Next, be active on social media platforms that reach the people you want to reach. It makes sense, according to DeGraide, that dermatology practices wanting to attract cosmetic and even medical patients should consider being on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
Being active on social media means having an SEO strategy, which requires that dermatologists write lots and lots of content to educate people about everything from skin cancer screening and preventive maintenance, to acne treatments and elective aesthetic procedures.
Finally, DeGraide suggests practices run their marketing through customer relationship management (CRM) software. CRM software — which is different than practice management software or the electronic medical record (EMR) — helps practices build and promote to a database of people that aren’t yet patients. It allows dermatologists to manage and automate those processes in a practice, he says. Crystal Clear Digital Marketing has developed CRM software specifically to serve the needs of their clients.
“You have to actually make sure you have people and processes in place to convert the phone calls and forms into patients who come in for consultations and provide a five-star consultation, so they become patients. And provide five-star service and care, so they get the results that you talked about. And then they leave the practice and become what we call a raving fan of the practice,” he says.
Where Doctors Go Wrong
The biggest hurdle many dermatologists have for building a bulletproof marketing strategy is themselves, according to DeGraide.
“Typically, the dermatologist will abdicate, not delegate, the responsibility of marketing to somebody that might not have any real vested interest in the process,” he says. “I’m not suggesting you can’t delegate the responsibility, but you still have to monitor it. You still have to be involved in it and care about it.”
Dermatologists, he says, should avoid “the check box mentality.”
“The doctor who owns the dermatology practice will say: Do I have a website? Check. Do I have an SEO company? Check. Am I doing social media posts on a regular basis? Check. Do I send out emails to my existing and prospective patients? Check. Am I using technology to help me? Check,” DeGraide says. “But there’s typically a check box that’s not filled out and that’s: When was the last time I sat and listened and trained my staff on how I want my practice to be represented on the phone when we reach out to these people?”
The bulletproof bottom line: Dermatologists have to care about and oversee practice marketing, according to DeGraide.
“There is no technology or marketing in the world that will fix a practice with broken people and broken processes,” he says.
3 Things You Can Do to Bulletproof Marketing
- Implement a software that captures every inbound phone call and forms in real time.
- Actually listen to those phone calls.
“We highly recommend that dermatologists hide their weapons and drink an adult beverage before they start doing that,” DeGraide jokes.
- Sit with your team on a regular basis and train and practice together. Pull up the software, look at the leads, listen to the phone calls together and role play to improve customer service.