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Low-Cost Marketing Solutions

Low-Cost Marketing Solutions

The Chiro.Org Blog


SOURCE:   ACA News

By Rebecca Jones


Boost your marketing efforts through volunteerism, community outreach and social media.

James Lehman, DC, MBA, adjusts spines, but rubbing shoulders is how he really grew his chiropractic practice in Albuquerque, N.M.

“One strategy that really worked for me involved volunteerism,” says Dr. Lehman, who later left his New Mexico practice to become associate professor of clinical sciences at the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic. “I volunteered to work with young politicians running for office. I’d make phone calls, hand out brochures. I developed friendships with a lot of decision-makers, some of whom got elected. Those young politicians, even if they lose, they’ll never forget you.” And being involved in political campaigns allowed Dr. Lehman to introduce himself to thousands of people he would never have met otherwise — each one a potential new client.

Politicking may not get everyone’s vote for preferred strategy for marketing a chiropractic practice, but for those with a taste for electioneering, the cost is nominal and the returns could be staggering.

Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Community outreach — whether through political campaigns, participating in local events such as festivals or runs, or joining civic organizations — is one tried-and-true marketing technique that goes hand in hand with simply being a good citizen.

There are other materials like this at our

New DCs Page and our

Chiropractic Assistant (CA) Page

But there are other ways, as well — some old-fashioned, involving simple word of mouth; some cutting edge, capitalizing on emerging technology and a generation increasingly tethered to smartphones.

There’s no one surefire best technique guaranteed to boost business. What works for some simply fails to work for others, says Tom Minkalis, interim director of the Center for Business Development at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. Different practices, different communities, different personalities all factor in. Thus, DCs should be open to trying a variety of approaches to find the techniques that work best for them in their unique circumstances.

Here are some ideas:

Try Social Media

It goes without saying that a Web site is critical for any business. But increasingly, social networking through such media as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is also crucial for reaching certain demographic segments.

“I’m not even in the Yellow Pages anymore,” says Jordan Leasure, DC, owner of North Shore Pro-Active Health in the Chicago suburb of Libertyville, whose target market is 30- to 60-year-olds interested in wellness. “Print advertising is becoming archaic. But if your practice is primarily Medicare, then they may not be Facebook users. It depends on who you’re trying to reach.”

Dr. Leasure recruits patients to become fans of her clinic’s Facebook and Twitter pages. She even set up a computer in the office lobby, so they could do so when they check in. Once they’re Facebook fans, she can communicate with them instantly. “If I have a cancellation for a massage, I can post, ‘We have an opening for a massage at 2 p.m.,’ and 200 people can see it,” she says.

Dr. Leasure has also discovered a smartphone app called “Foursquare” that allows her to attract potential patients and wellness store customers by posting specials that Foursquare users who are nearby can see and might take advantage of.

Jay Greenstein, DC, CCSP, owner of Sport and Spine Rehab, which has seven offices in Maryland and Virginia, praises Demandforce, one of the newest online tools for reaching clients. The Demandforce software lets patients schedule appointments online and then sends them reminder e-mails or text messages. Afterward, it gives them the opportunity to review their experience, and their comments are posted online.

“So when people Google you, you’ll have all your patient reviews right there,” Dr. Greenstein says. “Assuming you do a good job, you’ll have literally hundreds of patients saying they had a good experience at Dr. Smith’s office.”

Demandforce is costlier than simple social networking software, but Dr. Greenstein says it saves money in other ways. “It’s a couple of hundred dollars a month, but you’ll save that much alone just in the time you save, not having to pay a staff person to make confirmation calls.”

Tap into Existing Patient Referrals


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3 comments to Low-Cost Marketing Solutions

  • Those where few unusual way to get your name out in the community. I’ll look into the “Demandforce” option and see how useful it could be.

    I got my business cards to be displayed at the bicycle shop where I service my bike. Not sure how effective that has been yet.

    Will Kalla DC
    Singapore

  • Thanks for the article. We are just opening a new clinic and wondering how to spend our very small marketing buget. We have developed a website http://www.epione.co.uk but are unsure how this should link to facebook etc. After reading your post about linkedin i think i will be trying that for sure. ITs just what is best to get peole to come into a start up clinic?

    Dylan
    UK

    • Hi Dylan

      There is no motivation to go to a strange new clinic, filled with unknown people. Until you personally engage with your community, giving lectures, volunteering, getting “out there” so people KNOW you, you’ll just be another new kid in school to avoid. You will become a trusted resource in your community by your actions, by your being there, over and over, just like it was with your friends.

      There are no shortcuts to becoming a friend, or for launching a business that will become a prized resource in your community. Develop relationships, one at a time, and keep at it…keep at it forever.

      BTW, I have found my personal Facebook page and my Clinic FB Page to be very effective for connecting to people (and keeping them in the loop), wheras I have found little value in LinkedIn, or Twitter.

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