WebPT Blog - marketing
May 15, 2013| by Matt Stone
Matt is WebPT’s email marketing specialist. He’s an Aries and is pretty sure unicorns are real. His monthly column will cover all things email marketing and how it can help your clinic.
There are plenty of things to worry about as a small business owner—so does it make sense to add email marketing to the list? Absolutely.
For starters, email marketing returned $39.40 for every dollar spent in 2012, according to the Direct Marketing Association. This return far surpassed the next closest marketing initiative ($22.38 through Web search).
And besides revenue, email marketing makes sense in so many other ways, including:
- It’s cheap (many email marketing tools have free or low-cost plans for small businesses based on number of emails sent)
- It’s easy (you write emails every day, and most email marketing programs have turnkey templates to get you started quickly)
- It allows you to maintain relationships with patients and create brand awareness (think monthly newsletters, holiday cards, and birthday notes)
Apr 24, 2013| by Charlotte Bohnett
You’ve taken steps to go green within your clinic. Now it’s time to let your community know all the good you’ve done—not just to gain additional customers, but also to encourage other businesses in your community to follow suit. Here are five steps to marketing your green efforts.
1.) Know your audience. According to an Entrepreneur article, Matt Villano explains that “marketing your business as green is a great idea—provided your customers are into that sort of thing.” Scope out your community. Do your customers seem interested in the green topic? Are local businesses in other industries touting their greenness? Assess your current and potential audience to make sure they’ll be receptive to your marketing. In short, never simply assume people will want to visit your business just because you’re greener than your competitors.
2.) Define your green. The term “green” means different things to different people. Perhaps you’ve taken several steps to conserve electricity and water in your practice or you’ve started a carpooling program. In either case, it’s important to define your green both to your practice and your audience. Most importantly, make sure what you’re doing truly is green or beneficial to your community and environment, because misrepresenting your “greenness”—also known as “greenwashing”-—can prove monumentally detrimental to your business.business, environmentally friendly, go green, marketing, National Occupational Therapy Month, Occupational Therapy, physical therapy, PT best practices
Apr 4, 2013| by Charlotte Bohnett
Today's blog post comes from Senior Writers Charlotte Bohnett and Erica Cohen.
The second rule in marketing any professional service is to know your audience; the first is know yourself, but as an occupational therapist, you have this part covered—for the most part. You know you want to provide exceptional service, but to whom and how may still be challenging questions. A common mistake in business is the we’ll-fit-anyone approach, which results in a jack-of-all-trades master-of-none phenomenon. While you may catch a few flitting minnows, you certainly won’t attract the loyal marlins that can make your business a true success.
So how do you avoid the one-size-fits-all trap? Narrow your focus to find your niche, and thus better position yourself and your profession to grow. This way, your marketing is targeted, specific, and tailored to attract the audience you truly want.
Finding Your Niche
The AOTA explains that “to meet society’s occupational needs, occupational therapy practitioners need to respond to how society is changing and evolving.” To support that, they “researched trends in the six broad areas of practice defined through the Centennial Vision process.” They then go on to list those emerging niches, but which niche do you choose?
While written for PTs, Jeff Worrell’s whitepaper entitled “Build Your Practice by Finding Your Physical Therapy Niche” is packed full of niche finding advice that all rehab therapists can consider. Worrell suggests, “Take some time to jot down your experiences on a piece of paper...be as specific as possible. Look for similarities and highlight the experiences that are similar.” For example, Monster.com shares several stories of OTs who happened to find employment in assisted-living facilities who went on to not only specialize in this arena, but used their knowledge to provide consulting services.
Jan 29, 2013| by Charlotte Bohnett
According to Hat Trick Associates, as of 2010, there were about 450 million active English language blogs. And in Blog Rules, Nancy Flynn explains that in 2006 a new blog entered the blogosphere every second. Even before Facebook and Twitter, businesses were using blogs as a way to have instant, two-way communication with customers and prospects online. So, why wouldn’t rehab therapists blog? It’s a great way to educate the community, give your practice personality, and promote your expertise.
While you obviously can’t share individual patient data or patient-specific recommendations, you can use your blog to educate, inform, and market generally. From sharing best practices and enlightening anecdotes to highlighting your key differentiators in services or a few core-strengthening home exercises, blogging helps you and your clinic:
- Add value by providing ongoing education. Treatment shouldn’t stop when patients walk out the door. Supplement regular therapy sessions not only with a home exercise program, but with your blog, which will provide patients with great health (and prevention!) resources to maintain their functionality and prevent further injury.
- Establish expertise and increase overall brand awareness. Your patients will appreciate your advice, but more importantly, they’ll trust you. And trust not only strengthens your position as the musculoskeletal expert, but it also fosters loyalty, which is essential. Patients have a lot of choice when it comes to rehab therapy, and you want them thinking of your practice—your brand.
- Increase loyalty through increased interaction with patients and peers. A blog keeps your brand top of mind through interaction. You’ve provided ongoing education and shared your expertise. Your patients are already thinking of your brand when they think physical therapy. So, why wouldn’t they recommend you to friends and family? People love to share knowledge with their circles, and they do not forget good experiences. Word of mouth can serve as a crucial revenue stream for your clinic.
Jan 28, 2013| by Charlotte Bohnett
>You could wait for the phone to just magically start ringing—or you could start thinking like an entrepreneur! In his bestselling, must-read book The E-myth Revisited, author Michael Gerber draws the distinction between "working in your business" and "working on your business.” While this might sound like a simple concept, as physical therapists we seem to forget that in addition to providing great patient care, we’re running a business. Just as you devote time to developing your clinical skills, you have to invest time into developing your company—and yourself as a business owner. You can be the best physical therapist in the world, but if no one knows who you are or what you're doing, your business won’t make it. And it just takes a few focused hours a week to grow your business successfully. Here are three quick tips:business, documentation, marketing, PT best practices, Referral Marketing, referral sources, referrals
Jan 15, 2013| by Charlotte Bohnett
Today's blog post comes from Senior Writers Charlotte Bohnett and Erica Cohen.
Last week Selena Horner (@SnippetPhysTher) shared a Fast Company article on Twitter entitled “The Problem With Your Elevator Pitch—And How To Fix It.” The point of said article is obvious, but that’s not what caught Selena’s eye. It was the example the author uses of a bad elevator pitch: “I help busy professionals live pain-free lives so that they can get back to work.” In addition to this being a vague and fairly clichéd description of a physical therapist, the author also points out that entrepreneurs, in general, have learned that they need an elevator pitch, but haven’t truly learned how to create a meaningful one and then deliver it in an effective (read: human) way.
This article stirred quite the discussion on Twitter. Numerous people tweeted that they don’t believe in elevator pitches, that they just speak from the heart; others said the term “elevator pitch” is off-putting and clichéd in itself and therefore would only inspire people to in turn speak in clichés. Concluding the Twitter conversation, Jerry Durham (@Jerry_DurhamPT) summarized: “Your explanation is your pitch.” So, no matter how you label it (elevator or basic summary) or how you describe your job (well-rehearsed or off the cuff), it’s all your pitch. And in the end, the fact remains the same: a lot of us struggle to succinctly and successfully describe our profession. With that said, let’s discuss how to create a meaningful elevator pitch.
What is an elevator pitch?
According to an article on dumblittleman.com, an elevator pitch “is the 30-60 second business description of what you do and why someone should work with you.” According to the Harvard Business Review, you should think of your elevator pitch like this: “You have one minute to explain yourself, your business, your goals, and your passions. Your audience knows none of these. Are you prepared? Can you present your vision smoothly, enticing them to want to know more?”
Nov 1, 2012| by Charlotte Bohnett
Last week WebPT descended upon Las Vegas for PPS 2012, ready to talk EMR, technology, cloud computing, marketing, social media, and all things PT. In addition to rocking one of the coolest booths on the tradeshow floor, we thoroughly enjoyed seeing so many familiar faces and befriending new folks, too. Our After Party was a huge hit, and Brad and Heidi got a lot of great questions at their "Taking Your Practice Into the Cloud" presentation. Visit our Facebook page to view photos from PPS 2012.#DocSucks, APTA, cloud computing, ditch the pen and paper, emr, las vegas, marketing, pps, PPS2012, social media, therapydia, tradeshow
Oct 30, 2012| by Charlotte Bohnett
I love the Documentation Sucks campaign! The slogan is attention-grabbing, succinct, and effective because it hooks us through emotion. I know that some people initially took issue with using the word “sucks” in a professional marketing campaign; but WebPT founder Heidi Jannenga did a great job of explaining the reasoning behind using that word here.
As Heidi states in her post, none of us got into the rehab profession because we love documentation. We went into this field because we love assisting our patients in their return to function.
The Documentation Sucks campaign is an example of effective marketing and serves as a model of how we as therapists should market our profession. Why? Well, because WebPT starts with why (see Start with Why by Simon Sinek). Starting with why allows the potential customer to decide if their values match the company’s values, before they even get into what the company does and how they do it.#DocSucks, Ann Wendel, ditch the pen and paper, documentation sucks, emr, marketing, physical therapy, physical therapy software, start with why
Oct 11, 2012| by Erica Cohen
Today’s blog post comes from copywriters Charlotte Bohnett and Erica Cohen.
Earlier this week we tackled four reasons your practice should ditch paper documentation and go digital with Electronic Medical Records (EMR). At this point, you've either already made the switch or you’ve probably at least made up your mind to go digital soon. No matter what stage you’re in, we all know that EMR is an investment, and you might be wondering how to get the most bang for your buck.
Remember, EMR isn't just for documentation. It can help you manage and grow your clinic. How, you ask?
Some EMRs feature referral reports. When entering patients, you can include whether they were referred by a physician and if so, who. Then, you can use the referral report to easily track how many referrals you're receiving from entered physicians. It's a convenient way to identify who needs more networking attention and who needs a big "thank you!"digital, ditch the pen and paper, emr, free up space, healthcare, marketing, patient management, physical therapy, profitability, scheduling, therapist management
Oct 2, 2012| by Erica Cohen
Today's blog post comes from WebPT co-founder Heidi Jannenga, PT, MPT, ATC/L.
By now many of you have seen, heard about, or participated in our latest campaign—”Documentation Sucks”. While much of the feedback we’ve received has been incredibly positive (in fact, we received more than 500 Ditch the Pen & Paper t-shirt orders in the first month alone). But with the many cheers, we’ve also heard a few jeers. It seems the word “sucks” has struck an emotional chord. While it is undoubtedly a part of American culture today, some wonder if it has a place in marketing or in professional business in general. Some wonder whether we put enough thought into our use of this type of language. The short answer, at least in our opinion, is yes. We mapped this campaign out over many months, and here, I would like to share with you why we intentionally and emphatically decided that “Documentation Sucks.”advertising, campaign, digital, ditch the pen and paper, documentation sucks, elevate the profession, emr, feedback, marketing, physical therapy, PT best practices, rehab community