THE PRIVATE PRACTICE RESOURCE
WHAT’S YOUR STORY? Dr. David Straight on the Importance of Narrative Branding
One of the human brain’s most fascinating qualities is its ability to remember narratives. You may not remember what time your mail carrier comes or recall your Netflix password instantly, but I bet you can talk about a movie you love even if you haven’t seen it in years. If your workplace is anything like ours, you probably had no shortage of team members arriving on Monday mornings eager to discuss the previous night’s episode of “Game of Thrones.” Even if you haven’t finished the series yet, I don’t have to reveal any spoilers to tell you that the feverish conversation about the show demonstrates just how impactful stories can be. Leveraging the power of narrative is a great way to make current and prospective patients remember you. Think about the brands you most admire. Odds are that in addition to having great products and excellent customer service, these brands convey their identity and their purpose in a lasting way. Despite this truism, many practice owners I speak to haven’t thought about the story of their practice. Maybe that’s because telling this story in a succinct way can be difficult. One tool I’ve found immensely helpful is the BrandScript model created by Donald Miller of StoryBrand. Miller, an accomplished author, created a formula that allows all types of business owners to quickly articulate their core principles and message in a way that compels readers to action. He achieves this feat by making the customer — in your case, the patient — the main character of the story. “THERE’S NOTHING IN THE WORLD MORE POWERFUL THAN A GOOD STORY.” –TYRION LANNISTER, “GAME OF THRONES”
Generating a BrandScript involves zeroing in on the core aspects of your story, so you can quickly define who you are and what you can do for a patient. We’ll call that patient a character for the purposes of this exercise. The character, like all protagonists at the beginning of a tale, has a problem they need to solve. After meeting a guide (your practice), the character now has an action plan to solve their problem. Your plan needs to compel them to that action (treatment), help them avoid failure, and lead them down a successful path. If you can convince the character that you are the guide they need, you’ve just earned a new patient. The details of your story will vary depending on the size and nature of your practice. Nobody is a better fit to tell that story than you, and you should be an integral part of the message you convey anytime somebody logs onto your website. After all, somebody on your site is already looking for a guide. You need to demonstrate to them you are the right one, and there’s no better way to do that than through a story. In closing, I ask you one simple question: What is your story? If you need a little help defining it, I recommend visiting MyStoryBrand.com and giving the BrandScript tool a shot. You can create one for free, and it will help you control the story you’re telling.
–Dr. David J. Straight
www.e-rehab.com | 760-929-9690
Has anyone ever given you a business pitch in an elevator? It must’ve happened a lot back in the day because “elevator pitch” is now the common term for a brief, compelling synopsis of a business. Most practice owners know they need an elevator pitch, but knowing you need one and knowing how to create a good one are two different matters. One of the best methods E-Rehab has found for developing such a pitch comes from Duct Tape Marketing. It’s called a “talking logo.” You’d be forgiven for assuming a talking logo is an animated and music-backed logo that quite literally talks. Despite the name, a talking logo is actually better described as a verbal logo. It does the same thing your visual logo does. It communicates who you are, what you do, and how and why you do it, but rather than an image, an oral message expresses your essential qualities as a practice. As John Janstch of Duct Tape Marketing puts it, “A talking logo is a short statement that quickly communicates your firm’s position and ideally forces the listener to want to know more.” A talking logo should answer two big questions: “What do you do for a living?” and “How do you do that?” It should be delivered in first person using “I” or “we” and begin with an action verb, such as teach, run, or treat. It should also address your target market directly and describe how you solve a problem for them. Finally, it should close with a description of how you go about solving that problem. Don’t be afraid to let your personality and your practice’s values shine through. The worst thing a talking logo can be is boring. A PERFECTLY HONED ELEVATOR PITCH HOW TO CREATE A TALKING LOGO
COMMON BRANDING MISTAKES That Can Torpedo Your Company’s Image The value of a strong brand cannot be overstated when it comes to growing your business. We call adhesive bandages Band-Aids and cotton swabs Q-tips because those companies excel at creating memorable, trusted brands that consumers can rely on. There’s no recipe for creating a brand so strong that the name of your product becomes common vernacular, but developing a strong, consistent brand is within the reach of every business owner. This is why it’s frustrating to see companies hurt their branding through easily avoidable mistakes. Business owners often deprioritize branding in the early stages of their company, but that’s a dangerous mistake. If a potential customer interacts with your brand and it doesn’t resonate with them, it’s going to be hard to win them back. By avoiding these common errors, you can create a brand that people will support and interact with. BLAND BRANDING “Branding is deliberate differentiation,” says author and consultant Debbie Millman. In other words, don’t create your brand by copying somebody else’s. The best brands stand out. Think about the iconic Nike swoosh, one of the greatest logos in business history. There was nothing like it at the time, and there’s little like it today. SLOPPY COPY Branding is far more than just a cool logo and a flashy website. The words you use to convey your values — and the value you offer customers — are crucial. Bad grammar, weird word choice, and other linguistic faux pas can make you look silly. Make sure you have professional editors look over your copy to ensure it relays your intended message. PLATFORM INCONSISTENCY Have you ever logged onto a mobile version of a website and wondered if you were in the wrong place? When that happens, it’s because a company hasn’t made the effort to mirror their branding across all platforms. It’s one thing to have an irreverent online presence — look to MoonPie’s Twitter feed for an example — it’s another to have such disparate branding that you leave customers confused. A great brand synergizes all aspects of their brand. Share your values, convey clear messages, and provide a professional image. Once you’ve done that, you’re on the road to building a brand that people want to support.
If you want to learn more about talking logos, head to DuctTapeMarketing.com/Your-Core-Difference .
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DOES YOUR WEBSITE NEED AN UPDATE? How E-Rehab Creates Attractive, Responsive Websites for Practices
According to research from Stanford University’s Web Credibility Project, 75% of users admit to “making judgments on a business’ credibility based on their website design.” That number will only grow considering computer- savvy generations are an ever-increasing percentage of your patient pool. After reading these statistics, you may be wondering, “What makes a good website?” The first thing to understand is that the answer changes over time. Sites that looked cutting-
edge in 2001 are positively janky by today’s standards. That’s why it’s so important to take a look at your website at least once a year and determine if you’re in need of a revamp. If you haven’t even considered this in the last three years, we can say for certain that you do. Another important quality of a good website is providing a similar caliber of experience on a smartphone. A few years ago, you could get away with using a templated program to convert your desktop site to mobile. Today, you need a responsive and interactive site to present everything a user needs quickly and effectively. If a patient is looking at your website via phone, they are likely motivated to find a physical therapy provider. You’d hate to lose them because they can’t easily find your contact information.
In today’s business environment, a potential patient’s first impression of your practice is likely via online interaction. The first thing they see, in most cases, is your Google listing. From there, they click on your website and determine whether or not they want to call. While it’s important to ensure your SEO is up to snuff, too many practices focus on that aspect at the expense of creating a compelling, engaging site. Developing what Google calls a “fast, friendly, and frictionless” online presence goes a long way in driving new business to your practice.
Contact E-Rehab today to see how we can help you create an online experience that radiates credibility and generates trust, even before a patient’s first visit.
EXTRA TRAINING FOR YOU Keep Patients From Quitting - How to Provide the Best Patient Experience Possible
For the average PT clinic, 65% of patients do not adhere to their plan of care, resulting in an average of $250,000 loss per year. But what if I told you there’s a simple and inexpensive approach to consistently get more of your patients to complete their plan of care? Join David Straight and special guest Jamey Schrier, PT and founder of Practice Freedom U, for a FREE training on the secrets to providing the best patient experience possible. Not only will you walk away with simple strategies for facilitating higher levels of patient engagement and trust, but you’ll also be able to identify the warning signs of patient disengagement and how to stop it in its tracks. Sign up for the training at e-rehab.com/learn .
www.e-rehab.com | 760-929-9690
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INSIDE Why Patients Remember a Story Are You Ruining Your Brand? Quick, Tell Us About Your Practice
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Is Your Website Driving Patients Elsewhere?
Spotlight on Dianne Caliboso
A Valued Member of the E-Rehab Team MEET DIANNE CALIBOSO
When Dianne’s not at work, she loves to get outside and hike. She’s also an avid gamer, which allows her to travel to fantastical worlds in addition to the natural ones she finds in the outdoors. You can also find a vast array of alternative rock and lo-fi beats in her music library. Dianne’s sense of passion and adventure is constant, whether we’re talking about her hobbies or her career.
Dianne Caliboso is the HTML team supervisor at E-Rehab. She’s on the front lines when it comes to creating dynamic, responsive websites that drive new patients to the practices of independent physical therapists nationwide. As such, she’s learned a great deal about physical therapy, which she considers one of the best perks of her job. “Over the course of launching websites for practices, I’ve learned a bunch of helpful tips and terms,” Dianne says. “I love helping independent practices grow and thrive.” During a regular day, Dianne is managing her own workload and helping her team with theirs. She answers questions and helps when code is being finicky. She holds an important role, but Dianne has a calm demeanor no matter the situation. She credits her poise to the welcoming environment at E-Rehab. “There’s a very relaxed vibe here,” she says. “John and Dave are great bosses, and everyone works as a team.” Dianne is particularly appreciative of the dog-friendly rules at the office. Her own pooch, DT (short for Double Tap), stops in regularly and is almost as beloved by the team as Dianne is.
E-Rehab is lucky to have dedicated team members like Dianne. Her tireless contributions and upbeat attitude are invaluable resources for physical therapists seeking to present their best selves online. Thank you, Dianne, for all you do, both for E-Rehab and our clients.
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