Social Media

You can follow these 3 simple steps to make money and grow your practice with advertising,
or just keep flushing precious cash down the toilet while you
hope and pray for results.
Which do you prefer?

 

tn_Money-Down-The-ToiletFor those of you who attended our most recent Marketing Boot Camp or completed the 5 hour video training, you know that making money from your advertising investment can be broken down into a 3-step process. Each step is simple to understand, but takes expertise and experience to execute.

 

Step 1 – Find Something Good To Say: This is the strategic process of determining what will make you more appealing to prospective patients. What do you do that makes your quality of care and patient experience any better or different than your competitor’s? Finding Something Good To Say almost always requires that you have a desire to be better than the competition in ways that your patients value.

 

Step 2 – Say It Well: Once you have found Something Good To Say, you need to Say It Well. Saying it well demands that you make your unique advantages instantly evident in all your marketing communications. You can’t expect people to sort and sift through your information looking for reasons to choose you. Good marketing communications use tested methods and techniques proven to engage qualified prospects by making your unique advantages shine through. Get this wrong and it’s like flushing your money down the toilet; get it right and you are set up to maximize your return.

 

Step 3 – Say It Often:  Most money is wasted because the marketer skips steps 1 & 2 and jumps right in on  spending money to advertise. That’s the primary reason many physical therapists draw the conclusion that advertising doesn’t work; they spend money without a well-defined strategy. If you think ad reps from the Yellow Pages or any other local media outlets take care of this for you, they don’t. But if you take the time to find an agency that understands PT  marketing and can take the time to help you work through steps 1 and 2, you will develop a healthy appetite to “Say It Often.”

 

Many clients hear about this 3-step process and ask if they should stop marketing until they run through steps 1 and 2. The answer dependd on where you are now in terms of marketing. You may already Have Something Good To Say, but need help with How to Say It Well, or perhaps you already Say It Well, but need advice on how to choose the best media mix for your market to Say It Often. At PT Referral Machine we help you assess where you are at and implement a custom marketing plan that gets results.

 

Follow these 3 simple steps and you can join the club of those practitioners who enjoy the benefits of the ultimate business leverage tool – marketing. 

Thanks for reading,

 

David & Trent

Important Links:

Marketing Boot Camp Training Series

60 Minute Private Strategy Session

Physician Letter Series

30 Day Free Trial

Power Writing Workshop

The 4 Greatest Physical Therapy Headlines Of All Time

 

4 Greatest Headlines

(CAUTION: It doesn’t work to just steal these headlines. The headline is THE BEGINNING of the strategy. Creating expectations with headlines means you have to deliver. You also need supporting content, and offers for the related educational materials).


7 Critical Questions To Ask Before Choosing Your Physical Therapist


Physical Therapy or Chiropractic: How To Know Which Is Best For You


If You Think Physical Therapy Is Something You Do ONLY When Your Doctor Recommends It, Here’s What You May Be Missing…


Two Groups Of Back Pain Sufferers, Which Group Are You In?


**See 150 Headlines Proven To Stimulate Response For Physical Therapists In A 90 Minute PT Power Writing Workshop – register now

And Why Creating Powerful Headlines Is Critical To Your Marketing Success

 

What you say and how you say it in your marketing makes a difference. What you say should make it instantly evident why your practice is any better or different than your competitor’s. Headlines are the primary tool used to take instant control of your audience, and steer them in the direction you want them to go. Good headlines put you in command of the message, poor headlines (or no headlines) let the audience drift in their own direction.

For example, compare these two website homepage headlines:

  1. Welcome To ABC Physical Therapy.
    And,
  2. The Three Most Common Problems Patients Have With Restoring Function And Reducing Pain, And How ABC Physical Therapy Overcomes Them All

The first headline communicates the idea, “We’re a PT clinic, and we’re glad you found our website.” The second headline takes command of the conversation, and instantly promises to provide important treatment and provider selection information. If you were a patient in pain and hobbling around looking to choose a clinic, which website headline would be more engaging for you?

Headlines Should Get At Least 50% Of Your Writing Effort

Headline number 1 is safe, easy to write, and takes no real strategic thought. It feels warm and inviting to say, but that’s not what the audience hears; they hear, “I’m a PT, and I hope you choose me because you found my website, welcome!”

Headline 2 takes strategic effort. It holds the practitioner to a higher standard for both care delivery, and content delivery. Headline number 2 demands content that will expose and solve problems that are important and relevant to the patient. It sets the provider on a course for strategic success with patients, referral sources, and search engines.

The problem/solution “slant” of headline 2 also makes it easier to determine what other kinds of marketing communication tools will be effective in attracting new patients. And so you see how the simple (but not easy) job of creating headlines can be the single most important priority for your marketing. Don’t make the mistake of trying to be cute or funny, and don’t confuse headlines with taglines. You’re a healthcare provider, and the promise of your headlines need to be one of educational problem/solution information. Avoid saying things like “best care” and “most experience”; these are self-serving platitudes that lack the power to produce the strategic success you deserve from your marketing.

If you want to avoid the effort of marketing and innovating your business, headlines like the Top 4 are a bad choice. But if you see the potential power of these strategic “slants” to out-market your competition, and build strategic success, this approach will get you on your way.

Looking for a turnkey solution for your marketing? Get everything you need, including a marketing team to handle it all, from The PT Referral Machine (PTRM) for as little as $995 a month.

Not ready to outsource your marketing? PTRM also provides individual marketing system components, like a website, or physician letter campaigns. We also have physical therapy marketing training programs. To learn more, visit PTreferralMachine.com.

Is $895 per month a good investment for guaranteed* double-digit growth in your PT practice?

 

Answer: Yes, read on. No, Click away.

 

 iStock_000005289966XSmallHow We Help Physical Therapy Businesses Grow…

 

The PT Referral Machine (PTRM) is absolutely, the most complete and affordable marketing resource available for PT businesses, big and small. If you are good at what you do, PTRM sets you on a path for double-digit growth in as little as 60 days – guaranteed.*

You need effective marketing, plain and simple. What you don’t need is more “how to” advice from consultants who charge thousands for seminars, workshops, and other traditional agency services. Consultants and seminars can look appealing because you want to learn how to be a better marketer and try and handle the job yourself. But for most PT practices handling the marketing in-house is usually a really bad idea. It’s just too expensive to hire a trained marketing professional, and then they need to outsource most of what you need anyway. Is finding an Industry Solution a better idea? We think so…

So stop banging your head against the wall. There is no need to waste your time struggling with marketing anymore…

Get Your Complete Physical Therapy Marketing Department – A Senior Executive With Support Staff And A Proven Track Record For Results For As Little As $895 A Month.

Services Include: See all this and more on a 60 minute Strategy Session.
•    Strategic Planning
•    Custom Website
•    Search Engine Optimization
•    New Patient Email and appointment confirmations
•    Blog
•    Internet and social media
•    Patient information materials
•    Physician materials
•    Event promotion and materials (seminars, workshops, in-services, open houses, grand openings)
•    Receptionist training and scripting
•    Direct mail programs
•    Results tracking
•    Agency services
-    Graphic design
-    Copy writing
-    Media analysis, purchasing, and discounted printing services

*Before ordering your service, sales targets will be set. When we proceed with implementation and you do not meet the agreed sales projections, we will credit or refund 60 days of service.

What Is PT Referral Machine?

PT Referral Machine is a complete resource for planning and executing Fortune 500-Style health care marketing systems on a small business budget.
See our programs and pricing here.

Looking for a complete turnkey marketing solution for your website or other special ailment treatment program? Call David directly at 774-255-1125 to learn more and discuss your unique requirements.

Have general questions about our PT marketing industry solution?
Visit our FAQ page.

Sincerely,

 
David C. Steinberg & Trent Wehrhahn
The PT Referral Machine.

 

 

Website strategy first – then design

Simple Principles Help Make Your Physical Therapy and Health Care Website  The Hub Of  A Patient-Generating Marketing System, Not Just An Online Business Card

Website and internet management decisions grow more and more important for physical therapy and health care practitioners every day. Gone are the days when a provider could get by with a cheap $39 a month website, a picture or two, contact information, and an About Us page. Instead, websites have become the hub for strategic “want or need to know” information about your marketplace that drives consumer choice and influences referral patterns.

Yet while the push to the internet accelerates, we still see large numbers of providers struggle, postpone, and bungle even the most basic website decisions. Why? Perhaps the simple answer is confusion over what to expect from the website and how to sort out all the choices. Once you know what to expect, you can place a value on the site based on the potential impact on your business. With a sense of value in mind the job of sorting out your options should be straightforward.

What To Expect From Your Website –
From The Marketplace To The Backend

In The Marketplace

Think of your website in the marketplace in two categories: Services and Referral Generation.

Services
Your website should provide services that improve the customer experience and ease of doing business. Don’t narrow your thinking about functionality to just “branding” or displaying basic service and contact information. Obviously, the low cost, high speed, large informational-transactional capacity, and extensive reach of the internet make it ideal for virtually all a practitioner’s business functions with the exception of delivering physical goods and services.

As the use of most computing and internet technologies continue to converge on mobile devices, the delivery of all “soft” products and services will converge as well. Patient intake forms, scheduling, appointment reminders, and online payments through mobile devices are all simple examples.  Start with the simple basics like online appointment forms, and get your business services online now, don’t wait.

Referral Generation
Referral generation flows from great content. Great content is a traffic generator: Search engines are smart enough to find and rank it, and visitors are engaged enough to stick on your site rather than bounce around exploring other search results.

Great content facilitates the visitor’s decision making process by providing information about diagnosis and treatment options, and then helping them understand how to choose the best provider. Each visitor wants the best care available, not the second best, and usually has no idea how to find it or even what to ask. Good strategic content avoids self-serving platitudes like “most experience” and “caring about you.” Instead, it provides checklists, reports, and other offers for more information that educates the visitor to a point where they draw the conclusion you are the best choice. And, if they can “click here” to chat now, register for an event, refer a friend, request a complimentary consultation, or request an appointment – just the basics, but that’s a GOOD start for an engaging site.

The Back End

Planning & Design
Ninety-nine out of one-hundred people reading this article should not expect (or even attempt) to build, maintain, host, or manage their internet presence themselves. Despite the TV commercials promoting “click-click” and you are done, this is a really bad idea. Most likely, the site will not meet your needs, and you will pull your hair out trying to keep up with the call to maintain it, or worse yet, not be able to publish it without many important pages missing, “under construction,” or just looking awful. Yes, great website building tools exist, but you still need extensive training, expertise, and LOTS of time to work with them.

That being said, even though you shouldn’t be producing your site, you do need to understand enough about the platform choices so you know what to expect for support, development, and maintenance. Avoid proprietary technologies where the website can’t be purchased and moved should you need to do so. To protect your investment, choose a widely supported open source platform with a large community of independent developers who can step in at any time.

Strategic Content
Understand that there is a big difference between the website design and the CONTENT. The most common mistake you can make is to go for a website designer who also masquerades as a content provider. Anyone can post a welcome message, pictures, and other basic information, but the battle is won with good strategic content (yes, this is a competitive battle). A pretty design will not overcome the internet demand and the visitor’s appetite for relevant content.

Don’t be intimidated: Many small practice managers look at what their larger competitors are doing on the web and draw the conclusion they can’t afford to compete. If that’s you, here’s the good news – most of the online applications you will need are readily available and affordable. If you can’t afford or don’t want to lay out the cash to purchase a system, consider licensing with an option to buy. Make sure you partner with a strategic web content provider who not only has a track record for generating and qualifying patient leads in your field, but also integrates the concepts into your offline materials as well.

David and Trent can be reached through their website PTreferralMachine.com, on their blog PTRMblog.com, or at either of their offices in the US or Canada. US – 90 Altons Lane, East Falmouth, MA 02536, 774-255-1125. Canada – 26 Sienna Bay SW, Calgary, AB T3H 2C8, 403-510-7051. Email info@PTreferralMachine.com

Introducing:
The PT Referral Machine $189 90-Minute Power Writing Workshop
 (90 minutes is all it takes to show you the same tested method we have refined over 8 years of trial and error spurring better and better physican response – really).
Anyone who is familiar with our practice growth strategies will tell you that we recommend consistant, quality communications with consumers, patients, and other professionals. And when implementing our program, after launching the website and patient educational packets, one of the first outbound campaigns is our Physician Executive Letter series. That’s why we created this workshop – it’s usually the first line of attack for everyone.
Our new Power Writing Workshop is for those who want to actually learn a specific method for creating executive communications that generate response and produce measurable return on investment.
In addition to teaching tested methods and providing writing filter tools, the 90 minute online workshop exposes common misconceptions about what physicians will or will not read, and teaches you how to use tested communication strategies to influence referral patterns. The basic principles you will learn apply to all your other marketing as well. To learn more about the workshop and/or register, visit http://ptreferralmachine.com/power_writing.
Last week’s article talked about some fundamental principles to help provide some perspective on the business benefits of physician letters, and some of you suggested that we provide more “How To” information on this topic.

More “How To” posts on physician letters from our blog library:

  1. Why Letters From PTs Are Now Read By More Physicians
  2. Physicians’ Waiting Rooms – A Great Place To Begin Capturing The Attention Of Your Prospective Patients
  3. The New Frontier In Practice Management For Physical Therapists et al
  4. The 4 Crummiest Physician Letters We’ve Ever Seen (We Hope They Don’t Look Familiar)
  5. 3 Simple Steps To Generating Physician Letters That Actually Produce Response
  6. Getting Traction With Key Physician Referral Sources
  7. How To Make Physician Letters Actually Generate PT Referrals
  8. Good Materials That Help Physicians

 

You probably hear advice from marketing people like us about how “blogging” will help you get found on the internet, and we always hear from most physical therapy and dental clients that blogging is just another chore with a limited impact on the business.

So, realistically, what should you expect from your blog? We thought a real example might help provide a fresh perspective.

We want to share an example that comes from a physiotherapy business we work with in Halifax, Nova Scotia, One to One Wellness.*

The owner takes full advantage of the blogging feature on his clinic website by collaborating with key staff members, all taking turns writing posts. With eight contributors, each person only has to write a post once every two months. Over time (about two years now), the blog has increased traffic to the site by gaining authority with key search engines. It even attracted enough attention to be quoted in a national magazine, Canadian Living.  And, while doing research, another reporter from Progress Magazine found a relevant post from the blog and was impressed enough to feature their clinic in a wellness article. Not long after that, they received another inquiry from blogging expert Linda Dessau, asking to use their blog as an example of team collaboration. As far as customers go, their website and blog was recently voted Silver for “Best of Halifax.” The publicity continues to be a boon to their brand.

This did not happen after one or two posts. It was the result of good leadership, patience, and the basic discipline of routine over two years. The reward is strategic advantage. The simple process of blogging has created a team activity, boosted moral, and provided the foundation for good strategic content-driven marketing.  A commitment to the discipline of blogging will pay dividends to all healthcare providers who embrace it and feed it with worthy content.

In preparing to write this post, I asked Nick (owner of One to One) a question:

Q: As the CEO, what benefits (so far) in the organization have you seen from your approach to blogging? What costs? Were any of the benefits/costs anticipated?

A: There have not really been any costs associated, except the cost that we pay you to support our marketing and develop our site. And I guess the opportunity cost of our time; however, it seems to be something most enjoy.

I think everyone has a writer in them. Most of us just need a deadline to actually get us to put something down in writing. There have been several benefits of us blogging as a team, including:

  • simply doing something as a team – everyone participates
  • giving everyone a voice and a way to speak to prospects and clients
  • extending conversations;  ie. allowing people to hear what we have to say without us being there to say it
  • fresh content on our website that could increase engagement
  • ability for people to check us out ahead of time and understand our offering more fully – several have read our posts to validate a recommendation before booking an appointment
  • more far-reaching connections, such as a journalist who contacted us for her magazine article and a blogging advisor who wanted to more about team blogging
  • multiple perspectives expressed
  • ability to share our own content through other channels, such as Facebook or Twitter
  • possibly improvement on search engine rankings*******

Why A Good Blog Can Be As Important As A Business Plan For Many Small Businesses

A conventional business plan has value for two main reasons; first, it demands disciplined input from the management team in order to complete, and second, the plan lays out key aspects of the venture so that others can understand and evaluate it using common business language.

A business plan reflects the nature and character of the management. It also describes the value proposition for the product and service. It is the quality of the plan, the content (along with a track record), that attracts investors, employees, and other strategic partners to support the business.

But what about attracting customers, the lifeblood of business? Attracting customers is no different, but instead of calling the result of the disciplined internal process a “business plan,” we call it “marketing.”  As consumers of everything from A-Z, we all use the information we collect from advertising and the internet about a business to make buying decisions. Assuming an attractive value proposition, the business with the best system for communicating this value will dominate the marketplace. Businesses that deliver superior value will die or never reach their potential if they can’t get the word out while their mediocre competition thrives on the strength of superior marketing.

Every Business, No Matter How Big Or Small, Can Market Effectively With The Right Content, And Blogging Provides A Disciplined Process For Building Foundational Content – FOR FREE (almost).

Learn More – Related Article: Enter Content Management – The New Frontier In Practice Management

*Thank you to Nick and Lori Matheson, Jen Sheppard, and the entire team at One To One Wellness for permission to share their blogging success story. Visit their blog at www.121wellnessblog.ca

Why Blogging And Social Media Platforms Are Probably A Waste Of Time For MOST Physical Therapists, And A Competitive Weapon For A Select Few

Marketing Lessons From 2010 In Less Than 400 Words

It’s a new year, and that means you probably thought you would get some relief from the onslaught of the ever-popular “Looking Back At 2010″ articles you endured this past December. Not so fast…  Now that we are done reading through our pile, we thought we would try contributing one of our own.

First, a quick look back at 2010. The social media buzz dominated 2010. It was the most frequently “what do we do about this” topic raised by clients and prospects. It seems that most practitioners couldn’t escape the hype, and if you didn’t rush to create a blog or Facebook page for your clinic, you probably felt like the train left the station without you. No worries, because social media marketing will continue to be more hype than pressing business priority for 2011. In fact, when you look at how most companies are implementing social media, it becomes instantly evident that many will end up throwing it out and starting over, or just not get anything out of it at all.

The majority of social media implementers underestimate the demands of constantly creating worthy blog and social media content – it’s a BIG job even if you have the experience and training.  Another common mistake, rushing to publish, leads to a pile of poor quality, confusing information. Feeding these social media systems with the right content that fits the strategic needs of the business requires planning and discipline.

So if you feel like you missed the blogging and social media train, rest easy, another one will be along when you are ready.

To get this right, the best preparation is to forget about the web technology decision and focus your effort on your strategic content. This may sound like a veiled invitation to jump on the blogging/social media bandwagon and publish, publish, publish, but it is EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE. A good plan for strategic content means you determine what to say and how to say it in an appealing, consistent way for your audience. This consistency becomes the foundation of all your messaging. With a solid strategic foundation,  your blog and social media platforms will become a powerful tool for deployment of a sound internet strategy.

4 Ways To Learn More About How To Create A Strategic Messaging System:

  1. Sign up today for Nitin Chhoda’s popular “Referral Ignition” and get 6 -CEUs. Registration opens today, and is limited to 50 people. 13 early birds have already signed up, and last year the program sold out in 5 days. For more information and to regsiter now, click here and receive a $100 discount when you use the code ptreferralmachine. Also receive complimentary professional design on one of Nitin’s postcard templates.
  2. Register for our 90 minute Power Writing Workshop for $149. Learn more at http://PTreferralMachine.com/power_writing
  3.  Register for our 60 minute complimentary live PT marketing webinar. Learn more at http://ptreferralmachine.com/free_webinar.
  4. Read our blog at http://ptrmblog.com

 

Sincerely,
David C. Steinberg & Trent Wehrhahn
The PT Referral Machine.