Well yes, if you want to do it properly you need to invest in promoting your private practice. 

However, there are lots of opportunities to raise your profile that don’t cost money, that do influence patient choice and are often ignored… do so at your peril. 

Patients are increasingly looking online to educate themselves on their condition and treatment options. They also want to know who can help them. Patients are aware that they have the choice. 

Making sure you are easily found by potential patients looking for treatment is essential. There are lots of online platforms that you can get a professional profile on free of charge. 

In the most part these profiles will be populated with the most basic data, but in many cases you have the opportunity to add additional information such as photos, treatment/service lists, locations, costs and sometimes a website link. 

Basic rules for your profiles…

• Use good quality images. 
• Your profile text should be engaging, focus on what you do and why the patient should choose you. If they want your full academic background they’ll ask for it. 
• Be clear on your area of expertise; people want a specialist. 
• Include all treatments, services and tests that you offer. Prioritise the key ones. 
• Make sure your location information is correct. 
• Check all contact numbers, emails and web forms. 
• If possible make pricing information available, transparency breeds trust. 
• If you have a website ask for a link, most platforms will give you one. 
• Make a note of login details or contacts at organisations for updates.

Summary of platforms to look at:

 Health insurance websites:

If you are approved by an insurance company you will have a record in their directory of specialists. Most of the big guys have a consultant search available to the general public. 

The BUPA Finder website is an excellent example. It allows you to add lots of information such as photos and website links. It’s a strong site with great visibility. If you are BUPA assured make sure you’re taking full advantage!

Review websites:

I could write a whole article on generating reviews (maybe next month) but here we are just talking about getting all the platforms updated. 

There are many review sites out there, specialist healthcare sites such as I Want Great Care or large established brand review websites such as Trust Pilot. 

You need to claim your profile if there is one there already (if you have a website you’re probably already on TrustPilot) or you need to register with the platforms if you don’t have a record already. 

Once that is done you just need to get reviews… but that’s a whole other ball game!

Hospital & Clinic websites: 

Every hospital or clinic you work at will have their own website with a consultant directory. 

It is in their interest to promote their consultants the best they can. Help the marketing/consultant liaison teams by giving them as much quality information, images etc… as you can. Get them to make your profile shine.

Social media:

If you are going to set up social media you really have to be active on the platforms. 

If you have a website it is still worth have a profile even if you aren’t that active as they will give you links back to your own site. 

When updating think of the audience… sites such as FacebookTwitter, etc… are great for reaching consumers. Sites such as LinkedIn are B2B and should be used primarily to connect and share with peers.

Independent patient websites:

Nearly all the independent patient websites have a free directory for hospitals, clinics and consultants. These are commercial businesses so they will keep the best stuff back for paying clients… and that’s fair enough as everyone has to eat. 

Their basic records will be limited in what you can include but usually your contact details, treatments, locations, qualifications etc… are included. 

Get the basic records updated and then if you have budget to spend look at their enhanced profiles. Typically an enhanced profile for a consultant would cost between £20-£75 pm. 

Some examples of independent patient sites:

www.privatehealth.co.uk 
www.harleystreet.com 
www.myhealthspecialist.com 
www.specialistinfo.com 
www.whatclinic.co.uk 
www.gooddoctor.com

Google My Business: 

Your Google business record is the box that appears on the right hand side of search results. 

This will be automatically filled in using Google automation. You can claim your business record and then you have control over what information is displayed. 

See: www.google.com/business 

Summary

Don’t miss out through inaction, set some time aside and update your records. 
Get yourself out there. The more platforms you are on the wider your reach will be. 

Don’t have the time to do it? We do offer a service to update your records online 
(it’s not free but it’s very reasonably priced).