I’m 52 years old this past Wednesday (9/5). As with last year, I want to take my birthday celebration to write about what I’ve learned through this website.
Now 3.5 years old and > 450 articles, RetinaEyeDoctor.com now has a PR = 3, attracts over 16K visitors per 30 days (and growing). Honing in on KevinMD.com!
This site has taught me alot about transparency and developing relationships with patients. My practice has grown and I now attract patients from all over the country and a few from overseas. This is a significant difference compared to one year ago. This is also a testament as to the importance of communicating via a website.
I’ve learned that a website has different stages of maturity. Basically, with continued writing, religious answering comments and exhibiting transparency…I have succeeded in building trust and credibility. This takes time. One does not simply build a website and get rewarded with trust.
Most importantly, it’s not the “MD” that gives me instant trust and credibility. The most compelling part of this website are the questions/ comments left by other readers and then my answers….the so-called “conversations.” The articles I write catches attention by providing answers. It’s the dialogue witnessed in the comments after the articles that are the most engaging.
This is power of social media; finding others with similar interests/problems.
The questions and comments serve as a basis for other readers to find people with similar problems. Patients finding others with problems to which they can relate. By answering each and every comment, I show a willingness to engage and participate with my “patients.”
There is a practical aspect, too. Patients are able to learn a bit about me and how I practice.
18 months ago, Amy and I started Medical Marketing Enterprises, LLC, a company to teach doctors, medical practices and administrators how to develop a web presence, market their themselves and educate patients.
Armed with information via the Internet, patients (you) now have information about their health issues. The era of scarcity marketing is over. Patients no longer rely on doctors as their sole source for health information and, as a result, are able to be more selective over their health care providers.
What Does This Mean?
We, doctors, that is, must learn to respond to the needs of our patients. Foremost we must learn to be transparent (show human qualities). Patients are looking for people who are doctors. Docs who are willing to display themselves as people first and docs second are going to flourish.
It’s the new “bedside manner” and “word of mouth.”
Doctors without a web site no longer exist. It’s a strong statement that they don’t care to engage their patients. Patients would rather go elsewhere.