GETTING MORE PATIENTS INTO YOUR PRACTICE – Part 1

It can be a struggle to get more patients to your Naturopathic practice. But there is a tremendous amount of demand if you know how to tap into it! I’m going to walk you through how I drive traffic to NDs using digital marketing in this multi-part series. I hate to start with theory, but I’m going to briefly cover marketing funnels first. This will be worth your time, because they serve as a framework for the rest of the series. By the end of this first chapter, you will understand:

  • The different stages of a marketing funnel

  • How the stages relate to one another

  • How to analyze your results to figure out where to focus your efforts

    Marketing Funnels

Marketing Funnels are visual ways to see your marketing stages. You will lose some patients at each stage, until in the end, only your paying customers remain. The stages of a marketing funnel tend to change depending on what you’re selling, who you’re selling it to, and how. Those stages are:

  1. Interest – The number of people interested in the Naturopathic approach

  2. Awareness – The number of people familiar with Naturopathic Medicine.

  3. Consideration – The people considering looking for a Naturopathic Doctor

  4. Evaluation – Potential patients that are currently evaluating NDs to choose

  5. Appointment – Patient schedules their first appointment.

Usually, someone has to be aware of your product before they can become interested in it. But we’re unique. Dissatisfaction with the current state of American healthcare is at an all time high. People are sick of popping pills. Tired of paying for them. Distrustful of big pharma as well as big agriculture. They’re lamenting that there isn’t a more natural, common sense approach. They want what ND’s can offer, but don’t know you exist!

How the Funnel Works

Potential patients start at the top of your funnel and get ‘filtered’ through each stage until they fall out, or become a patient. There’s a critical implication here. This is the most important message for you in this whole article!

If you lose 95% of your potential patients at the top of your funnel, just stop. You’ve already lost!

Marketing funnels tell you where to focus! They’re why I started this series here. This point is so critical that I’m going to use an example to illustrate. Suppose your funnel looks like this.

As you can see, you’re losing most of your potential patients at the top of your funnel! (This is exactly what’s happening to ND’s today). But if you improve your conversion to the Awareness stage by another 10%, your funnel would become this:

A 10% improvement to Awareness would DOUBLE your number of patients! Your funnel tells you where to focus your effort!

Exceptions: As with so many rules, there are exceptions. Word of mouth advertising is a great example. If I recommend an ND to a friend who’s never heard of NDs, they might skip all the way to the end!

Let’s Review

We’ve covered a lot so far! You should now understand:

  • What a marketing funnel is, and what it looks like for the Naturopathic Industry.

  • How potential patients flow through your funnel

  • How understanding your funnel will help guide your marketing efforts.

In the next segment, we’ll talk about what online marketing tools to use at each stage of your funnel. This course will cover all the details of how I work. But there’s a lot to do, digest, and stay on top of! If you have any questions, please register for a free 30 minute digital strategy session. I’m happy to help.

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Extra Credit: Creating Your Funnel

The math behind your funnel is pretty simple. But getting the data isn’t. I’ve created a free template to help you get started. Click here to get it. For now though, here’s a quick way to estimate the size of your target market.

  1. Visit: https://www.freemaptools.com/find-population.htm

  2. Search for your city

  3. Click where your office is on the map

  4. Set a radius in miles between 5-15\. (If you’re urban with bad traffic, set it lower. If rural, go higher)

  5. **POPULATION:** Click Search, and write down the number. We’ll use it in a moment

  6. **NICHE_SIZE:** Next, you need to figure out how many people you can treat. If you have a specific niche, search google for: “What percentage of people have ___”. The number you get will be your NICHE SIZE. If you don’t have a niche, set this value to 100% for now. If you have several niches, create a different funnel for each one.

  7. **INTEREST:** I would set this to 33% to represent the number of people interested in natural healthcare to be conservative.

  8. **OTHER:** Can you think of any other criteria that might matter for your practice? If so, estimate their percentages too.

  9. Multiplying these numbers together gives you the approximate size of the Interest stage of your funnel.

[POPULATION] x [NICHE_SIZE] x [INTEREST] x [OTHER] = SIZE OF INTEREST STAGE