How To Run A Successful Workshop To Land More Patients
Private practice allows you to work for yourself, set your own hours, pick your own patients and have greater freedom and control over your future and finances.
However, being an effective practice owner doesn’t prepare you for being a successful business owner.
We work with new and established medical practice owners across the US and Canada who want to create profitable practices that reflect their lifestyle and values, so they can quit worrying about the business details and focus on what matters most, helping patients.
When we speak with the ambitious practice owners, we always get asked:
“What do I need to do first? what can wait? and how do I confidently know what to do next?”
Very valid questions.
One of the marketing strategies we encourage practice owners to incorporate into their growth plans is running successful monthly or bi-monthly workshops.
In this article, we will be sharing some of the mistakes we see newbie practice owners make when trying to run workshops to land more new patients.
Your topic is not specific enough
If you’re a physical therapist for example, you can not cover back pain, neck pain, thoracic pain, rib pain, shoulder problems, elbow tendinitis, ankle sprains, incontinence, and lymphedema all in one session.
You will need to cover one specific topic at a time and keep the title of the workshop straightforward.
You haven’t promoted enough
Too many times I have been working with practice owners who are looking to do a workshop two weeks out. My response: No way!
You are not going to be able to get enough promotion out in a timely enough manner, which means you’ll have a very small audience, if any, to show up at all.
You also need to allow adequate time for people to call and register, for registrants to receive a worksheet by mail, an email, and for registrants to receive a reminder call and text a couple of weeks before and the day before the workshop.
A reasonable timeframe for a solid promotion—assuming you are a savvy practice owner with a supportive staff—is about 6 weeks.
I suggest you plan your workshop schedule for the whole year with the entire practice staff members at one of the team meetings. You will also need to have it published and updated on your website. This way everyone is on board, know what they need to do and what to expect.
It’s all about thinking ahead and planning to get the results you seek: high audience turnout, high conversion rates and engagement.
Wrong market, message and media
Most private practice owners never go through and decide exactly who they want their target market to be for the specific topic. You have to get really, really specific about the type of person you want to show up at your workshop for the killer workshop model to work.
Another mistake is mismatching their promo media with their target market. You have to match the two or else you won’t get the audience you seek or any audience at all. For example, imagine the target market for your workshop is a 13-18 year old male baseball pitcher, and your primary promoting media is talk radio.
This target market is not used to responding to marketing messages on the radio, so your turnout is going to be really low or even nonexistent.
It is crucially important that you are using the right media that your target market is used to responding to.
You must be sure your media matches your market.
No demonstration or engagement during the session
Failing to do a demonstration is a huge mistake. I can’t urge you enough to do a demo, share patient stories, invite patients to share their stories and make it an interactive session so people don’t fall asleep!
Yes, I’ve seen that happen before.
Engaging the audience, getting people to talk and encouraging at least four people to share their stories should be part of your plan. You are probing and asking them questions like what you would typically do in an initial evaluation. All the while, they are sharing to everyone.
It is almost like an AA meeting or an early Weight Watchers meeting in that individuals are sharing stories of their back pain – for example- and eventually everyone else starts thinking, “Oh—I’m not the only one out there suffering all alone on an island with back pain. I’m not the first person in the history of the world to have pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in one of my legs.”
Engaging the audience both by having folks share their stories and through the demo is key to sparking their interest, engaging them emotionally and establishing your authority, all of which will convert them from an audience to paying patients.
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