CF 099: Big Ideas On Marketing Evidence-Based Practices (Part Two)
Today, you’re going to hear Part Two of our two-part series about marketing. Specifically, marketing
But first, here’s that sweet sweet bumper music
OK, we are back and you have found the Chiropractic Forward Podcast where we are making evidence-based chiropractic fun, profitable, and accessible while we make you and your patients better all the way around.
We’re the fun kind of research. We’re not the stuffy, high-brow kind of research. It’s like we’re talking about research over beers. Which is NOT like talking about research in a classroom or an institution of some sort. Accessible research if you will. I could be more professional but I’m not.
Welcome, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.
If you haven’t yet I have a few things you should do, like our facebook page, and go to our Store link at chiropracticforward.com and check out the goods. That’s it. Not bad right?
You have shimmied into Episode #99 and I hope you’re enjoying the Marketing series.
Now, if you missed last week’s episode, it was Part I of this marketing an evidence-informed practice series. Stop now and go back and listen to Part I first. Then come back here and devour Part II.
Because….make no mistake…..we’re serving it up hot and fresh here people.
On a personal note, nothing special is going on around the office or in my work life balance. It’s just been business as usual. We’ve had a bit of a fall off from the Summer but it’s still busier than this time last year and we’re staying busy busy busy.
So, nothing of signifigance to report here but, before we get too deep, it’s good to support the people that support you don’t you think? Well, ChiroUp certainly supports evidence-based practices.
If you don’t take advantage of this deal, I just think you might be crazy.
If you’re a regular listener of our podcast, you know I’ve used ChiroUp since about June of 2018. Let me tell you about it because I’m about to give you a way to do a FREE TRIAL and, if you sign up, only pay $99/month for the first six months which is pennies compared to what it’s worth. So listen up!
ChiroUp is changing the way we practice by simplifying patient education and here’s what I mean:
In a matter of seconds, you can send condition-specific reports to your patients with recommendations for treatment, for their activities of daily living, & for their exercises.
You can see how this saves you time – no more explaining & re-explaining your patient’s care, because they have access to it at their fingertips.
You can be confident that your patients are getting the best possible care, because the reports are populated based on what the literature recommends and isn’t that re-assuring? All of that work has been done FOR you.
There are more than 1000 providers worldwide using ChiroUp to empower their treatments, patients, & practice – Including myself! **Short testimony**
If you don’t know what it’s all about or you’d like to check it out, do yourself a favor and go to Chiroup.com today to get started with your FREE TRIAL – Use code Williams99 to pay only $99/month for your first 6 months
That’s ChiroUp.com and super double secret code Williams99.
OK….now, back to Part II of our marketing series. We covered some general marketing thoughts and we covered internal marketing last week. We were just about to get into External Marketing and the idea of the first big three means of external marketing which can be thought of as shotgun marketing.
So, let’s pick back up where we left off last week. Here we go.
#2 External Marketing
Now, let’s move on to External Marketing. This is the traditional marketing we think of. Things like:
Let’s talk about those three first. We can call that shotgun marketing because you are hitting random people with random pebbles. You can’t laser focus marketing with a cannonball this way. You can only hope that someone that would be interested in you happens to see your message. Some will. Most probably won’t.
Don’t worry if you’ve fallen for some of this crap. I spent $19k one year to have the front page corner of the yellow pages. Now, that was years ago when everyone actually used the yellow pages but, trust me, I’ve done stupid crap too.
Back to TV, no matter how smooth the sales reps are, more and more are unplugging. They’re using streaming services like Netflix or Amazon. Disney and Apple are jumping in with both feet too so sooner rather than later, I think the majority will not see a message on traditional TV.
Same goes for radio. Hello, every heard of Sirius radio? Or, if you’re like me, I’m listening to a podcast as soon as I get in my truck to go anywhere. I don’t even listen to traditional radio anymore. If you do, I think you’re quickly becoming the minority.
Billboards may make sense if you’re right off the highway and it leads people to your front door. Otherwise, I think it’s probably mostly a waste of money. Don’t get too tied up in whether or not you see your face or your name up on a big board or up on TV. It’s not real. It didn’t happen organically because you’re awesome. You put it there with your money. And you may have just wasted that money.
Shotgun marketing can make sense but only after all of the base coat has been painted and now you’re just going for exposure and saturation of the market. I really don’t care what the sales reps say and how many graphs they show you. Those are manipulated to take your money.
Another negative about shotgun marketing is that it is hard to track. Marketing needs to be traced and tracked. Either through computerized means or on a simple spreadsheet. Better believe I know where every single new patient comes from, who to thank, and where my bread and butter lies.
Unless you’re really tracking well, many times you won’t know if someone comes in from a billboard, TV, or radio. Sometimes they’ll tell you straight up but sometimes they just don’t remember.
But what about other means of external marketing?
What about things like:
- Chamber of Commerce
- Charity and philanthropy.
- Social Media
- Sponsoring teams and events
- If you want to do personal injury, wouldn’t you figure out how to attract and market that demographic?
- If you wanted more pain patients, where do they hang out? Where do they go? Wouldn’t you want to figure out how and who to market for those people?
- Direct mail – yes, it can still work and you can target it like a laser
- Marketing representative
- Creating authority – talks, appearances, book, podcast, content creation, etc…
I have so much on external marketing. The options are endless and we could talk about them for ever. I’ve tried them all. Trust me.
Something I forgot to mention in the beginning is the fact that marketing is always changing. It’s not a set it and forget it endeavor. You have to be on it all of the time. Yellow Pages anyone? Hello….Bueller.
#3 Who You Are
As I said before I add this third one because we are in a personal business. You’re not a big brand like Coca Cola. Coca Cola doesn’t have a face. It doesn’t have a name behind the brand. While some would argue that it does, in the context I mean it in, Coca Cola does not have a personality and it damn sure doesn’t have a relationship with it’s drinkers.
You could say that #3 really has more to do with internal marketing but I think it’s a cross-over thing. Who you are, your vibe, how you carry yourself….that all goes into making your business what it is and makes your reputation what it is.
For a smaller community, this is even more vital. For a city, still vital. You are attracting people or you are repelling them. It’s not very often that you have not effect or neutral effect on people. Right? Do you ever leave a conversation or a personal encounter with someone with absolutely zero feel about it? You get the point.
So, what if you spent on average $150 per each new patient that gets on your schedule? There are some pretty good stats you can keep on this stuff. What if you invested $150, they come to your door, you’re having a bad day, rush through their exam, are a bit of a jerk about them doing exactly what you recommend, and then maybe there’s a snafu at the front desk when they pay out because you were too lazy to get the staff trained appropriately?
You may have made the $150 back up but you’re probably not going to profit on that patient because of YOU. Your vibe was crap. You didn’t want to be there. You didn’t want that patient there. You didn’t train your front desk right. And now YOU probably won’t have another visit with that patient.
What if you are at an event, you woke up that morning and stepped in dog crap, and that just set the tone for the day. Now you’re at this event you don’t really feel like being at and everyone can tell. Mr. Sourpuss chiropractor over there sucking on a whiskey sour with his sour face.
These are dumb simple little examples but who you are, how you are able to talk and communicate to people, and communicate what you do can make all of the difference in the world. If you’re positive, energetic, smart, and capable…..Boom. The battle is won.
Eyore from Winnie The Poo on the other hand gets no patients. Only your mom is coming to see you. #66 in town, #1 in mama’s heart.
More than personality though, you MUST be a real person. Don’t pretend. Don’t sell. Patients smell that garbage a mile away. Be AUTHENTIC. That’s a key concept in marketing.
It’s the stuff you learned in kindergarten. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Honesty, ethics, forthright, stand up, and gentlemanly or lady like. Professional. These are so important. What about loving? Of course. You better love your patients and you better love your staff.
Our practices are made up of lots of relationships and if you aren’t interested in people and relationship building, I’m afraid no amount of marketing will make it OK or will make you succeed. No amount of money.
When you’re providing quality care with responsible recommendations, and you salt and pepper that delicious brew with a little love and personality, you got a winning recipe on your hands. I like cajun food so I add even more personality to my spicey brew!!
Boom snap pow!
I mentioned this earlier but, I think the biggest key to anything business related is keeping and tracking stats effectively. Do you know the exact number of new patients you got last month from Google or Facebook or Instagram or from referrals from your existing patients? Do you know how many new patients you got from your own staff referring people to you?
Do you know your PVA? Do you know how much you make per patient encounter on average and how much it costs you in marketing dollars to get a new patient in your doors? Do you know what your average profit per patient visit is each month or what it averages over the course of the year?
If you can’t answer these questions, you have to figure out how to answer them and you need to do it yesterday if you get my drift.
These numbers and metrics aren’t only important to your marketing efforts. They’re important to your business in general. How can you possibly know your return on investment for anything you do in your business? It sounds crazy to say it, right? For so many of us, record keeping and stats are just second nature. But, I wasn’t always there. I had no idea where I’d been and not a clue where I was going.
I was like a drunk pin balling off of the walls trying to get somewhere and falling down every so often.
I’m not just trying to relate to you on some level. That’s real talk. I was on an island for so many years. No colleagues to bounce ideas off of or to ask for help. No association involvement, no network. No real continuing education. I came late to the party. But, with knowing I was coming late to the party, I jumped in with both feet, man.
Gimme the bottle of tequila, the bottle of vodka, and throw in some fireball on top of that. Let’s get there as fast as possible.
That’s what I did with being a chiropractor.
Now, as far as the stats keeping, I’m working on a solution for those of you that might be interested in getting some help with keeping stats. Something that will make it easy and fast. Yes, it’ll have a monthly cost but it won’t be ridiculous and you can only pay for what you think you need. Different levels…that type of deal. But, it’s in the works and I’ll let you know more about it when we get it up and running. You numbers nerds will love it.
Some other random thoughts and musings:
- Having something to talk about is always important. Especially on social media. If you’re talking, people are typically listening. Even when you think they aren’t
- Make sure your website is doing what it’s supposed to do for you. IF you can’t do it, hire it out. It really is that important.
- IF you can learn YouTube videos, learn it and do it. Even if you think you suck on screen. It’s important.
- Eliminate the risk. Do what you can to remove any and all obstacles to coming to see you. Is your insurance staff making the payment process a little bumpy? Fix it. Are people wanting to fill out paper work online but you don’t have that? Fix it. Does the majority of your population want to come in from 5-6 and you’re closed at 5? Fix it. Not for just one or two people but if the majority needs that time block, give it to them. Just remove the obstacles.
- Be the expert that you are and be the expert everywhere your market will allow you to be the expert. Clubs, associations, boards, etc…
- The secret to referrals is the difference between satisfaction and enthusiasm.
Things NOT to do pretty please for the love of all that’s holy.
- Do not put your office and profits above your patients for any reason ever.
- Do not scare patients into care. It’s rude and it’s unethical
- Do not use curve correction as a reason to manipulate patients into setting up 70 visits. It’s rude, it’s borderline unethical, it makes all of us look bad, your actions really do reflect on the rest of us, and there’s no good, non-biased research backing the notion that curve correction matters at all.
- Don’t do dinner with the doctor unless you truly are simply trying to build authority in your community. If you are using them as bait and switches where you get someone in for a $29 initial treatment and then scare the crap out of them to make them sign a contract for $3500 over the course of a year, then YOU are the problem with this profession.
- Oh yeah, contracts between doctors and patients do not belong in healthcare. It’s embarrassing. Please stop if you do it and never start if you don’t.
Just be honest, ethical, put the patient first, behave in a manner that would make the chiropractor next door be proud to be a chiropractor, and take care of your patients by following industry standards for treatment. Keep learning and expanding your knowledge. Be the smartest in your town. The more real, research-backed education you get the better you’ll understand things in the profession and the better you’ll understand how to carry yourself. CCSP, Diplomates, etc.
Basically, have a moral compass which sums it up.
So, there’s the quick form of a marketing seminar. We could spend an hour on each one of these little nuances to marketing and could go on and on and on.
Again, if any of you want me to put together a more robust marketing talk and have me present it for your group or association, let me know and we can see how we can make it work.
If you have any questions or ideas, shoot me an email at email@example.com
I hope you’ve enjoyed my marketing talk. I literally sat down and just started typing. Yes, I’m sure I didn’t cover everything as thoroughly as you’d like but, if you’re really paying attention, I gave you some good solid cement to build a base out of.
- Have a USP
- Have a marketing meeting regularly
- Set goals
- Be honest, ethical, loving, authentic, and don’t sell people
- Don’t push people and scare care is crap care.
- If it takes you 100 visits to help someone, you could get better at what you do
- Internal marketing means as much as external marketing which means as much as who you are and how you communicate and carry yourself.
- Track EVERYTHING
I will hopefully have something in place to help you track metrics soon enough. Also Part of making your life easier is having the right patient education tools in your office. Tools that educate based on solid, researched information. We offer you that. It’s done for you. We are taking pre-orders right now for our brand new, evidence-based office brochures available at chiropracticforward.com. Just click the STORE link at the top right of the home page and you’ll be off and running. Just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if something is out of sorts or isn’t working correctly.
If you’re like me, you get tired of answering the same old questions. Well, these brochures make great ways of educating while saving yourself time and breath. They’re also great for putting in take-home folders.
Go check them out at chiropracticforward.com under the store link. While you’re there, sign up for the newsletter won’t you? We won’t spam you. Just one email per week to remind you when the new episode comes out. That’s it.
I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is primarily a movement-related pain and typically responds better to movement-related treatment instead of chemical treatments like pills and shots.
When compared to the traditional medical model, research and clinical experience show that many patients get good or excellent results through chiropractic for headaches, neck pain, back pain, joint pain, to name just a few.
Chiropractic care is safe and cost-effective. It can decrease instances of surgery & disability. Chiropractors normally do this through conservative, non-surgical means with minimal time requirements or hassle to the patient.
And, if the patient develops a “preventative” mindset going forward from initial recovery, chiropractors can likely keep it that way while raising the general, overall level of health of the patient!
Patients should have the guarantee of having the best treatment offering the least harm.
Send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think of our show or tell us your suggestions for future episodes. Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on iTunes and other podcast services. Y’all know how this works by now so help if you don’t mind taking a few seconds to do so.
Help us get to the top of podcasts in our industry. That’s how we get the message out.
We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward.
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About the Author & Host
Dr. Jeff Williams – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger