As an online-health business owner, it’s essential to understand that success isn’t just about having great ideas, lots of education and certifications, and the clinical know-how to help your clients optimize their health. If only, right?!? You must also understand how to grow your practice with proven lead-generating strategies that will help you to attract plenty of right-fit, ideal clients.
As a sidebar – one of the most powerful tools to help you attract the “right” prospective customers is your powerful, magnetic marketing message. Nailing your message allows you to communicate what you do and how you help and positions you as the go-to expert in your niche. In a nutshell, it helps your audience to recognize the problems you solve and the results you can help them achieve and, ultimately, inspires them to take action! Your message is always the first step to creating a solid foundation in your online-health business, so please be sure to spend some time here before moving on.
Now, let’s suppose you are looking at growing or starting an online Integrative Health or Functional Nutrition practice as a nutritionist, RDN, or Functional Medicine doctor. You likely know how critical online leads can be to your success. Without consistent leads and well-vetted inquiries, it’s tough to make a good living doing the work you love in a private practice setting!
So how does a private practice health professional put a lead generation marketing plan into place? Where does one even start with lead generation? While there are thousands of ways to reach and attract potential clients, I will highlight some of my favorite lead generation strategies designed to greatly expand your reach and attract the right clients into your world.
The Basics of Lead Generation for Health Professionals
Let’s start with a definition of lead generation. It’s a set of strategies designed to attract potential clients to your business and to nurture these prospects through a journey into paying clients or customers. It’s a way of accessing the right people, getting them onto your email list via a lead magnet, and then providing tons of value, so they eventually feel comfortable hiring you and becoming paying customers or clients.
There are countless ways to generate leads for your business! That said, I’m a big fan of integrating a mix of online and offline (I.e., community-based) lead-generation strategies into any functional nutrition business, even if you are practicing exclusively via an online platform.
Proven Strategies for Lead Generation for Your Practice
There are several lead generation strategies you can use to bring in more clients for your private practice. In this article, we’ll look at four of the most effective methods.
Each of these lead generation strategies has been proven to work well, so it’s up to you to decide which ones will work best for your unique situation and target audience. The lead generation process doesn’t need to be complicated or difficult. Start with one or two and see how they go; then expand as needed.
Lead Gen at Local Events
When it comes to local events, I suggest asking yourself, where are my ideal clients or potential leads hanging out? Where are they getting support for their health issue, and where are they investing their resources to solve their health challenges?
You’ll often find potential leads at local health fairs, conferences, and other local events. Ultimately, getting involved in these local opportunities will put you face-to-face with qualified leads as well as other professionals working with the same target market (albeit in a different way), which provides cross-referral opportunities.
I recommend you pick some groups you’re interested in and get involved! Meeting people at these events allows you to increase access to ideal clients and turn these events into lead-generating opportunities, and support causes that are important to you.
Remember, your lead generation strategy at these local events is to access ideal clients and grow your email list, so you can add them to your sales funnel. You can accomplish this by offering a compelling freebie such as an ebook, tip sheet, or even a sample meal plan with recipes and shopping lists in exchange for their email address. Then, once you’ve added them to your email list and sales funnel, you’ll want to provide consistent, high-quality content to position yourself as the expert!
This lead-generation strategy works amazingly well and is often overlooked. While the goal of local events is to get your business or product in front of your ideal customer, it is quite common to book new customers and get great referrals from these events (not to mention the high-quality leads!).
Webinars and Other Online Events as Lead Generation Tools
In-person events are great for generating new leads, but they limit your audience to the people who are local and who have time to commute to attend the live event. In contrast, a webinar or other online event, such as a live Q&A, is a proven lead-generation strategy to attract many ideal clients over a much larger geographic area.
Remember, when you host a live online webinar or Q&A session, you’ll want to promote it on social media and other channels to get people to attend and maximize your lead generation efforts. Platforms such as Eventbrite and https://webinarkhoj.com help you get in front of more potential customers and increase your registration rates by creating a landing page that is easy for your prospective customers to sign up.
You can also repurpose a webinar or live presentation into an “evergreen” format whereby you generate leads on landing pages or with a lead capture box on your website that collects your prospect’s name and email address and any other contact details you may need.
This repurposing enables you to continue to use the webinar recording as a critical lead-generation tool long after the live event has ended!
Once signed up, the new leads can view your presentation or content via your website “on demand” and you’ve opened the door for email marketing and other strategies too!
Marketing automation software does all the heavy lifting for you in the background, so once your email marketing campaigns are set up, you don’t have to do anything else. Even better, most email automation software has templates you can follow to guide you through nurturing your new leads through the “buyer’s journey”.
Content Marketing: Offer Premium Content on Your Website for Inbound Lead Generation
As you know, many people spend time on Dr. Google trying to research their health problems on the internet before reaching out to a professional for help. By creating high-quality, premium content strategically placed on your website’s highest visibility pages, you’ve got an excellent opportunity to be found by your ideal clients via search engines as they search for solutions – without paid advertising. In online marketing terms, this is called cold traffic. The goal is to have highly-visible forms to capture qualified leads when a visitor lands on your website.
For example, for your content marketing strategy, you could create an interactive survey or digital quiz, a free home guide to alleviating symptoms in your area of expertise, or even an FAQ sheet about a specific condition in your wheelhouse.
Note that you can offer free content as part of your content marketing strategy to your website visitors via your blog or other high-traffic website pages without any obligation to “opt-in” to your email list or capture leads. Other high-value content can be “gated” and require an email address before visitors can download the materials.
Let’s look at 3 Content Marketing Formats:
Lead Gen with Blogs and Articles
Blogs (or articles) are one of the most common avenues practitioners use to add new website content consistently. Be sure to stick to blog content within your niche and integrate images and videos to break up the text. Also, avoid professional jargon and use informal, concise, and clear language to make your writing easy to read. Don’t forget – be sure to end each blog post with a call to action by instructing your reader on their next step in the journey with you or book a call!
Add Infographics to Your Lead Generation Process
Infographics are a great way to represent essential concepts that engage and inform visually. You can integrate statistics and other data to illustrate a point or flowcharts to show a step-by-step process or how something works. Canva.com is a great free tool to help you to explain a complex process into a simple-to-understand infographic. Infographics have been a proven effective lead magnet for my business and my online community loves them!
Video is my favorite way for private health practitioners to create engaging and powerful content and position yourself as a thought leader in your niche. In my opinion, there’s no better way to speak directly to your website visitors and communicate complex concepts in a way that your ideal clients will understand.
When it comes to ideas for video creation – the options are limitless. You can use video to show “behind-the-scenes” moments, testimonials from prior clients, demonstrations, interviews, and so much more. You can also create videos for your home, about, and services pages. Additionally, you’ve got a lot of opportunities to repurpose video content for use on other platforms, such as YouTube and Instagram. Videos are a great way to increase your search engine optimization without doing any extra work. Search engines LOVE video! That’s why it’s one of my favorite marketing channels.
Your videos also give you another opportunity to highlight lead magnets and direct your audience to your landing page or to book a call with you. In this way, you are multiplying your advertising efforts.
To learn how to master the world of video marketing so you can generate leads with video and attract plenty of excellent, ideal clients into your business, be sure to check out my brand-new course called Your Own Video Show! This course is a gold mine of tips and strategies to generate leads with video marketing.
Generate Leads with Social Media Marketing
With so many tasks to juggle, social media can be time-consuming for health professionals in private practice – so it’s not for the faint of heart. That said, social media allows practitioners to vastly improve their online presence and search results and expand their reach beyond geographic boundaries, so it’s worth the extra effort to reach more people!
Sales and marketing teams all over the world spend millions curating a “perfect” online persona. The good news is, you don’t need to hire expensive marketing teams to attract paying customers to your business.
By seeing your content in their feed, your potential customers will get to know you, how you can help them solve their problems, and see you as the solution to their problems – before you ever work with them which is why it’s such an amazing lead generation tool!
Here are four critical marketing tips for adding social media to your lead-generation process:
- Prioritize your preferred social media platforms based on where your ideal clients are spending time. I suggest starting with one or two social media accounts on the most popular apps, such as Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube, before moving to the next. Be sure to consider your audience’s demographics – in general, older folks tend to be on Facebook, and younger people on Instagram and YouTube. Still, nowadays, there are no hard and fast rules. I suggest starting where you feel most comfortable and adding on from there.
- Share valuable content. I love teaching clients how to streamline content planning via a content calendar. Ideally, you share content in various formats, such as video, images, graphics, and powerful messaging. You can also repurpose blog articles or webinars by breaking them into smaller pieces. This strategy enables you to get more “gold” from every piece of content you create for your audience.
- Promote your accounts. Many of your clients and audience members may not realize that you have curated valuable content via social media. Be sure to let them know by placing your social media handles on all of your marketing materials and adding “follow” and “share” buttons/icons to your website, thus enabling visitors to start following you on their channel of choice.
- Use social media to grow your email list! Lead generation through social media vastly expands your ability to reach ideal clients, but unfortunately, many health practitioners miss the mark by assuming it’s about garnering likes, comments, and followers.
While these elements are essential to growing your social account and working with social media algorithms, it’s not the end all. When it comes to lead generation, the most important thing is finding ways to move your social media followers onto your email list so you can deploy your email marketing strategies.
You can often generate leads by offering a juicy ebook or another lead magnet in exchange for their email. Just be sure that you reference your lead magnets in the call-to-action on your posts and videos and that you strategically place the lead magnet link in your bio so your digital marketing efforts don’t go to waste.
There are many more ways to generate quality leads for your online health practices with these lead-generation strategies! Be sure to download 7 FREE LEAD-GENERATION TOOLS for Registered Dietitians, Naturopathic Doctors, and Functional Medicine Physicians! You’ll get details on several additional strategies for lead generation not discussed in this article that will help attract many more leads and right-fit clients into your practice.
Remember that while there are many ways to fill your sales funnel with high-quality leads, potential patients, and future clients, it’s essential to pick one or two lead-generation strategies before adding a new lead-generation strategy to your tool belt. Prioritizing your lead-generation game plan will help you avoid overwhelm, create habits and allow you to test various lead gen strategies so you can objectively see what lead-generation campaign is working and what’s not.
What Lead Generation Strategy Should You Start With?
Now I’m going to answer your burning question about which lead gen strategy you should use out of the gate.
As you already know, some of this depends on where you have the most opportunity, what you enjoy, and where you can best access your target audience. That said, my absolute FAVORITE way for health pros, dietitians, chiropractors, and functional medicine physicians to make maximum impact in the shortest amount of time is through VIDEO marketing! And specifically, I suggest focusing on creating videos for your preferred social media platform, such as YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook.
Creating live videos has helped me catapult my reach, exponentially grow my email list and vastly shorten the time required for someone to learn about me to feel confident in investing in my paid programs and coaching services. It is a vital part of the sales process! I know it will help you grow your practice too, and, most importantly, it will help you position yourself as the undisputed expert in your niche.
If you’re like many of my clients and students, you could use some hand-holding and support to help you to get started in your video marketing journey. To this end, I’m inviting you to grab my ALL NEW video marketing course, Your Own Video Show. You can learn all about it here – including some amazing bonuses!
Lead Generation is an Essential Part of Growing Your Online Health Practice
Generating leads for your health professional practice can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need to hire an expensive marketing agency or fancy sales teams to have effective marketing processes for lead generation in your business.
There are a multitude of lead-generation strategies that you can use depending on where you find your target audience. In this article, we’ve outlined four lead-generation strategies specifically for dietitians, naturopathic doctors, and functional medicine physicians focused on inbound leads.
I’ve also provided tips on how to effectively use social media to move followers onto your email list so you can deploy your email marketing strategies. Remember to prioritize which lead generation strategy you want to start with and focus on creating quality content that will attract more leads, potential clients, and customers.