Successful marketing is all about solving your client's problems. For many practitioners that may require a shift in how we think about promoting our services.
When it comes to marketing our services on a platform such as social media, I see many therapists doing the same kind of content. They talk about themselves – their qualifications and what they do in a session. They talk about their services and the modalities they use, listing off all the conditions they treat. They may share images or videos of them treating a horse with a specific condition, but the information they share about the session is often very nondescript (ie “here I am using NMES to treat this horse with kissing spines”). And while it’s important to share who you are and what you do, how effective do you find your social media is in converting your followers to paying clients?
Think about marketing that may work on you.
Let’s say you are having issues with your clients paying on time. You’re scrolling Instagram and a post pops up in your feed saying “is cashflow a problem for your business?” You instantly stop scrolling as the post has highlighted a problem that you’re experiencing. The post then goes on to describe a new portable payment terminal that connects to your phone, enabling you to take payments on the spot. It sounds like a great solution to your problem, so you click on the link to head to their website to learn more about it.
Health providers are typically not great at marketing, and many practitioners miss the opportunity to promote their services on social media. If you’re like us, you probably feel uncomfortable selling yourself. And yes, no one wants to follow a page that simply sells their product or service in every single post.
However, at the end of the day you run a business and you offer a service that solves problems that people have. You must make sure that you’re telling people how you can do that.
Let’s use the example of a post on social media that is an image of you treating a horse. There is often nothing particular about the image that would grab the attention of a horse owner. The caption may say something like “so blessed to treat this gorgeous horse today. Bennie is receiving regular physio treatment and is doing so well”.
It’s a nice enough post, and if I was specifically told by my vet that I needed a physiotherapist to come and see my horse, I may be inclined to go to your page to learn more about you. But on your page, all the posts are similar to the first one I saw and while Bennie and the other horses look to be enjoying their treatment, I don’t actually know whether you can help with the particular problem that my horse is having. I decide that I’ll just see who my vet recommends is best for my horse’s condition.
However, if I saw a post that had text or a caption on a video that said, “are you struggling to return your horse to work after a flexor tendon injury?” you would get my attention if I had that exact problem. In that post you would suggest a reason or two why my horse may be struggling and offer some solutions. You could even use Bennie as a case study! There may be some free tips in there, but ideally the main solution would be a call to action to contact you for a consultation to help solve this problem.
In your original post, in trying to show what you do and hopefully speak to everyone who may be interested in physiotherapy, you’ve actually spoken to no one. You haven’t identified any problems your clients may have and have provided no solutions to their problem.
The “return to work” post should be one of many. Identify some of the most common reasons your existing clients contacted you and make a post about each problem. Make them as specific as possible, so your potential clients feel like you are speaking directly to them. Use the data that you collect from using the tracking feature on your exercise prescription platform, such as EQ Active, to help you identify any trends you see occurring in certain conditions and what specific exercise and loading programs seem to work best in certain scenarios to help you create content.
You’ll have people reach out to book a consult as you’ve spoken to the exact issue that they have. Overtime, more and more people will see your posts and start to recognise your expertise in the field. Even if you haven’t spoken to their direct problem, they’ll see that you have offered solutions to many other performance related issues and so are likely to be able to help with their problem also.
kristin & Emma
We've been practicing as human & equine physiotherapists for more years than we'd like to admit (it will show our age!)