Balance Your Life and Grow Your Practice

:dropcap_open:T:dropcap_close:he old saying “Seeing is Believing” became the theme to a recent trip or should we say, chiropractic reconnaissance mission.  The purpose of the trip was to visit multiple chiropractic clinics and get to the bottom of why some clinics are successful and some are struggling even if they are in the same city and sometimes on the same street.  We heard all the common complaints surrounding chiropractic. “The insurance world is collapsing. I will be successful as soon as I learn these new scripts.  This Obama guy really hates us chiropractors. I just don’t get enough new patients in this area.”  And the most common excuse, “the economy is crushing my clinic.”  After hearing all these issues over the last couple years, you can see why it was time for us to determine what the real issue was in chiropractic. Warning:  most of you are not going to like the answer.
marketing8It was a beautifully sunny Monday morning and we had everything we needed to get started.  The GPS was loaded with the clinics on our hit list, the smell of fresh brewed coffee filled the car and our carefully chosen X-factor was awkwardly quiet in the back seat. 
X-factor: n. Definition: A variable in a situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome. 
Our X-factor was a 29-year old soft-spoken former professional soccer player whose entire family was in the medical profession.  Her background was in business marketing and social media branding. Her biggest contribution to the team was that she was a not a chiropractor like us, and she started chiropractic care for the first time just a week earlier.  Her job was to listen, observe and get the opinion of the clinics and chiropractors through the eyes of a potential patient.  It would later be determined that her presence was invaluable.  
During our 5-day reconnaissance mission, we spoke to 100’s of chiropractors and visited numerous offices.  It quickly became very clear as to why a chiropractor was crushing it could be a block away from a clinic that was closing its doors.  There was substantial evidence that systems, staff and the look and feel of the clinic all contributed to the success, but the overall hands-down determining factor for success or failure was the chiropractor.  In short, YOU are responsible for whether your practice will succeed or fail.  It is not the dwindling insurance reimbursement.  It is not your location, your office manager, your technique or the economy.  Please stop with blaming the economy.  That is so 2009.  It is time to be real and admit that 100% of your practice success is up to you and what you bring to your practice. Taking this one step deeper reveals that your practices success or lack of success directly effects our profession as a whole.  No more excuses.  Today is the day that you will quit looking outward for excuses and look inward for solutions.  Take an honest look at your life and see how it affects your practice and our profession.
Now, we would never leave you hanging with that weight on your shoulders without providing the insight and a simple plan to help get you, your practice and our professional to the next level.  
The first step starts with you and where you are today.  We believe very strongly that a patient doesn’t want to see a doctor more miserable then they are. You cannot preach wholeness or wellness and not be whole yourself.  Would you want to get braces from an orthodontist with severely crooked teeth or financial advice from a bankrupt financial planner?  No, and your patients don’t want to go to a chiropractor that doesn’t emanate and balanced, growing and healthy lifestyle.  They may start with you, but they will not stay with you.  If your student loans are weighing you down, your patients will feel it.  If you are living a lifestyle that you cannot afford which is causing stress, your patients will feel it.  If you eat crappy food, never exercise and are unhealthy yourself, your patients will not take your treatment plan serious and they will leave.  Bad relationships, lack of a larger purpose, burnout, no fun or family issues will all be felt by your patients, reflected on your practice and eventually on the profession as a whole.  
So what are your stress points or your weak links in the chain that connects you to the life and practice of your dreams? Let’s start with the 7 key areas of life.  We call them the 7F’s of Oola.  The first F is “Fitness” which accompanies everything health.  Are you at your ideal weight?  Do you exercise, get regular chiropractic care and eat healthy? Be brutally honest and rate your level of fitness 1 to 10.  
The second F is “Finance”, which is a big stressor with chiropractors.  Student loan amounts are at an all time high and default rates are amongst the largest for comparable professions.  At Oola, we feel that debt is evil and we feel that if all chiropractors were debt free, our profession would thrive.  The most successful chiropractors in the OolaNetwork are debt free and rocking it.  Even our chiropractors with very successful practices and awesome incomes feel anchored if they burdened with heavy debt.  Rate your overall finance 1 to 10 based on debt load, income and monthly budget requirements.
The next F to rate 1 to 10 is “Family.”  Family is everyone you are related to by blood or marriage.  Are your family relationships supportive and encouraging or toxic and enabling?  Are you struggling with your marriage or feeling guilty about the limited time with your children?  When talking to the chiropractors, family stress plays a major role in how effective they are in their practices.  
“Field” is the next F and for you, this is chiropractic.  Chiropractors are notorious for loving and giving their life to their career and the patients they serve, but by year 12-15 many are not trying to figure out how to stay in chiropractic but get out of their clinic.  The most important aspect of helping chiropractors remain strong in this F is to have a plan.  Where do you want to be in chiropractic next year, in five years and in fifteen years?  What is your exit strategy when you are ready to retire?  When you rate this F, rate it based on how passionate you are when you go in the office, how do you feel about your current work load and do you feel that you are getting more out of your career than a paycheck.  
The fifth F is “Faith.”  Do you feel a higher purpose to your life?  Do you feel connected to something bigger than yourself?  Faith can be a touchy subject, but it needs to be hit head on.  The chiropractors that we interviewed that have a strong faith felt more confident and at peace with life.  They felt that their faith, even though never discussed in their practice, brought strength and purpose to their practice.  Rate your faith 1 to 10.
The last two F’s, “Friends” and “Fun”, carry less weight when it comes to practice success, but they need to be rated to give you and overall picture of how balanced and growing your life is.  It is very important to have the right quantity and quality of friends.  It is equally important to get out of the office and enjoy life, pursue your personal passion, have great experiences, create memories and have fun.
Now that you have rated yourself in the 7F’s, where are you weak? What areas need focus? Pick the two or three main areas of your life that are most out of balance, the lowest score, and put a plan in action to balance and grow these areas. If you are 30lbs. overweight and doing well financially, spend some money and time on a fitness regime.  If you are 6% body fat and you car is ready to be reposed, take some energy away from the gym and focus on budgeting and getting your finances together.  When you balance your life, you will feel more deeply fulfilled. Your patients will sense it, your practice will grow and your income will increase. Everything will go to the next level.
Everyone, no matter where you are in life or in practice can improve.  We can all do better and be better.  We can all grow.  You have one chance at life, please don’t settle for mediocrity or wait until it is too late to grab the life and practice of your dreams.  This will serve you better, this will serve patients better, this will serve our profession better. And just maybe, we can finally reach the “other 92%.”
Dr. Dave Braun ([email protected]) and Dr. Troy Amdahl ([email protected]) are co-authors of “Oola: Find Balance in an Unbalanced World.” They also lead the OolaNetwork ( which helps doctors reach the “other 92%” by tapping into the power of social media to market their office, grow their practice and increase their income. As of this writing their three Twitter accounts (@TheOolaLife, @OolaSeeker, @OolaGuru) have a combined following of over 250,000 “flockers.”

Five Ways to Market Your Chiropractic Practice

:dropcap_open:A:dropcap_close:re you looking for new ways to market your chiropractic business? Have you tried traditional methods but have not seen the returns that you were hoping for in your company? Do you need a fresh, new approach to promoting the services you offer? Every business falls into a rut sometimes and when that happens, you have to think of new, creative ways to attract business and potential new clients. 
marketing9Follow this quick guide to learn five new and innovative tips for marketing your chiropractic practice. Sometimes it takes new ideas, and other times it takes returning to tried and true methods that have worked in the past. With a little creativity and good planning, you will be well on your way to bringing in a new season of business.
Tip #1: Create a Website 
If your chiropractic business does not have a website, it needs one. Most clients are going to find you via the web, so hiring a design firm to create a professional website is a worthy investment. A client inherently trusts a company with a professional website, so only design yours if you actually have some professional design skills. Make sure your website is written clearly, has a logo and mission statement, and offers a page detailing the chiropractic services you offer. Also, make sure your contact information is clearly visible on the first page to make it easy for patients to contact you. 
Tip #2: Offer a Promotion for First-Time Visitors
This standard marketing strategy still works. Offer first-time patients a substantially discounted fee for their first visit or two. By doing this, you’ll break down financial barriers if they’re a bit skeptical that chiropractic can help. They also receive a professional introduction to your practice and the services you provide. You can offer this promotion as a downloadable and printable coupon on your website. Just make sure that you’re confident in your business protocols. Otherwise, you’ll struggle with what I call a “mineral oil” practice—new patients come in the front door and out the back due to a lack of solid chiropractic protocols.
Tip #3: Offer Free Services at Malls and Trade Shows
Get your practice out into the public. Set up free stations in malls and at trade shows where you can give quick massages, health assessments, and spinal screenings. Make sure you have a sign-up sheet where visitors can write their contact information to receive future promotions and news from your practice. If you collect e-mail addresses, make sure you include a signed waiver that clearly states that they’re interested in receiving information from you in an electronic format.
Tip #4: Hold a Drawing
At your free services station, also invite future patients to enter their names and contact information into a drawing for the month. This is a great way to promote your business and to draw in future patients. Customers always like a good deal, and you can make them feel like they are getting the most bang for their buck by giving away something entirely free. They may be more willing to sign up for an appointment or two at your practice by doing so.
Tip #5: Utilize Social Media
You may dislike Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. However, the bottom line is that you need social media accounts and you need to learn how to use them to have a business in the twenty-first century. Social media is especially important if you are trying to draw in future patients who are in the teens to thirties age range. People in this age group are avid users of social media. 
You can drum up business on Twitter with pithy sayings, statistics about body alignment and health, and promotions. Post photos and videos on social media to help future patients learn about the services offered at your practice. Begin following the people who “like” you on social media and gather your very own online audience to serve as your fan base that will promote you to their friends on social media channels as well.
Keep this guide of five quick and easy tips for marketing your chiropractic practice with you as you develop your new marketing plan. Promoting any kind of practice is hard work, but with a little effort and creativity, you can market your chiropractic practice and draw in even more new patients before you know it. 
Remember to continue doing what has worked well in the past, but do not be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and utilize technology to promote new business and win over a younger audience. Let potential patients know about the great services you offer by being strategic with your marketing plan. Little steps along the way can lead to a huge impact on your profits and future returns.

Why Should Patients Choose You?

:dropcap_open:W:dropcap_close:hether you are opening a new practice, buying an existing practice, or just working every day to grow, getting new patients and keeping them is a daunting task. Competition is around every corner and simply advertising exceptional chiropractic care isn’t enough anymore. Practice differentiation is the key.
competitiveadvantageThere are a variety of ways to differentiate your practice. Everything has been tried, including trying to choose the perfect location, offering different services, revising clinic layouts, and dress codes or uniforms for staff. However, branding and marketing are two very essential ways to stand out from the competition that every chiropractic practice should consider in order to be successful in today’s competitive, driven market.
Why Branding?
Your brand should do two things very well: tell members of the community who you are and why they should come to you instead of the doctor down the street. Well-developed branding does this by using a combination of elements including your name, tagline, color palette, logo, and even the font you use to create your logo/name. By combining these elements in a properly designed way, you can develop your brand to set your clinic apart and tell the community how you are different and why that is important for them. 
A really good example of this type of educational branding is Dr. Renée Stauffacher with intūn ChiroCare in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. When developing her brand, Dr. Stauffacher wanted to emphasize how she examines, evaluates, and treats each patient very individually. She felt that it was her personalized, individual attention that really set her apart. Dr. Stauffacher developed the tagline “Our Focus is You” to go with the stylized name intūn ChiroCare. She chose a soft, inviting color palette and the layouts of her website and printed materials were written clearly and exude warmth. All of these elements were intentionally developed to create a brand that puts the focus directly back on the patient and not on the doctor. Her brand does exactly what it is supposed to do—it tells her community why it should choose her clinic.
It should go without saying, but I will say it here anyway, any value or trait you personify in your brand has to be genuine. It truly has to be part of who you are and what you offer. If it is simply something you aspire to be and yet never achieve, the brand will become a negative throughout your community.
A well-developed brand identity takes time to establish in an area. Be patient and consistent in your marketing and community touch points. Typically it can take from 5 to10 years of repeated, consistent, well-branded messages for a brand identity to become a recognized community icon. However, once the brand has taken root, it becomes a valuable asset when the time comes to sell the practice. Branding should always be part of your long-term business strategy.
Service Packaging
Look at just about every chiropractic website out there and you will find nearly universal elements: a section on chiropractic care, a “we offer” message, and a well-written doctor bio. Unfortunately, these things don’t really help differentiate you from of the clinic down the street or provide potential patients with a reason to come to your clinic. 
Instead, you need to offer services that go beyond what every other doctor offers and then let the public know why they need those services.
:dropcap_open:Dr. Olson presents his services to seniors and packages it just for them.:quoteleft_close:
Let’s take for example Dr. Leif Olson of Active ChiroCare in Lincoln, Nebraska. Dr. Olson went through all of the branding processes mentioned earlier and then decided to move to a new location. The brand identity that he developed was all about activity, movement, and getting active. So when he changed locations, he invested in some new equipment that allows him to offer additional services that improve core strength and balance as well as treat osteoporosis and other bone issues. 
Now instead of being limited to promoting his practice as just another chiropractic office, he is able to package his services as something more. This has allowed him to appear on local morning television shows as an expert in natural ways to treat bone health issues. His practice went from being one of several chiropractic offices in the area to being one of Lincoln’s only bone health specialty treatment facilities.
Dr. Olson presents his services to seniors and packages it just for them. He discusses how to prevent falls, be stronger, and be more active—exactly what his brand is all about. He has given residents in Lincoln a reason to come to his clinic instead of anyone else’s.
You Can Differentiate Too
Take a look at your brand and how you present your services to the public. As the healthcare market changes, so does the landscape for marketing. Being able to differentiate your practice and give prospective new patients a reason to come to you is key. If you don’t take the steps to stay ahead, your practice will be left behind. 
David Pritt is the owner of ZUZUGroup Branding and Design and Director of New Center Development for BStrong4Life®. He can be reached at [email protected]

Marketing the New Practice

There is a big difference between marketing a new practitioner and marketing an established practitioner.

microphone21Marketing is made up of these elements:

Money: The more money a doctor has, the more he can spend on advertising.

Time: The more free time the doctor has the more one-on-one networking he can do.

Reputation: The longer a doctor has been in his community and the better his reputation, the better his advertising and marketing will work.

Referrals: The more patients a doctor presently has, the more referrals he can stimulate.

Effort: The more effort a doctor is willing to expend to get known in his community, the more his marketing and advertising will produce.

Experience: Almost everyone wants to go to a doctor who is very experienced at caring for their health problems. Almost no one wants to go to a novice.

The established doctor usually has money in the bank, an enhanced ability to borrow money and cash flow from his practice to invest in advertising. A new professional usually has a severe shortage of money; therefore, must market with his time and effort.

A new doctor usually has fewer patients, less money, but more free time than an established doctor. Therefore, he must use his free time to meet more people to make up for his lack of money and reputation. The more time he invests in meeting the public, the more likely he will succeed. The less time he invests in meeting people, the more likely he’ll fail … or starve.

The new doctor has to go from being totally unknown to being extremely well known … quickly! And, that’s a big leap.

The established doctor is usually treating patients all day and doesn’t have the time to circulate throughout his community, but has more money. Therefore, advertising is his best option to attract more new patients.

The established practitioner already has years in his community and has established his reputation. He knows many people and when he advertises, the people that know him or have heard of him, will say, “I’ve heard of this doctor … he has a great reputation.” Then his advertisements will attract many more new patients because of his known reputation.

There is a famous ophthalmologist on the West coast of Florida. He has the reputation of being the “best” in Florida at removing cataracts. He established his practice out in the boondocks…nobody lives there. His office is a 7-story building, like a little hospital. Almost everyone from the West Coast of Florida goes to him to get their cataracts removed. They drive by 50 – 150 other ophthalmologists to get to this doctor. And, yes, he advertises. But, everyone that reads his advertisements also knows his reputation. Therefore, when he places an ad, it attracts many new patients.

No Reputation
Now let’s discuss the new practitioner. Nobody knows him. He has no reputation, so when he advertises, his ads will attract less new patients than the same ads would for a doctor who has an established reputation.

A new doctor has to counter the difference between the established doctor’s reputation and his lack of reputation. He does so by meeting people … not one or two, but hundreds and hundreds. The established doctor knows thousands of people and the new doctor must quickly meet thousands of people if he wants to attract a similar number of people from the community.

Since the new doctor has very few patients, he cannot hope to compete with established doctors on patient referrals. Few patients produce few referrals.

The new doctor, in order to compete with established doctors, has to meet thousands of people and motivate them to know and trust him. Being a “couch potato” waiting for people to come to him won’t work. Instead, a new doctor must invest a massive amount of his time on meeting the people of his community.

Don’t believe for a second that a new practice can become successful without effort … lots of effort. An easier way will not become available.

How a new doctor gets known is usually determined by the doctor’s personality. Some new doctors will do public speaking … most won’t. If this describes you, join Dale Carnegie and Toastmasters.

These organizations will teach and coach you on how to do public speaking. It is not hard to get speeches. Every Civic Club, church, synagogue, mobile home park association and condominium association is looking for speakers. A new doctor could easily be speaking at 4 – 5 clubs per week. The cost is right … nothing! And, the clubs will usually provide lunch.

Scheduling screenings is also an effective way to meet people, but more difficult because the doctor has to look for events in which spinal screenings would be acceptable, like health fairs, home shows, vitamin stores, back product stores, etc.

When a new doctor advertises, his ads should feature the knowledge he has. Remember, a new doctor is competing against doctors with 10 to 20 years of experience. A new doctor can’t say he has 20 years of experience, but he can say that he has the latest knowledge on how to take care of various health problems. The fact that he has the latest knowledge gives him the credentials he needs to compete against the experience of the established practitioners.

Passive Marketing
New practitioners, due to their lack of experience, usually utilize marketing that is passive in nature rather than marketing that would be considered active. Passive marketing is when a doctor does something that doesn’t require him to meet anybody. The passive marketing doctor hopes that someone will react to his passive marketing and become a patient.

Passive marketing is web sites, social media campaigns, PDF advertising, writing articles for magazines and newspapers, sending out emails, direct mail campaigns, fax campaigns … anything that does not involve human contact on the part of the doctor. Unfortunately, passive marketing doesn’t work very well.

Passive marketing also requires a lot of patience on the part of the doctor. It can take days, weeks, months and even years to produce results. If a new doctor has a lot of money in the bank, which most new doctors don’t, he can wait for his passive marketing to work.

Active Marketing
Active marketing is when a doctor meets non-patients and sells himself and his services to the strangers.

If a new doctor wants to generate new patients quickly, he should concentrate on active marketing. This includes public speaking, spinal screenings, one-on-one networking, giving out “How to Lift” and “Heimlich Maneuver” posters, etc.

Many doctors have used their leisure time to do active marketing, eg: playing in softball leagues, coaching Little League, football, being a team doctor, etc. These activities can produce an instant flow of new patients when done professionally and effectively.

Active marketing takes “guts.” Passive marketing is for the wimp. In essence, active marketing is doing the activities the passive doctor doesn’t want to do and is unwilling to do. Active marketing chiropractors are more successful than passive marketing chiropractors. Which are you?

In summary, the established doctor, not having available time, yet having experience and a good reputation should concentrate on advertising and referrals to market his practice.

The new practitioner, who is usually short on money, experience and reputation, should concentrate on active marketing techniques that require time and effort. When he does advertise, he should only use ads that are professionally designed and with the advice of a new-practice coach who can direct him on what advertisements work best and where to place them.

Dr. Peter G. Fernandez is known as the “Start-Up Coach” and is the world’s authority on starting a practice.  He has written 20 books and over 200 articles on starting a practice, and has consulted in the opening of over 3,000 new practices.  This experience has revealed what students and doctors need to know to start a successful practice.  Please contact Dr. Fernandez at The Practice Starters® Program – 10733 57th Avenue North, Seminole, Florida, 33772; 1-800-882-4476; [email protected] or visit

How to Make Your Marketing More Effective

:dropcap_open:I:dropcap_close:f I were to say Mercedes-Benz, would it conjure an image of an expensive, reliable, and safe car? What if I asked you about the qualities of the Red Roof Inn versus the Ritz Carlton Hotel? Do they look different in your mind’s eye? How about your clinic? What image comes to the public’s mind when someone mentions your name or your clinic’s name?
marketingmoreeffectiveMarketing for businesses has changed quite a bit over the past thirty years. Advances in technology and marketing techniques have allowed businesses to take advantage of better market penetration at lower costs.
Compare marketing techniques of general businesses to chiropractic marketing and you will see that we employ virtually all of the same methods used in the late 1970s when Dr. Jim Parker revolutionized our profession. If you have been practicing for more than ten years, what are you doing differently in marketing that is fresh and new? Are you still doing health care classes, patient appreciation dinners, monthly events, and screenings? Are you performing them differently than in years prior? More importantly, are you getting consistently good results that lead to more quality new patients?
This article will discuss some steps that you can take to improve marketing efforts. I teach my clients that a strategist will slaughter a tactician every time. This is why I teach my clients to deploy strategic-based marketing instead of tactical- based marketing. Let’s explore the two methods.
Most chiropractors are familiar with the technique of tactical-based marketing. Do a health care class, do a screening, do a patient appreciation dinner, and do a newsletter. In short, throw enough stuff against the wall and hope something sticks. While that methodology might have served our profession well in previous economic times, in this economy it won’t work as well, and maybe not at all.
Strategic-based marketing takes all of the methods from above and creates specific marketing campaigns that have a beginning, middle, and end. The campaigns are measurable to make sure that they accomplish what they set out to do, as well as giving you a return on investment in either time, money, or both.
To illustrate the two techniques, let me give you some examples. Let’s say that you want to do an e-mail marketing campaign. A tactician will develop or buy an e-mail marketing list and send out a thousand e-mails to prospects describing his wonderful services. The tactician now feels that he is marketing via e-mail, and that is correct. The real questions, though, are about the quality and effectiveness of the marketing. How is it being measured? How can it be tweaked and improved? On what basis would you tweak or change it?
A strategist implementing an e-mail marketing campaign first determines what strategies to deploy before the first message is ever sent. Will this campaign be for brand awareness or the procurement of new patients? Will the target group be headache sufferers or lower back pain sufferers, or both? Will they be in an age demographic of 30-40 year olds, or one of 70-80 year olds? What type of follow-up will come after the campaign? How often will the follow-up occur? How will results be tracked to know if the desired response and return on investment (ROI) are reached? Once a strategist answers those very important questions and sets up a tracking system, then it is time for the actual deployment of the technique or strategy.
:dropcap_open:Like it or not, chiropractic is a personality-driven business.:quoteleft_close: 
Like it or not, chiropractic is a personality-driven business. What that means is people buy you, not chiropractic. It is vastly different for medicine. When someone goes to a medical doctor, the patient buys the field of medicine, not necessarily the practitioner. Think about patients who come to you complaining that their medical office staff was mean or rude and kept them waiting for hours. You politely ask, “Why do you go back?” They reply, “Because the doctor is really good.” What if we kept our patients waiting or our staff was mean or rude? Not only would that patient not return, but also that person may never go to any chiropractor again because all chiropractors must be bad. That is what I mean when I say chiropractic is a personality-driven business—people buy the chiropractor not necessarily the field of chiropractic.
When you market a chiropractic practice, I want you to think of yourself as being a politician. How does a politician get people to vote for him? He goes out and tells his message to as many people as possible. He uses radio, television, billboards, books, late-night talk shows, direct mail, e-mail, etc. Now we probably don’t have the budget or skill sets to do radio or TV or go on a late-night talk show. However, we have plenty of methods within our financial means to get our message out there.

You may utilize the following checklist to help your marketing efforts:

  • Determine your “end game.” What do you want to see happen as a result of the expenditure of time and money put into this marketing campaign?
  • Create a measurable beginning, middle, and end to ensure that goals are being met.
  • Have a specific goal in mind for the campaign. Don’t just say, “I want new patients.”
  • Create budgets and stick to them.
  • Measure your ROI. If you fail to get a return, either tweak your campaign or abandon it. Don’t throw good money after bad.
  • Create a minimum of five and preferably ten independent strategic-based marketing campaigns.
  • Create meaningful ongoing follow-ups.
  • Determine every objection that can possibly come up and create an answer to the objection.
  • Expect your campaign to work—85% of what we get is what we expect.
  • Keep expanding and improving your campaigns.

I have good news and bad news. First, here is the bad news: this economy is unforgiving. The success of your marketing efforts will determine the success of your practice. The good news, though, is that the economy is not good. A bad economy causes more stress for people. As you know, stress causes subluxation. We are the only health care providers that fix subluxation. Do you think if you marketed your practice properly, with the profession also being marketed properly, chiropractors could thrive? I know we can because every day I coach successful chiropractors that are getting sick people well and creating a great economic life at the same time. Don’t give up—you can do it too!

Dr. Paul S. Inselman, President of Inselmancoaching, is an expert at teaching chiropractors how to build honest, ethical, integrity-based practices based on sound business principles. From 2008-2012 his clients’ practices grew an average rate of 145% while the general profession was down 28%. His twenty-six years of clinical experience coupled with ten years of professional coaching has allowed him to help hundreds of chiropractors throughout the nation. He can be reached at 1-888-201-0567 or [email protected]

3 Marketing Mistakes That Lead to Chiropractor Burnout

: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. 
mistakeoopsThat’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: or call 802-310-0130

Marketing, Keep Your Actual Patients First

Marketing: Keep your actual patients first.
:dropcap_open:D:dropcap_close:uring my 22 years of experience working in chiropractic offices, I have seen offices growing with just 10 new patients per month, while some others need 50 new patients per month to grow.  Why is that?  It really depends on how you manage your new patients versus your actual active patients. Basically, it is no use to spend tons of money to attract new patients if they do not accept your care or drop your care prematurely. Before you make your next marketing plan and allow a big budget to achieve it, make sure you have a plan for your existing patients and new patients. Your management software is a great tool to use in that plan.
doctorpatientxrayconsultNew patients should accept your care and recommendations.
You have a new patient and his exams are clearly showing that he needs intensive chiropractic care.  You are convincing and give him all possible explanations.  In your mind, he is in.  But in reality, he may not be. He won’t tell you, but he may never come back, and most of the time it has nothing to do with your explanations or exams. He might be convinced by his spouse when he arrives home. Or he may see an article against chiropractic in general. You don’t believe that this is happening to you right now? Go into your actual management software and print the list of all new patients within the last 3 months who had 1 or 2 visits in your office. Make sure you are well seated before you do this. Then pull out their patient files and try to remember these patients.  You will probably find there are more patients than you think and will be very surprised at who has not been following your care recommendations. Don’t get negative at this point; use this list to fix the problem instead.  Try to find out why they quit before starting care.  And then make sure your presentation of care to your new patients improves.  First, make sure new patients have a great first impression of the office and staff. Make sure a new patient has a nice office tour that shows him everything you have to help him for recovering his health. Put simply: Impress him. Second, make sure you have good communication with the new patient.  The more you know about him, the more trust will be built between the patient and yourself.  Every month, generate a list of new patients with 1 or 2 visits and make a regular analysis. This will take only a few minutes per month, but it will help you maximize your new patient conversions on a regular basis.
Prevent Actual Patients From  Dropping Care Prematurely.
:dropcap_open:When the doctor talks about the next appoint-ment to the patient, he may detect a hesitation from him.:quoteleft_close: 
When patients start thinking about dropping their care, they will not tell you anything.  But patients will show clear signs before dropping their care. One of the signs is when they leave without scheduling their next appointment. Most chiropractic software automatically tells you if your patient has another appointment or not. If not, the doctor should talk to the patient about it and make sure the patient will stop at the front desk to schedule his next appointment.  The doctor should do this, not the chiropractic assistant. When the doctor talks about the next appointment to the patient, he may detect a hesitation from him. If this happens, the doctor should ask more questions to make sure that everything is going well and the patient is really committed to his chiropractic care.  The doctor has knowledge and power that the chiropractic assistance does not have, and this is normal.
What is the use of running after new patients if you are not maximizing the care for the ones you have now?  If you keep losing more active patients than the new ones you gain, your practice will shrink.  Sometimes, we put so much energy into generating calls to the office that we forget about the patients we have, and analyzing existing patient data can be a key element for growing your practice.  
Claude Cote  is an expert in EHR systems, insurance billing and chiropractic clinic management for 22 years.  He has installed EHR system in 18 countries over 5 continents and nationwide in USA.  He is the President and Founder of Platinum System C.R. Corp (  For comments or questions, please email to [email protected] 

Social Media Marketing for Chiropractors

:dropcap_open:C:dropcap_close:hiropractors now have access to a broad range of powerful social media marketing tools, the same tools that helped topple dictatorships in the Middle East. What Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube did and are doing for social causes and concerns worldwide, they can do for your practice in terms of marketing and acquiring new business. Thanks to the Internet, social media offers unlimited marketing opportunities at very low cost. The only real limits are time and imagination.
socialmedia2Your Website
Your practice’s website is the foundation for your online presence and all your social media marketing activities. When a new visitor (and potential future patient) arrives at your website’s home page, it’s as if that person was walking through your office front door for the first time. You want to make a positive, professional, lasting impression. There are several key strategies for creating such an experience.
First, a well-designed and inviting home page captures your visitors’ attention and interest. “Content is king” is a time-honored principle of Internet marketing. Your site’s internal content – informative, useful articles that add value to user experience – causes your visitors to return again and again to your site. The ultimate result is brand loyalty. In other words, your visitors become loyal to you – and when your site visitor or a family member has a health problem, he or she will think of you and your chiropractic services.
You want to speak clearly and directly to your visitor’s perceived needs. Key content items include a succinct professional biography; your practice’s location, hours of operation, and contact information; treatment recommendations for selected common conditions such as headache, back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome; and important value-added content such as exercise protocols and nutritional guides. Content must be compelling, unique, and specific to your region. For example, an article on preventing surfing injuries would not be suitable for practices located in Kansas or Nebraska. Similarly, content offering tips on staying fit throughout cold Northeast winters would not be helpful for visitors based in southern California. You get the idea.
Search Engine Optimization
It’s important to consider where your visitors are going to come from before you begin creating your site content. Some of your visitors may be current patients and others may visit your site after having been given your business card. Others will arrive via Google search, provided your site content has been “optimized”. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the term given to activities that raise your site in Google search rankings and possibly cause your site, over time, to be listed on the first page of search results.
The most effective SEO activity is to focus on one or two “keyword phrases” and include either or both in every content page posted to your site. As a basic example, if you want to be found by people searching for a chiropractor in San Diego who treats sports injuries, include the keyword phrases “San Diego” and “sports injuries” in your text. Over time, as you con sistently increase the number of content pages on your site, your position in Google search for those keyword phrases will consistently improve.
Social Marketing
Facebook, Google+ and Twitter have become powerful social marketing tools and can help increase your brand awareness and patient base. By providing truly valuable and unique information on a consistent basis, your Facebook, Google+ and Twitter feeds will attract new “friends” and “followers” and your brand (your practice) will become recognizable and familiar. Over time, many of these contacts will convert in one way or another into patients in your office.
Media Marketing
“Internet time” moves very fast. A human “generation” is 25 years, but if an Internet industry has a lot of buzz, generations can turn over in 6 months or less. Media marketing is such a phenomenon. A not-so-new platform is YouTube, but even though this service is ancient from the perspective of Internet time, its importance continues to grow. YouTube is constantly expanding its reach and upgrading the organization of its listings. You can post numerous content-rich videos featuring all aspects of your practice. Now that HD cameras are affordable, YouTube provides the opportunity to reach a targeted audience with professional-quality video.
Managed Services
Building a website. Creating valuable, useful, entertaining content. Managing your Facebook, Google+ and Twitter accounts. This sounds like a great deal of work. In fact, social marketing is notoriously time intensive. Luckily, outside firms are available to manage your social media presence and help maximize your connections to targeted Internet communities. When you hire such a company, you’re hiring the equivalent of decades of experience and expertise in social media and social marketing, helping ensure that your Internet presence turns into increased volumes of new and repeat business in your thriving chiropractic practice.
Dr. David Lemberg has a decade of experience in Internet content development and marketing. He fondly remembers the long-ago days of DOS-based Internet email and iconic UNIX Internet tools such as archie and gopher. For additional information on how to create an effective social media marketing program for your practice, please contact [email protected]

Catch and Release Patient Testimonials: What’s in Your Net – Office?

:dropcap_open:C:dropcap_close:hances are you learned early on in your practice how effective patient referrals and testimonials are in bringing new chiropractic patients into your office. Marketing reports state that 90% of people believe and are influenced by the recommendations of people they know.  70% of people act on comments and reviews they read online.  The evidence is clear; consumers do listen to the personal experiences and recommendations of others. It’s no wonder Amazon and other companies pester us for review comments after we’ve made a purchase online. If it didn’t have a positive marketing impact, they wouldn’t bother.

catchandreleaseAre your patients spreading the word of wellness inside and outside your office? How are you capturing those heart-felt endorsements and utilizing them to resound again and again? Like a concert hall with great acoustics, you can make your patients’ voices resonate the beautiful message of wellness with chiropractic care to the community you serve.

How Patient Testimonials Fuel a Cash Practice

In this economy, running a successful 100% cash practice in a big city with so much competition is no small feat.  Dr. Stephanie Maj explains how she runs a successful cash practice in Chicago. “In a cash practice, relationships are the fuel that propels growth. People pay out of their pocket because they know they are in a place they can heal. How do they know that? Patient referrals attract people to our clinic. This is a big reason why the use of testimonials is so important. It teaches patients how to tell their chiropractic story.  I practice in a large city with constant streams of advertising trying to capture consumers. People want to have some idea they can trust their choices. Again, testimonials help assure a new patient that they are in the right place. It educates both new and existing patients to other conditions we help people with in our office, especially non-musculoskeletal issues such as pregnancy and pediatrics.”

Catching and Releasing Patient Testimonials In-Office

Dr. Stephanie Maj told us how vital patient testimonials are in running her cash chiropractic practice in Chicago. So, I asked her to further explain how she captures and utilizes them. Her effective, practical methods follow.

Patient of the Month- “We ask one of our ideal patients to be our patient of the month. That person’s photo and patient testimonial is hung in the reception room and announced in our newsletter.”

Testimonial Wall and Contest- “We have a wall of patient testimonials hung in our examination room, for new patients to read while waiting for the doctor. Twice a year we have a contest where we ask patients to write testimonials. We put them up in the office. All the patients get to vote on them; the winner gets a prize and we get people reading about how great we are and we also get a fresh crop of testimonials to use.”

(Dr. Maj has been in practice as a DC for more than 15 years. She is the author of the book You Can Be Well and owner of Community Chiropractic, Inc. in Chicago. In addition to having 2 full-time DCs on staff, the practice offers specialties in pregnancy and pediatric, massage, acupuncture, orthotics, weight loss and nutrition and yes, it all runs on a cash basis.)

Catching and Releasing Patient Testimonials:  in Binders, on Video, Power Point, and Live Presentations

testimonialsThe waiting room is the ideal place to put patient testimonials to work in a variety of ways.

Keep patient testimonial forms on hand for grateful patients to write their story or comments and return to your staff.  Place testimonials in page protectors and compile in a binder for new patients to pick up and read. Or, post on a bulletin board.

Videos are a wonderfully quick way to convey chiropractic success! Turn off the TV and use that large screen to advance your practice.  Record patient testimonials and play the videos in the waiting room. In addition to showing these in your office, post patient testimonial videos or links to your website, Facebook page and Twitter. If you aren’t video savvy, contact the nearest college to solicit student assistance with your filming projects.

In the following testimonial video, an actual patient tells her remarkable account of going from wheelchair to skates in a week, after receiving chiropractic care from Dr. Frank Kaden, of Kaden Chiropractic in Hermosa Beach, CA. This video clearly demonstrates the potential patient testimonials can have in influencing others to seek chiropractic care.  Watch Dr. Kaden’s video to inspire you to start recording your own. 

Power Point Presentations are yet another way to utilize the big screen as a chiropractic tool.  Type patient testimonials and compose a PowerPoint  presentation.  Display in the waiting room, for everyone to watch.

Live Testimonials. If you offer community classes, screenings, or in-office workshops, invite a patient to give a brief, live testimonial to the collective group of prospective new patients, telling how chiropractic has improved his or her health and quality of life.

In this article, we’ve looked primarily at utilizing patient testimonials within the office environment.  However, testimonials can greatly assist in marketing your chiropractic business outside the office as well. We’ll share those methods in a future issue.  In the meantime, stay tuned and start collecting patient testimonials. If you’ve found innovative ways to use patient testimonials in marketing, I’d love to read your ideas.


Deborah Tukua is an author, natural health and chiropractic writer, and owner of Chiropractors’ Write Hand, a service specializing in aligning DCs with weekly, healthy-living posts for Facebook and other social media platforms, Deborah may also be contacted at [email protected] or

Five Easy Steps to Improving your Social Media Marketing

socialmedia:dropcap_open:S:dropcap_close:ocial media has taken over our lives. A company website used to be enough to increase awareness, build a customer base, and deliver your message- those days are long gone. With social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ available today, it would be a tragedy not to take advantage of this seemingly unconventional method of marketing. Customers today want to be able to connect with you in a variety of ways, to see you’re active across multiple platforms, and get real reviews of your services from friends and other social media users. The chiropractic business is no exception. Choosing to implement social media marketing will give your business the edge it needs to compete in a generation of “friends, followers, and circles.” Five easy steps your Chiropractic business can take to improve its social media marketing will make it so that you can start reaping the benefits social marketing can offer today.

Step 1: Setup & customize Facebook

facebookSetting up and customizing a Facebook page for your chiropractic business is incredibly simple, and it’s a great way to interact with your patients. Facebook is all about “friends” and “Likes.” As a business, you want Facebook users to “like” your page, which allows you to communicate with them directly. Information you post on your page is relayed to those people who have Liked you, and thus an easy information exchange occurs. Your presence within the Facebook community expands further because users who have already Liked your page can easily share information about your business with all of their Facebook friends.

Facebook is a versatile tool for businesses because of the ease with which multiple layers of Facebook can be created. Multiple layers refers to additional information beyond the normal details of your business, such as address, hours, services offers, etc. Fan-gating and the integration of a shopping page are two examples of added Facebook layers. Fan-gating refers to the practice of allowing certain information, often promotions, to be visible only to users who have Liked your page. This encourages more Likes for your page, while simultaneously creating interest in your business. It is also important to ensure your Facebook and website to have a consistent theme/design and overall message. This creates a sense of unity for your customer base and adds a degree of professionalism to your Facebook account. Be sure all of your information across the various social media platforms, including your website, is consistent.

Step 2: Setup & customize Twitter

twitter2Twitter is another social media platform that has become incredibly popular in the past few years. Setting up a Twitter account is even more simplistic than setting up your Facebook account. The difference between these two platforms is the way you share information. When using Twitter, you are quickly sharing small snippets of information with your followers multiple times per day. These small snippets are due to the restrictions of the Twitter platform, which allow you only 140 characters to relay your message. It is possible to Tweet- the term used to describe a post on Twitter-as many times per day as you desire. With Twitter, you want to accumulate followers, just as you want to increase Likes on Facebook. To make your Twitter page stand out, it is important to have a custom themed background. This should be similar to the theme used for your website and other social media platforms. Be sure to include your standard business information, including phone number, website, and email address.

Step 3: Setup & customize Google+

googleplusGoogle+ is a newer social media platform that is already “making waves in the industry.” . Google+ is based on the accumulation of “friends,” similar to Facebook; however you can then group friends into Circles which control what information you share with certain people. Google +1 is a feature available on Google, similar to the Facebook Like button that allows customers to give you their seal of approval. You want to increase the number of +1 clicks you get to expand your business’ presence on this platform. The likeness between these two platforms allows Google+ to be as competitive as Facebook, making it an important social media platform for your chiropractic business. As with all other social media platforms, it is important to customize your Google+ account and include your business’ standard information.

Step 4: Auto post to Facebook and Twitter from blog

blogIf your business has a blog, and it should, link your blog to your Facebook and Twitter accounts so that every time you publish a new blog post, it will automatically be added to your Facebook and Twitter pages. This is a quick and easy way to increase connectivity between your social media outlets.

Step 5: Add social media links and Google+ to website

socialmedialinksAfter you have set up all of your social media accounts, it is important to add links to these accounts on your company website. It is always important to show customers that you have a following on social media sites, are responsive to your followers, and care about being involved in their lives. The key to successful social media marketing is having a strong presence on a variety of platforms, keeping your information updated, and constantly interacting with your followers.


Joseph Kellogg is the CEO of Chiropractic Marketing 360, a web design  and internet marketing firm geared towards helping chiropractic  businesses grow.   Mr. Kellogg has been in the business marketing world  for over 27 years and is a co-founder of Madwire Media, a finalist for  Colorado’s Business of the Year 2011 award. 855-773-8169  [email protected]