In the last blog post we looked at how to set up a marketing budget for the new chiropractic practice. Today, I want to discuss how you should make your marketing money stretch if you have a struggling practice.
I know all about marketing a struggling practice, as I had less than $500 a month to market my practice, for many years.
Perhaps you feel like I did, and think that in times of hardship it is just better to conserve money and not market at all.
But a practice will not grow itself without your effort, so you must do some outside marketing to grow.
The truth is that the doctor who ends up struggling is in the worst spot for making good marketing decisions.
4 marketing mistakes of the struggling chiropractor.
1. Because of mistakes in the past, he’s hesitant to even use advertising.
2. He’s so desperate for a solution that he’ll risk large amounts of money to save himself from going out of business. This means spending money with any ad rep that comes by the office.
3. Thinking that advertising costs too much, he’ll just save his money and focus on “internal marketing” and referrals. Unfortunately, this is a downward spiral, as a struggling practice is struggling because of the lack of NEW patients.
4. Not measuring his return on investment and continuing to make stupid marketing decisions based on feelings (or bad coaching advice) instead of looking at the numbers.
You must get over these mistakes and advertise your services in an effective way. Pay special attention to #2 and #3 above. These are deadly to your business.
You can’t afford to waste money on bad advertising. Put your money where it counts, like running effective ads in the newspaper and magazines, which still works great.
The Struggling Practice
(0-$1500/month marketing budget)
If I had only $500 to spend each month on marketing, and had to pick just one form of advertising I would pick newspapers…and work the newspaper rep until I got a good ad placement for one of these ads!
This was one of the big strategies that saved my practice from bankruptcy! Getting high quality new patients and converting them to effective care plans is what I spend 90% of my time helping my clients do.
So a struggling practice’s advertising schedule would look similar to the above one for a new practice, with a slight difference. The struggling doctor is not going to ramp up his monthly marketing budget as quickly. Why? Because he’s got bills to pay. Bills that are already late. (Having been there, I know.) However, realize that if you don’t set aside something to move forward with, you’ll be back in the struggling situation. So a struggling doctors “ramp up” may looks something like this…
Never forget, new patient marketing is what drives the success of your practice. No matter what anyone else tries to cram down your throat, that’s the truth of the matter.