You often hear chiropractors say they dislike marketing their practice, or they can’t stand going to networking events.
Many times, chiropractors would rather stop doing what possibly got them busy in the first place and rely on their reputation to do the rest. Although some may still find success with that method, these days most will not succeed and will likely fail.
A common trend you can see in the profession is the integration of care with other health care providers. This can prove beneficial as well as become a great referral source to keep your practice thriving. But how do you achieve this type of practice if you don’t like marketing or building relationships through networking?
A closer look at some current trends and common mistakes chiropractors are making will reveal that a dislike of marketing may be costing them a golden opportunity. A common marketing method DCs use across the country is participating in health fairs and wellness events, whether at a community fair, school, religious institution, corporation or company. These events generally provide information to the public on health education and health resources. Although these may be great places to attract new patients, many chiropractors leave these events scratching their heads and asking themselves why they decided to participate in the first place. These chiropractors tend to make some typical mistakes.
Common health fair mistakes
Sell! Sell! Sell! Chiropractors come to these events selling pillows, vitamins, massages, initial exams, etc. Pushing the sell on the person coming to your table may be taken the wrong way, possibly implying your service is a luxury and not a necessity. This may turn off the person from wanting to come to your office to learn more.
Information overload: Using too many gadgets and gizmos to explain chiropractic may leave the health fair attendee leaving more confused or possibly feeling tricked into something.
On-site diagnosis: If it only takes you five minutes to diagnose the problem the person is having at the fair, why would they come into your office for the full examination you are hoping to charge for? Value your care!
Non-active participation: Being present at a fair is not enough for people to have interest in what services you have to offer. If you are not interacting with the attendees and event organizers, you are missing the opportunity to market your practice.
Best health fair practices
Educate! Educate! Educate! The chiropractor who can easily explain the benefits of care and educate the person in front of them with the short amount of time they have during the fair will receive the most return on investment. Attendees are looking for the answers that other doctors haven’t told them. This is a great opportunity for you to show them you are the expert.
Perform a visual demo or test: Most people learn by seeing or participating and may be eager to volunteer if they have an issue they are currently struggling with. Performing a test such as range of motion testing, manual muscle testing, or an EMG scan on a body part can help attendees visually understand their issue and realize you might be the provider who can help them.
Create a buzz: The booths that tend to do the best are the ones that have the most people around them. People are curious as to what other people are doing or looking at, and they want to be a part of it. Best practices you can implement are playing music at your booth, providing chair massages, holding giveaways or raffles, and inviting a local celebrity to stand by your table for meet-and-greets.
Network with vendors and organizers: Having a consistent marketing game plan is essential to keep growing your practice. Working with vendors who regularly participate at these events can help you book future appearances. Building good relationships with the event organizers can lead to more opportunities you can provide, such as lectures, workshops and referral systems.
Building an integrative practice
An integrative practice is typically located in an office or medical building with multiple specialties working side by side. Would you like to have an integrative practice that is always working for you in multiple places, and referring you patients regularly? This practice model can be realized by building upon the relationships you make at health fairs, networking events (Business Network International, chamber of commerce), and in your practice.
With the growth of health professionals who specialize in athletics, pediatrics, nutrition, etc., comes the opportunity to build a team of wellness professionals working together. One way to implement this model is by asking the organizer of a fair if they would be interested in hosting a wellness event in which you provide the vendors. This creates an integrated practice in an establishment other than your office—one that can provide you with new patients.
You have also taken the work and hassle of setting this up off of the event organizer’s plate, which is highly appreciated and goes a long way toward building a strong relationship for future events. Examples of wellness professionals to book include medical doctors (specialists), chiropractors (specialists), nurse practitioners, personal trainers, nutritionists and dietitians, massage therapists, essential oils representatives, and health coaches. This positions you in your community as the “go-to” provider for health and wellness events and positions your specialty in context with other health care professionals.
Chiropractors are happiest when their practice is growing; they are helping more people and becoming financially independent. Marketing does not have to be a painful experience, but rather a way for you to stay relevant. Use the methods outlined above to make health fairs a more pleasurable experience and lead to future events where you can work with other health care providers side by side.
Lev Furman, DC, holds a Master’s degree in Sports Science and Physical Rehabilitation from Logan University. He is currently the CEO of the Furman Institute of Health in St. Louis, MO, which provides on-site chiropractic, ergonomics, and wellness programs for major corporations. He strives to bring chiropractic care to the forefront of corporate health and wellness every day, and can be contacted through furmanhealth.com.