Do more with less.
This is a challenge many private practice physical therapists face every day, and it mimics one that Random House publisher Bennett Cerf famously gave his client back in 1960.
As the story goes, Bennett’s goal was to produce a children’s book that was creative and fun, but which was also simple enough for beginning readers. So, he asked his client to write a book that used a vocabulary of no more than 50 words.
It was a bet, actually — one that Bennett didn’t think the author could win.
But rather than letting it hold him back, the author embraced the challenge, eventually churning out one of the most recognized children’s books of all time.
This author was none other than Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel. And the book? “Green Eggs and Ham,” which in 2001 became the fourth-best selling English-language children’s hardcover of all time.
Doing More with Less
The lesson? Well, it isn’t that the “do more with less” maxim is an easy one to pull off. I imagine even Dr. Seuss himself found this to be a true challenge. He may have even doubted himself along the way.
Yet, when all was said and done, he had created what turned out to become his most successful work. And in doing so, he showed that even when resources are lean, a high level of success is still within reach.
On the physical therapy front, this is a lesson that can (and should) be applied to private practice marketing.
If you’ve spent any time focusing on marketing strategy for your clinic, you’ve probably wandered around in a world I’ll call the “Marketing Superstore.” It’s a vast, colorful world – too vast – filled with gaudy jargon, flashy technology, extraordinary promises and magic solutions.
And despite what path you choose through this world, it’s going to cost you money and time, both of which are far from infinite in your world.
So, what do you do? Well, despite these limitations and the frustrations that come with them, you follow the lesson Dr. Seuss worked so hard to instill through the book “Green Eggs and Ham.”
Though doing more with less may seem like an unsavory, less-than-ideal path forward, give it a try anyway. And despite your limitations, you just may just like how it turns out.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Embrace Your Limits
Whether your limitations involve time or money – it’s likely a little bit of both – don’t consider them a hindrance. Instead, re-frame them as your advantage.
Limits force you to better focus your marketing strategy. They allow you to set goals based on what’s most meaningful to your practice, and they give you permission to find success in measured, sustainable ways – success you can build from.
As Dr. Seuss demonstrated, limitations also lead to greater creativity. In the private practice world, this means a higher level of innovation and entrepreneurship not generally found in larger clinics.
Assess Your Resources
Now that your mind’s right, it’s time to assess your marketing budget, both in dollars and in time.
As you do this, be honest with yourself, but also show a level of commitment in knowing you’re investing in your clinic’s future. It’s not enough to simply know your resources are limited; you need to know exactly what they are.
How much do you have to spend each month on tools and services? How much time do you have to devote to marketing? Does it make sense to take face-time away from patients to undertake marketing tasks?
Knowing this information will only help enhance the focus of future strategies.
Set Your Marketing Priorities
With limited resources, it’s important you invest them toward things that have the greatest chance of moving the needle toward your marketing goals. Where you currently exist on the marketing spectrum can also help determine where you need to invest.
For instance, do you have a website? Are you regularly posting new information to your website and/or its blog? If so, how are you sharing this information, and do the channels you’re using align well with your preferred demographics?
If an honest analysis of your current marketing status uncovers weaknesses, address them first. Once these are shored up, focus on ways to build on the success you’ve had.
Work to expand engagement within your target market by considering optimal messaging, content, channels, and even community partnerships.
Shoot for Sustainability
Sustainability is key when selecting and developing a marketing strategy, especially when you’re working with limited resources. Focus your time and money on approaches that provide long-term value, not short-term promise.
For example, investing in a new website offers long-term value through digital promo opportunities and the ability to always be found online. In addition, a content marketing strategy that’s used to (in the short term) promote and educate people about the value of PT also offers long-term SEO benefits.
In contrast, a strategy that relies on paid placement and/or distribution (i.e., digital advertising), while it could potentially provide your clinic with quick visibility, will immediately cease to provide value once you quit paying for ads.
In short, when you’re budget strapped, it’s best to ignore short-term promises for the sake of developing sustainable solutions. This requires patience, but the long-term value can be tremendous.
Let BuildPT Be Your Guide
At BuildPT, we’re no strangers to bootstrapping a marketing effort. So, we’ve developed effective marketing solutions for all budgets, allowing you to either get started on your clinic’s first marketing strategy or build on the success of what you’ve previously accomplished.