Gotcha! You just fell for the oldest marketing trick in the book: an outrageous, greedy claim that leads to a bait & switch.
It's a cheesy, sophomoric marketing technique that gets used against chiropractors all the time by chiropractic marketing and website companies. They lure chiropractors in by playing to your desire for more patients, they hype you up with statistics and flashy graphics, then they back you into a corner and eventually bill you for several thousand dollars. What you get in exchange are a few pieces of useful advice (available free online) and a bit of unnecessary technical wizardry.
There are exceptions to this rule but they're few and far between.
But it's not just the marketers and hucksters who sink to using the outrageous, greedy bait & switch! Lots of chiropractors also use this technique in a desperate attempt to attract more patients. I won't point fingers but I've seen some ludicrous claims about cancer cures, miracles, and SIDS. These extreme cases of marketing exploitation undermine the credibility of chiropractic.
Great marketing is really simple - provide the best product at the best price and go out of your way to make your clients happy. As a chiropractor, you don't have to "sell" anything. The service you provide is invaluable and if you successfully educate your community, you'll have no shortage of patients.
Here are 5 ideas to help get you started:
1. Deepen your community participation by joining a service organization, volunteering your services on a regular basis, and doing lots of community education. You won't see results immediately but think of this as a long-term investment. Community involvement is the key to success.
2. Give your patients more than they expect. Every patient expects high-quality care, friendly staff, a nice waiting room, modern techniques, and clear results. You have to do more than that if you want to stand out. Call your most valuable patients on their birthdays, give away movie tickets randomly, and have your staff offer patients a drink while they wait. Go the extra mile and they'll tell their friends.
3. Make it easy for patients to review you online. Review sites like Yelp and Google Places are more important than ever and you need a steady stream of positive reviews. Offer your patients a gift card, movie ticket, or raffle prize in exchange for an honest review. If I see a chiropractor with 10 positive reviews and another chiropractor with 80 positive reviews, which do you think I'll choose?
4. Goof around on Facebook. I don't recommend playing games but I do recommend participating in random conversations, congratulating people on their anniversaries, and commenting on interesting pictures. Facebook is a great way to quickly connect with hundreds (or thousands) of people in your community. A word of warning: don't ever "sell" anything. Nothing is more annoying than the salesman who walks around a dinner party trying to pitch his business. Participate in the Facebook community in the same ways you'd participate in any real-life social event and you'll reap the benefits. Another warning: it takes months of participation and interaction to see concrete results from Facebook but the results are surprising and worthwhile. Being successful can be fun!
5. Get people in the door, even if you're not making a fortune off them. Dr Josh Koenig, from Plymouth, has been offering 1/hr massages for $19 and has had a steady stream of people coming through his doors. Most of these people won't immediately convert into patients but he's building positive relationships and getting his name out in the community. The majority of these people will eventually need chiropractic care and, when they do, guess who they'll think of? It's a smart investment.
These strategies won't create a swarm of new clients overnight, or make patients return 45 times, or generate $50,000 per month.
These strategies will make you a prominent and respected member of your community with a tribe of loyal patients and supporters.