26 May Why Exercise Physiologists Need To Up Their Marketing Game!
I always get asked by exercise physiologists – what can I do to get more patients?
New patients (unfortunately) do not grow on trees. BUT new leads and new referrals can grow with a little hard work, fertilising and nurturing.
Gaining new patients and clients is not simply a case of spending money on advertising, having a brilliant website and a fancy sign at the front door. It’s about building planned and targeted marketing around yourself and your services. You already face an uphill battle with that fact that you are a new profession and not many out there know what you do – so the challenge is twice as hard.
So what are the common reasons why exercise physiologists need to up their marketing game?
My number one reason would be confusion – where do I even begin to find new referrals? Too often I see EPs solely rely on government services as their main referral source and when I ask about how they intend to seek new clients the response I get is – I just don’t know. The world of marketing and building a brand is a long, and tough, process.
Do I advertise? Do I visit every GP I know? Do I offer special rates at my clinic?
All great questions and all have actions that should bring you more business – BUT, if you have all these ideas running around in your head, write it down and make a PLAN. Even if you jot down a one pager of all the ideas you have and then work through this, it would be a great start. Choose three to five key areas that you think you can work on which might help get you more clients.
After you have written that plan, then this is where we see the other common issue with EPs – time.
I just don’t have time to manage and market my business along with servicing the needs of my clients.
Your plan should help with this. If you have a limited number of KEY goals then you know what you have to work towards. All of you should know the basics of motivation and how to keep people on track, how many of you follow you own advice?
Action 1 – Engage with more community members to help increase knowledge of my services and my skills.
Attend at least 3 local events (community fairs, sports clubs, hobby groups and provide them with a free talk on X.
Do this by the end of January 2016.
For an industry that basis itself on scientific data and research, the little amount of analysis I see from EPs on their marketing and business activities stuns me. I once had a client who spent a heck of a lot of money on a website then never touched it. Little did they know that they had over 150 views a month going to their ‘contact us’ page but with very few taking the final step.
Instead of standing back, looking at the data that was presenting itself and acting on issues – they ignored it.
(P.s. the client in question had a ridiculously long contact form which obviously was putting people off actually contacting them.)
Remember data is an amazing thing – it gives you REAL information on what REAL people are doing. If you are ignoring it or at least not taking steps to understand and change then you are missing out on those that do.
Many EPs throw all their marketing eggs into one basket and then let them sit there. Yes you have a website, Facebook page and you do some local advertising but what are you doing to make sure all of these are working together to help you achieve your end goal?
Do your website have a special offer? Is this special offer placed on your Facebook page and included in your cover photo? Does your local advertising have the same special content graphics and content as your website? Do you communicate this offer via your email marketing?
It all comes back down to the plan. The plan keeps you on track, keeps you on time, keeps you on point and stops you drifting off into the distance.
So what’s my final point?
My number one piece of advice to you after working with a number of EPs is – take the same scientific, planned approach you have with your clients and apply it to your branding and marketing. No excuses.
Set the plan, set the goals, set the time line and make sure what you are doing is effective. If it isn’t change the plan!
If you have a marketing plan and want to run it past me, or have any question – feel free to drop me a line. What is your biggest issue when it comes to planning your marketing actions?