Top 5 Physical Therapy Marketing Mistakes To Avoid In 2010

For physical therapists, just as for most business owners, physical therapy marketing is a necessary tool if a business is to prosper. The overall goal, of course, is to increase the number of clients / patient referrals you have and to magnify the amount of revenue coming in.

Good marketing is about being proactively aware of the mistakes you could make, then taking steps to avoid those mistakes. Below are five significant marketing mistakes physical therapists will want to avoid making if 2010 is to be a profitable year.

  1. Not having a “Target Audience” – As a physical therapist, not defining your target audience is a very big mistake. You can’t possibly expect to reach everyone, so you should really research which specific types of people can benefit the most from your particular services, products, and CEU courses.You’ll also want to target those who need the services you specialize in, as well as those who are close enough geographically to come to wherever your physical therapy practice or facility is located.

  2. Not knowing what your prospective clients / patient needs are – Once you’ve found your target audience, you’ll need to do some further research to determine what they need if they’re to live a full life, what their main concerns are, what they’re expecting from the treatment they receive, and where they usually go to receive treatment.Once you find out this information, you’ll have a better understanding of the types of marketing strategies you should use to make them aware that you’re the physical therapist who will best meet those needs for them.

  3. Not giving your business it’s own “personality” – You need to create a certain personality, or identity for your business. In the marketing field, this is called “building your brand.” Build it up and then stick to it. You’ll want to decide on your business’s personality before putting yourself in ads or on business cards because people will start associating your “brand” with you.Things to consider in this “branding” process are:- What you specialize in – The equipment you have available – Where you’re located – Your history and accomplishments – Who your staff is and what training they have – Your mission and vision for your physical therapy practice Add a little personality to your business by thinking of what you truly enjoy doing or what treatments in particular you feel very strongly about. Put all these things together to form your business’s personality. A “This is who we are” profile, if you will.

  4. Not “Getting yourself out there”– By “getting yourself out there” I mean physically getting yourself in front of people who can help bring in new business for you, but also getting your name “out there” on the internet as well.The internet is fast becoming the main way people find information they need – from a good ice cream shop to the best physical therapist in their area. If you don’t have a well designed website that draws people to you and lets them know you’re the physical therapist they should rely on, your business will suffer greatly. And once you’ve built your website and it’s live on the internet, there are all kinds of online marketing strategies you can use to bring in new business.Also, don’t be afraid or ashamed to tell everyone you know, both friends and business associates, about what you do. Use phone calls, business cards, and emails to draw attention to your practice because you never know who you might be talking to that is either sending a new client your way or becomes your client themselves.

  5. Not building your social contacts – Going right along with “not getting yourself out there,” is not building your social contacts to include other professionals who might be able to send new clients your way. This could be physicians, social workers, attorneys, etc. So, try to expand your contact list to include other professionals in addtion to doctors in the areas where you do business. This will work out well because if these professionals get to know you, and see the high quality of services you offer, they’ll most likely refer their patients or potential clients to you.


These five marketing mistakes should definitely be avoided in 2010 if you want your physical therapy practice to thrive this year. If you’ve been making any of these mistakes, don’t worry as all five are easily fixed. Make a list of ways you can stop making the mistake this year and set a goal for yourself so you can feel good when that mistake is no longer hindering your marketing efforts. If you have made any of these mistakes in the past, please comment below and tell us what were the things you did to correct them. We would love to hear your thoughts!