Gone are the days when a physician or any other type of healthcare professional would only use word of mouth marketing in order to grow his or her client base. We’re not saying that you should pick up a book on advanced SEO or go get a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, but there are a few things every healthcare professional should know in 2016.

If growing your business found its way into your New Year resolutions, we have a few tips that might come in handy.

First and foremost, a website is critical for the success of your business. It will be the primary tool with which you interact with clients and partners and where they can find more information about you and your business. It should be clear and concise, easy to use and neatly designed. The most important thing is to keep it updated, both with important information regarding your practice as well as relevant articles and discussion topics from your field. Everyone loves a professional dedicated to his line of work!

Second, Social Media is no longer in the “nice to have” category. As soon as your website is done, you should set up a Facebook, Twitter and Google+ account for your business. Keep them updated, answer any inquiries and questions from your clients on time, share relevant information from your partners or mentors and you will slowly find increasing traffic on your website. Nobody says you have to post new content every day, but be active and helpful and you will soon find your social media accounts gaining traction and more and more people contacting you with questions and inquiries.

Third, know that word of mouth marketing has changed, but it is most definitely not dead. Nowadays, customers have to feel empowered in order to promote your business to their friends and family. Along with high-quality services, you now have to gather feedback from customers online and even offer them rewards from time to time. Keeping them engaged means that they will feel like a part of your business. If they truly feel like a part of it, they will recommend you.

All the steps above have a few things in common. They all require effort, and the effort usually has to translate into high quality content. You can no longer simply survive with articles you wrote on your way to work. The content you post must be creative, engaging, well-written and concise. People have to want to read what you write and listen to what you have to say. Plus, you can never underestimate the power of going viral.

These are just a few guidelines you could follow if you want to distinguish yourself from other healthcare professionals in your field in 2016. If you invest time and effort into marketing your business, you will always be rewarded, and the sooner you do it, the better. Online marketing can be a pleasant experience and can bring a lot of bonuses for your business. Good luck!