Rehab therapy private practice owners say their number 1 biggest concern is client acquisition. It is the difference between success and failure. It is what keeps them up at night. This is especially true for cash pay businesses.
We, as health care providers (physical therapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors, dentists, speech-language pathologists, and more), know how to treat people, but market to them?
We need to think like small business owners and entrepreneurs. The business owner's mindset is different than the way we think in healthcare.
Over the past 5 years I have run 3 businesses and let me tell you, each time, client acquisition is the most difficult part.
Let's start with client acquisition strategies for small businesses I have personally used successfully as a local small business owner and my thoughts on each as a rehab therapy practice owner.
The Know Like and Trust Factor
The Know Like and Trust Factor is important in all businesses. But even more important for healthcare businesses. In rehab practices, we are very intimately involved in a patient's personal space. And if we are working in home health we are also inside of their home. Trusting our business and our therapists needs to be paramount.
A study on Doctor.com from 2018 states that a doctor’s online presence plays a significant role in attracting new patients. 63% of participants in the study reported choosing a provider over another based on the strength of their online presence. In fact, the study concluded that 81% of patients will read reviews after were referred!
In-Person Local Small Business Client Acquisition
Networking and Referrals
Local acquisition strategies are so important. Time-honored networking and word of mouth are number one. These clients will be key in receiving reviews for your website on social media.
Local events, networking groups, local Facebook groups, local doctors, and support groups are all great ways to network for clients.
Using the Digital Space to Increase Client Acquisition
First, social media posting is a long game for gaining new clients for small business owners and for the self-employed healthcare worker through organic reach. But the are also ideas that make can bring in clients quicker, such as Google my Business, Google Ads, and Facebook ads depending on your clientele.
Google My Business
Even if you do not have a website, you must optimize your Google my Business profile with complete information. You should also have a landing page for potential clients, even if it is just a Facebook page initially.
When is the last time you checked your reviews? Are you responding to both positive and negative reviews quickly?
Optimize your website
Is your website copy talking to the right people? Are you talking about not only WHY you, but why come to therapy at all versus using what they learn on the web? What is the transformation they can expect after working with you?
When speaking with my friend who manages her husband's dental practice she pointed out that many practices use stock photos. It is not good if a potential client sees the same photos on 2 different websites! Use your own real photos!
Educate Potential Clients on your Services, Values, Expertise, and Benefits
Think beyond the standard wording on a website. Build your “value vault”. Think of what you post on your website, your social media, etc as giving every potential client a “taste of your values”. Every rehab therapy practice is unique. Our personality, our values, our work style, etc.
This can be accomplished through a blog on your website or posting on social media.
Even though posting on social media is a long game, but it does have uses beyond having a website. First, think about where your ideal clients are “hanging out”. Younger parents are on Instagram. Older adults may be on Facebook. If you are looking to network with other professionals, are they on Linkedin?
One of my favorite products for learning about social media and also templates for producing social media is Pixistock. Alicia is amazing in her knowledge base, her stock photos are beautiful and I just love her templates!
Studies show that social proof is a key element when people select a business.
We all use social proof in our everyday lives. When is the last time you looked at reviews on yelp? Have you skipped a restaurant because the parking lot was empty?
Commercial marketing campaigns love to say “9 out of 10 people prefer our product”.
People are on social media and they want to work with an expert! As a pediatric occupational therapist, I know that each therapist is unique and had a different focus. But it is hard to parents to know who to work with.
I think of the times I have tried to find a specialist for my child. The task was daunting and at times I gave up! Many people will work with whoever they are referred to. That is powerful!
Build an Email List of Potential Clients
Not all clients are ready to call or commit right then. But offer something they want to learn more about they may give you their email address! Then focus on sending out informative emails to current clients and potential patients.
Grow your Website Traffic = More Clients
Local SEO is important on your website. You want to appear on the front page of Google search, the more Google trusts your website the higher you will rank.
Is your site keyword optimized? Are you mentioning the geographic areas your practice serves and the keywords patients are searching for?
Make sure you are listening too! What is important to your potential clients? What are they looking for?
Over the last year, I have built 2 six-figure service businesses and TheVirtualPediatricOT.com which receives over 7000 pageviews a month. I offer services to audit your social media and website. And also business coaching.
Are you ready to take your social media to the next level? Maybe you had your website created with great SEO from a website or social media manager, but is it talking to the clients we see as therapists? Let me take a look!
Are you ready to level up your digital presence? Schedule your free call!
Not a business owner yet? Check out 6 Steps How to Start an Occupational Therapy Business, How to Build Wealth on a Therapist’s Salary, and download Is Private Practice Right For You?