Paul Gough

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How to Successfully Onboard, Train and Manage Your PT Marketing Assistant So They Never Want to Leave

How to Onboard and Train Your Marketing AssistantIf you’re a physical therapist, hiring a marketing assistant for your clinic might feel like a daunting task.

You are extremely skilled in physical therapy. You know what to do if someone comes in with pain to help them feel better, but you don’t know the first thing to do when it comes to marketing your clinic (or hiring someone to do it for you).

There are a few ways that you, as the business owner, can help when onboarding new employees to make sure that they are a great fit for your team and so that your employees feel valued and a part of your company culture.

Encourage Questions and Open Communication About Your Goals

As a small business owner, you are likely a little bit different and run your clinic a bit differently than other companies your prospective hires may have worked for.

Because of that, when you onboard new hires (like your marketing assistant), make sure that you are very clear about communicating the goals for your business and the marketing department. The best way to do this is by having a scorecard for your marketing assistant that lays out EXACTLY what they should be doing every day, their main responsibilities and KPIs that they should be meeting.

A well-written scorecard sets the expectations for the position right from the start and makes it extremely clear to the new hire what they should be doing on a day to day basis.

It is also important that the assistant’s onboarding program should provide plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

Keep in mind that your new hire is likely nervous about their new role and still building trust in you and your business.

Try asking open-ended questions like “Tell me some of the things that we covered today that you are still unsure about” or “What are some of the things we covered today that you want to practice more?” instead of closed-ended questions like “Do you have any questions?” or “Did you understand that?”

This difference shows your new assistant that you WANT them to ask questions and that you know that they have questions or might need more practice with certain things before they are confident on their own.

The closed-ended questions make it easy for a nervous or “quick to impress” new hire to say “no” even though there are things they are unsure about.

Focus on One New Skill at a Time

When you are training a new hire, it is best to focus on developing one skill at a time.

So for your new marketing assistant, consider the 5-6 main responsibilities that they need to master and break these responsibilities into a training schedule where the tasks are built upon based on difficulty level.

You should avoid introducing something new until they have had a chance to learn and master the first new task.

This is a sample schedule you could consider:

Monday – Learn about social media posting and the content calendar.

Tuesday – Learn about email marketing and how to send a broadcast email (provide extra time to practice social content creation).

Wednesday – Recap the past two days and give time to practice new skills

Thursday – Review the clinic’s blog, give time to read past blogs, and practice writing new content.

Friday – Study past YouTube videos and go through the process of creating one together.

Monday – Give time to create a new YouTube video on their own.

Tuesday – Recap past few days and allow time to practice new skills

If you try to introduce all of the marketing assistant’s responsibilities at once they will become overwhelmed very fast. They also won’t retain as much information about how to do their job.

The best practice is to show and demonstrate what they should do, then watch as they try it. Finally, give them time to practice the new skill on their own with a review and recap at the end of the day.

Give Lots of Examples and Be Specific in Your Feedback

Find examples of content that you like (both visually and in terms of style of copywriting) and show these examples to your marketing assistant.

Having specific examples to copy from and to serve as a model for future content is extremely helpful and will set your assistant up for success to do their job the way that you want.

Your examples should also come from your past content library.

And when you give feedback on your assistant’s work, the more specific in your feedback the better.

Try not to give feedback like, “I don’t like that blog post” or “You need to step up your game with your graphics.”

Instead give very specific details about what you did like and what you did not like about their work. Here’s where the examples come in again. Show them examples of what you want their work to look like. Give feedback that instructs what could be changed going forward to more align with your vision. Such as “Great job! This is wonderful. I think next time, could you try to use our clinic’s logo on all the social content?” or “I like your idea for this blog post. But I think you could try adding a bit more detail about our clinic’s plans of care. Try looking at this URL for guidance”.

Repurpose Content

Teach your marketing assistant how to repurpose content.

The best way to practice this is to create one piece of pillar content (such as a video you have recorded or a blog post you have written) that forms the basis for all other content for the month.

That one piece of pillar content (let’s say a video) will be reviewed by your assistant who can then take your ideas, message and tone and write a blog post about the same topic.

That blog post can be broken down further into social quotes, facts and more to promote your clinic.

The blog post can also be rewritten as an email to your patient broadcast list.

The long form video can be posted on YouTube and cut up into smaller Reels and Shorts.

The audio from the video can be turned into a podcast.

And so much more… and all it took was maybe 30 minutes of your time to record the video. The rest can be done by your skilled marketing assistant! Best, a skilled assistant will be able to take your pillar content and replicate your ideas and expertise on the other marketing spokes (all without being an expert on phyio!)

Follow the 10-80-10 Rule

Follow the 10-80-10 rule when working with your marketing assistant.

In other words, give 10% direction about what you want your marketing to look like. This is where you talk about your goals, ideas and inspiration to bring your clinic to higher numbers and more patients.

Then, your marketing assistant takes your ideas, direction and insight and works for 80% of the time to bring these awesome ideas to fruition.

Finally, the last 10% of the time is you reviewing what your assistant did, providing your feedback and possibly giving further direction to keep the project on track to completion.

This sort of plan will keep you from falling into the time draining problem of micromanaging – and instead focus on the running of your PT clinic.


If you want to grow your clinic – you need to get yourself, as the business owner – out of the day to day tasks of marketing your clinic. Hopefully these tips will help you sort out the project management of your marketing strategy so that you can hire an amazing marketing rock star to implement your marketing ideas into your physical therapy clinic.

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