Have you ever had someone walk up to you in the middle of the grocery store? Their face lights up as they smile and say, “Hey you!!” Soon, the two of you are chatting it up, but the reality is… you have NO idea who they are. Nada. But surely you must know them since they seem to know you, right?! So, you keep fumbling through the conversation hoping that it might go somewhere…
Believe it or not – this awkward scenario happens a lot in marketing.
As practitioners, we think we’re writing or speaking to our ideal patient using the right lingo, but somehow the message ends up falling flat. Has that ever happened to you? If so, it could be that you’re simply trying to talk to too many people at once, so no one knows you’re talking to them. Or you’re like that person in the grocery store and have completely missed the mark.
This is why getting crystal clear on WHO you’re talking to is such a big deal – and the first step in effectively marketing your wellness practice. The second step is to actually talk to your ideal patient to find out what they’re really thinking. So, how do you go about doing that? Let’s find out…
Tip 1: Get to Know Your Niche
By this point, you’ve probably already heard me talk about the importance of having a specialty, or a niche. I’ve shared how having a niche helps you:
- speak in your ideal patient’s language
- understand their specific pain points
- connect them to your solution more powerfully
But once you’ve settled on your perfect patient, how do you get to know them at an even deeper level? One way to do this is by creating an ideal patient avatar.
Having an ideal patient avatar, or persona, means knowing the broad concepts like “who” and “where” as well as the nitty-gritty details about what makes them tick. There are two main areas to consider when creating a patient avatar for your wellness practice: demographics and psychographics. Keep reading… and I’ll explain.
When you picture your ideal patient, what comes to mind? Grab a pen and jot down answers to the following:
- Where they live
- Marital status
Demographics are pretty cut and dry facts. They help you understand who your perfect patient is…but not why they do what they do. This is where we dive into the fun stuff – psychographics!
It’s a fancy word, but at its core, psychographics help you understand your ideal patient’s attitudes, goals, and fears.1 So, when thinking about your perfect patient, start coloring in the details of:
- What are their hobbies? Habits?
- What are their fears?
- What makes them feel fulfilled?
- What do they value most? Least?
- What causes them pain or worry?
Demographics and psychographics go hand-in-hand but are actually quite different.2 For example, demographics might tell you that your ideal patient is a 50 year-old woman, but psychographics will tell you that she’s going through menopause and as such, may need additional help to support her changing hormones.
Remember – Demographics are a great place to start, but don’t forget to dig deeper!
Tip 2: Consume What Your Patients Consume
I’m not talking about what they eat. I’m talking about what your patients are reading, what they’re listening to, and where they’re hanging out online. Understanding more of what attracts your patient will help you to better speak their language – about topics they care about.
So, put on your Private Investigator hat and find out:
- What podcasts are they listening to?
- What books, blogs, or magazines do they read?
- Who are the social media influencers they’re following?
Pro tip: A lot of times, when podcasts, blogs, or social media posts are published, visitors will actively comment on them. As you become more familiar with where your ideal patients hang out online, pay attention to these comments sections. In there, you can get great clues about their pain points, what’s on their mind, and so on. This will help you better relate to them as patients and with your marketing!
Tip 3: Keep Your Marketing Conversational
Now that you’re learning more and more about your ideal patient, it’s time to put it to use. All these golden nuggets you’re gaining will help you communicate more effectively and serve your patients better once they’re in your clinic. It’ll also do something even more magical – it’ll start attracting new patients.
With all the ways you can market your wellness practice, it can get overwhelming pretty fast. So, to keep it manageable, focus on one area. Maybe it’s how you…
- write your blogs,
- word your emails,
- craft your social media posts,
- plan your Facebook Lives, or
- rework your website so it speaks to your perfect patient on all the pages.
Pick one area and start using the new information you’re learning about your ideal patients.
Keeping a strong pulse on who your ideal patient is and what matters most to them will help you know how to speak directly to them. But the temptation to get waaaaay too clinical is real. Here are three bonus tips to keep your tone conversational and from going way over their heads:
- Talk to just one person. Anytime you write or go Live, treat it as if you’re sitting across the table from your ideal patient. Don’t talk to a whole room – only talk to them.
- Ditch the jargon. As a wellness clinician, you know your stuff. And when you’re in the zone, it’s tempting to get super technical. Instead, pretend you’re talking to your neighbor who just happens to be in middle school to keep it easy to understand.
- Make sure your content is easy to read. How do you know if your writing is overly complicated? HemingwayApp is a free tool that’ll save your bacon! Just copy and paste your text into this site, and it’ll highlight the exact areas where your writing needs some tweaking. Give it a try – you’ll be AMAZED!
Learn About Your Niche
Getting to know your ideal patient can be a ton of fun! Treat it like you would when you first meet someone new who fascinates you. You want to learn everything you can about them – what they do, who their family is, what they love, what bothers them, and so on. The same is true with your patients.
As you start this new year off, make sure to carve out a few moments to really understand who your ideal patient is. Know their greatest fears and deepest hopes. Understand what motivates them and start looking for ways to craft that into your messaging and marketing.
If you’re feeling stuck on how to do this, let’s talk! Set up a free 15-minute call with me to get going in the right direction.
1. (n.d.). Psychographics – Merriam-Webster. Retrieved December 23, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/psychographics
2. (2019, August 8). How to Use Psychographics in Your …. Retrieved December 23, 2020, from https://blog.hubspot.com/insiders/marketing-psychographics