Why Private Practice Professionals Need a Mobile App
By: David Steele
It’s now a mobile world and few private practice professionals know it or have a clue what to do about it. This is your chance to be on the leading edge of marketing your services and reaching your target audience where they are spending most of their time and money.
Here are my top four mobile app ideas for private practice professionals:
1. Turn your book or ebook into an app
Can be free or paid and include other content (audio, video, etc), features (messaging, wall, social media, etc), up-sells, etc.
2. Create a mobile portal for your practice
Make it easy for prospects and clients to learn about you, contact you, make an appointment, get directions to your office, get valuable tips and other content from you.
3. Create a mobile portal for your program
Any multi-media, multi-step program can be converted to an app and engaged much more conveniently than on a website or computer
4. Create a mobile portal for your content
Can be free or paid and include audio, video, articles, e-courses, up-sells, social media, quizzes, messaging, contact forms, etc.
All of the above can be hosted on a website very effectively. So then, why do you need an app?
Here are my Top 8 Reasons to Publish an App:
1. People spend much more time in apps than on websites
Why? Convenience, they can access your info when and where they want and they’re not tied to their computer. Mobile apps make your content more accessible, engaging, and increases “consumption.”
2. Mobile Device use exceeds TV and Computer use 5:1
As providers of information and support you need to be where your prospective customers and clients can find and consume your information and engage your support, which is now overwhelmingly in the mobile world.
3. Effective Marketing
Apple and Android app stores allow you to reach untold millions more that you could otherwise. When they search for information related to your area of expertise you want them to find you! An app differentiates you from the vast majority of your competition. Reaching lots of people and standing out from your competition are necessary for effective marketing.
Having a book used to be the ultimate credibility booster. However, in today’s world things change so fast that people rely more on information they get digitally than in print. People assume the latest information is the best and most relevant and if you have an app people assume that your information and services must be leading edge.
5. Cool Factor
Just like the early days of anything (like email, ezines, etc), it’s easier to stand out when people are eager to check out something new before it gets old and crowded. Even when apps become ho- hum, all of the above will still apply.
6. More About Convenience
An app allows you to put in one easily accessible place a lot of different elements that are now scattered- your Facebook group or page, your twitter feed, your videos, audio recordings, your articles, even your entire information program are much more easily accessed from your app than expecting folks to navigate all over the web to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, your website, etc. And they can do so from anywhere, not just in front of their computer where they really would prefer not to spend their time (would YOU?).
I don’t value innovation just for innovation’s sake, but if it advances our profession and helps us reach and help more people, it’s extremely valuable. Since an app is basically a software program, the potential exists for us to create applications that truly make a difference and help our target audience beyond print and websites.
Two examples (one current and one potential)- talky2.com is a cool website that will help couples if they use it, but as an app it is even more effective and can reach and help many more people than the website. The technology is actually pretty simple and the app was put together by a high school kid helping his neighbor who is a psychologist.
Also, do you know about “Siri?” Siri is a built in “personal concierge” in the iPhone 4. You talk to Siri, ask it questions or give it a command and it answers your questions and implements related functions in the iphone. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a coaching or therapy app that works like Siri? We typically help our client by asking questions and providing information around a specific goal or problem, which lends itself to existing technology quite nicely. Pretty much anything you can do on paper or on the computer (an exercise, assessment, developing a business plan, etc) can be converted to an app.
We know that things change and evolve and old technology and practices are replaced with new (remember transistor radios, “Walkman” portable cassette and CD players, the “Phone Book” and the “Yellow Pages?”) Mobile devices and apps are clearly widely adopted and desired and are clearly a game changer for information marketers and helping professionals. When you keep up with your target audience, go where they are, and respond to what they want and need, you stay in business. When you expect them to find you and do things your way, you become obsolete and left behind.
Smart phones, tablets, and e-readers are the top selling consumer electronic devices, far more than computers, game consoles or TVs. In 2011 alone, 500 million smart phones were sold and 25 BILLION apps were downloaded. Prices of smart phones now compete with regular cell phones, and being wi-fi enabled they don’t even need a separate data plan, so web enabled mobile devices are reachable for anyone at almost any income level. E-reader sales have sky rockected (thanks to Kindle, Nook, and other e-readers priced below $100.00) and Amazon.com reports that e-books now outsell hardback books.
This truly is a mobile world right now, and the sooner that you recognize this and find ways to leverage mobile media marketing the more successful you will be. The window is now for being first to market to mobile device users in your niche and will be crowded with your competition soon enough.
Welcome to the Mobile Media Marketing Revolution!
To find out more about how to take your business mobile CLICK HERE.