Gaining users as a digital health startup in Nigeria is hard. This is especially true when targeting health businesses. The story is often come today, come tomorrow. If you’re lucky, you might be told to submit a proposal. This gets your hopes up only for them to not ever look at it. Despair no more, one of these ideas will help you increase your user count. They are tested and tried in the Nigerian space and are sure to work:
1. Attend meetings and exhibitions
Health professional societies and associations are aplenty. Be it the physiotherapy association of Nigeria or the health information managers association. Almost every profession has a group, find the group relevant to your solution. All groups hold an annual meeting. Get in there and start pitching to everyone you meet. Set a target of 20 potential customers per day. Make sure to qualify the people you talk to and only target decision makers. Check out this link for a list of upcoming conferences that may help you.
2. Partner with a complementary service
Rice and stew, like guguru and epa, go together and taste better together. Go out and find the stew to your rice. If you provide an electronic health record, partner with a hardware supplier or practice management software and market together. Preferably work with services that already have a foothold in the segment you’re targeting. Together you will both go farther than you would alone.
3. Write an article for an industry publication
Most health care people are not on twitter, they don’t read medium. They, however, are usually in a professional group as alluded to above. These professional groups often circulate at least one publication periodically. Find out about it and offer to write a piece for the periodical. Content is always hard to produce so most editors would be open to publishing your article. You will get inquiries and earn a place as a thought leader in your space. Remember to provide actual useful content, not just self-promoting text. So go now, find the editor of the relevant periodical, write that article.
4. Reach out to influential thought leaders
Many professional groups have influential and outspoken people. Find them online, meet them offline, stalk them everywhere. Contact them somehow and convince them to try out your service. Offer it for free if you have to, just satisfy them and ask them to spread the word. How do you find out the thought leaders in a space? You’d have to attend their meetings and conferences, read their material, get to know the space intimately.
In all of these, no progress will be made by sitting in the office banging on your keyboard. You have to get out, talk to people and make things happen.
Bonus idea – Avoid proposals. Simplify your offering and get people using your solution quickly. Proposals are often consigned to the bin. Many Nigerian health businesses don’t have complex decision structures so target the right person and forget the proposals.
Working in B2C? We’ve an upcoming post on how to grow patient user numbers. Join our network and get periodic updates to help you grow your digital health business.