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7 Proven Strategies to Attract Telehealth Clients

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Join Gillian from SimplePractice and digital marketing expert Whitney Bateson, as they discuss the different strategies to find telehealth clients for virtual private practices. You’ll learn everything from how to distribute your messaging, to the most important touchpoints your website needs to have. They also discuss different strategies to help get potential clients into your sales funnel, and what marketing techniques are the most effective. 

No matter where you are in your private practice journey, it’s never too late to start incorporating these best practices into your business.

Video Transcription: 

Gillian: Hi everyone. And welcome to our webinar, How to Attract Telehealth Clients. Today, we’ll be covering different strategies to fill your telehealth schedule with a little help from Whitney Bateson, a digital marketing expert at large, who works with health and wellness professionals. If you don’t know me by now, I’m Gillian from SimplePractice and I work with health and wellness professionals in private practice every day to help them solve their business problems. I want to start today’s webinar with a friendly reminder. When you’re in private practice, you wear a lot of hats. You’re a clinician, a business owner, and a director of marketing all rolled into one. Because today’s focus is on marketing, we’re going to be talking about clients as potential customers and leads. We’re going to be using terms like sales funnel and conversion. We know you got into this business to help people, and the goal of this webinar is to help you help more people. So let’s put on our marketing hats and dive right in.

Before we start talking about how to distribute your messaging, let’s start with the message itself. It’s important to remember that the things that work for in person clients aren’t always the same things that might work for telehealth clients who want to see you digitally. Start off by thinking about your ideal client and the pain points that those potential ideal clients might experience, and how telehealth can resolve them. For example, clients might have to work around things like responsibilities at home that make it difficult to travel to an appointment, difficulty traveling during inclement weather, embarrassment about seeking help or anxiety about face to face appointments, their remote location, reliance on public transportation, or a limited budget or hesitation to develop a relationship with a provider. Depending on the population you work with, these pain points may be more or less relevant. So think about the ideal client that you want to see via telehealth and the pain points that they might experience.

Now, let’s think about repositioning our existing messaging to make it more relevant for telehealth. So here’s a little bit of an example. Repositioning your messaging to focus on the benefits of telehealth. A dietician might reposition their messaging to make it more compelling for a telehealth client by rephrasing this phrase. Are you looking for help controlling your diabetes while still living the life you love? They might rephrase it to, are you struggling to control your diabetes but don’t have time to see a dietician with your busy schedule? We’ll develop a plan to get you back on track, no travel required. While we’re not changing the root of the message, which is I can help you, we are tweaking it to directly address this hypothetical client’s pain points.

So let’s take a few minutes to brainstorm some messaging. If you have a pen and paper in front of you, you might want to jot down a few notes about what your ideal client looks like and the pain points they might experience. Next, think about the existing messaging and how you might be able to reposition it to focus on the benefits of telehealth like we see on this slide. Now let’s hear from our digital marketing expert, Whitney, to learn more about how we can incorporate and disseminate our message effectively. Here’s Whitney with a little bit of an introduction.

Whitney Bateson: Hi there, Whitney here. As you’ve heard so far, tailoring our messaging for the specific needs and potential barriers of our telehealth clients is so important for effectively marketing our tele-health practices. Hopefully by now you’ve had a few aha moments for ways that you can approach your messaging. Maybe you already offer telehealth and just need to fine tune things, or maybe you’re introducing it as a new service and have some work to do to create messages that will resonate with the types of clients who would be a perfect fit for these services. Either way, we’re now going to cover seven ways to incorporate the messaging and positioning you’ve developed across your marketing channels.

Gillian: Let’s start with optimizing your website. Here’s Whitney on what to do to make sure your website, the welcome mat for your digital practice, covers all your bases.

Whitney Bateson: The first tip is about having a great website. Your website is a virtual welcome mat for your business. And if you’re running an online business like you are, it’s that much more important to have a strong website. So give your site a look and see if the text on your website includes the messages and benefits we just covered. Make sure that your services are clearly and succinctly laid out on your homepage. And that more details are provided on your services page. And remember to focus on what will be relevant for your customer. Sometimes we’re tempted to talk a lot about everything our packages include, but think back to the pain points for your customers and highlight really just the top benefits and features your customers can expect from your services.

And last but not least, make sure each of your website pages also includes frequent calls to action, like buttons to book a call, to sign up to an email address or newsletter, or to send you a message or purchase a package. Once your website visitors are convinced to work with you, you want to make it that much easier for them to move forward and take the next step.

Gillian: Recapping from Whitney, make sure that your website highlights the top benefits your potential clients or customers can expect for your services. Also, make sure that every page of your website has a call to action. That call to action might be book now, schedule a call or reserve your appointment today. Whatever makes the most sense for your practice. Be thoughtful about your calls to action and try not to overwhelm visitors to your website with more than one call to action per page. It should be easy and obvious for potential clients what the next step is after they read a page on your website. One great way to integrate a call to action into your website is to install this simple practice booking widget on it. The simple practice booking widget will add a button to your website that says request an appointment and will allow clients to select an appointment from your available times without ever having to leave your website.

Now let’s move on to another strategy to help get potential clients into your sales funnel. Creating opportunities for micro-conversions is a great way to get clients who aren’t quite ready to book an appointment familiar with your practice. Here’s Whitney on creating opportunities for micro-conversions.

Whitney Bateson: Tip two is all about creating opportunities for micro-conversions. These are ways that visitors can take a small step towards working with you and enter your sales funnel without making a purchase just yet, because maybe they’re not ready. So offering a free downloadable giveaway is a great way to do this. And you have this on your site in exchange for the visitor giving you their email address. So come up with a download that you think is going to be interesting to your target customers. Assessments, tips, and guides and worksheets are great formats for this and are pretty popular. And I’ll also say, make sure to nurture that email list. Even if you can only get one email out a month, make sure that you’re continuing to send valuable content to your email list so that when the time comes for them to take the next step in their health journey, you’re the first person they think of to reach out to.

Gillian: Whitney just shared a few examples of how to get potential clients into your sales funnel. Free downloadable giveaways in return for email addresses are a great way to stay top of mind with your potential tele-health clients. As Whitney mentioned, the materials you create and share are likely to be unique to your practice and the population you’d like to work with. Keep in mind that anytime you’re collecting someone’s email address to send them marketing emails later, you’ll want it to be clear that they’re signing up to receive emails from you. You certainly wouldn’t want to surprise or upset a potential client by adding them to your newsletter without consent.

If your website is the welcome mat to your virtual practice, free downloadable giveaways are like the free samples you give away to give potential clients a taste of what you can offer them. Make sure they’re relevant and useful and something you’re proud of. Downloadable giveaways don’t have to be super meaty or complex. It can be something as simple as a worksheet or a template to track your mood or diet, or a resource guide for common issues that your ideal clients might struggle with. Creating content doesn’t have to be a chore. Let’s move on to Whitney’s next tip, which focuses a little more on what you create to show the world who you are. Creating original content. Here’s Whitney on creating original content and disseminating it in your various marketing channels.

Whitney Bateson: Tip three is right in line with the point I made in tip two, delivering value to potential customers who are in your sales funnel. It can take 10 times or more for a potential customer to interact with a company before making a purchase decision. So by continuing to provide new and valuable content that’s tailored to your customers, remember our messaging discussion, you keep the relationship going. So think about the needs of your customers, the questions that they have and write about those topics. Putting out content also helps attract new traffic to your business via online searches, word of mouth, so people sharing your content with friends and family, and it’s great fodder for newsletters, social media posts and more.

Gillian: Like Whitney said, it can take 10 or more interactions between a customer and a business before that customer is ready to make a purchasing decision. It’s important to make those interactions count by creating thoughtful, original content that truly adds value for your clients. When we talk about content, we’re talking about anything that you create, blog posts, articles, or short videos, anything that gives potential clients a better understanding of your practice, who you are and how you can help them. It’s important to share your content on more than one channel. If you have a blog on your website, but you don’t share that content anywhere else, the likelihood that someone will interact with it is much lower. Share your content far and wide, and be sure to encourage sharing by others too. Now let’s move on to a specific type of content that you can feature on your website and in your social media channels: testimonials. Here’s Whitney with a little more information on testimonials.

Whitney Bateson: Tip four is all about having someone else talk about how great working with you can be. Testimonials and reviews do a few things. They allow potential customers to see what success could look like and envision working with you. And it can increase your credibility as well. How many times have you made a purchase decision based off of a recommendation or a review? So be sure to collect testimonials and share them across all of your marketing channels, meaning they’re not just for your website. Use them in social media posts, newsletters include them in printed materials. Really, the sky’s the limit.

Gillian: Now testimonials can be a bit of a heated topic. However, they’re also an incredibly valuable tool. If you read reviews for a product before you buy them, you’re relying on testimonials to make a purchasing decision and you’re not alone. 84% of Americans say that online reviews influence their purchasing decisions. Keep in mind that depending on your profession in the standards set forth by your licensing border [inaudible 00:10:57] association, this is something to do a little more research on. Not all of the folks joining this webinar are bound by HIPPA or by professional ethical standards, but most are. So I implore you to do your research and don’t jump right into asking any current or former clients for testimonials.

In some cases, if a client offers a testimonial unprompted, it’s okay to use with the client’s express informed consent. It’s always best to be safe rather than sorry. So if you choose to use testimonials in your marketing, tread carefully. One suggestion is asking for testimonials from other health and wellness professionals that you work with. If you regularly receive referrals from another provider, or if you have a colleague that you work with in a group setting, a testimonial about your skill as a clinician can be a helpful addition to your marketing arsenal. Now let’s talk about using videos in your marketing to reach more potential telehealth clients.

Whitney Bateson: This next tip can be a little daunting, but it’s so important, especially for telehealth and that’s video. Since your clients will only see virtually on video, it’s important for them to see what this will look like. So start small with videos on Instagram or your Facebook page, or consider making a video that introduces you and talks a little bit about your process, and what virtual coaching with you will look like and then embed that on your site. Just remember, you can keep it short, and sweet and authentic.

Gillian: You don’t need to be a Hollywood director to create a great video to show your potential clients what you look and sound like so they can start to feel more familiar with you before you meet. All you need is a smartphone or your webcam and a smile to create an authentic video. If your clients are going to be seeing you while you’re in front of a webcam in your home office, then it’s a great idea to record a short introductory video to embed on your website, that puts the clients in your office with you. There are a few different applications for videos. As Whitney mentioned, you can embed a video on your website’s homepage, or you can post short videos on your social media channels. Or you can do both, which is a great approach to multi-channel marketing. As Whitney says, it’s best to keep things short, sweet and authentic. Leave the acting to the professionals, be yourself and potential clients will appreciate your authenticity. Let’s move on to the next tip from Whitney: building a referral network. Here’s Whitney on how to build a referral network.

Whitney Bateson: Another tip is to build a strong referral network. Even though you’re virtual, you can still foster in person and virtual relationships. So reach out to medical providers, community organizations, and other businesses where your clients may be. Stop by those offices and leave behind information about your services, send emails or connect on social media.

Gillian: Other providers can be a huge source of referrals for you. If you know of providers who work with populations similar or adjacent to yours, it’s always a good idea to reach out and let them know you’re accepting new telehealth clients. The old school way to get referrals from doctor’s offices would be to drop by their offices with a fruit basket or a stack of business cards. But it’s 2020, and there are a lot of different ways to make your practice the go to for other providers. because your practice is online, you’re not limited to getting referrals from practices that are physically close to yours. Think about the things that differentiate your telehealth services from similar providers. Maybe you have a particular specialization, certification or education in a certain area. Or maybe there’s something about you as a provider that helps you stand out from the crowd. Be sure to communicate this when you’re reaching out to potential referral sources.

Finally, make sure you’re tracking your referral sources. No matter how much time and energy you put into developing a relationship, if you don’t get any new clients out of it, you need to consider where to invest your energy. SimplePractice’s platform makes us easy with our referral sources report, where you just enter the referral source for every new client and SimplePractice provides you with a report showing how much revenue each referral source has generated. If you don’t SimplePractice, then it’s a good idea to track your referral sources for each of your new clients outside of your EHR or somewhere in your practice. That way you can see how much is being brought in by each referral source, so you can direct your energy towards the referral sources that are generating the best results for your practice. Now let’s move on to our last tip from Whitney about word of mouth. Word of mouth is a great way to market your telehealth services.

Whitney Bateson: Finally, word of mouth and your sales process. So think back to those messages you brainstormed and see how you can incorporate them into discovery call scripts, sales conversations and when you’re asking for referrals. Be sure to talk about the benefits of telehealth and why you’re a great choice as a provider. Encourage your current clients to also share your details with their friends and family and talk to your own network too. I think sometimes that’s a little overlooked and our own friends and family are really great proponents and advocates of us as well. And it may even help to have a short elevator pitch or a few sentences that succinctly explain what you do, who you serve and what benefits clients can expect. That can be really helpful in order to allow other people to share your message and talk about your business as well.

Gillian: When you’re thinking about your word of mouth marketing, ask yourself, do I have an elevator pitch that succinctly explains my telehealth services and what I offer? And have I told my friends and family that I offer online health and wellness services? Word of mouth marketing is the oldest and most well known way to market, and for good reason. Being prepared for word of mouth marketing means having a great elevator pitch, using the message that you developed earlier that addresses your ideal client’s pain points.

We’ve covered a lot of ground in today’s webinar, but you may find yourself asking what about the clinical aspects of offering telehealth? We’ve got you covered. SimplePractice learning has great CE courses on providing care to clients virtually among many other topics. Melissa Douglas, also known as the Virtual Clinician, is one of our presenters and can walk you through telehealth best practices. We’ll send you a link to the CE course and more information on it in your followup email on Monday.

Finally, your virtual practice deserves a good home. If you’re not already using SimplePractice as your all in one practice management solution, give us a try at simplepractice.com. Your free 30 day trial of SimplePractice includes a trial of our telehealth platform, which is fully integrated into SimplePractice’s practice management platform, and gives you a seamless experience for both you and for your clients. Clients don’t need to download anything and neither do you. All they need to do is click a link and they’re meeting with you automatically. We really appreciate you joining us for today’s webinar, and we’ll send you an email with some more resources after this webinar ends on Monday. If you have any questions, our success team is always standing by to help with anything you need. Thanks so much for joining us for today’s webinar. Have a great Friday and weekend.

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