Get customers to know you, like you, and trust you before they step through the door.
By Stephanie A. Weyrauch, PT, DPT, MSCI
Creating your brand as a private practice is important in growing your customer base and clinic. Commonly, we do this by visiting physicians, advertising, hosting community events, and encouraging our customers to tell their friends about us. No matter the method, the goal is to engage current and previous customers and attract new customers to the clinic. Use of social media is one way to do this, and its use as a tool to reach potential customers has become a popular form of health care marketing. Since 2005, social media use in the United States has increased from 8 percent to greater than 72 percent. Currently, 70 percent of US health care organizations utilize social media to reach patients.1
Develop a strategy as to when, why, and how to use your content best.
By Michelle Collie, PT, DPT, MS, OCS
Relatively speaking, most of us are newbies when it comes to how to integrate social media into a marketing plan. Social media is a new means to communicate and engage, and it’s a medium that continues to change and evolve. Foolproof evidence on the effectiveness, benchmarks, and return on investment (ROI) of marketing efforts on social media for a physical therapy practice are yet to exist. But effective planning, resources, and expert opinions allow us to strategically consider the whens, whys, and hows of utilizing social media in our marketing, rather than relying on the “Throw everything at the wall and see if it sticks” approach.
The power of sharing our stories.
By Michelle Collie, PT, DPT, MS, OCS
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines advocacy as “the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal.” An advocate is a champion, a proponent, a supporter, a friend, a true believer. We teach, we coach, and we instruct other physical therapists, employees, and our students in the importance of advocating for our profession. However, there is a fine line between advocacy and marketing, and the health care consumer certainly understands this when representatives from a physical therapy practice attempt to advocate for their services.
Spoiling the best kept secret in health care.
By Sturdy McKee, PT, MPT, CEO
It’s no secret that not enough people know about physical therapists and what we can do to help them. In many cases our families don’t even know what we do when we go to work. On social media recently, the phrase “Physical Therapists, the best kept secret in health care” is being bandied about. But despite people not knowing, what physical therapists do is inspiring, meaningful, and incredibly valuable to individuals and society. We need to do a better job of spreading the word.
Marketing your practice is an obvious and important part of your business plan, but do you know what is it going to cost and where to spend the money?
By Eric Cardin, PT, MS
In an environment of declining third-party reimbursement and increasing patient-centered cost sharing, private practice physical therapists must manage expenses. The old “spend money to make money” line is not so cliché as it pertains to marketing dollars. How much money to devote to marketing and how much time to put into marketing are real and important questions for new and established practices. It is a key decision early on in your practice and a decision that should come up each year as planning takes place for the next year. Estimates vary based on the sector of the economy, and some organizations target 10 to 30 percent of revenue to go to their marketing department. If you are imagining 10 percent of revenue for marketing right now and feeling queasy, you are not alone.