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Clinical Solutions Blog

The Most Underutilize Marketing Strategy That Delivers High-Quality Patients (Not Referrals)

Posted by Rick Lau on Apr 4, 2019 10:00:00 AM

physical therapy marketing strategy

Never thought I would ever leave…

I finally “cheated” on Crystal, my barber by going to a different one near me. Why? For the past few months I’ve had to wait at least a week to get a haircut because her schedule is always full. I’m a very impatient person, and I kept complaining to her about it while getting a haircut.

I told her I just couldn’t wait that long to get a haircut. I’m traveling and working all the time…. She did try to "fit me in" but the time didn't work for me, and I was put on her waitlist. 

So I left, and went to Steve, a new barber who just opened up a shop near me.  I can walk there easily, and I don’t have to wait to get a haircut. It’s just way more convenient.

I’d been going to Crystal for 5 years and spent at least $3000 with her. I was her client when she was just getting started through to when she was very successful.

But she didn’t change anything about her business. I am not the only client with a tight schedule, and unless she makes some changes to keep her regular clients and bring in new ones, her business will stagnate.

I see this happening in clinics all the time. They get successful then become complacent and lose the hunger that drove them. They stop thinking about bringing in new marketing strategies to grow their practice and optimize their patient experience.

One strategy very few clinic owners are utilizing is Content Marketing – using online material that gives information about the kinds of conditions you treat. It does not directly promote your clinic, but will drive clients there.

A lot of clinic owners think it's a waste of time. Agreed, it takes some time to develop, and to start seeing results. However, once it starts rolling it's one of the most powerful ways to establish your clinic as the expert in the community and grow your business as a result.

When done right the potential patient comes to the clinic with good information about their condition or injury, and positive expectations for the clinic.  I used this approach in all the 8 figure businesses I built in the past 15 years.

It’s critical to have the right content to be effective. There are three main types of content. Each type you use is directed at a different point in the patient journey.

I’m going to show you a simple approach using the three types that will accelerate your content marketing strategy for 2019 and grow your business.

The first type is TOFU (Top Of Funnel Visitors)

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 8.44.51 am

This type of patient is at the earliest stage and is searching for a solution for their condition. They are Googling their symptoms and doing research to find a solution or treatment for it. They are trying to figure out what it is.

These are the people who search online for questions like "What if your lower back hurts?”

When creating content to answer this question, you really need to answer two:

  • What is lower back pain?
  • What are the symptoms of lower back pain?

Your TOFU content will give them background information about your clinic, what you do, and answers the searcher’s questions about the condition, or the “what if” this happened to me?

A good way to come up with this type of content is to think about the questions your patients ask you about each condition you treat at the clinic. Then put your answers in your content.

The next type of content is MOFU (Middle Of Funnel Visitors)

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These people know they have a problem and are Googling to find a solution.

They are researching different solutions and trying to learn which profession is the best option for them. 

These are the people who search online for "Sciatica" when their lower back hurts.

The MOFU content needs to answer these four questions in this order:

  1. What causes Sciatica?

  2. What are effective treatment plans for Sciatica?

  3. What happens during the treatment?

  4. What kind of results will I get?

The key point here is to provide education about what works and what doesn't.

Try to think about what options they may be considering.

Then explain why those options may not work. For example, if you are writing an article about Sciatica they may only be considering painkillers and anti-inflammatories. Then your article may provide information and evidence for staying active, not relying on bed rest and medications. Give them a list of things they can do at home to help with their sciatica. Describe the services your clinic offers, but also mention when medical advice should be sought.

The 3rd type of Content is BOFU (Bottom Of Funnel Visitors)

These people are in the final stage  of the search. They are ready to consult someone and are now just comparing different clinics in their area.

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They know what they have and are just searching for the clinic who they feel is the best fit for their specific condition.

They will be looking at your Google reviews, Facebook reviews, testimonials, and team profiles.

The best way to convert this potential patient is with a lot of Google and Facebook reviews, voluntary patient testimonials, and team profiles on your site.

However - most clinic owners are already marketing to this type of patient. This is the most highly competitive market or type of patient to target. It’s very difficult to rank for the top spot on Google and very expensive if you do Adwords. And the BOFU only accounts for about 5% of site visitors.

The big opportunity is focusing on TOFU and MOFU, which account for 95% of site visitors. It will greatly expand your reach and patient base.

Engage them before they have decided to book an appointment at your clinic. You can do this by offering an irresistible lead ‘magnet’ that they get when they enter their email address. Then you can nurture them through your marketing funnel and convince them to book an appointment at your clinic.

What is a Marketing Funnel?

A Marketing Funnel is a multi-step automated sequence that leads a prospective client to your desired outcome, in this case booking an appointment.


This is where the lead magnet comes in. Use it to attract people to your funnel. For example, here are some great lead magnets to model.

Report: 9 Stretches in 9 Minutes That Quickly Ease Back Pain



Video: Top 5 exercises that relieve Sciatica pain

Webinar: 5 Exercises to relieve Sciatica you can do while watching your favorite TV shows

Workshop: Back pain and Sciatica workshop reveals how to naturally heal back pain and Sciatica for good


Once a potential client opts-in through your lead magnet,  add them to an automated series of emails that tell a story and educates them from TOFU to BOFU. Then convince them to call your clinic and book an appointment.

What do you write about?

Think of conversations you have with patients, then create a story that gives the same information.  For example, you could say in email, “I was talking to a patient recently who had Sciatica. She was in a lot of pain and was on Advil and painkillers that’ weren’t helping at all. She asked me “What causes Sciatica.” So explained that it’s caused by this….”

That’s it. You just write the email as if you were talking to the patient face to face. 

The goal of your emails is to:

1.) Tell a story that resonates with them
2.) Build trust
3.) Show social proof with case studies and testimonials
4.) Why you are different from everyone else in the area
5.) Answer objections
6.) Show the consequences of not getting early treatment.
7.) Create a sense of urgency. 

The 3 key marketing metrics you must measure are the lead magnet conversion rate, the answer rate over the phone and the booking rate.


Following these steps will get more people inquiring about appointments. The next step in rating your marketing strategy is to use phone call analytics and track what happens when they call. 

Is your front desk answering the phones? My research shows that the average answer rate for clinics is only 70%.

How many inquiries are they actually converting to appointments? Most only convert 60% of phone calls to appointments. You can boost this up 80% or more by using proven scripts to handle objections.

The FREE guide called “23 Killer Secrets To Booking Even More Patients Over The Phone”  includes highly effective scripts your staff can use right away!

Inside you’ll learn:

  • What to say to get patients to commit to appointments so you always keep your books filled.

  • The correct way to answer the phone and offer help.

  • How to effectively put people on hold so they don't hang up and call your competition.

  • The most important words to include and avoid in patient conversations.

  • How to deal with difficult or defensive patients so you can calm the situation and easily resolve issues.

And much more!

Click here to get your FREE phone scripts now





Rick Lau has built three 10 million dollar healthcare businesses over the past 15 years including a network of 127 clinics with over 1400 employees. He is one of the most sought-after mentors for clinic owners in Canada and USA where he helps owners double, triple, and even quadruple their revenue while having more freedom than they ever thought possible.

Rick also hosts the largest clinic owner family reunion in Canada, AccelerateLIVE. Sold out early to a hungry crowd of 250+clinic owners, Rick will deliver cutting-edge keynote speeches along with 19 other 7-figure health business owners.

You can follow him on Instagram @thericklau  

Topics: Marketing

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