When My Clinic Was Failing It Was Not The Marketing Experts That Turned Things Around. In Fact, They Were Part Of The Problem.

3 months ago   •   2 min read

By Ernesto Gutierrez, MD
Photo by Campaign Creators / Unsplash
Table of contents

In 2013 I found myself in charge of a failing stem cell clinic.

Despite our state-of-the-art facilities, our cutting-edge therapies, and the huge amount of conditions we could treat, we struggled to fill our calendar. We did everything the “experts” told us to do (and for hefty sums of money too!), yet the results were not there.

Filling a medical practice’s schedule is not as easy as filling up a hair salon

We must’ve worked with 3 different marketing agencies in 18 months.

They all said essentially the same thing, with some slight variation: you must get to the front page of Google. And their strategies were pretty cookie-cutter: inserting keywords, buying backlinks, creating a Google My Business profile, etc. And it worked. We got to the front page.

But we still did not get patients.

Finding the right patient is not just getting “qualified” leads.

Of course, they blamed it on us for “not closing those sales.”

If you have ever hired a “marketing agency”, you’ve experienced this in one way or another. They crank up the number of inquiries you receive and when it does not translate to an increase in the number of patients, then it’s all your fault.

But they did their part.

It’s easier for a physician to learn marketing than for a marketer to learn the nuances of healthcare.

It all changed when I was forced to learn marketing. *Forced to, because we could no longer afford an agency…

Turns out it is rather simple. As I like to say to my clients: “it’s not brain surgery.” (which is especially funny since several doctors who I work with are in fact brain surgeons…).

But coaches, consultants, and agencies go to incredible lengths to make it feel complicated so doctors like you and me, outsource it to them.

There are two things a business owner should never delegate: the checkbook and the marketing.
–Darren Hardy. Business mentor & Best Selling Author

I said simple, not easy.

It still requires a sound strategy and the discipline to stick to it. You’ll need to learn about traffic, funnels, and conversion rates. And you’ll want to hire someone in-house to execute it.

But for the love of God, stay personally involved.

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