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10 Ways To Market Garage Gym Physical Therapy

In this post, I'm sharing my experience running a successful solo therapy practice, especially focusing on cash based practice in my garage gym. Since 2019, I've been advocating for therapists to embrace their independence and start their own practices to fulfill their personal and financial goals as a physical, occupational, or speech therapist. 


In a previous blog post, I walked you step by step through how to start your own garage gym physical therapy practice. You can check out that blog post here. Today, I’m excited to dive into marketing strategies for your garage gym practice so that you’re effectively able to build your caseload.



The Mindset for Marketing

Marketing is often a piece of practice ownership that seems intimidating, especially when getting started. We aren’t used to talking about ourselves, let alone how to tell others about a new business we started and the services we offer. Questions about how to find clients as well as concerns with telling others your practice is run out of a garage are common. I encourage you to embrace your practice setting and work on gaining confidence for the business you’ve started.


Before we dive into the 10 marketing strategies I have for you today, let’s first discuss a couple of mindset considerations when it comes to marketing your practice. For starters, marketing a garage gym physical therapy practice is not all that different from marketing a telehealth, mobile, or brick & mortar practice. While tactics to marketing may vary a little from setting to setting, the foundational marketing principles remain the same.


Another thing I want to point out is that having a balanced approach to your marketing strategy is key. It can be helpful to combine both in-person and online marketing strategies to best benefit the success of your business in those beginning stages. We want to establish as many relationships as possible within your community, since you would be considered a local practice. 


In-Person Marketing Strategies

The first marketing concepts I want to explore are specific to in-person marketing. This type of marketing will require more “physical” work from you as far as being more “boots on the ground.” This type of marketing will also be the fastest way of the two marketing strategies, in-persons versus online marketing, to acquire new customers. Examples of five effective in-person marketing strategies are shown below.


Establish Neighborly Connections 

The first and most simple way to tell people about your garage gym is to talk with your neighbors. If you don’t know them already, take the time to introduce yourself, let them know what you’re doing, and work to establish relationships. Once you’ve spoken with your immediate neighbors within your neighborhood, expand your radius to the neighborhoods in your area. As I mentioned before, building trust within your immediate community can yield quick results.


Go Door-to-Door

During your time of meeting with neighbors and others within your neighborhood community, take the proactive approach to handing out flyers or business cards to each one that you meet with. If you don’t get an answer to the door, have door hangers ready to leave at that residence for people to see when they return home. 


One of the biggest mistakes I've seen practice owners make when distributing information and flyers about their business is forgetting to include contact details. Make sure that your contact details are readily displayed on what you’re distributing, making it easy for the consumer to identify and get in touch with you. You can also offer special promotions for those in your neighborhood and surrounding areas who commit to working with you, including discounts on services and so on.


Community Events

Oftentimes, communities will have established Facebook groups inviting people of that neighborhood or local community members in order to showcase events and services available within the area. Take the opportunity to join these Facebook groups, read through the rules and guidelines about marketing your services, and then if appropriate make a post within the group introducing yourself, your business, and what you have to offer.


It can also be a good idea to host an open house or small fitness class for free in your garage gym so that possible clients can come and see what you have to offer and the care they can expect. Hosting an in-person even like this can further help to attract attention and foster relationships within your community.


Join Clubs, Gyms, & Community Groups

Another way that can extend your in-person outreach beyond your neighbors and surrounding neighborhoods is to get involved in local community groups, clubs or gyms. Personally, I have been active in many CrossFit gyms over the past few years of running my practice, and I would say that this is where the majority of my clients have come from. This has been perfect since this is specific to the target audience I want to work with, but it has also made building relationships within those facilities much easier when we are all participating in something (i.e. CrossFit) that we are interested in and enjoy.


If you’d like to learn more about how I started seeing clients out of the CrossFit gym, check out my blog post here.


Networking with Professionals

I guarantee that you are not the only professional within your community interested in the specific niche or target audience you have focused your practice on. Taking time to identify other professionals in your area such as yoga instructors, massage therapists, other physical therapy practice owners, etc. can be a good place to start with making professional connections.


It is possible when making these connections, that you could establish possible referral partnerships that would benefit your caseload, but don’t make this your sole priority. Focus on fostering relationships that could be mutually beneficial or take the opportunity to ask these other business owners questions that can help you gain insight into running a successful business.


Digital Marketing Strategies

Now that we’ve covered various in-person marketing strategies, let's dive into the digital aspects of marketing. As I mentioned before, in-person marketing can result in faster lead generation as compared to online marketing tactics. Digital marketing is what I would call “the slow game” when it comes to marketing your practice, but it is still very valuable and perhaps my favorite form of marketing. You can find my top 5 digital marketing strategies below.


Marketing on Social Media Platforms

For starters, if you’re looking for a free and easy way to get started in the digital marketing space, my advice would be to utilize social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. At the moment, Instagram seems to be the way to go as it is more on the up and up. 


Create a business account for these platforms, share valuable content such as educational and informational, and market your expertise within your field. The better you can establish your online presence within these platforms, creating content and engaging with your audience, the more likely you will be able to foster the “know, like, and trust” factor that is so important from converting social media followers to paying clients. 


Learn more about why every PT should be doing content marketing in my blog post here.


Utilize Nextdoor

Another easy way to start reaching out to others within your community via online is the platform Nextdoor. This platform allows you to promote your services, reaching residents in your local area to let them know you are there and available for new clients. As always, make sure you are creating listings on Nextdoor within their rules and guidelines to ensure a smooth experience.


Explore Thumbtack

An additional listing service that allows individuals to hire local professionals is called Thumbtack. Once again, Thumbtack allows you to create a listing that is then provided to anyone in your local area searching for services similar to what you provide. An advantage of Thumbtack is that you are only required to pay for leads that actually convert to paying clients, making this a cost-effective option for you and your practice.


Create a Google Business Profile

Creating a Google Business Profile is another easy way to be seen in your area. Make sure to provide Google with accurate contact information, videos or photos of your garage space, and any other requirements they state. Having a Google Business Profile gives the opportunity for clients to leave reviews after working with you, which can further enhance your credibility.


Engage in Online Community Forums

Lastly, participate in online community forums and groups relevant to your community and your practice’s target audience. Answer people’s questions, provide insights and education, and promote your services within these forums to establish yourself as a trusted expert in your field.


Conclusion

In conclusion, marketing your garage therapy practice requires a blend of in-person and online digital marketing strategies. Taking the time to implement these 10 marketing strategies provided can ensure that you effectively reach and attract the clients you are hoping to work with. Don’t be overwhelmed by trying to do all 10 at one time, but rather pick one of each (in-person and online) to get started and build from there.


If you’re struggling to know where to start with marketing your practice, get in touch with me! I would be more than happy to talk through things with you.


Or you are seeking more individualized direction and need guidance with all things business and marketing for your practice, we do offer 1:1 business coaching that provides you with a step by step checklist to starting, launching, and growing your cash based practice! Check out the DPT to CEO Business Coaching program here.


Listen to this episode on my podcast!

DPT to CEO the podcast

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