If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Set your goals high and plan now for a breakthrough year. Big numbers are possible with the right tools. Just a few weeks ago a client told me he had received 300 extra new patients from using my newspaper ads in 2010. What would 300 more new patients do for your practice, and more importantly your lifestyle?
Here are my recommendations regarding the marketing strategies you should be focusing on for 2011.
1. Finally Do Online Marketing Right.
Chiropractic internet marketing is the strangest thing. It’s the one strategy everyone knows they should be doing, as its getting bigger and bigger every day. It’s also one of the lowest forms of marketing you can do for your practice.
But here’s the strange part: most chiropractors are dragging their feet on doing anything. I’ve seen people spend hours “marketing” on Facebook and Twitter, while their website can hardly be found on Google. Every day you wait to do it right, someone else comes along in your town and figures it out. Being ranked #1 on Google is like being king of hill, and the longer a competitor stays king of the hill the harder it is to knock them off.
So here’s what you need to do right now. Make sure your website shows up on Google’s top 5 for your area for the major keywords that patients would type in; chiropractor, back pain, headaches, decompression, etc. If you’re not there, that’s the first thing to work on. Once you’re set up at least in the top 10, add some condition specific landing pages to your website and buy some qualified traffic from Adwords to send to your site. (See my explanation in more detail here.)
You may choose to put in the time to do this or hire someone else to do it for you. If you hire someone else, please make sure they (1) know chiropractic, (2) can write marketing copy and (3) actually understand how Google works. Very few web designers understand chiropractic enough to present it to the public. And most web designers are more gifted in the technical skills of programming than in writing. This produces a beautiful site with moving spines and award-winning graphics, but wouldn’t convince your mom to come in as a patient.
Also they must understand what Google likes (hint: it’s called a WordPress site layout). Any high school kid can build a website for you. But there is very little chance it will ever make the coveted top 10 on Google. And if you, your wife, and the aforementioned high school kid are the only ones to every see your website…it’s pointless.
If you would like more information on having your own chiropractic website or you’re ready to get more out of your existing website, I would suggest checking out Chiropractic Marketing Web.
#2. Ignore the ‘Death of Newspapers’ Mantra
When I wrote my first newspaper ad for my practice, someone told me it was pointless since newspaper didn’t work any more. The ad brought in 17 decompression patients at the cost of $800. In 2009 my Ultimate Chiropractic Ads brought in a conservative estimate of $20 million dollars for chiropractors in the U.S. (I haven’t estimated 2010 yet, but it has to be about 5 times that based on the numbers of doctors who bought them.)
Here’s the point…
Ignore the gloomy predictions and focus on your practice now. Will newspapers disappear? Maybe they will someday. Who knows. But the question you need to ask yourself is this: “Is there a newspaper in my town?” If the answer is yes, you should be advertising there. When there no longer is a newspaper in your area, then you can join with the naysayers and proclaim that newspapers are dead. Until then, use them for all they’re worth.
Here are the best producing ads according to feedback in 2010:
- Spinal decompression
- Neuropathy (crazy numbers are being reported for these ads)
- Back pain/sciatica
- Migraine headaches
You can see the commonality between the above…they all are condition specific ads. In 2011, you’ll need to get even better at showing prospects how you can help them with their specific problems.
#3. Get Into Local Businesses
This year, setting up events in local businesses will bring you many more new patients. While this method has been around for decades, the same old techniques don’t work today. New tactics have been tested to educate and schedule new patient appointments from these events. One method that is working very well is using the Teacher Appreciation Program to check teachers in local schools. If you have a massage therapist on staff, they will be very useful in making connections with local businesses.
Where should you go?
The list is endless. Schools, malls, gyms, banks, Costco and even Walmart. (Yes,Walmart is possible. Look for more on this unique strategy in a few days.) Many of these places, like Costco, will have some type of community health event already planned each year.
I’ve got 4 more strategies you must use in 2011, but this blog post is getting a bit long already. Look for the final 4 next week, one of which you will be shocked I’m actually endorsing!
Use this list to and check off what you need to do.Get out a calendar and pencil in dates that ads will run, changes to be made, etc. Let’s make 2011 your best year yet.