Sunday, June 30, 2013

Reflections as a Rehab Director

As you know, I recently took a position as a new rehab director for the Remington Club in Rancho Bernardo. I felt a special post was warranted, especially for those of you looking to get into management - and - for those of you who have been doing it for a while, as a warm remembrance of those early days.

Please do enjoy a special blog post on Cyber PT: Reflections as a Rehab Director.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Creating Value Through Content Marketing

Business isn't nice. Business isn't fair. Business doesn't care.

It's strictly business...

Healthcare professionals are rarely well prepared for the fact that in the end, if you're getting paid... it's business - and - business training amongst health professionals is really quite slim.

Some of the topics I'll be discussing in this post are really quite counter-clinical; in fact, depending on the vein of thought, it may even seem outright wrong. Nevertheless, the fact of the matter is, we all have to make a living and in order to do this, we need to know how business works - no matter how ugly it may be.

Creating Value Though Content Marketing

Perhaps the best way to discuss this topic is in reverse. Say you are a consumer and you want to look online for various physical therapy specialists and content.

(Please excuse the terribly obvious plug-for-friends & self-horn-toot.)

Type in "manual therapy" on Google and the result is this:
Out of the ENTIRE web, coming in at #8... "Hi Dr. E!"

Search "physical therapy and kettlebells" on Google... what do you get?
Hello to me!

Look for "west coast physical therapy experts" and you see:
Hmm.... personally, I expected something show up for California more than Florida...

How about "physical therapy dry needling virginia" ???
No surprise here at #3, the first "real" hit: Ann Wendel.

Conversations with a good friend & marketing genius, Kyle Chezum, have taught me this:

"If you are the book, you ARE the expert!"

This goes in all veins of content marketing:
  • If you are the website, you are the expert.
  • If you are the audio CD, you are the expert.
  • If you are the speaker, you are the expert.
  • If you are the poster-child, you are the expert.
This concept carries over with a critical mass - a domino effect once enough of the market recognizes that you are the dominant presence for a certain subject, topic, and/or content. The trick is to choose the right media outlet. The other side of the coin is to key in on the market demand and focus on their desires.

But how does this work? How do you get started? When does one compose & actively market said content?

Step One: Know your audience
In my current setting, in a senior community with an on-site SNF, the independent living residents severely dislike seeing anything to do with the SNF itself. My residents generally tend to hate the idea of nursing homes, hospitals, rehab facilities - AND - BINGO! Content of choice: physical rehab & wellness services is not simply for the "crippled" (for this is the perspective they hold), our expertise is for those who wish to stay as healthy as possible and avoid BECOMING crippled. Sure. It's utilizing pretty harsh terms. But, let's be honest, the consumer ultimately must make the choice to buy - smart business practice caters to such demands.

Step Two: Know your strengths
Personally, I feel that my strengths are in speaking, teaching, and writing. Therefore, presenting at health fairs, health conferences, etc. are one way I can go. Additionally, blogging, is a marketing outlet of choice for me. What are your strengths?

Step Three: Develop content
Once you've drilled in on your consumer segment's perspectives of choice, and, you have decided upon the outlets you wish to pursue, now you must develop the content. If you've chosen to be a blogger, plan on several weeks - even months - of content BEFORE you go public. Why? See step four.

Step Four: Market content AFTER a repertoire has been gathered
There is almost nothing worse than publicly proclaiming content without actually having enough to share. This is like publishing a big fat book with only one or two chapters - the remainder of the 1000 pages between the covers... BLANK! If you are planning on launching a blog, be sure you develop enough content to share so that you don't "run out." However, perhaps you only have so much content to be shared. That's okay! In fact, that is a good thing to realize it. That means there exists a natural exit strategy - embrace it!

Step Five: Forecast change and respond
The marketplace is ALWAYS changing. This is especially true in healthcare. Firms that market only to the here and now forget that marketing is not just creating demand and filling said demand; marketing is also the prudent research of WHERE the market is developing - and - WHEN. Just as meteorologists give us forecast to the weekend weather, strong business strategy demands that firms look ahead at what is coming down the pipe. The here and now is great; but, it doesn't do me any good if today is the calm before the storm & I didn't prepare for the hurricane coming tomorrow.

Finally, a quick tweet to share:

Another "Godfather" quote comes to mind:
"Why come to me? What have I done to deserve such generosity?" - Don Corleone.

Well, I share all this because of the principles I discussed in my "Competition vs. Collaboration" post; principles that I will continue to bring up for the benefit of the profession, healthcare, and the public at large. Looking at the big picture, if a cluster of clinics/facilities/hospitals begin to market this way, we will create a market shift in demand for such services. Public awareness of physical therapy (and allied rehab therapy services) will necessarily elevate to new levels of exciting demand. At this point, we will only cripple ourselves by competition. However, by collaborating, we would be creating demand and increasing the brand equity of our expertise for rehab therapy, physical health, fitness, and wellness.

PS. If you're interested in more perspective on marketing, I suggest you explore my post on "Marketing vs. Advertising."

Until next time, I remain yours in service,
-Dr. Ben Fung

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Five Ways to Spot a Ponzi Scheme!

So this past week, I came across the familiar conversation regarding pyramid schemes, otherwise formally known as, "Ponzi Schemes." In my far younger years, I actually attended one of those introductory pep-sessions for ponzi companies; it was truly an enlightening experience - not to mention a highly entertaining one. So please, sit back, relax, and enjoy a more light-hearted, weekend entry here at Blog @DrBenFung.

Five Ways to Spot a Ponzi Scheme!
  1. Most of the team members in the recruitment-pep-rally session seem far too young to be so well dressed - most of whom give you the impression that they wouldn't be caught dead even in a collar shirt, not to mention suit and tie.
  2. There is an intro speaker (who is usually a "vice president" of some sort), followed by a key note speaker (who is typically identified as a "chief of sales") and is inexplicably regarded as some sort of deity by the attendees around you. In fact, people seem so jazzed, you figured YOU are the crazy one for not clapping and whistling at everything this guy/gal says!
  3. The intro session is held at a late hour at a nice hotel ballroom or some mansion of a house (which happens to be a "friend" of the session leader - oh, did they forget to tell you that the host is also a "team member?") Oh, that's right! I forgot to tell you: your first 235,189 units of sales will indeed help pay for this very house's payments!
  4. The company, product, technology, etc. tends to be something that you've NEVER heard of before. However, it has inexplicably made its way into the stock market and all sorts of major retail and dealer locations around the nation... all, of course, except for this region of the state. THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY! Wait: I forgot to say, "Insert bad joke here:..."
  5. The entire company seems to be the sales department - AND - the ridiculously long chain of command looks something like:
    • Division Chief 
    • Team Captain
    • Senior Team Leaders
    • Team Leaders
    • Impact Member (or whatever fancy euphemism for "sucker"), Level III
    • Impact Member, Level II
    • Impact Member, Level I
    • Associate Member
    • Apprentice Sucker... oh I mean, "Member"

Runner Ups!

  • They DRAW OUT FOR YOU the shape of a pyramid for their sales, command structure, and compensation structure.

  • When you ask about the evidence, literature, active ingredients, or specific technological schematics - they only answer the recruiters can offer is that "well, research has shown..." or "the science says..." or even "... see here; we've never been sued!"
  • The top level "team members" all seem to be driving really nice cars. Everyone else? Not so much.

Ponzi schemes have always cracked me up - just the very nature and presentation, to be honest, is quite thrilling! If we're truly honest with ourselves, it's easy to be caught of guard - the first time. After which, it's plain entertaining... or perhaps, it's just not worth your time.

In any case, I thought to share this for those of you who have been through it - or - may be suspicious of some opportunity that has crossed your path. In healthcare, especially with retail & "certification" opportunities, these schemes are terribly common. Since I've started as a director, I've received no shortage of such business ventures through spam fax and the like. What I keep wondering to myself is... "Have they really gotten so desperate for suckers that they are now recruiting through FAX MACHINES!?"  -- HA!

I hope the weekend has gone well with you all!

Until next time,
-Dr. Ben Fung.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Physiopedia Columnist for Physiospot Opinion

I'm truly humbled and honored to announce that Physiopedia has invited me to serve as a Physiospot Opinion columnist!

To bring balance to the focus on business side of life - AND - to launch my contribution to this outlet of collaboration and mutual growth, I've written a special article for your consideration and thoughts:

I look forward to the development and the betterment of global health.

Most Respectfully,
-Ben Fung