In my last post I wrote about (finally) jumping in and starting my first business coaching Facebook group, which was long overdue. One of the reasons I waited so long to do this was out of fear of recommending too many one-size-fits-all strategies, because I hate it when other business coaches do that! What I realized is that the fundamentals never change; they are there in every single business, and always mean the difference between success and failure. I will ALWAYS root my advice to you, or anyone else, in the fundamentals, and help you apply them to your own business with authenticity and flexibility.
So, what are these fundamentals? Below I’m going to lay out four things I believe are essential to marketing. You may think I’m a bit crazy when you read them, but it’s not about molding everyone into the same format, it’s finding the right combination of marketing tools that work for you and your company using these essentials as a starting point, the tools that bring in relationships and revenue.
- Know what you sell – This week in the group we discussed having content buckets and it’s hard to know what to write about if you don’t know what you are selling. Knowing what you are really selling is the true difference between you and your competitor. In the medical community, you are selling a service to help people get well, but you are selling so much more than that. You are selling the opposite of the bad feelings they currently have. For instance, I work with a prosthodontics office. Yes, they sell having teeth again, but what they really sell is the ability to smile again and have self-confidence. They are selling the ability to eat out with friends and thoroughly enjoy the experience. They are selling more than a beautiful smile, they are selling a peace of mind that comes when you look good and feel good.
- Your target market – If you are an oncologist, not everyone is your patient right now, but they might be in the future. Those who do not currently have cancer or worry that they do will likely not decide to visit you on a whim. That doesn’t mean that non-cancer patients can’t be targeted, but they are in a different place than your ideal client, but they could be an ideal client in the future and so you can still start speaking to them. If they are merely worried about the future possibility they may search for “5 ways to avoid getting cancer”, which you can write on your blog. If they have just been diagnosed, they may search for “how to choose an oncologist”, which you can also write about. If they have chosen an oncologist, and don’t like what they hear, they may search, “should I get a second opinion?” and find your blog once again. If you know the phases of your target market, you will always have something to write about.
- Branding – Even if you only use a logo on a business card or social media, a strong brand identity is a MUST. Branding allows you to stand out in the crowd and quickly express your culture and values. Branding is more than just a visible logo, it includes brand personality, positioning, differentiation, and experience. When you have strong branding, your potential patients know exactly who you are and what you stand for even after just a quick glance. They ask for you by name as you get saturated into the community.
- A Strategy – Once you know what you sell, your target market, and your brand, it’s time to create a strategy. This is where things start to look different in each medical brand’s marketing. What might work for a medical office in a big city will fall flat for a small town doctor! Creating an effective strategy that reliably brings in new patients for each is what will position you to be around for the long haul.
Those fundamentals never change. While they look different for every business and company, I guarantee that you will have each and every one somewhere in your approach to marketing. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but every effective solution will cover those essentials.
In the next blog, we’ll look at some of the things that many people think are essential, but are actually red herrings that won’t do the job of attracting patients and clients unless your fundamentals are truly sound. I’ll see you there!
If you want to find the marketing tools you and your company needs, I encourage you to schedule a FREE 30 minute strategy call with me.