151 - Marketing the Invisible


Like many other service-based businesses, podiatry is offering or should I say, selling something that cannot be seen; a consultation is basically invisible. So how do you market something invisible to make it more visible? 

A podiatry visit is intangible, you cannot see it, feel it or smell it, and I know some podiatrists do sell products, like strapping tape, creams and other small items, but before a patient even knows you sell these items, they need to make a decision to see you first.

When you buy a new television, you can see exactly what you’re getting, and if it stops working, you contact the seller, and it is sent back to the manufacturer.  

The manufacturer is a complete stranger, and you don’t know who they are, and you do not care; there’s no personal connection between you and the product. 

Most big-ticket items will come with a warranty, which makes the replacement process easier and also the purchasing decision less scary.

I remember buying a television once, and the selling point for me was not the price; it was the five-year warranty. You know if you buy it and it does not work properly, or as described you can easily replace or return it.

But this is not the case with a service.

You cannot replace a service. You cannot say, sorry, I wasn’t happy with the service you sold me, can I get a new one.  

When you provide a service, it is extremely personal.

When a patient comes to you for advice and treatment, you will spend a certain amount of time with them, face to face, and more often than not, they will return for a number of visits. 

So, if your advice fails to meet their expectations, it can become very personal, quite quickly.

A patient can easily evaluate two televisions, look at all the features on offer, how it looks and feels and even compare warranties, and then make an educated decision.

But how do they compare two podiatrists?

How does a patient compare two podiatrists who are both offering a podiatry service, a service you cannot see, feel or touch?

It’s a good question and one you need to be able to answer; otherwise, your business may be overlooked.

But I think I have a solution you can use. You need to know how to market your services properly.

Here’s my three-step process:

1. You need to understand who your ideal patient is.

This is paramount, and it’s a topic I’ve mentioned on other podcast episodes in my marketing workshops and will be covered in depth at the 3-Day Marketing Retreat in Cairns.

Why is this important?

When you know your ideal patient, and you know where they hang out, you will spend far less on marketing because you know where they are.

It’s like going fishing. If you want to catch a reef fish, you go to the reef; you don’t go to a freshwater stream. It may still be water, and there may be some fish, but it’s not the fish you’re chasing.

2. You need to understand what fears, concerns, and pain point your ideal patient is facing on a daily basis.

You need to understand how their foot problem is impacting their lives and the people around them.

Most patients will see a podiatrist because they have pain in their feet and ankles, and even though orthotics, shockwave therapy, stretching and rehab may be part of their long-term treatment plan…this is not what they came in to buy, and it shouldn’t be what you are selling.

You are selling is pain-relief.

You’re selling a vision of the future of being able to walk the dog again pain-free or run around with the kids in the local park and enjoy a long healthy life.

Suppose you think again about a person buying a television. They’re not just buying a TV; they’re buying enjoyment and entertainment, and maybe a cinema experience.

But what could be some of the fears and concerns when buying a TV. Some televisions are huge, so if the salesperson offered free delivery, set up, and a warranty that included pick up, I’d say it would put most fears and concerns to bed.

Imagine an elderly person with no family living close. Do you think getting it installed and returned if there’s a problem would be a great selling point, and would they pay a premium for this?  

Here’s the point: Address the patients concerns, and you’ll be able to guide them towards the treatment plan you think is best, and you’ll do it much easier. You may also find you can increase your fees and they will not complain. 

Which leads onto the third and final step?

3. Think about your ideal patient, consider their fears, concerns and pain points and then offer solutions in all your marketing.

Answer the questions that you know they are searching for online. Patients with heel pain are searching for solutions to heel pain, they’re not searching for anything else, so if you want more heel pain patients, you need to mention heel pain in your marketing.

If you can follow these three steps, it will definitely be a step in the right direction to becoming far more visible.

If you have any questions about this episode, one-on-one coaching or any of my group coaching programs, please send me an email at email/tf)(tysonfranklin.comand we can arrange a quick ZOOM call. 

Competitive Advantage

If you're looking for a Competitive Advantage over other podiatrists in your area, please visit my EVENTS PAGE, and consider joining my next group coaching program, the 12-Week Podiatry Business Reboot or join the Podiatry Business Owners Club on Facebook.   

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