Wed. Aug 4th, 2021
The front of my business card

This week, I’d like to reflect on marketing. But before then, I’d like to give a shoutout to all the DPC Summit organizers who put on a great event this past weekend. I’m excited for next year when we finally resume an in person conference (July 15-17 in Kansas City). We had a great RaMS (resident and medical students) track. Thanks to all the panelists for joining and sharing some great stories and advice: Deepti Mundkur (My Happy Doctor), Lauren Hughes (Bloom Pediatrics), Jake and Christina Mutch (Defiant), Leslie Rabaut (Plum Health), Josh Carpenter (Hometown), Nick Tomsen and Brandon Alleman (Antioch). The interest amongst the RaMS is greater than ever before and continues to grow!

Now back to regular programming.

Marketing, for me, came down to two major considerations: message and medium.

Message: Thinking about DPC for 4 years and having hundreds of conversations on it, arguments and discussions alike, has been a double edged sword. On one hand, I have decently detailed answers to most common questions, on the other hand, I sometimes have really detailed answers for basic questions. A reaction I’ve experienced again recently, which I haven’t in a while, is the sheer bewilderment when people try to comprehend paying for healthcare without using their insurance card. Developing talking points isn’t the hard part, it’s filtering and organizing them. Kind of like building a mental dam to make the stream of consciousness something steady and useful. I probably changed my talking points for my marketing material at least 5-10 times to try and make something both comprehensive and relatable. Luckily, most of this happened on my website (www.eudoc.me) rather than in print. In other words, I practiced my talking points digitally first so I didn’t waste money printing material which I would eventually regret. The guiding principles I used were keep it simple and repeat often. I think I’ve mostly settled on the message now and was able to distill it into simple language on my recently created brochures.

Medium: From talking to dozens of DPC docs, there’s no one thing which works and don’t let anyone tell you the way they do it is the only way. Social media may be a winner for someone but a dud for someone else. Some people gain members from their website content, others have people sign up without looking at anything on their site except the “join” button or page. I took the approach of what I consider the bare minimum which is a website, a social media account, and print material. My guiding principle for the website (www.eudoc.me) was to keep it simple and clean. I liked the practices I saw who had videos on their sites, so I incorporated those as well (fair warning they can take a long time, especially if you’re a perfectionist). For social media, I made an Instagram (@eudoc_dpc) and we made a point to post twice a week a couple months before opening so we’d at least have some content when we began marketing. I decided against Twitter because it’s not the right medium for marketing. I’ve been dragging my feet on Facebook because of the extremely mixed feedback from people who use it. There are ways to use it more effectively but I haven’t looked into that yet. Print media we did cards, brochures, stickers, and custom hand sanitizers. In middle school, I learned photoshop and it’s been the biggest asset I’ve had to date. I’ve made everything from scratch including my logo and I’ve been learning Adobe Illustrator to augment this skill.

People/Networking: Another medium, but one deserving its own paragraph. Networking has always been a strength of mine and it’s always come in handy. For those who are more introverted, they keys are

1. be genuinely interested in who you are talking to. I spend at least the first few minutes of meeting a new person asking about them and learning about who they are. Sometimes I’ll write down names and key facts on my phone right after talking so I don’t forget.

2. Have your pitch ready. When you find an opening, be ready to deliver a succinct and interesting pitch. Having several versions ready is helpful. Another benefit of getting to know the other person or people first is getting a feel of what may resonate with them.

I’ve gotten crazy lucky with my location. My neighbors include a cash based PT, cash based chiropractor, and cash based massage therapist. They are all also amazing people. Other places I’ve started exploring are the local farmer’s market. I started by going and speaking to literally every vendor even before I got the opportunity to have a booth myself. I’ve also joined my local Chamber of Commerce but haven’t had a chance to do too much there yet. COVID has greatly reduced group community events, but I plan to seek out community speaking opportunities whenever and wherever possible.

Thanks for reading through another week of my thoughts while I set up my brand new DPC right out of residency. We are racing towards opening day and it’s a full on sprint. As always, I’d love to get feedback, comments, or whatever thoughts you may have at [email protected] .

19160cookie-checkDPC Diary Part 3

By Kenneth Qiu, MD

Dr. Qiu will be moderating our Resident and Student section. Kenneth Qiu, MD recently finished his family medicine residency and has just opened a DPC practice in the Richmond, VA area (www.eudoc.me). He has been involved with the DPC community since medical school and has worked to increase awareness of DPC for medical students and residents across the country. He’s presented at three previous DPC Summits.

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