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Some of my clients are saving thousands on ad prices each year. And
we’ll show you how their doing it.
Last week I interviewed special guest Carol Ann Smith on the subject of “How to Save Thousands On Your Newspaper Ads”.
Carol has years of experience working for chiropractors and saving them thousands in advertising prices. In 2010 alone she
helped bring in over 300 new patients from newspaper ads alone for one chiropractic office.
Here are just a few points we discussed:
- How to Strategically Choose and Prepare the Best Ads Run
- How to Negotiate Best Price with Ad Reps
- The Best Placement for Your Ad
- Add Local Condition-Specific Testimonials From Doctor
- And much, much more…
To see the recorded video, go here:
Yours for greater success,
Michael Beck, D.C.
Do long copy ad really work? I mean do people really read all those words?
Long copy is a rather new, untested marketing technique…right?
A few weeks ago I did a webinar for a chiropractic consulting group. Here’s just a short snippet of that webinar where I answered these questions and more.
(Sorry it’s a bit blurry. Even the best webinar recording software still has some improving to do.)
This may either be a long term practice that has declined, or a brand new practice that fails to really take off.
To a doctor who’s spent years in training and thousands of dollars to obtain a degree, this can be very depressing.
And to top it off, the doctor who ends up struggling is in the worst spot for making good marketing decisions.
There are 4 areas in marketing that a struggling practice must learn to overcome if they are going to outgrow this slump.
1. Because of mistakes in the past, he’s hesitant to even use advertising. Past failures are not necessarily an indication of future failures.
The point of making mistakes is to learn from them. If you eat bad food that makes you sick, you don’t stop eating food. If you’ve used bad advertising in the past, you shouldn’t stop all future advertising either.Marketing your struggling practice is not an option, but a necessity! The key is using effective marketing.
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. Don’t loose our good judgment when you’re face-to-face with an ad rep. Get all the information you need. Ask for a good deal. And don’t make quick decisions.
3. Thinking that advertising costs too much, so 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.Regardless of what some consultants teach, not every patient in your office is going to refer.
That’s just being realistic. So ONLY relying on referrals from a dwindling patient base is just going to frustrate you. Get referrals plus do outside marketing.
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.
This one is not just a trait of the struggling practice. Many well-off practices still make this mistake, preventing even further success.
A good marketing strategy isn’t “successful” because of how it looks, how it makes your wife fee or even how many new patients it brings in. It’s successful when it brings in a good return on investment (ROI). An ad that “just brings in 5 new patients” isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you only paid $500 for the ad and each patients ends up paying you $1500 each!
If you’re in this situation, don’t worry, you’re not alone. I was even there at one point in my practice.
But you have to get over these mistakes and advertise your services in an effective way. You should pay special attention to #2 and #3 above. These are deadly.
You can’t afford to waste money on bad advertising. So if you’re currently doing any marketing that’s not been producing in the last 3 months, then stop.
Put your money where it counts, like with running chiropractic ads in the newspaper.
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!
1. Get More Links
The number of incoming links to your website makes a big difference in where your website ranks with the big search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Links to your website are a way of measuring its authority in the industry. The big question often debated by SEO gurus is whether it’s the quality or the quantity? I would say both. Two years ago, Google appeared to put more weight on link quality (how important is the website, where your link is found). But with the new Panda update, it appears quantity is once again a big factor.
Here are three easy strategies to get good links:
A. Provide guest posts on other people’s websites, which includes a bio of you and a link back to your website.
B. Visit other blogs and leave comments, making sure to give your website link when asked in the comment box.
C. Register at popular forums, making use of the website links offered in your signature and profile features.
2. Increase the Content on Your Website.
The more pages of good content you have, the higher your rank will be. When Google comes to your website, do they see it as a massive university library for your subject, or is it more like a toddler’s bookshelf? Two factors to keep in mind with content is the number of words on a page and the total number of pages on your website. Every time you post a new article to your blog, you build a new page on your site. 500-700 word articles work best for good content. But any words on a page is better than nothing. Obviously you want the content to be readable, not just gobbledygook spit out by a software program (this will actually penalize your website.)
3. Make Sure Your Keyword is Mentioned
A keyword is simply the words or phrases people are typing in to find your business. For most of you, that will be “your town + chiropractor” or “your town + spinal decompression”. Other examples of keywords are “neuropathy treatment”, “sciatica help” and “back pain”. If you live in MyTown, USA, how often is “MyTown Chiropractor” mentioned on your website?
Now you can overdo this. If you’re keyword is mentioned too often, that’s called keyword stuffing. And it will cause your site to be penalized. So make sure your keyword occurs naturally in your articles and website.
4. Use Content Management Software
This sounds a lot more technical than it is. The most popular and common website software nowadays is called WordPress (WP). Many of my websites use this software. Originally it was designed for blogs, but not any type of website can use it.It makes pages out of our content, categorizes them and has tons of plugins to easily customize your site. WordPress is highly favored by search engines too!
The best thing about WP is that it is extremely easy to use once set up. I don’t recommend you set it up, so have someone else do that. We do this for a limited number of clients with our Chiropractic Website program.
5. Included Contacts Us, About, and Privacy Pages
It’s often said that to have success in your practice, you’ve got to focus on “a big hairy goal” or see the “big picture” or get “the big idea”.
This is true enough, but not precise enough.
You see, once you have that big picture, then it’s time to get to work. And inevitably as you focus on accomplishing that big picture day by day, you realize there are tons of tiny little steps!
There’s marketing, exams, paperwork, treatment notes, billing, etc., etc. The carpet sure looks dirty and the toilet isn’t perfectly clean either. And who’s going to change that light bulb that’s been out in the closet for 5 weeks?
“No worries, don’t sweat the small stuff” you tell yourself.
But then you begin to realize that big picture isn’t really materializing. And that big hairy goal is looking so hairy you’ve forgotten why you wanted to accomplish it in the first place.
What’s the solution?
I recommend you be more concerned about the details of your business. Someone’s got to sweat the small stuff. It does matter what you wear to your office. (If it didn’t matter you would wear your pajamas.) Patients do care if your breath smells like rotten garlic after lunch.
And you’ve got to make sure your staff understands your high standard of excellence in keeping your office efficient and clean. Nothing turns a patient off more than a dirty, smelly and unorganized office. Does your office smell like greasy fast food after lunch? Is Mary’s perfume at the front desk enough to knock your next patient out?
But here’s the key to “sweating the small stuff”…
You should only be “sweating” about a specific topic only once. As the owner, it is your job to make sure it gets done. Either by you or by someone else.
Make a list of everything you do in your business each month. Then ask yourself what you are good at and what you like to do. You might even give each task a rating of 1 to 5, 1 being something you absolutely love and 5 being something you hate to do.
Then start with the 5’s and ask yourself who else could do those. For example:
Need light bulb change? That’s Carol’s job to take care of. (Make a note to put that on her to do list and regularly check it.)
Billing? Outsource it or hire someone part time in-office.
Marketing? Get a done-for-me marketing program that works (highly recommended: The Ultimate Chiropractic Ads).
Check out my More Tools page to see other examples.
Now once you’ve taken as much off your plate as you can, you should have plenty of time to focus on what really matters. Plus, your office will look, smell and be more efficient as a result.
Regardless of what anyone says, success really is in the details. Yes, have a big goal. That’s not difficult. Lot’s of people have goals.
It’s the getting things done part, the accomplishing of multiple tasks all at once, that is the hard part. This is why most people never accomplish their goals.
Details matter. The whole world is full of details.
Just check out this video and stand amazed at the details of God’s creation (it’s full HD so you can full screen it and enjoy it.).
In a previous article, I showed you a video of how I sub-niche the chiropractic market.
A niche market is simply a subset of a larger market. It’s harder to say the word niche correctly than it is to understand it. (In the south, we say “nitch” but more sophisticated English speakers will use the French-sounding “nish”!)
The overall market in chiropractic is everyone who could be a patient in your practice. But within that group, you can divide them even further into specific niches — fibromyalgia patients, headaches patients, decompression patients, etc.
Today I want to give you an example of how I’ve done this.
But even within these different chiropractic niches, you can drill down further. For example in patients with neuropathy, you have one group that focuses on numbness and tingling while they’ve not yet heard the term “neuropathy.” Another group will respond to the term neuropathy in an ad since they have been “officially” diagnosed with that condition.
In the case of my Decompression Marketing Elite program I’ve actually ‘sub-niched’ the decompression market to different groups of patients that respond differently to their own language.
Within decompression niche there are many “sub-niches”. These are categories with different symptoms like patients with disc herniations, patients with sciatica, patients with general back pain, and more.
Why is all this important?
Because you can use it in all your marketing and get huge ROI’s!
For example, a patient with numbness and tingling down their legs may have no clue about disc herniations. So marketing to them with an ad focused on disc herniations will be pointless.
But run an ad with specific language showing how spinal decompression is the solution they’ve been looking for and they’ll gladly pay you $4,000 to get rid of the problem.
Your simply doing what any specialist in medicine or dentistry does.
This type of “sub-niching” allows for you to really connect with your potential patients, on a level never-before-seen in decompression marketing.
Here’s an excerpt from a long list of phrases I use to sub-niche the decompression market:
degenerative disc disease
herniated disc surgery
As you can see, there are many groups of patients out there to tailor your marketing too. And this list doesn’t even touch all the keywords dealing with sciatica!
With all this marketing potential, how can anyone say that “marketing doesn’t work?” This is a major problem I see in our profession. Doctors try some general marketing or advertising, only focusing on the chiropractic aspect and not addressing any of the patients concerns. Then when no one comes in, they definitively state that marketing doesn’t work.
The problem is most potential patients are not sitting around thinking about which chiropractor they might go see. Or which decompression table looks the nicest. Or which doctor is dressed the best on his yellow page ad.
Most of them are suffering from various health problems and are wondering who exactly can help them. Will it be you?
If you aren’t speaking their language, entering the conversation already going in their head, you’re marketing will get thrown aside faster than a Kardashian wedding!
By focusing very specifically on what the patient is suffering from, you show everyone that you are qualified to help with their condition. And your conversions will sky rocket as a result.
If you’d like to work with me directly on your decompression, I do take a limited number of area exclusive clients. Currently many zip codes are already taken, but some areas in the U.S. are still available. We also keep a waiting list if your area is already taken.
Every time you pay money for your marketing, you should include a special offer. (If you’re worried about how offers make our profession look, see my previous article here.) What’s the best offer price for your advertising?
When I wrote my Ultimate Chiropractic Ads, I placed an example offer inside all of the ads. In most cases I set the offer price in the range between $30 and $50.
But now I’m giving different advice.
Let me explain…
What I taught before was that you should raise or lower the price slightly, adjusting for the number of new patients that you would want and the quality of the patient.
In most cases, the higher the cost the better the quality of the patient is going to be. By quality I mean more open to your recommendations, easier to convert to care, and overall a better patient. For example, it’s generally thought that to have a $49 offer for an evaluation, you’re going to find a better quality patient than you would if you ran an ad for $15.
If you lower the price to $15, you would get more patients, but you’re going to also notice a lot of just freebie seekers. A general rule is $20 or less, your quality is going to drastically drop.
If it’s a specialized ad — fibromyalgia, decompression, cold laser, neuropathy — you’re going to want to do a higher price. This is because the patient is really wanting some help and they have not been able to find it anywhere else.
But even though they are more desperate for help, they’re also more cautious of offers that sound “too good to be true”. Because they’ve had such a hard time finding help, and they’ve gone to higher priced specialists, they assume a doctor who can really help is not going to be cheap.
So that’s what I used to tell the doctors using my ads. But recent data and feedback has convinced me to adjust this recommendation.
Because doctors didn’t want to get a lot of people wasting their time, and (maybe) because they already had issues with giving a discount, many chose to go with the higher price.
Now I’m not sure if it’s the recession still hanging around, or possibly just the new economy we’re in…but higher priced offers are not working well in most areas.
Lower priced offers are working extremely well though!
So what I advise now is just to take the range down to match this new economy. Use an offer between $15 and $30 now. You’re only giving up $10- $15 from the range I mentioned above, but you’ll get lots more new patients. Which would give a huge ROI after factoring in all the patients who will start care.
So the question is this:
Would you rather have a higher priced offer with little to no new patients (low ROI!)…or a slightly lower priced offer with tons of new patients (awesome ROI)?
Hopefully you’ll choose the latter.
If you’re using my ads, make this adjustment and you’ll see even better results. If you’re not using my ads, you can try the advice I give above with whatever ads you’re using. But I can’t guarantee it will help if the rest of the ad is written poorly. The offer is important, but won’t matter one bit if no one ever gets to it in the ad.
Chiropractic newspaper ads are still working great, regardless of what the naysayers are telling you. Here’s an email I recently received from a doctor…
Hi Dr. Beck,
I ran an ad as 21,500 inserts in a free paper; printing cost $515.41. Distribution for inserts cost me $376.25 = total of $891.25 combined 15 day only offer of $35 expired 9-6-11;
Grand total= $17,490.00 collected with residual collections for multiple payment program option uncollected yet. Table now filled for next 6.5 weeks!
27 new SD patients were scheduled!” – Dr. Rich McKay
Have you ever been pitched a product or service, but you’re not sure what you’re buying?
I’m not talking about minor details either. I’m talking about when you have absolutely no idea what is going to be included in this product, but you sure do know that it’s the…
“awesomest, coolest, bestest ever product that you must buy now before your whole world comes to an end!”
You see this type of marketing everywhere nowadays. It’s usually personality driven, meaning the marketer tries to sell something based on their charming personality, huge riches or hyped up talk… instead of just telling you what the product or service can actually do for you.
This is a well honed science in the “make money online” niche. I see it all the time. At least one guy who called himself the “Rich Jerk” was honest about it, although so crude he’s now gone with the wind. (And was not a parody site either.)
A well known internet marketing guru will start a video of himself surfing on the beach, jump into his Ferrari and speed away to his office where he’ll draw on a white board. He’ll show you what you’re doing wrong and then promise to fix your problems if you only buy his $5,000 course.
Try to find out what’s actually in the course, and all you get is more videos and pictures of big houses, more girls and fast cars. Here’s a parody I made on this topic:
This type of selling is contrasted with a clear list of features and benefits of a marketing package. (For example, check out the multiple videos and bullet lists describing exactly what you get in the Ultimate Chiropractic Ads.)
In case you think this is blog post is just a rant, I do have a point.
Chiropractors do this too.
Now most of you know better than to flash fancy cars and big houses to Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe. This will only make then run away from your practice.
But many chiropractors will take extreme measures to make the patient really like the doctor — then completely fail at showing the patients the benefits of their care.
In your office, you should be giving the patient a list of features and benefits of their care. Usually this would take place in a report of findings, “Mrs. Jones, I recommend 25 treatments over the next 3 months [feature] so that we can help your spine and posture return to normal, allowing you to be active in your life again [benefit].”
So give up the fast cars and big houses type of selling, and just talk to your patients about how your care will benefit them.
I got fed up with marketing, “pushing” patients to refer, hard-sell tactics – honestly I was ready to quit the profession entirely.
It wasn’t that I hated chiropractic. It was that no one could show me an effective way to market and grow my practice. I had spent thousands on marketing systems and coaches, but to what point?
My pregnant wife was struggling up three flights of stairs each day in our new “apartment home” – sometimes having to lug over 50lbs of grocery with two toddlers in tow.
I began to think my uncle was right years ago when he said…
“Why Don’t You Go To Medical School,
Then You’ll Be A Real Doctor.”
This lack of effective marketing tools forced me to look outside the profession for answers. My practice depended on it. I had no time to “hope” something worked. I needed a solution fast!
At the “eleventh hour” of my practice (and just barely in time to save it) I discovered effective marketing strategies and put them into place for my practice. And I began to see results almost immediately. This all lead up to my writing of the Ultimate Chiropractic Ads.
Right now, decide that you will not give up. Work smart, then work hard until you reach your goal. Then set a higher goal and do it again.
Check out this video of a girl who did not know how to give up.