As clinicians and clinic owners, it’s important to ensure that the messages we’re putting out resonate with our audience. It’s very important that we are not communicating too much clinical language and not paying enough attention to thinking about the words and the language that our clients will resonate with, especially when it’s in written form.
We are great fans of a book called Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller. In the book, Donald Miller gives a very simple framework to follow to be able to get your message across in the language of your clients, to help them really understand where you’re coming from and how you can help them. The book likens speaking to your clients as if you’re creating a movie, and there are 7 clear steps in the scripting.
You Have a Character
First, you have a character. This character is often mistaken, as business owners think they are the character, but actually the character is your client. So your patient is your character. An important starting point is understanding exactly who your ‘perfect patients’ are, and what qualities have.
Who Has a Problem
The next stage of the script is that the character has a problem. There are 3 different aspects to this problem. The first is the external problem – this would be the pain that your patients experience. Next is the internal problem – this is the emotional problem that the pain causes them. Finally, they have a philosophical problem. This is particularly relevant in this sector of private health care, because often the philosophical problem might be the idea that, for example, 60, 70, 80 year-olds are bound to have to put up with pain, but as a clinician you know that this not actually true, and you can help them. So, you have to show your patients that you understand and can empathise with each level of their problems.
Who Meets a Guide
Next , the character with a problem meets a guide – that’s you. This is the stage that you put out your ‘why’ – why they should come to you rather than someone else.
Who Gives Them a Plan
The next stage is about you communicating with your patient a plan about how you can help them solve their problem.
And Calls Them to Action
Finally, you need to call your patients into action, to help them avoid failure and achieve success. Avoiding failure is not about scaremongering your patients, it’s more about saying “we don’t want you to feel frustrated that you can’t do your runs that you enjoy, we want to help you get to the success of getting back on the road, running injury free”.
Using the framework above, you can communicate very succinctly and effectively with your patients.