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The Multi-Specialist PT Dilemma: Online Marketing Online For Multiple Specialties
Written by Christine Walker, PT, DPT, PYT, PES
I'm a huge proponent that the riches are in the niches…because it's TRUE. People don't want generalist anymore…they want specialist…people who have worked with others JUST LIKE THEM. 
I'm female, with long thick hair that I like cut in layers…do you think I’m going to go to my husband's barber to get it cut? NO Of course not…I'm going to look for someone who has experience….no way am I letting a men's barber touch my hair. 
But the most common objection I hear to the "riches in the niches" scenario is when someone tells me that they're good at everything…and let's say for arguments sake that it's actually true…they are a "specialist in everything"…do they market to everyone online? 
Now if you're not a specialist in everything bear with me, because the bigger concept here is still really important.  
Maybe you're just a specialist in 2 areas…like I am…I’m a specialist at gymnastics rehab and at total knee PREHAB … two totally unrelated things minus the fact that many gymnasts might need knee replacements one day because of all the damage they've done to their knees…in other words not related much at all. 
If I'm a gymnast and I show up on my website, I wanted to see information about gymnastics injuries. If I landed on a webpage that was talking about knee replacement then I would think I've landed in the wrong place. If someone looking for information on knee replacements found gymnastics information, they would be equally as confused and would leave my page really quickly.
To explain what you should do, I want to give you a situation I came across lately with one of my Workshop students. 
She was planning on focus on middle aged adults with chronic back pain, but she also had a pediatric background. An opportunity came available for her to have space inside an awesome multidisciplinary pediatric area…where there is everything from free play, birthday parties, to medical services…she decided to take the opportunity to join the space…but wondered how she should present her services online.
Here were my thoughts…
I asked her where her current pediatric developmental referrals were coming from, and whether she anticipated her clinic space to provide most of those referrals. The answer was yes…she was also contracted with the state to provide early invention services so she knew pediatric referrals would come in no matter what.
She absolutely LOVED the chronic neck/back pain population and did not want to loose them…the good news is that this population is likely the moms/dads and grandparents of the pediatric population….these people are also more likely to be looking for solutions to their problems on the internet.
Obviously babies aren't searching the internet looking for solutions to their problems, but their parents are. 
And when their neck and back pain gets so bad they're having trouble taking care of their young child you can bet their search gets more intense. 
So I advised her to focus on the neck/back pain crowd, and just have a separate page with all her pediatric information. That way she can send any pediatric traffic to a particular part of her website…but focus her online marketing efforts on the chronic neck and back pain….we know there are TONS of people out there suffering with these problems and looking for solutions, and since she didn't want to give this population up, I suggested she use her online marketing to keep those people calling her clinic. 
The lesson to learn from this is that even if you are a specialist at more than one thing, you still don't want to market to everyone online…you want to market to a niche. You're going to have a lot more success getting new online leads when you market to the niches….remember….that's what leads to the riches…
As you get deeper into your niche you'll start to realize that your niche isn't a small as you might think. I was talking to another PT who was debating whether to become the ACL specialist….and really when we started talking he realized how much he could do in the ACL niche….prehab….post-op….prevention…the possibilities are endless…and because he will do such an awesome job with this niche, who do you think they'll call when they sprain their ankle the next season? HIM…because they'll know he can help them (even though they were initially attracted to him because he was the ACL specialist) 
So as you're planning your website…remember that the riches are in the niches, and that the niches are bigger than you think. If you can find your niche and nail it, you're going to find yourself building the practice and lifestyle of your dreams.


Christine Walker is a physical therapist, cash PT practice owner, wife & mom of 2 in Charlotte, NC. She helps other PTs find financial and professional freedom by tackling the technology needed to build their business websites to bring in MORE new patient leads from the internet. She loves the Tar Heels, hot tea, and chasing her kids around the house as they dribble soccer balls.  Connect with her on Facebook by clicking HERE.

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