Marketing can be tricky – especially when you have patients to treat and employees to manage. However, it’s necessary to grow your business.
Everyone will make a marketing mistake at some point. The important thing is to learn from it and move on when something isn’t working.
The following mistakes are some of the most common among physical therapy practice owners. Make sure you’re not making these mistakes right now!
Mistake #1: Using Facebook as your company website
This is one mistake many small practices are guilty of. Although social media is important, a Facebook profile doesn’t suffice as a website page.
Many of your patients are on Facebook, but some won’t be, which makes it difficult for them to navigate your Facebook page (or even have interest in clicking on it). Plus, you can’t showcase as much valuable information about your practice through a Facebook page.
Create a website: With a website, you can tell patients about your practice and team, services you offer, location and hours of your practice and share helpful health and wellness information. You can find many affordable and easy-to-use platforms online to help create your company website.
Keep your Facebook page to engage with your patients, share blogs, testimonials, events, etc.
Mistake #2: Putting all your cash and efforts on lunches for physician offices
One of the most basic ways to market to referral sources is bringing food to physician offices. There are good and bad ways to go about doing this. Keep in mind, you’re not the only PT trying to get face-to-face with doctors, so doctors are not going to flood your practice with referrals just because you’ve brought them lunch. You could end up spending thousands of dollars on lunches for physician offices without receiving any referrals from them.
Find out pain points for these physicians: There may be something these physicians care about that they aren’t finding amongst other PTs. Is there a specialty or service you provide that others in the area don’t? Bring attractive marketing materials to leave with the front office manager and explain what makes your PT practice the best in the area. Sell them on the value of your care, don’t always settle for buying them food.
Mistake #3: Highlighting yourself instead of the value of your services
Whether it’s digital marketing (website, social media, etc.), print marketing (newspaper, newsletter, etc.) or anything else, highlight more than just how awesome you are.
Patients usually care more about how you will improve their lives than they do about your achievements and awards. A good saying to remember when creating your marketing messages are, “People care about themselves, they don’t care about you.”
Focus on what your patients want: Your patients are dealing with pain, injuries, and they want to get better fast. Make sure your marketing messages highlight those issues and state why your practice can eliminate those issues faster than anyone else.
Mistake #4: Spending tons of money on consulting firms
Physical therapy consultants or marketing/PR firms can often be extremely costly investments, with little return. Read this Q&A with successful private practice owner, Chris Mulvey, and see how his experience with consultants almost cost him his business.
Only work with those that “walk the walk” AND “talk the talk”: Most physical therapy consultants and marketing/PR firms don’t own private practices, so how can you trust they know the most effective marketing methods for your business? Wouldn’t they open their own practice, implement their systems, and produce profits? There is a team of business and marketing experts that runs their own successful practices and can help you grow your business because they have the experience and knowledge to back up their proven methodologies.
Mistake #5: Not tracking your marketing efforts
It’s easy to put marketing on the backburner when you’re busy, but it will be the demise of your business in the long run. If you don’t track the return on your marketing dollars, you won’t know where money is well spent and where it isn’t. Where are your referrals coming from, how many is Dr. X referring each week, are your efforts leading to new referrals, etc. Are you doing any direct to consumer marketing?
Track your marketing efforts: Depending on your situation, you may need to dedicate a few hours each week to only marketing so you can focus on implementing your marketing strategies, and track your successes and failures. Or if you find you don’t have the time to do this yourself, hire a marketing manager or physician liaison to take the reins on marketing your business.
Don’t go at it alone!
You don’t have to be an expert at marketing to be successful at it. A team of business experts in physical therapy have put together step-by-step guides to marketing and growing your private practice. They’ve researched and tested hundreds of marketing strategies and they will create a customized strategy that is best for your business.
Find out more about how to effectively market your private practice without spending thousands of dollars by trial and error by watching this webinar.