Whether we're aware or not, the actions we take inside and outside our clinics send a message about the foot and ankle care you provide. A proactive approach to marketing can grow your practice and allow you do more of the work you love.
Tyson Franklin 0:11
Hi, I'm Tyson Franklin. And welcome to podiatry marketing with me is my partner in crime in co host, Jim McDannald. And today we are talking about a really, really cool topic for Episode Two. What is marketing? Jim, please tell us what marketing is.
Jim McDannald 0:25
Yeah, having to get up the second episode? That's a deep question. And then you have like two or three hours for us to jump into how long? How long do we have?
Tyson Franklin 0:34
We worked out we're gonna probably do like 20 minute episodes on these topics, so people can sort of, if they just find the podcast, once we're up to about Episode 400, they can just plow through them.
Jim McDannald 0:46
Yeah, they can spend a holiday listen to the sweet tones of Tyson Franklin, Jim McDannald in their ears, but oh, yeah, yeah, no, I'm excited about talking about what marketing is and what marketing isn't so. So in your mind, Tyson, what do you think marketing what what comes to the top of your mind?
Tyson Franklin 1:01
What's funny, it's what you just said then about what marketing isn't. And I think sometimes people get advertising and marketing completely mixed up. So can be a perfect example. But maybe you're doing a magazine ad or newspaper or Facebook ad. And Edie is, is advertising you do up an ad, you put it in newspaper, that is advertising. Marketing, in comparison is the font, you use the headline, the text that you put in it, the page, the color of the ad, the photograph, the position of where you place the ad. So advertising is advertising, but it's one little part of marketing. So marketing is covering all aspects of an AED. I don't know if that actually answered the question. But it tells you the difference between advertising and marketing. But I actually think, to me, marketing is everything you do, especially for your podiatry business, from the time you wake up in the morning, to you're going to sleep at night, I think your marketing your business,
Jim McDannald 2:04
I have to tend to agree with you like it's really the deliberate actions you take. And sometimes even I guess the in deliberate actions you take, to me really marketing is about it kind of comes down to the word market, right? There's a supply side and demand side and there's no shortage of other specialties. You know, orthopedics chiropractors are trying to get in physiotherapist. There's a lot of people that are trying to, you know, treat people with foot and ankle issues. But it's how do you separate yourself? How do you display your expertise to your ideal patient in your local community, and make them aware that you are that expert. And yes, word of mouth will work and treating patients well are two great ways of doing it. But these days, when people have problems, or they have issues, foot and ankle related issues, they're on Google, they're, you know, searching their Facebook group friends for to try to find, you know, where they should go and who they should trust to be that kind of dedicated Foot and Ankle expert. So really making your services aware and kind of being visible to your ideal patient is kind of what the name of the game is. And you know, 2021, I guess going into 2022? In my mind.
Tyson Franklin 3:17
Yeah, and I think it's one of those things we just spoke about, how do we differentiate ourselves from the other professions that are trying to treat foot and ankle problems. And, and I think that this is where some podiatrists make mistake where they tried to be the same as everybody else. The physiotherapist or chiropractor was saying, Oh, we fit, we fix ankle problems. Now, if you're just saying we fix ankle problems in a patient, they go, Okay, you will fix ankle problems. So it doesn't matter where I go. So you got to somehow get that message across them differently.
Jim McDannald 3:47
No, 100%, you have to do that. But plus, like I think a lot, especially in North America, at least a lot of people, you know, they go to university, they go through podiatry school, they go through a residency that's heavily hospital based. And you kind of get into this mentality that if I put my head down, I work really hard, I treat people really, really well, then patients will kind of automatically find me. And like I said, these new channels and these ways that people are gaining awareness about expertise, that's not necessarily the case, you really have to, like he's talked about, you have to zone in on what you want to do and the care you want to provide. And then kind of like show that to the world in a way that's, you know, obviously honest and genuine. But you can't be shy about your expertise or your training or what makes you different from somebody else is actually the reason that people are willing to choose you. You don't want to have a cookie cutter website. That's the same as the other five podiatry clinics in town where there's no aspect of differentiation. So to me like having a sub specialty or differentiating yourself from other podiatrists, other health care providers is vital to the health of a business
Tyson Franklin 4:52
now I'm always looking at podiatrist websites, and it's surprising how many podiatry websites just use stock photos so have the whole website and they've actually got some good copy in there, you'll read through the articles you get this is written really well, it's written for a 12 year old as it should be, but all their photos, and then you'll click through five podiatry websites, and they're using the same photos. Or then you'll go to a physio website. And they might be talking about, say, an ankle problem. And they're using the same photo now, and a friend of mine, Nikki Gjerde, who's, she always says, on some websites, especially on medical websites, that she has this guy that the course same guy, and he's a, he just looks like really honest looking, middle aged gentleman, and he just popped up on all these different websites, everybody in her business refers to same guy, I look same goes back on. So one of the tips she said is, like with your website, if you want to differentiate yourself from everybody is get a professional photographer to come in, or have somebody in your business has a good camera, but your iPhone cameras pretty good. And actually take photos of you performing that service or your actual business with people in the photographs. So when people are looking through it, they're looking at your website, they're looking at somebody else's, and they go, Oh, I can actually tell the difference between them now,
Jim McDannald 6:09
yeah, it's like having the three in the kind of the footprints in the sand on your homepage versus you treating your ideal patient, let's say you want to treat runners isn't going to make isn't going to connect with people who are a runner to see footprints in the sand or to see you, you know, at the local marathon tent, you know, treating a blister or something. So, you're right on the ball there. I think another aspect of it, it's really important to note is that, you know, depending on what stage of practice somebody is in is going to kind of change that kind of marketing mix. You know, there's kind of the, you know, we've talked about in a previous podcast, that kind of digital versus old school. Yeah. And it's kind of a combination of those two things, but also comes down to, you know, what do you have time is it time versus money. For example, if you're just starting off in practice, and you have a lot of time, maybe that's time when you're visiting other clinics, I guess, during non COVID times, or volunteering at a marathon if you want to do sports medicine, or going to running shoe stores and providing injury clinics and being known with because you have the time to spin outside of your clinic. And then once you have more money coming in, and you have less time to go do those things, ramping up other aspects of your practice, you know, bring on a marketing assistant or a marketing provider are other ways to help you know, you identify those ideal patients and go after them. In those areas where they are there's there's different ways to to use marketing. So there's not necessarily one right method for every single practice.
Tyson Franklin 7:38
Yeah, I definitely agree that when you're first setting up, is you do the groundwork is you you need to have somebody who's looking after your practice, when you're not there a receptionist. And when you're not seeing patients, you need to be at your clinic, and you need to be doing face to face meetings getting along to networking events. One of the best things I went to was Cannes business Woman's Club, and being a guy at the Cannes Business Women's Club meetings used to stand out, and there's 250 women and one bloke you attended, then it sparks conversations, and then you're there with your shirt on. And then sometimes we'd take other staff Yeah, as we grew, we take other staff to those sorts of meetings Chamber of Commerce. When I first set my practice up, the networking events that I went to, and the people that I met over a number of months with the same patients that I had 20 something years later, when I sold my practice, that these people were still coming in and look at the page forgot where I've been seeing you for over 20 years. And it all stemmed from the original groundwork, the doctors that referred the most people to me, were the people I went out of my way to create a relationship with when I was quiet. But then when I got busy, and I didn't have as much time to do these things, they still remind me I didn't have to be in their face all the time.
Jim McDannald 8:53
Yeah, it's just like you said, right. It's about reputation and relationships. You know, I think sometimes when we're younger, and we think we're just gonna work hard, and like I said, the patients just gonna start walking and finding our door and walking straight in for an appointment. But, you know, it's these network effects by building relationships, you know, providing great care, and building your reputation over time that, you know, helps generate some of this digital, you know, some of this regular word of mouth, but then there's ways of generating digital word of mouth as well, that helps extend awareness about you and your services, but also, you know, things like Google reviews or Yelp reviews or Healthgrades. There's other ways that you can kind of put put your reputation out there and let people show that you are kind of that go to expert in your local area.
Tyson Franklin 9:41
So when it comes back to the original question, what is marketing? And then I said, you know, I talked about the difference between advertising and marketing. And then marketing is everything from the time you wake up in the morning till you go to bed at night. I actually think a lot of people they dropped the ball in certain areas. So signage is part of marketing But your brand is part of marketing, it, you're handing an orthotic to a patient over the counter, when that patient receives that orthotic, or when you're doing the fitting in the room, or you might be doing an adjustment and giving it back to them, everything that you hand to that patient, whether it's a an orthotic, a flyer, a handout, there has to be a commonality of brand that's built around everything that you're doing as well.
Jim McDannald 10:25
I totally agree with that. And I think part of it is that, especially people go into private practice, maybe they have a little bit more of an entrepreneurial spirit, and are kind of used to that. But I think like I said, a lot of times in North America these days, you know, it's a really hospital based training system. So I mean, there's some, some residents will get into a clinic and see that, but sometimes it's just really kind of like learning on the fly, that those things are important that, that they do have an impact. Because it can be it can, you know, I think what sometimes people go into medicine, at least in North America, this is just my perspective is that, you know, they don't want to, they don't want to be seen as a salesperson, they don't want to like, you know, feel like they're coercing a patient in any way. And sometimes that that sales, they cannot like the hard sale or the cold call things that they have, you know, even people in practice are probably receiving cold calls from marketing agencies about like, we're going to bring you 60 to 100 more patients per month, right. And that just, it kind of makes everybody stomach churn when you hear that in this on some of the does marketing yourself. So, you know, when when marketing gets kind of wrapped into like this hard sell this cold call this kind of association with it, like it can be something that people want to back away from, oh, I don't need that, you know, I've got, you know, I worked really hard, and I've got good word of mouth. But it's not necessarily about that I think marketing can be a tool that really allows you to provide excellent care to even more people, you're actually by putting yourself out there and the great care you provide, you're doing your community a better a better service by shining a light on your expertise and the unique value that your care provides. I mean, obviously, other people in your community do great job as well. But you know, this is an opportunity. It's not a self serving thing. It's really about being a steward, and contributing to the overall health of your community.
Tyson Franklin 12:20
And luckily, you said then about the sales too, because sometimes, when I've had other podiatrists work with me, or you'll be at a conference, and you'll talk about marketing, and straightaway, people think marketing is just sales. And in their head, like you said, watch TV, or they've, they've grown up seeing these, but you can't see the dirty salesmen that come in and try and use these tricky tactics to try and get you to buy something. And to me, I think if a podiatrist is actually doing that, then they're not the sort of podiatrist that I want listening to this podcast, or that I want to work with, personally, to me, it's really you're trying to help the patient the best you can, by presenting the best treatment in the best format. And you're trying to educate the public in the best format and the best way so that they come and see you and they don't go and see the sleazy podiatrist down the road, who is trying to sell them something that they don't need. So to me, I always say the definition of salesman podiatry point of view is professionally helping people buy, but it's helping them buy the treatment plan that is the best for them.
Jim McDannald 13:24
No, I totally agree with that. And I think a lot of these tools, you know, these kind of cookie cutter systems are, you know, patient growth per systems kind of like, they want to be kind of a all for one. And you know, one thing that does many things super well for every single practice, but it's not, it's not really like that. And you really have to understand, you know, kind of take a step back and understand kind of what is it that you want to get out of the profession and what brings professional satisfaction in the care that you provide. And by doing that, you can kind of create a marketing plan that's unique to you and your practice, like you mentioned, not only are you just, you know, putting yourself out there and shining a light on the care you provide. But you know, there are some tools that do make the in clinic experience for patients that much better. You know, if I if I can fill out my health records, forms at home from the comfort of my own home on my phone or my computer and then just go almost straight into a treatment room. I'd much prefer that than sitting half an hour in a waiting room. You know, if I can pay a bill online and not have to be on the phone. That's beneficial for the for the patient who's paying the bill but also for the staff that's trying to provide a great in in clinic experience for the patient. So there's a lot of technology and marketing tools that can be utilized to improve not only you know the patient that are coming to you, but the experience you're providing for patients,
Tyson Franklin 14:50
I think, an internal marketing tip that I usually say to everybody run on time. It's not that hard book in a certain amount of patients per De stick to your sticks the timeframe with that patient and run on time. And then if you do run on time, and you can do that, some patients will actually pay more if you can guarantee that you will run on time, because like, I'm busy, we're not if I have an appointment 12 o'clock, and they say it's gonna go for half an hour, I based my day around that, if I broke up at 12 o'clock, and also a minute 20 past, I start to get annoyed, I would rather pay a fraction more and be on time.
Jim McDannald 15:28
No 100%. And I think that's probably something we'll touch on in a future podcast is the the positive marketing effects of running your clinic on time. I think that not only does that not only does that, you know, that creates a great affinity of that patient, but I think that's a, that becomes what I call like digital word of mouth or something that people really want to share with others. And I think that's one misconception about some of the things that happen now with marketing or podiatry practice, especially around patient reviews is that, oh, I don't want to inconvenience the patients by asking them or that just feels like you know, I don't feel right about asking them to fill out something online for me to talk about their care. But really, if you're providing excellent care for people, you're probably servicing a local community or an area, they'll be more than happy to share that positive experience. And so other people in your local area can experience the great care you provide. So that's just kind of touching on you're talking about there. But I'm excited to talk about that topic in the future as well.
Tyson Franklin 16:28
So just to finish up, I want to just briefly touch on and a lot of the topics we're going to talk about, like in these first few episodes anyway, we're gonna dig into a lot deeper. And there's gonna be times we may repeat certain subjects because we need to dig deeper with them. But there because it's because marketing is so big. Just a like a final question for you. Do you think some podiatrists get afraid of marketing? Because it seems so big, you've got your paid your partnership, you've got content marketing websites and social media pages that people look at that and go, it's just too hard. I'm just going to build my reputation?
Jim McDannald 17:07
Well, I think I think a lot at least people my age and a little bit younger than me and your age, you know, the the way that the internet's use is totally changed, in a way I think, you know, I think people do see the benefit of word of mouth. And some you know, some older podiatrist, my age and older see some of the benefits of something like Yellow Pages and things. But for a long time, the internet and online was really just almost like a placeholder, almost like a brochure website. And there was it was about having information and sharing, you know, just kind of some basic information. But there wasn't much that was actionable, as far as you know, really providing clear benefit, there was no kind of attribution, about who was clicking and what or exactly kind of like how could, you know, surfacing in a Google result lead to a new patient. So it's taking a while and those, I think Google and other types of places really tried to like, make it seem pretty simple, when actually, it's, it's not super complex. But there are so many different options and opportunities out there, it can be a little bit of paralysis by analysis, when it comes to starting a website or trying to get into Google ads, you know, the first steps are pretty easy. As far as like, if you have the time, you can do it. But to do it really well. And for it to generate business and a profit, be profitable with some of these endeavors, is it's not always straightforward. So, you know, I think our goal here is really to, you know, introduce these different options that are out there. Like I said, there's no one cookie cutter solution, that's gonna work for every single practice. But, you know, with our hope, with this show, is to introduce some of these options, talk about some general topics within marketing, so that people feel these educated, you know, if they're confronted at a conference by, you know, a marketing vendor, or someone cold calls them, you know, promising the world that they feel at least a little bit informed, so they don't feel like they're having the wool kind of drug over their eyes, at least have a general level of education on this topic, to feel knowledgeable, to have a conversation.
Tyson Franklin 19:07
I love that. Education is the key, I think it the whole edge. Doesn't matter, even if you don't like marketing, and you're going to outsource it completely. But to me, you still need to have some understanding of what marketing is and what marketing is not. Like you said, I must get an email at least once a day, hey, we can get you 27 or 30 new patients every month with this one email campaign. Just five easy steps, please click on this link and be harassed for the next 12 months with an email every single day, which is what I've actually done accidentally. And, and what if I finally when they said we have this email sequence that will guarantee you 27 to 30 new patients. The path is weird about that. I know about America, but in Australia, we can't just cold call emails. We can't just send emails out to complete strangers you get in trouble for that. So they're not new patients to start with. existing patients that they're trying to bring back so they're not using the right wording. And then on top of that, depending on the type of clinic you have, how can the same email sequence if it's exactly the same, produce the same result. So education is the key.
Jim McDannald 20:15
Now for sure, you got to be educated. Like I said, you don't have to be an expert in this stuff. And hope we you know, by listening to the podcast and hearing some of the the gems that Tyson sharing, and maybe a few of the ones I'm sharing as well, you'll, you'll be well on your way. But it just having some basic knowledge, have these conversations to fill. Like I said, like, like you're in the game, and you're finding ways that not only benefit your practice, but also benefit the patients who are treating
Tyson Franklin 20:43
you. And if you tune in next week, we'll give you a tip, an email sequence to bring your 27 to 30.
Jim McDannald 20:50
Don't make these these outrageous claims you're gonna get all kinds of hate mail now.
Tyson Franklin 20:55
So okay, I have nothing else to say on this topic. So that's it for me this week. Jim. I'll give you the final word.
Jim McDannald 21:03
No, it was good. I think we touched on some some important topics with the topic of marketing, you know what it is what it's not and, you know, looking forward to some next steps with you as we continue this conversation.
Tyson Franklin 21:14
That'd be awesome. Talk to you later.