Concept Updates

Is a $100 budget enough to start your cash pay business? We think so…

 

Most (if not all) independent practitioners wonder about the potential for cash based business. At first, it seems like a giant shift, but actually, if you have patient traffic of any sort, your already “setup” to participate in this growing market segment. Here’s the simplest way to get started with a plan everyone can execute for less than $100:

 

Step 1 costs $0: Dump the “patient” perspective and shift to a customer-driven philosophy:
First you must adopt the right philosophy and expand your thinking beyond the limits imposed by your health care “system” business habits. For example, the word “patient” is terribly limiting for both you and your customer; that’s a marketing double-whammy. It sets you up to view a customer as someone who disappears after completing a “plan of care,” and sets your customer up to look forward to the day when they no longer call themselves your “patient.”

 

Thinking about your patients as customers allows you to continue providing the best “care” possible, but also opens new room for you to think about what else they would want to consume from you. Many health care professionals squirm when they hear patients referred to as “customers,” but remember, this is a business philosophy, a mindset. Just to give you an idea, almost 67% of “patients” we survey say they would like their physical therapist to provide other programs and services for them after finishing their therapy. If you think of them as patients, that’s hard to act on, but when you think of them also as customers, you naturally want to fill the need.

 

Step 2 costs $0: Outline basic cash pay services (and products) you can offer customers.
Think about your typical patient, and the many things they need and want related to what you do. I know this may seem obvious, but for some reason many physical therapists struggle with this. Some of the most common programs include things like a supervised program for transitioning from rehab to regular exercise, weight loss, gym memberships, specialized training like Pilates for Golf, or whatever. Write down all the possibilities, and REMEMBER, it doesn’t matter if you think it will work or not for YOU. What matters is what the CUSTOMER wants. The bigger the variety and selection, the better, but it’s best to start with one new thing at a time. Keep your list handy, and write down new ideas as they come from customers or staff. If you find yourself saying, “that won’t work” to most ideas so they don’t even get on a simple list of possibilities, you might want to download our Innovation Checklist or sign up for a 60 minute strategy session (still $0 cost). Give it a try or let us know if we can help facilitate the process.

 

Step 3 costs $75-$100: Design and print a cash pay program/services flyer.
If you’ve gotten this far, guess what? You are now in the cash pay business. But that doesn’t mean the cash will just start rolling in. Like any new program, you will need to offer and adjust. A basic flyer to hand out to your customers is a great way to start. Make sure the flyer does more than list services and prices; it must educate them on the potential health benefits of the service. Initially, don’t measure the success of your new program by the sales alone. Instead, measure your success by what you learn about the customer appeal of the program. You will most definitely need to make adjustments that will increase the appeal.  Be careful here, as negative input and resistance from staff will abound, and this is where your entrepreneurial instincts will need to kick in. This is also where we can help.  (If you have a concept, we would be glad to review it and give you some feedback. Simply upload it here.) With the right support, many of the most common reasons for failure are reduced or eliminated. Request your complimentary customized marketing plan now.

 

Cash pay anyone? 

Thanks for reading,

David Steinberg & Trent Wehrhahn

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.

 

 

It was sometime in 2004 when I met an entrepreneur/physical therapist named Jeff Hathaway in Liverpool, NY. Jeff was my first PT client, and he told me he wanted to market something called neuropathy care for a clinic in Cortland, NY, a town of about 20,000 people. I didn’t know what neuropathy was, so Jeff explained, and I immediately grew very skeptical.

No way will this work, I thought. Why? As a marketer, one of the first things I do is think about the potential audience size. So who in Cortland would care about diagnosis and treatment of neuropathy? We are talking about mostly seniors, with diabetes and neuropathy symptoms, (a slice-of-a-slice-of-a-slice target market). In a small town of 20,000 with 13% seniors 65 years or older, and 19% of those with diabetes, and maybe 25% of those symptomatic, we were talking about a potential audience of 125 people.

“Jeff, are you crazy?

We didn’t have those numbers at the time, but we had a pretty good idea that the target audience was pretty small. We produced a radio ad and a basic 24 spot test schedule that cost $850, and to our surprise we had 11 people call.

Think about that.

If you are one of those PTs who say they don’t like neuropathy patients, so who cares, you miss the point entirely. The point is what we learned – 11 patient calls out of a total market potential of an estimated 125, from one burst of radio on a single station! Is that luck or real strategic marketing success?

Here’s the case for strategic success, not luck.

  • People with neuropathy suffer greatly. They describe the symptoms as almost torturous. This creates a high level of motivation to chase down and learn more about any solution option presented.
  • Treatment options are limited and physicians usually prescribe expensive drug therapy that isn’t effective and has negative side effects.
  • No one is offering (marketing) a specific solution option for neuropathy care that uses a low risk offer for more educational information about treatment options for relieving the symptoms.

The underlined phrases in the points above are the essential ingredients for strategic marketing of any PT treatment program that can dominate. If you can identify similar opportunities and execute the marketing efficiently, you can literally dominate your competition and create a patient-generating machine. Some examples of “ailment” strategies include post-surgical rehab, sports injuries, balance and dizziness, fall risk assessment and prevention planning, chronic pain, back pain, and pretty much any ailment you can think of. You just need to understand how to create and execute the strategy.
Sign up for a free 60 minute PT Marketing Strategy Session.

If this is possible in such a small community like Cortland, imagine the potential in most markets. Any “ailment” or physical problem can be powerfully marketed with the right strategic system.  It does require experience and expertise to pull this off on your own, and your chances for success will be greatly increased if you engage a marketing services provider who understands PT marketing and how to implement a complete strategic system, quickly and affordably.
Read the 3 Critical Requirements To Actually Execute Good Marketing

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

Looking for a complete turnkey marketing solution for neuropathy care or other special ailment treatment program? Call David directly at 774-255-1125 to learn more about a special opportunity for an exclusive in your market.

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

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

 

Executive Letters From Physical Therapists Now Reach More Physicians

Thanks to technology, snail mail provides a better opportunity to be noticed

 

The number one objection (false) to spending money on physician referral letters is that they don’t get read, or even opened. And even if that were true, this may be the time to reevaluate that. Thanks to digital technology, the volume of traditional mail has dropped considerably, making it easier to reach key staff in a physician’s office.
But having a better chance to bust through the mail clutter isn’t enough to actually produce results and influence referral patterns. To make money with your direct mail to physicians you need strategic content – not creative – that is engaging, educational, and that provides practical solutions to everyday problems. If you can provide that type of content, then you train your readers to read your mail. If you can’t, then you train them to toss it.

What Physicians Will Read And What Gets Tossed

What Gets Tossed: Letters that appear to have no clinical relevance, bury key ideas in the text, or come across as a self-serving sales pitch.

What They Will Read: Problem solving information (about their problem, not yours) that is easy to scan, clinically relevant, and holds the promise of something helpful to them, not simply another plea for referrals.

Physicians are no different than any other business person. They are constantly scanning their environment for solutions to everyday problems. Their problems create opportunities for you to be heard if you have something important to say.  If your letter does not immediately seem to help solve one of their problems, then it gets tossed.  It’s that simple – no need to over-think it.

AnchorIs it really true that the letter should be limited to just a paragraph or two, and no longer than one page?

NO! Don’t worry about the length of the letter, worry about the formatting, flow, and the total Power Level of your message following the results formula you will learn below.

A COMMON MISCONCEPTION is that anything more than a few paragraphs or a single page will not get read. But think of it this way, when you receive valuable information about a solution option to a problem you’ve been experiencing, do you really judge it by its length? Have you ever received that kind of “I’ve been looking for this” information and said to yourself, “Boy, that’s really timely and helpful stuff, but it’s more than a page, so I’ll just toss it away and wait for another letter that keeps it to one page.” Of course not. That would make no sense. But the point is this: If your good ideas and concepts don’t easily shine through without making the reader labor, then the letter will likely get tossed.

Consultants that recommend the “keep it short or it won’t get read” philosophy are correct in one sense: When your information is not that compelling or valuable, the reader will only invest a moment in reading before giving up. This common “keep it short” principle should be restated as follows: Your reader will give you an instant to start building a compelling problem solving case, so make sure you use that moment well.

Finally! A Way To Know If Your Physician Letters Will Get Results Before You Even Put Them In The Mail

The Results Formula –
3 Elements For Your Letters and Other Strategic Communications:

Element 1: Interrupt & Engage. Use powerful headlines and sub headlines to expose the problem and give the promise of more educational problem solving information to come. The most effective headlines tap into the emotion of curiosity and self interest, that’s why focusing on problems in your headline or subject line is so compelling. Everyone is interested in solving their problems, and they are curious about any solution. Good headlines suck the reader in.  If you have read to this point, chances are our “Why letters from PTs are now read by more physicians” headline poked your brain on a practical, problem-solving level. You then scanned for additional clarifying information, and quickly found it with simple formatting techniques like bold text, underlines, and indents. Spend as much time or more on creating your feature headline as you do writing the letter.

Element 2: Educate By Case Building. Body copy, text, and other “showables” build a logical case that helps the reader draw a conclusion about your solution option. Physicians and staff are judging you like a jury judges an attorney’s case. Does your letter demonstrate special expertise? How does your information compare to that provided by other “similar” solution providers? Your reader can only compare based on what you teach them in your communication. Building a strong case using charts, graphs, tables, and other compelling information positions you as the expert.  Use headings and formatting that helps the reader get the logical flow by simply scanning.

Element 3: Offer and Call To Action. In addition to your invitation for qualified referrals, give your readers other ways to take next steps in learning more about your particular problem-solving process. Most executive letters end by simply saying, “Give us a call with any questions.” This kind of offer is self evident, and lacks the power to spur immediate action. Your offer should include more resources for learning about what you do and how you do it. Your offers need to build confidence in your expertise. Your offer should be formatted and set off from the body copy so it will be scanned even if the body copy is not read. The exception to this would be a “concealed offer” designed to appeal only to the most highly qualified, eager readers.

AnchorRed Sharpie Time: See How We Apply The Results Formula To 2 Of The Crummiest Letters We’ve Ever Seen, And Then Try It Yourself On 2 More.

AnchorSee the 4 Crummiest Letters Now and How We Rip 2 Of Them Apart With The Results Formula And Score Their Power Level (You Can Rip Apart The Other 2).

Register for a 90 minute Writing Workshop, get expert advice, and see examples of KILLER letters that get results. Register here.

 

AnchorTips For Getting Started Using The Results Formula On Your Own:

1)      Pick an expertise to market where you excel. If you are good at what you do, and there is a market for your solution, running this formula gets outstanding, consistent results.

2)      Create 50 headlines and sub-headlines that expose the problem and promise a solution from your reader’s perspective. You will need lots of headlines to form the basis of your strategic campaign.

3)      Create several valuable “offers” for more ways to learn about the benefits of what you do. Make sure the offers have a memorable marketing “handle.”

4)      Gather compelling evidence that can be used to build a case in your body copy.

5)      Write the letter making sure to place and format each Element for optimum scanability and readability.

6)      Test, Test, Test. Each element of the formula can be tested, but pay particular attention to the headlines and offers. Testing can be done effectively with little or no extra investment.

Finally! A Way To Know If Your Physician Letters Will Get Results Before You Even Put Them In The Mail

The Results Formula – 3 Elements For Your Letters and Other Strategic Communications:

 

Element 1: Interrupt & Engage. Use powerful headlines and sub headlines to expose the problem and give the promise of more educational problem solving information to come. The most effective headlines tap into the emotion of curiosity and self interest, that’s why focusing on problems in your headline or subject line is so compelling. Everyone is interested in solving their problems, and they are curious about any solution. Good headlines suck the reader in.  If you have read to this point, chances are our “Why letters from PTs are now read by more physicians” headline poked your brain on a practical, problem-solving level. You then scanned for additional clarifying information, and quickly found it with simple formatting techniques like bold text, underlines, and indents. Spend as much time or more on creating your feature headline as you do writing the letter.

 

Element 2: Educate By Case Building. Body copy, text, and other “showables” build a logical case that helps the reader draw a conclusion about your solution option. Physicians and staff are judging you like a jury judges an attorney’s case. Does your letter demonstrate special expertise? How does your information compare to that provided by other “similar” solution providers? Your reader can only compare based on what you teach them in your communication. Building a strong case using charts, graphs, tables, and other compelling information positions you as the expert.  Use headings and formatting that helps the reader get the logical flow by simply scanning.

 

Element 3: Offer and Call To Action. In addition to your invitation for qualified referrals, give your readers other ways to take next steps in learning more about your particular problem-solving process. Most executive letters end by simply saying, “Give us a call with any questions.” This kind of offer is self evident, and lacks the power to spur immediate action. Your offer should include more resources for learning about what you do and how you do it. Your offers need to build confidence in your expertise. Your offer should be formatted and set off from the body copy so it will be scanned even if the body copy is not read. The exception to this would be a “concealed offer” designed to appeal only to the most highly qualified, eager readers.

 

AnchorRed Sharpie Time: See How We Apply The Results Formula To 2 Of The Crummiest Letters We’ve Ever Seen, And Then Try It Yourself On 2 More.

AnchorSee the 4 Crummiest Letters Now and How We Rip 2 Of Them Apart With The Results Formula And Score Their Power Level (You Can Rip Apart The Other 2).

Register for a 90 minute Writing Workshop, get expert advice, and see examples of KILLER letters that get results. Register here.

AnchorTips For Getting Started Using The Results Formula On Your Own:

1)      Pick an expertise to market where you excel. If you are good at what you do, and there is a market for your solution, running this formula gets outstanding, consistent results.

2)      Create 50 headlines and sub-headlines that expose the problem and promise a solution from your reader’s perspective. You will need lots of headlines to form the basis of your strategic campaign.

3)      Create several valuable “offers” for more ways to learn about the benefits of what you do. Make sure the offers have a memorable marketing “handle.”

4)      Gather compelling evidence that can be used to build a case in your body copy.

5)      Write the letter making sure to place and format each Element for optimum scanability and readability.

6)      Test, Test, Test. Each element of the formula can be tested, but pay particular attention to the headlines and offers. Testing can be done effectively with little or no extra investment.

As we continue develop concepts for communicating with physicians about the benefits of the MDT process, we wanted to announce some important updates. A new physician letter is now available that focuses on the centralization phenomenon.

Also, previous versions of the MDT executive letter series included oversized patient guides. Now there is an additional option to substitute 4″ x 9″ patient education service cards for the full sized Guides. This addition to the library reduces mailing and printing costs substantially. We also want to point out that the 4″ x 9″ service cards are ideal for waiting rooms and other points of contact with patients.

The 4″ x 9″ cards are also being made available for all other “ailments.” The designs are customized with your edits (Platinum and Premium clients), logo and contact information (Standard). The cards also present well together as a “family” in your Physician Resource Kit.

Current subscribers who would like to include these new concepts with their current campaigns can post a Task on their Marketing Dashboard.

For those who would like more information on these and/or other concepts, please visit our Contact Us page. Or call us at 888-PT-HELPS (888-784- 3577)

Read More About Planning An Effective Physician Letter Campaign