When it comes to digital marketing for your occupational therapy business, I am a firm believer that small steps taken consistently add up to massive gains over time.
Think of it this way, if making small updates each month created let’s say 1% improvement, what would that mean for your therapy business? Or, what if one update each month led to just one additional client or sale? And those changes snowballed in benefit over time?
So instead of thinking you need to overhaul everything, what if you focused on improving one area per month for half the year? I’m confident you’ll be pleased with the results without feeling completely overwhelmed. Because as a therapist and a business owner means you probably have enough overwhelm already.
I’ve compiled this list to guide your marketing updates for your therapy practice. Pick an area and make that your goal for 1 month. Then pick another area to focus on for the next month. And I’ll be honest here, this list is far from complete –but it is my version of getting started.
So read through and get started with the digital marketing for your occupational therapy business. Bookmark this page or print it out to revisit month-to-month.
Get to know your niche and avatar
It’s so easy to jump into all the logistics of marketing an OT business without taking the time for foundational work. However, defining your niche and your avatar are important for ALL your marketing and the direction of your business.
I believe it’s such an important place to start with any sort of marketing updates. If you’re a new business or never thought about this before, STOP and do this immediately. It is absolutely essential.
And, if you’ve already gone through exercises like this, do them again. Personally, I started with an idea of my business and found my niche and ideal avatar changing. Through experience, I gained new insights on who I wanted to work with and what they needed.
Just to get everyone on the same page, a niche just means the area or speciality you want to focus on. Defining a niche moves you from generalist to expert and makes marketing so much easier. So maybe your niche is sensory processing or outdoor therapy. Maybe you focus on women’s health or supporting aging in place.
Questions to consider when defining your niche –
- What problems do you solve within your specific niche?
- What people/problems are outside of your niche?
- What makes what you do unique?
An avatar is your understanding of a specific person who your message is targeting. And this is meant to be one person. In other words, if you could pick ONE (or two) ideal people for your services, who are they?
Questions to consider for your avatar –
- What language do they use? Think especially about what language they use to describe the problem you solve.
- What is their socio-economic status?
- What do they like? What do they not like?
- What values do they have?
*Bonus* thoughts for established business owners –
- Has your ideal client/avatar changed?
- Are you currently attracting your ideal client? If not, what do you need to change to better tailor your messaging to them?
- Or, do you need to adjust your business to better serve the people you are attracting?
This is really just a beginning, but overall, spend some time visualizing who you want to serve, and get specific. Write it down in a journal or Google doc.
Then write to that specific person every time you write an email, blog, or social media post. And don’t worry, just because you’re envisioning one person, other people will come along too.
Improve Your Home Page
Website updates can feel overwhelming, but it’s easier to do when you break the job down into manageable goals.
The home page is a great place to start because it’s literally the first place your audience will land. Improvement here to keep people engaged and help them understand your business will impact the rest of your website. Remember that snowball effect I talked about earlier?
Here are some easy things to consider when improving your home page.
Consider the wording at the very top of the page –
- Do you capture what you do in one sentence at the very top?
- If you’re location-based, do you use the name of your city or county in a title at the top? Learn more about SEO here.
- Do you include a call to action of the next step you want a visitor to take after visiting your website? Some examples might be “schedule a free consultation” or “call now”.
The rest of the home page provides a quick summary of your business in different sections which might include:
- The problem you solve
- What makes you unique
- Your services
- Who you are
- Who you serve
Think of your home page as a brief introduction to get your reader interested and ready to proceed further into your website.
Improve Your Services Page
I view the services page of a website as the meat and potatoes of what you offer. A solid service page hits on the emotions of the problem and the solutions/transformation you offer. It also gives that diligent researcher the information they need to make a decision.
The challenge for many practice owners is finding that balance between providing too much or too little information. I also find practice owners don’t always update their website to reflect the most current services they are providing.
First, go through and make sure your content matches what you are currently providing.
Second, think about if you need to add new pages. As a general rule, it’s better if each service has its own page. Especially if you will be serving different people with each of your services. So maybe physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy each have their own page.
Third, go through look for the following things:
- Did you include a call to action on each service page telling people the next step to take?
- Do you explain what problems you solve with your service?
- Do you capture how people feel before and after your service?
- Can you improve the formatting by adding headings, breaking up long paragraphs, or using bold or italics?
It takes a bit of work to get right, but an updated services page does a lot of the work of selling for you. When people understand what you’re offering, they show up ready to book an appointment or purchase your product.
Create or Revisit Your Email Marketing
Email marketing is a great way to build an ongoing relationship with your audience. In fact, the average return on investment is $38 dollars of business from every $1 spent on email marketing1.
Practice owners can share tips and updates with members of their email list and online entrepreneurs can build authority and excitement for their next launch.
Simple tools to get started with an email list –
- Find an email list provider. Some examples are Convert Kit, Flodesk, or Mail Chimp. (I personally use Flodesk, feel free to use this link to get a discount.)
- Create a piece of free content and make it available on your website in exchange for the reader’s email address. You’ll be able to upload and create the signup using your email provider.
- Create a welcome sequence of about 3 emails that new subscribers will receive.
- Watch your list grow and think of ways to share content and announcements with your list. Note: Treat your subscribers like friends — end them only valuable stuff they want to receive.
If you already have the basics set up. Here are some ideas for you –
- Change your lead magnet. Something new might get more signups.
- Review all your emails and look for opportunities to make them better.
- Find new ways to promote your list to get more subscribers.
- Look at the wording of the pop-up window where people sign up. Is there an opportunity to make it more compelling?
The beauty of an email list is that most of the work is in setting it up. After that, it’s doing the marketing work without your daily oversight.
However, revisiting the essentials once a year leads to an ongoing process of improvement for this valuable part of your marketing presence. As your number of engaged, happy subscribers increases, the potential for bringing in new business also increases.
Want to write better marketing emails?
Check out my mini course on email marketing! It covers how you write interesting, effective emails. Plus you get some great time-saving templates!
All About Blogging
Blogging is a great way to make it easier for people to find your website in Google. Plus, a well-written blog sets you up as an expert in your industry. A good blogging strategy combines SEO keywords (for Google) and content your ideal clients want to read.
Now the topic of blogging could be a whole training in itself. So today I’m just going to provide actionable steps for you to improve an existing blog within one month.
Think about doing one or more of these –
- Go through your existing blogs and look for overlap where you can link one blog to another one. These interlinks help SEO and provide different paths for your reader to learn more — and stay on your site longer.
- Compile a list of SEO keywords to use for the future. Check out how to do this here.
- Come up with some topics for future blogs. If your business exists in a geographic area, what topics could you cover for your community that would interest your ideal client? Think of “why” questions you frequently answer and write them up as a blog.
- If you don’t have your own blog, offer to guest post somewhere to get a link back to your own website.
Ultimately, blogging is a long-term strategy. But spending a month improving your writing skills or mapping out topics is how you’ll gain that 1% edge. Then, you can add these tips to each blog you write in the future.
Want to learn more about SEO and blogging?
Check out my mini-course on blog writing for OT entrepreneurs.
June: Let’s talk about your About Page
People might say your about page doesn’t really matter. But I don’t think this is true at all. I believe your story is important to your audience and helps to build that foundation of trust.
Think of it this way: with your about page, you get to establish your credibility and share the big “why” behind what you offer. Those things matter to your audience. And I’m not alone in this belief. Research shows About Pages get a lot of traffic, and more importantly, lead to people taking action2.
I personally love writing about pages because they offer room for loads of creativity, emotion, and storytelling.
The key to a successful about page is to remember this important detail: Your about page is still mainly about your audience. You are simply showing how you are the fit for their needs.
Some things to consider improving:
- Add a call to action at the bottom to encourage people to make an appointment or sign up for your email list.
- Tell the story of why you started your business. What gaps did you want to fill? What is unique about what you offer? Highlight the parts that matter to your client.
- Frame all advanced training, certifications, and degrees in terms of how it will serve your audience, keeping in mind specific course names means nothing to them.
- Don’t lead with your degree. Frankly, where you graduated from doesn’t drive the decision of whether someone wants to work with you.
Remember most decisions are based on emotions. The about page is the perfect place to build that all-important know, like and trust.
Invest in a Special Project
There are always marketing extras we need and want to do but never get to. This month I challenge you to think outside of the box and try something new.
Here are some ideas to get you thinking:
- Submit a pitch to be on a podcast related to your area of work.
- Write a sales email sequence for your course or an upcoming program.
- Write or update your sales page.
- Be featured in a local newspaper.
- Start a Facebook Group or Business Page.
- Pay to have someone offer recommendations to improve your website (Hint. Hint. This is a service I offer at times. Get signed up for my email list to be the first to know when this opportunity comes around again).
- Host a webinar of interest to your ideal client.
- Learn more about Search Engine Optimization so your website is more visible in Google.
I love the idea of you picking something new and just going for it! Have fun and be on the lookout for opportunities you wouldn’t usually explore. Sometimes the best ideas come out of new connections or avenues.
Celebrate What You’ve Accomplished with Your Digital Marketing
Whether you focused on one area or did six months of improvement, give yourself a pat on the back. Hey, maybe you didn’t do any of them but something here sparked an entirely new idea. That’s all great!
Send me an email or tag me on social media about how you applied (or plan to use) this knowledge this coming year. Now, many of my suggestions required some element of copywriting. That’s because the skill of copywriting is needed at every corner of successful digital marketing. I’ve compiled some of my favorite quick tips to avoid common copywriting mistakes and write more effectively. Grab yourself a copy below.