If you do these 13 tasks well, I guarantee that you will build a thriving therapy business, with a constant stream of fresh, new, cash paying clients, as well increasing loyalty among your existing clientele. Sound too good to be true? Well it isn’t – we’ve put it into practice and it works. For each task I will explain the rationale behind why that task appears in the list and, wherever possible, give you links to practical resources to enable you to implement them. Most of the tasks you should be able to do yourself, or with very minimal help.
This article discusses 13 steps that are crucial for developing your business (see the ‘13 Steps to Building a Thriving Therapy Business’ checklist). The tasks are listed in priority order, with task 1 being the most important, but as you get the fundamentals in place, the tasks grow in their ability to have impact. It is important, however, to get the fundamentals in place first.
Over the last few months, I’ve been working with my Done For You Marketing clients and during this process I’ve been drilling down to find the 20% of marketing activities you can do, that will give you 80% of the marketing rewards, and I’m pretty confident that I’ve nailed it.
It turns out that it’s much easier to see the wood for the trees when it’s not your forest, and I get a massive kick out of helping you guys to save time while also building a thriving business, so this article is particularly exciting for me.
If somebody had come along to me when I was starting out as a green inexperienced entrepreneur and totally novice publisher all those 19 years ago, and said, “Hey, you know, if you do these 13 things well your business is going to fly”, I would have bitten their arm off for that list.
And you know the best part of all? Every one of these tasks is totally achievable even for the most technophobic luddite. And if you’re still not convinced you’re up to the challenge, I’ll point you in the direction of people who can help you.
Work from the top of the list down, they’re listed in priority order, and if you’re really pushed for time, set yourself the task of doing one job week and keeping on track. If you’re a shit-or-bust kind of person like me, set aside a day and go at it full on. Most of the time I don’t manage to everything I set out to do, mainly because I’m hopelessly over-optimistic, but you know the saying, ‘if you shoot for the moon even if you miss you’ll land among the stars’.
Focus on each task as if your life depends on it, because the success and health of your business literally does!
Some of the tasks on this list are one-off set-up jobs which you should be able to clear off quickly and once they’re done, they’re done. Then you have time to concentrate on the ones that need ongoing attention. Don’t be put off by the thought of having to create all the content we talk about in Part 2 of the article because we’ve got that covered, just focus on getting the foundations and infrastructure in place so that it can allow the magic to happen.
Having a website shows legitimacy. It helps you establish credibility and gives people a reason to trust you as well as a way of contacting you and reading more about the services you. It’s your online shop front Tweet This. It helps you promote offers, establish expertise, offer social proof from other users of your services (more about that later), provide useful, value-added information to help solve the needs and problems of your website visitors and build trust, and very importantly it also offers you a way to collect email leads which you can nurture through your ‘customer acquisition funnel’.
It’s important that your site is mobile-friendly (known as responsive) for two reasons: the first is that Google ranks mobile-friendly websites more highly than non-mobile-friendly sites; the second reason is that mobile traffic is on a massive ascendency thanks to the increasing size and use of mobile devices (if you’re in doubt about whether you need a responsive site have a look at your Google Analytics visitor data for mobile users).
If you haven’t already got a one, there is one particularly great solution, WordPress. WordPress.com is a website and blogging platform used by literally millions of people, many with little or no technology skills, as well as many with very advanced technology skills and it works for everyone. There are simple ready-made themes that you can use as the basis of your site and it can grow with you. You don’t need to install anything, you just need to choose your website domain name (http://www.yourwebsitename.com/) and build your site (or get someone else to do it for you). There are loads of free beginner tutorials on the internet about building WordPress websites from scratch but I’m a big advocate of Lynda.com, which provides very well structured courses on just about anything, and for the cost of £12.95 a month, a month’s subscription will be worth its weight in gold (links and info below).
The best bit about WordPress is that there are literally hundreds of thousands of ‘plugins’ (ready-made bits of software that you can install in a couple of clicks of a button) that let you add just about any functionality you could dream of. It is such a hugely popular platform, nothing else comes close to it. It can cope with the smallest and the biggest jobs. In fact, I very nearly used it as the basis of the Co-Kinetic publishing platform, and I’ve built three web publishing platforms over the last 20 years, so I like think that I know my stuff when it comes to content platforms.
If you don’t know where to start why not use our favourite outsourcing tool, Fiverr, and search for ‘build a WordPress site’. There are plenty of people out there to help you, and cheaply, but make sure you go for quality. You don’t want your site looking cheap and nasty and make sure all text on the site is accurately spelt. Read our article (see Helpful Resources) on the 10 elements you must include on your home page.
Excellent. Make sure it’s mobile-friendly, and make sure to read our article ‘10 Website Home Page Essentials for Winning New Clients’ to make sure you have everything you need, if not on the home page, then easily accessible elsewhere on the website. We also give you loads of useful resources that will literally help you write your website as you work through it.
Google Analytics is a phenomenally powerful FREE service provided by Google! It is the de facto internet standard in web analytics Tweet This and although there are many other analytics programmes that offer lots of bells and whistles and some really great additional functionality, to be honest it’s unlikely you’ll outstretch Google Analytics unless you start moving into really advanced analytics.
Google Analytics provides you with all sorts of critical information around what pages are generating the most leads for you, which pages are the most widely read, or the most under-performing, how much time people spend on all the pages on your site, whether they are new or returning users, whether they are generating leads for you, what devices people are accessing your site on … and so on. The level of detail you can drill down to is almost overwhelming. Again Lynda.com has lots of really good Google Analytics courses pitched at all levels, I’ve done many of them.
Marketing is all about numbers. To get great results, you’ve got to know your numbers and if you have no means of tracking or measuring what you’re doing how can you see what works or how to improve. Your time is the most valuable thing you have. If you’re going to spend time on marketing activities, taking you away from seeing paying clients, you have to be able to measure impact and return on investment (ROI). Online marketing and social media marketing should NEVER be done without a strategy and strategies require SMART targets (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-based) to establish what is and isn’t working Tweet This. Google Analytics gives you pretty much everything you need, it costs nothing and it’s easy to install so there’s no excuse not to use it.
First things first, if you’re not sure whether Google Analytics is installed on your website, go to the GAchecker.com site, enter your website address and you're looking for lots of nice ticks in the third column of the results.
If you’ve had a website built by web developers who you still employ, and Google Analytics is not already installed, fire your web developers now. I mean it! A web developer that didn’t install Google Analytics when they built your website, doesn’t deserve to call themselves a web developer and any excuses they offer as to why it’s not installed … well, as I say, fire them! There’s absolutely no good excuse.
Installing Google Analytics is incredibly easy for any web developer, even an amateur with access to the administration end of the website could do it. If your web developers want to charge you (and you still haven’t fired them) it takes no more than a few minutes to do, 10 minutes at the most, so don’t let them take you for a ride!
And if you are asking them to install it then why not kill two birds with one stone and knock out task 7 at the same time by asking them to install Google Tag Manager along with Google Analytics. Both installations require small pieces of code to be added to each page of your website (both can be done at the same time and it takes no time at all). For more information about Google Tag Manager read Activity 7 below – it’s well worth doing and will save you having to ask your web developers for help in the future.
And if you have fired your website designer, good on you. Instead why not use someone like this guy to do it for you for less than £20. I’m a big fan of Fiverr. We use it for all sorts of things, random bits and bobs, and it’s a great way to get very specific jobs done very cheaply. You’d be amazed at the level of detail of jobs you can get done for very low fixed costs.
As we all know, Google dominates 80% of all web search traffic. It has been number 1 on the list of most visited websites for a while now. In the past, its nearest competitor has been Facebook but as of 3 April 2017 YouTube jumped up to position 2 sending Facebook down to position 3. As Google owns YouTube, that should just about say it all. If we want traffic, we have to play nicely with Google.
Setting up a Google My Business listing is a no brainer and it’s free to set up (Fig. 1).
Figure 1: The Co-Kinetic Google My Business listing
Very simply it helps your business appear in search results when people search for local businesses providing the services you provide. It also provides a very quick route through to calling you, visiting your website or getting directions to your place of work (assuming you’ve added these details into your listing). It’s a must do, hence the reason it is so far up the list. Put a check in your diary to keep the details updated. It also provides an easy way for people to review you. More about that in Activity 8.
To get started, visit www.google.co.uk/business and click 'Get onto Google', enter your business name and address and click search. If you don't find a match, click 'Add your business'. You'll be asked to verify your information and then taken on a tour of Google My Business! Easy!
Even if you hate Facebook (and you won’t be alone), as of April 2017 1.2 billion people are logging in every day and the odds are very good that a chunk of these will include many of your existing clients, as well as lots of potential new ones. Better still over the last 12 months Facebook have made some MAJOR improvements to the advertising opportunities available through the Facebook Ads platform, allowing you to target with the most amazing accuracy, people who match the profiles of your own clients and visitors to your website. So at the very least you should have your Facebook Pixel installed on your website (see Activity 7) even if you don’t want to do any Facebook advertising just yet. We’ll come back to the Facebook Pixel later.
Having a Facebook page brings a whole host of benefits ten very good ones of which are outlined in the article below under Helpful Resources.
The main thing you need is a profile cover image along with a picture of you or your logo. If you don’t know where to start with that, don’t let it put you off, this is a perfect job for Fiverr. There are literally hundreds of people who can create profile images for you for less than a pint of beer! You can also use your own pictures if you have them.
Jobs on Fiverr are called ‘Gigs’. There are three great ways to quickly and easily establish how good a ‘seller’ on Fiverr is. Look at their star rating with the number of gigs they’ve done and how many times people have favourited that seller (Fig. 2). The higher the number of all those, the better your chance of having a great experience.
Figure 2: 3 Ways to tell how good a Fiverr seller is
If your first concern is what on earth you’re going to put on your channel, don’t worry, we have a solution to that, but why bother with a YouTube channel in the first place?
Well not only is YouTube the second most visited website in the world AND the second biggest search engine, it’s also owned by Google. If you can upload videos regularly (and we supply 4-5 every month with our marketing kits for just this purpose), it's a no brainer to set up a channel and given it's owned by Google, it's likely to be factored into Google's algorithms which may also have an impact on the findability of your business. But there's more...
It's also the social media channel that people spend most time on. YouTube actually comes in first, consuming over 40 minutes of a person’s day (i.e. 1 year and 10 months in a lifetime). Facebook users will spend an average of 35 minutes a day, totalling 1 year and 7 months in a lifetime (some statistics include Facebook, Facebook-owned Instagram, and Facebook Messenger for total time spent on Facebook). Snapchat and Instagram come in next with 25 minutes and 15 minutes spent per day, respectively and finally, users will spend 1 minute on Twitter, spanning 18 days of usage in a lifetime.
Again this is a perfect solution for Fiverr. A link to potential providers is included in the Helpful Resources below. The main requirement again is a channel banner so it doesn’t take much to tick this one off the list. Don’t procrastinate by thinking you’ll save the money and do it yourself, it’s so low cost, your time is more valuable spent elsewhere and it’s probably not your expertise either, so let someone else do it who can do it in their sleep!
Once it’s set up, if nothing else, post the videos from our ready-made social media kits to your channel. We produce 4–5 new videos a month, so they soon stack up and all of them contain useful injury prevention tips that your visitors will enjoy.
Basically this means being able to set email capture pages, OR use a platform like ours where we do all that for you.
Being able to collect email addresses in exchange for offering a useful value-added downloadable resource (also known as a lead magnet) is probably the most valuable marketing tool in your collection. Lead generation, as it’s known, should be a key purpose of your website, particularly your blog/article area.
The idea is that whatever content you publish on the internet, whether it's a blog post on your website, or social media posts on your social network, a significant number of those items should offer an 'upsell', albeit a free one, generally the offer to download some even more useful content on the same topic area in exchange for contact details. This way you not only collect new prospective email leads, but you also know what they're interested in.
Basically a lead capture page is a simple web page featuring a small form form which asks for first name and email address. Generally, the more fields you include, the less likely a visitor is to complete the form so keep them to a minimum.
If you use our marketing platform to post your social media to the social networks and you publish our pre-written blog posts on your website, they automatically link back to a lead collection page that is unique to you. We also deliver the 'lead magnet' for you and collect the leads and save them in your Co-Kinetic account ready for the next stage.
If you don't want to use our platform, there are lots of tools out there to help. I used two landing page tools, Leadpages and Instapage. They all charge for the service (between £25 and £30 a month for the basic package). I love how easy Instapage is with its drag and drop editing but Leadpages has also just introduced similar functionality and is a very widely used landing page tool.
If you have a WordPress website there are lots of plugins that allow you to add landing pages to your WordPress site. I’ve included a link in the resources at the end of this section.
You can also link these tools to the more widely used email platforms such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact so new leads are automatically added to your email list.
There are other ways of offering downloads without paying for the software. You could ask them to sign up to a Mailchimp list directly, or use a very simple SurveyMonkey page (which has a free plan) but these landing pages have to drive conversions, ie. sign-ups, so if they look cheap and shoddy, it’s likely to compromise their success.
Here's an example of one of the landing pages we create for you within our marketing platform (if you enter your details, and go through to the lead magnet, it's a really cool one).
You could also turn to Fiverr and commission someone to build a page for you – you can even specify which platform you would like the page created for (probably the easiest thing is to give them your login and let them create it for you under your account). To be safe, it’s worth changing your password after the work is completed. I just entered the word Instapage in the search box and sorted by Average Customer Reviews and a whole bunch of people came up.
This is the last task in our list of set-up jobs and one that you probably want to ask your web developer to do for you, OR you could use Fiverr again. Just type into the Fiverr search box ‘install google tag manager’ and then sort by Average Customer Review and you’ll get a bunch of people who can help you do this, if you don’t have a web developer on hand. It is very simple to do. It involves logging into Google Tag Manager with your Google account, and following the step-by-step instructions to generate a small piece of code that needs to be added to each page on your website (or the style sheet).
Google Tag Manager allows you to quickly and easily update and install other tags on your website without involving a web developer each time. This means you can then install the Google Remarketing tag and the Facebook Pixel on your website (or you can ask your Fiverr person to do that at the same time – it’s commonly done together).
Basically when someone visits your site the pixel (a bit of code on your site) triggers a cookie (a piece of code on a third party site such as Facebook or Google), to start tracking what people do on your site. You can then use this information to ‘remarket’ to that person once they leave your site.
Remarketing or retargeting is what happens when you visit big websites like Amazon and you look at a product. Then all of a sudden you see Amazon ads of that very same product, popping up all over other web pages you visit. At the very simplest level, you could just use a visit to your website, to deliver simple ads for your business to remind them of you and prompt them to take an action you want like download a resource or book a free assessment. At a more sophisticated level you could target them based on which pages they visited. If you’ve published an article on tennis injuries for example, you could have a set of remarketing ads that offered a downloadable rehabilitation leaflet for tennis elbow. When they click the link, they go to a landing page (as described in Activity 6) and enter their email address in return for downloading the leaflet. Remember that until you capture a client’s email address, you’re not in control of the nurture sequence to that individual. Google Remarketing is also very cheap, which makes it a no brainer even if you do it at the very simplest level.
The Facebook Pixel is a similar concept. It can be used as part of an advertising strategy on Facebook; however, it also allows you to build lookalike audiences on Facebook based on a wide range of characteristics that you can define, including geographic location and people that match similar profiles to visitors to your website. This makes it a very powerful tool for attracting new customers. Even if you don’t want to start using Facebook advertising any time soon, the sooner you install the Facebook Pixel on your site, the sooner Facebook starts collecting data that can help you later, if you do decide to venture into Facebook advertising (and there is a lot to be said for it, but that’s a topic for another day). If you want to check whether the Facebook pixel is installed on your website install this Chrome browser extension.
OK this is where the fun starts and where you’re probably starting to feel a bit nervous but don’t worry, help is at hand.
So the first 7 activities have been super-critical for giving you a rock-solid foundation, but task number 8 comes right at the top of Part 2 of this article. Assuming the first 7 set-up tasks are completed, this activity is possibly the single biggest game changer to you, in the current climate of digital marketing.
Social proof as it’s also known, is MASSIVE right now. After direct word of mouth referrals, testimonials are one of the most powerful customer conversion tools Tweet This. Customer reviews build trust, they talk to each of us on the basis of one-to-one, they aren’t salesy and they resonate with us better than any other type of web copy.
Google’s mission is to give searchers the best, most relevant results. That equals a happy searcher, great click-through rates and a happy Google. In fact reviews are becoming one of the main ways that Google is using to rank it’s results, particularly the Google 3 Pack results (Figs 3,4)
Figure 3: Review ratings and Google My Business
Figure 4: The Google 3 Pack Results
The three listings that Google chooses to display are the results of algorithm that few understand but three factors that have a significant impact on those results include:
If you have these three pieces in place, you’re likely to rank higher and, as Figure 5 shows, earn a lot more click-throughs. As you can see from Figure 5, 65% of choices come down to reviews or being top of the list.
Figure 5: How do Users Pick a Business from Google’s 3 Pack
According to the well-respected SEO software company Moz, traffic generated by reviews accounts for 10% of all web traffic and this is growing every day with Google’s increasing focus on reviews as a means of establishing credibility.
OK so this is where the magic really happens. Assuming you have Google Analytics installed, your Facebook and YouTube business pages up and running, and the ability to collect email address leads in exchange for offering high-value ‘lead magnet’ content downloads, this next part is the element that will convert your business from one that survives, to one that thrives, and thrives consistently over time.
All this requires is a simple sequence of events. Each month, choose and run a content promotion campaign. This could just involve generating online leads by running a fairly simple social media promotion with social media posts and videos, which leads to a landing page, which offers a ‘lead magnet’ (high-value download) in exchange for an email address and then ushers that client into a simple email nurture campaign where you build your relationship with those leads over time by regularly sending them high-value, relevant, useful resources (Fig. 6).
Figure 6: Simple Lead Generation Process
Or you could take things one step further and combine both online and offline promotions that lead again to a high-value lead magnet, but which then goes the extra step entering that individual into an email nurture sequence focused specifically on the topic at hand, which is designed to generate sign-ups to some sort of free or cheap/low risk face-to-face assessment, seminar or presentation (Fig. 7).
Figure 7: The Ultimate Lead Conversion Model for Therapists
While this may require you to invest a little more time at the on-site assessment or face-to-face interaction, the conversion rates to appointment bookings is likely to be much better. It is exactly these campaigns that we develop through the Co-Kinetic Marketing Kits. We document the entire campaign, offer suggestions of the potential on-site assessments you can run and even give you Facebook ad material and guidelines to help you promote the events. We also create all the other resources you need including the social media posts, videos and lead magnet downloadable resources.
Unfortunately, we are unable to help with this very last task because Google severely punishes the publication of the same content on multiple website pages. This means we’re unable to write the articles for you to publish, but we do give you a set of bullet points around which you can write a short article to publish on your website which leads to the lead magnet/downloadable asset. Remember not to give away all the information from your lead magnet resource, otherwise there is no reason for them to give you their email in exchange for the download.
In conclusion this article identifies the 13 key activities that you can undertake to create a strong marketing infrastructure, promote your business in a non-salesy way and create a regular stream of fresh, enthusiastic new customers by providing value-added services that help solve the problems and needs of your customers.
“Every one of these tasks is totally achievable even for the most technophobic luddite”
“Focus on each task as if your life depends on it, because the success and health of your business literally does!”
“A website is your online shop front”
“Every one of these tasks is totally achievable even for the most technophobic luddite”
“Focus on each task as if your life depends on it, because the success and health of your business literally does!”
“A website is your online shop front”
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Tor began her professional life training as a physiotherapist at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, UK. She went on to complete a BSc in Sport & Exercise Science at the University of Birmingham whilst also achieving a WTA international tennis ranking.
After graduation she worked for a London marketing agency and then moved into medical journalism where her passion for publishing was born.
At 27 she established sportEX medicine, a quarterly journal for general practitioners focusing on sport and exercise medicine.
sportEX grew into an internationally known journal for all sports medicine practitioners, including physical and manual therapists; articles covered the practical application of evidenced-based research alongside professional development with expert contributors drawn from across the world of medicine and rehabilitation.
With a passion for technology as well as publishing and sport, Tor's leadership grew sportEX into the Co-Kinetic journal and website which included a more collaborative, royalty-based form of publishing as well as a wider content remit. As well as the quarterly magazine Co-Kinetic, offerings now include e-learning opportunities, breaking clinical research infographics, marketing kits for therapists, business growth tools, and a business discount club.
Tor's focus is providing resources to help practitioners and therapists develop their businesses and to work more efficiently and effectively, a topic that she speaks regularly on at global conferences.
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