We all know there are plenty of ways to attract more clients, but most of those strategies cost money. For those practice owners operating on a lean budget, this can be infinitely frustrating. What’s more, after dishing out hundreds or even thousands of dollars, many paid marketing activities end up producing less-than-stellar results. Thankfully there are a number of creative things you can do to get more new clients through your door without having to spend a penny. Here are a few to get you started.
Deliver Exceptional Service
This sort of goes without saying, but it’s so important that it’s still worth mentioning. The better you treat your clients and their pets, the more likely they’ll be to not only keep coming back for years to come, but also recommend you to their friends and family members. Referral marketing is one of the most powerful tools for winning new veterinary clients, and it starts by providing exceptional service with each and every interaction. This goes for everyone on the payroll, from the doctors to the front desk staff.
Getting involved with local community events can do wonders for your brand exposure. It can also help you deepen the relationships you have with your existing clients, which means more word-of-mouth referrals. Partner up with a local rescue or charity organization. Designate a certain number of hours each week or month when you and your staff will volunteer time and give back. Not only will you make a positive impact on causes that matter, but you’ll also attract new business in the process.
Use Social Media
These days everyone is on social media, which means it’s a great tool to help you reach more prospects. Plus, social media marketing presents a number of distinct benefits to veterinarians. The key is to strike a balance and optimize the time you spend working on your social media presence. (If you’re not sure where to begin, here are a few “do’s and don’ts” to get you on the right track.)
Host Special Events
Offering free pet-related events at your clinic won’t cost you anything but your time; however, it can be highly effective in attracting the attention of local pet owners. For example, you could offer a free intro to dog training class or pet nutrition seminar, offer free tours of your clinic or host an open house as a way to get to know your neighbors. This will bring in new business and also help to build trust with those in your community.
There are a variety of local businesses that are complementary to the veterinary industry. Joining the ranks with these businesses and organizations can expand your reach and strengthen your position in the community. For instance, try partnering up with a local shelter or pet grooming business. When clients ask about adoption or grooming services, you can point them in the right direction. Likewise, these partners will return the favor by recommending your clinic to their own customers.
Leverage Online Reviews
Research shows that a whopping 97% of consumers check online reviews for local businesses. That includes local veterinary services. What’s more, 85% of people say they trust online reviews from strangers as much as they do personal recommendations. The more positive reviews you have about your practice online, the more prospects you’ll attract through your doors. Don’t be afraid to ask happy clients if they’d consider sharing their positive experience with others and make it easy as possible to do so. Showcasing positive feedback on your website can also be very effective.
As you can see, there are plenty of techniques that you can employ to attract and win over new clients for your veterinary practice. Feel free to try any of the above strategies (or several if you’re feeling ambitious). Remember: the more effort you put into growing your business, the better results you’ll see.