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Episode 38

Cultivating Visibility in Your Clinic Business: The Key to Sustainable Growth with Michael Schumacher

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About this episode

We’re thrilled to introduce an episode that’s about to revolutionise the way you approach your clinic’s growth strategy.

This week we are joined by the fabulous Michael Schumacher from HMDG. He’s the mastermind behind the largest MSK marketing agency in the UK (and probably the universe! ?). They’ve got loads of experience working with clinics, helping them with marketing, and doing a brilliant job at it! ?

Today, we’re all about “visibility” for clinic owners. We know how important it is to be seen by potential patients and make that digital presence strong! ? But here’s the thing—forget about “leads,” we want real patients, right? Let’s dive into this with Michael to find out the secret sauce to attracting the right crowd without falling for those quick-fix marketing tricks. Patience and consistency, my friends, that’s what we need! ?️

So, if you’re curious about boosting your digital visibility and growing your clinic like a boss, get ready for some fantastic insights from Michael! ?️?

Key Takeaways:

  • Focus on digital visibility to attract more patients to your clinic.
  • Forget about “leads” and aim for real patients who are actively searching for your services.
  • Building a strong website with the right messaging is essential for success.
  • Invest in Google My Business and SEO to improve your online presence
  • Be patient and consistent in your marketing efforts; results take time
  • Don’t compare yourself to others; every clinic’s journey is unique.
  • Consider specialising in niche services to stand out from the competition.
  • Avoid falling for quick-fix marketing tricks; they rarely lead to long-term success.
  • Emphasise quality service and patient experience to build a strong brand identity.


This podcast is sponsored by the team at HMDG


  • 0:00-Intro to this episode.
  • 1:14-Cultivating digital visibility
  • 3:03-The difference between demand generation and lead generation.
  • 5:31-Online visibility vs. Offline visibility.
  • 8:02-Consistency in business and visibility.
  • 12:05-Things to do to improve your digital visibility.
  • 14:02-Google ads and social visibility.
  • 15:36-Get your website sorted
  • 17:57-How to market your business on google.
  • 22:52-How to get help from HMDG?


Katie Bell: 0:02

You’re listening to treat your business with Katie Bell, the podcast for health and wellness business owners that want a need to give their business the treatment plan, it needs a treatment plan that will create more time back in your life, more income and more confidence when it comes to running your business. I’m here to share with you bite sized episodes full of tried and tested tips from my own real experience of growing a successful physiotherapy and wellness clinic. And from working with many businesses to do the same. The treat your business podcast is sponsored by hm DG. Marketing is always one of the top three issues for clinic owners that I speak to. It’s too expensive and complicated. They’ve had issues in the past, or they just don’t know where to find a trusted expert. It’s always said only recommend products or services, you’re confident in using yourself. Well, when it comes to marketing, we use HMD G for our own clinic. They’ve proven to be exactly what you’d want from an agency. As a specialist, they understand the industry. They’re responsive and always deliver. We can’t recommend them highly enough. Head to HMD To find out more. Hello, listeners, welcome to this week’s episode of the treat your business podcast. I am laughing because this is this is take two we’ve just revealed like we’ve just recorded a whole episode and we’re gonna start again, don’t we just love technology. And I am your host Katie Bell, and I am joined this week by Michael Schumacher from HM DG. Michael, introduce yourself, you tell the listeners who you are.

Michael Schumaker: 1:33

Yeah, well, great to be here again. I am Michael and I own HMD G with the largest MSK marketing agency in the UK, probably on the planet. But we’ve never looked at the rest of the world. We work with hundreds of clinics around the country to help with marketing.

Katie Bell: 1:48

And you do a fabulous job at that. Michael, I am persuaded you have twisted your arm to come back on this podcast because your last one was just so well received. But I wanted to talk about visibility and visibility amongst clinic owners who feel like they’re being overtaken or they they don’t feel like they’re generating the leads that they that they once were or the getting the people booked in that they once were. And I love this quote and I have no idea who it is to give credit to. But it talks about cultivating visibility because attention is currency. And visibility can be in many forms. But we’re here to talk about the digital form of visibility.

Michael: 2:29

Correct. So I’m going to pull you up because I use the word lead. And this is actually where our discussion came from an Irish Originally, the reason we’re talking about visibility is that we probably talked more clinic owners and anybody else, honestly, hundreds every single month. And we get a lot of new clients coming to us. And they often talk about leads and lead generation. It talks about I need more leads, I want to run campaigns on Facebook or social media to get more leads. And actually the leads are and should be completely irrelevant to healthcare clinics. You don’t want leads you want patients. Okay. And there’s a big difference. So let’s talk about just very quickly leads demand and demand generation. So if you’re a plumber, let’s say you have a I always use this example. Let’s say you have a broken boiler or leaky pipe, you do a search on Google for a plumber. Okay, you go to that website, and what do you do? You book an appointment. You It’s same with an Emergency Electrician, exactly the same thing, you do a search for Emergency Electrician, you book an appointment. The same goes for healthcare, if I had a bad back or sciatica or whatever my condition, I do a search. And I find you and I book it. Now, that is responding to demand. because demand is we know that there is a demand for that particular thing. Let’s take something else. Let’s imagine for a second that I and I’ve just written an article on this. So I remember this particular example. It’s a creative theraband that was the size of a pea. And by adding water expanded, sounds fantastic. Okay, great. Is there in demand for that? Well, maybe, but I have to find you, I have to educate you about it, I have to tell you about it, I have to show it I have to talk about the benefits and so on so forth. I have to explain why that’s generating demand. And I may well use Facebook for that or Instagram or any kind of Tik Tok or whatever. But I’m generating demand as a physio or chiropractor MSK, whatever. MSK. You don’t have to generate demand, because we know that there are people out there looking for your service. Good example. In Birmingham, we just looked there were, I believe 14 and a half 1000 people searching for a chiropractor, or a physiotherapist in Birmingham alone in one single month. Now, how many new patients do you need? 1020 14,000? Probably not. So you don’t have to generate a demand. You just have to have the visibility to attract that demand. So if you’re at the let’s just as an example, if you’re at the top of Google for everything, you have a great Google My Business. You’re at the top of Google, you have a great website have great messaging, you are going to have a waiting list of clients that patients, just like in a changing to do it, do a search for Emergency Electrician, call them up and see how long it will take you to see them, it’s going to be a week because they’re so busy. And so when it comes to things like lead generation demand generation, we don’t care about that. We want, we want to respond to the demand that is out there. And that’s all about visibility. Now, you just mentioned it, yes, there’s digital visibility, which is probably the most important because that’s where the most people will see you. But there is also visibility. And for example, on a on a high street, if you open up a clinic on a high street, you’re going to get much better visibility, and therefore many more patients than if you are what pound for pound spend, then if you are in a business park somewhere that where they want to see you know, walks by, and there’s visibility in all of different kinds of ways, your offline visibility. If I was, for example, trying to market women’s health, I would go and find the children’s hairdresser, because what you find in children’s hairdressers mums, who wants Women’s Health bumps, so you know, you generate relationships there. But for the purpose of this, we’re talking primarily about digital visibility. Now, when it comes to demand generation, it’s very, very attractive. You I’m not sure just like everybody else sees all these marketing agencies and companies normally, by the way, if you look into it closely, and check companies houses, one fella, one kid in his bedroom, who knows how to use Facebook, doing some ads to get you free patients, you often see them they’ll use like words like unique patient generator or unique system or blueprint and all this other nonsense. And what they do is they get you in with very short term results. It’s like yeah, great, we’ll get you 50 Free patients through the door. But it doesn’t work long term, and it’s not great for your brand. And there’s a talk about all of I won’t go into it, but why it’s so bad. go down that route, I like it a lot to, to going on a diet, we and I, you know, I know this after COVID Or when it’s a good few kilos. When you’re gonna die, there are two ways of doing it. There’s the silver bullet way where you eat nothing but pebbles and cauliflower for for a year and do stupid stuff like drink green tea and take some tablet. We all know that doesn’t work, we may do it. Because it’s you know, it’s all very tempting, right? lose, lose 20 pounds, or you go on an Atkins diet or whatever and feel like crap. But then we know the proper way of doing it, the proper way is really hard work. It’s going to the gym, it’s changing lifestyle, habits, choices, it’s eating the right things. And these are hard things to do. And it’s very similar to clinic marketing, you can, if you don’t have visibility, you can find a way around it. And you can do all of these kinds of silly things to try and generate demand. So that you get that visibility, or at least some visibility, but it isn’t the right way of doing it. And this is why there’s so many agencies out there and so many projects, agencies, gurus, companies, whatever, they’re out there doing this stuff, because it’s really easy. The stuff that we do and the stuff that launches to us, but really good marketing agencies and really good cleaning to do on their own by the way. They do. It’s hard. It’s hard work. It takes a long time. And so yeah, it’s it’s one of those things where if you have the right visibility, it’s the only way to run a good long term scalable business.

Katie Bell: 8:15

Yeah, and, and I think that’s, I was just being interviewed by somebody else’s Facebook group in the you know, within their group this morning, and we were talking about consistency in business. And that that business owners that that are looking for quick fix that are just grabbing anything. The ones that are not sustainable, it’s not they don’t have any longevity and it’s their incomes on a roller coaster. They’re the number of patients are up and down and it’s just because they haven’t laid those really key foundations that that I know from from working with you personally my clinic in our physio wellness clinic, you know, what I what I really like about you and a lot of my coaching clients usually these are they say Michael just cuts through and says your website’s a barber shit and we’re not going to run out of it because it’s not good enough.

Michael: 9:07

So that’s someone the other day actually or maybe you’ve got to you know, everyone wants to make marketing really complex. They all want to make it really difficult and and it really isn’t. It really really isn’t. If you and I’m sure I’ve used this on one of the one of the chats before but it’s such a great example. I was looking for a children’s dentist when I moved and my kids were really young and I came across all these blue sites. Yeah there are functional there. Okay. Now the chemicals is quite colourful site at the top it said we never treat children on their first visit. And immediately I was like what they don’t need to attack planet said. We want kids love the dentist and they don’t love the dentist. If you shove a drill in the mouth the first time you’ve seen it. And I was like done. I didn’t care how much it cost on broadband. It cost me a lot of money. Anything else? It has the right message underneath it said we have cuddly toys for the younger kids. We have Playstations for the older kids We just have fun. And when they’re ready, then we do them. And by the way, these are the cool things we have didn’t know you have digital injection. That’s the thing. Here are all the cool things that we can do. And we’ve got this app which does X, Y, Zed, and all those the frilly great bits, but ultimately, the messaging was absolutely right. The website was great. They were visible, the messaging was right, the price was right, the ease of contacting them, and booking them was right that SEO is right, everything’s right. You cannot get a place with them. They’re so busy, like, and I will continue paying, but God knows how many hundreds of hours it cost me to have the biggest kids love it. When we get dentists. So you know it the same applies to your clinic, if you have everything right, you build the foundation, right, you will grow. Now I will say this, if you were to take the top 10 clinics that you really want to be like that you aspire to be like whether it’s you know, the giants like the six physios or just incredibly, not that they’re not ethical, but the really kind of boutique clinics, if you’re none of those people, none of them have built their business by doing stupid marketing things. They built their business by being really good, providing a great service, having good. And actually and this goes back to you actually, this is another thing, I do want to say that you can have all the things right from a marketing perspective. But if you can’t answer the bloody phone, if you don’t know how to run patients in your clinic, then everything that we do is an absolute waste. Because this is the other part of life and part of the story. If if we get 100 clients this month for ourselves, and we can’t handle that business, and we get it all wrong, we don’t do a good job, they’re gonna leave. And the same thing with patients, you got to make sure your team you got to give them a good experience. You’ve got to answer the phone, all those basic things. So there is a, you know, a synergy between marketing and running a business problem. You see the clinics that we deal with so many 108 900 clinics that are the ones that are always the best, the ones that have the best marketing, great foundations and the great businessman.

Katie Bell: 12:05

So if business owners are thinking, Oh, no one needs to be more visible and no need to put myself out there. But I may be like time I like knowledge on work money, or they’re not sure what they need to be doing. What are the things that you think are an absolute foundational, like you must have these in place?

Michael: 12:24

Okay, first thing I’d say is anyone who says the lack of money isn’t a proper business owner. Because if I said to you, Katie, give me 10 pounds, I’ll give you a million. You don’t like the money, right? So don’t think of it as oh my god, this is so expensive. Think about what return does this give me so that’s always something really important to point out to people. Bit of a segue there, right? Visibility, let’s go through all the things that you can do, and that you should be doing. So number one, the website, make sure you’ve got a great website, make sure that it’s got the right messaging, just like to speak about the dentist website, make sure it’s got great messaging, make sure it has good contact options, we could put in system all of that stuff. We do so websites often get accused of Oh, you’re just saying that you need a good website. And that what your website is probably crap. If you haven’t built it. Let’s be honest, there’s only two or three that I’ve seen since we started a good enough to be so website, get it get, get a friend to use it and see if they can find an appointment for sciatica. And if if it takes more than 15 seconds, your website’s broken, right? It’s not good enough. So number one, get your website sorted. Number two, you’ve got SEO, that’s Search Engine Optimization that’s being visible on Google. And as we said, we were talking just about digital visibility here. So the first thing is your Google My Business. We all know what Google my businesses, it’s where you listen to things on your business. The second is you SERPs underneath the text things. That is something that I would encourage no one else to do. In the same way, I would not encourage you to try and go into doing tax avoidance on your own tax planning. Use an expert to do that. The Google My Business you can do on your own. And let me get into that in a second. The next is Google ads. Really, really simple. The biggest searches are going to be let’s say for a physio or for a Cairo physio, namely your chiropractor name or your physiotherapy. run ads against those just to begin with. Make sure you’re tracking everything, make sure you’re doing everything properly run ads, because if you spend, let’s say 100 pounds that gets you let’s say even three clients, you’re making a profit, but it’s great way in the short term because the other stuff is longer term. It’s great when the short term to bring patients through the door. Do not run them yourselves. Get us get anybody gets someone who knows what they’re doing. I’ve also got a new thing here. Ask them the difference between a chiropractor and the physio. The people who are running your ads are some differences in the physio and the courage, what the difference between sciatica and back payments. They can’t answer those questions. Don’t get them to run your ads because they don’t know enough about you and your industry. But if they do get them to run your ads. No one’s ever lost money. That’s they work there. Brilliant. The next is social visibility. I’d like to stay away from that one, because that’s actually a really difficult one. And it’s a really complex subject. It can be done, but it’s really complex. We honestly, we could be here for an hour talking about that. So, but what I would say to people is, do not put too much effort into putting stuff on your socials. Because unless you have a really intrinsic complex strategy, no one other than your mom and dad are gonna see anyway. So don’t spend too much time on social. So get your website sorted, do your SEO, do Google My Business, those are the key things and all the big clinics, we work with all the most successful ones, they’ve got all three of those. Now, going back to Google My Business, that is something you can to some extent do on your own. So one of the other things, make sure that you are getting Google My Business reviews, it’s really important, you get as many reviews as possible, because it actually relates to click throughs. So if you see three plumbers, and one’s got one review, one’s got two and one’s got 500, you’re more likely to click on that. So the number of Google reviews, super, super important. And don’t worry if it’s a one star review here or there. I mean, don’t get too many of those. But make sure you answer every review anyway. But it actually makes it more look more authentic. If you’ve got somebody who says, oh, Katie is terrible, and a clinic is awful. You respond to it and say we’re really sorry about that. Because you know, people are stupid, you’re always going to get someone who’s upset with your service. Get those reviews. And ideally, if you can make sure that the reviews relate to your service and what you’re doing. So for example, the perfect review, even though this sounds a bit unnatural, the perfect review will say Katie Bell was amazing at curing my back pain using physiotherapy in Sheffield. Now, obviously, you’re not going to get that exact thing. But you get the idea mentioned Sheffield mentioned physio mentioned back pain or neck pain or knee pain or whatever. So the more reviews because Google actually scans those. So Google reviews super, super important. I think we talked about updating it just keep it really relevant write articles put stuff on there, it doesn’t even link to articles. The Guardian just said that physiotherapy or I don’t know time off work. 20% of time off work is due to MSK issues. Just say Oh, interesting article. Because the more you’re active on your Google My Business, the more Google likes it. Now there are services that Now be very careful, what I would say is, there are services, and we have one of them, which helps your Google My Business get better and more visible. Be very careful about anyone that says we can guarantee you anything or we will get you to number one, two or three. There are a lot of shysters out there who are going to get your money for that. But there are services that you can use that will aid you with your Google My Business by doing various things. We do quite a few technical things that that behind the scenes, structured data citations on that will help your Google My Business rank. The other thing is, in an ideal world, you want your Google My Business and your website to what would you call it to kind of come together. So if you want to market physiotherapy, you need a physiotherapy page, if you want to market, back pain, you need a back pain page. So you do need to sync them up in some ways. But yeah, Google hub is definitely something you can do. And if you put enough effort into it, it can get better. What I would say, though, is if you are, if you’re in the middle of Birmingham, and you’ve just opened up or you’re a smaller clinic, fighting with big boys is going to be impossible, you are not going to have the budgets or the time to beat them. And also, Google likes companies that been around a long time. So what I would suggest there is think about specialists things that you can do that they don’t market. So really good example I always uses TMJ, it’s such a massive search. And in fact, more people search for TMJ treatment, they do physio. So really marketed TMJ, make that really, really popular, you know, make that really visible because no one else is doing it. So by creating a TMJ page in Birmingham, hooking up with a Google My Business, you’ll get patients so think about unique things. Or maybe you you know, this is this is very kind of newsworthy. There are a lot of trans people who need physiotherapy. I think you could probably fill your clinic up, but depending on where you are, you’re probably not doing this in a small Oxford village. But if you’re in a big area, golf trans patients, don’t go off to the golfers everyone goes after golfers, but are there I don’t know. curlers, I think about things that you know, are very local and specific. Go after them. It could be older people. Let’s go after over 70s You know.

Katie Bell: 19:46

And I think what, what’s so important with all of this, Michael is trying to not be everything to everybody enough and therefore nothing to nobody and being consistent in your approach. And there’s so many clinic owners that I speak to, who was just wonderful Morning actually, that said, you know, it’s just costing me money. And you know, I’m, I’m three months in now and I want, I want to be seeing the return. And it’s about, you know, you’ve got to work the path until the path works. And you’ve got to be consistent in your approach, you’ve got to lay those correct foundations, but it isn’t, we’re not here to say it’s a quick fix, we’re going to sell you this, it’s going to, you know, join up, join my coaching programme, join your, you know, join your company, and overnight, we’re going to make your success anybody that is telling you that is talking or to bullshit, it’s about, you know, earning the stripes and being consistent in your approach to digital marketing, you know, offline marketing, to your numbers to your to everything that you do in your business is about consistency,

Michael: 20:45

you need to be patient, there’s no clinic that, you know, opens, and three months later, they have 100 new patients through door every week, it just doesn’t happen. You know, I know my company isn’t a local company, necessarily, but I won’t tell you how much money I put into the company, before we even broke even I didn’t take money out of the company for two and a half years. Because you know, it takes time to grow, it takes time to build a brand identity takes time to to really understand who your clientele are, and who you are. I always say with new clinics who come along to us, we build your your website, in your identity, it will be different in a year’s time. And company is the same company A year after they start because things change. And so you’ve got to have patience, you’ve got to have time. And also we get a lot of people who and they’re not they don’t tend to clients, we have a lot of people who say I’ve got 100 pounds, I’m starting a business. Well, good luck. If you haven’t got the investment to put into your business, don’t bother I really, really mean that. You’ve got no, you know, we had, I won’t say who this was, but we had someone who said they want to make, we’ve got a revenue target of seven and a half million in two years. Now ask them what their budget was to do that, and they said 8000 pounds. And I said, Well, if I could turn 1000 pounds in seven and a half million, I’d be doing my bloody self, what are you talking about, you’ve got to be realistic, you’ve got to, and this is why a lot of companies actually say don’t leave your old job. Let’s say you’re an NHS, physio, for example. Stay with that open just in the evening, start building the brand, start getting your name out there, and it will come but be patient with it and visibility. Just bring this back to visibility. You do not go from zero on Google to the top of Google in three months. You do not do it in 18 months, if there are big established clinics, it takes time. You know, I could build an electric car company tomorrow. How long is it gonna take me to be Tesla, long, long, long time and an awful lot of money. So be patient do things the right way. Build the business the right way it will come but be realistic with your targets because you are not buying a yacht at the end of your first year of opening up a clinic. It’s not happening.

Katie Bell: 22:52

Yeah. And I love the honesty here, Michael, because this is, you know, this is what people do need to hear. And they need to know that they might look at other clinics, and they might be comparing themselves. But don’t you are just where you are now. You can plan where you want to be. But it takes investment it takes time. Michael, how can our listeners get your help if they are interested?

Michael: 23:15

Well, we have just built a brand new website for ourselves. So come visit the website, it will tell you everything you need hm, DG dot code at UK hit it, you’ll have everything on there. And hopefully, it’s a good example of how to build a really good website. No doubt you’re going to find all sorts of spelling errors. Now I’ve said that, but come to our website, have a look around and see what we do.

Katie Bell: 23:35

Amazing. And I will make sure that that website is in our show notes listeners so you can head there. Got it is a fabulous new website. It represents you beautifully. Michael, thank you for giving up your very, very valuable time to be on the podcast. Please come back again because our listeners absolutely love it and love hearing it from from you an expert who really knows what they’re doing within the digital world. So thank you.

Michael: 23:59

Wonderful, thank you.

Katie Bell: 24:02

Thank you for listening to treat your business with Katie Bell, the podcast that tells you what you really need to hear and know when it comes to running a successful business in the health and wellness industry that gives you the time, money and freedom that you are wanting for access to our free workshops on how to get more clients in your business, how to make more income in the next 30 days. And to get more time back in your business and life. Head to our free Facebook group today. Treat your business or head over to thrive dash business All of the links are available in the show notes

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