Many of our Life University (Life U) D.C. graduates decide to open their own chiropractic offices at some point in their careers. An entrepreneurial spirit is wonderful and encouraged, but opening a new office means a chiropractor must employ effective chiropractic marketing strategies to attract patients. The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) smooths the path a bit with their article “Guiding the Patient’s Journey to Your Practice’s Door.”

The original article poses five questions to answer about the community you plan to serve. If you know about the needs of your community, you know how best to serve the people of your community and motivate them to give your practice a try.

Question 1: Who is Your Patient?

To know how to entice patients to seek your care, you first need to understand the type of individuals that typically invest in chiropractic care. Let’s look at some nationwide trends while also making an effort to learn more about the specific demographics of your local area. The following numbers are summarized from Chiropractic and Manual Therapies’ 2017 scholarly article, “The chiropractic profession: a scoping review of utilization rates, reasons for seeking care, patient profiles, and care provided.” The median age of patients is 43.4 years old. 52% of patients are children, 83% of patients are married, 77% are employed and 57% are female.

When creating a strategic marketing plan, you will need to evaluate what will best suit the needs of your patients and your practice. A pediatric practice, for example, might wish to offer flexible hours for busy moms on the go. If you are working with a lot of professionals utilizing employer health insurance, it will be vital to make that process as user-friendly as possible. If you work in a rural area, your patients may tend to be older and therefore more likely to seek care for chronic conditions. Put yourself in the shoes of the patient and do your best to address their most crucial needs.

Question 2: How Can They Learn About You?

A cultivated online presence for your practice is indispensable, as many consumers scour the web for healthcare providers, including 61% of those searching for chiropractic care according to F4CP. Taking the time to understand and implement search engine optimization (SEO) and other search engine marketing tools can be an affordable and effective part of your marketing plan, as it is rare for online users to go past page three in Google search results. Once the patient lands on your site, it needs to be intuitive for them to use. Ideally, it should look modern and contain all important information without a lot of digging. If you are not confident in web design, consider consulting with and hiring a web design professional.

Patients need to know how to schedule an appointment and where your practice is located. The photos of yourself, your staff and facility must project a clean, comfortable environment to help establish trust and credibility. Your practice website also needs to be friendly for mobile viewing, as 68% percent of healthcare-based searches originate from a phone or tablet. Educational content about Chiropractic, perhaps in a blog form, can drive positive traffic to your site. Testimonials from satisfied patients are also meaningful.

Social media can be a helpful tool as well, though it requires more consistent posting and does have some risks that need to be monitored. According to ChiroTouch, the four top social media platforms for chiropractic content are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. Notice that three of the four platforms are very video and/or photography-heavy, which makes sense for Chiropractic as it is best explained when demonstrated.

Pick one or two platforms to commit to posting to, at least once or twice a week. If you cannot commit to keeping a social media platform refreshed, it might be better not to use it for your business, because a business social media page without new posts can look stale and neglected. Keep in mind that people may comment on your pages, sometimes negatively. That cannot always be entirely avoided, but it is best practice to ask the poster if there is a way to resolve an issue privately. In general, however, the benefits of a well-thought-out social media presence outweigh the risks.

Question 3: What are Their Concerns?

Whether they are new or experienced chiropractic patients, it is likely that a patient will visit your practice to manage one or more neuro-musculoskeletal conditions. Lower back pain, neck pain and extremity problems are the most often reported.

Besides receiving quality care, patients often worry about affordability. It is important to ensure that patients understand all potential costs involved and that pricing is transparent. This can require some educating of your patients to explain to them how chiropractic care can benefit them in the long term and how it can reduce their overall healthcare spending through a prescribed preventive care plan and lifestyle changes. Patients that are new to chiropractic care and that have likely only tried pharmacy-based treatment will probably need more pre-visit information provided about a D.C.’s services as opposed to a more experienced patient.

Taking the time to carefully communicate all potential concerns in verbal and written form will play a big part in your patient’s confidence and comfort level in your practice.

Question 4:  Why Should They Book an Appointment? 

There are plenty of reasons why a patient will or will not decide to book an appointment that are largely out of your control, such as health plan coverage and how close the practice is to their home or work. An above-and-beyond pre-visit experience, however, can convince a patient to travel a bit farther or go outside of their health plan network.

Accessibility and convenience are influencing factors that affect a patient’s decision-making, and this is an area that you can exert control over to some extent. Offering same-day or next-day appointments, for example, will attract patients with immediate pain. Great customer service on the phone and detailed information can help convince potential patients to visit your office.

Online reviews also have sway with potential patients and can improve searchability. Make a point to gently ask satisfied patients to post a positive review for your site or on Google, Yelp, etc. Consequently, try to keep an eye out for negative reviews and attempt to resolve them fairly and quickly. If it is a simple fix, sometimes you can respond directly on the site with a potential solution, which demonstrates to potential patients your attention to patient care and problem-solving. All public and private responses need to demonstrate empathy and understanding. Do not engage in an online argument.

Question 5: How can you Retain Your Patient?

Retention is often affected by a positive clinical outcome, but a patient’s service experience in your practice is crucial for retention, each and every time they interact with your practice. Brief waiting times in the reception area, a breezy check-in and checkout process, an inviting environment, and personable staff all play a part in exceeding service expectations and bringing patients back. Personalized care plans that address a patient’s specific conditions and lifestyle also make your patient feel valued and seen, encouraging them to return and recommend your practice to family and friends. Sending follow-up information and reminders can also help patients to keep up with their care.


Other Chiropractic Marketing Resources

For more ideas on chiropractic marketing, there are numerous resources available, from podcasts like The Modern Chiropractic Marketing Show to paid detailed marketing plans from The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. Do some exploration to decide what is most feasible and supportive of your business.

Life University students have access to a wealth of chiropractic marketing knowledge inside and outside the classroom. Practice and business management courses are a vital portion of the D.C. curriculum. Outside of the classroom, there are numerous on-campus clubs and organizations dedicated to expanding D.C. students’ understanding of the business and marketing side of Chiropractic. Some of these organizations include Chiro One Entrepreneur Club, AlignLife Club and Integrity Doctors Club. Life U is proud to empower the next generation of chiropractors in all aspects of their practice.


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