One of my relatives used to work in an electronics shop. He used to sell different devices, from TVs to earphones. He told me an interesting story I would like you to hear because it has a significant message inside.
At the time when TV Boxes came out everyone was excited to buy one. The thing was that when people went to the store, they never said “I want a TV Box”. They said “I want a Roku Box“. Every time he said “So, would you like a TV box?” they turned away as if spoken in another language.
People didn’t want a TV box. Or at least it wasn’t that what had stuck in their minds. It was the brand name that had stuck into their mind. The brand had completely replaced the type of device. It was a brand people had created trust in. The same goes for your PT clinic.
When people trust your Practice, you become more than just a Physical Therapist. Your name stands as a solution into your patients’ minds for their physical pain. And once it’s set there, it’s hard to be forgotten.
In this article, we’ll explore a few tips to turn your practice into a brand people will trust and most importantly, remember!
Start by defining your ideal clients. What do they all have in common, and why do they choose a certain service and why they reject one. Your brand image starts from your logo, the colors you use in social media and each piece of content you put out.
Then, this is transferred immediately to your work environment. The décor of your clinic at first might seem insignificant but it is not. Even the smell of the room, the temperature, and the atmosphere created matters. The first impression is all you have to secure long term clients who can even bring your more referrals through the word of mouth.
Many PT clinic owners have the wrong conception of branding. They think the logo is your brand, which is totally wrong. Your logo is just 1% of your brand. Your brand is everything from the way you design your brochures, how you welcome your patients in your clinic, colors of the environment, and most importantly, the emotions you evoke in your patients.
Colors play an essential role in emotions. Especially, when it’s about a private practice like PT, where people would have time to focus on the surroundings while waiting their turn, or waiting for a session to finish. Colors raise positive energy on people. Whether good or bad, that depends on your choice of colors. For example, the spaces where your clients do intensive workouts should be painted in orange, red (or something in between) since it creates a feeling of excitement. On the other hand, blue and other neutral colors create a sense of calmness and peace. Hence, spaces intended for less intense sessions would be suitable to be painted in these colors.
There are many Physical Therapy clinics out there. Hundreds of them might be in your area taking your clients. But you shouldn’t be trying to compete with them. What you can do is quite the opposite; instead of trying to become the best in a general market, niche down your services and tailor your values around them.
You shouldn’t aim for your values to be something like “The best Physical Therapist in X city!”. That’s too broad! What if people know you as “The best Physical Therapist for knee and sport injuries”, wouldn’t that be better? Your brand will be known for a specific service and you’ll be the first one in your customer’s mind when he encounters it.
Try to do something your competition is not doing, by always keeping value in mind. Your question should be “how do I provide more value”, because when you provide value, you make your brand valuable and trustworthy. A few ways to do this:
You don’t need much to provide value to your patients. Simply listen to their concerns and be empathetic. At the end, you’re there to relieve their pain. Each advice you give must provide value and be as relatable and human as possible.
Once it’s not enough! You need to be delivering services of the same quality to guarantee you gain new patients, but most importantly, that you don’t lose the existing ones. One bad experience with one patient can have a domino effect on the stream of patients. So, be careful!
People can see it when you are being consistent with the amount of value you deliver. Then, even in the most uncertain times, they will be heading to your because of the trust they have created for your brand. Be there when they need you, and you will have their trust for a long time.
News can spread pretty fast, and we all know this is more true for the bad news than the good news. Maintaining the same level of quality with your services should be your top priority regardless of the patients’ injury scale. Sometimes, little things can cause greater harms.
This is true for both online and offline services. Word of mouth is equally important as an Instagram share. Whether your service is good enough, you’ll never define it right, and you shouldn’t try to. How your clients speak about you when you are not listening says the truth about the quality of your practice.
“John, told me about your clinic. He told me you’re the best for back pain treatment.” Getting people to say these words more often should be your goal. When you hear the opposite, know there’s something to be changed.
Your patients’ feedback is the heart of your brand improvement. If you ignore your clients’ feedback it would be hard to get positive reviews on your practice business and vice-versa. You might be crafting all kinds of intricate business strategies and running Ads across all the internet, but none of these matters unless you really connect with your clients.
This is not that difficult. All you have to do is:
If there is a lack of interaction between you and your client, the outcome of that relationship might not be very promising. Here’s what a research says about the importance of similarity between the modality of patients and therapists:
“It therefore appears that when therapists and clients have similar modality structures, not only will session impact be experienced by clients as more positive, arousing, engaging, and deep, but also clients will be likely to achieve a greater degree of symptomatic relief.”
A positive relationship with your clients ensures that you win their trust. This is done by exchanging feedback with each other and implementing changes suggested by your patient. You don’t have to assume anything, because your patient has all the answers already.
Transparency is highly related to trust. When you are transparent with all aspects of your services, your clients feel more comfortable and close to you. They see you more as a friend rather than a therapist.
Maintain this level of transparency by being clear for your fees behind each one of the services you offer and be open about your costs. You should clarify what your clients will get in return after purchasing your packages.
Imagine what a bad feeling might arouse in them if you are not transparent about all the costs that will follow after the first session. Not only will you lose their trust, but you might risk your hard-earned reputation too.
There’s a myth your need to debunk when it comes to transparency, and especially to social media. You’re told to always show what’s perfect and hide whatever else that doesn’t make you look good.
If you really want to build trust and connect with your audience, honesty is a must. Honesty means accepting the human in you and revealing parts sessions in your clinic that didn’t go as expected for example. And humans love other humans. Emotions stick into our minds more than anything and as long as you trigger their emotional state, you’re in their mind for a long time.
Hundreds of therapists are graduated each year. A part of them works for a PT clinic and a part starts their own. They can be better at a certain aspect of their business, but never at everything. Many PT clinics can be almost the same, but competing with them shouldn’t be your goal. Instead, be different. Position your brand values and maintain the quality level of your service. Connect with physicians and offer them your services at a discounted price in exchange for a referral.
Most importantly, listen to everyone’s feedback. Listen and see what you can change in your clinic. Even simple things such as the colors of your office means a lot. Every aspect of your clinic must provide value. Colors that make them feel comfortable, a simple guide with exercises that is easy to understand, a workshop you hold weekly to discuss the most common problems people face, your online presence, etc.
All these little things together make your brand stand out from others as a trustworthy figure in the field.
Nevertheless, your online presence is important not only to connect with new clients but also to nurture a relationship with those you meet in-person too! We’re here to help you market your PT clinic brand in the right way through great content. Drop us a line, or check our services section in the top menu for more!