Steph’s Story: Turning My Work Into Passion

Steph's Story: Turning My Work
Into My Passion

This blog is a part of a series presented to you by the MGMT staff. Since we spend so much of our time working and wearing our business hats, we thought it’d be fun to open up a bit and get personal.

My name is Steph, and I am the Director of Digital Strategy & Operations at MGMT Digital. 

For everyone thinking, “what the hell does that mean?,” let me share with you a little about my journey into digital marketing in the addiction treatment space and why I work for MGMT Digital.

Finding My Passion in Digital Marketing

My journey in digital marketing began when I was 5 months sober and hired as a sales representative for a digital marketing company that specialized in law and the medical field. I worked for that company for about a year, and during this time I took serious interest in learning how to do what I was selling for a living. So, I began teaching myself the in’s and out’s of SEO, PPC, social media, content and web design.

Through a series of events, I wound up getting a job opportunity at an addiction treatment digital marketing agency in South Florida. I am still beyond grateful for that job to this day because it is where I learned how to truly be a full-blown digital marketer. For almost 4 years, I worked and helped the agency grow, before moving out to California with my fiance to experience something new.

Landing My Dream Job

After living in California for a few months, I scored an interview at my dream company in the addiction treatment industry. Long story short, after almost a year of working at this company, I learned it was not actually my dream job. At first I was disappointed, but instead of letting the experience bring me down, I decided to learn from it. Being in recovery myself, I know the importance of owning my part in every situation and moving forward in life. 

In an effort to find a job that aligned with my professional goals and morals, I began my job search again. During this time my good friend Danny approached me and asked if I can help him and his friend Zach start a digital marketing agency for drug rehabs. Talk about great timing.

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Exactly Where I Was Meant to Be

After I trusted the process and acknowledged that everything does happen for a reason, I joined the founding MGMT Digital team.  MGMT Digital was started as a response to the unethical patient brokering, which is something I unfortunately witnessed first hand in the past.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term patient brokering, it’s when an addiction treatment center will pay someone or provide incentives to go to their rehab. Think of it as a bribe. The reason this is illegal is because it removes the power of choice from the person seeking help and many times this person gets stuck in a vicious cycle of attending treatment programs that arent best suited for them. 

Being that I’ve gone to treatment over 30 times in a span of six years before getting sober, I know the importance of finding the right kind of addiction treatment. Unfortunately my story isn’t unique but I am grateful I’ve made it out of addiction unscathed. 

If you’ve read Zach’s blog, you know that our founding member Danny lost his life to this disease when we first started the company. After Danny’s passing, Zach and I made a decision to continue to build this company to the best of our ability in order to really help people.

The Journey Continues...

Four years later, today when I am asked why do I do what I do for work the answer is pretty simple. I know at MGMT, we are truly helping people find quality addiction treatment in an ethical manner. 

Through search engine optimization (SEO), content publication, social media marketing, paid advertising, email campaigns and traditional marketing channels, we are able to connect those addicted to drugs & alcohol with ethical programs that we have vetted and believe in. 

To work for a company that truly cares about the wellbeing of other people just like me is something I am extremely proud of. To know that we work with programs who truly help people is one of the best feelings you can have going to work everyday.

The End of an Era: New California Bills Put an End to the Wild West of Addiction Treatment

The End of an Era: New California Bills Put an End to the Wild Wild West of Treatment

It’s 2020 and many things are changing for addiction treatment programs around the country. 

Thanks to activists, representatives and the voices of those in the industry, many laws have passed in various states that not only affect how a program can operate but there are bills in the works that can affect how a treatment center can ethically and legally market online. 

Ground Zero for Patient Brokers

When the opioid epidemic began to hit middle America, thousands of those addicted flocked to various sources to find help for their substance abuse problem. Two states, Florida and California, became ground zero for a new type of fraud, “patient brokering”. 

During this time “patient brokering” began as a means to fill specific facilities by bribing the potential clients with money, gifts, and free rent. While there are those who wound up at decent treatment programs, many were put into a hamster wheel that consisted of stays in treatment, time in recovery, a push to relapse, allowed usage and back to treatment again. 

From shady sober living homes that allow clients to use as long as their rent is paid to treatment centers that release clients because they need the beds for people with better insurance, the addiction treatment industry has seen its fair share of scandals over the last few years. 

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A Call to Action

While California has had various regulations over the years and created the first system for certified recovery residences, Florida was the first state to take action legally against the injustices going on in the industry. 

Palm Beach County in Florida passed the first patient brokering laws in the state with many counties following suit after the success of the Sober Home Task Force in curbing patient brokering, insurance fraud and other acts that are criminally harmful to those seeking treatment for substance abuse. 

Taking a note from Florida, California passed a slew of bills at the end of 2019 that define many of the gray areas and solidify what is and isn’t okay in the addiction treatment industry. 

Breaking Down the Laws: What California Drug Rehabs Need to Know

For California specifically, the laws that have passed affect numerous areas from sober living homes, to outpatient programs and more. Let’s breakdown California Bill AB-919 and the major parts of the bill that you need to know.

Patient Brokering

The first part of the bill takes aim at the payment or receipt of payment for the referral of a patient to a specific treatment program. The act of patient brokering has become one of the leading issues representatives and advocates alike have worked to put an end too. 

“When you pay people to go to your program you are removing the power of choice that consumers are promised in the US.,” says one recovery advocate.

As of January 1, 2020, California Bill AB-919 became effective, and part of the bill created an oversight department where programs can be held accountable for their actions. With active investigations on-going around the country, we can expect more and more programs to turn to digital marketing and SEO as an ethical solution to acquiring new clients.

Separating Labs, Treatment & Sober Living

The next part of the bills focuses on a few key areas within the treatment industry: outpatient & sober living, labs, and transportation. 

In reference to outpatient programs, the state is now requiring DHCS licensing, where it was not previously required for an outpatient program to be licensed by the state. The second item relating to sober living homes has to do with separating housing costs from outpatient costs and laboratory fees.

(a) A laboratory or certified outpatient treatment program that leases, manages, or owns housing units that are offered to individuals who concurrently utilize laboratory or outpatient services shall maintain separate contracts for the housing. The contract shall clearly state that payment for housing is the responsibility of the individual and does not depend on insurance benefits. The contract shall include a repayment plan for any subsidized rent, and the laboratory or certified outpatient treatment program shall make a good faith effort to collect the debt. The offer for housing shall not depend on the individual’s agreement to receive services from either the laboratory or the certified outpatient treatment program.

When a client enters an outpatient program that offers housing, the cost of housing must be clearly defined and written out, with neither service being contingent on the other. This includes using laboratory services, where a program or housing program must make every attempt to collect the debt of the client for those services. 

In this same area, the text covers transportation costs and assisting clients in traveling to the program, depending on their mileage. If a person seeking recovery is within 125 miles, a program can cover the cost of ground transportation to their facility. If a potential client is in need of air transportation, the program can cover the cost of airfare as long as a return ticket is included. The client then has up to one year from discharge to request the unused return flight. 

More Changes to Come

With numerous bills signed and awaiting signatures from governors around the country, we can only expect to see more changes to the addiction treatment industry as 2020 progresses. 

California has specific bills aimed at digital marketing that can affect how all programs advertise moving forward. California Bill SB-589 is awaiting Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk, which would require treatment programs to accurately portray their program on the internet and ban the use of competitor program names as keywords in paid advertising. These are just a few of the changes in a number of bills in California that will affect your program, especially if you have no organic SEO presence. 

MGMT Digital has over 10+ years of experience marketing addiction treatment centers online, and SEO is our bread and butter. Find out where your program ranks and how digital marketing can help provide your program with an ethical solution to new client acquisition.

How Personal Stories & Video Testimonials Can Increase Your Calls

benefits of customer testimonials

The Benefits of Customer Testimonial Videos & Stories

Over the past five years, the pros at MGMT have found a secret weapon when it comes to immediately increasing calls and admissions for a drug rehab. It’s the personal connection that is missing from many rehab’s websites.

Why Are Testimonials Effective?

We didn’t really have to look far for why a personal connection was so important to the rehab marketing process. In our own recovery, it was another recovering addict who helped us find our path to recovery. With this new knowledge, we create detailed and complex strategies for utilizing personal stories of recovery from both staff and alumni to guide people to get the help they need whenever they are online.

How to Collect Customer Testimonials Videos from Alumni

For drug treatment centers, the alumni of the program who have remained successfully in recovery can assist in contributing to the content needed for marketing the personal stories. When asking alumni for their stories be clear of your intended use. If it is a video or written content, it’s always good to get written consent to use the content in your marketing efforts for your facility.

Once you have received consent, typically we have one of our professional editors go through and edit the content for grammar and spelling errors, especially for self-written submissions. If we are doing something like a video testimonial, typically we would set up a production day, gather all who are participating, and film the testimonials in one shoot. The videos would then be edited by our expert team and prepared for its intended use.

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We Have Content, Now How Do We Use It?

So now that we have our personal story we want to ensure its proper placement online. Sometimes we may use video testimonials in paid advertising efforts including YouTube advertising, and Facebook advertising.

Other pieces of content, such as written submission will be published and shared across all social media platforms encouraging people to read this person’s story of overcoming addiction. We have put together targeted strategies on social media and through natural link building that can increase the traffic to your website and in turn increase the number of phone calls your facility is receiving.

One piece of content can have multiple purposes, but it is important to always have a strategy when promoting a piece like a personal story or video.

Almost 45% of treatment center patients who watched an online video, watched on YouTube, while 36% watched videos on treatment center websites, according to a 2012 Google study on the journey from treatment to recovery. Since that study, traffic from YouTube to treatment center websites has increased by 202% year over year.

How to Keep Growing User-Submitted Content

There are many agencies that will help you create a great video, or put together a collection of stories to be used for promotion and lead generation. But many times that’s all that happens. Here at MGMT we use each piece of content uniquely and monitor the success. We make sure that your videos are marked up with structured data, transcribed, and used as a growing piece of content.

There are many ways that addiction treatment digital marketing influences a person’s decision to get help for addiction. MGMT knows exactly where your audience is and how to reach them, so don’t worry about doing the heavy lifting. We treat each client as if we were their in-house marketing team, without the hassle and expenses.

Contact us today at or call us at 1-866-248-4857 to learn more about how we can help your rehab increase your census and maximize your potential through behavioral health marketing.


Why Drug Rehabs Need SEO

Why Treatment Centers Need SEO

Long ago, if you owned a drug treatment center, digital marketing was something that was seen as an added bonus, not something that could make or break your business. Here in 2017, that is no longer the case.

The addiction treatment industry is one of the most competitive industries in the digital space. Traditional marketing is still effective, but having a strong digital presence can truly be the defining factor in whether your facility grows or not. When I talk about digital marketing, it includes everything from paid acquisition to social media, but today we are going to talk about search engine optimization or SEO for short.

I think most rehab owners and directors of marketing can get confused by what SEO really is. Many times this can lead to bad experiences with companies who burn and churn your website. One day you’re at the top of Google, and the next you are being told you need a new website because Google has penalized your domain.

One of the things MGMT prides itself on is transparency. So we want to take a few minutes to explain what SEO is and what good drug rehab SEO really is.

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What Exactly is SEO?

SEO, aka search engine optimization, aka search engine marketing, is the practice of optimizing a website for search engines, mainly Google. Back in the early days of the internet, all it took to rank a website on Google was a good domain and a lot of backlinks. A backlink is when a link to your website appears on another website.

Of course these days those both are still an important part of SEO, but as the years have gone by Google has become remarkably like a human in the way it can crawl and read thousands of pages on any given topic. In order to build these pages on your site, MGMT Digital can build or edit your WordPress website.

You may be asking, “if backlinks and a good domain are still important then why do I need a professional to handle the SEO for my website?”.

That’s a great question. Let’s talk about backlinks first.

How We Help

For any business in today’s world, addiction treatment digital marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to generate new business.

As a treatment center, you may ask yourself why SEO is a valuable investment?

SEO is the most ethical, long-term solution for drug rehabs  looking to helping others find recovery.

If you work or own a treatment center, visit MGMT Digital or call 1 (866) 248-4857 for a free website audit, analysis and proposal today. Also, check us out at