I don’t mind admitting that I’ve wasted thousands of pounds over the years on ads of all kinds to try to fill up my practice. For the most part, they failed miserably.
But with hindsight, the experience has been valuable, as it lead me to discover how to market and promote my practice successfully. And I’d like to share some insight with you here.
Lets consider the journey that someone takes before and after they come to see you. In marketing terms, this is sometimes called the ‘sales funnel’.
This is the secret to successfully filling up your practice with ease (and without wasting a fortune on useless ads!)
It probably looks something like this:
- They hear about you from an ad of some kind, or word-of-mouth
- They have a look at your website
- The get in touch to book an appointment
- They turn up (hopefully!) and have a treatment
- They (maybe) come back a number of times
Now here’s the important bit:
Each stage in this ‘funnel’ is an opportunity to lose someone. A certain % of people will drop out no matter what you do, but you can (and should!) do everything you can to minimise the dropout.
Once you’ve done this, the number of bookings you get ‘magically’ increases, without you having to get the word out to any more people than you currently do.
When you think of this ‘sales funnel’ in its entirety, you can see that it’s about so much more than just advertising. With people constantly dropping out at each stage of the funnel, your practice is like a leaky bucket, and it’s no wonder you’re not as busy as you should be.
And it actually doesn’t take all that much to plug the leaks.
You have to identify them first, and then find an effective solution. Once correctly applied, you’ll find that a way higher number of people who initially hear about you end up booking in, showing up for an appointment, and then coming back to see you again – without you having to do any more promotion or advertising!
And any promotion or advertising that you do choose to go ahead with will be WAY more effective, as people come all the way down the funnel without dropping out along the way.
Here are some pointers:
If someone sees an ad, how likely are they to investigate further or just ignore it?
A LOT of advertising money is wasted at this stage, as almost nobody writes ads the right way, or uses the right media to display their ads. For instance, untargeted ads have a VERY low response rate. If you advertise in newspapers or magazines what is the chance that somebody seeing your ad actually needs to come and see you? Same question with online advertising.
Choosing the right place to advertise, and the right way to structure your ads can save you a fortune – and trust me, I’ve tried pretty much every advertising medium and kind of ad you can imagine!
They look at your website, but do they then get in touch with you to book in?
This is another massive ‘drop-off’ point.
The wrong layout, the wrong picture, a bad choice of words – there are loads of things you can do wrong here. WHAT LOOKS BEST TO YOUR EYE ISN’T NECESSARILY WHAT WORKS BEST!
Luckily there are certain proven formulas that you can easily use to massively boost the effectiveness of your website, and it’s relatively easy to test and improve your own site using a technique called A/B or Split Testing.
In my experience, it’s quite possible to get a 10x increase the number of people who get in touch with you after visiting your site, with the right kind of testing and updating of certain key aspects of your pages.
They come to see you. But do they come back?
You’d be surprised how many people just forget to re-book. Or lose your contact details. Or just get busy, and keep putting it off. But your list of past clients/patients is your most valuable asset BY FAR!
I am constantly disappointment by the lack of any kind of follow-up that I’ve received from therapists that I’ve seen in the past. There are actually loads of ways you can keep yourself ‘top-of-mind’ so that people naturally think of you when some thing else ‘goes wrong’, or even better, come regularly for maintenance treatments.
How To Fix Your Own ‘Leaky Bucket’
If you’d like some help working on your own funnel, and plugging the holes so that you too have a busy and successful practice, you might be interested in my Practice Building Masterclass this November in Bristol.
I’m taking a whole weekend to go over everything you need to know to fill your practice, and keep it full – and without spending a fortune doing it. We’ll cover all the steps of the sales funnel in detail, so that you can easily increase the number of bookings you get, without spending any more on ads.
And it’ll be a lot of fun, too!
You can find all the details here: