I had a dollar for every time I heard a therapist say they need more referrals, I’d be retired by now. We all want a schedule full of clients we can help.

Many therapists have inflated expectations about a steady stream of referrals and at the same time struggle with marketing their practice. The reason? They don’t understand what it takes to generate business in the new healthcare economy. They are convinced that marketing is not their job. If you fall into this category, you cannot afford to live that lie any longer.

Consumers have unlimited information at their fingertips through the Internet, and access to the experiences and recommendations of their peers through social media. Now these savvy buyers hold the power; they often walk into their physicians’ offices and tell them whom they want to go to for therapy.

It’s time to take advantage of this new era, to get your brand in front of consumers, and to ask your satisfied clients for referrals. This is how smart entrepreneurs build successful businesses.

10 Strategies to get More Referrals

1. Grow Your Social Media

Social media is an effective way to expand your reach and get word-of-mouth referrals. To do this effectively you’ll need a strategy. Focus on one or two social media platforms where your ideal client is already present and interacting. Post helpful, useful content.

2. Keep in Touch with Your Connectors

Nobody builds a practice all by himself. You’ll need people who believe in you and your ability to help people. Most therapists can identify those clients who are the evangelists for their practice. They are the satisfied clients who will spread the news about your practice and connect others to you.

3. Fill Your Schedule with Speaking Engagements

You’ll want to take advantage of every opportunity to present yourself as an expert. Any audience that shows up to hear you speak is likely filled with natural clients for your services.

4. Network Online

Build your online practice platform through networking with key influencers. In the old days “networking” was limited to physicians sending patients to your practice. Today the trick is to leverage any referral source who can direct clients your way. Personal trainers, coaches, and massage therapists are the first that come to mind. Include patient testimonials online to enhance your credibility, and make sure your Google business ranking is high.

5. Connect with a Community Cause

 If you have any connection to a cause related to your practice, you can position yourself to promote your business and do some good. Physical therapy has so many applications to health-related causes; if you’re not already connected to something, start looking.

6. Love on Your Loyal Patients

We all have loyal fans who are extremely satisfied with the care they’ve received. Send them cards on their birthdays. Focus your appreciation on them and reward them. Stay in contact with your previously satisfied patients. No single group will generate more referrals than your loyal fan base and nothing carries more weight than a patient who says “I’ve been going to her for years!”

7. Customer Satisfaction Survey

Customer satisfaction surveys are a fantastic opportunity to connect with your most satisfied patients. Remember to keep surveys short, easily accessible, easy to submit, unbiased, and always anonymous.

8. Set Goals & Track Your Performance

 One of the simplest ways to improve referrals is to focus attention on those measures that lead to referrals. The lead measures should be something that you can influence and that are predictive of the goal of more referrals.

9. Get Out of the Clinic

The more well-known you are in your community, the greater your opportunity for referrals. Network with diverse groups where you will have the opportunity to serve and demonstrate your credibility.

10. Create a Blog

One of the best ways to generate referrals is to allow potential clients to know and trust you. It is important to lead clients to one location where you can control your professional brand. Your blog is a platform that you can personally customize to shape the experience of a potential client.

The Bottom Line

Referrals are earned one patient at a time and are a result of lasting relationships with very satisfied clients. Attracting more referrals starts with adding value to people’s lives and exceeding their expectations. Be consistent, genuine, and personable in your interaction with clients, and then deliver exceptional, reliable care. When asked, patients of this kind of practice will gladly refer you to others.

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As therapists we have tremendous opportunity to use our abilites, education and expertise to enhance client’s lives. What a privilege? If your are in the therapy business to serve people, then my new book On Fire: Ignite Your Passion with a Cash Therapy Practice will help you.

On Fire takes a close look at innovative therapists who are using alternative ways to deliver high-value care to their patients. Cash therapy services have emerged as a viable alternative to accepting business as usual.

If you are intrigued by the attention that cash-based practices are attracting On Fire is a great primer to help you get up to speed on the key issues and how if might impact your practice. The book is available on Amazon. If you are interested in getting your own copy join my email list and I’ll keep you up to date on the special pre-order bonuses I’m giving away.

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