In previous blogs, we have discussed productivity, break-even, billing practices, and accounts receivable. But none of those really matter if you don’t have patients coming through your door. So, how do you get them there? Let’s take a brief look at marketing for physical therapy, and the best ways to reach out to your neighborhood.
1) Who are my patients?
Whether or not you want to believe it, marketing is the heart of your business. A strong marketing program can be accomplished in a variety of methods. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) states that defining a highly targeted clinic audience will be the most effective strategy. To identify these patients, you should start by asking yourself a few questions.
Why do people need my therapy services?
Where do patients learn about my therapy services?
What influences them in their choice of therapy clinic?
Answering these questions will help you to determine common characteristics, such as age, injury, income bracket, types of publications clients read, etc. Now you can proceed to the next steps to help you refine your client base and add value to your clinic.
2) Who is my competition?
In previous blogs, we have discussed the therapists’ two most important client sources: The physician and the insurer. Identifying and then nurturing these sources are important first steps in any clinic, and can keep your practice volume steady. Getting your clinic to thrive will take more effort, and knowing your competition is a great way to start. First, get out into your neighborhood and see who else is practicing similar services. You can start with an Internet search, such as that provided by www.everypt.com. Second, go into these businesses, see what they have to offer, and compare it to your services to see how it all matches up. You may notice a niche that is missing or happen upon a product that you think will sell well to your patients. Third, repeat this on a regular basis. Keeping informed of the atmosphere in your area will prove very beneficial when it comes to keeping your business current.
3) How can I reach my potential patients?
Now that you have compiled your data, it’s time to use what you have learned to direct your efforts. There are many marketing platforms that may be useful, but some require more administrative work than others.
While your patients are present for therapy, you have them captive. People respond emotionally when making decisions on care and leaving them with happy feelings will improve your chances of a returning client and a favorable referral. Engage with your patients, listen to their needs/stories, SMILE, and project a positive attitude. This will keep your patients coming back and recommending you to their friends!
Create a Website
Website intricacies get more complex every day, so your best bet may be to hire a website designer for this task. Having a website is key though because without an online presence your credibility may be questioned. Make sure you have a user-friendly layout and that the site is balanced and organized.
Publish a Blog or a Newsletter
Providing your patients with up-to-date articles that highlight your knowledge is a great way to help them understand that you know your profession. These articles can be posted on your website, sent out in an email blast, or even published in a neighborhood paper. Keeping your name in the minds of others is easier when they can converse about your latest topic.
Research the potential of Social Media
Many social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest can be very helpful in marketing physical therapy. If your clientele is of the most recent generation it may be the only place that they go to receive their news. Look closely at each type and calculate the hours needed to stay current and generate topics of interest. Weigh the pros and cons and move forward with only what you think you can handle.
Successful marketing for physical therapy can make or break a business. There are great resources on the Internet that can guide you in your endeavors. For example, the APTA has several marketing tools that are designed specifically for therapy. Running a prosperous physical therapy practice involves a lot more than simply opening the door, so the best you can do is research thoroughly, stay engaged, and keep current.
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1930 Thoreau Drive N, Suite 165, Schaumburg, IL 60173, (847) 393-4501