business course for doctors

The 5-minute business course for doctors

It sounds crazy but this is not a hoax! In this article, I will show you the most important business best practices for your clinic. The one that will allow you to double your turnover or radically transform the business performance of your private practice. 

business course for doctors

The 5-minute business course for doctors

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

July 26, 2022

We really only need 5 minutes to change your mindset

business for doctors

The technical aspects of business for doctors in private practice can be daunting. We understand. Your focus is to consult and perhaps perform surgery. 

To become more literate in digital communication and digital marketing, we have created a shortcut for you with an overview of the common ‘business for doctors’ pitfalls and little-known secrets.

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"The best investment you can make is one in your digital assets. They can work for you while you are seeing patients, performing surgery or enjoying life. Leading doctors take great care of their digital assets because they are a lead-generation engine."

So let’s unpack these aspects of your new business mindset as the owner of a private practice, a partner or a practice manager:

  • The essence of Google optimisation: if you are not ranking well on Google, you are missing out on opportunities to strengthen your practice.
  • How to find 2 or 3 extra patient leads per day?
  • How to stand out when patients are comparing surgeons?
  • How to make your lead generation sustainable?
  • How to keep it all AHPRA compliant?

I know. Lots of questions. Time to get some answers.

What you must know about Dr Google

google optimisation for doctors

Dr Google may be a funny or cynical term we often hear in medicine. But here’s a fact: patients google. As in the verb to google. They do it. Whether you like it or not. 

When we discuss Google optimisation, what we mean is the efforts to produce and publish content that is not only useful for the patient or your referring GP. It’s also produced so Google can find it, crawl it and assess it as optimal, when it has to decide about the doctor who deserves a place on Page 1 of Google Search Results, each time a patient consults Dr Google.

What you must know if you are serious about running an independent clinic, a private practice, a group practice or a multidisciplinary healthcare brand is this:

  1. Over 50% of patients spend hours on websites after typing questions into Google, as soon as they experience symptoms, right before and after they have seen the GP and in the time between the GP consultation and access to a specialist clinic. That is why content marketing is a disruptor in the space of GP referrals to specialists.
  2. In Australia, patient search behaviour has been mapped since 2016 for most medical specialty areas. It means market data is available about the exact questions Australians type into Google for the conditions and treatments of these niche areas.
  3. Content that uses the most commonly used questions or keywords – if produced to the highest web standards – will rank higher in Google Search when the next patient does a Google Search in your local area.
  4. Only relevant, palatable, well-presented and technically healthy content can earn Google’s trust and rank well. Dodgy backlink schemes, text-heavy or overly complex content pages will always be outranked by content that meets Google’s quality criteria.

In summary: Google optimisation is not something you do in a quick and dirty fashion, unless you are giving up and you want your competitors to develop the best private practice in your area. Google optimisation for doctors has become a specialty area in itself and it requires medical journalism, marketing and digital development skills to achieve results.

How to find 2 or 3 extra patients per day

practice growth

Practice growth is a bit of a taboo word. Some doctors openly discuss it with me and say they want a return on investment after years of studying and fellowships. 

Others want to grow but also don’t want to come across as greedy. Perhaps you want to improve the quality of your practice at other levels, and move into a different area, either geographically or in terms of the treatments you perform.

Whatever the definition of growth in your world, we often start with practice growth at its basic level: getting more patients.

The methodology we apply is based on research and uses content that is proven to be part of the most common Google search submissions for your niche. That’s why every paragraph and every page builds visibility and makes you rank for niche search terms that others are not targeting.

That is how our customers report patient number increases of up to +200%. Yes, that’s called tripling a practice turnover.

Finding 2 to 3 new patient leads per day is not uncommon with this method and if you want to find out more about how it could apply to your practice, book your free 1:1 Strategy Session.

Be a winner when patients are shopping around

competition as a doctor

Competition as a doctor is a funny concept. We are in healthcare and we have shared responsibilities to be available when there is an emergency. 

But in private healthcare, with elective non-urgent procedures such as breast enhancement, hip replacement or IVF, you enter a different space.

How do you stand out and win the lead, when a prospective patient is checking out doctors and comparing services?

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"It is often underestimated how important your online profile is. Yes, word-of-mouth is still around but the digital version of it is your digital footprint. If your online first impression hits home, you are halfway converting a cold lead into a warm new patient lead."

Here’s my Winner’s Top 5 you can apply as a doctor to win more often and to convert more leads as a specialist doctor: 

  • Invest in great photos: Dump the old pixellated small JPG image, hire a photographer and be at your best to capture a relaxed, energised and well-lit impression of who you are. Do not hide. Be present on your website and in stunning photography.
  • Get data: Market research is available for your specialty area and your State or Capital City, so inquire about the benefits of a Content Marketing strategy to make sure your content is visible in local Google Searches by potential referrers and patients.
  • Strategise: Don’t focus on the commodity of a website or a social media channel. Get strategic about what you stand for, and how you can convey a powerful and authentic message to referrers and the community, so it’s not just about the commodity of your service. Make your communication about the difference you make for the audience, not about you.
  • Evaluate: Make sure you put in place detailed monitoring about what your content is doing. How is your visibility? How are your conversions? Check in at least quarterly to look at your numbers, both online and in your rooms.
  • Keep it fresh: Google loves fresh online content and despises dormant or sleepy websites. To keep your online presence alive and keep the referrals coming, make sure you have a clear plan to add regular website updates (new content) and plan for technical updates so your website is technically healthy at all times.

Stay clear of AHPRA warnings and fines

ahpra compliance

AHPRA compliance is big in Australia. If you are overseas, it’s the institution that protects us from dodgy doctors. Overseeing the advertising guidelines (and much more), AHPRA has clear boundaries as to what you can and can not do as a doctor. 

Maybe you have only remembered the stories about letters, formal warnings and procedures, fines and doctors losing their license because of an AHPRA complaint. The good news is that thousands of doctors run very successful online marketing campaigns without ever being in trouble or breaching their AHPRA compliance.

When we work together, we live and breathe these AHPRA Advertising Guidelines for Healthcare Professionals.

business course for doctors

AHPRA compliance does not mean you can not communicate online.

It does not mean you have to stay away from having a website, a YouTube channel, a LinkedIn Page, a Facebook or an Instagram profile.

It does mean though, that you adhere to an honest way of communicating, don’t make unsubstantiated or misleading claims, push unnecessary treatment or promote medication.

Disclaimer: The actual guidelines are more complex than this but the bottom line is that we can help you navigate any risks. And because we’re 100% medical marketing experts here at Digital Practice, we strategically build your online content in full AHPRA compliance avoiding any risks of breaching the guidelines.

Let's meet

Got more than 5 minutes? Here’s 30 more!

business education

Business education from a digital and online marketing perspective is always part of our strategic packages. To get a full perspective on what you can do to make your online presence work for your medical business, book a free 30-minute Strategy Session so we can apply these best practices to your situation and growth ambitions. 

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