Million Dollar Practice Marketing! – Dr. Nicole Lindsey

Hi. Welcome to today’s episode of Empowering Women in Chiropractic. I’m your host, Dr. Nicole Lindsey, founder of Dominate ChiroMarketing, where I teach chiropractors how to build relationships and bridge gaps with medical doctors to build your practice and improve health care. Today, I want to talk to you about million-dollar practice marketing.

One of the reasons why I love social media is because we can do things like we’re doing right now, and let’s give ChiroSecure a big shout-out for being leaders in that area and for allowing us the opportunity to do this and share great information with you. But the other reason why I love social media is that we can go as business owners and search things out and find out, especially in private groups of peers, if this is a good business decision.

And the other day I was doing this, and I was getting into Facebook ads, new ones, and found a new company and was searching their price and whether it was a good option or not. And interestingly, I found a thread, a post in a group about marketing and whether or not we should do it and how much money we should be spending on marketing. And what was interesting is that the majority of the people commenting were saying how they felt they don’t need to spend money on marketing, that word of mouth and internal referrals is all you need to do. And although that may be true for a lot of people, it inspired me to do this show and this topic that we’re doing now.

So no better quote to start this presentation off than this one. Let’s go to my slides, and we will start sharing this information with you. This quote, “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.” I feel, and I think a lot of other business owners in other industries and in our own industry would agree with this, that marketing is something that you want to continue doing at some capacity, no matter how established you are.

What is marketing, and is it necessary? Well, the definition of marketing according to the American Marketing Association is, “The activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” So marketing is a way that we can teach our potential patients that they should choose us over our competitors.

So for example, you have a person that has an injury. They’re mountain biking and they fall off, and all of a sudden they have neck pain now. If you, as a chiropractor in this community, has a very clear message about how you can potentially help this person, then this person is going to choose you. And this is success because now that patient comes to you over the other competitors. So if your vision is to help more people ultimately, is to get your message out about what you do, whatever it is that you do, then marketing will help you achieve that vision, will help that come true.

Once you set this vision and you know exactly what you want to do, what you want to accomplish in your community, in your practice, the next thing to do is to set up goals. And this has to be very specific. And before we even start talking about your marketing plan, it’s really important that you have a target. Right? You don’t know where you’re going if you don’t have a target, if you don’t have a specific thing that you are trying to accomplish. So the more specific you can get with this, the more likely you are to achieve this goal.

Some things that you, as a chiropractor, need to be very specific about is annual collections goal. How much money do you want to make for the year? So then we can break that down monthly, weekly, daily. How many new patients do you want to attract to your practice on a yearly basis, monthly basis, weekly basis? What’s your case visit average? What do you want to see for each case? Conversion rate, retention rate. These, at the very least, are goals that you need to know like the back of your hand for your practice, for your business.

Once you have that information, then you can reverse engineer these numbers so that you can create a marketing plan. So what I mean by that is you want to take your number and work backwards so that you can calculate precisely what your marketing plan needs to produce.

So for example, if your goal is to see $650,000 a year, we want to break that down monthly. We’re going to reverse engineer that, so that means you need to bring in $54,000 roughly a month. Weekly, that’s going to be $12,896. If your case visit average is 3,000 and you’re working with these numbers, then we know that on average we need to see about 18 new patients a month. So we need to have four of those new patients signing on weekly so that we can accomplish this goal. So once you know these numbers, you’ve reverse engineered it, now we can create the marketing plan to bring us 18 new patients a month, so we can make that happen.

Now, let’s change the way we think about marketing. This is a great quote that gets this conversation going in this direction. “If you are marketing from an annual budget, you’re viewing marketing as an expense. Good marketers realize that it is an investment, not an expense.” So in order to make money, you really need to spend money. And when it comes to marketing, we have to put money out ongoing in order to keep our message out there. It’s not just about getting new patients, which we’re going to talk about that as far as marketing strategies in a few minutes. It’s about just keeping your message out there, keeping your brand out there, and that does cost money. And this is just marketing money that’s related to advertising, promoting. It could be anything like ads, print ads, lunch and learn, sponsorships. Maybe you’re creating in high school a scholarship for students. That costs money. That’s also part of your marketing budget.

How much money should we spend on marketing? Well, the small business standard, and this is all over, from researchers, from people that have studied marketing, on average, if you are an established business with a good foundation, and we’re going to talk about what that good foundation is, on average, we want to be spending two to five percent of your sales revenue on marketing. That’s an average. If you are a brand new business, and I’m talking zero to five years, then you want to spend 12 to 20 percent of that sales revenue on marketing.

So if you’re not falling within those numbers and your practice is struggling, or maybe you’re not able to get out of that rut that you’re in, I hear some of my colleagues say this all the time, “I feel like I can’t get past this point,” it may be because you’re not putting enough money into your marketing. And remember, it’s an investment. It’s not just an expense.

Foundation. Every chiropractic office needs a strong, strong foundation. So whether you’re just starting out, you’re a student, these are things that you really need to think about. If you’re a brand new chiropractor just in practice or you’ve been going at it for years and years, and you feel like, “You know what, maybe my foundation isn’t as strong,” well, let’s talk about that because this is part of your marketing plan.

The first year is going to be the bottom, the foundation, is the brand, is your mission, is your goal, your vision, your logo. It’s a way of identifying your business, how your patients recognize you, what kind of experience the patients have in your business. So a strong brand is really thinking about every aspect of their business. What are your patients … Or I’m sorry, what are your staff wearing? Are you all wearing logoed gear? Do you have great paperwork with your logo on it?

The other day I had went up to the front desk, and I pulled out our new patient paperwork and was looking at something, and I noticed that it was cockeyed and black and white, and it had been a copy from a copy and from a copy, and it was appalling. I thought to myself, “This is what we’re giving new patients?” And I asked my front desk assistant, and she said, “Yeah, it hasn’t copied right, so yeah, that’s what it looks like.” And I said, “Yeah, no, that’s not how we want to represent ourselves. That’s not my brand.” So we need to get a fresh copy, make this in color, so they can see our logo. That’s the very first thing that the patient sees. And that’s important to me.

So that’s what you need to do, is sit down, and if you’ve never done this … Even if you’ve been in practice for a while, it’s okay. You can rebrand yourself. And it’s important to do this because this is the foundation of a strong marketing plan.

The second tier is going to be web design. Yes, your website is the most important tool for your business, period. Period. It needs to be. Right? At one time it was business cards. It’s changed. Things are evolving. It’s your web page that people will go to. They’ll see an ad, they’ll see you on Facebook, they’ll hear about you at a lunch and learn, they’ll hear a patient say something about you, a friend. But ultimately, what they’re going to do is they’re going to go to your website, and they’re going to stalk you, right? They’re going to see what you’re all about. So you’re either going to turn them on or turn them off with what’s on your website and how that looks. Is it fresh? Is it modern? Does it represent your brand? Does it have on there all the services that you offer? That’s what you want, or else they’re going to go to your competitors.

So it’s really, really important that you have a good web design for your practice. And this is something that you can reinvent, the statistics say, every three to five years, you want to refresh and get your website more modern.

The third tier of your foundation is going to be your marketing strategy. And this is where you need to figure out your niche. What are you good at? What do you like treating? For me, I like to see patients that have disc injuries, and we have a heavy focus on rehab in my practice. We also have a physical therapist, and we offer decompression. We give exercises. We like to rehab people and then take them into wellness from there. Is your niche treating pregnant patients? Are you certified in BirthFit or Webster’s, or what is your niche? And identify that and pull that into your marketing strategy. And from there you can then mark it and create a marketing plan based on these things.

What are the different types of marketing strategies? Well, there are many. There are hundreds of marketing strategies. For chiropractors and for me personally, I’m going to give you five of the most essential marketing strategies that I’ve found, built my practice, maintained my practice, and continue to allow me to grow. Some of the things you want to keep in mind here is that you want to make sure that you’re willing to change and evolve with the market for ultimate success because things are going to change. What we did 10 years ago, even seven years, even five years ago, is different than what we’re doing now. So be willing to evolve with the market and what’s going on.

Marketing strategy number one is relationship marketing. So this is the strategies that you want to have for your already customers, right? We’re always so focused on bringing new patients in, and I get it. I know, I love it too. Having a new patient is exciting. It brings fresh energy, new personalities, a new challenge for us to fix. I get it, I feel you. But we don’t want to forget the bread and butter, the people that are already there, the people that get it, that love your brand and your message and want more of it. So that’s what relationship marketing is all about, is making this stronger, is focusing on customer loyalty, enhancing these relationships that you already have with your patients.

So how do you do that? Well, number one is wow them on every visit. Okay? Show them in every interaction that they’re valued. And this can be as simple as a hug. It can be spontaneous things. Writing them a handwritten card. When’s the last time you received a handwritten card in the mail from anybody? Right? What if you sat down every week and sent two of these cards out, and every one of your staff members did that? How valued would they feel? Right? They would feel very valued. Giving them flowers randomly. Get a big bucket of carnations and give out every woman a carnation on Mother’s Day. Wow your patients on every visit. This will build a relationship.

Give them free information. Educate, educate, educate. Even if you have a practice with a heavy influence on rehab, they still want chiropractic information. They still want to know about innate intelligence. They still want to know about how chiropractic can help the immune system. So give content for the sake of giving. What this will do is it will build more trust, more confidence the patient will have in you if you do that.

Giving information through workshops. We did a trigger point workshop. That’s one of my most popular workshops, has been for years in my practice. Probably been doing that workshop for almost 19 years now. And we probably have 25 people in attendance the other night, and they brought guests, and we showed them how to work trigger points out on each other. Did I do this just to get new patients? No. Did we get some new patients? Yes, but I did this because I want patients to know this information because we’re going to get better adjustments if they’re working trigger points out on each other. Right?

So this is the kind of stuff that you can do. Create a Facebook group on a specific topic and put valuable information in there just for your patients. Educate, educate, educate, and find ways to do that.

You can work on building your tribe. Build a community of people that are excited to be in your circle. This can be fun activities. We’ve done silly things, like on Halloween we have a full skeleton and we call it Selfie with a Skellie. And if patients took a picture, a selfie with the skeleton, and post it on their Facebook page, then we put the raffle in for a free thing of Biofreeze or something we wanted to give out just to make it fun and build a tribe.

All of this can help build relationships with your patients. Giving them discounts on different things in the office that you sell as well. Picking a topic every month or an item that you want to discount. All of this will help build relationships for your patients.

The second strategy is promoting your authority. And let me tell you, let me just start this with you have authority, and you have credibility as a chiropractor. You’ve spent lots of time and money getting your degree. Now what we need to do is promote that. So it’s not so much building that. You don’t need to take the next … You can take the next certification and keep building upon that, but don’t feel you have to do that. With a chiropractic degree, you’re there, you’re ready to promote that, and you have every right to. And this is a great marketing strategy in and of its of itself.

How do we do this? Well, external marketing, so setting up business lunch and learns. Again, educating, but reaching out to local business owners, offering to come in, bring lunch, and talk about a specific topic, whether it’s stress, whether it’s enhancing your immune system. But give them do-level stuff, give them content, and this builds trust, shows them that you are an authority on this topic and builds awareness as well.

The second way to promote your authority is to create videos, to get information out there about your knowledge that you know. Do Facebook Lives and stream that right on your page. Create a podcast. My associate and I created one called Balanced Life on the Go, and we have 1,400 or so downloads, and patients are enjoying that, they’re listening to that. But it’s making us more of an authority in our community, in our practice.

The third is writing blogs, articles, eBooks. Writing may not be your thing, but listen, even if it isn’t, you know, as a chiropractor, enough. You can sit down and write a paragraph and put that on your website as a blog. This will create more credibility for you and help build you up in the community.

Maybe get a spot on TV or radio. I had a connection with our local TV station, and I got a Sunday spot at 7:00 AM on the news and was able to do a two-minute segment on a different topic once a month. And you want to talk about building authority and credibility, it was amazing for that.

And then of course, many of you know if you’ve been watching my show, MD connections. No better way to promote your authority than building relationships with medical doctors. Showing them that yes, you know what you’re talking about, that you are the authority in spinal health and helping patients with their posture, with their spinal health. And all of this can help create long-term relationships in your community. So it’s not focused on the short term sale, it’s more on long-term, promoting your authority.

The next strategy is creating partner connections, and this you can do with other business owners. This will help build trust and exposes you to their tribe. One of the things that we did last year, my associate I, he had a relationship with a gym owner, and we started working out. Our whole team went there and started working out a couple times a week, and we became the face, the chiropractic face, our brand, in the gym. And anytime something came up about, “This hurts,” or the posture is incorrect, we were the go-to chiropractor. So this is creating that partner connection. And we didn’t go in there saying, “Can we just do a screening in here?” No, we went in there and we worked out, and we showed up, and we became the chiropractor for the gym. So this is a great way.

You can also pair up and partner with influences in your community. This will help create more power by association. Just by you connecting with this influencer, you’re going to be exposed to their tribe and gain way more power and connections as a result of you doing that.

The next strategy, of course, this is what chiropractors built their practice on, and this is still a big part. If you ask any chiropractor, “How many new patients do you get by word of mouth,” probably the majority of new patients they get is by other patients talking about them. And yes, this is very important, and it is a strategy that we need to be aware of and keep working on because if you’re not seeing a lot of internal referrals, then you have to ask yourself, “What impression am I leaving on people? What’s wrong here?” Right? And, “What can I do to improve that?” Because this is definitely a marketing strategy, and we need to be assessing this.

And then what we can do is set up internal promos in our practice and always have something going with the theme, so that way, when that patient is ready to refer because the impression you left on them is strong and they’re very excited, now you have an internal promo going on. Right now in my office, we have a gratitude promo going on. We have gratitude rocks at the front desk, and a patient can give another patient they want to bring in a rock, a gratitude rock that says something on it, with a gift certificate to come in for an exam. And this is something we do every month and have it in place so that when that patient is ready to tell another patient, there is something there to prompt them to do this.

The next strategy and probably one of the most important aside from word of mouth is going to be digital marketing. And this is growing and growing and growing. In fact, it is estimated in the year 2020 that 42% of your marketing budget will and should be spent on digital marketing. So that 5% of your money going towards marketing, of that 5%, 42% of it is going to be spent here and should be spent here. This includes online ads, your Google, Facebook, Yelp, your podcast. Your SEO, whether you spend money on that, you hire someone to help you with that or not. Your pay-per-click, do you have somebody managing that and helping you with that? Or maybe you’re doing it yourself. Online reviews, constantly getting them on Facebook, Google, Yelp, everywhere. As many reviews as you can. Email marketing. Yes, you should still be doing email marketing. Content marketing, putting content out there in many different places. And social media, just posting and just having a plan for that.

So these are the marketing strategies that I feel are essential to your business, to your chiropractic office, and are essential to mine. Here are three tips that I want to give you to help make it happen. The first thing you want to do is to create a plan, and I’m going to show you on the next slide how I did that. Number two is to review this daily on your own. Look at this marketing plan. Don’t just create it and leave it in cyberspace on your computer or Excel or the Google Drive. Make sure you look at it. Not only should you be looking at it, but your team should be looking at it.

Tip number three is keep it evolving. Don’t get stuck in the past. I know that what worked yesterday was fun, and you got it, and you figured it out, but now it doesn’t work. Right? So we have to evolve with the time. So don’t fall into that trap of getting stuck in the past or thinking that marketing is no longer important because you have enough patients. Don’t think about that because, remember, the clock stops when you stop putting money into this because marketing is not just about bringing new patients in, it’s about getting your message out. And we need you doing that. Every chiropractor should be marketing so that we can continue to get chiropractic out there, so more and more people can learn what we do.

Here is how I market my business and my million-dollar marketing plan. First of all, what I do is I create an annual agenda, and I have it broken down month by month, the theme, different handouts and decorations I want to have in the office. I will have my internal promo for the month. I will have the workshop that we’re going to do. I’m going to have the item that we’re going to discount, any external promotions that we’re going to do on there.

We also want to have some team outings to help build our brand in the community. Are we going to volunteer? What are we going to do? What books are we going to read and stimulate each other in the office, and not only that, but our patients to join in and read? How many MD connections are we going to make a month? Community-wise, what are we doing to build that tribe, that community in our practice?

And then Google, Facebook ads. What kind of ads are we putting out there? Is that going to follow suit with the themes that we have and everything that we’re doing for the month? And then of course, what’s our podcast? Every month we publish a new podcast. What is that topic going to be? And everything is tied together and linked.

Once you make that annual agenda, which by the way I can help you create one of these, that is also what I’m doing, but then what you want to do is have your social media agenda. What are you going to post on daily? Have that broken down, and week by week have that figured out so that you’re not thinking every day, “What am I going to post about?” And your staff can look at this, your team can look at this, and you can hold each other accountable and assign different tasks for different people.

After you have your Facebook and social media agenda, break it down weekly to-dos. What are you doing? What is your staff doing? And look at this weekly at your staff trainings and hold each other accountable.

So that is your million-dollar marketing plan. So no matter what you’re doing, whether you’re doing social media, you’re doing print ads still, your word of mouth, just make sure you have a plan. You have a plan set in place, and you’re constantly tweaking it. You’re putting money into your marketing budget, and you’re looking at that as an investment so that you can continue to grow your practice, get your message out, help your practice, build your practice, help our profession as well.

Robert Rose said it best, “Marketing is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content marketing is showing the world you are one.” I don’t care how you market, whether it’s content or paid advertising, it doesn’t matter. Just do it. Thank you for watching. Don’t forget to tune in next week for our next episode of Empowering Women in Chiropractic.

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