By Nancy Rausman, Managing Editor, EyeCarePro
In the current age of online consumerism, medical optometry is taking on greater importance in the establishment of a successful practice. One way to stand out from the crowd is to focus on a specialty that patients and hiring practice owners may be on the lookout for.
During a recent interview with Dr. David Kading, co-founder of Optometric Insights, a career coaching organization for optometry students and expert in private practice, the topic of specialization came up as a way for students to differentiate themselves from the crowd. Dr. Kading says, “By specializing, optometrists can set themselves apart and open themselves to greater opportunities in patient care”.
When you bring a specialty to a practice, you need to not only know how to market yourself to your potential employer, but also how to market that specialty to the world. You need to be prepared with suggestions on how to make your specialty known and get the word out to establish your reputation as an expert in that market.
Here are six ways to actively market your specialty to distinguish yourself and your practice from the competition.
- Publicize on the practice homepage: All areas of specialty within the practice should be mentioned on the practice homepage for anyone that lands on the page to see. Also include pronounced links to additional information about the topic either on or off site.
- Include in doctor biography: Include specialization on the doctor biography page with detailed descriptions of experience and expertise for those that want further information.
- Include it in the practice description: Anytime you have an opportunity to write a description of the practice whether it is on a social media site such as Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus, an online business listing such as Yelp or Yahoo business pages or an ‘about our practice’ section on a press release, include the specialties in the description.
- Create a landing page for each specialty on the website: Dedicate a specific website page to each area of specialty in the practice. Optimize the page with keywords to help people looking for that specialty find your practice. This involves including key terms and links to any educational information you create about the topic to those pages. In addition to bringing attention to this area of expertise, you will rank better and improve visibility in the search engines for your specialties.
- Educate your patients and the community: If you are willing to get out there and donate some of your time to educating the public on your area of specialty, you will be a great asset to any practice. Education will not only raise awareness of the availability and importance of your specialty but it will also establish you as the local expert. Reaching out to the community will build awareness and name recognition for your practice. Write articles and press releases on the topic to post on the website, social media and in local news publications both on and off line. Seek out interview opportunities or when appropriate hold informational events in your office or throughout the community. Create information sheets to place in your waiting room and repost on Facebook. Visit schools or retirement homes. Create opportunities to get involved in the local community, specifically where it relates to health education.
- Run an integrated marketing campaign. Every once in a while it is worthwhile to run an integrated marketing campaign to promote your specialty. This can involve a sale, event or even just an organized promotion of one of your services. Create a slogan and a poster with enough information to show your audience the importance of the service. Distribute in print and online via social media, email marketing and the website.
If you are still in optometry school, think about specialization and staying informed about the business side of practicing – including marketing strategy. When you are ready to prepare for your next interview you will be able to stand out and present yourself as a candidate with a specialty and a marketing strategy to boot.
Photo: Copyright: racorn / 123RF Stock Photo
Nancy Rausman is Managing Editor of EyeCarePro. EyeCarePro is a leader in digital innovations for Optometry employing a global team of Web Development, SEO, Marketing and Sales experts who are dedicated to helping Optometric Practices achieve growth by attracting new patients and building engaging relationships with existing patients. EyeCarePRo offers value through results-driven marketing programs and employs proven, powerful and effective online marketing strategies in social media, search engine optimization, traditional offline marketing and sales growth initiative. To date, EyeCarepro has built over 1200 optometric websites.