A question that comes up frequently is how to attract new clients. This is especially true for the business that is just starting up.
Most nurse entrepreneurs don't have thousands of dollars just sitting around to use for marketing, but there are several ways in which you can find those first few clients, spending little to no money.
Here are a few tips for nurse practitioners to attract new clients:
Simply start by asking. If you are currently employed, ask your current clients how they found this particular practice. In most cases, you will find all the information you need to start marketing. If you are already in your own practice, ask each new person how they found you.
You will want to tailor this depending on who you're ideal client is. Consider contacting the hospital emergency room, stand alone urgent care centers or retail practice, hospital discharge planners, local social service agencies, schools & colleges, physical therapy offices, and gyms to name a few. Call around and see which offices are closed to new patients and let them know you are open. (Make sure you thank them for referrals.)
Contact your local employers. For example the local Wal-Mart or Home Depot store. These employers will likely have an occupational health office or a human resource department. Let them know that you are opening a new practice. As an aside: consider discussing with these large employers their needs for worker health and illness prevention. It's possible that you may be able to do a vaccine clinic, or meet other occupational health needs.
Have a website. I am astounded every day that a new patient tells me they found us on the Internet. Include your website your hours of operation, areas that you specialize in, your philosophy, and a health resources page. We also have our new patient forms ready for download.
The one area that I consistently do pay for is an ad in the yellow book directories. That said, look at the various directories that you have available in your community and pick and choose wisely. Not all yellow book directories are equal in how they treat Nurse Practitioners, their billing, and their popularity in the community. However, because I have asked my clients, I have found that many of them do use the directory.
Keep track of your results and adjust your marketing efforts accordingly.