Businesses take advantage of social media marketing in order to step up their game. But with all the noise about digital marketing methods, it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole and be overwhelmed. Joey Allbritton, former dental hygienist and owner of PT Marketing Secrets, who’s been helping physical therapy owners elevate their social media marketing efforts, joins Nathan Shields as he gives very helpful advice on how PT owners can take advantage of social media marketing to get more clients. He also highlights the importance of assessing their clinics and establishing a system that will eventually help in the whole process of elevating their digital marketing efforts.
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Don’t Get Burned By Social Media Marketing Companies, Plus The Winning Formula For Implementing New Marketing Methods With Joey Allbritton of PT Marketing Secrets
I’ve got Joey Allbritton, soon-to-be Physical Therapist and Founder of the PT Marketing Secrets Company, a social media marketing agency. Thanks for coming on, Joey. I appreciate it.
Thanks for having me. I don’t know if I would technically classify myself as a social media management type of agency. I go away from that title as much as possible when it comes to agencies. There are a lot of bad connotations behind that. What I aim for is a business consultant who happens to do Facebook ads and some of the other stuff. You can’t have one without the other.
Thanks for correcting me on that. I don’t know how to categorize that. I’m excited to bring Joey on because I’ve had coaching clients that have worked with him. I have followed his Facebook group and recognize the work that he’s putting out. He’s doing a lot of good stuff on Facebook marketing ads for physical therapists specifically. First of all, thanks for coming on, Joey. I appreciate you taking the time to share your wisdom. I love for you to share a little bit about what got you into this, your background, and what you’re doing.
I did a very long roundabout way to get where I am. I started my Biomedical Science Degree thinking I’m going to be a dentist. I applied to dental school three times. I didn’t get in. I didn’t realize how competitive it was. The freshman year, I wasn’t quite as focused as I probably should have been. I was like, “I like dentistry. Let’s do dental hygiene.” We’re in that same boat. We get to work with people. We get to help people and everything like that. I went back and got another Bachelors in Dental Hygiene. I did it for four years and realized that it’s awful. No one wants to be at the dentist. No one wants to be there at all. It’s rough on your body having to do the same thing over and over again. There’s a cap of where you can be.
I was like, “I’ve got to find something else. What other health care professions can I see people on a one-to-one basis? You can still have essentially uncapped potential. There has to be some type of business owner role with it.” That already eliminated quite a bit of potential things. Nursing is out of the way and all those. When you start looking at the ones that only see people one-on-one, there’s not very many or your volume’s through the roof. There are still some PT clinics where volume’s through the roof as we know. I was like, “Let’s try this PT thing. If I’m going to do it, I want to do the whole cash-based thing.” I saw where insurance is trending. Now that I’m more knowledgeable, I see the insurance still can work. If I was to start a practice, I’d have a hard time not taking a couple of insurances.
I was like, “Everyone and their mother tells me that you’re not going to get referrals if you’re cash-based. I’ve got to learn this marketing thing. Where do I start?” There are a couple of big podcasts out there like Jared Carter and Olga. I got into them. All of them are talking about direct-to-consumer marketing. I was like, “How do I do it?” I locked into it initially. It was me hopping into Healthcare Digital Marketing at that time. Alex Engar and Will Boyd’s group back when there were only 400 people in there. They were doing this. They had just graduated from PT school. They started doing marketing for PTs but they needed an intern because they were growing too quick. I was like, “Someone is going to teach me how to do this stuff. I’m not going to have to pay for it. I’m going to go all-in here.”
They taught me the fundamentals of a landing page. I didn’t even know what a landing page was or who Russell Brunson was of ClickFunnels. I was so far removed. The only thing I knew about was affiliate marketing. At that time, I was building a website on trying to sell toothbrushes to make side money. I was trying to find ways to make money. It always interested me to build my own business. I learned enough to pretty much be able to tell someone, “I’ve taken a course on it. I don’t know if it’s going to work.” Someone reached out to me. They’re like, “Do you know how to do this?”
The first thing I did was build a course on plantar fasciitis for a client. He did that. We didn’t put in the time that we needed to grow something like that. It turns out if you build a product, you have to get people to come to it. It doesn’t matter how good it is. That’s a good lesson to learn for anybody who’s trying to make a digital product of something. See what people want first, then build it. He was like, “Do you know how to do these Facebook ads?” I was like, “I’ve taken a course on it.” That seemed to be the theme. “I know it. Do you trust me? I’ll trust you. Let’s try it.” We did it. I still have that client from years ago. We’re still working together with Facebook ads.
It’s one snowballed into another. It went from the month before starting PT school to me, it’s working with one person to going all the way through PT school and now we’re working with dozens of people. It’s been a change of plans when it comes to me going into the full physical therapy space myself as far as being a PT. I found out how much I love this and how much it goes in with everything that I love doing. A roundabout way of getting there but I’m here. I’m glad we went that route because there’s a lot of stuff that I learned even from the dental side of things as far as sales, marketing, running a business, all that type of stuff. It’s been crazy what you don’t realize you’re learning along the way. It’s like, “I didn’t realize that this owner that I was working with was so good at what she was doing.” It’s pretty cool.
It’s cool to see that you’ve grown in your knowledge and expertise with Facebook marketing ads as the physical therapy industry has started to get into it a little bit more as well. We’re generally a profession behind the curve a few years to a decade when it comes to a lot of innovation. You’ve had years of experience. Especially with the pandemic, we’re at a flection point in our industry where it’s so vital to go direct-to-consumer either because we have to or there’s greater opportunity. There is greater opportunity and physical therapists are finally tapping into that. That can be tough for a physical therapist to trust, figure out and know how to start. Where do they begin? How do I find the right person? There are tons of people out there who are telling me they’re social media experts. That’s what we want to talk a little bit about in this episode. How does someone go about finding a reputable/good? How do you find someone who can help you with your social media marketing efforts if that’s a direction you want to go?
It is the muddy waters that you have to go through. There’s no barrier for someone to then call themself a marketer. If you have a laptop and internet, you’ve watched a Tai Lopez video or something like that, you’ve all of a sudden think that you’re a marketer. Even looking back on what I did years ago, I would laugh at what I used to think was considered marketing. There is a night and day difference between someone who truly knows what they’re doing and someone who’s done it for a while and niche down on it. The more educated you can be on this, the easier time you’re going to have to pick someone.
The number one thing is to make sure you find someone whose niche down into your actual niche. I know several marketers who have tried to get into physical therapy. They’re working with med balls. They were working with dentists and then they try to get into it. You see them here for a month. All of a sudden, they’re switching to a new niche because they couldn’t get it to work. You get someone who’s local, which a lot of people, that’s what they end up going to. It’s like, “Let’s find someone local so I can talk to them and have good communication with them.” There’s nothing wrong with that because you should have good communication with the person you’re working with but they don’t know what offers work. They haven’t had the time to spend and test. Over time, you have to test it. What you’re paying someone who’s been doing it for a long time is to not have to make those same mistakes because they’ve already seen what does and doesn’t work.
For someone who’s first getting into it, you may not know what’s good and what’s bad, what’s worked and what hasn’t. That’s honestly one. That’s why I have the Facebook group that I have. It’s so that I can continue to educate people. The more educated someone is, they can come to the table with the actual knowledge that they need. Otherwise, someone can swindle away pretty much all of their money. They’re left sitting there wondering, “Why didn’t this work? I’m sure most people here have seen all the people that are guaranteeing 15, 30 new patients in your door a month. When you start to go look at the fine print of it, the number one question you need to ask everybody is, what is a new patient to you?
A new patient may mean a lead. A new patient may mean someone is signing up for an appointment that never shows or their guarantee is based around stuff that’s very sketchy. It’s them saying, “You’ve got to follow up with everybody in a minimum of five minutes. Otherwise, your guarantee is void.” All kinds of things like that. They are leveraging a guarantee to try to mitigate risks for someone to make these purchases. There are ways to mitigate risks to where people can trust you. Be a good person and deliver it. If you can’t deliver results, refund someone. You don’t need all of the legal mumbo-jumbo of all that. Unfortunately, that’s what a lot of these people were taught by the same guy.
Most people have gone through the same agency program. That’s what he’s taught. That’s what he’s done in the chiropractic space for a long time. He’s taught people that. It worked but it only worked for the ones that have been able to deliver results. The physical therapist is left sitting there wondering, “Which is the one that I can deliver results?” It is tough. It’s finding someone who’s worked with physical therapists before, finding someone that can show you actual proof of the ROI. There are a lot of people who don’t do good tracking, which you should have. In this day and age, there’s no reason to not have tracking of we put X amount of dollars in. We got X amount of dollars out. It should be very granular at this point instead of being based on emotions.
Numbers should guide you and everything in business. You’re a big numbers guy. You’re a big systems guy. You have to have that. Realistically, finding someone who you know is already doing it with someone or maybe themselves, and then asking who they’re using, but with the contingency knowing that they may or may not be getting a kickback from that agency. One of the common things in a lot of these agencies is they’re charging $1,500 a month. For every person they refer, they get $500 a month recurring. Even if it’s okay results, if they refer three people there, their stuff is covered. I’m not against doing some type of referral incentive but know that there could be some other type of agenda on the back end of the person who is referring. Talk to people that you trust because you can be misled very easily.
A few years ago, my mindset and many owners possibly nowadays might be, “I’ll bring on someone younger who knows social media. They’ll ‘figure it out’ and they’ll be cheaper.” Maybe it’s even someone who graduated with a marketing degree. You assume that they’re going to be able to do well. Based on your conversation and recommendations, that’s not a bad idea. Tell me if you’ve used this in the past. Had many owners use someone like that as a liaison to you and what you do so it’s not you speaking to the owner all the time? You told me that you should be communicating with your social media marketing person at least a couple of times a week. That could be a lot of strain on an owner.
A lot depends on how long they’ve been doing it, where they are in their business, and everything like that. That communication cycle will change as you work with someone longer. For me, I have two options for how I work with people. Some people want completely hands-off. They don’t touch a thing. The only thing that we do is talk back and forth of, “How is this going? How can we improve the actual sales process?” Maybe it’s on the phone or we struggle getting people to schedule for an eval. That’s typically what the main conversation is. Keeping their front desk in check because they’re not following up as much. Having ways to keep them accountable, which a lot of people don’t realize their front desk may be causing them to lose several thousand dollars. That’s something you need to think about.
What I’ve transitioned to for a lot of my clients is exactly what you’re talking about. We set everything up. We run it for three months. From there, we give them the keys to take it all in the house. We have people who hire a specific marketing person, especially our end network guys. A lot of them have a person who does their actual network marketing. They’ve tacked that on to their role. What I don’t love seeing is when someone tries to tack on marketing and doing Facebook ads on top of a front desk person’s stuff because they are already so slammed. Don’t give them extra stuff. We have done that where we work specifically with someone within their company.
There are some business owners, when they’re first starting out, they do it. Realistically, that’s how most business owners need to get to eventually. They’re going to be inside the point of they’re treating patients, they’ll hire, and they’ll get staff under them. The business owner has to step out long enough to where they can start thinking of themselves as a marketer. Ultimately, marketing is going to be the number one driver and then retention and referrals. In my opinion, a lot of that is marketing and sales. You have to make that transition. That doesn’t mean that they have to be in the day-to-day where they’re the ones doing it but they have to make that transition out of, “Let’s focus day-to-day. This is what our patient care looks like. We’re focusing on one day.” Scale things out thinking, “As a business owner and as a potential marketer, how do I continue to grow this and not getting my way?”Talk to people you trust because you can be misled very easily. Click To Tweet
That is a hard transition for a lot of PTs to make. It’s constantly getting pulled back into the weeds of everything and not having the systems to allow them to step away. That’s what you provide with a lot of what you do. It allows them to be able to not just own a job but own a business. It’s tough to make that transition. As soon as someone does, those are the ones that I see night and day differences. Even with the same exact ads from one month to them stepping out and then doing it. They’re like, “We’ll have time to see what’s been going on here.” It’s very interesting when people truly have the time to see what’s going on in all facets of their business, and how it’s able to expedite everything.
You’ve seen that over the past years. Some owners aren’t ready to take on something like this. You shared a little bit about it. Is there anything more you can say? What stage does an owner need to be at in order to make this perfect or make it run well?
I’ve had a range of people. We have some who are sole practitioners. They don’t have a front desk, whether they’re working inside a gym somewhere. They’re doing a mobile concierge or maybe starting out. Some of those can make it work. A lot of that depends on what their caseload already looks like and what their goals are. There are some people that inherently, what they need is better systems in their business. They need to build out some of the basics. Work on trying to build their referral sources and increase their actual sales conversion from the get-go. There are a lot of people that don’t have a systemized sales cycle, and then they wonder why whenever we start to flood them with leads, “What’s going on? We’re not closing these people.”
They’re not referrals so they’re not laid out in sales. You have to have a little bit of a sale system so you can diagnose where in the process it goes away. A systemized sales system is one of the number one things that need to be there. A front desk person is nice to have as far as being able to follow up with these leads but I don’t think it’s necessary. People can make it work until they can afford to hire someone. Most people can afford to hire one much sooner when they see how much money they’re losing by not having one. We’re not even going to go down to the Jerry Durham route of the front desk and how important all that. It’s ridiculous how much money is being wasted.
A lot of people look at how much money does it cost to hire one versus how much they’re losing. When you put those two together, it’s like, “You should have hire years ago.” As far as a sole practitioner, I like to see someone that’s at least at the $15,000 a month mark. That seems to be someone who has a good enough caseload on their own. They’re not stressing over the fact of, “We’re putting some money into our business.” They’re able to handle that a little bit more. The ones that are a little bit lower than that freak out a little bit too much. There’s mindset stuff that you can work on and all that type of stuff. That seems to be the market.
Anything below $10,000 to 15,000, most people aren’t ready for it. They should be focusing on a lot of other stuff like referral partners. They should be focusing on making sure they Google My Business, where your actual website shows up on Google under the maps, and the ones that are rated. Working on that is pretty easy stuff to do. Local outreach and being inside groups in your local area. Doing that type of stuff and working on systemizing your sales would be my focus if I’m sub $10,000. At that point, you don’t have enough of a systematic way of bringing new people into your system. It’s like the analogy you’ve talked about with the leaky bucket and the water coming through. We can’t flood new leads down this leaky bucket and expect it to retain it all if we don’t have the systems in place.
For those clinics, say they’re over $15,000 per month. The owner is still probably treating full-time. Maybe they have a little bit of extra time. When you say sales cycle, what do you mean by that? I’m sure there are plenty of owners out there who are doing fine. They may have multiple physical therapists on staff and financially, things are going okay. They know that they could do better. They want to achieve greater goals or even expand. When you go to them and you say, “What is your sales cycle?” What exactly do you mean?
You’re going to have different sales cycles depending on where someone is coming from. I’ve met people who are in the $50,000. They don’t have systems in place. They were there at a good time. They’ve been very good with word of mouth. They get good results. Over time, they’ve been able to do that. Don’t get me wrong. Someone who is very established making good money, there are a lot of them that don’t have good systems in place either. It’s not a slight at anybody who’s sub $15,000 or sub $10,000. That doesn’t mean that you’re far behind. Some people still managed to do it in spite of what they have in place, not because of what they have in place.
When it comes to someone who is a referral or that’s been a past patient before, they come back in, the sales cycle of that is going to be completely different. It’s someone who already knows, likes and trusts you. You didn’t have to build any type of authority there. It’s easy to make that sell. That’s what 90% of the people who come to me have in place. That’s where most of their people are coming from and that should be where the majority of your patients are coming from if you’re doing your job right. For someone who wants to start to scale and start to bring people in who have no clue who you are, you have to have different processes in place.
When I say processes, the way we do ads is if someone comes in, they see the ad. If it’s for a back pain analysis or back pain eval, whatever you want to call it, they’ll give you name, phone number and email, and then you have to have a full follow-up system to get them to call you back. Most people don’t have an actual script or any type of framework for their front desk to call. They wonder why their front desk is saying something different and saying stuff they shouldn’t be saying. A lot of times, it’s because we found someone who was good. They said that they could answer the phone. They said that they were good at organization and then expected them to do a job without having the time to train them.
That’s why with the way we’ve done things, we give them scripting. We give them exactly how to get a card on file, which a lot of people don’t get a card on file. Typically, from what I’ve seen, someone who’s a referral or someone like that, you don’t need to bother about getting a card on file. Someone who knows nothing about you on a whim opted in. What we’ve seen is getting a card on file for a no-show or last-minute cancellation. It pretty much eliminates your no-shows across the board. It’s an awkward conversation to have with your front desk that they have to start doing it because they’re going to feel uncomfortable. There’s a lot of training that has to go in with that. They’re going to end up conveying that they’re uncomfortable with it, which then makes the actual potential patient uncomfortable. It’s two uncomfortable people not wanting to share information. We then wonder why it ends up someone not scheduling.
That’s the type of stuff that someone needs to have in place. A lot of people may not have that in place until they start working with me. That’s okay. One of the biggest things is most people do their evaluations and had a willy-nilly, “This is what we do. What’s wrong with you? We can help you.” That’s okay for someone who already has that authority and trust transferred over. With someone who has no clue who you are, you have to bring them through a systematic sales cycle. That way, you can start to build that trust and find the emotional drivers of what makes them want to move forward.
I like scripts. There are a lot of people who don’t like scripts because they say sales is dynamic. You can’t have scripts. Scripts versus frameworks, I don’t care what you call it. As long as you understand why you’re asking questions in a specific way, it’s going to help you overcome a lot of the objections that you typically will have come up with. One of the simplest questions that most people don’t bring up is, “Why now? Why not last week or last month?” Whenever someone at the end says, “I need to think about it,” you’re like, “I thought you said that you needed to get this done because of X, Y, Z.” If you don’t have some of these types of questions in place, you wonder, “All these people didn’t want to do physical therapy. They must have been someone who didn’t care about their health. They must have been someone who wanted surgery.”
If you don’t have a systematic way of bringing someone through the actual process, you have no way of improving it either. You have to have stuff like that in place. People may not inherently have that before they start working with me. They need to at least have a baseline level of patients that come organically to them. No business should have to live off of Facebook ads alone. I worked with a client of yours who right at the start of COVID, every single one of his referral sources dried up immediately. We went crazy on Facebook ad. I spent more than I ever spend on ad spend for anybody.
That’s how we were able to get him through that time because all his referral sources dried up. Is that something that I want anybody to ever be relying on forever? No. Please do not be 100% reliant on Facebook. I don’t know how pissy we have to keep this show. You will be very constrained. When Mark Zuckerberg decides to jack up the price, which we have no control of that, then you have no way of continuing to grow your business or at least keeping it stable. Diversifying and everything like that. Even for me, I’m looking at how we can bring Google ads to something. We need to be looking at Facebook, Google, mailers, everything. The issue comes when someone either sticks with only one or try entirely too many things at once. You have to find that middle ground of like, “This is what’s working good. Let’s systemize it.” Then we can start to look at the other stuff.
The sales cycle seems to be heavily dependent in most cases upon that front desk person. It’s almost like that’s the tipping point. If that person doesn’t feel comfortable with sales because that’s what they have to do, if they don’t feel comfortable at talking about other people’s health-related issues, they’re maybe better designed to simply schedule and verify insurance benefits. How do you work with that? What do you recommend?
People do have a lot of barriers to that. Nowhere in the job description or any of the expectations when they are hired where they’re told that you’re going to have to sell someone. They were told, “All I got to do is call someone. They’re going to be so happy to get on your schedule. They’re never going to have an objection. They’re going to be amazing.” Unfortunately, that’s not how the real world works. A lot comes down to educating them on the aspect of why it’s important and why we need to do these things. I hate the words, front desk people. We need a better title for this.
We used to call them patient care coordinators.
We’ll say customer satisfaction concierge or something like that. Talking to them and saying like, “I know that you’re not comfortable with this.” You have to acknowledge the fact that they’re not comfortable and say, “If this person was your mother and she’s been having back pain for ten years, all of a sudden she sees this ad. She calls you. What kind of effort would you put in to make sure that she comes to see you versus going to a surgeon and getting a surgery that she doesn’t even need? She’s going to waste $10,000 worth of her own hard-earned money at a surgeon. She still has to come back to you for PT afterward anyway. If you didn’t talk to them and find out a little bit more about them to see this is the reason you need to move forward, how would you feel if that was because of you and you didn’t take care of your mom?”
You start to frame it as, “You’re doing it to help these people” versus “We’re doing it to try to pull as much money as we possibly can out of them,” which their salary has to come from somewhere. That’s a whole another story. When you start to come at it from, “We need to learn more about our patients. We need to learn why they tick, how they tick, and how we can better serve them.” It happens to be that we need to collect and do some sales. We need to do some of that type of stuff. It means to an end. Once you do that, there’s usually a big dynamic shift. People are naturally going to fall back into that over time. You have to continue to role-play. You have to continue to practice all of that, especially when it comes to money. Most people are very bad about putting their own opinion of what a high dollar amount is on the potential patient.No business should have to live off Facebook ads alone. Click To Tweet
I had someone tell me they had two people come in. One was a Social Security worker. One was a cashier. Not people who you would inherently think can afford a $2,000 package worth of treatment. Over time, he slowly started to relinquish the preconceived notions on who can afford stuff. If they’re at a point where they want to make a change or they need to make a change, people will find a way. If I told you that I’m going to repossess your house unless you can come up with $20,000, you better bet you’re going to find a way to make $20,000. You’re going to be begging your family, friends, anything. When we start to think of it that way, which I’m not a fan of getting people into debt or anything like that for their stuff. Most people have the money somewhere. They’re just not prioritizing it. Sometimes, you have to help them prioritizing it.
I love the whole mindset shift and that role-playing that you’re doing with your front desk person. It can be very uncomfortable situations for them to see it from the surface and be like, “I’m not built for that. That’s not what I do.” Ultimately, would you say that this is a job that’s better suited for a marketing person specifically designated to bring in new patients to your company versus the front desk person who could be very busy?
Ultimately, that’s very case-dependent from what I’ve seen. There are some who that’s inherently what they’re good at. Their front desk is very good at making those connections. They don’t feel bad about doing it. Some do that. I do also work with some who have a dedicated person to call all of their leads whether that be people who are opted in on a website, Google ads, Facebook ads, and all that. That’s their job. It is very hard to go from one moment talking to someone about insurance verification to then the next moment needing to go into a sales conversation. They are two completely different mindsets that you need to be in. Switching back and forth is beyond fatiguing. For you to be on that level all the time, it takes a certain person to want to be able to do that 24/7.
It’s not very often that I have someone who’s truly dedicated only to calling there until they’ve been working with us for quite a while. Most people are like, “Let’s see if this works first before we go and hire someone else.” That’s usually how it is. It’s like, “Let’s try it. If it works, we’ll talk more about everything else.” That’s honestly what I recommend for a lot of people. It’s like what we do with tuition, with school, and everything like that. We’re willing to drop $5,000 on a semester of physical therapy. Not knowing if we’re truly ever going to get an ROI out of it, knowing that money is going to go down the drain at some point. We all know that we’ve taken plenty of classes that were completely useless when it came to being a physical therapist. That’s what that was.
If we can get in our mind, maybe we should set aside $5,000 even for the full year knowing that some of this money could never come back to us. Should it not come back? No. If you start to get in that mindset that some of this money is my tuition for marketing, then it’s going to completely change your mindset because you know that that’s how you learn. Instead of taking a $3,000 course from someone, maybe you need to spend $3,000 on Facebook ads. That’s your school of learning. There are also people that I know who’ve tried $3,000 on their own and then wasted $3,000. It is nice to have that mix of someone who tells you what works and then spend it. It’s a different train of thought but it’s a very beneficial one that most people have a hard time switching to.
What would you recommend that owners need to consider an appropriate budget both in terms of money and time? I know that not all the time there’s something that you put the ad out and you get the lead immediately. It takes time to get some traction. What would you recommend, whether it’s you or with other companies should a physical therapy owner expect to spend in the amount of money per month? How long should they give it before they say, “This isn’t working,” or “This is great, we need to keep going?”
A lot of it depends on what medium we’re looking at? For SEO, Search Engine Optimization, showing up number one on Google. Assume it’s going to take you 3 to 6 months at the minimum. That doesn’t happen overnight. That’s going to be pretty expensive. Most people, in my opinion, outside of working on their Google My Business, I don’t recommend most people starting with that. There are ways to make an ROI quicker. You can then start to put money into something like that later on. Going in order of stuff that’s not quite as fast, it would be Google ads after that. We can’t force someone to search for something. There are only so many ways you can get people to come to your website to opt in.
From there, most people I’ve seen would be fine with about $10 to $15 a day budget on Google ads. Once you’ve dialed it in, which it does take some time to dial it in, to figure out what words people are searching for and what words you don’t want to show up for. You do end up wasting some money when you first start. People search for some weird things that you’d never think of. The good thing is you can take that off the list. They’ll never show up for that ad again. Over time, it’s only going to get more improved. Google ads take some time to do that. I did Google ads for months. It worked but I saw Facebook ads had a higher and faster ROI. I don’t think Google ads should be something that someone immediately discounts just because I said Facebook has a higher ROI.
Once we get to a point with Facebook ads where it seems like we’re hitting our good stride, we have a consistent way of doing it. There comes the point where your cost per lead gets so much more expensive when you increase your budget too much. Instead of saying, “Let’s feed everything to Facebook.” Once we get to that point with Facebook, let’s then put the rest of the budget in the Google ads or something like that so we can diversify but also keep things efficient. That’s what I look at as far as budget with that. With Facebook ads, most of my guys do $15 a day. That’s what I’ve seen. If you’re below $10 a day, you don’t get as much lead flow to truly make sense, especially if you’re working with an agency or you’re working with someone. You have to look at the difference.
I’ll do a quick lesson on relative versus absolute ROI. What we’re looking at is most people think, “If I can get a 20 to 1 ROI, that sounds amazing.” There are things you need to think about. When you’re thinking of relative ROI, that may mean you spent $100 on ads, got a 20 to 1 return, so you made $2,000. That’s cool and all. Eventually, if you want to make money that truly makes a difference, which for some people $2,000 may make a difference, but it’s not enough to hire another PT. It’s not enough to hire a front desk. It’s not enough to truly make life-changing differences in your business. When you think of absolute ROI, that may mean that you start to increase your budget to $500 but you don’t become as efficient with it.
Instead of making a 20 to 1 ROI, maybe you’re making a 10 to 1. 10 to 1 on $1,000 ad spend is still $10,000. You made $10,000. It’s maybe not as good of a ratio there but you made $10,000. A lot of people don’t think about that when it comes to their marketing budget, either they have to overcome the expenses of a marketer or they have to overcome the cost of the actual ad spend. When you’re barely doing enough like that, it’s very hard to make it truly even worth your time unless you get to a certain budget. $15 a day seems to be what I see most people would be able to get good results. It does not oversaturate their area to where they’re constantly having to change their ads every day. It seems to be a good sweet spot for most local businesses.
I’ve got some people that spend $25 to $30. Because we’ve run it long enough, we’ve seen where we’re able to scale to. Once we got up to $50, it was starting to get way, the cost per lead started driving up. It’s like, “Let’s dial that back in. Let’s see where we can allocate that money to somewhere else.” As far as marketing agencies or courses, all that type of stuff, there’s going to be drastic ranges. I know people who charge $2,000 a month to do your ads. For Facebook ads alone for a single-location clinic, no one should be charging you $2,000. I love charging what you’re worth. I love premium, but $2,000 is not going to make sense for most people.
When you’re looking at someone to truly run your ads, you’re looking at about $1,000 a month. It’s what most people will be charging. You want to see what that entails. If you’re a multi-location clinic, they should be giving you some type of discount as you start to bring on more people or more of your locations. As far as the timeframe of when you can expect to start to get results, with Facebook ads, about 95% of the time, we get a lead within a couple of hours of turning it on. We had one that was our record. We spent $0.12 before we got a lead. Don’t take that out of context. That doesn’t mean we continued to get $0.12 from then on.
There are times where it can be within the first hour and you’re like, “Someone already opted in. This is awesome.” Someone tells you that Facebook ads, “We need to test it for a while. It has to optimize all that.” That means that they hadn’t worked with a PT before or they don’t know what offer works. Even for me, I started working with someone who also offers Pilates. I had never run ads for Pilates before. That was something that took us two days before we changed the offer and we found something that works finally. For PT, whoever you’re working with should have proven ads across pretty much everything, whether that’s back pain, running analysis, golf swing analysis, whatever it is. They should have proven ads at this point. Otherwise, you’re potentially using your own money for them to test to see what works. What you should be paying them for is to expedite that learning curve because they already know what works.
That’s a good way to also hold them accountable. It’s one thing to find the right person to work with. You should expect to spend $10 to $15 a day on ads themselves and then maybe $1,000 per month for someone to manage that and run that for you. If someone’s doing it well, you should start seeing leads within the first 48 hours. Based on what you’re saying and the timeframes that you’re talking about, if someone’s going to start their own social media marketing campaign, then maybe the best way to do that and get some traction immediately is to start with Facebook and start developing that. Maybe spend 3 to 6 months or more. Maybe honing that in and then moving on to Google ads. Is that what you might recommend?
The way we do it with our program, we immediately do a text reactivation campaign right out the gate. We get a list of past patients. We run an offer to them. You don’t have to complicate the stuff. It’s a free screening for past patients. They already know, like and trust you. You don’t have to do any crazy sales. Most of the time, they had something new came up. The same things that they were having issues with came up. They have a family or friend that has issues and they say, “Can my husband use this free screening?” The number of responses you should get to that, which most people don’t understand the tech of how to set that up. It’s pretty straightforward once you have software. It works gangbusters.
You should pretty much get anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 anytime you run one of those. That’s on the lower end. A lot depends on how big your list is. Even for one of our cash-based guys, he only had 180 past patients. It’s a pretty small list compared to some of your in-network guys. He made $4,500 with one person who’s also continuing visit-per-visit. That was packaged sales collected upfront. You do visit-per-visit for the other one. Most people have a hard time wanting to do a text reactivation campaign. The reason they have that issue is because they feel like they’re bothering their past patients. That has been a very common thing that I’ve gotten. They’re like, “Maybe I’ll run that later.”
The number of people that thank us when we run this, they’re like, “Thanks for reaching out. Thank you for thinking about me.” Not only are you creating goodwill with this, but you’re also going to cover your marketing expenses for a good amount of time by running this. You should be running it at a minimum every quarter. After you’ve gotten used to that, let’s start thinking about holiday giveaways. Mother’s Day is coming up. If you have a massage therapist, that’s an easy one to do. There are so many ways you can do that. You can make tens of thousands of dollars doing text reactivation. It’s super easy.
If you don’t have text, do it via email. Text has a better response rate. People look at their texts all the time. I couldn’t tell you the last time I looked at my normal email. It probably has 5,000 emails on it. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use email. There’s still crazy money to be made using email but text is significantly better. As far as the priority of how I look at it, text reactivation campaign, sales need to be taught within that time period too, then we go Facebook ads. Once that’s systemized, we go to Google ads. From there, you can start thinking about SEO. If you have the time, you can start getting creative with like, “Let’s have a podcast.” That way, we can start to ask all the local businesses, the surgeons, all these people to be on your podcast. You don’t care who’s on your podcast. You can talk with those people for an hour.
You need to think of that as far as the referral partner building. You need to think of workshops whether that’s at your clinic, a running shop or something like that so you can leverage their audience. That stuff needs to be going on pretty much all the time. Maybe not the podcast but your networking stuff. Most people don’t like it because it’s not instant results. It’s stuff that needs to happen. That needs to be the backbone of your businesses, referrals and referring partners. Unfortunately, get over yourself PTs. Go talk to a doctor. Don’t listen to some of the gurus in the space saying that doctor referrals are dead. They’ll never refer to you.Most people have the money somewhere. They’re just not prioritizing it. Click To Tweet
I have several clients who make crazy money off of the number of people that come from doctors. If you’re cash-based, go to concierge doctors. They’re for sure going to do it. Go to a massage therapist. Go to gyms. Go to dentists. Dentists are one of the most untapped referral sources that you could possibly go to. They’ve got patients with TMD and vertigo. The person who’s the biggest pain in the butt patient. They can’t lean back because they get dizzy. They can’t open their mouth because they have TMD. You’re helping them fix the patients that they’re seeing. Pretty much every dentist, dental hygienists or dental assistants have neck, back, shoulder pain from the repetitive bending over. They’re all willing to pay a premium to get it fixed.
A lot of them have carpal tunnel issues. That’s a major issue. I know in the dental hygiene space, they talk about it quite a bit.
There’s crazy money to be made everywhere. As soon as you start to understand more about sales and marketing, your mind blows up with like, “Which one do I pick?”
I’m glad you broke it down. There are so many opportunities out there when it comes to getting those referrals and leads. Even me as a coach, I’m like, “Try this. Try that.” It’s a quicker return in each of those situations. That greased the wheels.
A lot of it comes down to keeping the clinic owner motivated. Even if it’s not the clinic owner, it’s maybe the PTs. With someone who’s not used to sales, get them some momentum by getting them in for a free screen. Get them to close 5 or 6 people. By the time they get people who are coming in from Facebook, they have a little bit more confidence. Anybody who studied sales or done sales long enough, the more confidence and the mindset you have going into that are going to make a night and day difference. If you had five people who told you, “No. Go after yourself,” then you have to go into the next thing. It’s got to be pretty hard to be in the right mindset thinking, “This person is going for sure to say yes this time even though the last five pretty much yelled at me.” You have to have that mindset going into it. Getting those reps, getting those base hits to where you start to get some momentum. It can carry a business owner a long way.
It would be another episode entirely to talk about how to convert leads and stuff like that. We won’t go down that rabbit hole just yet. When you’re talking about the sales cycle, one of the tougher things to get through the front desk and train them is one thing. The owner has to go further and train the therapist on how to sell. Change that free consultation, which is what you’re selling most of the time on the Facebook ads. Am I wrong?
We don’t do free. Our insurance-based guys would go straight to an insurance-paid eval. They come in for an eval and not a free screen. For my cash guys, we do a discounted offer. It’s $49 for an evaluation. You can get them into a plan of care after that.
In that conversation, they have to then sell the entire plan of care past that initial visit. That can be a totally different skillset for your physical therapist that they haven’t learned before.
It can be tough for them. My insurance guys have an easier job because most people inherently want to use their insurance. Some do have a little bit harder time going from the $49 to a full cash package or something like that, especially when your pricing is high. Maybe they haven’t done that as often. This is me as a new grad. I just graduated in December 2020. Most should not hire a new grad for a cash-based clinic to start with. From my standpoint, what I see as a new grad, I’m still seeing if I can even get them better. I’m freaking out like, “What’s the next special test I need to do? I don’t remember the range of motions anymore. Is this normal?” You’re simultaneously trying to think about, “We need to go through these questions, how to overcome these objections, how to future paced these people,” whatever it may be.
I may be one of the unicorns that understand sales as a new grad. Most people who I went to school with and most new grads that I know, it should not be what they should be focusing on. They need to get some more experience under their belt before they’re trying to do cash. They could be fine doing it in a network clinic. I would probably still give one of your more experienced PTs, the people who are coming in from Facebook or Google, and then give the newer grad the person who are referrals and that type of stuff to build their confidence that they can even get them better. It’s hard to sell a $2,000 package when they don’t even know if they can deliver on it. That’s a big mindset thing as well.
If we were to assess the success of their conversion rates, what would be a typical expectation in terms of leads bought in a full plan of care, has signed up for twelve visits or whatever?
I’ve seen a difference between my cash guys and my insurance guys. The rough back of the napkin numbers that I tell people is expect 50% drop off at every point of friction. Let’s say we have 100 people who opt-in. Half of those people will probably drop off at the phone call when you try to get them scheduled. From there, half of them will get to come in for their visit. If you get them on the phone, all you’re doing is collecting a card for a no-show fee. That is not a hard sell. Most people should be able to do that. Once you have a card on file, your no-show rate pretty much goes away. You may have 5% of people who want to cancel last minute or something like that.
That’s what I tell you. It’s 50% and 50%. It’s pretty much 25% across the board. Let’s say you have 100, you can get 25 depending on your actual sales ability and how good your staff is for calling people. I have some people who convert closer to 35%, 40%. I’ve had people who we’ve had to get front desk fired, unfortunately, that was closer to about 9%. Luckily, the one that was at 9% had ridiculous lead volumes. It still was profitable. That’s not always the case. You have to know your numbers. That’s the good thing about tracking this stuff and having software that’s able to track every single step of it. Within our software, we can see lead. We schedule a phone call back time because we saw that when people had to call these people. They’re constantly at work. They’re not answering. It was too much work on the front desk. It goes to leads to phone appointments scheduled.
From there, did they answer it? Did they not answer it? We have a column for every single one of these. Did they come for the eval? Did they close on the eval? You can assign how much money was made at each one of these. You can go back on there and see what was paid from the insurance company. You can see like, “We spent X amount of dollars. We got X amount of dollars.” Don’t let the companies sell you on, “It’s ten times ROI.” They’re only talking about ad spend, not their actual fee that you’re paying them. You’re wondering, “My bank account is not going up for some reason even though we’re making a 20 to 1 ROI.” You have to track it for sure.
There are so much more we can talk about. For the purpose of this episode, you shared a ton of great information. Any owner that’s looking at stepping into the social media space is in it and is feeling fuzzy about, “What should I expect? What should I do?” You provided a lot of clarity. To wrap things up, is there anything else that you might want to share before we sign off?
We covered a lot. There’s always more to cover when it comes to sales, nurturing, everything that needs to be in place there. Take the leap. People underestimate how powerful marketing is. As much as I am a fan of tracking, there’s even an exponential amount that comes back to you that there’s no possible way for you to ever track. That’s Grant Cardone, one of the biggest sales and marketing guy ever. He pretty much says, “I can almost guarantee you. For every dollar I put in, there’s going to be some money coming back that I cannot track.” It’s always going to be better if I have some extra money lying around, put it in marketing. I’m not just saying that because that’s my job. I’ve seen it. I know how it works. It is a mindset that you have to overcome. The sooner you do that, the sooner you’ll be able to systematically grow your business and not worry about constantly, “Will someone refers to me?” Not worry about the next pandemic that comes that shuts down your one big source. Being open to it but also keeping whoever you’re working with accountable. That way, you can know that your money is going in the right place.
Thanks for your time. I appreciate it. It’s a ton of great information. If people wanted to get in touch with you specifically, how do they do that?We can’t force someone to search for something. There are only so many ways you can get people to come to your website to opt in. Click To Tweet
You can friend me on Facebook. It’s Joey Allbritton. You can join my Facebook group. It’s PT Marketing Secrets. If you want to email me, it’s PTMarketingSecrets@Gmail.com. One of these days, I’ll grow up and get a big boy email account that says Joey@PTMarketingSecrets. It worked well for now. We’ll focus on the things that bring ROI to people.
I love the information that you shared. Hopefully, people will get in touch with you and reach out. The pandemic has forced our hands to go in this direction. It’s a natural progression that we have to take. One of Paul Gough’s big things that I loved that he said on his show, “A lot of us are trying to fight over that 10% of people that get referred for musculoskeletal care when there’s 90% more that have musculoskeletal issues that we should be reaching out to. We’re not doing it effectively and efficiently because people are still confusing us with massage therapists.” If we can do that and push that into the direct-to-consumer space, we’ll be up fighting over a much bigger piece of the pie and all grow together.
One thing that a lot of people don’t do is talk to the physical therapist that works right down the street from you. We’re also worried that we’re competition like the number of marketers that are trying to do the exact same thing as me. Go talk to the people who are in your business. Go talk to the chiros. Go talk to the PTs. Our competition is not each other. It’s Netflix. It’s whatever is essentially stealing their attention so they’re not taking action and getting their stuff solved. The sooner we can leverage each other’s experience, the sooner we can leverage each other’s relationships, everybody is going to finally start getting the care from PTs that they should be getting versus everything either sitting there not getting help or going to surgeons that they’ll need to.
Thanks for your time. I appreciate it, Joey.
Thanks for having me.
About Joey Allbritton
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