Which Stage is Best for Your Practice?
Meet Erica Smith, OD. Dr. Smith is ready to open her first practice…but there’s been some sleepless nights. To find long-term success, she knows she’ll need marketing solutions tailored to her needs through every stage of her practice’s lifecycle. But where does she start?
Every practice needs their website and marketing to tell their story and solve their unique problems. The real problem is that every practice’s story is different, and every practice has unique challenges based on what stage they are in their practice’s lifecycle.
Dr. Smith is in luck—she’s a client of EyeCarePro, and our eye care marketing experts tailor marketing solutions to the specific goals of practices within the five stages of an optometry practice’s lifecycle.
So, what are the stages? Instead of telling you, we’ll show you. Let’s follow Dr. Smith throughout her career—from cold start to retirement, with all the goals, challenges and successes she’ll come across along the way.
Dr. Smith has just graduated from Optometry school and has decided to open a practice. Congrats! We know she’s working hard to get her practice ready to open, because there’s nothing she’d like more than to make a difference In her local community by improving her patients’ sight.
The challenge is, to help patients, you need patients. Dr. Smith knows she needs a digital presence to earn the trust—and business—of local patients. She also knows she needs marketing to book those patients ASAP to help her cover the expenses of her ever-increasing start-up costs. Without a strong start, her practice may not last a year, let alone earn enough to support her staff. Dr. Smith decides to become a client within Stage 1- Launch.
She gets a beautiful and responsive website that answers her patients’ questions about her practice—and helps book them. To drive traffic to the site, she tells her goals to her Digital Marketing Strategist, and they use SEO optimization (and eventually Google Ads) to help her get found sooner on Google. Dr. Smith says she wants a strong social media presence, and EyeCarePro does the work building out campaigns for her channels with posts, landing pages and emails. A funny thing happens when Dr. Smith gets the marketing she needs: she starts to book appointments and cover expenses, and sets her practice up for success.
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Now, what if Dr. Smith somehow got to this point WITHOUT a website? Impressive, truly, but it’s not a gamble she should take long-term. Without an effective digital presence, word-of-mouth growth for referral business can only last so long.
Everybody Googles a new business before visiting it the first time (well, 76%, actually). Without a proper website that speaks to her practice’s unique values and services, she’ll be stuck with the patients she has. As her patients age-out, it will become increasingly difficult to reach new local patients and earn their trust. One day, new appointments will stop entirely.
Stage 2—Site, gives her a sleek and high-performing website that covers all of her practice’s services and unique values. The site is designed with patient experience in mind—and to convert. Dr. Smith finally has a digital presence that reflects the amazing patient care she provides in practice. And most importantly, her site books her new appointments.
Now that Dr. Smith’s digital presence is addressed, she’s eager to begin optimizing her ROI by filling her appointment books with ANY type of patient. General eye exams are perfect for her growing practice, but she knows that motivating patients to book online isn’t easy.
Dr. Smith is ready to invest a bit more to give her practice more visibility with local general eye care patients, but she’s admittedly a little worried that she’ll put in more time and effort and still not get found before the competition. With Stage 3 -Reach, Dr. Smith’s dedicated Digital Marketing Strategist puts her fears to rest.
They do the work making sure her beautiful website properly represents the practice’s growing brand and services, with an SEO strategy designed to capture more general eye care site visitors as they’re searching Google for an exam. To drive bookings, they put together engaging and trackable campaigns specifically for general patients with social media posts, unique blogs, landing pages and emails. And with no more effort, Dr. Smith is suddenly helping more patients.
Once Dr. Smith’s practice has been reliably booking general eye care patients, she notices she’s sending a lot of patients to other practices who service Optometric specialties. It’s also becoming apparent she’s not carrying the frames and lenses that her patients are asking for.
She’s been thinking about branching out to start servicing higher-revenue Optometric specialty patients (like those suffering from Dry Eye, Myopia, or Low Vision). Or maybe focusing on optical patients looking for luxury frames or a yearly supply of contact lenses. Dr. Smith knows her ROI will improve—and that it will help her stand out from the competition. But how will she reach these high-revenue patients? With her Digital Marketing Strategist’s eye care expertise.
As her practice now falls under Stage 4 – Focus, she tells our experts her choice of specialty and they uniquely brand her site to reflect her new services. They use specialty SEO to reach high-revenue patients when they’re searching Google for help, and earn their trust with high performing campaign content with unique blogs, customized social media posts and emails. Her practice now successfully books high-revenue patients and has future-proofed itself against the competition.
Dr. Smith has found success: building a practice and a beautiful digital presence, growing her brand, and becoming a local Optometry authority amongst general and high-revenue specialty patients. What’s next? Expanding to multiple locations or selling the practice and retiring.
Either way, she’ll need a strategy (and brand) that addresses every service offered, across all locations, and one that makes sure they’re all performing equally. Without that, expanding or selling may not be possible, or at best she’ll be leaving money on the table.
With Stage 5 – Complete, her Digital Marketing Strategist gets her a completely custom website (or sites) and complete SEO that covers every piece of the brand and every service within locations. She’ll win over all her ideal patients using custom campaigns with unique blogs, socials, emails and video editing—and her real-time scheduler will book them 24/7. Whether she wants to expand or sell, Complete will raise her practice’s value to what it’s worth—and help her retire knowing that she improved the sight of as many patients as possible.