Read now: What clinic owners must do during the COVID-19 pandemic.

3 essential marketing tips for first year in private practice

You’ve begun an exciting business venture, owning and operating a private physiotherapy clinic. Congratulations! However, before assuming that everything will fall into place on its own, it’s important to consider some essential marketing tips that can give you a leg up on the competition.

Far too often, rookies in private practice give marketing considerations little thought in the belief that superior physiotherapy and social skills alone will ensure business viability. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Yes, your physiotherapy knowledge and patient-centred approach to cases form the core of your activity. However, you are now in business and only owners who combine them with marketing acumen will survive the often cutthroat world of private health services. Ask yourself – why do some prosper while others struggle even though they are equally good at their services?

To help guide you through the minefield of physiotherapy marketing, please consider the following three tips as you roll out your private practice:

1. Choose relationship-building over advertising to get off the ground

As a new private practice, you are desperate for patients and referrals to prove your abilities and generate immediate cash flow. However, it makes no sense to spend large sums of money on advertising, because you are unlikely to target the right people in the first place. Stick to networking with GPs, colleagues from hospitals, retirement homes etc. to encourage business growth. Learn how to best tell, engage and interact with people who are best placed to help you meet your goals. Get yourself an interactive practice website through which you can educate and communicate with patients and prospects regularly with e-newsletters. By building enduring relationships, your credibility as a practice will grow.

2. Make sure you leverage word of mouth

Now that your networking efforts are bringing patients through your doors, make sure that you keep them! Retaining patients is easier, less time-consuming and more profitable than having to constantly find new patients. So, after doing a fantastic job, don’t be shy about asking them to tell their friends who could benefit from your physiotherapy services. Otherwise, you are letting revenue out the door into the hands of your competitor down the road.

3. You can’t avoid marketing!

As a private entrepreneur, you must hone your marketing skills every day. Private practice owners cannot be satisfied with only providing first class care for patients. They must present a favourable brand image to GPs and the public. They must know their patients, have a pulse on their evolving needs and be ready to use innovative techniques (e.g. physiotherapy-specific websites) and equipment to deliver the goods. While salesmanship may get patients through your door once, marketing is the key to getting the repeat business needed to accelerate your clinic’s growth.

8 thoughts on “3 essential marketing tips for first year in private practice”

  1. Hi I have been chipping away at trying to build a practice for the past twenty years now.
    Can anyone help??

    1. Yalcin Yilmaz

      William, this is a common story. While physios are great at treating patients, they are seldom good business owners; school hardly prepared you for that.

      Obviously, with my background, I can recommend loads of online strategies. In fact I‘m writing the book on the topic.

      Having battled for that long, chances are that you could be quite set in how you do some things. So trying new things (especially online) seems rather daunting (and alien) for most business owners – again, all too common. Not knowing where to start (or determine if your money is well-spent) is another big barrier. Another issue is the hype around things like social media; great tools, but one needs to know how to best use them.

      These are all covered in my upcoming book. In the meanwhile, check us out – we can get you on the right path online quickly.

  2. Hi there,
    I opened my clinic 3 months ago. I’ve used quite a few marketing strategies – Groupon, website, adwords etc… I need to build on the first point – building relationships with GP’s. How do I go about this? I’ve contacted the local GP practises already but how do I get the GP’s to trust me services and refer to me?

    1. Yalcin Yilmaz

      Anthony, what you’re asking is a complex question. Answer depends on many things. I wrote a whole book on this topic 😉 The general idea is that you need to establish yourself as an authority in your field and local community.

  3. Hi, just started out have real trouble getting GP to refer or any clients to walk into my door! Any tips?

    1. Yalcin Yilmaz

      Melanie, referrals should only be the “low hanging fruit” – if you get them, great! But if you are relying solely on referrals to market / grow your business, then you could be headed for trouble. I would suggest learning to market your business yourself. I know this is not what you want to hear, but the fact is that if you are running a business, it depends on you for its growth. Besides the easy/short term stuff, you need a variety of medium and long term strategies to establish yourself and grow into the future.

      You might be interested in my new book – there are many strategies and ideas covered.

  4. Can a physio practice advertise and introductory template/ newsletter to the public via emails?

    1. Yalcin Yilmaz

      Debbie, newsletters are an excellent way to generate more business. However there is best practice (and also laws) that govern how to go about it. You can’t simply send out newsletters to a list of emails you have acquired from somewhere. The recipients on your list must have “subscribed”, i.e. expect and want such emails from you.

      Short answer is that you should never send out marketing email or newsletters to a list of recipients who have not heard of you or requested such emails from you. Regardless of your intent to make peoples lives healthier, it will simply be spam.

      For most beginners, this sounds like a dead-end; However there are many ways to grow such an email list and grow your business.

Comments are closed.