Although it may be tempting to cut corners and save time when it comes to marketing your private practice, it can actually end up costing you patients.
Marketing plays a huge role in increasing referrals and patient retention – therefore it’s not something that should be taken lightly. To successfully market your practice, you need to experiment with different strategies and find the best avenues to communicate with your market.
If you’re like many private practice owners—you have a full plate. Sometimes marketing may not seem to be a priority when you’re dealing with daily challenges of treating patients, managing your employees, billing, documentation, etc. If you don’t have enough time to dedicate to marketing your practice yourself, it may be time to hire a physician liaison or marketing manager to assist.
Whatever your situation may be, just make sure you never use shortcuts to get the job done! Your current and potential patients will notice, and it won’t help grow your practice in the long run. No matter how much time or money shortcuts save you right now, it’s important to keep looking ahead to the future of your business. Short term solutions won’t get you long term results.
Here are some marketing shortcuts to avoid in your private practice:
#1: Sending Generic Emails to your Patients
Your patients are likely used to receiving emails from their healthcare providers – and a hundred other businesses. Most of these emails are generic and go unopened. If you’re sending generic emails about physical therapy produced to mass market from a consulting company, or about topics that are irrelevant to some of your patients, you shouldn’t expect much in return. In fact, if you do this too frequently, your patients could unsubscribe from your emails or mark them as spam.
Send emails to your current patients and potential patients that offer value to your patients, and customize them into specific lists (perhaps by age, by injury, by membership, etc.). At the very least, the email should contain the person’s name who is receiving it. Make it even better by addressing a specific ailment the patient is experiencing, offer information that patient would find helpful or a specific story that patient relates to.
#2: Using a Facebook Page as your Website
We’ve mentioned this mistake before—so we won’t beat a dead horse—but this is a mistake we see all too often! Not having your own company website will hurt you because you’re missing an opportunity to market your practice and offer your patients helpful information.
Create a website that is easy to navigate with information about:
- What makes your practice special
- Who you are
- Where you’re located and hours of operation
- Contact info
- Testimonials from happy patients
- Blogs showcasing your expertise and helpful tips
#3: Posting the Same Generic Content Across all your Social Media
If you have multiple social media pages for your business (for example: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), it can be tempting to just schedule all the same generic posts for all your channels. It’s easy and time-saving.
This may be acceptable in some cases, but should not be practiced all the time. Posting “fluff” to your social media is not going to grow your following, or interest your existing following. Social media is a great way to increase your brand recognition, improve your reputation as an expert therapy provider and engage with your market.
In order to gain these benefits from social media, you will need to focus on posting QUALITY content. Quality content may include, videos of exercises meant to relieve lower back pain, blogs containing health and wellness tips, photos and testimonials from satisfied patients, etc. It’s all about providing information your followers want and need!
#4: Hiring Outside Marketing PT Consultants
Physical therapy consultants often offer a lot in the way of marketing services for your private practice. Although everyone’s experience with consultants is different, (and we encourage you to investigate on your own), PT business owner, Chris Mulvey, spent tens of thousands of dollars with no measurable return with consultants in the past.
Chris worked with one consulting company that specialized in marketing: such as website development, brochure design and printing. He said they promised a patient-friendly website and marketing materials to grow the business. Chris explained that although they did improve his company website and provide brochures, it didn’t make a substantial impact. “The brochures didn’t really mean anything to our patient base,” Chris said.
Chris shared that he spent over $40,000 with this consulting company “for questionable, hard-to-measure return.” He hoped to save himself time and energy by allowing a consulting company to handle marketing his practice, and he expected they would do a superb job at it. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case in his situation. Instead, it cost him tens of thousands of dollars, and it took even longer to get his marketing up to par.
If you’ve made some of these mistakes in the past, hopefully you can move forward a bit wiser and give your practice a marketing makeover! As mentioned previously, don’t be afraid to bring on a little extra help in the marketing department if you don’t have time to manage it yourself. Marketing your business for success needs full time dedication.
Remember, shortcuts will only give you short term solutions, so you should keep your eye on the prize. Do what it takes today to gain more referrals and build lasting relationships with your patients, and referring docs. This will help you reach your long term goals for the future!
If you want to grow your practice and gain more referrals, look no further! Here are 14 Sure-Fire Ways to Generate More Referrals in Your PT Practice.