Pediatric Goals, Leadership & Marketing Dr. Kowalke

Now, here’s today’s host, Dr. Erik Kowalke.

All right, welcome, welcome, welcome. You are watching the Look to the Children series. My name is Dr. Erik Kowalke and I am part of this the first Thursday of every month, and just a big shout out and thank you to ChiroSecure for putting this on and Dr. Stu and all he does for the chiropractic profession. This is just a great resource and there’s two of these shows. Dr Monica also films one I believe on the third Thursday of every month and I was fortunate enough to be on her show in January, which was exciting. So if you missed that, go watch that.

But yeah, we like to keep these between 10 and 20 minutes once a month to give you something actionable that you can watch quickly on a commute or a lunch break or something and take a piece of information back to apply to your practice to see more kids or make a bigger impact with kids and children in your community. We know through chiropractic that if we can help kids be healthy, they’ll grow into healthy adults instead of sick adults. So a lot of that is education, procedures, marketing, ways to communicate better and more effectively. We even go over some adjusting stuff. So that’s what this whole series is about, which I’m super excited and passionate about.

Our office is in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and we see hundreds of kids every single week and so we get a lot of practice. Now we have five associate docs and 16 adjusting tables. It’s a big facility, higher healthcare practice. If you ever get a chance and want to stop by you’re more than welcome to. It’s a super fun time around here.

But what I really want to go over today is a couple of different things. Goals, leadership, resources and marketing. That’s the four topics I’m going to touch on you.

So goals, I spoke with a bunch of offices recently and as of January they actually went back and looked at how many kids do we have under care in the practice. That’s something you probably just don’t know off the top of your head. Looking at that number gives you an objective point of where your office is at. So if you have 30 kids under care or 50 kids under care, then looking at, okay, well where do we want to get? Do we want to grow the kid side of our family practice, and if we do, how much do we want to grow? And that helps you set everything from there.

So the offices I’ve worked with, they’ve been around 50 and they want to get to 80, let’s say. They set a goal to get from 50 to 80 by summertime or June. So now you know you need to increase by 30 kids actively under care and then you can start to break that down onto, okay, what are we doing intentionally to market towards kids? Some of that is speaking in the community. A lot of them are is hosting special nights at your office where you talk about maybe the flu going around or you talk about sports injuries or you do something that you feel like is a problem in your community.

Concussions is a big one around us. There’s a lot of kids’ sporting events and my son plays hockey. He’s only 11. There was five concussions on his team this year. So you can do a whole talk around concussions. If it’s a big football thing, there’s concussions right there. Sprains, strains and kids.

Even some of the stuff that goes on as kids grow too fast and kids have growing pains. Well what are growing pains and how do parents help with that? Parents don’t know. I have six kids myself and nobody ever taught me what to do with kids and growing pains. It’s just something you figure out, right? So structuring or coming up and creating events in your community that give information and solve problems that parents have is a great way to build connections and trust with families, which ultimately leads to kids being under care.

The next one that’s been really popular, just Facebook presence and social media presence and Google reviews. We use SCAD in our office, and SCAD is a software that helps generate reviews for your office automatically for patients coming in and we get reviews on there. If you look us up, you can see we got all kinds of reviews, hundreds. So parents naturally will find us online and if we have a lot of Google reviews, they automatically say, “Well, the place must be really good. If they have this many people saying that they’re good, I’ll give them a chance.” They come in through that.

If you’re running a Facebook ad, it doesn’t always have to be a targeted ad towards a 27 dollar consultation or a 45 dollar consultation. It could just be education you’re putting out there on what is an ear infection How does the ear even work? And I’ll get into that in a minute too. Should kids have headaches, or cell phones and kids? Just think of hot topics that parents talk about and might be concerned about in your community and throw a video in there. It doesn’t have to be a long, probably the shorter the better even, like 60 to 90 seconds, maybe two minutes max. Put captions on it. Most videos online are watched with captions, not with sound. Then just boost that out there.

You’re not even asking for … There’s no call to action potentially. Maybe you have a pixel and you’re tracking them and people that watched 50 percent of it or more, you follow up with another ad that gives them an option to come in or something. But putting content onto that sets you in a place of leadership and authority in your community on those topics really, really helps. So a lot of these offices have gained a lot of new kids in their office just by doing that and developing trust with parents ultimately is where it starts. So that’s the first one on goals is setting goals and then figuring out backwards what are you going to do to meet that goal.

The second one is leadership, and being a good leader in your office and in your community. Many of you are probably familiar with, if you haven’t already read tons of books by John Maxwell. His stuff is great. But it’s communicating effectively and clearly. Another guy is Chris Voss. Chris Voss was a lead FBI negotiator. He has a really good master class on that. But how to effectively communicate and connect with parents is probably one of the most important things to grow in a pediatric practice because parents need to understand what’s going on.

So the third one I have is being a resource. So leadership, being a leader and being a resource in your community really are tied together because parents just don’t know what’s going on with their kid when they’re sick or fighting something off. My daughter had a really bad earache last week and she ended up having a burst eardrum, and that could easily be like most parents would freak out by that and like holy cow her eardrum burst.

But if you know how the ear functions with the eustachian tube in the eardrum, and how that works when they put tubes in their ears and what are the alternatives and what’s going to happen if that happens, then you could speak to a parent and say, okay, kid comes in with an earache, and you can walk them through the whole scenario before it even happens. That’s really what sets you in a leadership position and builds trust. Say, “Okay. So the pressure is building up. If it doesn’t release and go down the eustachian tube, it’s going to burst the eardrum, which you don’t have to freak out by that. A burst ear drum is usually healing faster and better than if they put tubes and they cut the tympanic membrane anyways.”

But a parent, it sounds scarier and usually if they go in medically they’re going to talk about that as scarier. But what are antibiotics? When do you want to use antibiotics? How do you know if it’s bacterial infection, a viral infection and what to look for?

The more information you can arm your parents with on that topic, then they go through that process and what you said is going to happen actually happens and now they’re like, “He really knows what he’s talking about. Next time something like this comes up I’m going to talk to them.”

So I would encourage you just go above and beyond. If you have a kid with an earache in the office, go ahead if you have the time and the resources in your office to have a front desk team member or you yourself print something off showing how an ear works. How does the eustachian tube work? How does that function? How does upper cervical subluxation affect the eustachian tube and all of those things?

A fever, my daughter that had the eardrum issue had a fever for longer than any of our kids have ever had a fever straight. It was seven days. What is a fever? How high is too high? What does it mean if they get a febrile seizure? Is that bad? I saw some research that kids with febrile seizures actually had a higher IQ rating than kids that didn’t have febrile seizures. Yet you think of a febrile seizure as the worst thing that could happen. And it’s not necessarily the temperature. There’s kids that get febrile seizures at 101. There’s some that might get them at 106 or something.

So parents just don’t know that information. And to be honest, if they take their kid to their pediatrician, usually they don’t get it explained to them that actually makes sense. Sometimes they do, but a lot of times they don’t. They just get medication and they just get what’s going to happen to them and you know what they’re probably going to say.

So the more you can be a resource in your community for natural care. And it can be scary for a lot of parents, and realize that it can be scary. Because if they’re going against the grain, and let’s say they don’t want to give antibiotics and the kid has a fever and an ear infection or whatever. They probably have family members telling them that they are crazy and they need to go in and they probably have friends telling them they’re crazy and they need to go in. They’re not really sure because they’ve never been through it before. And it can get stressful, especially if you have multiple kids or there are parents that are working. Sometimes they just are at their last straw and they just can’t handle anymore and they don’t even know what to do and they’re just can’t take it.

So the more you can encourage them, like, “You’re doing a good job. This is normal. This is what you should expect. This can happen and that’s okay.” And then support them even if they choose not to do that, which I think has been a really big thing. Because obviously we teach pro education with vaccines. We’re not anti-vacs in the office. We have parents that choose to vaccinate and they still come into the office. Those kids are subluxated more than any other kids. So we’re not going to not see you if you vaccinate your kids.

But we’re pro education. So if you want more information, we’re here for you. We got it. We’ll give you all the information you want and let you make the decision and do your research and investigate. I think that’s a great place to be and help parents know that if they can’t find it online or it doesn’t make sense or their friends or family are telling them something different and they don’t really know to do what their pediatrician is telling them to do, I’m going to go to my chiropractor and see what they have to say. Because they’ve told me stuff in the past and they’ve been spot on and they’ve gotten resources and it’s made sense and what they said was going to happen actually happened.

And that’s part of being a leader in your community and position yourself as a resource to answer those questions that parents really just don’t have all the information for. That goes back to teaching classes and workshops for parents, and there’s just so much you could do. But it’s really how much do you want to do? How much do you want to invest? It takes a lot of time.

This stuff isn’t so one-to-one ROI like it is you go to a health doctor, they screen you, sign somebody up, they start care. This is like investing into your community and you might not get a one-to-one return, but you’ll get so many more referrals and so many more people coming from different places just from you sowing it and giving back to your community as a resource to educate and inform them of what’s really happening and how the body functions and how the body works, which is super, super cool and a fun place to be.

The last one is marketing. Most of you live in a community that has some sort of an online resource for parents for stuff. So if a parent wants to know what’s going on for kids in the community this weekend, where do they go? What online resource do they look up? That information is really, really important for you to know because all the parents are going there. Whenever we talk about going and doing an event somewhere or a health screening or a health talk, we’ll just go wherever people are. So if you’re targeting kids and building your pediatric practice, you want to go where parents are.

So where do parents go online? Parents go to places to find information. Is it connected to your local children’s museum? Is it connected to local libraries? Is it connected to a network of schools that all do similar things?

There’s so many resources online for parents these days. There’s closed Facebook groups, there’s open Facebook groups, there’s tons. There’s mom’s groups specific to mom’s issues and even pregnancy and breastfeeding and so forth.

So it’s really just immersing yourself in there and not being the one shot, like you get into a group and you say, “Hey, if anybody needs a chiropractor, that’s me.” That’s the worst thing you can do probably. But going in and offering advice and resources and giving back to that organization and then letting the testimonials of people that you know that are also part of those groups speak for themselves and speak for you and build you up indirectly is really how you gain traction in there. Because then inevitably somebody is going to say, “Hey, does anybody have a recommendation for a chiropractor?” And guess who everybody’s going to say? They’re going to say you because you’re the one that they know the most. You’re the one that’s giving them the most time, the most resources, invested back in them the most with the most information.

And a lot of you guys are into toxin-free living. There’s just so much out there that parents don’t know that you are a great resource to give them information, and a lot of us just are either too busy or we don’t see the return right away and we quit. So I just want to encourage you is this is really a long-term play to develop yourself in your community.

And every parent, all it takes is one. One parent learns and you’re like, man, you made a difference in their life and they now change a decision they were going to make. And that changes the decision they’re going to make on their kid which changes their kid’s health, which they’re going to tell somebody else which is going to help them make a better decision.

It’s just about serving your community and serving them. You know the information. It’s like subluxation. We need to communicate subluxation because nobody even knows what it is, and if we don’t talk about it, nobody’s going to talk about it. The only people that can actually fix, find, fix for people with subluxation are chiropractors and we’re really good at it and that’s what we focus on.

But there’s a lot of other stuff and information that we can be a resource to and just share. So I encourage you on those few things.

Set goals this year. Be a leader in your community. Constantly be working on your self to become a better leader. Communicate better internally with your team. They say that more is caught than taught. So they watch you too. So they watch what you do, what you do with your kids, how healthy your kids are, what you do as a spouse. If you’re married, what your marriage is like. They see you in the community. They see you at the grocery store and what’s in your cart. They see you at the sporting events and what you’re eating and what you’re doing. You’re always being watched.

It’s a whole nother level of what you say in the office has to be what you do outside the office. If you’re saying you should do one thing and then you’re not doing it yourself, you won’t gain a lot of traction I can tell you that much, and people really won’t trust you and value your information as much as they would as if you are walking the walk and talking the talk. So know that to be a leader in your community, you need to do what you say you’re going to do and what you advise them to do you should be doing yourself.

Be a resource in your community. Share handouts, take the extra step, print stuff off for parents, anatomy pictures of the function of the body, even if they have stuff going on with ligaments, their kids are in sports and stuff. Just take 30 seconds and print off a picture of the ligaments in an ankle or something, circle it and show them how that works. That’ll just be so much more above and beyond what they’re getting anywhere else for something specific like that. So be a resertive community.

Number four is marketing. Get involved online. Have an online presence. Be known in your community as the pediatric chiropractor, as the resource that parents can go to for information around musculoskeletal conditions, alternative health decisions in regards to their kids and their family. You develop that presence and you’ll get referrals naturally without having to do extra marketing on top of that.

Hopefully that helps you guys out this week, Look to the Children, first Thursday of March. We’ll be back in April. We’re in Michigan, so hopefully it’s nice and sunny and Michigan. Again, thank you to Stu Hoffman and ChiroSecure for hosting this and putting this on. Don’t miss Dr. Monica on the third Thursday in March. And hope you guys have a great rest of your month.

Today’s pediatric show Look to the Children was brought to you by ChiroSecure.

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