One of my favorite parts about the American Academy of Nurse Entrepreneurs is how I get to bring in fantastic guest experts for our monthly masterclasses for our membership. And our last masterclass was certainly no exception! For this month, I had the pleasure of inviting Tamsen Webster to share her marketing and messaging know-how.
Most nurse owners don’t want to want to be “salesy,” but also, the #1 most requested topic from our nurse owner community – by far! – is marketing tactics. And Tamsen is wonderful at teaching how to have a successful marketing message, without being “salesy.”
I especially loved this conversation because Tamsen shared so many insights into how nurse owners can upgrade their marketing. Our mastermind conversation had so many ideas and action steps to help nurse owners with their marketing. I couldn’t possibly share all of them in one article. But I did want AANE readers and Free Facebook Group Members to benefit from our conversation, too!
So, below are 2 of my favorite takeaways from our conversation. These are two quick-and-easy upgrades any nurse owner can make to their marketing message right now!
Use the tips from today’s article – and Tamsen’s masterclass – to elevate your marketing message and make it more memorable to your patients. Go through your website (and all your promotional materials) and ask yourself if the following 3 tips are incorporated or if some updates are needed.
Today's article is...
Update #1: Anchor Into What They Already Want
When putting together a marketing message, it’s understandable that you want to put something together that’s impressive. Something that commands authority. Something elevated and respectable. All of those are fine goals, BUT they are all also all about you.
Your patient can’t envision themselves in the process if your message solely focuses on you.
That’s why the important first step for your marketing is to: Anchor into what they already want.
Talk about what your patients are looking for. What type of experience do they want to have with a practitioner? Put THAT in your marketing.
How do can you find out what your patients want?
1) Ask yourself, “What problems are they trying to solve?”
Are they struggling with a chronic issue? Are they needing to get healthcare services, but finding it difficult to find the time to make regular office visits? Are they seeking care for their whole family? Are their health issues causing added stress and difficulty?
When you include the problems they are trying to solve in your marketing, your potential patients immediately feel seen. They feel understood. And THAT is a basic human need we all have. When someone feels truly seen by another, there’s instant trust and rapport. And that’s what you want from all of your marketing efforts.
2) Ask friends and family – not current patients
When creating a marketing message, you want to craft a message that resonates with someone who is in search of a great healthcare provider. That’s why it might not be the best idea to ask your current patients what they wanted back when they found you because they’ve already found a great provider! They’re thrilled with your work and might not remember what it really felt like early in their search.
I’m not saying you absolutely can’t ask your current patients, but just know that they might not be able to give you what you’re looking for.
That’s why asking your family and friends might serve you better. If they’re not thrilled with their provider, ask them why. What annoys them about working with their provider? What do they wish they were experiencing instead? They might say things like:
- I just wish it was more convenient to see my doctor. I have to wait weeks for an appointment.
- Every time I go in there, I’m interacting with a new nurse practitioner/provider. I rarely see the same person twice. It just feels like there isn’t consistency. I’m always having to catch them up on things I’ve already discussed with the previous person.
- I just wish that I would get a simple question answered quickly. I have to make an appointment anytime I want to bring something up. So, I wait until I have a number of things to discuss just to make it worth the time and energy.
Your job is to then turn those complaints and gripes into benefits of working with you and your team. Talk about your telehealth and communication options. Talk about the relationships you build with your patients. Talk about your quick response time. Double-check and make sure all of that is communicated in your marketing materials.
Update #2: Reframe and Talk Like a Human
Universities might do a great job of building our medical knowledge and nursing skills, but they often do a terrible job of teaching us how to write and speak like a normal human being. Over the years it’s easy to develop a very academic writing style, but that’s counterproductive for marketing.
You already know there’s a difference between what you write down in your chart notes and what you say directly to the patient. One is very technical, the other we call “bedside manner.” Use your bedside matter in your marketing. Talk like a human.
On our mastermind call, Tamsen and I talked about a practice that used the phrase “we use cutting edge diagnostics to improve patient medication adherence” in their marketing. … When have you ever heard a patient use the terms diagnostics or patient medication adherence?! That’s not how patients speak; that’s how healthcare providers talk to patients. And it’s very easy to come across as cold and pompous with that kind of language.
Talk like a human. “Our point-of-care test with results immediately show us if the right medications are being taken and are working correctly for you.” … Or as Tamsen beautifully put it, “Quickly making these invisible, visible.”
Cut out the jargon. Don’t make your reader translate what you’re saying. Talk to them like you’d talk to your best friend.
Check your marketing materials to see what you can cut out jargon phrases and add a more human approach.
I know that crafting a marketing message doesn’t come naturally to us. We became nurses to help people, not to sell to people. But, we can reframe marketing for ourselves just like how we reframe diagnosis and protocols for our patients. Marketing is just another patient/provider interaction. You’re letting people know how you can help solve their problems. When you think of it that way, the academic tone and jargon-filled phrases will vanish and your patients will connect with you and be excited to work with you!
FNP-C President & Co-Founder
Veronica co-founded Med2You, a healthcare company based in Austin, Texas that provides primary and psychiatric care to underserved populations with a completely remote care team led by nurse practitioners.
Veronica started her business as a single provider with a mobile “doctor bag,” cellphone and a laptop.
As a family nurse practitioner and entrepreneur who has operated her own practice since 2013, Veronica knows the unique challenges and needs APNs have when navigating the business, legal and regulatory components of starting and operating a thriving healthcare practice.
Now, her mission is to put this knowledge in the hands of other advanced practice nurses so that they can realize their full potential as clinicians, entrepreneurs and leaders in their community.
With her business partner, Griffin Mulcahey, a healthcare regulatory attorney, Veronica has designed the educational programs, resources, and community support network that is the American Academy of Nurse Entrepreneurs (AANE).
Veronica is also a sought-after speaker around the country. She speaks to healthcare entrepreneurs, clinicians, hospitals, and associations – proudly educating and helping the growing community of healthcare entrepreneurs who are giving more options and better care to communities around the country.