August 5, 2022 | Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA

4 min read

Rehab Therapy Marketing: An Exercise in Helping People Imagine Their Better Selves

When last week’s Mega Millions jackpot crossed the billion-dollar threshold, media coverage generally focused on two things: the influx of ticket buyers, and the long odds these folks have of winning anything at all.

Yet, those who point out that we’re more likely to be struck by lightning or go to the E.R. with a pogo stick-related injury1 than win the jackpot … well, they’re just missing the point.

Buying a lottery ticket isn’t an investment. It’s more like renting a dream, one that allows us to visualize a more ideal future, if just for a few hours or days.

Sure, we know winning the lottery is the longshot of all longshots. But imagine … being able to quit your job, travel the world, invest in real estate, send your kids to any college they want …

It’s about freedom and security—the ability to do what you want, when you want, without having to worry about barriers.

Sure, money’s the critical differentiator, but the possibilities are what we dream about. And such possibilities are ultimately why we might consider buying that ticket in the first place.

Sell Possibilities to Stimulate Action

There’s a lesson here in rehab therapy branding, marketing, and sales, and it’s this:

The ability to help people dream and visualize a better future for themselves can be powerful in persuading and inspiring action.

So, when considering marketing strategies for their private practice, it’s important that physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists harness and embrace this truth throughout their messaging. This means always striving to help potential patients see their better selves.

Don’t just make your messaging about where people are (i.e., in pain, injured, frustrated, limited); make it about where they want to be. Help them truly see the potential in front of them.

Once they are able to see a finish line, they will be more open to discussing a specific route for getting there.

Here are some messaging tips for helping people visualize a more optimal future:

Focus on Success

As a rehab therapist, you’re not just improving bodies. You’re improving lives.

Describing “better movement” or “increased function” is nice, but better movement or function for what? To play with the grandkids? To be able to work and support a family? To bend over in the garden without pain? To live independently?

Find out where your clients want to be, then help them visualize themselves there.

Make It Personal

Tell stories of past patients and the lives they were able to experience after visiting your clinic. Focus on their goals and their struggles, then talk about how rehab therapy led them down the path toward a better life.

Be specific and relatable, and use such stories to introduce your community to aspects of rehab therapy or your clinic they may not know about.

Stimulate the Senses

What does success look like? What does it feel like? Does it smell like your garden during an early morning harvest or taste like a cold beer after a bike ride with friends?

Consider the senses when putting together messaging (i.e., photos, copy, videos, etc.) for any communication channel.

Keep Patients Engaged

Unlike the lottery, rehab therapy patients typically have a pretty good shot at the jackpot when it comes to achieving their therapy goals. And as clinicians, you get to help make these dreams actually come true.

Achieving consistent success, however, means accepting the fact that marketing and engagement do not end once a person becomes your patient. Patients need to still show up for their appointments, follow up with home exercise programs, and complete their plans of care in order to achieve their goals.

Your rehab therapy team can help improve the odds of this coming to fruition by incorporating elements of patient engagement into your treatment strategy. Utilizing features like outcomes management, appointment reminders, home exercise demos and tracking, and so on can improve patient compliance and ensure patients remain focused and motivated.

To learn more about patient engagement and the Net Health® Patient Engagement Suite, which seamlessly integrates with our therapy practice management software for private practice clinics, schedule a demo today!

5 Reasons Patient Engagement Marketing is Critical to Your Rehab Therapy Business Strategy

Improve acquisition and retention.

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1 Las Vegas Review-Journal, “17 Things More Likely to Happen to You Than Winning the Lottery,” July 26, 2022

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