One of the biggest problems that new eye care professionals face is growing their practice (and bringing in new patients). Most optometrists and other eye care industry workers are too busy to dedicate the time needed to devise custom digital marketing strategies.
Of course, marketing is essential to owning and operating a business in 2020, and being able to set yourself apart from other practices in your area is what will bring you continued success (and keep new patients coming in). Luckily, marketing isn’t as complicated as it used to be – marketing has gone digital, and that means nearly anyone can create an effective, results-driven advertising campaign as quickly as ever.
Besides the obvious (that is – making sure that your patients and clients come first and are treated/cared for properly), there are quite a few ways that you can easily gain more exposure for your business. That’s exactly why this blog post was created; to help budding optometry practices develop into successful offices. Below we cover some of the very best (and easiest) ways to build your brand and increase your patient list.
Join a Professional Association
Joining a professional optometry association (such as PECAA – which you can learn more about on their website), is one of the absolute best ways to attract more clients, build your revenue, and grow your practice. This is especially true if you’re just starting out and are looking for ways to quickly scale your office.
Organizations such as PECAA offer numerous programs for their members, including peer-to-peer networking events, mentorship programs, continuing education resources, and business education resources. The value of joining such an organization really cannot be measured through cost. There’s a good reason why some of the country’s most successful practices belong to organizations like PECAA – because the opportunities that come with membership are simply too strong to pass up.
Make Sure You’re Credentialed
If you plan on doing work for patients with more than one insurance type, you’re going to need to make sure that you’re properly credentialed in order to work on those insurance panels. In order to provide your services to patients with certain insurance companies, you need to be a registered “provider” with those companies.
Once you’ve completed all the basic steps of becoming credentialed, you need to obtain your actual NPI – short for National Provider Identifier. After that, you’re going to need to apply for your tax ID, and then start getting on insurance panels. There are many more steps involved, all of which can’t be included in this blog post. Learn more about credentialing here.
Using the Internet to Grow Your Business
One of the great things about the internet is that it’s completely leveled the marketing playing field. Advertising is no longer some esoteric field that only high-level creatives can work in, rather, it’s something that all small business owners can do on their own (or at least understand how to do it).
SEO and PPC: Essential for Digital Marketing
As far as digital marketing is concerned, the main two areas you’re going to want to focus on are SEO and PPC advertising. SEO should be a primary focus, but local SEO is what you really need to be doing (not national-level SEO). If you’re going after local customers, there are few methods better than combining local SEO with a robust local PPC marketing strategy.
PPC marketing can be done on various platforms such as Google or Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. There are many different avenues, and social platforms are without a doubt the most popular at the moment. Think about it – where does everyone spend most of their time while on their phones? Social media.
Logically thinking, that’s exactly where you need to be advertising. Remember, advertising is a war of attention. If you know where the attention is, you’ve already won half the battle. Creating copy, running campaigns, etc., these are all things that you can outsource if needed. The important thing is understanding the underlying principles.
Social Media: Here to Stay
Another aspect to consider is whether or not your practice has its own social media accounts. Having your own Facebook, Instagram, etc. can be an excellent way to engage with your patients (and bring in new ones). If you’re not on social media, you’re missing out on a massive opportunity to bring in new business (for free – or at the very least incredibly low cost).