Over the years, having worked with thousands of physical therapists, I can state confidently that my team at Nitin 360 and Referral Ignition knows EXACTLY what it takes to help physical therapy private practice owners to succeed in starting, maintaining and consistently growing their practices.
How have we done this?
For starters, we’ve been conducting live events for almost 10 years. Live events such as Ignition 2018 provide a powerful, intense, immersive 3 day experience. This provides physical therapy private practice owners with all of the physical therapy marketing tools they need to transform their clinics into cohesive, well-oiled machines. This is a fact, because there is no company in the United States of America that provides the entire spectrum of physical therapy marketing and physical therapy billing services that we do. Yes, if you need help with billing, we can provide you with an affordable billing service with the industry’s lowest rates. If you work with our billing service, we’ll beat any competitors rate, guaranteed or send you a $100 Amazon gift card if you feel we wasted your time.
Thousands of private practice owners and their staff have walked away with actionable strategies from past events. You can click here to see a recap of an Ignition 2018 event and click here to see attendee testimonials.
For more advanced private practice owners, we conduct our two day Private Practice Mastermind Workshops (held three times a year). Exclusive practice building content is presented to a select group of private practice owners. These practice owners are the go-getters, the heavy rollers who take action, delegate and get things done. We provide them with all the physical therapy business skills to get more patients, hire staff and seamlessly implement our referral generation systems.
Finally, we provide proven tools, technology and resources to help private practice owners market in innovative ways… like the Therapy Newsletter (relationship marketing that generates referrals): Clinical Contact (cutting-edge technology essential in the era of mobile devices); and fully integrated EMR and billing software like InTouch EMR / InTouch Biller Pro (that streamline workflow and help therapists to be paid more in less time).
With all this experience providing coaching programs and software, and having worked with thousands of physical therapist over the past decade, I’ve learned a thing or two.
Here are three key aspects of physical therapy marketing success, called The Physical Therapy Marketing Trifecta.
1) Having the Right People and Systems in Play
One of the hottest topics of discussion among physical therapists is “How do you identify, attract, retain and motivate staff?” After all, success in your practice requires the right people and well-defined systems. In addition to physical therapy marketing, there are two things needed for the growth of a private practice.
- The right people (the right hierarchy) in the right roles
- The right systems (technology, written policies, procedures)
The right people in the right roles, with the right systems, can make all the difference in your practice. There’s nothing more confusing and frustrating than staff members who don’t know who they report to. If your front desk has a question, whom do they speak with? If your biller isn’t sure about something, who do they ask? Every single person in your clinic should know who they report to, and in some cases, who reports to them.
If your physical therapy private practice does not have the right systems in place, the practice owner has no freedom.
The ability to spend quality time with your family and friends on a regular basis, vacation in beautiful places, go fishing, or do whatever you find peaceful and fun is lost.
Ask yourself – do you want to be a physical therapist grinding each day, working to the bone, getting jaded?
Would you rather become the rainmaker, employ other individuals, create jobs, help patients and change lives on a much larger scale than you ever imagined?
Isn’t that why you got into private practice in the first place?
The only way to achieve this is by having the right systems in place and having the right people who can implement those systems.
Another key ingredient is to have manuals in place. If ever step away from your clinic, if a key staff member was to quit all of a sudden, your manuals and systems would help with the transition.
Systems make people replaceable. They also make staff accountable for every action.
One system that I use has been extremely valuable that helps completely automate and improve everything we do is a simple end-of-day task. All our staff members complete this task at the end of every single day.
Here it is (I just threw this cheesy image in here because I thought it was really funny)
At the end of every day, every single one of my staff members answers 4 questions. I’m going to share them with you.
I’ve sort of formulated and tweaked these questions over several years of testing and tweaking systems in my business. They will serve your practice well. Ask your staff to answer each of these questions before they leave work, either via email to their supervisor, or an internal written memo. Doesn’t matter how and where they provide this information, just matters that they do.
“What did you do today?”
You can have the staff member in just a couple of lines like “I did 10 visits today” or “I completed two new evaluations”.
“Do you have any questions about your work today?”
This encourages interaction with your staff member so that the staff member can basically voice their concerns, discuss their opinions, or seek clarity about something.
“How can we make things better?”
This is extremely valuable. Asking staff members to give you their opinion on how things can get better and faster in your practice. is crucial. It’s also something only the richest physical therapists in the world do and you can learn more about their character traits here. The more you can engage your staff members, the more you can get their feedback, the faster you will evolve and grow your practice.
“What is your plan for tomorrow?”
This gets the staff members thinking about what they should be doing the next day as opposed to just shutting off completely. It creates accountability. It helps them become more productive the following day.
I know. I know. You’re probably thinking this all sounds great, but “exactly how do I even begin the process of finding people who are going to be a good fit for my practice and my vision for it?”
As far as ways to find new clinicians is concerned, never put all your eggs in one basket.
You must have multiple things in motion to be able to recruit staff.
One of the best ways to to recruit staff is offer internships.
Talk to your local physical therapy schools and try to become an affiliated learning center with those schools so that they can send their students to your clinic as interns.
Once you have interns working in your clinic, observe them at close quarters and identify the bright, up and coming, young, enthusiastic therapists. A lot of clinics I consult with say they have considered this, but have avoided it because they think it’s a lot of work. You’ll be surprised. Our mastermind clients will tell you that you can get affiliated with a college in as little as 4 or 5 weeks. Just initiate contact with the education director, fill out the paperwork, and get the ball rolling. Don’t wait, do this right away – become affiliated with a local college and offer internships to PT students in your facility.
Send postcards to licensed physical therapists in your community. Don’t just restrict yourself to looking within your community, zip code or county.
Try and look outside your own geographical area and broaden your scope. You never know, you might find a physical therapist that is willing to travel to work for you in your clinic.
In many states, you can rent a mailing list of licensed physical therapists from state board of the American Physical Therapy Association. All you have to do is call and ask. Send postcards offering them a position in your clinic. The position can’t be just another dull boring PT job. The offer on the postcard has to be unique, attractive and better than other offers, not just from a salary but also a benefits standpoint.
If you are looking for a full time physical therapist, don’t make the mistake of advertising for a full-time PT. Offer a part-time position if you are struggling to get someone full-time.
This is an effective, under-the-radar strategy. Here’s how this works; advertise a position for a part-time physical therapist with the intention of scouting for full time physical therapists.
There are a lot of experienced clinicians looking for some extra part-time work. They already have jobs; they are just looking for a few extra hours.
Try and get a physical therapist to work for you part-time, and if the PT likes your work culture, they may consider working for you full-time, if the offer and timing is right.
I hope you found these strategies useful. They are many more strategies including networking with other physical therapists in our Linkedin group and our Facebook group for physical therapists in private practice. Don’t rule out working with recruiters (if you can find the right candidate, it’s well worth the cost associated with the recruiter), and also put up ads on job sites. Sometimes, the longer you wait to hire a physical therapist, the more opportunities you lose. If you are growing fast, you know what I’m talking about.
As your practice grows, make sure that you hire the right staff and create the right culture for retention. This will allow you to live a life of financial freedom while maintaining a high standard of care for patients and increasing your profitability at the same time.
2) Maximizing the Focal Points of Referral Ignition
The Referral Ignition coaching program consists of four components:
- Prospect Ignition (educate consumers and people within your community to know, like and trust you and become patients
- Patient Ignition (getting current and former patients to become human billboards, raving fans and referral sources)
- Physician Ignition (build credibility and expertise with physicians and other non-traditional referral sources such as nurse practitioners, to refer to your practice)
- Community Ignition (strategically build a brand and achieve celebrity status within the community and provide several, cash-pay programs).
The Referral Ignition program is a powerful, yet easy-to-use suite of tools that will transform your practice by igniting new patient referrals, stream lining your documentation, simplifying your billing and automating your follow up.
Click here to schedule a call to learn if the program is right for you. Please keep in mind that we do not accept everyone into the program. We will respectfully decline to work with you, if we feel you are not the right fit. Monthly coaching fees are $597/m so schedule a call only if you are serious about investing in the long term growth of your practice. Be prepared to implement systems, strategies and be accountable to our world class private practice success coaches.
3) Mastering Multi-mode Contact with Patients
How does a patient find you or hear about you?
Did the patient visit a professional, mobile friendly website optimized for the search engines?
Did the patient find out about you through professional, high quality brochures?
Did the patient visit your website and enter their information in exchange for an educational resource?
You should be using email, direct mail, social media like Facebook and even mobile marketing to build relationships and educate present and former patients about your services.
Are your patients receiving a content-rich, useful newsletter educating them about the benefits of physical therapy? If this is done correctly, the patient is conditioned to see you as an expert even before they step in to your clinic.
Your physical therapy marketing should include a newsletter that has built-in ‘refer a friend’ technology for patients and ‘one click’ unlimited faxing to doctors.
Use a twice-a-month newsletter that reaches patients by email and regular mail. Provide content that reinforces your authority as an expert, tells patients a little bit about you and your staff, and provides useful, practical information on an ongoing basis. Distribute pre-written content to your community, patients, doctors and local businesses through email, print and fax in order to establish your expert status. Click here to learn about the done-for-you Therapy Newsletter technology to grow your practice.
You should print and distribute high quality color or black and white newsletters to enhance your reputation as an expert.
Digital Assets like Articles, eBooks and Downloadable Material…
Your practice should have several, done-for-you “patient stimulator” eBooks (which you can customize and re-use in any way you like including print and online distribution) on several topics ranging from low back pain to shoulder pain and weight loss.
When a patient comes to your website and enters their name and email address in a form on your site, the data is automatically stored and they start getting your newsletters twice a month (every patient should have the option to unsubscribe from your newsletter at any time).
Dynamic Behavior-based Email Technology
Patients should receive customized email sequences depending on the nature of their relationship with you or specific milestones:
- New patients get a welcome sequence
- Discharged patients get a ‘thank you’ sequence
- Patients who miss appointments get reminder sequences and so on).
- You can even build trust and recognition with your patients by sending them automated birthday greetings!
Other marketing / promotional interactions and special offers can include inviting your patients to come back to your clinic for free trials of cash paying services, conducting regular ‘patient appreciation days’ and identifying valid reasons to add value to patients.
Essentially, find valid reasons to connect with the patient and invite them to come back.
Send appointment reminders by email, automated phone calls, and text messages. Use technology to create ‘auto campaigns’ based on ‘automatic behavior pathways’.
Here’s how an automatic behavior pathway works, similiar to the one that exists in the fully automated, all new Therapy Newsetter for physical therapy private practice.
The patient is sent an email with specific content (low back pain, for example).
- If the patient does not open the email, she is sent a reminder email.
- If the patient clicks on the email, she sent another, more targeted email.
- This process continues until the campaign ends, or until a patient takes a desired action.
Imagine if the word ’email’ was replaced with text message or even voice broadcast.
Simple steps like this can revolutionize your marketing when you use cutting edge mobile technology like Clinical Contact for text, voice and email marketing. Your practice can now advantage of the power of text messaging (SMS), picture messaging (MMS), voice broadcasting, email marketing and social marketing including Facebook, Twitter, to reach patients in your community.
Mobile text messaging has emerged as a new way of reaching patients with unmatched speed and precision. This is a simple way to reactivate former patients, welcome new ones, introduce special promotions, marketing campaigns tests, send warm invitations or reminders to special events in your clinic, create new product or service announcements, send travel directions and so much more.
Implementing this physical therapy marketing trifecta will help ensure that your physical therapy business will continue to grow.