Have you ever wondered if your marketing system is right for you? Does it reflect who you are personally and professionally? Every system has its own pitfalls, but determining the right system for you can help cut down on hours spent treating in the clinic, and expand the time you spend building your business, and ultimately, your future.
If you want to start creating more freedom in your schedule, read on for common marketing pitfalls PTs face and how to create a system that works for you!
Haters Gonna Hate
The number-one, most common pitfall PTs run into with marketing is HATE. More specifically, letting the negative opinions of others influence decisions about YOUR business. It is important to remember that any time you are brave enough to put content out on the internet, you can guarantee it will be met with some form of criticism; and while criticism isn’t inherently bad, it can often be disheartening and stall forward progress if you let it.
Through a lot of trial and error (and criticism of course 😉 ) we’ve developed a four-step system to help you brush off the haters and move forward with a marketing system that represents both you and your business.
Step 1: Look for the truth!
Try to determine why this person is responding negatively to your marketing. In my experience, this type of response usually happens for two reasons:
1: This person is trying to market their own practice and views you as competition
2: This person failed at marketing their practice and are upset with the outcome
Step 2: Empathize
Recognizing why someone might not be open to the idea of another business owner thriving is important for moving forward. This allows you to remove the feeling of failure from your own shoulders and understand that this person’s negative viewpoint is likely to do with their own circumstances and not you at all.
Step 3: Realize the problem doesn’t belong to you
While it may be hard to let negative feedback roll off your shoulders, it’s important to separate a person’s negativity from the forward progress of your business. We learned through steps one and two that people often project their own issues onto others who may be succeeding where they failed.
Knowing this, it is critical you understand that just because THEY failed and are upset, does not mean that YOU have failed.
Step 4: Shift focus to the positive
Often, for every negative reaction, there are far more positive reactions or aspects of your business to focus on.
For example: When we first started out, we sent out 300 physician newsletters and doubled our number of physician referrals in one week (ah, the good ole’ days). Of course, out of these newsletters we received ONE complaint from a physician who, we later learned, was unsuccessful in his own marketing attempts.
It would have been easy to fixate on that complaint, wondering what we did wrong or how we could have improved. But in reality, our system was successful for 99.9% of our target audience, and in the long run, it was smarter (and more profitable) to stick with a system that the majority of our recipients were receptive to!
Now that you have the tools to navigate through the hate, let’s focus on the next marketing pitfall PT’s often face: a lack of specificity in defining a market.
Know your market!
When we first started out, we would talk to anyone about anything and everything relating to physical therapy. This can be overwhelming and often unsuccessful in landing actual clients.
With marketing, there are many things that are important to remember, but none more so than knowing your audience. Who are you trying to market to? Desk dwellers? Manual laborers? High-stress corporate CEOS?
Each of these groups has a different need, and adjusting your marketing approach to best suit each group will help you not only bait, but set the hook in potential clients.
Another term for this is a Capture Audience Workshop (CAW). This is recognizing your target audience and giving them the information that best relates to their needs.
For example: A group of people who hold desk jobs may suffer from low back, mid-back, or neck pain with headaches, and will benefit from information focused on what your business can do to address these specific ailments.
It is often more beneficial to address one audience at a time to allow the focus to be on their specific needs instead of bombarding multiple groups with information overload on the services you provide. SPECIFICITY IS KEY.
Now, is it possible to set up a great CAW and still not increase your referrals or direct access patients? Of course. Do you know why? You are likely falling for another common marketing pitfall: not looking for the behavior of companies you’re marketing to.
Look For Behavior Trends, Then Just Fit In!
Just like it’s important to understand the needs of the group you are marketing to, it is also important to understand the past behaviors of that group.
Think of it like interviewing a potential employee. You look at what they’ve done in the past to indicate how they might perform in the future. The same applies in marketing.
- Does this potential partner already have programs in place?
- Do they have a marketing list?
- Do they have technology setup that fits your preferred marketing strategy (email, text, etc.)?
If the answer is no to any of these questions, I would urge you to reconsider partnering with this group. While you may think a company has great principles or ideals that would make them a great partner, already established marketing programs, up to date technology, and well thought out marketing lists are far more important in setting up a successful CAW and increasing clients.
So now we’ve discussed how to get into the right mindset, how to define your market, and how to choose marketing partners who are equipped to help you bring in clients. But how is this all paid for?
Invest Your Way to Prosperity
Often, people think that saving money and cutting corners wherever you can is the key to financial success. In marketing, this could not be more untrue. What you think you’re “saving” in the short term, could really be costing you big time in the long term.
For example: If you bring in $8,000 a month in revenue from patient treatment and spend $4,000 of that on marketing it seems like an insanely high budget for something that is “non-essential,” leaving you with only $4,000 profit.
However, if that marketing campaign doubles your patient referrals, the following month you will bring in $16,000 in revenue. Even with maintaining a $4,000 marketing budget you will now bring in $12,000 in profit. You have tripled your profits with one investment!
Now imagine if you had saved that initial $4000 instead of investing in marketing. Yes, you would have that money in the bank, but your patient referrals would remain similar each month bringing in only $8,000. While you will still make money, this method will result in far less growth, and in turn, less wealth for your company in the long run.
In the end, it is about weighing the potential of the investment against the expense of the marketing system you want to use.
Remember – You have to spend money to make money! Just make sure you’re investing in the right people!
Okay, you’ve got the tools, you’ve got the money, now to pop on that suit and tie and get out there and market, right?
WRONG… well, unless you’re already a suit and tie kind of person.
While a suit and tie may be the traditional image of success in the business world, we want you to think outside the box in regards to how you present yourself.
Do you wear khakis and a polo to work? Great! How about black pants and a nice blouse? Also Great! These are the things that you should be wearing when you’re out marketing.
Try to present the most authentic version of yourself to clients and your confidence in your abilities will shine through. We are big on developing a marketing system that represents and works best for YOU, so it makes sense that the real you should be the one showcasing it!
Now that you have the know-how, we urge you to begin implementing some of these new physical therapy marketing strategies into your current systems.
If you want some ideas or help with marketing systems you can get up and running fast, check out our FREE Direct Access Marketing Classes for more information!