It really is as easy as it sounds, but that does not mean there will not be a lot of hard work involved. The payoff is a new practice, well-known in your community, with a great reputation.
Step One is to successfully manage your reputation. Claim what is yours! Claim your Vitals profile, and your WebMD profile, and your Yelp profile. These are important when future patients look at you on the internet. Equally important is your Healthgrades profile and your ShareCare profile. Next, build an interesting and informative Facebook page. Include items of interest to your patients, and items of interest about you (the physician). Be sure to include your contact information on your Facebook page. Take the time to make you and your practice look fantastic. If you do not have the time to take care of this important step, there are plenty of marketing firms that specialize in social media. It is worth your time and money to get your reputation up to par, and this is easily done by you.
Step Two is to start engaging with your community. Get involved where you will meet your patients, or meet their parents, or both! Offer to attend and speak at PTO meetings or PTO sponsored events. Offer to attend preschool events. Visit the youth sports activities in your area. Participate in community-based athletic events and charity events – local 5K runs or show up for a high school basketball game. Moms groups are another place to spend your extra time. Most communities have a Mothers of Young Children group which meets regularly, or a Mothers of Multiples group. Do your research, then show up at a meeting to answer questions and get to know everyone. You could offer free check-ups for youth athletes or vaccination clinics for local children. All these activities put you in front of kids and/or their parents.
Step Three is to staff your office well. When potential patients (or their parents) call, they need a friendly and knowledgeable person on the other end of the phone. They want to feel recognized, and their concerns heard long before they see you in an exam room. They need someone who can easily explain the costs of services and related insurance issues. Hold times need to be measured in seconds, not minutes. It is too easy for a potential client to hang up and call another provider. It is definitely worth the investment in a great front office manager who can manage the phone, while also keeping the people in the office moving along efficiently.
Reputation management, community engagement, and a well-trained and friendly staff will bring patients in your door, and keep them there for years to come!