99 Marketing Ideas
The 99 Marketing Ideas project is underway!
By Michelle Collie, PT, DPT, MS
99 Marketing Ideas is a library of video vignettes designed to inspire the marketing strategies of physical therapy practices. Viewers can seize this unique opportunity to listen to real physical therapists share their best marketing practices with the industry. In addition, there are supplemental how-to summaries and transcriptions of the videos. Here is a sample of the content of video vignettes in the library.
1. Partner with trainers. Physical therapists have the responsibility of ensuring patients will exercise after their episode of care. Find trainers (including Pilates and yoga instructors) in the community who share the same values as you. When appropriate, recommend patients utilize these trainers. To provide a concierge-type service, contact the trainer to tell them about the person you have referred. The patient will be grateful for your efforts, and the trainer will be happy with the referral. Over time, the physical therapist and trainer relationship will develop such that the trainer will recommend you as the physical therapist of choice.
2. Google reviews. Good Google, Yelp, and Facebook reviews can influence where people choose to go for physical therapy. A satisfied patient is typically happy to help. Have staff ask patients to give Google reviews. This can be done with an email that includes links for the reviews, or simply ask patients in the clinic.
3. Become a sponsor. Find an organization, sports team, or club that matches your practice’s skill set; for example, a triathlon club. Offer to be a sponsor and in return provide a walk-in clinic, providing free screens and advice to keep the athletes healthy. This will gain exposure to your practice and our profession. Additional exposure can be gained through their website.
4. Physician cross-referral. Guide younger physical therapists in their development of relationships with physicians. Physical therapists can ask physicians for the kinds of patients they really want to see; for example, “I really enjoy treating shoulder problems, would you consider sending me any of these patients?” As the relationship develops, the physical therapist can refer back to the physician when a patient needs a doctor, developing a cross-referral.
5. Workshops. Convert workshop participants into new patients by following these 5 steps: (1) Have someone introduce you, (2) set the stage by previewing what participants will learn and share a personal story, (3) deliver great content and helpful tips, (4) provide a live demonstration, (5) provide a solution, with a sense of urgency. Follow up and schedule the new patients.
6. Concise written communication. Understand who the audience/doctor is when sending communication. Keeping letters to referral source on point, concise, and up to date will build your relationships and credibility. Remember to thank physicians for their referrals.
7. Educate the consumer. Whether at a workshop, community dinner, or in the clinic, ensure there is constant conversation and education to the consumers on what physical therapists do, our value, when and why to seek physical therapy.
8. Everybody is marketing. Create a system within your practice to ensure there are a certain number of meaningful conversations occurring monthly between physical therapist and physicians.
9. Face to face with physicians. Call physicians of the patients you see and simply ask to meet with them to ask about the kinds of patients they see and how you can help.
10. Create long-term relationships. Private practices often rely on returning patients and patients referring friends. This needs to be considered with every interaction with patients. Strengthen relationships by sending notes or cards and provide postcards for referral of a friend.
11. The team approach. Foster a team approach by accompanying patients to the physician’s visit. This provides the opportunity for the physician to truly hear and understand what you do.
Do you have a marketing idea to share? PPS is collecting marketing ideas from Section members in video and written form on an ongoing basis. Please visit this link to see more vignettes and learn how you can contribute: http://ppsapta.org/practice-management/marketing-resources.
Michelle Collie, PT, DPT, MS, is the chair of the PPS PR and Marketing Committee and chief executive officer of Performance Physical Therapy in Rhode Island. She can be reached at email@example.com.