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The #1 Reason Your Private Practice Marketing Doesn’t Get More Surgery Patients

In a marketing landscape dominated by hospital systems, big pharma, and YouTube physicians, it can be hard to know how to market your private practice. The internet is a big place, and this can be either a good thing or a bad thing. The answer of which, is entirely dependent on your marketing strategy.


Unfortunately, most of the things we see private surgical practices doing to market their practice doesn’t work. They are doing the usual things they hear about like “post on social media!” or “write a blog” or “run facebook ads!” and when they don’t get results, they think it’s either they aren’t good at it or these tools don’t work.


The truth of the matter is that these tools do work, and you are totally capable of getting results…


You just don’t have the right strategy. You probably don’t have any strategy.


You’re in the right vehicle, you are just on the wrong road and you don’t have a map.


The number one mistake most private practices are making when marketing is messaging misalignment.


Here’s the strategy we use with our clients, and one you can implement yourself. Once you understand this framework, you’ll see exactly why you aren’t getting the new procedure patients you want, and know how to fix it.


The Larger Market Formula


The market for any procedure you prefer to focus on is huge, but what you can’t forget is that prospective patients are all at different stages in their patient journey. The Larger Market Formula allows you to visualize the size of each stage in the journey, understand what questions a patient may be asking in each stage, and reach them where they are.


Here’s a visual:



Understanding the Stages and the Patient Journey


Problem Unaware (60% of people): This group isn’t aware they might benefit from surgical procedures. We typically don’t spend time, money, or resources marketing to this stage simply because it will take A LOT of time, money, and effort to turn them into a patient.

If you have an abundance of all three of these resources, your marketing should focus on general health and wellness information, subtly steering them towards recognizing their needs.


Problem Aware, Open to Solution (20%): These individuals recognize a potential need but haven’t considered surgery. Here, the content focus shifts to educating about solutions (both at home and in your office) and their benefits. Your goal here is to bring their attention to the fact that there are solutions that will work, and they don’t have to just deal with whatever the issue is.


Information Gathering Mode (17%): Patients actively seeking information about specific procedures. Detailed content about surgical options and outcomes is key here, as well as positioning your practice as experts in providing these services.


Pro-Tip: brainstorm all the questions you can think of that patients are asking Google related to the procedure at this stage.


Ready to Schedule (3%): They’ve decided they are ready to schedule a consultation and are now looking for the right surgeon. This is where 90% of practices are focused in their marketing…but that means the competition is more intense and the paid advertising is way more expensive, which means the biggest budget wins. If you’re spending time and money here, direct calls to action and easy scheduling processes are essential.


The Great Misalignment in Messaging


Most practices we’ve worked with over the years are committing the same sin: they’re speaking to everyone the same way. Trying to tell someone only recently experiencing symptoms to schedule a consultation is going to fall on deaf ears every time. Instead, hone in on where someone is in their journey, understand the questions they’re asking, and help them find the answer to those questions.


Where to start


  1. Pick Your Procedure

  2. Write down 20 questions someone may ask Google in relation to the procedure

  3. Using the Larger Market Formula stages, assign the questions to a stage.

  4. Create content that answers those questions.


When your tone and messaging matches the stage of the reader, they will feel like you understand them, where they’re at in their patient journey, and what they need to do to solve their issue. Instantly, you’ve built trust with them, and they will be more open to following your guidance whether that means directing them to another page on your site, or scheduling an appointment.


Who knew understanding the patient better could lead to more appointments.

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Great information!

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