The field of dermatology is a fast-growing and highly competitive one.
Despite this growth, private practices still need to promote themselves to stay ahead of the competition and remain profitable.
Here are our top tips for marketing dermatology practices.
Six Tips For Marketing Dermatology Practices
1. Develop a Menu of Services
The first step toward marketing a dermatology practice is to figure out which of the services you offer best align with the needs of the people in your local area. For instance, if you live near a retirement community, it makes more sense to position your practice around Botox treatments and services that help people look younger rather than acne and skin-clearing therapies for young people.
General dermatology is the most common type of private practice because it offers the greatest potential for building a broad patient base. However, in crowded markets, it may make more sense to focus on a particular type of procedure or segment of people in the community. Instead of competing against a whole lot of sameness, your practice could become known as the doctor who specializes in skin cancer or the dermatologist teens love.
Becoming known for an area of specialization can be a great way to get referrals. Patients often know people who are similar to them and may be experiencing similar skin issues.
2. Ask for Referrals
Many dermatologists are too busy — or bashful — to ask for referrals. Referrals are essentially a free way to bring in new patients. And as covered in the previous section, your patients likely know people who are similar to them experiencing the same skin issues. Teens likely know teens who have acne. Seniors likely are friends with other seniors with aging skin. Frequently skin cancer runs in the family.
Always make it a point to ask happy patients to refer friends and family members who could benefit from your services. Also, include referral messaging in your email newsletters, social media posts, and on invoices.
3. Position Yourself as an Expert in the Media
Providing advice in blog posts, television programs, podcasts, and other local media will increase your exposure and demonstrate your expertise in dermatology, helping build familiarity, credibility, and trust with prospective patients. People are more willing to work with doctors who they think are the best at what they do than those they know little or nothing about.
4. Create a Positive Patient Experience
Develop an end-to-end experience that meets and exceeds patient expectations. If you’re a generalist or focus on any of the more medical aspects of dermatology, create a space that’s clean and modern yet comfortable. If your practice is more about skin treatments and keeping people looking younger, a more spa-like ambiance will deliver a better patient experience.
As a next step, always make it easy for patients to do business with you. Make booking appointments simple and convenient. Offer appointment-making capabilities online, and never keep people waiting on the phone. Invest in the latest record keeping technology. No one wants to use paper or disconnected systems anymore. And who has the patience to wait while records are searched for? Streamline payments, insurance submissions, and other processes to make them as simple as possible for patients.
Always ensure waiting areas are comfortable and do everything possible to keep people from waiting. Check that all your consulting rooms are comfortable and conducive to honest conversation. Train everyone on your team on patient service best practices and ensure they’re always carried out.
Don’t limit your patient experience efforts to actual-world ones. Check that your website design is easy to read and navigate and provides helpful information in different formats, including print, video, and illustrations. Also, make sure that all your landing pages and other digital properties make it easy for prospective patients to connect with you however they prefer, whether via phone, chat, email, or text.
As a final step, implement patient surveys. Email or text a link to everyone you treat. It will help ensure your patients are happy and getting the service they expect. It will also allow you to identify issues, correct problems that occur, and possibly prevent negative online ratings and reviews, which could harm your practice.
5. Leverage Social Media to the Limit
Sharing helpful information on sites like Facebook can be a great way to spread the word about your practice, build brand awareness, demonstrate expertise and the quality of your work, and get people to make appointments. You can even interact with prospective patients who comment and ask questions online.
When you use social media to promote your practice, here are a few things to look out for:
Protect your patients and practice against HIPAA violations
Avoid providing specific medical advice
Don’t blur your personal and professional profiles.
Social media can be a powerful way to bring in new patients. Just don’t make mistakes that could put your business at risk.
6. Ask for Ratings and Reviews
Like all other aspects of life, most people check ratings and reviews before making an appointment with a dermatologist. They want to find out whether people similar to them received good care and service from you and the people in your practice.
At the end of every patient interaction, check to see if they’re satisfied with their experience. Then follow up with those who had a great one and ask for a rating and review on Google My Business or another service. It will help demonstrate to people searching for a dermatologist that you’re a great practitioner who delivers a sound experience.
Dermatology Marketing: The Bottom Line
If you follow the recommendations in this article, your dermatology practice can take advantage of a rapidly growing medical sector, earning a piece of all that new business.
Check it out: Learn more about how medical practices can market themselves.