Transcript:

043: Connecting with Your Patients Using Social Media

Transcript

 

[INTERVIEW]

Ronda Nelson: Hello friends and welcome to The Clinical Entrepreneur podcast. I’m your host, Ronda Nelson. I really love connecting with all of you every single week. As you know, my focus is trying to provide resources, tools, tips, and strategies to help you grow your practice because being a clinician requires a strong set of skills, right? We have to try and figure things out, especially coming from that alternative holistic space. We have to think differently than we do as a CEO because wearing a CEO hat is a totally different ballgame than being a clinician. When we try to make decisions in clinician mode, they’re not always the best for business. 

 

Today I want to ask you how your social media content is going. One of the things I hear from practitioners all the time is that social media is their one bugaboo. It is like everybody has a meltdown when it comes to social media. They say things like, “I don’t know what to post, and I’m afraid I’m not going to look good on video, or I don’t like video,” and I get it because we all have those doubts. I can do camera, video, and audio, but I don’t always love it. However, I don’t put it off either! You want to regularly connect with your audience, but in a meaningful way- which is the whole point of social media. It’s called social for a reason.

 

Many of us probably have a love-hate relationship with social media. I know I do. There’s a lot of things about it that I don’t like. In my world and with the practitioners that I hang around with, we are really frustrated about this, but newsflash! Your patients probably didn’t get that memo and they’re just cruising along, doing their thing, being on social media because they don’t know. But if they did know, they don’t care because of the social media environment.

 

If you as a clinician want to connect with your patients in an authentic and meaningful way, you have to be on social media. Now, here’s a caveat. If you have a practice that is 100% referral and you never worry about having any new patients come in from any other door, or you don’t need to let people know about what you do, what your specialty is, what your superpower is, then you can walk away from social media. No harm, no foul. The conversations you have on whatever platform have to be mutually beneficial. Think about a relationship you have with someone, it’s a two-way street, right? You have a little conversation, they have a little conversation.

 

Same thing on social media. The goal is to have a conversation where they talk back instead of just talking at them. We’re going to be social and we’re expecting them to be social coming back. We’re trying to create a connection and a relationship. And at the end of the day, what I really want to know is, are you my person? Are you the collection of people that I would love to serve? Because not everyone is going to be right for me. If my niche is working with athletes, then my content and my communication is going to be specific for those athletes because I’m communicating with them. If my niche is women, like tired young mothers that have several kids, then my content is going to be about stress management, diet, family, blood sugar, and how to get vegetable-filled meals for their kids.

 

Depending on how my conversation is going depends on who it attracts, and how they’re going to be able to relate to me. So you need to know who your ideal person is before you just start pushing content out there. It almost feels like throwing spaghetti against the wall; not knowing what will stick but hoping that just maybe something will. First, figure out what your niche is- who do you really love serving? If you need more help on this topic check out episode 4 of my podcast (RondaNelson.com/4) where we dive into How to Identify Your Niche.

 

When we create content that’s meaningful and intentional, we need to have a plan. Without a plan it can start to feel overwhelming. For me, if I don’t know what I’m going to be talking about, I won’t talk (and I’m never at a loss for words). I can always find something to chat about but for some reason when it comes to social media, I’m not like those influencers that just always have something to say and they’re always posting something. I do know that if it is written down and I know what I’m supposed to talk about or the idea or message that I want to try and convey, I’m much happier when I get in front of the camera or mic if I know what I’m going to talk about.

 

Now, my friends, what I want to talk to you about today are the three types of posts or content you need when you’re creating your big picture or plan. Number one is some kind of a written post, as in it’s typed out. You might be asking a question like, “Do you like apples or oranges?” And I know that’s a really basic question, but the question, “Do you like X or do you like Y?” The point of that is to make sure you try and engage your followers. So if my niche is athletes then I might ask them, “Do you prefer this type of cardio exercise, or do you prefer this type? Do you like this type of stretching or this type of stretching? What’s your favorite stretch?” A written post is just simply asking them questions.

 

Another one is just my thoughts or a question. For example, “Have you ever wondered how this particular thing happens?” If you run into a wall, don’t know what to say, there is a great web-based app called PostDeck.io. Post Deck is done by my very good friend, Rachel Miller. It’s a web-based app where you can get thousands of ideas or props for your posts whether it’s an image, a written post, a video, whatever it is, PostDeck.io has it. There is a monthly fee, and I think it’s $4 or $5 a month but it is extremely well worth it. 

 

Now, the second type of post is an image or what we call a quote card. This has to do with something that might be visually stimulating to your audience. So again, if you have athletes, you may have a picture of a stretch or a new kind of kettlebell, something they would relate to. If your audience is tired mothers, you might have some at-home thing that they can do, or a picture of an herb or a supplement that you want to talk about that may help them increase their energy. You can also use these kinds of image posts or quote cards to share testimonials, reviews, or to show off some of the glowing things someone said about working with you. That’s called social proof.

 

Social proof is so important for letting other people know that you know what you’re doing because you helped so-and-so get their desired results. Then the person who’s interacting with you goes, “Well, maybe they can help me too.” You can also use images for Holidays, or you can just put a little humor in there because everyone likes to smile. I would say this- avoid posts like “Happy Monday” or “Happy Easter,” what are they going to say? “Oh, Happy Easter to you, too?” If you are dead set on a “Happy Monday” post, make it something that’s fun and engaging, like it’s a Monday and we’re doing this today, so that there is a point to the post.

 

You can also search for quotes. Often I will just go to Google and type in a concept. Let’s say I want a quote about hiring. You can find inspirational quotes about all kinds of stuff on Google. Now, do not steal those images. You’re going to need to use the quote and make your own image. This is where you can use things like Canva where you can create some of these graphics for your testimonial posts or quote cards. If you don’t have Canva, you’re going to want to get it (see show notes for link).

 

You can also find great images on Unsplash or Pixabay, and I’ll link those as well. They are both free resources for pictures. Now, one that we use a lot is Shutterstock. And with Shutterstock, you do have to pay. It is a monthly subscription, but we use it enough that it’s well worth it for us. So Shutterstock is paid, whereas Unsplash and Pixabay are free. And Canva is the tool that you would use to kind of put it all together. You bring in your picture, you’re going to put your copy over the top, and then you have your own beautiful, unique image that goes on your social media page, to all of your platforms.

 

Now, one more little tip I’ll tell you is if you can, you want to be thinking about branding. And this is a much bigger question, but just in general, when you put a post up, have your logo at the bottom of your image, using an image that you’ve purchased legally and with your copy on it. You can put your logo or the name of your clinic at the bottom so that if it does get shared or someone does take your picture and uses it or repurposes it, then at least you’ve got your branding on there. I like to always encourage practitioners to do that. Now, just to recap, the first type of post is a written post. The second type of post is either an image or a quote card.

 

The third type of posts you can do is my favorite, and those are videos. You can do live video or you can do prerecorded video, and there’s a place for both, but we often put off doing videos for one reason or another. I have to say I’m guilty of doing that, like I will say, “It’s not perfect” or “I had to clear my throat” or “I looked away from the camera too much” or “I don’t like the way the shirt looks on me.” That’s a girl comment right there, but we always have some kind of excuse or something. For some reason, the video is not good enough, but really your audience just wants to connect with you as a human. They don’t really care. In fact, I think people like to see that you’re human too. Maybe your background isn’t perfect, or your sound isn’t perfect, or maybe you have a big shadow on the side of your face. I honestly don’t think it’s that big of a deal.

 

You can do a video as a Facebook Live or an Instagram story. You can do an Instagram TV, you can do Instagram Reels, you can do all kinds of things that are pre-recorded where you just record a video and then put it in your platform of choice or even your Facebook feed. This allows the people that are connecting with you on your business page to hop over to your Instagram page. It allows them to connect with you as a human. You know, gone are the days where you just call an office and you make an appointment. I think in this field of alternative medicine, people want to know they can connect with you, the provider. After all, they’re going to be paying you good money, they’re going to be following your instructions, and you’re entering into a relationship with this client. They’re telling you a lot of personal information about their health, and they want to make sure that they kind of jive with you.

 

Using video is a way for you to filter out the people that may not be the right fit for you and it can help attract the people who are naturally going to be like you. Just let them see you in real life. They don’t need to see you hanging out and doing weekend stuff unless you want them to, but show them your real life. For example, “This is what I’m eating for lunch and this is one of my favorite meals to bring to work,” or “This is how I make my lunch every day.” Or maybe you’re going to show them how you exercise or stretch depending on your niche. You could talk to them as you’re walking down your street, like even with a selfie stick. Something that allows people to connect with you in real-time.

 

Now that you know what these three posts are let’s recap: we have written posts, we have images or quote cards, and then we have video. All of them are going to allow that ideal patient to see you in a social setting in real-time. Now that you’ve got your three types of posts, it’s time to create that content calendar or plan. When you create your plan, really in the simplest form, all you’re doing is thinking of how many times you want to connect every week on social media. Once a week, twice a week, three times a week? It’s totally up to you. I recommend if you want to start to really build a practice and get a following, you should probably connect no less than three to four times a week. But number one, choose how many times you want to engage on social media.

 

Number two, choose the types of posts that you want to engage with. If you are video averse, which I don’t want you to be, but if you are, then you might want to do a combination of some written posts and some images or quote cards. Then maybe one day, just step out of the box and get bold and courageous and just do a video. You can always do one, watch it, see if it passes your muster, and then post it so that you don’t have to deal with a live video in case that makes you nervous. But decide how many times you want to connect with them and then begin to write them down on a calendar.

 

Now, I just did an episode, Episode 19 on RondaNelson.com/19, and there you’ll find the episode where we get into How to Create 4 Weeks of Content in 3 Simple Steps. That title is actually not true, because if you do it exactly how I tell you, you’re going to end up with like three to four months’ worth of content, posting three times a week. It’s a super simple strategy. It has to do with using your FAQs, the questions that your patients most commonly ask you. Those are great topics for you to post about and it doesn’t have to be a big, long, drawn-out process. It’s actually very simple. I promise you, in two hours, maybe three hours max on a weekend, you’ll have your content mapped out for three months. It’s so easy.

 

Once you have that content mapped out and you decide on Monday that you are going to do a Facebook live today. What’s your topic? Okay, great. Smile, let’s go, hit the start button, and start talking because you know exactly what you need to talk about. It doesn’t roll around in your head and make you all crazy. For every single post that you do, no matter what kind of post it is, always have some call to action. In other words, something you want them to do. You could ask them to call and make an appointment which is more of a direct call to action, or it might be that you just want them to comment back saying, “Tell me what you think. Do you love apples or oranges?” Whatever your comparison is, use PostDeck.io to come up with some ideas to help increase interaction. We want to always have a call to action.

 

Number two, be consistent. Don’t be a fly by night where you show up and then you don’t, and then you show up and then you don’t. Be consistent. Number three, be real. Nobody wants to connect with a fake practitioner because patients bear their souls to you. I’m going to tell you all kinds of things about my health and I need to know that I can trust you, connect with you, and relate to you. Lastly, number four, your goal is really to create a connection, and the way we create connections is by providing value. We talk in their language. We are ourselves. And if you’re not the kind of stuffy, stuck-up kind of practitioner that has to have it all together and you’re just happy to be real and say, “Yeah, well, this is how life rolls around my world.” Those are the types of patients that you’re naturally going to attract, which is good for you because they’re a natural fit for you.

 

Don’t wait on the fence anymore, my friend. It’s time to get intentional and start to take action about creating connections with your patients on social media. I know you may not like it, I get it, but there are ways that you can use social media. You get in, you do your work, and then you get out. You don’t have to spend hours on there. But if you’re going to post or do something, get in, use it for business, use the tool, and then get out. In other words, don’t sit and scroll all evening.

 

And of course, I’ve got a freebie for you. It’s a free resource for you, found at RondaNelson.com/videoprompts, and it’s 35 Video Prompts to help you get connected with your audience. I’m going to give you 35 ideas so if you are totally stressing and you think, “What do I even talk about?” Here are 35 things that you can put a little check box next to so that you know when you’ve done it. When you’ve gone live, and you’ve talked about that specific thing. So head over to RondaNelson.com/videoprompts and I got you covered, don’t worry. 

 

Your patients are going to love getting to know you a little bit better. Don’t be scared. Just do it. Even if it’s not perfect, it’s okay. No one’s going to talk bad about you because you coughed in the middle of a live video or you didn’t smile just right. No one’s going to say anything, I promise. So, that’s all I’ve got for you this week. Next week, I’ll be back on The Clinical Entrepreneur podcast with more tips and info about how to build and scale a thriving and profitable practice. Until then, take care, and we’ll talk soon. Bye for now

 

[END]

 

 

 

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