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It’s easy to do things the way they’ve been done before. What’s not so easy is charting a new course and deciding to take a risk. Marketing is an area where taking risks can be relatively safe (I mean, how often are you going to lose the farm by placing an ad that doesn’t pan out), and the rewards of stumbling onto something new that REALLY works can be a goldmine.

When marketing, I like to challenge myself by thinking like a promoter. Not a promoter of physical therapy per se, but more like an entertainment promoter who’s career lives or dies by their ability to capture the attention of the masses. What do promoters do to capture my attention, and how can I harness this for purposes of physical therapy marketing?

  • Build up excitement
    Blockbuster movies don’t advertise their services after hitting the big screen – they do so well in advance. By the time a movie is ready for you to see it, you’ve likely been hearing about it for weeks through pre-release interviews, trailers, and commercials. If you’ve got something important to launch such as a new practice or program, do the same by building excitement BEFORE you actually launch.
  • Be exclusive
    If you’ve ever been to a popular concert, you know that your ability to get a ticket to the event is cause for excitement in itself. The reason: there are only so many tickets available and if you don’t act fast you might get nixed from it altogether. The concept of scarcity or exclusivity is an important one in promotion and one that lends itself well to physical therapy services which only have limited slots available per day, classes per week, etc.
  • Be bold
    As physical therapists, we tend to be a reserved, humble group. It’s a great quality when it comes to focus and quality of care, however when it comes to promoting ourselves, it can work against us. Don’t be afraid to be loud, aggressive, and bold when it comes to promoting your value. And don’t worry, this can be achieved professionally – just be confident in your offering and being bold (AND professional) will come naturally.

Promoters in industries such as entertainment have a lot to teach us, and we’re wise to pay attention. Think like a promoter when it comes to your physical therapy services and see how your market responds – you might just be surprised.

This article was authored by Vantage Clinical Solutions principal, Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA, and published in the November 2012 issue of Impact Magazine, a publication of the Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association.