There are very few things that I know for sure. The short list looks like this:
- Motherhood is the hardest job on the planet,
- Sleep deprivation is torture,
- I can actually live without chocolate, and
- Too many chiropractors needlessly struggle with how to market their practices.
To a certain extent, it’s not your fault if marketing feels hard, confusing and scummy.
We don’t really get real-world, 2017-like guidance on HOW to grow a practice in chiropractic school.
There are a small percentage of people in the chiropractic profession who are really good at selling—so good, in fact, they can easily sell you into their system or company... only for you to find out later working that system leaves you feeling like you’re selling your soul, not your service.
If you’re like me, you know that you want to grow your practice your way.
But where do you turn and who do you trust when you realize
you need some kind of help figuring out what your way is, exactly?
Before going to school at Logan, I studied marketing and sales in undergrad and worked full-time in the industry. I’m sort of an oddball in that I didn’t have a great experience with chiropractic that inspired me to commit to earning my Doctor of Chiropractic degree. I actually just chose the career path because I saw it as a gateway for being able to own my own business yet really help people, too.
To say that I L.O.V.E. studying, learning about and implementing marketing tactics and strategies is an understatement. I’ve spent more thousands of dollars than I really want to admit in the last 4 years on deepening my knowledge and understanding of how to grow a business as a heart-centered entrepreneur.
I’m happy to be able to boil allllllllllll that time, money and studying down into one simple concept for you. One that will turn your concept of “marketing” on its head.
Here’s where we go wrong (and have been for quite a long time):
We make growing our practices about ourselves,
instead of about others.
Yep, it’s that simple. Although, admittedly, changing the way your think and act based upon this principle can take time. A lot of time.
Think about it…
We go out into our communities and talk about ourselves.
What we do, the benefits of chiropractic, and what techniques we use.
If we’re feeling brave, we may even talk about what makes our own office different from or better than others.
This is a self-centered approach in the true sense of the word.
What happens then, when the emphasis of our efforts is on our selves?
We feel selfish, boisterous, arrogant and weirdly out of alignment with the reason we set out to have our own practice in the first place.
Now let’s look at the other side of this coin.
A “them”-centered approach would have us:
- talk less about ourselves (and/or about chiropractic) and listen more
- ask more questions, instead of word vomiting on people
- get to the ROOT of what a person really wants to have that he or she doesn’t have right now
- become better skilled at uncovering a practice member’s real motivation
The beauty of this approach is that now we have far less reason to feel afraid of putting ourselves out there. Doing so is no longer about ourselves, what people will think of us, or whether people will like us. It's purely about connecting with people to open up the potential to change their lives. Our only "marketing" work becomes to the work of Finding The Right People.
. . . . . . . .
Marketing is marketing no matter what product or service you’re selling.
The rules of the game don't really change.
Understanding—really deeply understanding—your Ideal Patient is the basic premise taught in every marketing course, book, and podcast by every marketing guru I've ever studied, read or listened to.
Yet, in chiropractic, we continue to attempt to educate our communities about what chiropractic is and the benefits of removing subluxations.
If this approach was going to work, we would have more than an approximate 10% of the general public in our market share by now.
It may take a very long time still for our profession as a whole to create a shift in how we reach more people.
The way I see it is--we have two choices:
- we can passively wait for this paradigm shift to occur, or
- we can individually choose to serve more people by learning how to connect with them where they are and then help guide them to where they want to go.
My truth is: I care more about serving exactly who my heart is called to serve, than I do about old ideologies.
It's taken me many years and lots of self-discovery work, but I’ve made my choice.