Everyone makes mistakes—that’s just life! Fortunately, we are here to fill you in on six marketing mistakes that a lot of small practices are guilty of making. We know that especially if you're running your own practice there's a good chance that you and your staff don't have the time or resources to put towards marketing your practice, but marketing is a very important part of building and maintaining a solid patient base. Your resources are probably being spent on things like optometry software, salaries, and new equipment, but all marketing doesn't have to be expensive. Check out these 6 pieces of advice we have for marketing your independent practice!
Going Beyond Optometry Software: Marketing Mistakes Your Independent Practice Might be Making
1) Misuse or Lack of Social Media
When used correctly, social media can be one of the strongest tools to market your practice; however, it is also very easy to misuse. The first mistake is blasting generic information to large audiences. Social media works best when you personalize your message to your patients and communicate with them about things that are important to them. You have to invest a little time in being active, creative, and interesting.
2) Avoiding a Target Market
For marketing to be effective, it is important to choose who you want to target, and be consistent with it. It is better to really commit to a smaller group, rather than trying to stretch yourself thin. It is a good idea to choose a subgroup to begin with and slowly work your way into serving a larger crowd. Maybe towards the end of the summer you want to focus your marketing towards parents sending their kids back to school and making sure that they get their kids in for an eye exam before the school year starts.
3) Not Spending Enough Money
A lot of practices make the mistake of not putting enough money into marketing. Yes, you’ll save a few dollars upfront; however, it could end up hurting you in the long run. Make sure you are placing importance on marketing because without it you will have a hard time bringing in new patients. Ultimately, your marketing is meant to pay for itself if you are able to bring in enough new patients from it.
One of the easiest ways to market your practice is to brand it with a distinct logo and color. In order to be successful you need to be the practice that comes to mind whenever a potential patient thinks about eye care. Take advantage of finding opportunities within the community to get your logo out in front of as many people as possible.
5) You're Hard to Work With
Another big mistake you can make is not being enjoyable to work with. If you have partnerships with other businesses in the community and you would like to continue them, you have to keep them happy with you. You might send them a random gift to show that you enjoy working with them. Small things can really make a huge difference in how your patients view your practice. And, it will probably help your word of mouth reputation around the community if other businesses enjoy working with you.
6) Keeping Things the Same
Just because something has been working for you doesn’t mean that it will continue to be the most successful route. You have to try new marketing and advertising techniques often, because people change and even if a technique you used to use still works, it might not be the best way of reaching your target market now.
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