Establishing a successful Direct Primary Care (DPC) practice requires a strategic approach that prioritizes key elements before launching into marketing efforts. For the purposes of this blog, we’ll focus on the direct-to-consumer aspect of marketing a DPC practice.

Before marketing

Before marketing your practice, it’s crucial to ensure you have something exceptional to offer. This rings particularly true for Direct Primary Care (DPC) practices. I firmly believe that medical practices should refrain from investing in marketing until they have optimized their patient experience, reputation management, and brand.

Patient experience is paramount. Retaining existing patients is easier than constantly acquiring new ones. Thus, it’s vital to ensure that your team is friendly and that patients have a seamless experience from scheduling to billing. Solicit feedback from existing patients and assess online reviews to address any areas for improvement. Is your team approachable and friendly? Do patients encounter a seamless experience from scheduling appointments to settling their bills? Have you personally contacted the office to schedule an appointment and assess their level of service? If it’s a new practice, have you inquired about their availability for new patients? Furthermore, have you sought feedback from existing patients regarding areas where the office could improve? Rest assured, they will provide valuable insights.

Effective reputation management involves managing patient review sites and online listings. Claiming and owning listings can help shape the narrative surrounding your practice. While some reviews may be negative, it’s essential to heed constructive feedback and take action to enhance processes and manage expectations.

Consistency in branding is key. Your practice should have a cohesive look across all channels, from forms to social media. Establishing brand guidelines ensures a professional and cohesive image for prospective patients.

Trusted resource

Now, onto marketing strategies. Position yourself as a trusted resource for the public by writing informative articles for local publications and engaging with community organizations. Utilize social media to share valuable content and interact with patients.

Articles

Write articles about common health issues for local newspapers and magazines, then repurpose them for your social media and website to keep your online presence fresh. Content can be simple and address questions patients commonly ask, such as how to manage allergies, reduce heart disease risk, handle potential COVID symptoms, lose weight, determine when to have a mammogram, understand chronic fatigue, deal with persistent coughs, and improve overall health. Utilize resources from reputable organizations like the American Academy of Family Physicians, ensuring proper credit is given.

Press Release

Send out press releases to local media outlets via services like PR Web or EIN, highlighting aspects of your practice and discussing diseases or treatments you’re passionate about, such as hypertension. Explain why treating these conditions is fulfilling and how you approach patient care uniquely.

Community Groups

Engage with various community organizations like churches, schools, gyms, clubs, Rotary, Kiwanis, VFW, and the Chamber of Commerce. Take the time to get to know members without initially focusing on self-promotion. Consider offering to speak at these groups, but first, familiarize yourself with their culture and norms. Participate in community and employer health fairs, offering free screenings like blood pressure checks to engage attendees and promote health awareness.

Become active in Moms Groups to establish yourself as a valuable resource before they require your services. If you have a friendly female employee residing in the community, she can represent your practice. Alternatively, anyone approachable can fulfill this role. These groups convene both in person and virtually, providing opportunities for educational talks, articles, videos, and Q&A sessions, which can be repurposed across your website and social media platforms. To locate Moms Groups in your area, search for organizations such as MOPs, Moms of [Your City], early childhood PTAs, traditional PTAs, school groups, Moms of Multiples groups, Moms groups within churches, Women’s Clubs, Assistance League, NCL, and various online platforms including Facebook and NextDoor. Requests for physician recommendations are common in these groups on a daily basis. Engage with these groups by volunteering to provide information, answer questions, and support their members. Ideally, integrate into the community by joining the group and genuinely participating, rather than solely promoting your practice. However, reaching out directly to offer your assistance and expertise is also an effective approach.

Employers

Reach out to local employers and offer free talks on topics like nutrition, general health, exercise, and stress management, including seasonal subjects like allergies and flu prevention. Target HR and Employee Health departments for these presentations, providing informative handouts with discreet contact information for follow-up. Side note: These could also be valuable down the road to market directly to employers.

Healthcare Providers

Network with other healthcare providers who could serve as referral sources, such as physical therapists, pain management specialists, orthopedic surgeons, and primary care physicians.

By providing valuable information and support, you can establish your practice as a reliable resource within these communities.

Social campaigns

Physicians can leverage social media to promote their practice and connect with patients. Aim for regular, personalized posts that showcase the practice’s personality and helpfulness. Utilize patient testimonials and share content from trusted professional organizations such as American Academy of Family Physicians, JAMA, and American College of Physicians.

Consider targeted advertising campaigns, such as pay-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO), to reach potential patients in your area. Pay per click (PPC) is a great place to start.  You can target by very specific geography and traits.  For instance, for an Internal Medicine physician moving to Coppell, Texas, you can target women ages 40-64 in Coppell.  You can also target by areas of interest (like diabetes).  A professional digital marketer can help with this.  We can recommend several amazing ones. 

Additionally, targeted local print can be effective with publications that cater to your local community such as Community Impact, Living, and Burb News. And, also keep in mind media outlets that focus on a certain group of people, such as Radio Azad and Al Dia. If something about your practice would resonate with one of these targeted groups, consider if you might get a better return on investment there.

Parting Thoughts

By implementing these strategies and ensuring a strong foundation, your new Direct Primary Care practice can effectively market itself and attract patients within its local area. It will take time or money to grow your practice. If you have time, focus on the outreach activities. If you have money, focus on sponsorships, PPC, and SEO. Our team is here to guide you through any of this!

And, rest assured that if you are kind to people and take good care of them, the practice will grow. Happy patients are your best marketing!