You know the patients you want in your practice, right? You probably have a picture of your ideal patient in your mind. But how do you get to these people? To get to a group of patients, you have to know:
1. Who these people are, and
2. Where they hang out.
The “who they are” part you can gather in your mind with a description of your target market. Finding out where they hang out can be more difficult. Consider that they might hang out in a physical area, like the local coffee shop, but they might also be hanging out online.
Locally, here are some ways to find out where these people are, so you can connect with them:
• Ask friends and relatives who are in this group where they would hang out. If you want to target young families, ask your friends who have children where they go for fun. If you want to target baby boomers, ask your parents.
• Read the local newspaper to see what clubs and groups are meeting. Find the ones that fit your target market and attend a meeting.
• Find events that your target market might attend and do the same, or better yet get a booth and talk to attendees about your practice.
• Go to community events, sports events, and see who is there.
• See who is reading free local newspapers; the publisher should have demographic information.
• Talk to the advertising people at local radio and TV stations to learn about the audiences for particular shows or music radio.
Online, the social media websites like Twitter and Facebook are good places to look for people. It is difficult to generalize about different social media; the best way to know if your target market is on one or the other site is to go on yourself and wander around. See if there is a group that consists of your target market, or do a search for people based on characteristics. If you know how people in your target market use the web, you can get online and talk to them. Put your web page on everything you send out, so people can find you.
Searching for the hang-out of your target market is a continuing process, but it’s worth your time to find these people so you know where to place advertising and publicity releases.