5 Low Cost Chiropractic Marketing Strategies

You can either spend money to market your practice, do all your marketing for free (not recommended) or do a combination of both (highly recommended). Here are 7 marketing strategies that that work well and cost little to no money:

1. Send a “stick” letter

In the marketing world, campaigns that help people stay with you and reduce ‘buyers remorse’ are called “stick campaigns”. You can use this strategy in your practice by simply mailing a series of customized letters that reinforce the patient’s decision to start care and continue to educate them on why they are coming in. This is also a great time to offer referral cards or gift certificates. Simply state in the P.S. of the letter that they can give these certificates to any friends and family for the next 14 days for a free (or $25, 35, etc) spinal exam and x-rays.

2. Condition of the Week board

Get a small to medium sized dry erase board with a small easel. Each week have your staff write a different condition of the week on the board. Also write “Ask for details” or even “Ask Dr. Smith for details”. When patients see this, many of them will say “I didn’t know chiropractic helped with migraines?” What are they really saying? They know someone with migraines and just realized you may be able to help them. This is when you (or your front desk) asks them if they know someone with migraines, then promptly hands a gift certificate to this person for their friend/family member to use.

3. Use Testimonials

You should be collecting and using testimonials in your marketing. Include a copy of your best testimonials in your stick letter. Put them in your newspaper ads. Some doctors frame them and have a wall of testimonials in the adjusting room. You can also have them in a binder in your new patient area. Do testimonials really work? Are they worth the trouble? Ask anyone that uses them and they’ll certainly assure you that 1 key testimonial is what made the person call their office. Even if you can’t use testimonials in your state (rare), you can use them inside your office!

4. Send a monthly printed newsletter.

I’m all for saving time and money. In fact, my internet marketing course for chiropractors teaches doctors how to use technology to communicate with and attract new patients. But nothing beats a printed newsletter sent by snail mail. A newsletter keeps you in touch with your patients on a regularly basis, educates them further on chiropractic, and reduces the likelihood of competitors ‘stealing’ them. Marketing research has shown that if you haven’t communicated with your customer in at least 6 months, they have likely forgotten totally about you. Newsletters also help with generating referrals because you can make a special offer for friends and family to receive an exam and x-rays.

5. Patient Appreciation Days

You’ve probably heard this one mentioned before in the chiropractic guru circles. Maybe you’ve even tried a few and never had great results (like those guys who claim to see 100 new patients). Well, don’t beat yourself up. P.A.D.’s are a great way to generate referrals. Simply get a few sponsors in your town to donate door prizes. Then get a few finger foods and handout/mail out announcement flyers. Make it about appreciating your patients. If they get adjusted that day/week, then they can enter for a prize. If your patients refer someone they get more tickets or you can even put them in a special grand prize drawing. Depending on the size of your current patient base, you should be able to get 5-20 new patients from a properly done P.A.D. For a few hours of work you had a great return on your time, even if you didn’t get the 100 mythical new patients all those others guys get. :)

Who Wants To Beta-Test These Newspaper Ads?

[This offer has expired and is no longer available.]

Over the years of running my practice, I’ve not been happy with any of the newspaper ads I bought or I received as part of a coaching program. Why?

Two reasons: not enough new patients and a low return on investment.

After spending the last year and thousands of dollars to fine tune my own copywriting skills, I’ve written a couple of ads that have already produced awesome ROI’s (return on investment) for myself and another doctor. A few colleagues and some well known copywriters suggested I write more ads for chiropractors to use in growing their practice.

Here’s where you can benefit…

I’m working on a set of chiropractic newspaper ads that are designed to get results and will be launched later this year. Because I want all my ads to be tested and proven before they are launched to the profession, for a limited time only, I’ll be accepting a handful of chiropractors to beta-test my ads. The ads will be given to you for free, in exchange you’ll report back the results as part of a case study. You’ll of course be responsible for paying the paper to run them, and making sure they comply with your state laws. The ads can be run as full page, half page, (even 1/4 page if your paper is big enough) or inserts – you decide.

Ads already written and tested include: Sciatica/decompression and fibromyalgia. Future ads to be written will be for headaches/migraines, weight loss, cold laser, work comp, PI and more.

If you are interested in participating, post a comment below and I’ll contact you via email by Monday.

**You will be only licensed to use the ad for your practice (you can not share it with anyone else – copyright laws will be enforced!)**

Google Adwords And Chiropractic Marketing

Do you use Google Adwords in your marketing plan? You should be.

Adwords are the small ads that run on the right side of a Google search page. Google charges you a price each time someone clicks on the ad. This is known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. When someone clicks your ad, they will then go through to your website.

While Adwords can look and sound quite simple, it is actually very complex. Here’s a list the concepts you must master to be effective at Adwords…

Ad groups
Quality score
Bid prices
ad position
ad split testing
keyword selection and negative keyword selection
landing page quality
click through rate (CTR)
Local search
Broad match vs exact match
daily budget
conversion rate and cost per conversion

As you can see, there is a quite a learning curve to using Adwords for your chiropractic practice. Google also gives you very little space with only 70 character limit for your ad text and 25 for the headline.

So does all this mean you shouldn’t be using Adwords? No, not at all. You can get a lot of traffic to your site with Adwords, and if done right quite a few new patients. But the key is making sure you know what you are doing (or the person you hired knows what they are doing!)

If done wrong, it can cost you. Google can raise your bid prices, “slap” you with ridiculously high bids because your site isn’t relevant to the ad, or stop running your ads completely if you fail to get clicks.

Many chiropractors are hiring this service out. The problem with this is that most PPC companies don’t even know (or if they know, they don’t care) about the concepts listed above.

Do you use Adwords or pay someone to do it for you? What’s been your experience? Leave your comments below.

What Type Of Chiropracitc Ads Do You Use?

Last week, I put the finishing touches on a full page chiropractic “fibromyalgia” ad I’ve been writing. While conducting my research for the ad, it really hit me how many women are out there suffering from this condition. They’re not happy with the answers the doctors are giving them. They are tired of being drug company guinea pigs. They just want someone to listen.

Many women with fibromyalgia have nowhere to turn, and would gladly try anything (chiropractic!) if only they could ‘find’ someone who could help. This is where your marketing comes in.

Marketing to fibromyalgia patients is a huge win-win for both parties. The patient is looking to get help, and is tired of being told she’s crazy. We as chiropractors are looking to help those with health problems (particularly spinal issues). The key is reaching these patients in a way that connects to what they’re thinking and feeling.

It’s estimated at least 6 million women suffer from fibromyalgia. Are you focusing on helping these women live happier, healthier and more pain free lives?

What are other patient “niches” that you should be focusing on?

– sciatica and disc problems

-pregnant women having problems or babies/kids having health issues

– weight loss/detox

-sinus problems

-sports injuries

and so much more.

You’ll find that when you focus on 3-4 niches, your marketing is going to work much better and have a great return on investment. This is because people in those niches feel like you are talking directly to them and are somewhat of an expert on their problem. If you just run a generic “chiropractic can help everyone” ad, then many of these patients will simply say “oh, they can’t help me”.

I’ll let you know how the “fibro ad” works, as it’s being tested in two different offices over the next week. What are some other niches you currently or would like to focus on in your practice? (Comment below)

7 Keys To Success In Practice Part 2

In the last post, I listed the first 4 keys in this series. Here are remaining three keys in the series.

5. Be flexible.

Many times in practice, they way you hope and think things are going to go is not always how it happens. When I first came out of chiropractic school, I had a certain way I was going to practice. No one was going to influence me (especially my patients) to practice a different way, because after all this way was ‘the best’. Two years later, I had to make a decision…continue to be stubborn and go bankrupt or be flexible and change me practice. Thankfully I chose the latter, but man was it hard to do at the time. I felt like I was going against all I believed in. Well, it turns out my wife, kids and God didn’t have a problem with me being flexible. Don’t make this mistake…be flexible in your practice. (Obviously I’m not talking about compromising your values and ethics here, but the way you run your business.)

6. Be Unique

If you want to be successful in chiropractic, be unique. Most of us practice in areas where patients have a choice of who to go see for chiropractic care. Why should they choose you and your office? The answer to this question is what makes you unique. Don’t have an answer? A few ways to be unique are: be more professional, be more likable, offer different types of treatments (spinal decompression, nutrition, etc), have a unique look about your office, focus on kids or pregnancy or carpal tunnel.

7. Work Less

If you master the previous 6, this one is easy to do. But even if you haven’t gotten them down, you should still work less. It’s proven that you can get more done in less time if you are focused and well rested.This is a result of the 80/20 Rule (Pareto Principle): 80% of your results comes from 20% of your time and effort.

What, you don’t think it’s possible to work less? Try it and you’ll find that many of the things that you thought were important suddenly aren’t so important. Also remember Parkinson’s law- “work expands to fill the time available.” Remember those big tests in chiropractic school, did you wait until the last minute and pull an all nighter? Well studies have shown you remember more and get more covered if you “cram”. So cut back on some hours. Working all the time is only a plan for burnout.

Can you take a day off? Can you take a longer lunch, come in earlier, or finish earlier at the end of the day?

7 Keys To Success In Practice Part 1

There are certain key elements that if applied to your practice can have a huge impact on your success. Whenever I speak with a coaching client or teach in my chiropractic marketing course, at some point we will cover the following 7 Keys to Success in detail.

1. Market to the right people.

While it’s certainly true everyone can benefit from chiropractic care, it’s also true that not everyone wants to. So it doesn’t make sense to market to every human being on the planet and you’ll simply go broke or burnout trying to do it (this is a lesson I learned the hard way, but that’s another story.) Decide who your ideal patient is, and spend your marketing time and money on them. Consider factors like where they live, where work, what type of conditions they have, PI vs insurance vs cash, etc.

2. Use the right marketing media.

Certain types of ads just don’t do well in certain types of media. Types of media include…newspaper, TV, radio, direct mail, internet, etc. Most chiropractors would agree that billboards are a waste of money. Some chiropractors are running image type ads in newspapers and never seeing a new patient from them. The key here is to make the advertising work for you. If it’s not making you money, that’s a clue you need a new ad or a new type of media. Use less expensive types of advertising first, like internet, direct mail, and newspaper because they are more forgiving on the pocketbook if you make a mistake.

3. Find the right staff.

This is probably one of the most difficult aspects of running a practice. Finding staff who doesn’t run off patients, text all day or surf the net, dresses trashy, shows up late, etc is sometimes hard. Sometimes you can do your best at refining them through the hiring process, but 6 months later you find out they just aren’t going to work out. But don’t give up, and don’t settle for sloppy work. By using specific guidelines during the hiring and training process, you can reduce you hiring “mistakes” and get some great team members. I highly recommend the book “No B.S. Ruthless Management of People and Profits“. Don’t let the name scare you off, this is really a ‘shoot-ya-straight’ type of book.

4. Have a plan.

The saying “No plan is a plan to fail” is true. If you get wrapped up in seeing patients, doing paperwork, and teaching staff you aren’t “working on” your practice, you’re “working in” your practice. Setting up a plan that you can reference is the only way to move forward consistently. And the “I’d like to see x number of patients per week” is not a plan at all. If you find it hard to work on your practice, you should hire a coach to help you do it. This is the absolute best way to develop a plan and implement changes in your practice. A coach will have past experiences and a different viewpoint to look at your practice. One word of caution…be careful what type of coach you hire. Some coaches are just “hype” peddlers and can lead your practice in the wrong direction.

4 Internet Marketing Strategies For Your Practice

Technology has produced new chiropractic marketing techniques in the past 5 years. However, most chiropractors still do not use (or do now know how to properly use) these new strategies to grow their practice. You can be at an advantage if you master these skills before the majority does. Here are four automated marketing tools that can drastically grow your practice.

#1. Pay Per Click. You can use major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and MSN to drive people to your website . This can be done by running ads on their pay per click advertising. These ads will show up when someone searches for related keywords you have previously chosen. For example, someone may search for “chiropractor in YourTown”, and your ad would come up on the top and right side of the search page. Where you come up depends on many factors including the bid price of your ad. A note on this: many companies will approach you offering to provide this service for you. Make sure you know enough about it to tell if they are doing a good job or robbing you blind.

#2. Blogs. One of the fastest and easiest ways to rank higher in the search engines is to set up a blog. A blog stands for a “web log”. and is very simple to use. If you can send an email, you can post to a blog. Blogs are known for being updated regulary. In fact many people think of blogs as an online journal. While blogs started out as journals, business owners are finding out that blogs can greatly increase their free traffic. Google particulary loves blogs because you are adding fresh content regularly. And they want to provide their users with the best content on their search engine.

#3. Email Autoresponders. No matter how good your website is, most visitors will not take action right away . There are many reasons why this is the case: they don’t trust you, it’s not the right time, they don’t believe you can really help with “their” problem, etc. What you need is a way to “educate” them on how you can help them, and gain some rapport with them over time. This can be done by sending them and email every few days for 2-3 weeks showing them you are truly an expert on their problem and gaining their trust as well.

To make this work, you need an email opt-in form where you simply ask for their name and email, in exchange for some valuable information. Maybe you offer them a free article on back pain, or fibromyalgia. Then, using an email autoresponder, you can send out prewritten emails in a series every few days to educate them on how you could help with their problem. This has proven to increase conversions on websites.

#4. Video and Audio. Most people have high speed internet connections. You can take advantage of this by posting videos or audios to your website or blog. All you need is a handheld digital camera and you can upload a quick video to your site. I recommend educational type videos on specific problems or symptoms the patients are interested in. You should also get a few patient testimonials on video or audio put them on your website so you have more social proof. Occasional fun videos of you and your family also work well to build positive relationships with your current patients.

These four strategies are covered in great detail in the first 10 lessons in my ChiroMarketing Academy course.

Chiropractic Websites And Why They Don’t Work

Do you have a chiropractic website? Does it bring in new patients?

Most chiropractors sum up their whole internet marketing plan
with one sentence…

“I got a website”.

These websites might look pretty, have flashy graphics, music, and lots of other cool things, but they don’t even scratch the surface at being an automated chiropractic marketing machine. Even though it may have cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to design and put up, it fails at getting new patients through the practice doors. Why don’t “traditional” chiropractic websites work?

2 Big reasons:

1.) Most chiropractic websites don’t give the person visiting any relevant information. Think about it this way…

A new patient walks into your practice. They’d like to find out if you can help them with their headaches. But the first thing they see is a flashy banner sliding in front of them. Then, you turn up some loud music or a video educating them about chiropractic.

Next, they are given the option of going through one of 10 different doors.Each door has a word written on front of it. Words like… “Home”, “Location”, “Conditions”, “Contact Info”, ”FAQ”, “Chiropractic”.

They really aren’t sure which door to pick. None of them really say “headaches”, which is what they were thinking you could help them with. So the new patient goes about opening one door after another, trying to find something relevant to their problem. Finally they give up and hit the “back button”, walking out the door to look somewhere else.

Is that what your do in your practice? No chance right?

Here’s the point, a website needs to give relevant information to the person landing on it. If it doesn’t, they aren’t going to hang around very long, much less make an appointment. Most people searching for your services don’t go online to receive an education about chiropractic history. They want to know how chiropractic can help them.

2.) Websites are just one piece of the puzzle, not the complete puzzle.

In my ChiroMarketing Academy course, I teach members the four pillars of building a chiropractic internet marketing plan. Only one of the four pillars is a website (and even then, it’s not the typical website you see every chiropractor with).

Here are the other three pillars…

-You need a source of web traffic. Just like your offline marketing, you need a
method to get new patients to your web pages.

-You need a method of collecting information, like first name and email
address. This can be in the form of a landing page, or simply a email form on your main website.

-You need a follow-up system that continues to remind and educate
them about how your unique care can help with their problems.

We go into each one of these in detail in the ChiroMarketing Academy course.

So if you have website, look at the other three pillars I mentioned above and see how you can improve it. Remember, the purpose of an internet presence is to bring in new patients. You don’t need an online brochure, you want to use technology to automate your marketing.