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The Ultimate Chiropractic Marketing Guide

Unlike most other healthcare professionals, your income as a chiropractor largely hinges on skills that you did not or will not learn in college. Like it or not, if you want to be a successful chiropractor, if you want to help a lot of people and make a good living doing it, you are going to need to know a thing or two about chiropractic marketing.

Sure, I realize you didn’t go to school for that. I realize that you just want to be a chiropractor and not a marketer. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that for most chiropractors. The harsh reality for most chiropractors is that they won’t ever get the chance to help a lot of people and make a good living if they never learn the ins and outs of chiropractic marketing. Chiropractic marketing is essentially the doorway to the practice (and career) of your dreams.

Start Here...

So you’re a chiropractor, you realize how important chiropractic marketing is, and you are wondering where you should start. Great. I can help with that. The simple answer is you should start at the beginning. You really need to understand the basics of chiropractic marketing before you move on to picking and implementing chiropractic marketing ideas.

But that’s not what most chiropractors do. Most chiropractors are guilty of trying to skip steps. They try to implement chiropractic marketing ideas without understanding chiropractic marketing. I get it. By the time the average chiropractor realizes that they need to know more about chiropractic marketing, they are already in practice…probably struggling. That stinks.

So what do they do? They do what everyone does these days when they are looking for an answer…they Google it. The desperate chiropractor gets on their computer and does a search for “chiropractic marketing” or “chiropractic marketing ideas.” (That might even be how you found this article.)

Good News (sort of)...

There is no shortage of ideas and tools that you can use to help grow your practice. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. There are so many chiropractic marketing ideas, suggestions, and tools that it is overwhelming. You will find 65 Chiropractic Marketing Ideas, The Top 10 Chiropractic Marketing Ideas, Chiropractic Marketing Ideas for 2017, Chiropractic Marketing Ideas for 2018, chiropractic marketing ads, chiropractic marketing tools, chiropractic marketing websites, chiropractic marketing funnels, chiropractic marketing EVERYTHING.

Implementing chiropractic marketing ideas/strategies without really understanding chiropractic marketing will sometimes work short-term, but it never works long-term. That’s because things change…I guarantee that. Actually, things are changing faster now than they ever have in chiropractic marketing history.

A chiropractic marketing idea that works well now, may or may not work well a year from now. If you understand chiropractic marketing, you can adapt to changes. You can pivot. You can modify. That’s what all successful businesses do. 

It's Frustrating...

If you don’t understand chiropractic marketing, you will be stuck scrambling. You have to buy the next latest and greatest chiropractic marketing program and hope that it will work. You have to find a new chiropractic marketing expert to throw money at and hope that he’s not going to over-promise and under-deliver.

In the long run, when you DO NOT take the time to really understand chiropractic marketing, you end up implementing random chiropractic marketing ideas without a method to your madness. The end result is your chiropractic practice is vulnerable to marketing changes, it costs you more money, and it’s a SUPER frustrating way to run a business (which is what your practice is).

The Point Is...

The point of this article is to help chiropractors better understand chiropractic marketing. My intention isn’t to go over every possible chiropractic marketing idea out there. My intention is to introduce to you chiropractic marketing concepts/principles that will better equip you to understand your chiropractic marketing and help you make better chiropractic marketing decisions going forward. Sound good? Let’s get started.

Most Important Concept...

Most of the concepts that I will talk about in this article are not in any particular order of importance. You can pick and choose which chiropractic marketing concept is most important to you and apply that information to your marketing.

This first concept is not like the rest. It is the starting point for all chiropractors who are hoping to better understand their chiropractic marketing. If you really grab ahold of this concept, it will affect all aspects of your chiropractic marketing and your practice in general. It’s that important.

Become The Trusted Go-To Chiropractor In Your Area

Chiropractic Marketing Concept #1: Know Your Perfect Patient

chiropractic marketing manifesto know your perfect patient

In the marketing world, this concept is known as identifying your avatar. No, I’m not talking about the giant blue people from the movie. I’m talking about being crystal clear about who you are trying to help.

A lot of chiropractors have never really thought about it. Often times when I ask a chiropractor who it is that they help or who is their perfect patient, I get some version of what I call the “Anyone with a spine” answer.

The problem with that answer is that it’s not true. There isn’t a single chiropractor in the world who helps “Anyone with a spine.” Even if we narrowed it down to “Anyone with a spine who’s within driving distance of my practice”, that wouldn’t be good enough.

There are a LOT of people who have a spine and are within driving distance of your office who are a bad fit for your chiropractic practice. You wouldn’t want them even if they showed up with cash in hand.

Chiropractic Marketing Nightmare...

From a chiropractic marketing standpoint, if you believe that you are trying to attract EVERYONE with a spine, you have to take a shotgun approach to marketing. You have to try and appeal to everyone. You have to try to be everywhere.

You have to have services, products, a fee structure, and hours that appeal to everyone. You have to have a message that everyone is on board with. You have to have a website that appeals to everyone. You have to say “Yes” to every speaking opportunity, community event, networking group, and marketing strategy.

Cheapest Chiropractor In Town...

Generally, a business that tries to appeal to everyone ends up appealing to no one. Your practice will most likely be no different. If you don’t take the time to identify your ideal patient, your chiropractic marketing message won’t attract anyone in particular, and you will end up becoming a commodity. At that point, your chiropractic marketing becomes exclusively about price. You have to play the “Cheapest chiropractor in town game.” Trust me. You don’t want to play that game.

Be Specific...

When I talk to chiropractors about the importance of identifying their perfect patient, often they wonder how specific they should be. In a perfect world, you identify a single person as your perfect patient. That person becomes the jumping off point for all of your chiropractic marketing. Let me explain.

It’s always easier to start super specific with your ideal patient and broaden out how you apply that to your chiropractic marketing vs starting broad with your chiropractic marketing and trying to narrow down to your ideal patient.

Let’s say that your perfect patient’s name is Jennifer. She’s 43 years old. She has 3 kids still living at home. She has a household income of 120k. She’s a runner. She’s active in her church. She’s a first-time chiropractic patient.

If you know that, it really helps you simplify your chiropractic marketing. Instead of trying to do everything and appeal to everyone, you start implementing chiropractic marketing ideas and strategies that appeal to Jennifer.

Yes, there is a point where you can be too specific when it comes to applying the perfect patient concept to your chiropractic marketing. I even talked about it on one of my podcasts, so I won’t repeat all that here. But like I said before, it’s always easier to start specific and expand your chiropractic marketing than it is to go the other way. Trust me, if you really get this concept it will make your chiropractic marketing and your practice in general so much better.

Chiropractic Marketing Concept #2: Internal Vs External Vs Retention

chiropractic marketing manifesto internal external retention

If you were to make a giant list of anything and everything chiropractic marketing, it will end up being a bit overwhelming. That’s what happens when you get these Top 100 chiropractic marketing lists. It’s too much. Something that can help simplify and organize your marketing options is to divide your chiropractic marketing into categories.

There are a lot of different ways to categorize your chiropractic marketing. There is online vs offline. There is paid vs free. There is DIY vs done-for-you. There is custom vs canned. The list of categories is seemly endless.

Most of the different categories for chiropractic marketing are actually sub-categories. They all fall under the 3 main chiropractic marketing categories which are internal chiropractic marketing, external chiropractic marketing, and retention chiropractic marketing.  So let’s start there.

Internal Chiropractic Marketing...

Internal chiropractic marketing is any marketing you do in your practice that is designed to help your practice grow from the inside out. Simple examples of internal chiropractic marketing are referral packets, patient giveaways/contests, or online reviews acquisition. Most of the time when someone talks about internal chiropractic marketing, they are talking about patient referrals.

Yes, patient referrals are a big part of internal marketing, but that’s not the only part. There are many ways that you can leverage your existing patient base to help you help more people. Some ways are more direct than others, but anytime you are leveraging your existing patient base to help you grow, you are internally marketing.

Badge Of Honor...

Many chiropractors consider internal chiropractic marketing to be the gold standard for chiropractic marketing. I have talked to many chiropractors who brag about their “referral practice” and how they don’t spend any money on external marketing. It’s almost like a weird badge of honor.

While I do agree that having a practice that is sustained by referrals is probably the best scenario for most chiropractors, that fact doesn’t in any way make external marketing a bad thing. From a business standpoint, you should be far more concerned about the return on investment (ROI) and net profit than you are about whether your patients are coming from internal chiropractic marketing or external chiropractic marketing.

Size Matters...

It’s also important to note that the potential of your internal chiropractic marketing efforts is directly proportional to the size of your existing patient base. If you have a small practice, even the best internal chiropractic marketing strategy will only generate a small return. If you have a large practice, it’s possible to generate a significant return even with a poorly executed internal chiropractic marketing strategy.

That’s why two chiropractic practices can do the exact same internal marketing strategy and get vastly different results. One office may get 50 new patents whereas the other office may only get 5. In many cases, the explanation is simple…the size of the practice matters.

This is especially important to keep this in mind if you are a chiropractor with a smaller practice. Sure, you may want to have a referral practice. That’s a great goal and it may very well be in your future. But until you have the relationships and the patient base that can sustain your ideal practice through internal chiropractic marketing, you are going to have to subsidize your internal marketing with some external marketing. Nothing wrong with that.

External Chiropractic Marketing...

External chiropractic marketing is any marketing you do in your practice that is designed to help your practice grow from the outside in. This category is HUGE.

Everything from traditional advertising like TV, radio, and newspaper, to more modern advertising like Instagram ads, YouTube ads, and online retargeting…all of it falls into the category of external chiropractic marketing. Even networking, professional referrals, and search engine optimization fall into the category of external chiropractic marketing.

External Chiropractic Marketing Mistakes...

The external chiropractic marketing category is so big that most chiropractors get overwhelmed. Chiropractors aren’t marketers by nature, so they often get stuck in a “paralysis by analysis” situation. When presented with too many options, they end up doing a lot of nothing instead of taking productive steps in the direction they need to go.

Another mistake that chiropractors make when it comes to external chiropractic marketing is they get stuck on certain ways of doing things. Just because a chiropractor somewhere grew their practice using a particular external marketing strategy, that doesn’t mean that it will work for all other chiropractors. Just because a particular external chiropractic marketing strategy worked 2 years ago, that doesn’t mean that it will work today.

External Chiropractic Marketing Results...

As a chiropractor, you don’t ever want to get too attached to the how of your external chiropractic marketing. Focus on external chiropractic marketing strategies that align with your skills, interests, and opportunity. Then evaluate the results analytically, NOT emotionally.

Your goal should never be to have the lowest external chiropractic marketing budget. Your goal should be to get a good ROI on your external chiropractic marketing, whether you are investing time or money (or both). If you are getting a good ROI, keep doing it. If you aren’t, either tweak your marketing strategy until your ROI improves or scrap it altogether.   

Retention Chiropractic Marketing...

Retention chiropractic marketing incorporates any strategies/systems in your practice that are designed to improve patient retention. Simple examples of retention chiropractic marketing are a patient orientation class/webinar, a monthly patient newsletter, or a patient reactivation strategy. Many chiropractors don’t even consider retention a part of their chiropractic marketing, but that’s a mistake.

The chiropractic business model is not built around a one-time sale. Chiropractic is not like selling a car or a home. The chiropractic business model is a repetition model, and it requires repetition on the part of the customer (patients) to be successful. It’s actually a lot like the restaurant business model. Restaurants do not make their money from someone stopping in for one dinner. They make their money from repeat customers over a long period of time.

Now before I go any further, it’s important that I clarify what real retention is. Chiropractic retention is maintaining the doctor-patient relationship over a long period of time. Ideally, once someone becomes your patients, they stay your patient for the rest of their life or until they move out of the area. You are their chiropractor anytime they need a chiropractor.

Retention Is NOT Patient Visit Average...

If you noticed, I didn’t say that chiropractic retention was some arbitrary patient visit average (PVA) number. There are a ton of chiropractic gurus out there who want to tell you that patient retention and PVA are the same things. THEY ARE NOT.

Yes, the longer you maintain the relationship with your patients, the higher your PVA will be. That happens naturally, so it makes sense that there is a connection. But on the flip side of that, there are many chiropractors who have a high PVA because they recommend an absorbent amount of care, but they only maintain the doctor-patient relationship for a short period of time.

Real Patient Retention...

Real retention is maintaining the doctor-patient relationship over a long period of time. Some chiropractic patients will see you a lot. Some will see you a little. It is not the job of the chiropractor to pre-determine the amount of chiropractic care that is appropriate for each person. It is the job of the chiropractor to educate their patients about how chiropractic can help them, and let the patient determine how they want to apply that knowledge.

No, not every patient is going to be a wellness patient. In fact, MOST patients are not going to be wellness patients. But every patient can be a lifetime patient, but it’s not going to happen by chance. Implementing systems and strategies designed to improve patient retention and maintain the doctor-patient relationship over a long period of time just makes good business sense. That’s why retention chiropractic marketing should be a fundamental piece of every chiropractor's marketing plan.

Become The Trusted Go-To Chiropractor In Your Area

Chiropractic Marketing Concept #3:Online vs Offline

chiropractic marketing manifesto online offline

It wasn’t that long ago when online marketing wasn’t even an option for chiropractors. Over the last 10-15 years, that all has changed. Online chiropractic marketing has become vogue, and it has replaced a lot of the offline chiropractic marketing strategies of the past.

But don’t let all the modern chiropractic marketing strategies fool you. Offline chiropractic marketing is NOT dead. Like I said before, chiropractors are in the people business. Nothing connects you with people faster than meeting them face-to-face. As awesome as online technology is, it often pales in comparison to a good ol’ fashion handshake.

Online Chiropractic Marketing...

Online chiropractic marketing is pretty self-explanatory. It’s any marketing that chiropractors do on the internet. Simple examples of online chiropractic marketing are Facebook ads, social media (FB, Instagram, etc), YouTube videos, Google Adwords, SEO, and the list goes on and on.

One of the most amazing aspects of online chiropractic marketing is that it makes outreach more accessible. If you want to get a message out to people in your local area, online advertising is typically MUCH more cost effective than traditional forms of advertising.

Online chiropractic marketing also provides some amazing opportunities for chiropractors to stay connected with people and build community. Email newsletters, social media, video channels, and blogs are just a few examples of cost-effective ways that chiropractors can get connected and stay connected with past, present, and future patients.

Who Do You Know?...

Online chiropractic marketing not only makes it easier of you to connect with potential patients, but it also makes it easier for you to connect with potential networking partners. One of the things I say all the time is, “The more people who know you and like you within your community, the easier it will be for you to grow your practice.”

That’s why networking with other professionals, business owners, and non-patients is such a powerful tool for chiropractors. The more advocates you have in your community, especially if they are in a position of authority, the easier it will be to grow.

Online marketing makes it much easier to meet certain people. Years ago, you had to know someone who knew someone. Now, everyone has a FB page. Everyone has an online presence of some sort. There is virtually no barrier of entry to make an initial connection with potential networking partners. You just have to reach out. Thank you, internet.

Offline Chiropractic Marketing…

Offline chiropractic marketing is also really straightforward. It is any marketing that chiropractors do that is not on the internet. Offline chiropractic marketing includes print newsletters, talks, screenings, signs, newspaper ads, radio, BNI, and the list goes on and on.

Some chiropractors (typically younger ones) think that online chiropractic marketing has taken the place of offline chiropractic marketing. They think they can spend all their marketing time and money on the computer, and they never have to go out into the real world. That is incorrect.

Yes, there are a lot of really great opportunities available through online chiropractic marketing, but it doesn’t and can’t replace offline marketing. Like I said before, chiropractors are in the people business. Those are real people, not virtual people. That means at some point your connection with people needs to cross over from digital to personal. That happens offline.

Building Trust…

This would also be a good time to talk about the importance of trust. Many chiropractors will try to make the argument that chiropractic isn’t growing because people don’t like chiropractors or that people don’t understand chiropractic. Sure, there may be some truth to that, but I would argue that chiropractic’s biggest problem is trust. People don’t trust chiropractors.

Now before you start pointing fingers, don’t forget that trust is earned. On the flip side of that coin, a lack of trust is earned as well. Maybe not you, but enough chiropractors have been untrustworthy over the years to warrant a lack of trust throughout the general population.

Even within the medical community. When a medical doctor or some other practitioner does not refer to chiropractors, the main issue is typically trust. It’s NOT that they have a particular prejudice against chiropractic in general. If they were to meet a chiropractor who they trusted, they would most likely start referring. It really is as simple as that.

Online Trust vs Offline Trust…

Building trust takes time and it is something that every chiropractor should be intentional about doing. In fact, building trust should be at the core of all of your chiropractic marketing, regardless of whether you are doing it online or offline.

The upside to online chiropractic marketing when it comes to building trust is that you can reach more people. Online marketing is typically one-to-many. More people who have been exposed to you and your message equals more people who may trust you down the road.

Regarding trust, the upside to offline chiropractic marketing is that it is often easier to build trust faster when you do it offline, especially when you are marketing in person. Obviously, the limitation with one-to-one or one-to-few marketing is the limitation of reach. You only have so much time, and you can only be in one place at a time.

Do Both…

Because both online chiropractic marketing and offline chiropractic marketing have their pros and cons, the smart thing for chiropractors to do is to incorporate both methods. It shouldn’t be either or. No, you don’t have to do equal amounts of both. Some chiropractors will have more opportunity and growth with online chiropractic marketing. Some chiropractors will have more opportunity and growth with offline chiropractic marketing. You have to figure out the right balance for your practice.

They key to remember is that they do NOT replace each other. Offline chiropractic marketing and online chiropractic marketing should complement each other and collectively help you grow your practice.

Chiropractic Marketing Concept #4: Paid vs “Free”

chiropractic marketing manifesto paid vs free

The first thing I need to say about this chiropractic marketing concept is that free advertising doesn’t really exist. It’s like a magical unicorn that chiropractors and chiropractic gurus like to talk about, but it’s not real.

Chiropractic marketing is always going to cost you something. Usually, that something is either time or money…or both. Some chiropractic marketing costs you a lot. Some chiropractic marketing costs you a little.

Budgeting Your Chiropractic Marketing...

When chiropractors are first getting started, they often have to focus their attention on chiropractic marketing that doesn’t cost a lot of money. In the beginning, it’s common for chiropractors to have more time than money, so new chiropractors are often in 100% DIY mode. They do everything themselves, and they do it on the cheap.

That’s fine in the very beginning, but eventually not having a marketing budget or any marketing help will cause a huge time problem. Now that doesn’t mean you have to hire a marketing firm or that you have to have a marketing CA on staff. It just means that you always need to be aware of what your chiropractic marketing is costing you. Eventually, not spending money can start costing you money. At that point, it may be time for a change.

Scaling Your Chiropractic Marketing Budget…

Unfortunately, many chiropractors try to bite off more than they can chew when they start scaling their chiropractic marketing. They try to go from doing everything themselves to hiring a marketing firm. They try to go from a $200/mth marketing budget to a $6000/mth marketing budget.

Big jumps like that often cause unnecessary stress in the practice life of a chiropractor. You don’t have to hire someone full-time the first minute you need a little help. Maybe you only need someone to help you 3 days per month. There are people who will do that.

Another example has to do with your chiropractic website. You don’t have to hire a website/SEO firm to manage your website every month. Maybe you would rather self-host and you only pay someone to do a little technical work on an as-needed basis. There are people who will do that.

Some chiropractors have massive marketing budgets and massive marketing teams. If they are getting a good ROI and it’s working for them…awesome! But that doesn’t mean your practice has to look the same way.

One of the exciting things about being a chiropractor is that you get to decide how you want your practice to look. If you want to keep things simple, you can do that. If you want to have a big practice with multiple layers, you can do that too. It’s totally up to you. Just make sure you are scaling your chiropractic marketing cost in a way that aligns with where you are (don’t spend money you don’t have) and where you ultimately want to be.

Become The Trusted Go-To Chiropractor In Your Area

Chiropractic Marketing Concept #5: DIY vs Done-For-You

chiropractic marketing manifesto DIY done for you

I’ve always been a DIY sort of guy. I like doing things myself, and my chiropractic marketing wasn’t any different. Even though when I first started my practice I didn’t understand anything about chiropractic marketing or business, I still wanted to learn. I am a naturally curious person and I always want to know how things work.

But not every chiropractor is like me. Many chiropractors don’t want to know how chiropractic marketing works, they just want it to work. I understand that. Unfortunately, most chiropractors are in a position where they don’t have a choice. They don’t have enough money to just hire someone to do it, and if they don’t develop some basic chiropractic marketing skills, they will likely fail out of practice altogether.

So the bad news is, whether you like it or not, as a chiropractor you have to learn about chiropractic marketing and apply what you learn. The good news is that there is more chiropractic marketing trainings, tips, and tools available now than there ever has been before. No, you may not have ever wanted to be a chiropractic marketer, but at least it’s doable

Pros and Cons of DIY vs Done-For-You…

When deciding between DIY and done-for-you chiropractic marketing, often the decision, in the beginning, was based on cost. Anytime someone does marketing for you, it is going to cost more than if you were to do it yourself…theoretically.

Now I say theoretically because of the old saying “time is money.” The downside of DIY chiropractic marketing is that you have to know how to do it before you can do it. There is a much steeper learning curve with anything DIY and the likelihood of making some rookie mistakes is very high.

All Or Nothing DIY vs Done-For-You…

Thankfully, when deciding if you want to do DIY chiropractic marketing or done-for-you chiropractic marketing, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You don’t have to decide between the extremes of doing everything by yourself and having someone do everything for you. Most chiropractic practices are going to find a happy place somewhere in the middle.

In fact, one of the biggest mistakes that chiropractors make is trying to do everything 100% on their own. Trying to sort out chiropractic marketing and business without help is an expensive and time-consuming game that many chiropractors lose.

That’s why my best advice to every chiropractor who wants to grow is to GET HELP. You don’t have to pay for someone to do everything for you, but you should stand on the shoulders of those who have already walked the path you are hoping to take. Learn from their mistakes.

The last thing I will say about DIY vs done-for-you is that I believe it is the chiropractor's job to take responsibility for their own practice. It is your business which makes it your responsibility. Ignorance is NOT an option. Even if your ultimate goal is to have all of your chiropractic marketing done-for-you, it is still your responsibility to understand your chiropractic marketing. You are responsible to know which done-for-you chiropractic marketing is the best fit for where your practice is and where you want it to be.

Chiropractic Marketing Concept #6: Tools vs Services

chiropractic marketing manifesto tools vs services

It’s important for chiropractors to understand the difference between chiropractic marketing tools and chiropractic marketing services. There are a wide variety of marketing tools and services that are available for chiropractors. All of them claiming to help chiropractors grow.

People who are selling marketing tools and services to chiropractors almost always emphasis just how simple, easy, and automated their tool/system is. Words like “auto-pilot” are often thrown around, and rarely is the chiropractors part in the process emphasized.

In the case of a chiropractic marketing service, the chiropractor's role should be fairly minimal. It’s a service after all. By definition, a service is something that is done-for-you. In the case of a chiropractic marketing tool, the chiropractor’s role could be minimal, but it also could be extensive. It depends on the tool and the job you are trying to accomplish.

“If You Are Working At It…”

The whole idea behind a tool is it makes a particular job easier. My dad used to say all the time, “If you are working at it, you are using the wrong tool.” That was his way of saying the right tool can make a hard job easy. Dad was right.

I love chiropractic marketing tools. They make my life easier. But like I said before, I’m also a DIY guy. So I never buy a marketing tool expecting it to be a marketing service. I buy a marketing tool to help make a marketing job easier. I don’t expect the tool to do the work for me. I expect the tool to help me get the job done.

Often times chiropractors purchase a chiropractic marketing tool, but they thought they were buying a chiropractic marketing service. The company that sold them the tool probably emphasized the results their tool could help the chiropractor achieve (when used correctly), but downplayed the work that goes into actually using the tool.

Tools Vs Service Examples…

It’s sort of like selling someone a chainsaw on the premise of how amazing well-trimmed trees are, but downplaying the fact that you have to know how to use a chainsaw and you have to know how to trim trees in order to get the benefits. Yes, the chainsaw is the proper tool for the job. Yes, the chainsaw will make that job much easier. Yes, with some basic skills and some elbow grease, you can have some well-trimmed trees. But NO, the chainsaw is not going to do the job for you. It’s a tool, not a service.

An example in the chiropractic marketing world is the Get MORE Reviews (GMR) system that is available through Black Sheep DC. GMR is a reputation management tool for chiropractors. It helps chiropractors regularly add positive reviews to sites like Google and Facebook. It’s an AWESOME TOOL!

GMR is not a service. It’s not something that a chiropractor pays for and then sit back and do nothing. Chiropractors who use GMR need to add people to the system in order to request feedback. They need to respond to feedback. They also need to follow up with people who responded to the feedback but stopped short of leaving an online feedback. It’s not a mindless, automated service. It’s a tool. When used properly, it’s a great tool.

The crazy thing is that there are companies out there who sell reputation management tools to chiropractors, but they market them as services. “Automatic reviews”…”All the work is done for you”…but that’s not true for any chiropractic marketing tool. Tools help you do a job. Services do the job for you. It’s your job as a chiropractor to know the difference.

Chiropractic Marketing Concept #7: Canned Vs Custom

chiropractic marketing manifesto canned vs custom

There are a lot of things that chiropractors take for granted until it’s time to open their own practice. Chiropractors often do not think about things like initial paperwork, cards, brochures, handouts, and even website content.

That stuff doesn’t just fall out of the sky. It has to come from somewhere, and they are all part of your chiropractic marketing message. So where do you start?

Well, there are two basic categories of chiropractic marketing content. The first category is canned chiropractic marketing content. That means someone else creates the content and you just slap your name on it. The second category is custom chiropractic marketing content. That means you (or someone working for you) creates the content that you use.

Canned Chiropractic Marketing Content…

The obvious upside to canned chiropractic marketing content is simple…someone else creates it for you. Creating content is a skill. Not everyone is good at it, but even if you are, it still requires a lot of time and energy.

There are even different levels of canned chiropractic marketing content. The most basic level is taking something someone else did (with their permission of course) and slapping your name on it. You are not trying to pass the content off as yours, you are merely using pre-made content as a tool in your practice. The most common example of this would be condition specific brochures.

The more advanced level of canned chiropractic marketing content is what’s called ghostwriting or white labeling. Basically, another company or person creates content for you, and they make it look like it came from you. This gives the elusion of custom chiropractic marketing content without actually creating custom content.

The downside of canned chiropractic marketing content is that the content may or may not align with your message. Even more specifically, the content may not align with your voice (the way you say things). There is a lot of diversity within the chiropractic profession, so sometimes it can be difficult to find canned chiropractic content the aligns well with your practice model/style. This is something you want to be aware of especially if you are trying to set yourself apart from other chiropractors in your area.

Custom Chiropractic Marketing Content…

The upside of custom chiropractic marketing content is that it is uniquely you. You can convey your message in your voice. No one else can be you.

One of the things that chiropractors need to be aware of is that their story, their uniqueness, is something that people will bond with. It is something that will set them apart from other chiropractors in their area. It’s definitely something they should attempt to take advantage of. Custom chiropractic marketing content is one way to do that.

Obviously, the downside has already been stated. Not everyone is good at creating custom chiropractic marketing content. Where do you start? What do you say? It can be really overwhelming.

A wise man once said that people imitate before they innovate. Chiropractic marketing content is an area where that statement holds true. Most chiropractors, even if they are good at creating content, will use some form or canned content before they start creating their own.

Some chiropractors never try to create custom chiropractic marketing content, but I personally think that’s a mistake. Like I said before…your story, your uniqueness is something that sets you apart from every other chiropractor in your area. Leveraging that in your chiropractic marketing content will help you avoid becoming a commodity.

Chiropractic Marketing Concept #8: Relationships vs Selling

chiropractic marketing manifesto relationships selling

Chiropractic is an incredibly relational business. It’s personal. It’s intimate. Chiropractors not only help people feel better and get well, but they do it by putting their hands on them. I’m not trying to get weird or make it into something that it’s not, but the business of chiropractic isn’t like selling cars. It’s more personal than that.

As a whole, the chiropractic profession has not taken to heart the relational aspect of chiropractic business. Sales tactics that are intended to sell cars and condos are now being used to sell year-long care plans and to get people to pre-pay for care.

Many chiropractors believe that the end justifies the means. If they are helping people make the “right” decision, why does it matter how they did it? Maybe I’m old fashion, but I think how you do things matter. The journey, how you get there, matters just as much as the destination itself.

The Business of Chiropractic…    

Chiropractors are in the people business. We have always dealt with people. We will always deal with people. It’s what we do. In many ways, the chiropractic business model mirrors the restaurant business model. They too are in a very relational business, and they too are successful as the result of repeat customers over a long period of time.

Restaurants don’t want people to show up once, buy the fanciest meal and never come back. They want people to come back over and over again for years to come. They want people to bring their family in to eat. They want people to bring their friends in to eat. They want you to be a regular. The more regulars they have, the more stable the restaurant is.

The same is true for a chiropractic practice. Whether you are running a pain clinic or a wellness clinic (or something in between), your practice stability comes from your regulars…from the patients who have been or are going to be patients for years.

No, not everyone will follow your recommendations perfectly. No, not everyone will make the same decisions that you would make. But that’s not the point. The point of a relationally minded chiropractor is to maintain the doctor-patient relationship for as long as possible, regardless of how someone decides to incorporate chiropractic into their life.

It Doesn’t Matter…

I can already hear many of you saying, “It doesn’t matter.” So I’m going to argue this point even further…because I’m right. One of the major problems that the chiropractic profession has is a lack of trust amongst the general public. As a general rule, people don’t really trust chiropractors. If they did, chiropractors wouldn’t have a shortage of new patients because a LOT more people would be going to the chiropractor.

So why do people distrust chiropractors? Well…why do people distrust anyone? The answer is pretty simple. It’s most likely because they have been untrustworthy. Most chiropractors have an easy time excepting that premise generally, but they have a hard time stomaching it when it comes to the chiropractic profession.

Over the years chiropractors have incorporated business and marketing practices that have undermined public trust. They have been focusing more on making a sale or closing the deal than they are on building trust or establishing a long-term doctor-patient relationship. Sure, there are individual chiropractors who have benefited from this approach, but the chiropractic profession as a whole has suffered.

What You Have To Do To Keep Them…

There is something important that I want you to keep in mind when it comes to your chiropractic marketing philosophy/approach. What you do to get a patient is what you have to do to keep them. Remember what I said before…the chiropractic business model is relational. Chiropractors make their money from maintaining the doctor-patient relationship over a long period of time.

You aren’t selling your patients a house. You aren’t selling your patients a car. You don’t have the liberty of pressuring them into an agreement, and never having to see them again. You’ll see them again. You’ll likely see them again this week.

If you have to use pressure, slick scripts, and high-end sales tactics to get your patients, you will have to use pressure, slick scripts, and high-end sales tactics to keep your patients. It’s no wonder that stuff like that hasn’t worked long-term for the chiropractic profession. People get sick of it.

Chiropractic Marketing Conversation...

The last thing I want to say about relationships vs sales has to do with patient perspective. Anytime I get into a conversation with chiropractors who believe selling/closing is the key to chiropractic success, I invite them to consider a scenario. What if we had a conversation about this?

I talked about relationship-centered chiropractic marketing. I made my arguments about how people matter. I talked about how it is the chiropractor's job to provide value, educate, help, but ultimately leave the decision making up to the patient. You talked about the chiropractors moral-obligation to close their patients. You talked about how selling patients on chiropractic is the right thing to do because the drug companies are selling them on drugs. You talked about the best ways to set up patients in order to get a pre-payment.

Here’s the kicker…let’s have that conversation in front of your patients. I bet how you go about things would matter then. I bet it would matter to them. In fact, I’m pretty sure that one of us would come across as a caring, thoughtful chiropractor and the other one of us would come across as a money-hungry sleaze-ball. 

Just because you don’t think something matters, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. It matters to the public how we go about our business as chiropractors. If the chiropractic profession is ever going to get to the level that it should be and the level all chiropractors would have to be, we need to become more relationally-minded when it comes to our chiropractic marketing and business. That starts with you.

Chiropractic Marketing Manifesto: Conclusion

chiropractic marketing manifesto conclusion conclusion

Wow…that was a lot. If you got this far you are probably a little overwhelmed. It’s crazy to think that something as important as chiropractic marketing can be so lacking in the training to become a chiropractor. The good news is that there are a lot of places you can get help. In fact, more chiropractic marketing training is available now than ever before, and it’s more affordable now than ever before. In that sense, it’s a good time to be a chiropractor.

Unless you are an incredible exception to the rule, my best advice for chiropractors is to get help. Trying to learn the chiropractic marketing and business side of things all on your own is a very time consuming and expensive endeavor. It’s not a game that I recommend you play because your future as a chiropractor is at stake. Find someone who shares your vision and is ahead of you…learn from their mistakes.

Chiropractic Marketing Starting Point…

In terms of a starting point, I strongly recommend figuring out who you want to help. Who are you trying to help and how are you helping them? Identify your perfect patient. That exercise will help simplify so much of your chiropractic business and marketing. It will help you become much more focused and ultimately effective.

Chiropractic Marketing Structure...

In terms of structure, start with your big 3. Make sure you have multiple external marketing systems, multiple internal marketing systems, and multiple retention marketing systems that are an ongoing part of your chiropractic marketing. Even if you are much stronger in one category than the others, diversifying your chiropractic marketing approach is the safest and best way to go about things.

Chiropractic Marketing Freedom...

The last thing I want to say about chiropractic marketing is this…there isn’t one way the is right for everyone. It’s very important that you understand the concepts in this article. It’s important that you have good business and marketing habits throughout your career as a chiropractor. But it is also important that you are not a prisoner to a specific chiropractic marketing tool/method.

Try things. Test things. Tweak things. Figure out what works best for you. Just because a chiropractic marketing strategy worked for someone else, that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. Also, just because something didn’t work for someone else, that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.

You are the owner of your chiropractic business. You have to take responsibility for that. That means that sometimes you are going to make really great decisions. Other times you are going to do some stupid things that you wish you could take back. That’s OK. It’s part of the process.

Chiropractic Marketing Help...

I hope you found this chiropractic marketing manifesto helpful. If you would like help growing your chiropractic practice, I would love to help you. Click here to find out how.

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