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How to Get More Patients Without Being Salesy [Article]

Why should I read this article?

It’s getting harder and harder to build a successful business. Everyone has access to great marketing tools, social media has helped to level the playing field for the one wo/man bands and small teams meaning there's more and more competition to deal with along with an awful lot of marketing noise, which means it's getting harder to stand out from the crown, without employing expensive professional help. Probably our biggest disadvantage is that we're first and foremost healthcare professional, and most of us are extremely uncomfortable marketing and promoting ourselves.

But what might seem our greatest weakness, can actually be turned into our greatest marketing strength.

In this article I'll show you a way of marketing and promoting yourself and your business, without ever feeling that you’re selling yourself. I'll explain how to do it and why it can be so effective at increasing traffic to your website, growing your social media following, building your authority and credibility, expanding your marketing reach, finding new patients and strengthening your relationship with your existing customers, all geared towards turning these people into paying customers.

Plus if you take our Marketing Grader questionnaire (which takes no more than 3 minutes), you'll receive a customised series of emails, personalised to your marketing situation, showing you exactly where you can best prioritise your marketing efforts (and you'll also be invited to join our closed Facebook Group Business Success for Therapists).

Content covered in this article includes:

If you want a nice, professionally designed version of this article you can access the PDF at this link.

By Tor Davies, Co-Kinetic founder

Introduction

During the second half of 2016 we surveyed just under 1,000 physical therapists (946 to be exact) and this is what stood out from that survey:

  • 93.2% of you said you wanted to increase your number of new customers
  • 76.4% of you wanted help with marketing to grow your business
  • 74.5% of you wanted help understanding how to use social media to grow your business
  • 70.6% of you wanted help developing your business brand
  • 39.2% of you wanted to sell more to existing customers

Every Therapist Wants More Clients

If we want (and need) more clients, let’s just go and get them. Thanks to the stratospheric growth of the internet and the ‘cloud’ we have access to some amazing “software as a service” platforms at incredibly affordable prices to help us run our businesses, promote our services and communicate with our clients infinitely more easily than ever before. The explosion of marketing opportunities resulting from a whole range of social networks means we can get access to prospective clients without spending a dime in most cases. So why is it so hard to get new clients?

We asked, “What is the single one thing you feel is holding you back the most”? The following three answers cropped up in 96% of the answers:

  • Lack of time
  • Lack of marketing knowledge
  • Lack of confidence in selling yourself

And just to make matters worse:

  • With the explosion of alternative physical therapy orientated degrees, there are now many more practitioners with competing skills, vying for the same pool of customers that you’re after
  • The number of businesses which fail within 5 years is getting higher rather than lower
  • There’s so much noise everywhere that it takes an increasing effort or more ingenuity to capture people’s attention
  • There are estimated to be more than 100 million websites live on the internet today
  • 2.9 billion Google searches are made every day
  • And 2.7 million blog posts are published every day
  • There are seemingly hundreds of marketing gurus to help you but how do you know who to trust?
  • And worst of all (for our businesses at least) as a professional group most of us would probably prefer to stab needles in our own eyes than to actually have to sell or promote ourselves!

So unless you’re lucky enough to have a reputation that precedes you, you know you have to do something.

But where do you start? There are so many resources online but how do you know what the most effective thing is that you can do? And if you can figure that bit out, how do you actually make it happen, especially if technology isn’t really your thing. How do you decide what to focus on or exactly what you want to achieve with your marketing efforts and how on earth do you stand out among all this noise?

(Note: If you feel this way too then I have a solution, take my 2 minute Marketing Grader at this link and I'll send you a personalised email course telling you exactly what you need to do listed in priority order based on your specific answers.)

Time is precious and you want to use what little time you have, in the most effective way possible doing the things that will bring the greatest return on investment. If you run a good business, you’ll also want to be able to measure the return on the investment of your marketing efforts and you’ll want a plan so you can tweak and refine what you’re doing to get even better results. How do we achieve that Nirvana of finding the 20% of effort you need to put in, to get 80% of the reward? And how do you do it without feeling like you’re selling?

The Solution? Education-based marketing (aka. content marketing)

As a former physio, I totally understand that cringey hatred of selling myself or my business (which let's face it, is a pretty hopeless situation when you run a business) but that understanding also gave me a MASSIVE advantage!

I set myself the challenge of finding a way to achieve the following things, on your behalf:

  1. Bring more visitors to your website (with a goal of building trust and gathering prospective leads)
  2. Open new lines of communication by growing your followers on your social networks
  3. Expand your marketing reach by building your email list
  4. Develop even stronger loyalty with your current customers
  5. Build authority and credibility in your industry
  6. Increase the visibility of your brand locally
  7. Create new relationships with prospective new customers
  8. Increase your search profile on Google
  9. Give you the tools and resources to help you provide existing and new customers with value with no strings attached.

And I had to find a way that you could do this without you feeling like you were being salesy!

In the end, the answer was surprisingly simple, "content marketing".

There are lots of definitions of content marketing it’s basically summed up as follows:

“Content marketing is focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues.”

Watch the video below for a fun animated explainer video on just how powerful content marketing can be for physical therapists.

What does content marketing look like in the physical therapy world?

It's basically revolves around creating content that can most quickly and effectively help you to achieve the following:

  • Help you get in front of more people
  • Build your professional reputation
  • Draw people to you both locally and online AND prompt people to take an action
  • Increase the visibility of you and your brand
  • Give you ways to “wow” your customers

And how do you do that? By creating valuable, relevant and high quality content and getting it in front of people

It's easy to find educational topics to write about because there's always something in the news, or some sporting event happening, or a musculoskeletal or pain issue that is affecting a large number of people. The trouble is that creating all that content which ALSO works as part of a bigger picture strategy takes a shed-load of time, which made it totally impractical for each of you to have to replicate those efforts.

But what if I could use not only my physio training, but also all my publishing expertise and resources to create those kits on your behalf? It turns out, it's the perfect solution.

So I started creating marketing kits around different topic areas and all following the same strategy:

  • Step 1: Collect new email addresses using social media
  • Step 2: Nurturing relationships with those new email addresses along with existing email contacts
  • Step 3: Providing you with resources to help convert these email leads into paying clients.

The idea was that I could do all the heavy lifting on behalf of subscribers who signed up to my marketing service. I quickly realised that I needed to apply some territory/mapping restrictions around the subscriptions, so that two people in the same town or village didn't compete against each other, but that was an easy problem to solve once I found some great international franchise mapping software.

And that's where we're at now. Every campaign kit is packed full of educational resources, things that add value to your prospective customers' lives. This could be printable patient advice leaflets, or injury prevention check lists, or images with information that help people treat and manage pain, or explainer videos - we create all sorts of stuff.

Each Content Marketing Kit generally contains:

  • 20+ social media posts - this including images and text for use on your social networks
  • 4+ videos per campaign that you can embed on your website and social networks
  • 1 x professionally-designed newsletter or patient handout that you can use for collecting email leads
  • 1 x email newsletter - prewritten with images and text provided ready for you to send to your email list
  • 1 x pre-written blog post for you to publish to your website and increase your Google finadability
  • Promotional material including posters, leaflets and postcards that you can print out and distribute locally
  • Step by step implementation guidelines and video tutorials

So how is all this content going to help you?

Videos rock the internet right now

Google, Facebook and YouTube (which Google owns) are the three biggest websites in the world, and they are in a war to get our attention which means 2017 (and probably the next couple of years) will be the years of video. There’s a great article in the further reading section on this topic but in a nutshell, because Google and Facebook are so driven to dominate web traffic, and working incredibly hard to take control in this area) they’re both pushing video VERY HARD. Which is why if you feature video on your social networks and website, it’s an instant ticket to A LOT more traffic than you would get without it, not to mention all the other benefits video offers. Which is why every kit we create includes at least 3 or 4 videos. The idea is that you can add these to your website, blog or social networks.

Featuring good quality content on your website

Offering good quality, relevant, topical content has a multitude of benefits, here’s just a few of them:

  • People are more likely to find your site because Google loves and rewards good content
  • It encourages people to spend more time on your site which helps build brand awareness and trust in your authority
  • It offers value and helps them solves their issues which again increases their trust of you
  • In internet terms, it increases your perceived expertise, authority and relevance which gives you a higher ‘domain authority’ which in turn increases the chances of people finding you on Google
  • People will link to your content which again means more people will visit your site
  • Once people are on your site you can add a ‘call to action’ such as offering a download of a newsletter or patient leaflet in exchange for them giving you their email address. This then helps to grow your marketing opportunities.

Growing your social networks

There’s a lot of hype around just how useful building your social networks actually is, however the following points are pretty difficult to argue against:

  • It gives you access to HUGE audiences of people
  • It helps you establish authority and expertise
  • Increases your own website traffic by linking back to your site for more information, which in turn helps your search ranking and generates more leads
  • Builds relationships and develop trust with existing clients
  • Expands your target audience especially new prospective clients
  • Develops brand awareness
  • You can use it to link up with other local businesses with complimentary offers
  • It can be a very cost-effective way of marketing if done well
  • You have a ready-made audience for running special promotions

Our upcoming article will cover how to make social media pay by converting engaged followers into paying customers.

Conclusion

The real beauty of content marketing for us as a professional group, with our particular phobia about self promotion, is that you’re not having to do any selling. You’re simply offering value or as the definition said: “instead of pitching your products or services, you are providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues.” In return you’re boosting your website profile, increasing visitors to your site, making yourself more “findable” through the search engines, building your reputation and authority, strengthening your relationships with your existing clients and helping people. So if there is one single marketing approach we can adopt without wanting to cringe, this one by far offers the greatest benefits for the least amount of effort.

What’s Next?

Want to discover how to get the most from your marketing in the quickest possible time?

Complete our Marketing Grader Education Survey and we'll send you a series of 8 emails in priority order, giving you a tried and tested marketing strategy, and packed full of practical tips and tricks to show you how to do everything on a shoe-string budget. The survey takes on average less than 3 minutes to complete and has been described as an 'amazing resource, which I can't believe you provide for free'.

Take the following 20 question survey here and look no further for a marketing strategy that you can achieve in a few simple steps.

Useful Links

  • Use a subscription to Co-Kinetic to publish our stunning, ready-made content, created for you, straight to your own social networks in no more than 5 clicks and watch it collect new email leads as you sleep. Find out more info here or watch the video below.

Further Reading

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