It's 11+ years of online lead generation for health businesses for me now.
I've found there are two 'typical case' owners that make up the vast majority who are on the journey to “success” and generating reliable bookings from the internet.
I named one owner, Adam (the larger segment). The other, Peter (the much smaller segment).
Adam and Peter show the typical journey for these entrepreneurs.
The reason I wrote the story of Adam and Peter was because it is a tale reflective of my own journey, my own discovery of what works to get reliable bookings.
When I started my journey in marketing, building patient/client lead flows, I attracted many Adam clients.
Without question - I didn't know what I didn't know, and they generally didn't know anything about online marketing.
Not a match that was always easy.
Along the way, I searched, experimented and discovered an open secret. A path that, on a schedule, reliably built steady client bookings, week after week, year after year.
Something that seems terribly obvious in hindsight.
I also learned that Adam didn't see the value of doing the relatively easy work needed to build this "not so secret" collection that generates leads like clockwork, week after week.
Serving Adam, while he was entrenched in the battle and effort of building a practice, I saw that he had a choice:
The transformation itself wasn’t easy.
It took a small leap of faith and then a stick-to-it-iveness that required Courage, Determination and Belief.
The only way to make the transformation from Adam to Peter was to choose to show up every week, go on the journey, and just do it.
Experience fear and go through it.
Navigate obstacles, like perfectionism, and what will "they" think.
Suit up and show up, over and over until the results poured in. New patient bookings every week. Dependably.
The “secret that wasn't so secret” — the simple strategy I discovered and want to share through my story — would help the Adams of the world to navigate through the battle and crisis and emerge on the other side as Peter.
But not everyone who attempted the journey would come out the other side transformed.
Most are not fully enrolled in the journey, don’t care enough about the change required to transform, so they remain Adam, forever.
This is the (2019) story of Adam and Peter.
Let's meet our first owner, Adam.
Adam is likely to represent you right now; if not entirely, certainly a close enough match to make you very uncomfortable as you read this.
Adam knows little about marketing. It was brushed over briefly in school. He knows even less about online marketing.
To him, it seems like the work it requires is too much for the seemingly spotty results.
Adam's demographics (the outside facing characteristics like age and income and job title, etc.) are not important.
Psychographics, the inside characteristics, like attitudes, aspirations, dreams, fears, desires, etc. is what matters.
Psychographics is the messy bucket of what was, and what are the hopes and dreams that led Adam to start and continue to run his own practice.
Adam has big dreams of making his business successful and he's not driven by his loan debt or anything outside.
The issue is he doesn't know what the hell to do to make sure there's a steady reliable flow of new clients to his practice, every week.
Or if there are other leaky buckets destroying his efforts!
The world has changed and that rate of change is growing faster and faster.
The more we learn and know, the more mankind has the tools and knowledge to ask better questions and find answers faster, quicker.
"By 1000 A.D., progress was much faster and a paradigm shift required only a century or two. In the 19th century, we saw more technological change than in the nine centuries preceding it. Then in the first 20 years of the 20th century, we saw more advancement than in all of the 19th century. Now, paradigm shifts occur in only a few years’ time. The World Wide Web did not exist in anything like its present form just a decade ago, and didn’t exist at all two decades before that. As these exponential developments continue, we will begin to unlock unfathomably productive capabilities and begin to understand how to solve the world’s most challenging problems. There has never been a more exciting time to be alive."
For Adam the reality is that his business environment and business is changing at ever increasing speed. At the same time the methods of getting clients are drastically evolving and changing.
He doesn't know better or enough or have enough time to put processes and systems in place - he thinks.
Social media? Google search? Tracking? Conversion rates?
Hah! He struggles with email, or websites, or logins and many other things more technical.
He sticks with what used to work... even if it's not working anymore (...and he doesn't know how to know for sure until he sees the bank statement or his credit card bill).
Networking groups, direct mail, paid feature articles in the community newspaper, Dr. referrals, even Yellow Pages!
He's not stupid. He's listened and read all the hype about online marketing. He starts to search and before he knows it, he is the recipient of every "shiny object" offer to get him more clients.
His office gets emails and phone calls every day, to do SEO or online marketing. It's easier to just ignore them, without a second thought.
On a whim, he picks an agency to run his online marketing campaigns (based on what they charge). They at least are cheaper than all the rest.
After a few months of zero results, (while the agency crows on and on about this keyword ranking and that pageview boost) he flips to another agency or "seo guy" who promises great results.
They get some results (more bookings!) at first... and then it dries up. Again.
There's a lot wrong with operating this way. Adam's stuck in the "loop of death".
Always struggling to get to that magic land of steady, reliable new patient bookings. And profits.
Grabbing at whispy magic bullets instead of using strategy and focus to create lasting results.
Worse, he might have decided to ignore online marketing completely. He doesn't believe that he's missing the answer and he just don't care!
Let’s move to the owner type I named, Peter.
Peter operates really differently from Adam.
Peter manages his fear of change and addictions to instant results.
He can control what he invests time in and what he chooses to ignore.
His attention is selective and focused.
He values his time, and knows that it takes time and focus and investment to build for the future.
Peter doesn’t invest in isolated “gimmicks.” Peter builds long view assets. The dynamic is completely different.
Peter loves his need to matter.
To create a place of work he’s proud of, and work that matters to the people he seeks to serve. Work that makes a difference to his patients and staff.
Peter builds a business; a modern, future proof, even sellable business.
Peter builds a business first focused on culture rather than money.
Below are some of the hallmarks of a very successful clinic owner.
He knows how to find and hire front end staff who have great people skills, and are good with the books.
He knows he has a consistent new patient marketing funnel in place – that’s working well.
He knows that patient experience is key and he consistently talks about, trains and rewards staff for excellence.
He knows his clinic booking rate. (booked appts divided by number of answered calls)
He knows the value of constant conversion rate improvement; for phone calls and his website.
Adam doesn't know these things, or ever seemingly have time to find out about them.
Adam stays focused on being a good clinician (which is very important) but doesn't create the systems his business needs to thrive.
Adam searches for big, quick answers - Facebook ads (or whatever) will drive bookings!
Facebook ads are at best a tactic, not a complete, all around strategy built for years and years of growth.
Adam is hoping for a home run.
It's easy to focus on the EVENT of a home run —
...and easy to miss the “truth” of the situation.
A game winning home run (or basket or goal) is the culmination of years and years of daily practice. Daily, weekly, yearly, regular old work. Consistency.
When zoomed out this is obvious.
But it’s easy to forget in the deep forest of the daily grind. Adam can’t see this obvious truth. Peter can.
Peter builds leveraged marketing assets for the long term.
A seemingly hidden asset is trust, which takes time and commitment to earn. Adam doesn’t see the value of going slow and steady, building familiarity, so he gulps shortcuts and quick wins.
Look at the online world through the lens of building long term assets, and you'll see everything very differently.
Like watching a 4k movie after watching standard definition blurry, pixelated movies. Fog vs. clarity.
Peter is successful because he focuses on PROCESS; the journey (which doesn’t end; an EVENT does).
The process of showing up each day and executing systems.
Prioritizing what’s really important for the long term, while focusing on feeling satisfied in each moment. The never ending now.
Peter makes a choice to serve educational content to help people, before they are clients.
He understands that his task is to find and reach a market with needs and then serve and help and delight them.
Peter knows that good practitioners have empathy for what’s going on with patients, so his marketing leads with empathy.
"We start by diving deep into the needs and pain points users and customers face. The need for extreme empathy is more important than ever before. Companies that solve real human problems and see opportunities to address these problems in unique ways are far more likely to become disruptors than to be disrupted."
Peter knows that the "We are the Champions" outcome of his business is to build a happy patient factory, delivering happiness, and earning repeat business and referrals.
Unlike Adam who tends to see people as commodities, Peter believes it’s his responsibility to not wait for money to change hands before starting to add value, contribute, guide, advise, and help the people he seeks to serve and heal.
Adam knows he doesn't know what to do about online marketing. He probably believes it's a waste of time, money and effort.
He considers that it's results are, at best, a lucky break or a fluke home run.
Adam is stuck on the hamster wheel. He keeps doing what he's doing without tracking or getting proven help. He wants it cheap because he's afraid of being taken, again.
He tries this and that, quickly tires of the cost or lack of results, then moves onto the next shiny-object.
"I tried blogging and online advertising. I've done videos (...a couple). I paid an agency to create blog posts for me (that were sold to many other sites as well). Nothing worked."
Peter is different.
Peter knows that building a health business that matters, that he and his staff are proud of, is a process and not an event.
Peter understands that to build a practice for the long-term, he needs to show up every day.
To do the hard work of creating a great patient experience, marketing, practice building, practice management, team building, training.
One Day at a Time.
The work may get easier, but the work doesn't stop ...the competition doesn't stop and patients still need help!
Peter knows that the road ahead is not easy. But it's fun and satisfying, and requires focus.
It’s not for most people. It demands pigheaded discipline and determination.
Peter is focused on becoming known, liked and trusted by an audience searching for real help. Offering solutions to painful problems.
Peter knows that luck isn’t a scalable and repeatable business model, so he chooses to take the time to lay deep foundations and then keep building.
Over time his online presence becomes larger and grander; a result of earned trust and attention and content publishing that’s impossible to ignore.
He's become an authority, an influencer, that attracts people to use his clinic because (and this is really important) it's the only choice.
Work that some people can’t imagine being without. That they enjoy.
Adam seeks fast results. He’ll take whatever he can get in the shortest amount of time.
Peter values and prioritizes a richer and more fulfilling life; a life where he gets to help more patients feel better.
Peter seeks to remain intentionally effective — which may be a company of 50, or a company of 3 — because he believes being systematic is a key to serving and mattering in a world of noise and distractions and more competition.
That making his business better instead of bigger is more valuable.
Peter knows that execution beats theory.
He rarely buys new marketing tactics or services, but also values his time. So when he has a specific need to quickly “level up”, he researches and invests in the best on the market.
Adam almost hates marketing and publishing.
He doesn’t have the time.
He doesn’t see the point.
Peter practices a life long learner’s lifestyle.
Adam chooses not to think for himself. He's afraid. He offloads that responsibility on others.
His fear brings knee jerk decisions that are flimsy.
Peter knows an exact map, a perfect fit for him, doesn’t exist.
Instead he has strategic flexibility, while being ruthlessly focused on creating and publishing relevant needed content.
It's been said that success starts as a result of “choice & attitude.”
The good news is that you get to choose to operate and think and behave as Adam or Peter.
It’s just a daily decision. And it’s all on you.
As Yoda said, "Do or do not. There is no try.”
There is no fast, easy, short way, that's ever proven sustainable over the long haul.
It doesn’t endure. If you think there is, you’re wrong.
There’s only a long, slower way. And it's worth it, every plodding step.
Very few will take this same longer journey. They don't have the vision.
If you’re an Adam and want to transform to a Peter, we can help with that. Or if you’re already a Peter, but wanna level-up, we can help with that, too.
Maybe you just need experienced help to get started. We’re great at helping and guiding.
If we can’t help, we’ll tell you, and point you in the best direction. We don’t have all the answers.
And what we have here definitely isn’t for everyone, or even for many.
What we have here is for the weird few, who choose to enroll in the journey and do the consistent work.
— Mark Bossert
PS. If you liked this article and want some free consulting help about marketing your practice;
every Monday, I have four - 45 min. session openings.
Fill out a quick 5 question application, get your $300 off coupon and then you are directed to our calendar to book a time. Thanks!
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