As a lifelong Cubs fan, you’d better believe I’ll be watching Game 1 of the 2016 World Series tonight. For me, a lifetime of “Loveable Losers” has only managed to whet my fanatical appetite for a moment that hasn’t occurred on an MLB diamond since 1945: The Chicago Cubs playing for a world championship.
It’s been a long time coming, and I’m stoked. (And yes, this will eventually have something to do with physical therapy marketing … promise!)
Now, sports writers have spent the last few days meticulously chronicling the Cubs’ rise from the cellar to one of the top clubhouses in baseball, so I’m not going to do that here. What I would like to focus on, though, is one of the people most instrumental in the team’s success: the Cubs’ skipper, manager Joe Maddon.
If you don’t follow baseball in general or the Cubs in particular, Maddon is known somewhat as a philosopher in baseball circles – a sports coach, yes, but also a bit of a life coach. He’s not a “rah-rah!” sort of coach, but one more grounded in motivation and in life.
He has a way with words, able to summarize his philosophy on the game in ways that transcend the game itself.
And this, ultimately, is where I flip over to physical therapy marketing. Because as I was listening to him during a recent press conference, it occurred to me that much of what he preaches on the diamond can apply elsewhere … say, to creating and maintaining an effective content marketing plan for your physical therapy clinic.
As you know, content marketing is used by businesses across the globe to change or enhance consumer behavior through the creation, use and distribution of information that’s relevant and holds value to a particular audience.
In healthcare, an informed healthcare consumer is more likely to choose PT than someone who doesn’t understand the value physical therapists offer … hence, the need for content marketing within the profession. And whether it’s through blogging, media relations, social media, email marketing or print collateral (all five, preferably), it’s up to PTs to get that information out there.
So what does Joe Maddon have to say that can boost the effectiveness of your content marketing? Plenty.

“The key to scoring runs is the first 90 feet.”

For the clinic owner or manager, simply keeping a physical therapy practice afloat can be a full-time job, and that’s before you ever see your first client of the day. Throw in content marketing, and things can get downright overwhelming.
So before you even start to keep score, focus on getting to first base. Get your website in order. Start a blog. Focus on your social media efforts. Send out your first press release. Or partner with a content marketing professional. Look for your pitch, take your best cut, put the ball into play … then strategize your next steps from there.

“Do simple better.”

One of the more popular “Maddoninsms,” this is a universal reminder that fundamentals – not the flashy “Web Gems” – are going to win the day more often than not. Same is true with content marketing, specifically as it has to do with the depth of content.
As you post to your blog or reach out via email or social media, stay away from the clinical. Be a layperson, striving to relate to people where they are: the running trail, the bike commute to work, chasing after the kids, or trying to get yard work done through lower back pain. Do simple better = being relatable to the public = construing value.

“Embrace the target.”

For a major league baseball team, that’s the World Series. But for you, the private practice physical therapist, targets are everywhere – repeat clients, referral sources, the press, social communities, community contacts, etc. Fortunately, you can find clear paths to each one of them through the consistent use of a variety of communication channels, from email marketing (for repeat clients) to media messengers (media relations and social media).

“Never permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure.”

Don’t ever forget: physical therapy is what you love, and making it possible for people to reach their lives’ potential is the greatest perk any job could offer. Take pleasure in this, and let your passions show through in your physical therapy marketing efforts.
Be human. Share stories. Brag about your successes and work family. Express why community – why movement – is so important to you and your staff. Not only will this make you relatable (hence, more effective in your marketing), but people will be more likely to believe in you … because you obviously believe in yourself.
Go Cubs!
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