Just as there are a host of problems an insurance based practice must contend with on a daily basis, a cash practice that offers ‘membership’ as a way to pay for services, comes with its own set of obstacles and issues.
The good news is they are far, far less than those of an office that accepts 3rd party payments.
I know – I’ve practiced on both sides of the fence.
Regardless of whether you have an insurance, cash, membership or practice transitioning from one to the other, one common concern doesn’t change.
How can I build a bigger patient base?
The formula is the same for everyone: Retain existing patients and Get new patients through the door.
Today let’s focus on an overview of getting new patients through the door.
There are 3 general approaches to promoting your office.
1. External Marketing
2. Internal Marketing
3. Online Marketing
For a new or struggling practice there is really only one simple and affordable way to get people through your door… Go Get Em!
Whether calling local businesses or schools to offer yourself as a free speaker on the topic of improving spine health or finding the spinal screening opportunities in your area, you should always be looking.
And remember this Chiropractic Marketing Rule of Thumb…
The more Face to Face the Marketing is, the Better it Works
To jump-start my first few offices I spent literally 2 to 3 weekends a month at some type of event in the community. Whether by myself or with the associate doctor in that clinic, I was there. I was there to make sure it ran right and realized optimal success.
For a cash or and particularly a cash/membership practice the ‘trick’ to making your marketing stand out is focusing on how your office is different from the insurance based practice along with any other features that make you unique. For my Express Chiropractic offices we don’t take appointments and cater more to the maintenance and wellness niche. We promote this heavily to make sure we always stand out as something different.
Internal marketing is a tricky subject. At first glance it seems simple but in reality it is quite complex.
First let’s define it for our purposes. Internal marketing includes any promotion of your practice that is focused on existing patients.
So the question is when does that start?
It starts the second they walk into your office. From the way your front office assistant says “hello” to the look, feel and smell of your interior, that practice is either making a positive or negative impression on the people patronizing it.
Beyond the perceived office image, there is what you say to the patient on the consult, how you recommend their care and even the conversations you have on subsequent visits – it is ALL either promoting or not promoting your practice in a positive fashion.
And speaking of promoting your office, do you do it?
Do you have a set protocol and scripts that ensure every patient is asked for referrals and online reviews?
If not, you should.
A simple ‘Asking for Reviews and Referrals’ internal promotion protocol is your single least expensive and most effective marketing you can do for your office.
Wow Bob! that’s awesome how much your life has improved with chiropractic in it. If you know of anyone that could benefit from chiropractic please let ’em know!
There are many ways you can internally market your office such as Patient Appreciation Days, Referral Giveaways and Internal Promotions.
And just as with External Marketing, you should be looking ahead figuring out what you will do next month and the month after that to stimulate referrals from existing patients.
Online marketing is a beast. It is a vast ever changing sea of marketing potential and confusion.
There are three basic ways you should market your business online.
• Social Media Marketing – Create a page for your business on as many social sites as possible and then interact with people that follow you
• Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Create as much unique content as possible (such as this article is for me) and post it everywhere you can. Include a link (web address) that when clicked will take the person to your website.
• Paid Ads (think Google Ads) – Create ads on search engines that are tied to key words such as ‘chiropractor (your city).’ When people put your chosen key words into the search field, your short ad with a catchy headline will show up in the results.
The impact marketing your business online can have should ensure you of one thing… you will never run out of marketing angles.
Just as with External Chiropractic Marketing, you should always make an effort to highlight the differences between your practice and a traditional office coupled with HOW those different FEATURES provide unique or better BENEFITS to the prospective patients in your community.
Marketing your office consistently and professionally is one of the most important components of creating a stable and profitable business.
If you have a new practice or are struggling, your marketing should be in high gear which means you are seeking every cost effective way to get in front of people. When you are busier slow it down a little and save the money. Regardless you should always be promoting your practice in multiple ways while always targeting your specific niche and highlighting why your office is ‘different’ than every other chiropractor in town.
That in and of itself is the magic formula to successfully promoting your cash or membership chiropractic office.