If you want to build a successful physical therapy clinic, there are a few non-negotiables you’ll want to keep in mind, and one of those is building a solid brand. In order to brand a PT clinic, you’ll need to know who you’re serving, why you’re serving them, what you’ll provide, and how you’ll generate income in the process. Of course, there are tons of additional—and equally important—considerations, including your company’s legal structure, payer mix, and technology stack. But when you’re in those first stages of developing your clinic’s philosophy and brand, your who, what, and why are crucial.
We’re big fans of patient-centered marketing—especially now that all 50 states have direct access laws that allow PTs to, at minimum, evaluate patients without a referral. But that doesn’t mean you should rely entirely on word-of-mouth to bring in new clients. After all, many states have limited direct access laws that prevent PTs from having full control over their patients’ medical journey—and many payers still require some degree of physician involvement in therapy care plans.
Call me old fashioned, but writing thoughtful, handwritten letters is a lost art. There’s nothing like sitting down and putting pen to paper to make one feel like a character in a Jane Austen novel. That said, while sending out handwritten notes is a great way to make recipients feel special, the fast and furious pace of modern life leaves little room to wax poetic for every communication—even when those communications are going to your patients.
Attracting patients can be a big struggle—one that, especially in smaller clinics, often leaves therapists and practice owners wondering exactly how to get more business. And although we’ve talked a lot about some common strategies you can use to lure in new patients (and retain old ones), there are some less-visible forces that could be pulling in a small portion of your patient pool.
Unless you have a complete monopoly (or run an incredibly niche-based practice), word-of-mouth efforts generally won’t keep your clinic’s doors open. Marketing is an essential part of running a healthy PT clinic, and while many clinics keep a dedicated marketing specialist on staff, smaller clinics might not have the budget to do so. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to leverage existing clinical staff to help with marketing efforts—and they’ll get the chance to flex their creative muscles in the process!
If you’re like many physical therapists and practice owners, promoting your clinic’s brand often feels akin to stumbling across a minefield loaded with revenue-destroying marketing mishaps and blunders. Or perhaps you feel lost in a maze of budgetary figures, ever-changing social media platforms, and web design and development. But, as long as you stick to a few rules of thumb, you can easily avoid an expensive mistake. To that end, here are some major dos and don’ts to consider as you market your physical therapy practice:
Surely: Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to open a private practice
People often ask me how I market my cash-based practice. They’re under the impression that my marketing strategy must be completely different from that of a traditional, insurance-based clinic. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In my opinion, every physical therapy practice should market based on the assumption that patients will vote with their dollars.
As a clinic owner, director, or manager, you know that marketing―both to consumers and referrers―is crucial to your business’s success. And as with any new endeavor, it’s good to have a plan. As Joanna L. Krotz at Microsoft Business explains, “a marketing plan gives you a roadmap that can drive action and point the way.” Beyond that, a marketing plan can help:
Remember the movie Glengarry Glen Ross with Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, and Alec Baldwin? While it certainly isn’t the most uplifting of films, the famous line still lives on: “Always be closing” (please note that this link contains R-rated language).
This month, we’re talking a lot about marketing rehab therapy to consumers. And while that’s an important piece of the marketing puzzle—especially in a world dominated by search engines and social media—we’d be remiss to skip over another key method of generating more business for your practice: referral marketing. To significantly boost the number of referrals you receive, you’ve got to be proactive. So, here’s a rundown of some referral marketing best practices to help drive more patients through your front door.