If you are a dentist, a lawyer, an accountant or a therapist, you will want to know how you should go about getting leads on the Internet. For a number of years, I have been actively involved in helping thousands of professionals get new clients leads via the Internet, and I have found that those professionals who are great marketers all tend to do somewhat the same thing.
From observing these great marketers, I've come up with some Do's and Don'ts that may help you save money and increase the number of quality leads you get from the Internet. And let's first agree that we are all marketing something. We are all in the business of selling our services. Even though we are professionals, we still need to get new clients and that means marketing. If you weren't interested in building up your practice, you wouldn't have read this far.
Internal marketing is a constant process
Internal marketing means what you do with your existing patients or clients to get more business. The most successful dentists I have worked with (out of thousands of dentists) are always marketing their practice internally. They are doing good work for their patients, so their existing patients want to come back. And they are politely asking patients for referrals.
This is the gist of internal marketing:
* Make your client experience as good as you can.
- Ask for referrals. Since I can't comment on the client experience (although **you** can), I'll address getting more referrals. The simplest thing you can do is have a good website, and tell your clients about it.
How to use your website to get more referrals
The ingredients to getting referrals through your website are simple:
* Set up a good website about your practice.
* Put the website address on your business cards, letterhead and all marketing material and all client communication. Mention your website to your existing clients.
When a client has a friend who could use your services, they will think of you and they will mention your name. Since you have a website, the friend will be able to go to your website and learn about you. Your website will solidify a client referral and result in more business.
A website is indispensable for your internal marketing efforts -- getting more referrals. What a website won't do is make it easy for new clients who are not referrals to find you on Google, Yahoo or MSN. Doing that requires a more sophisticated Internet strategy.
How to get more Internet leads
Once you have your website set up, the next step is to set up and run a complete Internet strategy. Implement a search engine marketing strategy. This means you must be easy for people to find you where they are looking.
People don't look for you on websites such as directories. They go to Google, Yahoo or MSN and they search there. You must have a way to be found on those search engines. This requires sophisticated technology, and you are better off finding a firm who can make this happen for you rather than try to do it yourself. * Make sure people who find you on the search engines click through to a website that persuades them to contact you.
This website is different from your practice website. This website must persuade, while your practice website is lower-key. It's so easy for a visitor coming from Google to click in and then click out.
You need to employ very advanced marketing strategies to get visitors to raise their hand online and say "I want an appointment." Again, this isn't something you can do yourself -- it's something you want to get someone else to do for you, an expert in the process of Internet marketing.
We've talked about how professionals are always doing internal marketing to their existing clients and to referrals, and we've realized how important a practice website is to the process of getting more referrals.
We've also seen how having an Internet marketing strategy goes well beyond a website, and how we need to find an expert who can help us be easy to find on the search engines, and who can convert those "clicks" into new clients.