6 mistakes doctors make when creating a practice brochure

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Six mistakes doctors make when creating a practice brochure

If you’re considering creating a new brochure for your medical practice or clinic, read on. Here are some common mistakes healthcare professionals make when putting together this important piece of marketing material, combined with a few useful tips on how to get it right.

1. Skip the research stage

If there’s one thing you need to do in marketing it’s research. Unfortunately, in the interests of saving time, it often gets overlooked by medical practitioners keen to get some physical collateral into the hands of prospective patients. Mistake one. If you don’t know your market or audience, your brochure won’t perform.

So what do you need to do? Seek out competitor brochures; Google search design trends and look at your patient stats for demographic insights.

2. Don’t set clear objectives

All too often doctors create a brochure for their practice because it’s expected. However, without a clear reason for producing one, it can be a wasted exercise. Objectives are vital as they help guide your content, inform your distribution strategy and help you measure effectiveness.

There are many objectives you could set for your brochure: attracting new patients, building your brand and reputation; generating patient referrals; selling additional services. Likely it will be a combination of several. Whatever they are, make sure they align with your overall marketing plan.

3. Take the do-it-yourself option

With limited budgets to work with, doctors often turn to online templates in the hope of creating a brochure in house. Whilst this may be an option if you have staff who are adequately skilled, in most instances it should be avoided.

A DIY brochure, no matter how polished, still looks DIY. What kind of impression are you giving to prospective patients if you can’t pay out for a professionally designed, written and printed brochure on decent quality stock? Whilst it may cost you upfront it’s affordable, and entrusting your brochure to the experts will be money well spent.

4. Adopt a clinical approach

When you’re delivering medical care, it’s easy to adopt a clinical tone in your brochure. In an attempt to inform patients about what your practice offers, describing your medical services, treatments and costs seems the natural way to go. Unfortunately it isn’t the right way to go.

To win patients over, you need to be forming emotional attachments not just filling them with information. As well as demonstrating an understanding of their situation, focus on benefits above features. In addition, keep your copy and images human, showcasing your people and your stories.

5. Fail to consider readability

From an overcrowded design with minimal white space to blocks of unbroken text or pages that don’t flow logically from one to the next, creating a brochure which fails to take readability into account is a common mistake.

The most important thing to bear in mind is that people don’t read they scan. This means that you need to make your headings impactful and break up your text with subheads and bullets. In addition, support visuals with captions and ensure you tell a story from front to back.

6. Use generic imagery

When creating a brochure for their medical practice, many doctors turn to online stock photography to add visual appeal. It’s understandable. It’s convenient, can be inexpensive and saves you the time of setting up a shoot yourself. However, using it is not recommended.

Whilst stock images can look professional, they lack credibility. Why does that matter? Because without credibility you can’t build trust – a vital element in ensuring a patient chooses you over another practice. Using professional shots of your practice and staff will help you form those bonds and set you apart.

As well as avoiding these common mistakes, ensure your brochure has clear calls to action throughout so people know what to do next. Plus create a digital version – a simple PDF should suffice – so it can also be accessed online.

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