Is improving the marketing of your practice near the top or the bottom on your priority list for the new year? If marketing is something that you know you should do but never get around to it your not alone.The vast majority of therapists struggle with marketing regardless of their practice setting. Most therapists are incredibly busy with treating patient and getting their paper work doe so they can go home. Marketing rarely makes their top ten of their things to do today list.
Yet effective marketing is the number one skill you need to develop.
If you become great at marketing, you can survive any type of healhcare reform and you can develop the kind of practice you are proud of and enjoy. Top notch marketing skills will give you an excellent flow of the right type of new clients and provide you a steady income stream for your practice. The right type of marketing will help you attract the right clients that match up with what you are good at.
This naturally leads to better outcomes and high client satisfaction. As your clinical expertise develop, if you do marketing right you’ll always be in front of the right flow of the ideal clients that are seeking the solutions and benefits that you deliver.
Visualize the difference that would make in your professional satisfactionand anxiety levels. The other aspects of your practice will be positively impacted when you improve your marketing skills. If your are in business for yourself your income will go up and the amount of time have to spend on your business will go down. Plus it’s a whole lot more fun working with clients who are good match.
Constrastly, if you are poor at marketing in today’s new healthcare economy, you will never experience the professional growth that you could have.
I suggest for 2016 that you make marketing your priority number one. Marketing affects everything else in your personal and professional life. In today’s busy and noisey marketing place standing out with a clear professional brand is the key to practice success. Physician gatekeepers that traditionally fed clinics a steady stream of referrals have experienced a drastic change in independence and power.
Therapists can no longer depend exclusively upon the favorite physicians to keep feeding the PT referral machine. There is vastly more competition and controlled pathways for a therapists to trust that those referrals will remain consistent despite being the best clinician or a previous physican loyality.
There is one primary factor that drives the success or failure of any small or medium sized therapy practice. It is the same factor that applies to large corporate healthcare organizations.
I’m talking about relational marketing.
Gone are the days of Don Draper and Mad Men advertising and bombarding consumers with ads. Consumers have developed defense mechanisms and just tune it all out.
Businesses that are effective at rlational marketing have the ability to communicate their message on a much more personal and directed manner. The don’t have vast advertising budgets so they play to their strength. First hand knowledge of what clients want and what they are willing to pay.
The longer I am in the therapy profession, the more I see specific examples of therapist with all the marketing skills they need to communicate what they do and the benefits the client will recieve.
Let me review some examples of why therapists have good marketing instincts.
- Therapists generally have develop a strong empathy for their clients problems. Most honestly care.
- Therapists are good listeners. A thorough evaluation requires competence in listening and asking good follow up questions.
- Therapists are smart people. The can figure things out.
- Therapists offer solutions to people’s problems. That’s what therapists do for a living discover a person’s problem and help solve it.
- Therapists are good at selling. They sell the benefits of exercise to clients everyday.
- Therapists are good at helping people change their behavior. Therapy is all about taking actionable steps towards a goal.
- Therapists offer great value and great benefits. In relations to other treatment options therapy is very cost effective and delivers great value for the money.
So what’s the take home message?
Marketing is the key to practice success regardless of the business setting of where you work. It’s your practice not the organization you work for. Either you take responsibility for your pracice and focus on marketing and get better at it or you don’t. If you are good at realtional marketing your keep your practice busy with the patients you love to work with. Promoting your practice will take you to higher levels of success.
You can make lots of mistake as you learn how to become masterful at marketing and still be ahead of the competition. Most are doing nothing at all. If they do it tends to be out of date and an advertising program that someone sold them. Those methods of marketing fall under the label of desperation marketing. They should have been died 20 years ago. They typically have a poor return for the money.
If you think you are in the business of physical therapy you are mistaken. You are really in the business of selling physical therapy. Providing high quality therapy services is the product you deliver.
To make your practice grow in today’s new healthcare economy I suggest that you make improving your marketing skills at the top of your priority list in 2016.
Share with the community one tip you’ve done that has helped grow your practice.
You all are amazing people and you are doing some pretty amazing things. Keep it up. I hope to inspire, encourage and provide you quality information so that you can continue to make a difference in your part of the universe.
Get Your Own Copy of On Fire
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 might help you. The healthcare industry has undergone so many changes lately and many therapists are overwhelmed, overworked and confused on where to turn to for help in the battle.
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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