For Memorial Day weekend, I decided to invest in myself by attending the first Smart Success PT Live event in Clearwater Beach, FL. The weekend conference brought together physical therapists and physical therapy students who were involved in online business courses, marketing courses, or financial planning courses.
These courses were taught by some of the best gurus in the physical therapy and business realms: Greg Todd, founder of Physical Therapy Builder and private practice owner; Dr. Aaron LeBauer, a cash based practice owner and mentor; Paul Gough, a small business icon and marketing strategist; Will Butler, a physical therapist who focuses on financial planning; and Ken Kerry, executive producer of Script to Screen.
I have taken Greg Todd’s Smart Success PT course and his Mastermind course, and I have attended webinars and read posts by Dr. Aaron LeBauer, Will Butler, and Paul Gough. Nothing compared to meeting these professionals in person. The energy of the conference was phenomenal. The speakers would dance to the front of the room to their favorite hype music, and the environment encouraged networking and personal development. Plus, the event was held at the beautiful Wyndham Grand in Clearwater Beach, FL.
The information provided during the seminars was valuable to me even as a physical therapy student, and it allowed me to meet other physical therapists who had the same passion for “personal treatment and lifetime health maintenance.” I won’t lie; the event did give me some information overload. The most important thing after attending a conference like this is to identify “take-aways.” It is unrealistic to expect immediate results. Instead, identify what is the first thing you need to accomplish or focus on. Here are a few of my “take-aways.”
- Dr. Aaron LeBauer talked about the importance of creating value for your physical therapy services. To create value, you must provide a unique patient experience. For instance, provide the highest level of customer service possible. Take time to figure out what is concerning your patient, discuss an in-depth treatment plan, be accessible via phone, email, and text, and educate your patients to allow them to take control of their treatment.
- Greg Todd spoke about social media, current technology, and keys to building your brand as a PT.
- In today’s world, most people communicate on social media. Previous methods of advertisement, like billboards and radio ads, are not bringing patients into your door. Instead, people can more efficiently reached via social media, especially on their smart phone.
- Telehealth is expected to be a 5 billion dollar business in 4 years; PTs can be at the front of this development with the proper tools and business management.
- Building your brand as a PT is vital. Patients can search for physical therapists anywhere, and most people look at reviews before making a decision of which clinic to attend. Your brand isn’t a logo; it’s your content, relationships, and story. These allow patients to know YOU as a person, and this allows more rapport.
- Paul Gough discussed how empathy is vital to making marketing work in today’s economy. This is the hardest thing for physical therapists to learn; we are fantastic with compassion, but not empathy. There is a vital difference between the two. For instance, compassion is “I’m sorry to hear about your back pain.” Empathy is “I’m sorry about your back pain because right now I understand it is interfering with your life.” Empathy helps with verbal communication and increasing patient rapport.
- Ken Kerry explained the importance of testimonials. After I completed Season Two of Smart Success PT, I was more than willing to describe how Smart Success had changed my life. Several of my classmates provided testimonials, too. They work. Season Two had 17 members while Season Three had 77. It is important for physical therapists (and students) to get testimonials from patients because they provide an honest review of their physical therapy experience. We live in a review based culture – where someone’s personal experience influences your purchasing decisions. For instance, I recently had to buy a phone case, and I immediately sorted on Amazon by review rating. Testimonials help to build trust in a physical therapist, and this is vital more than ever in our review focused world.
- Will Butler discussed how identifying your stress is vital to success. He showed the Yerkes-Dodson curve of stress, which helped to illustrate his point. The research on stress surprised me: 30,000 adults were tracked for 8 years. During that time, those who experienced “lots of stress” were 43% more likely to die. But, it wasn’t the level of stress that was “bad.” It was the BELIEF that stress is bad. If an individual had high levels of stress, but didn’t believe that stress was bad, there was no impact on their health. Stress is unavoidable, but how you respond to stress can be modified.
So where do you go from here? I highly suggest checking out Smart Success PT Live 2018. The Smart Success PT course was been well worth the investment, even from the supportive network alone! This course provides you a mentor for life, lifetime access to lessons, and access to fellow SSPT students. It is currently open for enrollment, so check it out! The website has testimonials from various SSPT students, and the results they have achieved. If you have any questions, let me know!
Much of what I have learned about physical therapy and online health/wellness, I have learned from Greg Todd, the founder of Physical Therapy Builder. He is a fantastic physical therapist whose mission is to help physical therapy students and physical therapists provide patient focused care without becoming overwhelmed. Greg Todd is also known as a “social media guru,” and I have a lot of thank him for. I highly suggest his courses, especially Smart Success PT. In May, I attended Smart Success PT Live, a business, marketing, and branding course by some of the top PT entrepreneurs in the field.