There are a lot of speech language pathology clinics out there and they’re all trying to squeeze into the spotlight. They all claim to have the best treatment, the best providers, and the best all-around care. And to be fair, some of them might, but as a manager, how do you help your clinic rise above the clamour and make your brand known? In this article, I’m going to share 7 tips for marketing your SLP practice.
1) Try Sending Unique Mail-outs
I was reading an article by Gordy Rodgers on Speech Buddies, and in it, he shared a story about when he first started his own private practice, and how he garnered his first few referral sources:
“I sent out a large postcard mailer to a number of local pediatric medical practices. It was all about introducing myself, my services and value proposition. Of course, not everyone I mailed postcards to became a referral source, in fact only a couple out of fifty or so solicitations did—but, one of them continues to refer me patients to this day.”
2) Make More Relationships
Since many SLPs are school-based, it’s a good idea to get in touch with them and inform them about the services that your clinic has to offer. School-based SLPs have the opportunity to work with an array of children who are coping with varying developmental or communication disorders everyday. But there are only so many hours in a day and a child may need additional treatment outside of school hours. By forming a strong relationship with your school-based colleagues, you’re helping ensure that they’ll be more likely to refer new patients to your clinic.
There’s really no substitute for face-to-face interactions—you’d be hard pressed to start a strong relationship any other way.
3) Develop Your Online Presence
These days, you pretty much need a website if you expect anyone to take your business seriously. One of the first things that people do when they’re considering a new product or service is consult Google. And if your web presence isn’t immediately apparent ton them, you may have a tough time earning their confidence.
Contrary to popular belief, building a web presence isn’t rocket science. Many social networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, are free to join and have the potential to grow your network exponentially. For example, when you type the name of your practice in Google, your social media profiles are liable to be some of the very first search results.
If you consider yourself to be internet savvy, I’d recommend learning a bit more about Google AdWords and how they can help your business show up on Google, enabling you to be discovered by more people. And here’s a hint: if you haven’t already added your facility to Google My Business–do it today! This provides your clinic with a neat business listing on Google, it allows your office to appear on Google Maps, and much more.
4) Client Appreciation
Everyone likes to feel appreciated, especially when they least expect it. For your patients, they might see visits to your clinic as just another one of those errands that they need to cross off their list, but with a little effort, you can transform your clinic from a stop along the way, to a destination.
For starters, be sure to hire some friendly front desk staff that excels at making your visitors feel welcome. Make them feel like guests, not customers. Invest some money in some comfy chairs for your waiting room. Offer them snacks upon arrival, setup a coffee machine near the front, or make sure there’s some current reading material within reach–it’s all about the little things.
Another novel way to show your clients that you appreciate them is by keeping a correspondence with them on special dates and holidays. ReminderCall, one of our optional add-ons, will actually send patients birthday greetings automatically.
5) Avoid Print Advertising
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand time: print is dead. Don’t waste any of your advertising dollars on print publications that no one is going to read. Instead, put that money towards staff, sponsorships, and overarching marketing campaigns. Marketing is all about getting the best value and securing a return on your investment. That said, there are plenty of other ways that you can spend that money.
6) Sponsor Local Events
There are always opportunities to sponsor events in your community. This is a particularly impactful marketing technique when the scope and interests of the event align with your own. For example, if your SLP facility exclusively treats pediatric patients, it’d make sense to sponsor an event where you know there’ll be a lot of parents, and where you can introduce yourself, and your services, to them. Conversely, if your clinic works with a lot of elderly patients, get in touch with with some local retirement homes and see if they’re open to the possibility of you sponsoring an event; it could be an afternoon of salsa dancing, a picnic, or a mall-walk.
7) Try Outdoor Advertising
While print advertising has been seeing a steady decline, outdoor advertising is more alive than ever (if you need proof of this, see Times Square, NY.) Your clinic has the potential to receive a lot of attention if your ad is placed in the right place, in front of the right people, at the right time. If you do a little bit of research, you might be able to pinpoint a location in your city that will serve as a great introduction.