Sometimes marketing can be a real pain in the neck, but it is necessary if you want to attract new patients to your practice. Here are five pain-free ideas you can use to build your patient base.
1. Maintain a competitive online presence. If you haven't already developed a website, let's start there! If you aren't up to the task of building and optimizing your site, contact us for suggestions on who can help. But you have to take it one step further. A strong presence on social media is incredibly important. Start by building a presence on Facebook, then add more platforms as you go along. Perhaps you like writing for fun. A blog with interesting and engaging articles will help boost the search engine rankings on your website, and can also be promoted on your social media platforms. Maybe you're more of a visual person. A video series on YouTube can introduce you and your practice to prospective patients and educate them on common back ailments (and how you can help!). A detailed LinkedIn profile will show your credentials and help link you with other therapists and physicians, creating a great platform for networking. The bottom line is that when it comes down to you and the other guys, whoever is more accessible is going to win the patient's business.
2. Implement a referral program. Have some referral cards printed off for patients to pass along to their friends and family. You can offer a reduced-cost consult, free X-ray, or a free massage. Someone who was on the fence of whether or not they should try chiropractic care might be more motivated if there is a special perk. Remember to limit the amount of cards distributed and put an expiration date on them to better control the maximum number of offers given and be sure to throw something in for your existing patient, too!
3. Adjust your hours. Take a look at your practice's hours and see if there is a way to better accommodate your patient's schedules. Are your hours strictly Monday-Friday, 8-5? Many patients appreciate weekend or evening hours, as that is when they are able to get away from work. Extending your hours to suit the availability of a number of patients will boost your business. Maybe Mondays are consistently slow, and you can try being open on Saturday instead of Monday. Flexibility is a great way to learn what your patients need!
4. Try print ads. Though print ads are becoming less popular, they still hold true with the local community. Those that read the local paper take pride in supporting their local community, and a print ad or direct mailer is a great way to reach them. Even if you publish in a monthly print ad, the visual exposure will be there in the community members minds. When the time comes for a chiropractor, they'll be sure to think of you first.
5. Expand your outreach. In the search for new patients, you've got to think outside the box. Try expanding your marketing efforts to regional physical therapists and primary-care physicians, sports centers, and local gyms. Take part in local networking events and become a member of your local chamber of commerce.
These tips are just the tip of the iceberg in what you can do to attract new patients, but with these in mind, you'll be off to a great start.