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October 09, 2008
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The best kept secret in chiropractic marketing
By Michael Lax, DC

Psst! Do you want to hear a secret? There’s a great way to market your practice that management coaches rarely talk about. It’s inexpensive, yet powerfully effective. So, what’s the secret? Newspaper columns!

Think about it…a pertinent, well-crafted regular chiropractic column in your local paper is the best and, arguably, the most cost-effective, exposure you can get for your practice.

In most cities and towns the local newspaper is the main source of community news for thousands of people, 90 percent of whom have never visited a chiropractor. What is going to persuade these potential patients to see a chiropractor for the first time, and you in particular? A big ¼ page advertisement offering free exams? Absolutely not! There is no more effective way to devalue your service and throw away hard-earned profit potential. Instead, a regular newspaper column will:

• BUILD TRUST

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To attract new patients into your office you first need to develop trust. As a chiropractor, the best way to build trust is to teach people you know what you are talking about, and that you have the training, skills and compassion to be able to help them. What better means to do this than with a regular newspaper column?

A regular column in your local paper, with your name, photograph and office logo, will tell your community far more than simply who you are. Vital to building trust, a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly column provides the opportunity to demonstrate to vast numbers of potential patients your knowledge and expertise, how chiropractic works, and how it can improve their lives and the lives of their families. With every article read, that trust grows.

• USE THE POWER OF REPETITION
As you have heard many times, the key to successful marketing is repetition. This is the reason a regular newspaper column is more effective for expanding a practice than one-off or sporadically published articles. Indeed, acquiring patients requires patience! A regular column will gradually build your reputation as an expert on whatever aspect of health and wellness (within your scope of practice) interests you. Before long people will start recommending you to their family, friends, and neighbors, even though they may never have come to you for care! As your reputation grows, you become known as THE doctor to see.

• TARGET YOUR IDEAL PATIENTS
Studies on newspaper readership consistently show that the typical reader has a higher than average education and income level. It so happens this demographic also represents the people most likely to become chiropractic patients. Moreover, newspaper columns can serve as a particularly effective method of targeting the types of patients you want to attract, and a great tool for helping sculpt your ideal practice. For example, if you want to develop a strong sports-oriented practice, your articles might concentrate on chiropractic management of sports injuries, fitness, and athletic enhancement. Wellness, rehabilitation, pediatrics, whiplash care, seniors, …what you choose to write about, you will attract.

Michael Lax, DC, has been practicing since 1989 and operates multiple chiropractic clinics. He has published over 150 articles about health and chiropractic in a variety of newspapers and magazines. He is the founder and owner of ChiroColumn, a company that provides expertly crafted newspaper columns for chiropractors to use in their local media.  He can be contacted by e-mail: chirocolumn@telus.net. For more information about ChiroColumn, go to chirocolumn.com or call 888-707-5656.

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