Expert care and the latest technology may not be enough to compete in today’s hearing care market. Audiologists and hearing aid retailers must position themselves as experts and thought leaders to attract new patients.

People in your community are suffering from hearing loss and tinnitus. They are looking for help online. When they find your website, your level of expertise should be clear. You must appear to be more than a provider who happens to work in your market. Prospective patients should see you as a leader in your field.

Hearing care professionals use three secret strategies to attract more patients and remain competitive. Let’s discuss each one.

Prove Your Expertise

Consider your website from the perspective of your next patient. What information are they seeking? First, they need to know where your office is located and how to contact you. Second, they need to know who you are and why they should choose you as their hearing care provider.Responsive websites help patients find you

At a minimum, your “About Us” page should include your own name, title, and accreditations. Illustrate that page with a professional portrait in a professional setting. Add a brief (two- or three-sentence) personal introduction. You may not be naturally inclined to boast about your achievements. This is a crucial opportunity to establish your expertise! Tell prospective patients what you do and why you do it well.

Your “About Us” page doesn’t have to end there. You can also list continuing education sessions, industry events, and even product seminars you have attended. Have you published any research papers or contributed data to any studies? Create a list of links and update it whenever you have something to add.

Recent activity proves you aren’t just an expert. You are continually working to expand and build upon your expertise for the benefit of your patients.

Demonstrate Leadership

The contributions you make to your field can pay off in your patient recruitment efforts. Even those seeking treatment for the first time will be impressed to learn you have contributed research papers or scholarly articles to an accredited publication. Long-term sufferers of hearing loss or tinnitus might actually read them.

You don’t have to be a published author to demonstrate leadership. Use your website to post blog entries. Any topic of interest to hearing care patients is fair game. If you attend a seminar or event or read an article, write about it. If you notice a trend among your clientele or encounter a unique problem or solution—and there is no risk of revealing any patient’s identity—turn it into a blog entry.

Internet search engines such as Google use highly advanced (and constantly evolving) algorithms to generate search results. These algorithms favor websites with original, relevant content. In the Digital Age, visibility is everything. The more you write, the more visible you become to prospective patients.

Get Out and Network

Every entrepreneur understands the value of networking. Hearing care providers are no exception. If you want prospective patients to find you, you have to raise your profile in the community as well as online.

Start by reaching out to other medical professionals in your community. Understand the comorbidities to hearing loss. Raise awareness among the doctors with whom you meet. Use those contacts to build a referral network that sends patients in need to your practice.

The schools, senior living facilities, and community centers in your area offer countless opportunities to find new patients. As a hearing care provider, you know that many would-be patients fail to address their hearing loss early enough to properly treat it. Can you set aside a few days a year to perform onsite hearing evaluations free of charge? The time and money you invest in “shopping” your services can pay off with new additions to your patient roster.

Whether you are promoting your business online or in person, a financing option can be a powerful tool. Offering financing can help defray the “sticker shock” of treatment and costly devices. Hearing care providers nationwide have partnered with CareCredit, a health, wellness, and personal care credit card. CareCredit produces and distributes free marketing and educational materials you can add to your office space and your website.CareCredit

Your next patient could be checking out your practice right now. Make the right first impression by making information about your expertise, your leadership, and your services—including financing—easy to find.

This content was provided to the 4MyHearingBiz community by contributing writer Tariq Kamal, courtesy of CareCredit and The Hearing Review