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How to Attract and Retain Your Ideal Patient on a Budget

Visiting an optometrist is a fairly common practice as they offer patients a solution for bad eyesight, eye disease and help with detection of general eye problems. Research suggests that around 39 percent of adults in the USA consult an optometrist or ophthalmologist once a year.

Marketing your optometry business involves a careful analysis of marketing strategies and organizing a well through-out marketing plan. Here is how you can attract and retain your ideal patient on a budget:

Identifying the Ideal Patient

To make your optometry practice more effective and cover all your costs, it is imperative that you use relevant marketing tactics to attract the ideal type of patients. With the right patients coming in, you will be able to:

· Earn a higher return on investment

· Understand patient needs better

· Market your services in a cost-effective manner

Being able to target the right client base through better marketing strategies will enable your clients to have a better understanding of what services to expect. Having a good idea of what your customers want will also help you add value to your products and services.

There are 2 simple steps to identify the ideal target market:

1. Marketing Segmentation

Analyze the primary characteristics of your ideal patient. Start with segmenting the market into categories such as demographics, psychographics, geography and behavior. Evaluate where your target market stands to move closer to achieving a holistic overview of your ideal patient.

2. Patient Persona

Once you are done segmenting the market, you are bound to have a good idea about your ideal patient. Ask yourself what kind of patients you enjoy working with the most. List down some common attributes based on name, health attitudes, income, occupation, interests, habits, age and method of payment.

Figuring out the ideal patient does not mean you should refuse to treat those who do not meet your criteria. The goal is to make your business more profitable by prioritizing quality over quantity.

Marketing Tactics to Attract and Retain Your Ideal Patient

Good marketing strategies for your optometry business do not have to be expensive; they just need to be efficient. You should aim to market your products and services in a way that they provide valuable information to your target audience while increasing brand loyalty.

You can easily minimize your budget once you figure out details regarding your ideal patient and optimize your marketing tactics accordingly. Both traditional marketing and online marketing strategies are likely to benefit your business as long as you ensure you pick and choose the right ones based on the clientele you wish to attract and retain.

Conventional Marketing

Although the internet is gaining popularity as a marketing platform, it has not yet eliminated the need for conventional marketing practices. Some vital ones include:

1. Referral program

A patient referring your business to other people is not only an efficient marketing strategy but is also a compliment as it assures you that you are doing your job well.

Start a referral program by offers such as a voucher, discount, gas card or lucky draw token. This is a good way to show your appreciation and promote your services.

2. Take out time for local charities

Strengthen your brand loyalty by joining charities. This will help build trust and establish the reliability of your optometry business.

When patients will notice your efforts to give back to the community, they will have a higher opinion of your business. Your passion to help others is likely to make your customers keep coming back to you.

3. Broadcast or outdoor ads

An eye-catching advertisement or an infectious jingle will not fail to get noticed. Radio is an effective and reasonable medium to tap the local market.

A well-designed billboard ad is also likely to be retained by people. Whenever they will feel the need to consult an optometrist, they may recall your advertisement.

Online Marketing

In this day and age, the scope of digital marketing is growing tremendously. Having a noticeable online presence allows you to attract a large customer base and is easy on the pocket.

1. Email Marketing

Keep sending emails to your clients from time to time to reinforce their preference for your products and services. Ask people for their email addresses when they register with your services.

You can email people about new offers, newsletters, and reminders for yearly check-ups. Moreover, you can also market in subtle ways by sending out informative emails regarding eye health.

1. Website

Focus on developing a website that is designed well and provides people with valuable information about your products and services. When people search for an optometrist’s services, they are bound to use a search engine rather than a traditional phonebook, which is why it is important to have a powerful online presence.

Make sure the visitors on your website enjoy a good user experience. In order to be visible to the right kind of users, your website must be optimized for search engines.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process that ensures that the site is structured in a way to rank higher on the search engine results page. It involves tweaking your website to increase its loading speed, making it mobile-friendly and placing visible calls-to-action to convert visitors into customers.

2. Social Media Marketing The latest findings show that as many as 2.7 billion people are active on Facebook every month. The importance of maintaining your presence on social media cannot be overstated.

Make sure you are visible to your target audience on leading social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Routinely update your clientele about new offers and practices to keep them engaged.

Choose your marketing platforms wisely in order to attract and retain your ideal patient. Both conventional marketing and digital marketing avenues can be used in a cost-effective manner one you have a clear idea of your target audience and the way to reach them.

References:

1. Statista https://www.statista.com/statistics/917000/optometrist-ophthalmologist-visit-frequency-among-adults-us/

2. Statista https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/

Signs Your Body Gives You When You have Optometry Burnout

Optometry is a promising field, but like all other professions, it comes with its own challenges and difficulties.

Holding down a job in optometry is not an easy task. You have to meet many requirements, fulfill a certain criteria, serve a large number of patients, work continuously for long hours as well as work alongside people you may not necessarily like. Also, when it comes to optometry,

many people are doing jobs that they perhaps didn’t even want to do in the first place but are doing so because of a lack of options or other similar reason. Thus, burnout in optometry is not a new phenomenon, but despite being so common, many optometrists are unable to identify whether they are experiencing burnout or just temporary tiredness.

Doing something that you are not satisfied with for a long period of time is not only emotionally exhausting, but it can also affect you mentally as well as physically. Take a look at the following signs of optometrist burnout so that you can take the required action before it becomes too late.

You Feel Extremely Exhausted

Continuing to work at a job that stresses you out will lead to chronic fatigue. This means that whether you get 8 hours of sleep or not, your exhaustion won’t go away. You might think that the upcoming weekend or a short break from work will refresh and re-energize you but that ‘next’ break just doesn’t arrive. Weariness becomes your ally and you are likely to fell drained out and lethargic most of the time.

Headaches Become Frequent

Do you think it’s that late night Sunday party that’s causing you that headache? Or that the back pain you are feeling is because you have to sit at a desk from 9 to 5?

If you experience headaches, shoulder pain, back pain or any other pain frequently without doing any rigorous exercises or other physically exhaustive tasks, then it’s your body’s way of saying that you are experiencing burnout in optometry. This is because extreme stress decreases the production of dopamine and keeps your muscles tightened which ultimately leads to physical pain.

You Turn Insomniac

Sleepless nights or having trouble falling asleep even when you feel very tired is one of the most prominent signs of burnout. This can happen due to various reasons. For instance, if your job is too demanding, then you might be fearful of falling short and not being able to complete the required tasks on time. Or if you wanted to be a full-time OD but are instead stuck in a minor role in corporate optometry then, needless to say, feeling a lack of accomplishment will keep you up at night.

Other Signs

Apart from these, common signs of burnout include stomach aches as well as nausea, vomiting or even diarrhea in extreme cases. Moreover, excessive stress can lower your immunity, making you more susceptible to common cold, flu, and other common viruses.

Burnout in healthcare workers is a serious issue. So, if you are experiencing burnout in optometry, make sure to take a step back, evaluate, prioritize or re-prioritize things and take action if it’s time to consider a new job.

Podcast

What Failure Can Teach You that Success Can’t

Corporate Optometry Nation
Corporate Optometry Nation
What Failure Can Teach You that Success Can't
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Corporate Optometry Nation partners with the Primary Eye Guys on this podcast. They discuss how their failures have shaped them. Learn to embrace failure in your career in optometry. The best lessons are the ones you learn from putting in the work and being able to continue despite the failures.