How to develop word-of-mouth-worthy differentiation in your practice

All types of professional practices, physicians, lawyers, therapists, consultants, agents, coaches, etc. are almost totally dependent on word of mouth – because in a professional practice, your “products” are usually intangible. They are the results you create. And the results – your value – are a direct result of your personal competence, so they reflect on you.

In a practice, people are buying you – your knowledge, experience, competence, and personality. And usually the only way for someone to learn how good you are at what you do – is through someone else’s experience. The sharing of experience is an essential part of word of mouth.

The reason that a practice is so dependent on word of mouth is that it’s expensive to advertise and it’s hard for you to say, convincingly and without boasting, that you are the most caring, smartest, most responsive, most clever person in your profession.  But your ‘raving fans’ can do this for you. So, the goal of your marketing wants to focus on developing a core group of ‘raving fans’.

One practitioner who did this exceedingly well is Dr. Paddi Lund. Dr. Lund is a dentist from Australia who was working 60 hours a week and had become really unhappy with his work.

So he rethought dentistry. He changed many fundamentals in his practice that generated word of mouth referrals so that in just a few months he:

  • Accepted new business ‘By Referral Only’,
  • Made referrals a pre-condition of being a client!
  • Only asked A-class clients to refer their friends,
  • And only attracted A-class new clients in return!

How did he do it?

1. He talked to his patients and his staff to find out what they didn’t like. And then he started making radical changes to his practice. He replaced his reception waiting room and counter with a lounge area where patients could be interviewed comfortably. (photo above is Dr. Lund and the espresso machine in his lounge)

2. He realized that most dental procedures could be accomplished in one several-hour visit instead of several one-hour visits. So he takes only one or two patients a day. Instead of taking weeks to work on a patient, he takes less than a day.

3. He hired a baker, who meets people with baked goods and offers to bake anything they want – since they’ll be there for several hours. And the aroma completely transforms the antiseptic smell that people hate about dentists’ offices.

4. He works about 22 hours a week and makes 2 1/2 times more money. People fly in from around the country.

How could people not talk about him? How could patients not refer people to him?

The good news – for you – is that most of your competition is afraid to do anything as radical and outrageous as what Dr. Lund did. They are afraid to stand out. But you can adapt Dr. Lund’s methods to your situation and develop a practice that’s so remarkable that people will talk about it.

Dr Paddi Lund with his espresso machine
For 20yrs Paddi has had an espresso machine instead of a front desk!

Meet Dr Paddi Lund…
The unusual Australian Dentist who:

  • Pulled down all his signs,
  • Locked his front door,
  • Sawed up his reception desk,
  • Bought a Cappuccino Machine instead!
  • “Fired” half his customers
  • Took his name out of the phone book,

Sound like a recipe for disaster? Well now…

  • He works 22hrs a week, earns 2½ times the money and loves going to work!

Dr Paddi Lund has redefined what it means to be in business – any business!
You can learn more about Dr. Lund’s work from his book, Building the Happiness Centred Business

9 Styles of Marketing Videos You Should Create for Your Business

9 Styles of Marketing Videos You Should Create for Your Business

Loads of companies are starting to wonder: “What kind of video should I create for my business?” It’s not enough to just say, “We’re going to go and do video,” because it begs the question, “What kind of content should we create?”

I’m going to talk through 9 styles of marketing videos that you should be making as a business and explain what kind of style that content looks like, where it should be hosted, and all that kind of thing.

In House Video Production

We’ll start with things that you make in-house. If you can purchase a camera, a set of lights, and a microphone, then you can create all these different types of videos, and it won’t cost you too much money.

1. Product Videos

What we’re really talking about here are videos that are going to help improve conversions on a specific page. Videos designed to maybe help you take a customer from that point of initial interest saying, “Am I going to buy this product,” to definitely knowing that it’s the right thing that they want to buy and pressing the Add to Cart button.

With product videos, it’s incredibly important to make sure that you host them securely on your own site and you do not put them on places like YouTube or Vimeo. That’s because they’re not really relevant for an audience on YouTube or Vimeo or any of those social platforms. They should be really secured to your page using a hosting solution like Wistia, for example, that Moz use, which you can make sure the video is only on your site. Then customers searching in the Google search results will find the version of the video on your site rather than the version on YouTube, where it’s very, very hard for them then to go back to your site and convert. So make sure you’re self-hosting those videos.

2. Tutorials / How-tos

Then the next kind of content you can do is tutorials and how-tos. The value of these videos is that they can be incredibly useful to build up your brand with an audience on YouTube. So I’m going to explain exactly the kind of style that you should be creating, that’s not too heavily branded, very informational, and not focused on selling.

3. Thought Leadership

You can also do a lot of thought-leadership content. Thought-leadership content can get you links, it can get you great presence on YouTube, help you build your brand as well, and demonstrate that you’re really an expert in whatever field it is you work in.

4. News Release

Then there are video news releases that you can do as well. A video news release is a video that you will send out with a normal press release, and the real value of these is that they will help you get to the top of an editor’s pile at a newspaper or a website, wherever, get to the top of the pile much, much better than just a normal, standard text release.

So how do you create those? Well, actually, they’re very similar in style to thought-leadership videos. It’s just that you need to be much more product-focused and concentrate on that hook and why the specific news in question is exciting.

Professional Video Production

If you work for a company with a bit more budget, then you can hire a video production company to do this stuff, rather than doing it in-house, because the quality will really, really matter for the success of what this content looks like.

5. Creative Stories

What I mean by creative stories is what’s often referred to as like viral video or stuff that you’re going to put on social platforms, like YouTube and Vimeo, to help build your brand and help more eyeballs understand you and get to know more about your business.

6. Link Bait

You can also create link bait. Now, link bait is not really the same as this viral, created video, because it’s much more focused on providing a specific value to a group of people, a specific audience, who are then going to link back to you in a relevant niche.

7. Ads for Content

If you’ve got a good budget, I recommend everybody goes out and creates ads, but not ads like TV ads. Actually, ads that are going to be useful on YouTube, and really I think that those have to be ads advertising softer things, not just demanding sales. So what I really like to do is advertise content. If you’ve got a great blog or you’ve got a good email list, why not create an advert and target people on YouTube and tell them why they should come and explore your content and learn more about your business and start to engage with all those inbound marketing channels that you’re creating content for.

8. Vine & Instagram

Lastly, if you have absolutely no budget at all, then I recommend having a play with Vine and Instagram. There’s going to be great rewards for the kind of companies that work out how to do something exciting with Vine and Instagram video. We don’t know which one’s going to be more dominant yet, so I recommend you have a play and do some really cool stuff and see what you can come up with.

9. Google Hangouts

You can also do Google+ Hangout on Air. All you need to do Google+ Hangout on Air is have a laptop with a webcam and a microphone. I’m sure everybody has one of these. This is a great way to actually build your brand through doing some nice thought leadership kind of content very, very, very cheaply.

About PhilNottingham — Phil is a Consultant at Distilled in London, where he specializes in video, impersonating a pirate and complaining about poor design.

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