You have nothing to fear but Fear itself

Today I want to share with you an email I got from one of my mentoring clients last night…

I’m running a Pay-per-Click Google Adwords campaign for him, and I have just finished writing the content for his new website. My web designer has designed a great website for him on a domain I advised him to buy as it was perfect for his specialty and will help over time to build his authority and expert status.

Everything is ready now to drive traffic – potential patients – to his site. His two emails from earlier in the day were:

“It looks great. Thanks. Let’s launch it”

Then later:

“This page represents a huge departure from my usual style and I have to be honest, I am very trepidatious. It will be interesting to see if it does work.”

To which I replied:

“I can understand your anxiety. But first of all what is the very worst that could happen? Hauled up in front of the GMC? Struck off? In the national Press for all the wrong reasons?

Nope. The very worst that can happen is you spend a few tens of pound on clicks and no-one makes an appointment to see you. And as you have seen already changing the content or even taking down the site completely is a matter of a few minutes work only.

So don’t worry. I can’t say with certainty it will work, of course. And if it doesn’t we’ll try something different. And if that doesn’t work we’ll try something different again, and again, and one of those things will work so well it’ll blow your socks off. Because the actual results you’ll get are not predictable.

Besides, your usual style is typical doctor: Highly educated. You expect a lot from yourself. You expect a lot from everyone else too. Head more used to reading scientific papers than The Sun which most people do read. Used to dealing with pressure and getting things done. Joe Public, fortunately or unfortunately, is not like that.

You’re weird. Just like all doctors.

Just like me.

We’re weird.

The difference is that a) I understand how to promote private practices and b) I can communicate with people at their own level, Queen or Joe Public – something that the vast majority of doctors really cannot do. Our education and elitism gets in the way.

And THAT is why you need my help.


Don’t worry!”

Now why am I sharing this with you?

Because the fact is that there are well over a HUNDRED ways of reaching out to your potential patients.

All of them work.

But some work better than others. And some work well for some specialties yet don’t work well in others. And what works well in one part of the country for, say, a gastroenterologist bizarrely might not work so well for the same specialist in a different part of the country.

But neither I nor anyone else can predict what WILL work in any given situation.

The only way to find out is to TRY. Pay-per-click is a fantastic way of reaching out to potential patients and it works very very well.

But not always. Not for everybody.

And if your campaign fails, so what? Keep trying. Try something different. Something most assuredly WILL work – and usually so well that it blows the memory of those campaigns that didn’t work so well clear from your mind.

There’s a phrase that describes this process very well.

It’s called Private Practice Success Tip #7, and it goes like this:

Don’t be afraid to fail. Throw as much mud at the wall as fast as you can so if you’re going to fail you fail fast. Because that only brings your eventual success that much closer.

Some of that effort – that ‘mud’ will most assuredly stick. And it makes all the so-so campaigns that might have preceded it worthwhile, I promise you.

By Dev Lall FRCS

Meet the Author

Dev Lall

Upper GI Surgeon and expert in growing private medical practices