Learning to love marketing and how to be more successful by understanding and enjoying the process
I know I am the lone wolf on this one, but I absolutely love marketing, studying marketing, talking about marketing and writing about marketing. I know that most chiropractors do not feel the same way, and that is OK; Dr. J is here to help you in learning to love marketing.
First and the most important way to get better at marketing is to start to enjoy marketing more. Dan Kennedy is the greatest living marketer around, and one of his most famous sayings is that the biggest breakthrough for small business owners is when they stop being the doer in the business and start being the marketer. It may be hard to hear, but the best success in practice comes when you are the marketing director of your own business and not just the doer.
The marketing mind shift: learning to love marketing
The first step to be good at marketing is to have a mind shift — you need to be the head marketer of your practice.
How do we shift mindset? We need to start reading, listening to podcasts and subscribing to newsletters about marketing. We can’t just study adjusting; we have to study business and marketing. So, let’s start by subscribing to some good marketing podcasts, subscribe to a few paid newsletters and hit up Amazon to learn about direct response marketing.
Now that we are studying some marketing, it’s time to implement. Coming up with innovative, new, unique marketing is very time-consuming and expensive. Direct response copyrighters can charge six figures to write a unique ad. That is just not in the average chiropractor’s budget. What to do?
Finding and implementing winning promotions
Find proven winning ads, promotions, posters, emails and more. Proven winners are out there. It’s much easier to purchase or borrow a winning ad, promo or email than to try to write it on your own. So, get a winning marketing program, ask friends for what worked and find the best stuff out there.
Next step is to implement. I have been teaching for years a marketing calendar. It’s the most powerful thing you can have in your practice. Find a promotion or two for every month of the year. Plan your year, and then make sure to implement it.
The hardest part of marketing is to implement. Schedule a staff meeting and schedule the promotions for the entire year — set dates for ordering posters and supplies, sending emails and more. Type up the plan so everyone has it, then set up a calendar. I have to admit I love a lot of analog things, and I did my marketing calendar on a six-foot dry erase board for years, but I have come around.
We put our marketing calendar on Google Calendar so everyone can always see it. Best of all, it keeps my wife happy because I know my work schedule when I am at home. No more double-booking days and getting in the doghouse.
Step One: Learning to love marketing and study marketing
Step Two: Learn from proven marketing campaigns
Step Three: Implement, develop a marketing plan, stick to it
Step Four: Measure and adapt
Implement, measure, adapt, repeat
The biggest success to marketing is to learn to measure and adapt. When I speak to doctors I often ask how a promotion has worked for them. They often give very vague answers. You need to know exactly what you spent on a promotion or advertisement, exactly how many patients came in from it, and what your return on investment is.
Let’s say a Facebook ad cost $500. Only one new patient came in from the promotion all month. Many of us would be disappointed. But, I know in my office our average new patient is worth $2,500 or so. So, how many times a day would you give me $500 if I gave you $2,500? I’ll go out on a limb and say all day long. That is the reason to track.
We also have to realize that not all promotions are home runs. Most are singles, or doubles at best. Very few events or promotions bring in 100 new patients. But there are 50 events that bring in two new patients. While big events are out there, and I know them, many promos are singles and doubles, and that is OK. The best part is that chiropractors are so good at getting referrals, we can turn one new patient into two or three, thus making our ROI (return on investment) even better.
Flip a flop
Next is to adapt. I have had killer promotions that work well in dozens of offices, then next thing one doc does it all right, and it flops. It’s amazing; something will work well 100 times and the 101st time it flops. That is marketing.
I have done events in my office that worked for 10 years, then on year 11 it crashes. This happens and it’s OK. Next year it may be a hit, or maybe we need to change it. When COVID hit, it changed all our marketing plans. We cancelled half our marketing calendar and moved everything around. If we measure all the events we do, we can see the return and we can change and adapt our schedule to work even better next time.
Learn from the best
I know many chiropractors don’t want to learn about marketing, and many believe if we do a great job of treating patients we shouldn’t have to market. That is just not the world we are living in, and it won’t be ever again.
The steps are learning to love marketing, study from the best, learn from proven mentors, and monitor and adapt to be successful. Ultimately, the most important job in the clinic is marketing. After all, if no one is coming in, you can’t pay the bills, and you can’t help anyone. Learn to love marketing and your practice will thank you.
JAMES R. FEDICH, DC, owns a large multidisciplinary practice in northern New Jersey. He is also the author of “Secrets of a Million Dollar Practice” and host of a popular chiropractic podcast, Dr. J’s Path to Success. To find out more or to contact Dr. J, visit drjamesfedich.com.