Story Marketing can Help Build Your Practice
“The human species thinks in metaphors and learns through stories.” — Mary Catherine Bateson
Story is the one thing that connects all people. It’s used in movies to entertain, engage, and elicit emotions. It’s the oldest form of entertainment we have.
Stories have been used in marketing and advertising since forever. That’s because nobody likes to be sold to, but everyone loves a good story. I could go on and on about the role of story in marketing, but I want to get right down to the tactical, practical stuff, cause that’s my jam and I’m big on getting right to the point.
Story is about Connection
So here’s the main point: Patients need to connect and resonate with you. And you can use stories to make those connections.
Now that we have so much online access to information and to people, we all want to know more about everything we are considering purchasing. Of course, your potential patients are no different.
People seeking medical care are in a vulnerable state, and have likely been around town trying other practitioners. They’ve visited health food stores, googled their symptoms, and perhaps made some Amazon purchases, all with the goal of solving their problems on their own. After all, it’s human nature to try and solve our own issues, and we do it with the resources we have available.
Your Potential Patients Want to Get to Know You
So, you are an amazing doctor and you want to change the world with your wisdom, but you don’t have enough people coming in the door to make ends meet. If so many people need medical care, why aren’t the patients that you want to help finding you?
Here’s likely what’s happening:
- People have no idea who you are.
- Even people who have been referred to you are going online to check you out and are possibly not inspired
- You have no control over who you attract.
What’s the solution?
Telling your story. But how can you tell your story to the right people – people you haven’t even met yet? Here are some steps that will help you reach potential patients.
How to Tell your Story to Attract your Ideal Patients:
1. Create a video where you actually tell your story
Shocking I know! Include who you are, why you got started in natural medicine, and what impact you are hoping to make. (This is your chance to share your big vision for your community.)
2. Add “Case Study” videos telling the stories about people you have been instrumental in helping
These are not testimonials; case studies tell the patient’s journey from who they were before they met you to how they’re feeling after they have successfully healed with your help. This is actually a strategy to attract your ideal patient.
Here is an example of a Case Study story:
Sarah was a mess. She couldn’t sleep, she was anxious all the time, and she was about to lose it at work and at home because she was so exhausted and fed up. A friend recommended my program, so she reached out to see if I could help her. She had already seen her family doctor numerous times only to be told that she was normal and everything was fine. She had tried yoga, acupuncture, and some vitamins she read about online. She was thinking of doing a cleanse or maybe a keto diet, but didn’t have the capacity to handle more. In short, she needed professional help. Sarah’s story is very common, and in all honesty, I could tell as soon as she came in that her issues were a culmination of something greater. We needed to get to the root cause and eliminate the problem.
After setting the stage by giving the patient’s background – one that many people can relate to – you can continue by talking about what you did and how it helped.
If I was someone like Sarah and I saw that video, do you think I’d be calling your office?? Hell YESSSS!!
It’s important to note that your story is not a biography showing all of your degrees and those kinds of boring details. Your story is a journey. It has characters – you, a villain (whatever dragon you’ve slayed or problem you’ve overcome or helped your patients overcome) and a guide that leads you to safety, to a pot of gold, or to your health goal (you get the point!).
Let’s look at another example.
I was a serial entrepreneur from a really young age (totally unemployable). Right out of university, I decided to try my luck as a business owner down in the Caribbean. It was all going great, and I was on top of my game. I had three video stores and I was doing event promotion with some big names and running some amazing concerts.
When my Caribbean days were over and I decided to head back home, I started getting psoriasis all over my hands and feet. I’d never had a health problem before, but this one was getting out of control. “It’s hereditary,” the doctor would tell me. “You need light therapy every week,” the specialist said. “Try this cream that thins out your skin and consider it a lifelong problem,” another expert explained. That was pretty much the solution our medical system handed to me.
I was depressed, and for the first time in my life I had low self-confidence. Simply put, I didn’t know what I was going to do and I was worried. Worry wasn’t something I was accustomed to, because living in a third-world Caribbean island and growing a chain of video stores from the ground up basically summarized the previous seven years of my life. I was ballsy and a go-getter and worry was not my thing! However, a health issue was a different story. I couldn’t control it, had no way to fix it, and it was only getting worse, I felt powerless.
Late one night when I was at home watching TV, I saw a commercial for a medical spa not far from where I lived, nestled in the woods, but… the commercial was so poorly produced that I was thinking, “Damn, who the heck is in charge of this?”
The next day, I called the medical spa and asked if they needed help with their marketing and advertising. Their answer was yes, how quickly can you come here?
I was there in a couple of hours, and when I opened up the door to the facility, I was in awe. An Integrative medical doctor had built a gorgeous, European-style spa in a 10,000-square-foot home on 25 sprawling acres in the forest. And it was empty.
I was told that if I helped him grow the practice, he would fix all my health issues forever. I was sold and we lived happily ever after- for nine years anyway! We treated thousands of patients and changed lives everyday while making great profit and working with ideal patients only.
That is my story of how I got into the natural health industry. What is yours?
80% of Social Media Content will be Video by 2020
So, as you see from these examples, there are two ways to use story when it comes attracting patients:
- Tell yours so you can build trust and resonate with the right people.
- Tell the success stories of others so people can see themselves in their shoes, which will resonate with what you are able to do for them.
Did you know that Instagram Stories and Facebook stories have become a major focus on those platforms and that its predicted video will make up 80% of social content by 2020?
Crazy I know but can you afford not to participate?
Do You Have a Story to Tell?
How can you start using story?
- Record videos.
- Put the videos on your website, your Facebook page, your Instagram (and if you don’t have those, we need to talk!).
- Speak to your ideal patient in your videos- what are his/her biggest lifestyle, emotional. or physical problems?
Start asking your existing clients what they went through before finding you: why they were attracted to you and what do they think is unique about you? This can give you ideas for telling your story.
Story will change the way you interact, the people you attract, and the connections you build before people even come in to see you.
If you have any questions about using story in your marketing strategy or want to learn more about Your Ideal Patient’s digital marketing services, book a free call with me.