Give It Your Best B-Hack
Don’t become overwhelmed, instead take a few tips from America’s pastime.
By Ben Montgomery*
July marks the halfway point (more or less) of the Major League Baseball season, the part of the season when the better teams and elite players start rising to the top.
This is the time of year when consistency—not occasional hot streaks—begins to reveal the best of the best. Such consistency becomes especially important during a long season when players start to wear down physically—when arms start to tire, bats begin to feel a bit heavier, and players become more prone to injuries and errors.
It’s also a time when on-the-field baseball IQ can, more often than not, trump general talent through the course of a long series. When you’re worn out—in other words, when it’s late in the game and you’re facing a crafty closer with two strikes—it pays to take a smarter approach.
Instead of swinging for the fences, default to your “B-hack.” A shorter, more compact swing that stresses contact over power, the point of a good B-hack is not power or beauty. The goal is simply to put the ball into play. The B-hack can often be effective as it gives you a fighting chance, often at a time when you’re just not in the position to take your best cut.
Such an approach can also be quite effective in the world of marketing, specifically when a private practice physical therapist (PT) is stepping up to the plate. The fact is, marketing can start to feel like a burden to a busy private practice physical therapist who longs to free up more face-to-face time with patients. When you consider the many hats a clinic owner wears on a given day, it would be nothing less than human for one to think she or he is more likely to reach burnout before somehow reaching deep enough to find more hours to devote to marketing.
And yet marketing remains critical to the growth and sustainability of your clinic. What to do? This is when it is time to take a tighter, more compact swing at marketing your practice. It’s time for your B-hack.
When you feel overwhelmed, keep in mind these few suggestions for taking smarter, more streamlined (yet still quite effective) swings at marketing your clinic.
Ride the Wave of Current Events
Good content on your website and/or blog can no doubt open the doors to a variety of marketing opportunities online, via social media, emails, newsletters, etc. But where can you find good, easy content?
Simple. Keep up with the news.
From health, exercise, and movement-related issues to personal stories about athletes, injuries, and rehab success, a lot of what you read about online is just asking for hot takes and perspectives from local physical therapists.
The stories are already out there. Your job is to simply tell “the rest of the story” by adding physical therapy to the narrative.
Build Physical Therapist Ambassadors
What if you could just hire a bunch of people to walk around town with megaphones, singing the praises of physical therapy in general and your practice specifically? That could certainly save you some time. Well, this can happen (sort of), and you don’t have to pay anyone.
All you have to do is make the PT experience a positive one for your clients, which you already do, of course, then give them the tools (and the nudge) they need to share this experience with others.
Beyond providing great health care services, building a base of physical therapy ambassadors can be as simple as offering incentives for providing testimonials/reviews of your clinic or giving referrals to others. Build a positive community among your current and past clients, and they will help recruit others to join.
Take Your Message with You
Whether you have joined a running or cycling group, coach a Little League team, or volunteer at a local nonprofit, you have a life outside the clinic. Right?
Well, no matter how you opt to involve yourself within your community, bring your profession with you. Proudly don your physical therapy hat and find ways your expertise in movement, injury prevention, performance enhancement, etc., can be of benefit in your town.
For instance, offer free pain/injury assessments at your clinic to those in your community running club, youth sports teams, or even local first responders. Or do free bike fittings for a cycling team, serve on the sideline during high school sporting events, or raise funds for local movement-based nonprofits.
As people get to know you, they will also get to know your clinic.
Involve Your Staff If you personally do not have the time to dedicate to marketing, and your budget doesn’t allow for hiring outside help, turn to your staff for ideas and help.
Develop a simple strategy with guidelines, open it up to your staff, and let them run wild with content, sales, social media, exploring potential outreach programs, and so on.
Over time, you will begin to realize your team boasts a level of collective talent you may not have predicted.
Ben Montgomery is a former journalist who applies years of copywriting and message development experience toward serving physical therapists through www.BuildPT.com, the marketing services arm of Vantage Clinical Solutions, which serves private practice clinicians with content marketing and web development solutions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*The author has a vested interest in the subject of this article.