Years ago, when a chiropractor was first getting started, he or she would start by placing an ad in the Yellow Pages.
Today, the Yellow Pages are mostly obsolete, and doctors are turning en masse to online sources of revenue. The Yellow Pages are out, and Facebook ads are in. But is this type of online advertising enough to bring in the traffic that your office needs?
If you want to set yourself apart from the crowd, you need to go a step further—you need to get out there in your community and engage in on- the-ground marketing. You need to visit local schools, businesses, and other organizations and let them know that you’re the new chiropractor in town.
While you’re at it, you can offer to give a presentation on a topic that you’re knowledgeable about. Regardless of what you offer, it’s important to get out there, get your hands dirty, and make a name for yourself in your community.
Local school and children’s groups
If you want to make a name for yourself, local schools are an excellent place to start. In your neighborhood, start by locating as many schools and children’s groups as you can find—elementary schools, high schools, Boys and Girls clubs, community colleges, and even universities. Once you know who you’re going to be dealing with, call up the school and offer to teach a seminar about seatbelt safety (or something else that you’re qualified to speak about).
If you’re approved, you can give your presentation and, at the same time, let participants know more about the related services you offer. For example, if you give a presentation about seatbelt safety, you can talk about post-accident rehabilitation.
If you’re afraid of public speaking, you’ll need to find a way to get over it. As a chiropractor, you’re going to have hundreds (if not thousands) of opportunities to speak publicly throughout your lifetime—and it’s important that you don’t let these opportunities pass you by.
Public speaking is one of the best ways to put yourself out there, attract new patients, and build a successful business. If public speaking makes you nervous, you can start out small by giving weekly lectures in your own office. Once you get the hang of it, you can start to reach out to local schools and other members of your community.
Finding specialty groups in your area may take a bit of creative thinking, but the time is worth the effort. Through a couple of Google searches, you can find a variety of ladies’ groups, meet- up groups, state or city organizations, non-profits, and service-oriented clubs (Rotary Club and Lion’s Club, for example) in your area.
Once you know who you want to contact, call and offer to give a presentation, much like you would do for a local school. If you can’t get in as a speaker, you can attend group- sponsored events to network with members and negotiate speaking engagements for the future. Asking is the key.
Though it may surprise you, many churches are open to hosting guest speakers at their events. To determine whether or not the congregations in your area may be interested in hearing from you, simply pay the church a visit and speak with the person in charge.
Come prepared with a list of possible topics that would be of interest to this audience, and then discuss your options. If you approach it right, you’ll be able to cultivate relationships that will last for years.
Corporations and local businesses
Depending on where you live, there are going to be hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of local businesses in your area. So how do you even begin to introduce yourself?
To get started, consider making a trip to your local chamber of commerce to determine who you want to visit and why. You may be able to find a list of local businesses through your neighborhood library.
Once you have a short list in hand, be bold—visit the offices and let them know that you’re the new chiropractor in town. Though you might find it difficult to put yourself out there like this, any awkwardness will be short- lived as you gain confidence.
If you visit an office and receive a warm response, try to schedule a “lunch and learn” event where you bring a free meal for the office and deliver a lunchtime presentation. These corporate events are an excellent way to bring in new patients!
Gyms and fitness centers
You can visit local gyms and fitness. In this arena, the rules are a bit different. You may have success in scheduling one of your usual speaking gigs, but you may also want to take a different approach.
Coordinate a cooperative advertising agreement—where you advertise for the gym in your office, and the gym advertises for you in their facility—or you can offer a variety of services for their members.
Many gyms will also be thrilled to have you offer a “free health evaluation” on their premises.
If you make an effort to get involved in your community, you’ll reap the rewards for years to come. By partnering with local schools, businesses, and other groups, you’ll make a name for yourself in your community—and accomplish far more than you could do with a Facebook ad.
Although knocking on doors and conducting public speaking engagements may be frightening at first, it’s absolutely worth the effort. If you make a plan for community involvement and stick with it, you’ll find all of the patients you need to build the practice of your dreams.
Todd G. Singleton, DC, is an author, speaker, and consultant in practice for more than 25 years. He has an all-cash nutrition practice in Utah specializing in weight loss, neuropathy, spinal decompression, knee pain, and other nutritional deficiencies. He teaches fellow chiropractors how to add these modalities to their practices. He can be contacted at 801-903-7141 or through nutrition4chiros.com.