Trust Me, I’m an Expert

Last night I attended a talk on trust between a panel of founders and designers from the startup websites AirBnB, Getaround, Facebook, Lyft and Postmates. Each one of these companies offer a product or service that require a large level of trust from users, like renting your house or car to a stranger online. Needless to say, these companies have spent extensive amounts of time working to gain confidence from their customers, some going as far as working to pass legislation to make their service safer.

Establishing trust from customers is an obstacle in many industries, Physical Therapy included. Attending a therapy session is a fairly intimate act, both physically and mentally for patients. Bedside manner, of course, plays a crucial roll in making a client feel comfortable. However, another important part of the equation is the patient’s trust in a PT’s ability to help heal them.

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Announcing Our Inaugural PT Blog Awards!

 

Today we launched our inaugural PT Blog awards, the first ever award contest for Physical Therapy bloggers! The awards are meant to reward and recognize exceptional bloggers and to promote online content creation in the field of Physical Therapy.

We will begin collecting nominations starting on Tuesday January 23, 2013 until February 1, 2013. On February 1, nominations will be gathered and official ballots released! Users may vote for their favorites until Sunday February 24 when, in the spirit of the Academy Awards, winners will be announced on a live PT TV webcast. Winners will receive their very own iPad mini to help keep them on the cutting edge of blogging and social media technology.

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Twitter As a Tool

Unless you are a living version of TV’s MacGyver who can get just about anything done with a paper clip and a stick of gum, you utilize a variety of tools to gain a specific outcome. Hammers are best used for driving nails, Thera-Bands for resistive exercises, your EMR for scheduling, billing and documentation. This is exactly how I suggest you look at using Twitter. There are a number of things that Twitter is really good at facilitating, particularly for PTs.

UNClutter your Content

We had the pleasure of sitting down with some practice management experts at the APTA’s annual Private Practice Section conference in Las Vegas this weekend to discuss some of their tips and tricks for an episode of PT TV. One of their main reasons for using Twitter? Finding content. All agreed that Twitter has replaced an inbox of newsletter subscriptions and bulky RSS readers as their go-to way to find and sort through content.

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Under the Influence: Why PTs Should Care About Social Scoring

Move over GRE and NPTE, there’s a new career impacting score that demands your attention. Your online influence. Websites, like Klout and Kred, are now in the business of assigning a number to your social media usage. In turn, marketers are using these ratings to gain attention from social media’s elite, often rewarding them quite well, from free plane tickets to VIP passes into Las Vegas nightclubs.

If you’re suddenly having flashbacks to the popularity contest that was high school, you aren’t alone. Many consumers and even industry insiders have spoken out against these scoring systems, claiming they only benefit advertisers. While no one in our office would say no to an all expenses paid trip to Sin City, this is not why we think you should be paying attention to online scoring systems. What measuring online influence really boils down to is how findable and approachable you are online. This is how you acquire loyal advocates, whether they be colleagues or patients singing your praises. And the good news is, now is just the time to make your mark.

Social Media, The Great Equalizer

Mark Shaffer, author of Return on Influence and self-proclaimed influence obsessive, has been quoted in the New York Times and featured on MSNBC as a marketing expert. This wasn’t always the case. A few years ago, he says, you would have never heard of Mark Shaffer. What changed? Just one thing: “I am able to create, and move, my content.”

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Back to School: Online Branding for PT Students

Mashable (a leader in social media tips and news, I recommend you bookmark it) ran a great article today stressing the importance of online brand building for students. “A well-rounded web presence” is now an essential part of being noticed in today’s job market.

While you have a lot to juggle with PT school itself, investing some time online now will have a big payoff later on. Here are some key takeaways and tips any PT student should be able to master, no matter how hectic their schedule.

See How Employers See You

After perusing your resume and cover letter, the first thing a employer is going to do is Google you. The first page of a Google search is your online first impression, so you clearly want this to reflect well on you. When was the last time your Googled yourself? What comes up?

As the article points out, the worst thing an employer can see is something negative. On the other side of the coin, having nothing at all display doesn’t help you either. The good news is both of these issues can be solved at the same time.

Google’s algorithms favor authentic, dynamic content over much else. Blogging and social media platforms are big players in boosting your search rankings, often showing up in your first few results. By establishing yourself on major sites, you are not only working to flesh out your search results but creating content that will “push down” any undesired results.

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Guerrilla Marketing, a PT Perspective

The term guerrilla marketing was first coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 national best seller of the same name. The concept is so popular, Levinson has built his whole career around it, writing exclusively on this subject for the past 30 years. For good reason; Guerrilla Marketing is considered to be the best known marketing brand in history, was named one of the 100 best business books ever written, selling over 21 million copies. Levinson’s ideas have influenced marketing so much that his books have been translated in 62 languages and are required reading in MBA programs worldwide (I can attest to this).

Needless to say, in 2012, it has become a critical part of the advertising lexicon. While the method has clearly never gone out of fashion, with the explosion of social media, the spotlight has been on it again. With that in mind, I recently revisited my dusty copy looking for inspiration. What did I find? It turns out PTs might be some of the best candidates to become guerrilla marketers I can think of.

Guerrilla Meets The Tortoise and the Hare

Let’s start with guerrilla marketing lesson number one, “Marketing is every bit of contact your company has with anyone in the outside world. Every bit of contact.” This means your company name, website, branding, clinic location, voicemail message, staff, length of sessions, follow-up, growth plans, and so on. If you’re not a clinic owner, you’re not quite off the hook. Don’t forget you are a brand in and of yourself.¬† Your personal brand is much like a company and what the world sees whether it be online networking or looking for a new job.

On top of keeping all these elements in mind, Levision further stresses that “marketing is a process, not an event.” In the tradition of the childhood fable, slow and steady wins the race. A true guerrilla marketer, he says, knows that marketing has a beginning and a middle, but never an end.

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The Value of Social Media for Physical Therapists

If there is one thing physical therapists don’t have a lot of, it’s time. Between busy patient schedules, continuing education, paper work, and home life, some PTs feel they don’t have the flexibility to explore social media.

If this is your thinking, it’s time for a change. Social media is a vital tool to help you grow as a physical therapist, enabling valuable connections and the ability to influence the pulse of healthcare decisions. Moreover, you’ll find using social media will actually save you time.
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Blogging for Beginners

If you’ve read our Social Pulse Resources page, you know the importance of blogging to increase your online reputation and searchability on the web. Many of you may be thinking that this is easier said than done. However, with a little strategy, beginning to blog is much easier than you think. Continue reading