:dropcap_open:Y:dropcap_close:ou may think of burnout as stemming from having a workaholic approach to your practice or from experiencing a major life trauma.
That’s not necessarily the case, though. In fact, one of the easiest ways for a chiropractor to burnout is by doing the wrong marketing.
As dedicated as you are to the values of chiropractic, what will make or break you is something much more mundane: how you grow your practice.
Being a chiropractor is being an entrepreneur – and nothing burns an entrepreneur out faster than a badly planned, ineffective marketing strategy.
It’s easy to see why: you studied for years to make it through chiropractic college. You put everything on the line when you opened your practice – and if you don’t get any patients, it all disappears.
When that happens, it’s a tragedy – and it often comes down to a bad marketing strategy.
So, here are the three most common marketing mistakes chiropractors make. Be sure you’re marketing your practice differently.
Mistake #1: They lack focus.
New chiropractors think they have to be everything to everybody. Experienced – and, more importantly, successful – chiropractors know better.
You need to know your strengths and define your specialty accordingly.
Dr. Brian Stensler of Dream Wellness in California says, “You can’t be a jack of all trades and master of none. You have to specialize.”
Having a specialty helps you set yourself apart. Whether you choose sports injuries, pediatric chiropractic, or neck and back pain, having a specialty helps define what you do and it gives people a clear indicator of when they should come to see you.
Mistake #2: They emphasize gimmicks and ads.
:dropcap_open:Being a chiropractor is being an entrepreneur – and nothing burns an entrepreneur out faster than a badly planned, ineffective marketing strategy.:quoteleft_close:
Chiropractic is a patient-centered business. That means your marketing has to focus on relationships, not gimmicks. People who come to see you because of a great deal on Groupon are less likely to feel a bond to you and are, therefore, less likely to stick with you over the long-term. That leaves you with a new patient who pays less than your usual rates and is more likely to stop seeing you – leaving you having to go out and recruit more new patients.
What you need as a chiropractor is to emphasize marketing strategies that build relationships and allow people to connect with you. People want to go to a chiropractor they like and the last thing they need when they are in crisis is to go looking for one. That means, once they bond with you, they are very likely to remain loyal to you, assuming you provide good care and customer service.
That’s why Groupon, as well as ads, are less effective. You aren’t announcing a sale on handbags; you are providing health care. Instead, get out in your community and get to know people. Pass out your business card whenever you can. Attend events, give talks, volunteer. Let people know what you do (here’s where your specialty will make you memorable) and build the friendships that lead to lasting patients, the kind who stick around and tell their friends about you.
Mistake #3: They don’t build a referral network.
Businesses don’t exist on their own, and they certainly don’t thrive that way. That means, even beyond networking to meet potential patients, you also need to network in order to meet referral partners.
A good referral partner is someone in a complementary business whose clients are often looking for exactly your services. So, if your specialty is back pain, a physical therapist or orthopedist might be a good choice. If you run a wellness center, then a nutritionist, acupuncturist, or fitness studio might be a strong match. Ideally, you’ll be able to pass referrals back and forth, so everyone benefits from the relationship.
Dr. Chris Perron of Perron Chiropractic in Virginia says he refers his patients to physical therapists, nutritionists, and even other chiropractors if they need something that isn’t his specialty, and they refer to him. That’s the kind of situation you’re looking to build.
A good referral network creates a framework to bring in future business without all the effort. A win-win situation for everyone involved, they are well worth investing the time to form.
There’s nothing like spending a lot of money on marketing tactics only to find you’ve brought in no new business. It’s a recipe for both financial disaster and burnout. Luckily, by avoiding these three mistakes, you can create a marketing strategy solid enough to grow your practice – and make it thrive.
Jennifer Michelle works with chiropractors and other health professionals to create thriving practices while maintaining their passion for what they do. She received her MPH from Tulane University and specializes in patient-focused marketing strategies, as well as burnout prevention and recovery. For more information, please visit her at: http://jennifermichellecommunications.com/ or call 802-310-0130