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How to Get More Patients Without Being Salesy [Article]

Why should I read this article?

We spoke to a lot of people in 2016 and it became clear that as a profession it’s getting harder and harder to build a successful business. There’s a lot of competition to find new clients and there’s so much marketing noise out there already that it’s getting more and more difficult to promote yourself effectively without professional help. Plus as a profession we clearly hate selling ourselves.

In this article we show you a way of doing this without ever feeling that you’re selling yourself or your business. We 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. Plus there’s an opportunity at the end of the article to have your digital presence analysed by a marketing professional and in return for a custom report of the top 5 digital things you could now that would give you the greatest benefits with the least amount of effort.

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?

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 Content Marketing

As a former physio, I totally understand that cringey hatred of selling myself or my business (I know, not the greatest asset when it comes to running businesses). However, that shared pain also gave me a MASSIVE advantage! I was looking for a solution for you, that I would feel comfortable using myself (and in fact now do for my own businesses).

I wanted to find a way to achieve the following:

  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. 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 (you can find some here) but to me 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.”

Education-based Content Marketing for Therapists

So we set out to:

  1. Write valuable, relevant and high quality content that existing clients and prospective customers could benefit from
  2. Create the material itself for you in the form of articles for your website, email newsletters, social media posts and videos (we’ve even added printable resources including posters, leaflets and postcards for local use)
  3. Make it as easy as we could for you to use some or all of these resources.

We concentrated on outputs that could most quickly and effectively help you to achieve the following:

  • 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

Writing valuable, relevant and high quality content

We decided to base our content around topical, newsworthy subjects or events taking place in the sporting calendar, as so many of you work with musculoskeletal issues. So far we’ve written content marketing kits for Heel Pain, Rugby Hurts (to coincide with RBS 6 Nations), and Marathon Madness (to coincide with the London Marathon). We’re currently working on content to coincide with the Tour de France Cycling and Wimbledon Tennis.

We’ve also created more generic sales-orientated kits around seasonal events such as “Give the Gift of Massage” (Christmas) and “A Gift for the Body From the Heart” (Valentine’s); as well as general all-season marketing campaigns such as Refer a Friend; Customer Feedback and Customer Loyalty Campaigns. For an easy overview of all the campaign material we’ve developed so far in just 4 months since we launched this new initiative go to this link.

Each Content Marketing Kit generally contains:

  • 15+ social media posts - this including images and text for use on your social networks
  • 3+ 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
  • Posters* (A3+A4 sizes) with and without an area for your contact details so you can either use them in your own clinic or add your details and post them other local areas or complementary businesses
  • A5 leaflet and A6 postcard* which you can print out and distribute locally. The reverse side of the leaflet is blank for you to add details specific to you.

*Provided in formats optimised for your own home/office printer as well as for professional printing

Keep reading below and we explain the strategy for each piece of content outlined above.

Making it easy to implement

Every kit comes with step by step implementation instructions and links to articles and videos that help you make it happen.

So how is this 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?

If you’re not already making use of our Business Growth Marketing Kits for Therapists hopefully this explains just how they can be used and why they can be so beneficial. They’re included as part of the Full Site Subscription so if you already have a full site subscription, it doesn’t cost anything extra and you’re good to go. Just go to the Marketing section of the Co-Kinetic site to find the kit you want to use.

If you don’t already have a full site subscription you can either subscribe for just £49 a month (click this link), or you can buy each kit individually to fit your needs. Let's face it, if each marketing kit brings in just one extra client a month, you’ve pretty much covered your costs, anything extra is a bonus.

Useful Links

Further Reading

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