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One of the very best pieces of marketing advice I’ve received is that marketing isn’t something you do to people. It’s something you do for them.

I’m not sure who first came up with that phrase, but I heard it first from a copywriter I follow and respect.

So when it comes to marketing as a physician, what are some of the keys to marketing for your patients?

Begin With Authenticity

If you’re looking for a competitive advantage over other physicians in your area, authenticity is a great place to begin. And when you have your own platform, you have the freedom and ability to connect online with patients in a way most physicians are not.

With almost 80% of patients doing online research before scheduling an appointment, letting patients see your authentic personality online gives you a significant advantage over another doctor who only has a picture and short bio.

Be Generous in What You Provide to Patients

Traditionally, marketing was more about taking from people. Strategies such as interruption marketing (think really loud television ads) can generate transactions, but not relationships.

When creating content for your blog and social media (your primary marketing vehicle), put yourself in your patients’ place. What do they desire to know?

By being generous with the information you provide, you’ll begin developing relationships before they even set foot in your office.

Plus, in cultivating relationships, you’re better positioned to win the long game in terms of lifetime patient value. Not to mention patient referrals.

As it turns out, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.”

Focus on the Patients You Want to Attract

A big part of marketing for patients is by sharing what you’re passionate about. So why not use what you’re passionate about treating as a physician?

The truth is, you can’t be everything to everyone. None of us can. So I recommend creating your ICA (Ideal Customer Avatar) for each piece of content you create.

Think about who the patient is (age, gender, personality, etc.) and create your content for that person.

In the end, others will benefit, of course, but this is a tactic that will help your message resonate even more with the right patients.


The bottom line in today’s environment is that you can’t succeed in marketing yourself online as a physician without having the mindset of marketing for people, not to them.