Top 5 Fridays! 5 Useful Marketing Strategies | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

Top 5 Fridays! 5 Useful Marketing Strategies

I often get asked online and at courses how I market my practice. Here are 5 ways that have worked for me.

1) Doing a great job

Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I marketed to a new doctor and got any referrals out of it. Any time a doctor (or anyone) paid attention was because a patient got better at my practice. They not only got better, but they were treated well by the office manager on the phone, and they were greeted politely by everyone in the practice. It's an unwritten rule at the practice to say hello to everyone, especially if they're not you're patient!

Also, getting someone better in 4-6 visits, when they were at another facility in the past for 4-6 months is also another great way to get more business. I know as a business owner that you do not want to send away business, but a happy patient = more referrals.

2) Inception

One genius marketing technique I found was pulling some "Inception" on a doc. When I teach the SFMA or just treating from a regional interdependence standpoint, clinicians invariably ask, what about the script saying shoulder, and you're treating the thoracic spine, cervical spine, hip, etc? This is where you call the doc (if this matters in your state because it no longer does here in NY, at least Buffalo) and say "Hi Doc, Mrs. Y, who you referred for her shoulder tells me she also mentioned to you her hip was bothering her, and you thought it would be a good idea if we also addressed that. Do you mind faxing a script over so we can also take care of that for her and you?" BAM, it was their idea all along, do you think they're going to remember or say no to that?

3) Letter credit

I mentored a fellow in training in North Carolina who would have his patients write thank you letters to the doctor saying something like "Dear Dr. X, Thank you so much for referring me to Erson, because of your referral, I'm feeling so much better... etc etc..."

In essence, it was all because of the doc's great idea to send them to you.

4) Market to personal trainers

Personal trainers usually have more time to talk to you and many of them are very knowledgeable in strength and conditioning, an area that general PTs usually lack. I've marketed successfully to trainers and we develop a good rapport and understanding of what needs to be done and when. A future patient will often complain of something bothering them to their trainer, who wants them to be able to continue training, so it's in their best interest to get the patient moving better and pain free. That's where we come in. After putting out the fire, I run a FMS or SFMA to clear for asymmetries, work on those for a few more visits and send them off happy to return to their trainer. Other than DA evals, I've had more evals this week from a personal trainer than from a doctor.

5) Marketing to the patient

On the first visit, I ask the patient is their anything else they would like us to address. Sometimes they say there is and sometimes not. Around the second to the last visit, I also ask them if there is anything else that is currently bugging them, or has in the past. Maybe they didn't tell you about their previous history of knee pain with running because they do not currently hurt, or maybe it's because you didn't have that rapport on the first visit yet. After meeting their current goals, they may be more likely to return immediately after clearing their headaches for their hip, knee, etc... I've found this useful for either getting a few more visits to clear the embers that may create future fires, or to have the patient return at the start of training for their next run, or at the start of golf season.

What are some ways that you have found effective at marketing?

Also, for you OMPT Channel subscribers, a 20+ minute vid of me evaluating and treating a cervical/shoulder patient from the Chicago Eclectic Approach UQ Course!


  1. As always great top 5. The personal trainer one is one that I believe a lot of PT's forget about. I worked as a personal trainer for 6 years before I became a PT and would have loved to have a good PT to refer clients w/ nagging injuries to.
    I think there is a sense of competition at some level between the two but it does not have to be that way.

  2. You're right about the competition. Each thinks they do not need the other. That may be true in the best of both fields, but their should be a synergy, not a competition. Another mistake PTs often make is wanting referrals from someone they would not necessarily send their patients back to. I have a small network of docs that I would use if I had conditions that warranted (neurologist, etc..), and same thing goes with personal trainers. We should refer back or out and not just expect the business to go one way.

  3. I always make it a point to bring back family, friends, or anyone else that is with them so they can see the benefits of the treatment as well. This has resulted in numerous referrals with now multiple sources singing your praise..haha

  4. That is a great idea Chris! I do that for parents but not spouses, significant other's etc! Instant advertising!