5 Tips for Practitioners When Creating and Promoting Medical Online Courses For Patients


Dr. Lesli Bitel headshot

If you are looking to grow your practice beyond traditional 1:1 services by creating and selling online courses…you are in the right place! Integrative practitioners are perfectly poised to capture this burgeoning market by making online medical courses designed to inspire, educate and support their patient communities towards achieving their health goals.

Offering online courses to your patients has many benefits, both to you as the practitioner and for your patient community.

Did you know?
Moving from the traditional 1:1 (one-to-one) to what’s known as the “one-to-many” service model allows you to effectively harness and engage your medical community and ultimately exponentially grow your medical practice. Patients often thrive in this setting because they feel more supported and less alone within the group learning model.

There’s also the bonus of increased accountability for individuals within the group, which is instrumental in keeping everyone motivated and on track towards goal attainment. This means your patient outcomes are likely to improve, which, as you know, often leads to positive patient testimonials and more referrals. This is an easy, low health practice cost marketing idea in and of itself!

Once the heavy lifting is done with the creation of your product or course, you have an asset in your business that, if launched properly, can generate income over and over again for long periods. The next step is to lay out a strategy for the online course promotion to ensure that it gets into the hands of your ideal patient avatar and to generate patient enrollments and sales.

Integrating online courses and group programs into your practice not only creates additional revenue streams for your medical practice but also allows you to more effectively leverage your time by serving more people and ultimately provides a way for you to scale up. This makes for a healthy business model and also provides you with a way to serve your patients and clients in different ways at varying price points. It’s truly a win/win!

With the right plan, you too can easily make and sell online courses – with the added benefit of being able to build a stronger community while you grow your medical practice.

How to create online courses and workshops

So what does it take to create online courses or group workshops that sell? In this article, we’re going to examine the most important tips when creating and marketing your online course so you can get it into the hands of the patients that would most benefit.

woman writing on whiteboard

The online course promotion process will be determined by whether you prefer a timed launch (where your cart opens and closes on set dates) or an evergreen strategy where your online medical course is available year-round.

Tip #1: define your audience and create a course for their unique needs

This is a big one. Instead of making assumptions about what we think our target market wants, it’s important to take some time to validate the concept to ensure that the course topic actually solves one of their most urgent problems. The most successful digital programs and online medical courses for patients not only solve problems for your audience but they are also positioned to help provide resolution to the most top-of-mind challenges that people are experiencing.

practitioner and patient talking

Before you start to create your online medical courses, be sure the topic addresses your ideal patient avatar’s most urgent needs and is positioned to deliver the desired result.

Before you get attached to a course idea, it’s important to take the necessary steps to validate that it’s something that your target audience actually wants badly enough. It should also be something that they are willing to invest in.

One way to do this is to interview potential participants. Talk to them, listen to their pain, assess whether your online course would be compelling enough for them to take action!

Bonus tip
You’ll also want to give your course or workshop a highly compelling, specific and benefits-driven name. For specificity, try adding a quantifiable element to the title (or benefit): “Unbounded Energy: How to Bust Fog and Fatigue in 90 Days”.

Tip #2: ensure your course drives results

This might sound obvious but it’s worth talking about. Your online course or training must, must deliver on what it promises – ideally, in a professional yet accessible way. You can do this by making sure it leads your participants to a specific health outcome, something deeply important to them that they’ve been struggling with up to this point. You know you’re on the right track if your online course solves a “pain point” they’ve been feeling, and they see a positive change in their lives and well-being from taking your course.

Be careful to avoid firehosing people with too much information which leads to frustration. Each piece of content that you include in your course should be there with the sole purpose of solving one key problem and helping your participant achieve the promised results.

Tip #3: set clear sales goals for your online course

Once you decide to create and sell online courses, group programs or workshops as part of your plan to grow your medical practice you must clarify your desires and expectations. Clarifying your goals means you know what to aim for and what tasks will support your sales goals. This clarity will keep you motivated and focused on the outcomes of your launch. And when you achieve those goals, you can feel satisfied that you’ve accomplished something great!

You’ll want to start by deciding on the type of launch, as this will influence your goals. The two types of launches are:

  • A timed open/close launch – meaning a course with a specific start and end date — will allow you to set specific goals from that launch
  • An evergreen strategy where your cart remains open all year-round means people can buy the course at any time, and you’re looking at annual goals

Answer these questions to help clarify your goals:

  • Why are you launching this online course now?
  • What amount of income does your launch need to bring in to make it worth the time and cost?
  • If you re-run the course at other times, after it’s been created, what is the possible “upside” income likelihood given all the preliminary work has been done?
  • What will you price your course/workshop/product?
  • What are the primary ways you will spread the word and market your course?

Tip #4: get to know your prospective customers

We all know that a marriage proposal on the first date isn’t the ideal way to win someone’s heart. Likewise, selling prematurely to your leads isn’t the best strategy to win their business. Even if you have people in your sales funnel, it’s important to recognize that they aren’t necessarily ready to buy.

It’s about people selling to people, even in the digital world. However, people are often wary of spending money on someone they don’t know; even more so if they’ve fallen for the hype of exaggerated marketing in the past.

Did you know?
The more you come across as approachable, knowledgeable, and helpful, the better chance you have of selling to them at the right time.

But your patients need more ways to get to know you than just the content you post on your blog or social media.

Video

Video is a great way to give your sales funnel a personal touch and to develop the “know, like and trust” factor. For example, you could put an introductory video about your online course or training on your website. This way people can see your face and hear your voice and begin to connect with you as a real person. To further develop trust and credibility with your audience, you could create a video for your “about me” page where you share a story of your health challenges and how you’ve overcome them or why you’re so passionate about the work that you do.

Social media

Another great strategy is to regularly livestream through Facebook, Instagram, Linked In and YouTube live. Here you can share a variety of educational content, Q&A, as well as updates in your business and life (as appropriate). Live community talks and webinars are also outstanding ways to educate, develop rapport, and to establish yourself as an authority in your field.

person typing on their laptop

Want an easy and effective health practice marketing idea that will also help in selling online courses? Leveraging the power of live video on your preferred social media platforms is very effective because it quickly creates trust, expands your reach, and establishes you as an authority within your area of expertise.

Tip #5: tweak your launch for maximum sales

There are several steps, obviously, in the process of launching a course. If a course doesn’t sell the way you’d hoped, it’s important to investigate where things “broke down” and make adjustments. This can lead to a very lucrative future.

In an evergreen launch (where the product is available year-round), there’s typically a highly strategic sales sequence that looks something like this:

  • First, your potential customer or lead gets something for free (i.e. a report or checklist) that is highly compelling and provides a solution to one of their top-of-mind and most urgent challenges
  • Then experiences a follow-up email sequence that invites them to a free webinar
  • The prospective client attends the webinar (that provides additional value) and hears about the upsell of the paid course
  • And then is sent to a sales page for the paid course, and then finally buys

If you are not making sales, it’s important to identify where the breakdown is taking place and to fix that particular step.

Here are some ideas to help ensure each step of your sales funnel is operating at full capacity:

  • Ensure that the opt-in page is well written and compelling
  • Maximize the subject lines to increase your email open rates (otherwise your emails won’t be read)
  • If you’re offering a free webinar that leads to your paid course, be sure that you’re providing value and that you’ve clearly articulated whom the course is for and why they should take it
  • Make sure that your sales page is highly compelling, well written, concise and has a firm call to action

Often times finding the one “stuck point” where things are getting derailed and fixing it can lead to a huge burst of sales. So it’s really important to not give up, especially if you know your course is destined to help people overcome their core health challenges.

If you’re uncertain about these steps or how to troubleshoot, a technical VA and or specialized business coach can help assess your process and see what tweak could result in additional revenue for your practice.


More about Lesli Bitel, MBA, RDN, LDN

Lesli empowers Integrative Functional Medicine Practitioners to overcome the confusion (and overwhelm) associated with the business side of running a successful practice. Pulling from a variety of leading-edge strategies, she teaches her clients the necessary tools and techniques to attract the patients who need them most so that they can create a thriving, profitable practice doing the work that they love.

Lesli is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist and holds additional degrees in Exercise Physiology and a Masters in Business Administration (with an emphasis in Global Business and Entrepreneurship). In addition to clinical and private practice experience, she has 13 years experience as a sales and marketing executive within the pharmaceutical and diagnostic testing sectors.

In her business coaching practice, Lesli offers private coaching, group programs, classes, webinars, workshops, and more, from her home base where she lives outside of Chicago. To learn more please visit her at LesliBitel.com, email at [email protected] or follow her on Instagram and join her private Facebook group for licensed Integrative and Functional Medicine practitioners.

For additional support through creating, marketing and selling your first (or next online course, be sure to checkout Lesli’s brand new “Lucrative Course Blueprint: How To Create and Sell Profitable Classes and Products”.

 

If you are a practitioner, consider signing up to Fullscript. If you are a patient, talk to your healthcare practitioner about Fullscript!