Having been down this road personally, I can say that getting traction in the market is not always easy for the new practitioner.
Usually, new doctors have to shoulder the weight of student loans, relocation, transitions into new offices, and, if they don’t go the associate route, opening up a practice from scratch. The challenge for any new doctor is getting patients in the door fast.
To accomplish that, you need to let your community know you’re there and what you provide. The problem is that getting the word out can cost money, and there is a steep learning curve to it. So what are some of the best ways to leverage time and money to get the best ROI when starting out?
Scenario 1: You just walked the stage and got a passing letter from Greely, Colorado, along with approval to practice in your state. You scoured the landscape looking for that perfect location. You find it and negotiate the terms with the precision of a prosecuting attorney in the courtroom.
Your equipment is set up and you are ready to go on your first day. Great, now what? Do people know you are there and what you do?
Scenario 2: You just got out of school and have lined up a sweet associateship position at a prestigious and well-established chiropractor’s office. You have negotiated your contract and have everything in place—you even have your own office and adjusting room. Way to go, tiger! If you are like many others, you have negotiated a percentage of the patients you will see. Sure, you will be getting some spillover from the established DC, but you need to start gaining your own clientele.
Let’s look at some traditional ways of getting seen:
Dine with a doc: I have done several of these but, as you know, costs for food and room can be up there—especially for a new DC.
Newspapers: They still have those? Yes, we did a ton of advertising in the papers. We even focused on size, shape, section, day of the week, and side of the page that brought in patients (we were analytical geeks for monitoring our marketing performance).
Mailers: The old “lick-stick-and-seal” method can be pricey for a new DC. Times have changed. No longer are the days of baggy pants, big hair, and Jenny’s number 867-5309 still working. What is a payphone?
- Make sure you are being seen on several different search
- Double-check that the engines have your correct information (phone, email, address, ).
- Keep monitoring these websites to ensure your information remains
- Ask customers to post positive reviews and then manage
Your No. 1 marketing priority
A top concern should be developing a five-star online reputation right from the start, because your other marketing efforts, whether they be online such as SEO, social media, PPC, or offline such as direct mail, magazines, radio, or TV, will ultimately lead the consumer to learn more about you online. Make sure a less-than-sterling or even worse non-existent reputation doesn’t drive them away.
Most clinicians fail to realize that patients want information that will help them feel confident that they’re making the best, most well-reasoned choice.
Bryan Hawley , DC, has been in healthcare for more than two decades and owned and operated several high-end clinics. He is an international speaker, author, and coach. He is also CEO of SocialMediaDigimark, an online ad and marketing agency that specializes in helping DCs. His partnering company Brighthaus is an international SEO agency. He can be reached at email@example.com.