Attracting new patients is the key to a successful chiropractic practice. If you can't develop multiple consistent sources that provide you with new patients, thriving as a chiropractor is going to be difficult.
The simple answer to: how do chiropractors attract new patients… It’s all about consistent marketing efforts that drive results, but the more detailed specifics can be found below in this list of 16 smart ideas to fill your practice!
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Facebook ads are an excellent way to find prospective patients in your local area. The microtargeting ability of the Facebook ad system allows you to get your ad in front of the exact people you want ‒ namely the people within a certain radius of your office.
While it’s easy to make a simple text-based ad, the best strategy is to experiment with different formats. Educational content like videos, blog posts, and webinars are all great lead-ins to introduce people to your services and practice.
When writing the text for your ad, you’ll want to focus on something marketers call “problem awareness”. This basically means that the people who view your ad won’t even be aware that they have a problem (neck pain, for example).
Using educational content in your ad will make viewers aware that they have a problem ‒ and that chiropractic care can help solve that problem. Using a problem awareness approach on Facebook will improve your ad’s conversion rate and get more new patients in the door.
An increasing number of people are finding chiropractors on Google. As such, getting your business and website to rank in the top spot in the search results is something you should be spending a significant amount of time and energy on.
You can secure the top spot in the search results by employing a variety of local SEO strategies. Here are some of the most effective local SEO tactics you can use:
As I just mentioned, reviews are an essential part of your new patient acquisition strategy. People who are interested in your chiropractic services will use third-party reviews over everything else to decide whether to book an appointment with you or one of your competitors.
To consistently get positive five-star reviews from your patients, you can follow a three-step process: Listen, Ask, and Teach.
Before you start asking patients for reviews, listen to their feedback. If you're getting nothing but positive reactions to your business practices, you can move on to the next step and start asking for reviews. If you do get some valid criticism, make sure to address it before asking people to post public reviews about your practice.
Once you’re satisfied with the state of your practice, you can begin asking patients to leave you reviews on the most popular review hubs ‒ namely Google, Facebook, and Yelp. You should prioritize Google first, as Google reviews will be what impacts your local SEO and gets you better search rankings.
Before you start asking for reviews, there are two things you need to think about: who you’re going to ask and how you’re going to ask them.
Let’s start with the who. You should prioritize asking patients who have been in your practice for a long time. These people have the strongest connection with you, and are most likely to leave a review when you ask them to.
After figuring out who to ask, you need to figure out how to ask them. Unfortunately, simply asking patients to search you up on Google and leave a review rarely works. You're forcing the patient to work far too hard to get to the review page.
Think about it ‒ once you ask a patient to leave a review, they have to successfully do all of the following things:
There is far too much friction in this process. Only the most dedicated and tech-savvy patients will end up leaving a review.
The most effective way to obtain reviews is a three-step process:
Once you've got some reviews from trusted patients, you can teach your staff how to ask for reviews from all patients. This will be made easier if you create a flier that asks for reviews and explains how to get to the review page.
Getting your current patients to refer new patients to your practice is an effective (and free!) way to boost your income.
If you want to build up patient referrals as a consistent source of new patients, you need to implement a system. Asking patients randomly for referrals is better than nothing, but strategically planning out who to ask, when to ask, and how to ask them will bring you more referrals.
The exact nature of the system you implement is up to you. To get you started, here's a rough outline of how you can implement one.
Who to ask
You can pretty much ask any patient a referral. It doesn't matter how long they've been in your practice ‒ if they're satisfied with your care, you can feel secure in asking for a referral.
When to ask
Each new patient will have certain milestones in their care experience. Here are the most important ones:
Asking for a referral at any one of these milestones will make it more likely that they do end up referring someone.
How to ask
Asking for a referral is tough. Choosing the right words can be surprisingly difficult in the heat of the moment. To help with this, I recommend writing out and practicing a script. Once you've got it memorized, asking for a referral should become a natural and easy process.
Teach your staff
Once you've worked out a decent system, you should teach it to your staff. Give them the script and have them memorize it, and teach them the milestones at which they should use the script.
Receiving referrals from insurance companies and healthcare providers will always be an effective way to gain new patients.
The insurance companies you're in network with should be referring patients automatically, but you can definitely increase your referral count by forming relationships with other healthcare providers.
The best way to build a relationship with and get referrals from other providers is to refer patients to them yourself.
Those providers will both recognize that you trust their expertise and appreciate that you're sending them additional business, and there's a good chance they'll return the favor and send some patients your way.
Don't over-refer patients though. Only send someone to another doctor if there is a genuine need for them to be seen. Referring patients that don't need additional care will dilute your patients' trust in you and make other providers question your competency.
While blindly sending referrals to providers in your area is a good start if you've got a relatively new practice, your referrals efforts will be much more successful if you form relationships with the providers you refer to.
If you'd like to increase your referral traffic, here are a few ways to build long-lasting relationships with providers in your area:
If you've got some decent writing chops ‒ or the funds to afford a ghostwriter ‒ writing a book about chiropractic care is an excellent way to attract new patients to your practice.
Before writing any kind of non-fiction book, you'll first need to prove you have some kind of authority to talk about the subject you're writing about.
As a Doctor of Chiropractic, you already have the authority to write about chiropractic care. However, there are already plenty of chiropractors who write about chiropractic care. You'll still need to gain authority compared to this group of established writers.
The best way to establish authority is to start your own blog and to write guest posts on other blogs that are already well-established.
Building on the blogging concept, one option that is gaining in popularity is blogging a book instead of writing a book. That basically means you would still be writing a book, but you would be separating each chapter into different blog posts and publishing them on your website.
Blogging a book has a number of advantages over writing a book:
If you do want to write a complete book, self-publishing an eBook is your best bet.
It's next to impossible to land a decent publisher without already having a following, and self-publishing online has honestly never been easier.
Once your eBook is published, you can use it as a promotional tool to attract patients and build an email list.
Your practice wouldn't exist without your patients.
To show your appreciation for the people that provide you with a living, you can hold a patient appreciation day, which is basically a fun event that shows your patients how thankful you are for them.
The side benefit of holding a patient appreciation day is that it may attract new patients. If your event is sufficiently exciting, your current patients may bring non-patients along with them to enjoy the festivities... and these non-patients may end up booking an appointment.
Everyone loves a free meal. Use this fact to attract new patients by hosting a Dinner with the Doc event.
If you're unfamiliar with this event, you'll basically be hosting a free dinner for anyone who wants to attend. At this dinner, you'll be speaking to the crowd about the many benefits of regular chiropractic care. If you're sufficiently persuasive, some of the people who attend this event will become new patients.
The best way to ensure attendance at a Dinner with the Doc event is to leverage targeted advertising on platforms like Facebook. Pay a bit of money now to get your event in front of the people in your town, and you'll likely make a lot more when you convert those people into new patients.
Lunch and Learn events basically Dinner with the Doc events ‒ they're just done at lunchtime instead.
Depending on the venue you choose, Lunch and Learn events can be cheaper than Dinner with the Doc because lunch food is typically cheaper than dinner food. Just be aware that choosing lunch over dinner for your speaking event might mean less people are available to attend.
Attending local events is another way to increase your new patient count.
The majority of chiropractor-friendly events are festivals where you can set up a booth and provide complementary exams and adjustments, but feel free to get creative with other types of events.
To register for upcoming festivals in your area, you can search for "YourTown festivals" on Google and contact the organizers to request a booth.
Attending local events is great, but there can be a severe lack of suitable events depending on where your practice is located.
If this is the case for you, you can take matters into your own hands and host your own events. A good event should be family-friendly, fun, and relatively inexpensive.
It doesn't even need to involve free exams or adjustments ‒ as long as the fact that your practice is hosting the event is prominently displayed, the goodwill and exposure should attract new patients.
I mentioned the value of local networking when discussing referrals earlier. This section will discuss networking strategy in a bit more depth.
When you're at a networking event, it's important to be able to read the room and determine which groups are "open" and which are "closed".
Groups of people with a space for you to enter are "open", and you can feel comfortable filling that space and initiating a conversation.
If a group has zero opportunities for entry ‒ which means there is a back to you no matter which angle you look at the group from ‒ the group is "closed" and you shouldn't try to enter the conversation. If you do, the group will perceive you as pushy and respond in a hostile manner.
You also need to decide where you will be attending networking events. Here are a few of the best options:
Once you've figured out where you'll be networking, it's time to prepare for the event. While preparing for a networking event could be an article all its own, here are some of the best tips you can employ:
A strategic partner is an organization you join up with to improve both of your respective services.
In the chiropractic realm, partnering with other providers or larger healthcare networks can benefit both your practice and your partners' practices. If you don’t want to partner with a medical provider, you can also reach out to non-profits, local sports teams, and other organizations who would benefit from a chiropractic partnership.
The most obvious benefit of obtaining a strategic partner is that you can refer patients and customers to each other ‒ but you can also share knowledge, enact joint marketing strategies, and promote any physical or digital products you or your partners are offering.
Shooting Facebook Live videos are a quick and easy way to interact with your Facebook following. These don't require all that much preparation ‒ just open your phone, go live on Facebook, and start talking.
Some of your followers will join the video, and you'll be able to talk to them about chiropractic care and how you can help them with their problems.
YouTube is another great way to build a following and convert prospects into patients.
Most successful chiropractic YouTube channels are educational in nature, but your content can also be promotional or entertaining ‒ if it gets positive attention, it can bring you new patients.
The final method on this list is to speak locally about the benefits of chiropractic care. This is a surprisingly effective way to get new patients if you're an effective public speaker.
While the list of potential speaking locations can contain hundreds of places, here are some of the best options:
Figuring out how to consistently get new patients is arguably the most important part of a successful practice. The 16 ideas we discussed will help you bring in new patients without too much effort!
If you’d like to explore some more advanced methods of getting new patients, you should consider booking a free consultation with one of the chiropractic marketing experts at Ignite Marketing. We can give you personalized advice and in-depth strategies for acquiring new patients that simply can’t be adequately covered in a blog post like this one.