If growth is one of the goals for your therapy clinic, marketing is probably on your mind. But, with all the needs of managing the day-to-day of your practice and patient care, you may not know where to start. Or, maybe you have started, but aren’t getting the results you hoped for. The problem may be that you lack a strong foundation.
A well-planned marketing strategy will show prospective clients that your practice is both compassionate and competent enough to meet their needs. And, a big chunk of that strategy happens before your first email or social media post. Here are a few foundational elements we suggest putting in place to make sure your marketing campaigns are easy to put together and generate results.
The Value of Marketing for Your Practice
When it comes to the bottom line of your organization, marketing may be the last consideration for funds. However, marketing is only an expense if it doesn’t work. Still, starting out with some marketing campaigns can be daunting, especially when your expertise lies more with treating patients them attracting them.
Marketing, however, doesn’t have to be scary. Start small and take it at your own pace. Implementing just one of these strategies at a time can bring more patients through your doors, without detracting from the rest of your practice management. As you grow and become more confident, you’ll find it easier to scale your marketing efforts.
The Value Statement
It’s important to decide what your organization stands for and how you will communicate that to patients. Start with a value statement that begins with “We believe…” or “Our mission is to…” Then, make a list of ways you exemplify your values. For example, if part of your mission is to bring peace of mind to families, you may want to list things like your helpful staff or take-home resources. This list can include what makes you unique, ways you add value to your audience’s experience, the way you lead your organization.
Your statement should be a short paragraph or two, and you can list as many supporting items as you like, but try to keep the document to one page, so that you can focus on what’s most important. This value statement will be a living document that guides your marketing efforts moving forward. Everything you put out into the world should come back to your value statement. Pro Tip: A value statement is truly powerful and unique when you can’t swap your practice’s name for your competitors.
Know Your Audience
There’s no use marketing water to fish. It’s important to have a clear picture of who you serve. A neat strategy is to develop a profile for a fictional person who represents your audience. Give them a name and flesh out the details of their life. In order to inform your marketing strategy, it’s best to have an idea of where they might be interacting with your brand. For example, Sarah is a busy mother of three who spends a lot of time reading family life blogs to make decisions for her household.
It’s perfectly fine to have multiple personas as well, as long as they are unique. So, Sarah from the previous example may be visiting your clinic so her son can receive therapy while recovering from a sports injury. Whereas Michael and his daughter may be seeking help with her muscular dystrophy. You may also want to consider Dr. Brown, who is the referring physician for many of your patients.
Choose up to 5 personas to help you understand who you are speaking to and flesh out traits that will help you understand how best to reach them. Ask questions like:
- What websites are they visiting? Do they read blogs?
- Are they present on social media? If so, which platforms?
- Do they listen to the radio? Podcasts?
- Do they read magazines or newspapers? If so, what kinds?
- Where do they shop?
- What might their home life look like?
- What is their financial position?
- What might their interactions with other medical professionals look like?
For referring doctors is may look something like:
- How do their patients come to see them?
- Are they specialized?
- What organizations are they a part of?
- What professional publications or websites do they read?
Understanding who they are will help you communicate how you can solve for their pain points and make their lives easier.
A key component of your value statement is understanding how your organization is unique. You can’t know this unless you’ve taken a look at the competitive set – the other clinics in your area that may serve a similar population or provide a similar service. Do some research and determine what sets you apart. Doing so will help you understand where you may meet a need that isn’t otherwise being met. Make a list of key competitors, what they do well, and how you either do it better or offer something different.
Once you’ve decided on who you are, what you stand for, and what sets you apart from competitors, it’s time to decide on a logo and colors. Don’t worry, it doesn’t take a fancy graphic designer to put together a brand kit.
Colors – Pick two coordinating colors. For consistency, you will need to find the exact identifier for that color. Either the red, green, blue values, the Pantone number, or the hex codes.
Logo – Your logo will be the beacon for your therapy clinic. Pick something that not only embodies what you do or what you believe in but make sure it’s versatile enough to be used everywhere. This means it will work on both dark and light backgrounds, vertical and horizontal placements, etc.
This may seem like a lot to think about, but not to worry there are great resources out there that make these design elements easy for those of us who might not excel in design. Free tools like Canva can provide templates to make it quick and easy. Still, need more help? Try a freelancing site.
The last foundational element of marketing is your website. You probably already have a website, but now may be a good time to make sure all the information is up-to-date and it’s very easy for someone to contact you. Especially in a world where much of the marketing you do will be digital, making sure you are driving contacts to a website that puts your best foot forward is key.
Websites don’t have to be complicated or fancy, especially if your team doesn’t have the expertise, funds, or time to maintain its upkeep. A single, simple landing page will do with your contact information. You can always build as you go.
The next step may be to add a few pages about your business. Include your value statement. Team bios. Photos of your clinic. All these elements can help humanize and put a face and a feeling to your organization. You can even consider adding a contact form or a blog where you can share success stories, thought leadership, and resources for patients and their families.
Summing it Up
Okay, so now you’re well on your way to building a super-strong foundation for your marketing strategy. Let’s review
- Develop a value statement that includes who you are and what you offer.
- Put together a persona of those you serve in order to understand the message you want them to hear and how they will come across it.
- Analyze the competitive set to know where your clinic stands and what makes you unique.
- Design an appealing brand that conveys what you’re all about and build credibility.
- Build a website that is up-to-date and makes it easy for someone to get in touch.
Marketing can be intimidating. At Fusion, we understand and make it our mission to simplify your therapy clinic’s practice management, so you can provide the best care possible to as many patients as possible. Schedule a demo of our EMR designed specifically for pediatric physical, speech, and occupational therapists to learn more about how we simplify practice management and empower your growth.