Now that you have decided to become a locum doctor, it is more important than ever to take the required time to market yourself, just as any other business would. The point is, that’s essentially what you are; a business. In order to exact commissions, and actually get paid what you are worth, this article will give you some tips and advice on how to achieve this.
Know Your Clients
Yes you may be a doctor and there may be sick people everywhere, all the time, but you won’t get a cent if you don’t research the types of clients you’ll be working with. You need to plan how you are going to approach them and let them know you are there to help!
A great way to learn all about your target demographic and surgery options most prominent in your region is to look up the NHS Choices website, available here. Try to absorb as much as possible, including competitor doctors, hospitals, and medical institutions that might be securing your future clients.
By taking the little time to actually research and scour through potential clients and areas, you will be able to decide if it is a good place to start working, or not. An example could be for those interested in helping people with and preventing diabetes, approaching said specialty clinics, as very small or very large practices may not score you a position.
The last area that you should focus on when researching is to do a reference check on your intended community, practice, or region to make sure they it is somewhere, or someone that you would feel pride working with. Don’t just sit with internet reviews however, as you can ask the local community, or other networks which medical institutions are worth the application.
Start a Reputation
If no one knows who you are, they aren’t going to hire you now are they? This tip is pretty simple and self-explanatory, but the ever present need to make fantastic first impressions and get your reputation built is the surest way to obtain work and treat a rising number of patients. Don’t just stick to one form of advertising and marketing; take advantage of all the methods, old and new!
Stand Out From the Crowd
Always be on the lookout for fresh and exciting ways to promote yourself over your locum competitors. Simple things such as visually appealing flyers, posters, websites, or even just touching up your resume to make it more attractive works wonders! Click here for resume tips!
Create and Distribute Business Cards
The old adage of business cards guaranteeing professionalism certainly has fell quite a bit over the decades, but funnily enough, having a business card over someone who doesn’t will always score you points. In the end, the point of your business card is to leave visual advertisements everywhere you can, and also for you potential clients to take home and be reminded (the next time they or someone else needs a doctor). Just remember to add:
- Contact details
- All telephone numbers (fax, mobile, home, office if applicable)
- Email address
Add Yourself to Mailing Lists
Find the mailing lists that are run in your region and contact their administrators to see if you can add yourself to the list. This may be just the ticket you need to kick start your locum career, so don’t take it lightly.
Network at Educational/Medical Conferences
Usually organised by many postgraduate institutions and PCTs, these are the best opportunities to meet like-minded GPs and freelance doctors. The available knowledge that you will source from these meetings is undeniably essential, and many locals may even offer to assist your development and help you settle into certain areas. Be wary of others however, as they may try to sweep your legs from under you; metaphorically of course.
Network with GPs at Group Sessions
Similar to the conferences mentioned above, GP group sessions are frequently run across the entirety of the United Kingdom. While many may have different or various membership requirements, the main idea is to get involved as much as possible to meet and bounce ideas off other locum doctors. You can ask a number of questions and try to take as many notes as possible as your brain is just not wired for that sort of memory operation.
Website or Blog
Now we get to the crux of what most internet (and now other) marketers are really doing these days to gather as much reputation, interest, and advertising as possible, for minimal cost and effort. Have a website dedicated to showing off your online resume and curriculum vitae, along with the hours you are available to work. You could even add a few testimonials or feedback from previous clients or references. The format of your website should easily show off your talents, skills, and professional level, as most practice supervisors/managers are extremely busy with many things. Just like a resume, you need your website to be visually appealing, yet easy enough to get all the necessary information quickly.
Keep Your Documents Together
This doesn’t mean to have every piece of paper or file you have in your life altogether, but rather everything to do with your professional life. If someone decides they like the look of your CV and opt to learn more, they will ask you for further information. You need to have this on hand and delivered as quickly as possible, because if you don’t, someone else will.