10 FREE ways to market yourself in allied health
Last week, I had the privilege of presenting a workshop hosted by Podiatry WA on creative marketing strategies. One of the common concerns for marketing that I heard from the participants, and one that I often hear when talking with allied health practitioners about marketing, is money. People are concerned that marketing feels expensive, and this creates a barrier to launching their great marketing plan. Marketing is a process, not a quick fix to "get more clients in 60 days", and it does take time. As we know, time is money, and I believe this is where the main cost of marketing lies. If you have some time, I have some free marketing ideas for you.
1. Present information clearly and concisely - ensuring that your written communication is easy to understand, looks professional and is well laid out makes a real difference. Consider this with all your material, including patient sign-in forms, letters back to referrers, and home program handouts.
2. Publish your articles - I am sure many of you have documents written that outline varying conditions that you might treat, or an approach to treatment. If could be in the form of a patient handout, or a literature review. Look at your files and see what you already have - you might be surprised at what you can re-purpose. Re-edit if you need to make them current and add them to your website (if you are not on the web yet, print some for your waiting room).
3. Volunteer and give back in the community - it is great to stand up and contribute to a local event, or fundraising activity, or just even volunteering for plant a tree day. Getting out and about gets you seen, and you can also then feel good about yourself in the process.
4. Have a great message on your phone if people call after hours - call your phone after hours and listen to the message other people get: is it inviting, and does it encourage them to leave a message? Remember to always try to be remarkable, so try saying something people might not expect.
5. Create a LinkedIn profile - this is a great way to add to your personal brand and to start to develop online connections with other professionals. Create a great profile that reflects what you do and starts to find other like-minded people. Having a LinkedIn profile will also help your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
6. Add a case study to your website - I am sure you have so many cases that would be interesting to your target audience. Case studies are a great way to showcase your therapy. Ensure you use the real patient for any photos you include, and get their consent to write about them. Adding content regularly to your website will also assist your SEO.
7. Start a MailChimp campaign - Mailchimp is a great online platform for sending out newsletters via email (a campaign). Not only do they look professional, you will also be able to track how often it is read, and what pieces of news they are interested in. This is a free platform if you have under 2000 people on your list.
8. Write a press release - why not?! The worst they can say is "no thank you, we are not interested". Pitch an idea to them for a story on a great outcome for a client, a new piece of equipment or knowledge you have gained that will improve the lives of others. Send them some photos so they can better comprehend what you are talking about.
9. Email signature - if you don't have an email signature, get one! This is the part at the bottom of an email that you write that has your name, address, email and so on. If you have a blog, or website, or Facebook page, link these in your signature.
10. Smile and be friendly - so cheap and easy to do. It is imperative that you don't get too caught up in being busy that you forget this last and very important free marketing tool. Your clients and customers will feel more relaxed and engaged with someone who is happy to be at work to help them.