After finishing PT school, Chris Johnson spent a decade working as a therapist for a New York hospital in their cutting-edge sports medicine program.

During that time, he also made house calls on the side and discovered he could earn as much or more money as he did at his “regular” job—but with about 10% as much work. He eventually felt he could only reach his full potential as a therapist by going out on his own, which was daunting because of the costs associated with opening a practice in New York City. But his gamble paid off, and he quickly filled his schedule with patients who valued his sports-medicine expertise.  Eight years ago, he and his wife decided it would be better for their family to relocate to her hometown of Seattle. So he closed his New York practice, moved across the country, and made the “torturous” transition to working in a staff therapy position. In time, he gained enough traction to go out on his own once again, leveraging his therapy expertise and his passion for running. Today, Chris has a thriving sports-medicine practice that serves runners around the country with highly tailored therapy and information resources that help them continue to enjoy and excel at the sport they love. In this episode, Chris shares what he’s learned from his experiences in building two cash-based practices in distinctly different markets. He explains how he uses content to drive his marketing efforts and how he ensures he can consistently deliver superb patient experiences that persuade customers to pay top dollar for his out-of-network services.

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More specifically, we discuss these cash-based practice topics:

  • How Chris successfully made the transition from an employee in an insurance-based sports therapy program to a cash-based PT practice owner.
  • Which business model he believes would work best if he were to start a practice today.
  • Why his decision to specialize in a running niche made it easier to find sports medicine patients in a new city.
  • The personalized approach that enables him to attract patients via word-of-mouth despite being located in a heavily insurance-focused market.
  • How Chris fosters an environment of trust and transparency with his patients. 
  • How he used online marketing to stay booked even during the pandemic.
  • Which specific types of content generate the greatest ROI on Instagram.
  • How to optimize your content so it won’t appear overwhelming to readers.
  • The digital products he’s developed to monetize content and grow a community.
  • Tips for delivering genuinely valuable patient experiences through telehealth.
  • Exactly what goes into a $300 consult that makes it an easy ‘yes’ for his patients.
  • Why honestly sharing your own story can help you powerfully connect with your target market.
  • The two areas where a lot of clinicians get bottlenecked and how you can get past them.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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