David Straight, PT and owner of e-rehab.com, explains why your physical therapy practice needs a Google+ profile.
Before you get too far into your plans to beef up your clinic’s sales and marketing efforts, remember that you’re a healthcare provider first, which means you’ve got some HIPAA hoops to jump through (ahem, rules to follow) that the small business owner down the street probably doesn’t have to worry about. Before we get into that, though, let’s establish a bit of background.
Today’s blog comes from E-rehab.com President David Straight, PT, DPT. With the current level of over-regulation and increasing pressure from competition, payers, and POPTS, running a physical therapy private practice can be a challenge.
As everyone knows, October is National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM). I have celebrated this month-long holiday alongside my colleagues for the past 15 years, but it wasn’t until I sat down to write this article that I really began to think about the purpose of NPTM. After doing a bit of digging, I found out that people all over the country have been celebrating NPTM in October for more than 20 years with the intent to increase awareness about the benefits of physical therapy. It is typically a time for physical therapists to speak to different groups, host complimentary screenings, and take part in fun community activities.
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.
Rehab therapists should continually market their services to stay top-of-mind with current and potential customers as well as referring physicians. One way to do so is through promotional marketing. As the owner of a company that provides imprinted products and branded merchandise and apparel (with many customers who are service providers or work in medical facilities), I’ve seen the value of promotional marketing materials first-hand.
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:
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.
So you’ve started blogging, and that’s fantastic. It’s a great way to get your message out to the masses—whether it be how fantastic your services are, the latest in industry developments, or preferably, a well-balanced mix of both.
When it comes to marketing your rehab therapy practice, the old school of thought is that to get more patients, you’ve got to get more referrals—and that means appealing only to physicians. Well, as the saying goes, “Out with the old, and in with the new!”
Picking the right email marketing service is a bit like buying a car. Some are going to look great on the outside, but pop the hood and you’ll find a mess. And sometimes going with the older model is the smart decision, instead of getting that brand new, foreign sports car.
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.