By Laurel O’Connor
Marketing and Communications Manager
Think About Your Eyes
July 18, 2018
Whether your practice is well-established in your community, or is newly opened, forging bonds with the local people is essential. Patients need to not only know about your practice and services, but understand how you’re tied to the community. Here are a few key ways to introduce yourself to, and stay in touch with, your town or city.
Build and Maintain an Online Presence
Even longtime residents turn to Google for recommendations in their city, which makes an online presence vital to establishing a practice. Build a web site with keywords patients might use, like “eye doctor,” “vision exam” and “eye exam.” As patients use those search terms, your practice’s web site will rise to the top.
Patients can use Facebook to “check-in” to any business, regardless of whether it has an official page. Build a page with location, contact and web site information, and populate it with content about vision health and seasonal reminders (sunglasses in summer, dry eye in winter, back-to-school eye exams). This allows you to communicate with patients, and helps patients find you while searching.
Another way to boost your online presence is to list your practice on Think About Your Eyes’ doctor locator. TAYE is utilizing search engine optimization to steer patients on search using relevant search terms to the web site and doctor locator, making it even more likely patients in your area will find your practice.
Participate in Local Activities
Many communities have health fairs or fairs featuring local businesses. Get in touch with your local Chamber of Commerce to find out about all the local events your practice could participate in. They may have a calendar they can pass along to you, along with contact information, and details about what participation will require in cost and time.
Utilize seasonal events throughout the year, like a back-to-school fair, to meet parents and educate them on the importance of an annual eye exam for their children’s success in the classroom. Stay up to date on health awareness months, and activities that correspond to them, and have a presence, whether it be a table (bring giveaways!) or the chance to provide education during a program.
Get Involved in Local Sports
Children’s and adolescents’ sports teams often are looking for sponsors, or even a team eye doctor. Interacting with your patients can give you insight into which sports teams the majority of your current, and prospective, patients will be a part of. In addition, you can get guidance from the same schools you work with around the back-to-school fair. There often is a parent working in the office, who is happy to tell you about the most popular sports teams for young people, and how you can get involved as a sponsor.
Sponsor a team for a local 5k or walk-a-thon, and include your staff and their families. Make sure your practice name is prominent, and take the opportunity to meet potential patients.
Reach Out Regularly
Establishing your practice in your community can benefit your patients and your bottom line. The key is to choose a few ways that will be both meaningful and realistic for you given your schedule. Your current, and future, patients will thank you–and your practice will benefit.