, salesy or false.
Granted, that sounds like a lot, but you certainly don’t need to do all of them. In fact, you might find that only a couple apply to you, in which case ace, those are your chosen few.
So, let’s dive in shall we…
#1 – Call Your Previous Patients to Check-In
With the world being somewhat dismantled right now, you have permission to call your patients to simply check-in and show that you actually care about them.
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 perhaps see if they need any help with anything.
Now, depending on how the phone call goes, as in, if you feel like the person who you’re talking to is a) happy to converse and b) not in a hurry to get off the phone, you can also use this call to talk them through potential upgrade opportunities, or even ask if they know anyone who may benefit from speaking to a specialist about their hearing.
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, but always with a care-first-share-after approach.
#2 – Gather & Share 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.
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.
In addition to this, the patient who you’re asking to share their story will hopefully feel valued, listened to and special.
Need a little more help with this? This article shares how you can capture powerful patient stories (along with the five key questions to ask to extract a powerful story).
#3 – Find Trusted Partnerships In Your Community
The most valuable currency in the world of marketing is trust – but not that “put-on” type that is only surface-deep. We’re talking about the real kind of trust that is head-to-toe sincere.
But, as we all know, building trust takes time, and even though you know you’re a safe pair of hands, how can you show that to potential patients from day dot? The answer: partner up with people who have already established their trustworthiness in the community.
Ask yourself who is the most trusted organization, charity, or company in your community that you could partner or work with and start from there.
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 just might be 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 the hearing care 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 provide reassurance to 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.
Images that show the measures you’ve taken to ensure your patients are safe in your clinic are encouraged, such as your hand sanitizer and mask stations (if you have them), or perhaps a wide shot of your waiting room that clearly shows there’s space for people to sit comfortably apart.
Whether these are taken by a professional photographer or taken on your cell phone, please be sure to update these key images to show people you really do care about their concerns.
#5 – Run A Small Personalized Upgrade Campaign
Don’t panic – you don’t have to send everybody on your database an upgrade campaign that screams about new technology, as let’s face it, not everyone will need it and they certainly won’t thank you for it!
In the interests of keeping things completely sleaze-free, you can be much more selective on a small budget and send more personalized mailers to people who you genuinely believe may benefit from an upgrade.
In fact, we recently helped many of our members to run a small upgrade campaign that delivered them some record results, and this only went to 20-80 people who were believed to be in need.
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.
Want to lean into this a bit more? This article shares how you can drive more patient upgrades (and includes how this unique “beta-test” campaign works).
#6 – Contact Your Local Physicians
OK, so there’s a wrong way and a right way to do this.
The wrong way would be to send a big information pack or bribe them with a morning Starbucks by turning up unannounced to their office.
And the right way is to treat them like fellow human beings.
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 more inclined to refer more people your way because of this sincere gesture? 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.
Full disclosure, this takes a bit of 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, be it videos, articles, or images.
The question is, how you can recycle this content and create other assets from it?
Simple. 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.
This is the biggest marketing time-saver ever, as 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.
A really handy (and obvious) tip would be to choose content that you know was well-received when you first posted it, as at least then you know it’s good value.
#8 – Develop A Patient Referral Program
Question: Who do your patients spend time with? Answer: Awesome 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 are bound to 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 may sit in their home (for a while at least!) and may even 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; 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.
Need some extra help getting started with this? This article shares how you can craft powerful content (with a full breakdown of the different types of content that you can create).
#11 – Theme A Specific Month To Raise Awareness/Drive Attention
This one’s brilliant if you’re the kind of person who likes to get your marketing done and dusted in advance.
For example, 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 Journalists 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 doing it all for you!
#13 – Document The Work You Did During Difficult Times
(Apologies in advance for mentioning the C-word again here)
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 and be sure to document this story. This can then be produced into a blog and shared via socials.
Does that feel a little outdated to you? Understandable. In which case you can do a similar thing showing how many people you’ve helped lately without mentioning Covid.
#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.
So, What’s Next?
Hopefully, you can now see that there are so many “sleaze-free” ways to market your hearing care clinic, but like we mentioned at the start, some may feel more right than others.
You’re best 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 just treating people like humans and establishing a genuine, trustworthy connection is the soundest way to grow your reputation.
Co-Founder & Marketing Director
Orange & Gray