By Dr Ryan Yorke
Attracting new clients to your practice is rewarding – but it can also be very challenging. It takes time, effort and money to market your services.
And, if it is not done well, you can attract the wrong type of person to your practice and even look pushy in the process.
Because of this, most Chiropractors have the same question on the top of their mind (whether they are aware of it or not) – “Where do I invest my time, effort and money to market my practice for the best return in a way that is not sleazy or unethical?”
In this article, you will learn 4 strategic concepts that will allow you to better answer this question so that you can build or maintain a thriving business with many ideal clients.
Old School Marketing
In the past, most marketing messages were designed to reach as many people as possible by interrupting them to exclusively promote and sell their services.
The old way of marketing had many pitfalls:
- Spending a lot of money on an advertisement (High cost)
- This ad is seen by many people who have never heard of you (Low trust)
- Many of these people had little interest in improving their health (Low relevance)
- The ad offers no value other than a discount (Low value)
Therefore, you might attract some people to your practice, but your return would be low because of high costs and attracting the wrong type of person for the wrong reasons.
Marketing Strategically in Today’s World
To maximize your return in today’s world, you need to be strategic. You need to know who you want to attract into your practice, find out where they hang out, build a relationship with them and provide something of value to them.
Let’s take a look at these four concepts:
Define Your Ideal Client
The concept of a practice full of ideal clients is the holy grail of the business owner. While it may be near impossible to have 100% ideal, the clearer you are on who represents your ideal client, the greater the likelihood that you will attract them.
So how do you define an ideal client? One easy way to start is to categorize according to demographic or behavioural characteristics.
For example, you could define your ideal clients by:
- Age – do you love working with paediatric patients, geriatric patients or somewhere in between?
- Occupation – do you enjoy helping people who work in an office environment, retail, labour, agricultural, etc.?
- Condition – do you love working with clients who have headaches or sciatica or who are primarily wellness focused?
- Activity/Interests – do you enjoy adjusting netball players, yoga students or outdoor hikers?
- Behavioural Actions – as described by Dr Gilles Lamarche, you could describe your ideal patient as one who stays, pays and refers others to your practice.
The result could then be a combination of these categories. So, you could have an ideal client who is: A 30-year-old office worker who has constant back pain, especially aggravated when playing cricket who pays on time and refers their family in for care.
Discover Where They Are
Your ideal client will have many places in which they can be found.
- Physical Location
- Where do they live?
- Where do they work?
- Where do they play sport or do their activities?
- Virtual Location
- What websites do they own?
- What websites or social media sites do they visit?
- Interest Location
- What conferences do they attend?
- What books and magazines do they read?
- Who are the thought leaders they follow?
Your job is to match your ideal client with where they can be found.
Develop Quality Relationships
Now that you are clearer on who to attract to the practice and where they hang out, the next step is to begin building relationships with them.
This process is just like building normal, everyday relationships:
START SLOW to BUILD TRUST.
Would you expect to meet somebody for the first time and then ask them to marry you? Not without a slap in the face!! Instead, we start with a progression from meeting, to coffee, to dinner and then eventually to a marriage proposal.
Our marketing needs to follow a similar path.
Instead of asking someone who had just become aware of you and your business if they would like to start lifetime care, perhaps you could engage with them first so that they have an opportunity to get to know you, your business, and your philosophy.
You need to create ways to start a conversation so that you can build trust and relevance.
Deliver Exceptional Value Upfront
Starting a conversation is one thing. Maintaining a conversation is another.
So, what holds people in a conversation?
The answer: Value and meaning.
The conversation must provide value to the person you are talking to. Value can come in the form of education, inspiration, or entertainment.
It must also be relevant. You could provide an amazing talk on chiropractic and golf, but if you are talking to people who don’t play golf or have any interest in it, it’s going to be hard not to see a few yawns in the audience.
Ultimately, your conversation should lead to your ideal people asking the question, “How can I find out more?”.
Creating Your Strategy
To create your modern-day marketing strategy, begin by asking yourself and your team the following questions:
- Who would I/we love to work with? (Ideal Client)
- Where do they hang out?
- How can I/we start a conversation?
- What education can I/we provide that they would find valuable?
The answers to these questions will then dictate what your marketing tactics will be.
If your ideal client is a golfer, for example, then you could look to start conversations on the golf course, the driving range, on golf blogging sites, on Facebook with targeted golf interests and groups, or in trade publications. You could provide education on swing mechanics, injuries or injury prevention, upcoming events in your area, etc.
This information is valuable and of interest to your ideal client and will help attract them to find out more about you and your practice.
As you develop the relationship, then you can begin to discuss options about how you can help them solve their particular challenges.
Marketing can be done in a way that provides an abundance of new clients who fit your ideal profile without being pushy or unethical.
If you define your ideal client, discover where they hang out, develop a quality relationship with them, and deliver exceptional value upfront you will increase your likelihood of growing or maintain a thriving practice.
So, who are you going to start a conversation with today??
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