The effectiveness of using low-cost workshops to get face time with prospective patients is old news for most independant physical therapists, but the time and money it takes to prepare and promote the event can be an obstacle. To increase your chances of putting butts in the seats when using this technique, we wanted to share results from The Trenches this week – 25 registrants for an independant clinic (and they are still coming in). Keys to success:
- Good content – you need an appealing message that speaks to your prospective patients. What you say, how you say it, and what the materials look like have a huge impact on the result. If the content is compelling and chock-full of problem solving information in a direct response format. Create the program once, and use it over and over. A common mistake is to invest effort for one event, and then feel the need to re-invent or change the theme each time an event is planned. The material may be old-hat and familiar to you, but to most of the outside world, it is still fresh.
- Low-cost advertising and promotion tools work well IF you have an appealing message. There is a technique and formula for working out the messaging details. Take advantage of popular social media is important, but it has been over-hyped, and you should expect a successful event even if you haven’t set that up yet.Don’t forget your current patient database. If you have their email addresses, it costs you almost nothing to include them in the marketing, and your existing patient list is usually one of the most productive sources of repeat business and referrals. If you don’t have many emails, you can implement a variety of techniques for capturing them. In addition, while you are thinking about your email database, don’t overlook the growing importance of mobile numbers – make sure to capture these too.
- Frequency – Don’t expect to hit a home run on your first event. This technique takes time to bear fruit. Once you start, stick with it, even if you find yourself the only one in the room the first time. Plan to run your event at regularly scheduled intervals. Train your marketplace to expect the event, and miss it when it is not offered.
- Targeting – If you are doing a workshop that appeals to a certain demographic (balance and falling for seniors, for example), make sure your materials get in front of the maximum number of people who fit the profile. Depending on the area you serve, finding your target group may require purchasing special lists, or may be as simple as an inexpensive saturation mailing.
- Include Other Professionals As Guest Speakers – Including a physician or specialist that is an expert on the subject of your workshop can do more than just reduce the amount of time you have to talk. These people also have a patient list or sphere of influence that they can invite to your event. Having a featured “expert” can also boost the credibility of your workshop by giving the impression that this isn’t just going to be a sales pitch for your facility.
For those who want to learn more about how to get the most out of your workshop events and other physical therapy marketing essentials, visit http://ptreferralmachine.com/free_webinar.