How to Grow Your Practice with Content Marketing

Posted by barbarahales

Growing your practice means investing in content marketing- investing time, attention, money.  You really can't turn a blind eye to it any longer.

Content marketing 

Content marketing is one of the key techniques to establishing your brand, showing your personality and compassion, getting your message out and distinguishing yourself  from your competition.

I get that marketing is not your forte; medicine is your concern.  It's not always easy to figure out where to begin, especially if this is new to you.

I would like to share with you an article from Forbes which puts out an easy to understand, actionable tip sheet.

Tip 1: Be a better writer; tell better stories

People won't remember your advice, they certainly won't remember your statistics but most people will remember your stories- the ones that elicit emotions, whether it is fear, happiness, sadness.

Tip 2: Answer the questions your prospects and customers ask

Let's face it, people are only going to be receptive to information that is relevant to them.

Tip 3: Tell a consistent narrative campaign to keep your audience moving through the marketing funnel.

Present the problem, the history of the problem and the solution you present as well as the success of your solution.  Then present the action steps that you want your readers to take.

Tip 4: Make an appointment with your audience

"Instead of inviting people to sign up for your email newsletter or blog posts, invite them to sign up for a specific piece of content delivered at a specific time"- Andrew Davis, author of Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships

Tip 5: Think about content promotion first

"Think of who would help amplify your content and why.  If you can't answer this question first, don't bother creating it."

Tip 6: Invest in Participation Marketing

"Look beyond our own subject matter expertise to the wisdom of your community for content ideas, content co-creation and promotion."

Go into forums and chat rooms dealing with conversations that are in sync with what you do, your specialty or niche.  What are their problems?  What is trending?  What are the questions that they want answers to?  You could be that guru that supplies it.

Tip 7: Build out your content funnel with EGC- Employee Generated Content

"Content is an ongoing activity, never a one-off campaign".  Think of your staff.  What can they discuss?  They certainly can talk about the process that patients go through when coming to your office for a particular procedure or how to navigate through their health insurance.

Tip 8: Collect and create "content chunks"

"We are becoming more systematic with the way we collect and create 'content chunks'."  Your information can be repurposed in several ways from your published articles to your podcasts, videos, teleseminars, blogs.

"Not only do we have examples at our fingertips for our Facebook content example of week, but becaue of the way we are collecting the data, we can now look at examples by segment (e.g. by tactic type, industry, etc.) The information is all ready for any future formats or projects as well."- Michele Linn, Vice Prsident, Content Marketing Institute.

Tip 9: Learn the skill of writing headlines

85% of readers will make a decision as to whether to read your information based solely by your headline.  This is the sensational or relevant points that scream out at you by newspapers, magazines, media news and ropes you in.  Having a boring headline will surely get your article deleted as quickly as the finger can hit the key.

So, are you weak in the knees at the prospect of attempting these steps?  No worries.  Let's discuss your needs.

Get a free consultation.  Give me a call - 561-325-9664.  Speak to you soon!



How to Schedule your Health Media Posts in Advance

Posted by barbarahales

There are two main tools that enable you to write your posts in your spare time and then schedule them when you would like them to appear, saving you massive amounts of time.  What are they and which better meets your needs?

Hootsuite vs. Social Oomph

There are similarities between the services. Both:

  • Enable posts on multiple platforms
  • Enable posts on multiple accounts
  • Supplies URL shorteners
  • Have free versions and upgrade monthly pay services



  • Provides interfacing with Google + and LinkedIn which other servers do not.
  • Visibility of live post feeds to Twitter or Facebook is provided by Hootsuit but not Social Oomph.
  • Allows usage of media icons to more easily see where your message is being posted
  • Has an app that communicates with smart phones and smart devices

On the other hand, Social Oomph allows you to:

  • Post direct from Word which is not possible with Hootsuit.
  • Permits set up of autoresponders, autofollows, autodirect messages
  • Provides "Replies Digest" which sends you email notifications of all the RT (retweets) and @mentions of you by name or your health site (enables specific traffic  tracking for your medical practice)

Seeing the differences, the one to use will depend on the types of services that you rely on and where your target market can be found.  In either case, they are both effective at what they offer and either way, you can't go wrong.

Need to set up your account?  Contact me for a free consultation:


How to get Followers for Your Instagram Site in Medical Marketing

Posted by barbarahales

Okay, you’ve just set up your Instagram account. Now you want people to actually view it. These viewers are your potential clients and a great way to build your practice as well as strengthening your brand.

5 Tips to Captivate Your Audience

  • 1) Captions

Though most of us think of Instagram as a site for sharing photos, one is able to post a caption with as many as 2,000 characters. This is a great opportunity to tell a story, touching emotions and showing how the image can help the potential patient.

  • 2) Call to Action

Include the action you would like the viewer to take such as tagging the person in the photo, adding comments, going to website for free bonus, subscribing to practice newsletter. You can also suggest viewers go to the “link in our profile” to be featured.

  • 3) Benefit by Incorporating Hashtags

Using hashtags is a great way to attract people who are looking for you and your brand. In enables you to sort and categorize photo content for discovery on topic searches. Remember to use hashtags that make sense for your brand and are relevant to the images you’re posting. Hashtags will attract the type of viewer that will be prospective patients for you.

  • 4) Mingle with Like-minded users

Use hashtags to search for other Instagram users who have similar brands and post in the same industry. By engaging with them, their wide-spread audience is viewing your posts too. This increases your visibility. By liking or commenting on other sites, the users are notified that you have done so along with your name and avatar. Typically, the users check out your profile and if they like your posts, they will follow you too!

  • 5) Publicize your Instagram site on other networks

Once you have content in your account that you are satisfied with, start sharing your content on other social media channels. Choices available from Instagram are:

  • Tag People
  • Add to Photo Map
  • Name this location
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Flickr
  • Foursquare

Currently more than four out of every ten Fortune 100 companies are incorporating Instagram into their marketing. With the right health marketing strategy, you can reap a large number of interested and engaged patients, both current and new ones to strengthen your brand, increase your visibility and grow your practice!

If you need help getting started, I would be happy to consult with you.


How to Use Instagram for Your Health Marketing

Posted by barbarahales

Have you thought of using instagram as part of your medical marketing and wondered whether it is worth your while?

Like any other strategy in medical marketing, you must have a plan. The images need to be collected and posted with meaningful intent and true to your branding.

Here are 5 tips to help with your strategy

  • 1) Catch eyes with an alluring design

Take care that the image compliments the medical device or office rooms. If additional props will convey the message better, place them in the background of the shots. If you have a special effect like sepia, black and white or color,or an artsy angle, be consistent with all the images on your posts. There is a variety of filters in Instagram that help present your image in the best light.

  • 2) Add a caption to the image

The most effective ones are those that let patients and prospective patients know how the device or subject in the image will help them. Giving examples of usage as opposed to a mere description is very helpful for the patients to understand the value of the image.

  • 3) Add a Call to Action

Add an action that you would like your viewer to perform (e.g. like a page, become a follower, call the office for a consultation, sign up for medical office newsletter, visit website)

  • 4) Use #hashtags with your posts

Having relevant hashtags help viewers find your photos by the topics they are searching. Three hashtags can be used for each one if they are relevant. Providing a brand-centric hashtag enables viewers to follow you and strengthens your brand.

  • 5) Apply analytic measures

Measure which images perform best so that you know the content that engages your viewers and expand upon them to drive traffic. Those that bring no likes will be ones that you don’t create again.

As instagram becomes more and more popular, it speaks to the marketplace as being visual. If you can be found, Instagram can be a potent driver to your medical practice. Planning your brand strategically and how you want to present it on Instagram has the power to generate more prospective patients and grow your practice more than any other social medium.

Interested in getting started with Instagram but have questions as to what would best represent your practice?  Contact me for a free consultation and we can discuss your needs at 561-325-9664.

Your Practice Website Can Make or Break You

Posted by barbarahales

 (Do you have the 12 crucial key elements?)

PracticeComputerWEBVisualize the experience that viewers have when visiting your website.

Designing a website is one that is planned in an optimal manner with precise sequencing.  While every site needs fresh content, throwing it all up on the screen, hoping that some resonates, will only serve to create needless clutter and anxiety.

Ideally, your site includes the 3 I’s:

  • Inviting
  • Informative
  • Interactive

When a viewer lands on your site, it should be clear as to:

1. How to contact the practice

Telephone number, fax number, email addresses and location are crucial bits of information.  Providing aContact Us page gathers all this data in one place.

The telephone number of the practice is so important that not only should it be very visible, it should also appear prominently on every page of the site.  When prospective patients want to make an appointment, don’t make them hunt or frustrate them into remembering where the only number appears.

2. Who you are

Prospective patients are researching online all about physicians within a practice nowadays before an appointment is even made.

Include a bio page that names each physician along with medical school diplomas, and hospital trainings.  Be sure to include fellowships and additional certifications.

Most importantly, if you are certified in a specific area of medicine, this should be prominently displayed.

3.  Services you provide

List the procedures that you provide with descriptions that are understandable to patients including specification as to which ones are performed in the office, and which ones are done in the hospital or surgicenter.  Links to videos showing techniques in depth are quite helpful.

4.  Insurance plans and Billing

List which insurance plans that your office accepts along with how payment is received including which credit cards you take, checks, PayPal or any payment plans.  Invite prospective patients to call about any coverage they have that is not listed.

5. Hospital Affiliations

List all hospital affiliations that your practice works with along with location information and any links to them.

 6. Coverage

Inform viewers whether your practice is covered by associated physicians or strictly with doctors within the practice.  Inform them what they should do after office hours or in an emergency.

7.  Office and Staff

Prominently display office hours and days of the week that the practice sees patients (including any special call hours if there is such a policy).

Include photos of nurses, nurse practitioners, medical assistants and other office staff along with a description of their function and their bios.  This way, new patients are already familiar with the flow of the office even before the first visit which decreases stress and tension.

8. Website Navigation

Include a tab bar with titles and links to various pages so that viewers can transition between pages they are seeking with only one or two clicks.

9. Instructional Forms

Include links to various instructional forms written in PDF format.  These would include:

  • Preoperative and Postoperative instructions
  • How to prepare for an examination or procedure
  • What to bring to the hospital or office
  • What to expect prior to a procedure
  • What recovery periods look like including duration
  • Most popular F and Q sheets

Having these sheets available make patients more informed and more comfortable while cutting down on frantic calls to the office.

10. Online Services

More and more patients are tech savvy and want an instant connection to your practice so that they can connect on their own time.  Delineate what you offer such as:

  • Online appointment requests
  • Patient personal history
  • Prescription refills
  • Questions
  • Lab results
  • Connection with their smart devices
  • Telemedicine/ e-visits

11. Web Portal Services

To meet the criteria of meaningful use, a minimum of 5% of your patients must be interactive with your practice through a patient portal although it is a good idea that all your patients have access to one.

Provide a link on the home page to the web portal and have a portal area, complete with log in and password for security.  When patients make entries, responses should be forthcoming.

12. Blogs and Social Media Interactions

Having a link to your blog posts enables you to let your viewers know about the latest medical breakthroughs, latest medical trends, and any ongoing information that you would like to let your patients know about.

You can add entertaining stories and case studies related to your practice.  Let your personality shine through so patients feel that they know you.  This is a place where fresh content can be constantly added which helps patients, keeps viewers returning to your site and increases your ranking on various search engines like Google.

YouTube is a great place to showcase medical and surgical procedures (taking care not to disclose a specific patient in any way).

Instagram, which is growing in popularity, allows you to add photos of equipment and various techniques.

Your website will determine how successful your practice is at attracting prospective patients and converting them from mere lookers into active, engaged and happy patients.

Contact me for a free consultation at  I would be happy to discuss your needs and how to successfully get you there.

By Barbara Hales, M.D.

Do you need a trademark or a copyright?

Posted by barbarahales

You've got great content for your health website.  You want to inform and entertain your viewers but you don't want someone taking credit for your work.  You know that it would be a good idea to protect your intellectual property but what would be the best way?

Do you know the difference between trademarks, patents and copyrights?

This video, brought to you by way of Legal Zoom, explains it in an easy to understand and graphic way.


Angel Recalled

Posted by barbarahales

 On March 10th, Heaven recalled one of its angels

John Stuart Hales, M.D. touched many lives with his humor, empathy and presence. He saved many lives or made them better- including mine.

Plato describes the separation of primitive double-creatures into modern men and women and their subsequent search for their missing half: "... when one... is fortunate enough to meet his other half, they are both so intoxicated with affection, with friendship, and with love, that they cannot bear to let each other out of sight for a single instant." There is an “unspoken understanding of one another, that they feel unified and would know no greater joy than that.

In Yiddish, the word is Bashert meaning “destiny”, one’s divinely foreordained spouse or soulmate. It is that person who will complement them perfectly and whom they will complement perfectly.
“For the intense yearning which each of them has towards the other does not appear to be the desire of lover's intercourse, but of something else which the soul of either evidently desires and cannot tell.”

So, it was with my sweetheart and myself. He made me a better person. He made me want to stretch my wings and experience life in a better way. And we did…as one!

I’m grateful for the time we had together and know that we shall meet again one day.

'Heaven recalled one of its angels March 10th.  John Stuart Hales, M.D. touched many lives with his humor, empathy and presence. He saved many lives or made them better- including mine.</p>  <p>Plato describes the separation of primitive double-creatures into modern men and women and their subsequent search for their missing half: "... when one... is fortunate enough to meet his other half, they are both so intoxicated with affection, with friendship, and with love, that they cannot bear to let each other out of sight for a single instant." There is an “unspoken understanding of one another, that they feel unified and would know no greater joy than that.</p>  <p>In Yiddish, the word is Bashert meaning “destiny”, one’s divinely foreordained spouse or soulmate. It is that person who will complement them perfectly and whom they will complement perfectly.<br />  “For the intense yearning which each of them has towards the other does not appear to be the desire of lover's intercourse, but of something else which the soul of either evidently desires and cannot tell.” </p>  <p>So, it was with my sweetheart and myself. He made me a better person.  He made me want to stretch my wings and experience life in a better way.  And we did…as one!</p>  <p>I’m grateful for the time we had together and know that we shall meet again one day.'

Get free Publicity!

Posted by barbarahales

Getting airtime by the media is one of the best (and free) ways to publicize yourself and your services to grow your practice.

Can you imagine competing for patients with Dr. Oz or Dr. Sanjay Gupta?

Of course not. The perception is that if the media wants to showcase them and hang on to each “pearl of wisdom” they share, then they must be the best. Right?

Why couldn’t it be you?

Today, I would like to highlight a program by Steve Harrison. See below.

In almost every field, there are people who are extremely good at getting publicity.  The media loves them and they're regularly on radio/TV shows and featured in print publications.

They not only get a ton of free publicity but they also know how to really profit from the media coverage through increased sales, name recognition, speaking engagements and more.

To discover how these "publicity superstars" do it and how you too can get more coverage using their strategies, join me tomorrow, Thursday, March 5th for a free webinar (or teleseminar if you prefer):

Here's just some of what you'll learn:

  • Advice from a former NBC producer who booked guests for the Today Show and Dateline NBC on how to become a regular guest on national TV and/or even get offered your own show (think Dr. Phil).
  • How to brand yourself for the media in a way that celebrates your uniqueness while also separating you from all the other experts in your field.
  • Three things Donald Trump does to speak in compelling sound bites.
  • How Jennifer became a regularly-featured lifestyle expert on Fox News Channel and the Early Show as well as scoring coverage in hundreds of print media outlets including O the Oprah Magazine, Redbook, US Weekly, Success and Entrepreneur.
  • Why most authors and experts fail to make the leap from just getting local publicity to scoring big-time national media coverage.
  • Why your credentials don't matter as much as you might think, but what DOES matter when the media is deciding whether or not to feature you.
  • "The Book Plus Strategy" and how an unknown self-published author used it to become a regular on radio, making a six-figure income doing phone interviews.
  • The hook that helped a nutritionist score so much media coverage it generated over $60 million in sales of his books and information products.

Again, to register for Thursday's webinar/teleseminar:


I look forward to seeing you on more radio/TV shows and reading about you in print publications!






The Trend You Need to Follow NOW in Healthcare marketing

Posted by barbarahales

Today, I bring you an important and well-written article by Dave Walters, product Strategist at Silverpop.  Please read the following helpful article about The trend of 2015- one you should not miss!

Mobile apps 2.0 shift the way companies market to on-the-go customers.

Many businesses have looked at mobile apps as a necessary evil, something they can contract out to a thirdparty,checkofftheirmobilemarketingchecklist, and then forget about as they return to their regularly scheduled marketing plan. Little wonder, then, that 20 percent of apps are used only once, and about 60 percent are opened less than 10 times.6

With recent technological advancements in geofences and beacon capabilities, though, smart marketers have begun awakening to the data implications of having an integrated, well- thought-out app. In 2015, look for more leading businesses to seek out new ways to create mobile apps with a stronger customer value proposition than “find the nearest store location.”

In this mobile app 2.0 world, companies will be asking themselves how they could benefit from building a more robust mobile app, while also delivering more value to customers. The answers, especially for retailers with brick-and-mortar locations, include:

• Gain a new data source: What actions are contacts taking in my mobile app? Where are my customers right now? And how often do they come to my store? Apps can be rich sources of data that, with the right

integrations, can enhance your knowledge of individual customers.

• Sendpushnotifications:Usingmobiletouch- points, such as personalized push notifications, can increase conversion rates by 8.5 percent.7 Used strategically, these notifications can help you deliver timely, relevant information or offers linked to a customer’s location and behaviors.

• Get access to a new inbox: The mobile app in- box delivers an all-new destination for marketers to reach – one that sports a new set of benefits. Beyond the fact that permission for sending

is typically contained in your terms and condi- tions of usage (and doesn’t provide a traditional email-like opt-out function), in-app inboxes allow marketers to send time-constrained offers and single-use promotional codes to specific users in a true one-to-one manner. Yet because permission is different, marketers need to show restraint in using this new channel.

By taking the time in 2015 to build and update apps to offer content and value that entices customers to download and repeatedly interact with them, as well as accept push notifications, marketers can tap into a whole new way of more strongly engaging their customers.

Key tactics for improving mobile app engagement in 2015:

1) Create a drive-to-app plan: Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they’ll come. So, send contacts a “download our mobile app” email invitation and add a similar message to your onboarding program for new email subscribers. Remember to emphasize what’s in it for the customer.

2) Repurpose content with a twist: The idea of creating all-new content for a mobile app might seem daunting. Instead, mine your existing channels for content that you could repurpose for your app, then tweak it to take advantage of an app’s unique capabilities while being mindful of mobile context.

3) De-silo your app: Feed all those app behaviors you’re capturing into a central marketing database, where you can use them to trigger

personalized content and interactions across your emails, website, call centers and more.

Have you made inroads into mobile marketing for your patients and prospective patients?  Have you considered it?  Contact me for a free consultation.  Let's discuss your needs.



Health Marketing Tips on Facebook … What 3 things NOT to Do

Posted by barbarahales

Want your Facebook Page to expand and deliver results?

If social media and Facebook page views are part of your business plan for growing your medical practice and marketing your health care, there are some techniques that you should avoid, despite what you've heard to the contrary.

After all, you are spending the time to increase visibility; you don't want to stab yourself with your own scalpel!

Run from these dubious "helpful tips" that others recommend:

1) Buying Fans and Followers

When you are just starting out, you want to show that there are a lot of likes and tons of people interested in following you.  The perception is that you have a horde of viewers, hungry for your medical advice.  You purchase followers and watch with satisfaction and amazement as the numbers escalate. This is probably one of the top "tricks" people advise to get a Facebook following.

The thing is, the goal is really to get a number of likes and followers from an engaged audience- one that is really interested in what you have to say and will want to use your services or products.  When you have diluted the "like" pool with numbers, Facebook sees that the fans that are engaged are much less percentage-wise.  This decline will damage your brand strength and invoke a punishment- your posts may not appear in your Fan's feed.


2) Tagging Phantom People in Your Photos

A notification is sent out to each person that is tagged in a photo posted to Facebook.  Naturally the curious will click on the site to see themselves- people love seeing themselves and sharing memories of experiences.  But when it is done randomly and people are disappointed that they are not there and realize that it is just a ploy to get brand visibility, anger is aroused.  No one wants to be branded as a spammer.  It will be that much harder to get people to view your site again in the future.  Don't do it!!!


3) Indiscriminate use of Hashtags

When hashtags  first appeared,  everyone was excited to incorporate them into their Facebook posts.- maybe even you!  However, a review of posts by Edgerank Checker reveals that posts using hashtags actually have less chance of going viral than those without hashtags.  Use them when you want to cross promote different platforms with the same type of information for a grouping.  Don't (#hurt by a hashtag) use them indiscriminately!




Tagging Other Brands

A well-placed appropriate (and relevant) tag to other brands in your post is rewarded by Facebook in their most recent algorithm.  Like hashtags, don't do it indiscriminately but when it is strategic and makes sense for audiences in both brands.

Arrange for your free consultation at: or  I would be happy to discuss your needs and give you some pointers.