No matter what type of business you own and operate in the healthcare industry, your ability to find and target your ideal patient may be the difference between barely making the bills or being able to afford to put money away for retirement and enjoy life a little in the meantime.
So, how do you do the latter so that you don’t have to worry about the former? Here are three simple steps to consider.
Step 1: Figure out who your ideal patient is.
You cannot expect to locate your ideal patient if you have no idea what he or she looks like—that would be like searching for a lost boy without knowing what color his hair was, how tall he stood, or what he was wearing when he was last seen. It would be almost impossible to find him!
To help you create a crystal clear image of your ideal patient, you want to consider this person’s age, gender, race, educational level, income level, and occupation.1 Close your eyes and actually try to “see” him or her from every aspect of life possible.
Step 2: Get to know them.
Once you can visualize your ideal patients, the next step is to get into their heads. Basically, you have to think like them if you ever hope to reach them on a level that they understand. In an effort to help with this, here are some questions you will want to answer:
- What are their biggest worries or concerns?
- What keeps them up at night?
- What are their general values?
- What is most important to them?
Now, take your answers to these questions and figure out how you can help ease their worries or accentuate their lives. These are the benefits you want to focus on when marketing to that specific demographic.
Step 3: Find out where they spend their time.
OK—you now have an image of your ideal patient and you know what benefits you can offer. Your next step is to find out where they spend a majority of their time so that you know where you should concentrate your marketing efforts.
One of the best ways to find new patients who will be as loyal as your current ones is to ask your current patients where they hang out. This could be someplace online, such as Facebook or Instagram, or it could be at a physical location in your community, like the local gym or sports arena. Or, it could be some mixture of both depending on what your area has to offer, as well as your particular practice and clientele.
Certainly, you can do this by requesting that they complete a survey, which they may or may not take the time to do, but you can also gain a lot of this type of information simply by talking with them during their visits. Make small talk and ask what they do in their spare time and inquire about hobbies they enjoy. See if there are some commonalities between your patients and, if there are, you may want to center your marketing efforts there.
By taking these three steps and identifying your ideal patients, getting to know them on a personal level, and finding out where they spend their time, you will be in a better position to target them with your products and service offerings.
1 Alton L. “Take this systematic approach to identify your ideal customer.” Entrepreneur. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237964. Published October 2014. Accessed May 2015.