Friday, May 11, 2007

Practice Marketing

You might have maxed out the cost saving measures in your practice. The next step is to grow the number of patients that you like and love working with. Marketing will get you there.

You must buy and or read this book: "Marketing Your Clinical Practice: Ethically, Effectively, Economically", 3rd edition, Hardcover, by Neil Baum and Gretchen Henkel, about $90.

Neil Baum is a practicing urologist from New Orleans. His book contains the sum of all other advice that I had heard before plus a surprising amount of new ideas. No wonder nobody recommended it to me. Every resident should receive it as a graduation gift from the program director. It is an absolute must for private practice. Consultants are not going to tell you much more than what you will read in this book, they just charge you more. Read this book first and then attend the $ 2000 weekend courses (where you will be broadly solicited for more "consultant services").

"Guerrilla Marketing", the now classic text by Jay Conrad Levinson. The standard on marketing creatively and on succeeding against the big guys. Interesting, easy to read, stimulating, you get a lot of ideas and inspiration while reading it. Paperback, around $ 15. He has written numerous books on the subject in all its facets: guerrilla marketing handbook, guerilla marketing for free, on the Internet, guerilla job search etc etc.

"Healthcare Success Strategies" is a marketing company that specializes on private physician practices. They claim to have a lot of experience and success. They sell a good 8 CD set on marketing your practice, which gives you many insights, and also serves as a tool to more or less subtly convince you that marketing is more than a list of ideas and that you should have professionals (meaning to the authors) handle it. They offer a reasonably priced (about $1000) two day seminar (with preparation and follow up home work) to come up with a comprehensive marketing plan tailored to your practice. Take a look at their website, if you like it, buy their CD set for $200 and then decide if you want to go further. I think they are good and worth the money.

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