The Double Tight Rope: 5 Simple Steps to Build Your Referral Network for Your Integrative Health Brand

Building your practice–along with your integrative health brand’s referral list– is not a simple endeavor.

Getting clients and growing your integrative wellness business is tough. You’re forced to do the small daily businessy stuff while still trying to do what you’re an expert in.

It’s like balancing on a tight rope that’s balanced on another tight rope.

Getting clients and growing is the main thing you’re looking to do, but we both know it’s also the hardest.

But one of the best ways to do just that is to build a network of medical professionals in your area who are happy to refer their clients to you.

Sounds great, right?

But in reality, it can be tough. It takes time, effort, and maybe the most difficult of them all…

Where in the world do you begin?

So lace up your cleats, lock into the blocks, listen for the gun, and consider this your starting point.

Here are 5 tried and true ways to build a referral network for your practice that will make sure you never run out of people to heal.

Because, after all, that’s the entire point.

1. Figure Out What it is, Exactly, That You Do.

The first step is to define your product or service.

This seems super simple, and almost not worth my even even mentioning.

But you’d be surprised at how many integrative wellness brands haven’t defined this down to its essentials before they come aboard with us.

You have to get super specific, super pinpoint, super niche in what it is that you actually do.

I’m not going to go into this step very deeply because we have a full video all about this topic. But, the gist of it is this:

If you’re going to reach out and get referrals from those in the medical establishment, you first have to define three things…

1. What you do.

2. Who you do it for.

3. And why you do it.

In marketing, this basically boils down to “productization.”

For you, though, answering these three questions—and being able to clearly communicate it to others—shows you know what you’re doing, and builds almost instant credibility.

On the flipside?

Well, there is nothing—absolutely nothing that kills reputation faster than perceived ineptitude.

2. Get Involved

Next, get involved.

The details for this step are going to depend on where you are. But the point is to get involved in local, regional, and national organizations.

Ones that involve the medical community, of course, are ideal.

But anything you are passionate about will work. Find a board, a committee, or a volunteer organization.

Then get out there and make friends!

3. Be Nice

Step three is kind of self-explanatory. Be nice.

You know how the big drug companies over the last few decades sent their reps out to wine and dine doctors in an effort to push certain perfectly safe, non-addictive, definitely not life-destroying products—like, oh just for example, OXYCONTIN? Well, now it’s your time to turn the tables. In a decidedly non-evil way.

And it doesn’t have to break the bank, either. A basket of gluten-free, vegan carrot muffins can go a long, long way.

4. Transparent Quality

Number 4 is a big one for building your integrative health brand’s referral list.

Make sure your marketing reflects what you do and what results you are actually getting for your clients or members.

And I’m not talking necessarily about “delivering on what you promise.” That’s a given. Do that. All the time, for heaven’s sake.

What I really mean is that your marketing needs to look great. It has to look professional. It has to offer a pristine, clean, clear vision of the benefits you offer to your clients or patients.

Your website, for example, needs to look great. It needs to have a ton of great information. It needs to be laid out in a way that is both inspiring to look at and simple to navigate. Use great pictures. Make your copy clean, compelling, and grammatically sound.

Your URL needs to not look spammy.

www.Wix.health.rutabega/Angelfire.listserve/meattheteem does not, I’m sorry to say, engender credibility.

Likewise, the emails you send out need to look professional. Your intake forms (if applicable) need to be clean and intuitive.

I could go on and on, but you get it.

The reason why this part of your practice needs to be seamless, especially when it comes to building referral partnerships with other medical professionals, is because credibility is king. If you look like someone who pays close attention to the details, who has a clear message about what you do and why you do it, and—basically—appear to be someone who cares a lot about your life’s passions, then it’s going to be much easier for the referrer to entrust her patient into your care.

And your website is a one-stop shop for building up that trust with them.

5. Ask questions

So, let’s view someone’s health journey as one of those 5,000 piece lighthouse puzzles. Certainly, you are going to be interested in taking a 50,000-foot view of it all, and based on your knowledge and the information provided by your client or patient, you’re going to have a vague idea about where to start healing this person.

But scattered among all those pieces—which, again, are necessary to the whole—there are going to be areas where a medical specialist’s knowledge is gong to be integral. Cardiologists need nutritionists (for example), but the street runs both directions.

Use this opportunity to reach out to a specialist in your area (or online, depending on your business model), and ask questions!

If there’s one thing that holds true across the board when it comes to experts, it’s this: They LOVE sharing what they know.

People love answering questions regarding the thing they’re passionate about.

So use your detective skills to begin building that relationship. And because it’s a relationship, don’t be a vampire about it.

Give twice as much as you take.

Pay in kindness… or kimchi.

And you’ll see integrative health brand’s referral list expand exponentially.

Now, Go Get Those Referrals

No matter which of these five tactics you take for building your integrative health brand’s referral list, the moral of the story in getting physician referrals is this:

It’s all about gaining credibility.

And even though when you look at the culture as a whole, there seems to be a real tension between people who view the world in a strictly empirical, “only the facts, ma’am” sort of way and those that understand how important it is to view a person through a holistic lens… honestly, it’s been my experience that this tension tends to all but disappear when you get down to the actual ground level.

Sure, there’s going to be an uppity “distinguished man of science” here or there who isn’t going to understand what you do. But, for the most part, you’re going to find most people in the healthcare industry are more than happy to refer people to you, provided that you’ve established what you do, who you do it for, and why it matters.

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