We all want to grow our businesses. I want to see more patients, and more than that, I want to see specific types of patients. I want to become the go-to expert in Charleston, South Carolina, where I live and work, specifically the go-to expert for knee and shoulder injuries for high school athletes, college athletes, pro athletes, and active people in their twenties, thirties, and forties who play sports and exercise.
You might be sitting there thinking, “I’m already swamped with patients.” I know a lot of doctors that feel they are already swamped and can’t take on any more. Why would they want to do something that makes that overload even worse?
Now that’s not usually a problem for other experts – attorneys, accountants, real estate agents, financial advisors and just about any other job.
But in terms of bringing in more patients, clients and customers, being an expert in the media can help you attract specific types of patients, clients and customers.
I said a minute ago that my specialty is sports medicine. I focus on treating injuries of athletes and active people. So I want to bring in more of them, and not older people with degenerative spine problems, people with arthritis who need joint replacements, and all kinds of other orthopedic problems that I don’t see or don’t want to see.
I can target specific types of people by demonstrating my expertise on topics related to the part of my business I want to grow.
Here is another way to look at it.
First, you want to spend your time doing things that you really enjoy. You don’t just want more customers, clients, or patients. You want the ones who specifically need your areas of expertise, who have problems you most enjoy fixing or solving.
Two, circumstances change. If you’re a doctor employed by a hospital, it’s possible the hospital will lose a large insurance company, and your patients drop by 20 or 30 percent instantly. Or a large competitor enters your market, cutting into the volume of your business, and you need to find a way to compete. A recession happens and fewer people are looking to buy a home or invest in the stock market. You might not need more customers, clients or patients now, but you could very quickly if things out of your control change.
You need to get the word out about who you are, what you do, and why they should come to you.
There are two main ways to reach your audience in a big way:
- You can pay for advertising in the media – on TV, radio, in newspapers and magazines.
- You can get earned media by being a guest – an expert who is interviewed about important topics – on a TV or radio show, being quoted in print and online articles.
There are a number of reasons why earned media – being a guest on a show – is better than paid advertising:
- It’s free – or very low cost for some – so you will get much more of it than paying for ads.
- People pay more attention to the content on the shows than the ads in the commercial breaks.
- People are much more likely to trust, believe and take action on what they hear in the media than anything in the ads.
When you run a traditional advertising or marketing campaign – newspaper ad, television ad, radio ad, whatever – you are promoting your message to people who largely don’t want to hear it. You might run a television commercial that almost no viewers actually want to see. For every 1000 people that see it, maybe one actually needs your services. Heck, when they’re watching TV, they are probably texting or reading a book or cooking dinner and not even paying attention to your commercial. You are paying to reach people who by and large aren’t listening, and they don’t want to hear it anyway. This reaches the people who need what you’re offering.
Let’s say you have $20,000 advertising budget. If so, ponder this question. Why would you want to blow it on 30 second ad spots at $500-$10,000 each when you can get much better coverage for free?
If you aren’t convinced, ask yourself, which do you pay more attention to … the show or the commercials? When you’re watching TV, do you pay more attention to the stories or the ads? Try it tonight when you’re at home watching TV. If you listen to the radio driving to work or home from work, after the commercial break ends and the music or the host come back on, ask yourself what ads you just heard.
Earned media – and being an expert interviewed about your topic and industry – is not only cheaper, but it’s far more effective in growing your business.
Now please remember, that just like my website, my coaching and everywhere else, that I am not giving business, financial, legal, medical or any other kind of advice here. Talk to a professional for advice specific to your situation.
If you want to learn more…if you want more customers, more clients, more patients, you want to make more money, you want to be recognized as THE expert in your industry, or you even want people you don’t even know to come up to you at the gym or in the grocery store, thanking you for helping them, I can help you become a Media PRO.
Go to MediaProsCoaching.com and sign up for a FREE 30-minute media strategy session with me. We will see where you are and what you’re trying to achieve in your business, and then plan some strategies for you to get more media interviews and appearances to achieve all those goals and far more.
While you’re there, pick up my FREE eBook – The Media PROS Interview Checklist, offering you a handy reference full of tips to shine in your next media interview or appearance so they keep asking you back, over and over.