Analyze Your Online Presence
Take a good hard look at your online presence. How are you presenting yourself and your chiropractic business before your patients step in your office? Google your business. What are potential patients seeing and drawing conclusions about before they’ve even picked up the phone to call you? Google “chiropractors in [your city]”. Does your office show up? How hard does a potential patient have to look to find your office?
What about your Facebook presence? Small business owners are much more likely to update their Facebook with specials, hours and sales than they are their website. Because the information is often more up-to-date, customers have been trained to search for a business on Facebook to get the information they need. Is any conversation happening on your Facebook page, or was it created and forgotten?
Goals For a Chiropractic Business Online
Express Who You Are – This is your space to convey what your office believes in and what people can expect when they become your patient. Tell the world what makes your office different from the other chiropractors in your area, but always do so in a positive way. It’s never professional to put down another business.
Be Helpful – I bet you hear the same questions from your new patients, time and time again. It gets a little frustrating, right? Educate your patients before they even step into your office. Collect all those questions and even those statements patients say that aren’t quite accurate and be the one to put the information online. If you patients come in and ask those questions, hundreds more type those questions in Google. Wouldn’t you like to be the authority that provides the answers? You definitely should. Even if those people live across the world from you, their traffic boosts your web presence, making it easier for people that are in your area to find you when they search for a chiropractor.
Attract Your Perfect Patient – Are you constantly getting patients that just don’t get it? All of us want to find our tribe, the people who feel the same way we do. By putting information about our beliefs and chiropractic philosophy out into the online world, we can find patients that want our specific type of care. Patients that value the same things that you do are more likely to be long term patients, returning customers and a source of referrals. You’re less likely to go home each evening frustrated because the patients you’re attracting are finally getting what you’re all about.
Get a Facebook Business Page
If you’re logged in to your personal Facebook, look at the bottom of the sidebar on the left-hand side. You’ll see Create and then a few options: Ad, Page, Group, Event, Fundraiser. Page is what you’re looking for. Facebook will lead you through the steps to create a page, and the whole process will likely take you less than an hour. Facebook will ask for some basic information about your business and give you space to add two pictures that best portray your business, the cover photo and the profile photo.
But wait… you should know that it is absolutely not enough to create it and forget it. You’re super busy, and posting on Facebook every day might be a bit much for you to handle. Once a week is respectable, shows you’re open for business and keeps people’s attention. So what are you going to talk about once a week? Pictures of your office, inspiring quotes, any changes in your normal business hours, success stories, common misconceptions, a video demonstrating an exercise and office hijinx make for interesting content. Remember, your online presence goals: express who you are, be helpful and attract your perfect patient.
No followers? No problem. Your page will grow naturally over time. To get started you may want to invite your friends from your personal facebook page. You can pick and choose which ones you want to invite. Do you have an email list of patients? If so, you can add that email list to Facebook and it will invite them to like your page as well.
Claim Your Listing on Google
The more information Google knows about your business, the better. Help Google out by claiming your business listing. Fill out some basic information about your business, add a few pictures (just like Facebook) and Google will send you a postcard at your business’ address with a special code to verify that you are indeed the owner.
Ask Your Patients for Online Reviews
Reviews come more readily from unhappy customers. Sometimes we have to ask our happy customers to remember to review us on Google and Facebook. It can be great to do this via email so you can link them to your business easily. An email can also serve as a reminder for people that are absent-minded. Even a small piece of paper in their welcome packet asking for a review can be helpful. If a negative review comes along, push your great patients to write a review, pushing the negative review further down the line, making it less noticeable.
Host an Event
This can go way beyond the free category if left unchecked, but there are definitely free ways to do it. Decide where to host the event. A place that will help promote your event is ideal, like the local library. Decide the topic. What brings patients to your office? What do people in your area need help with? What topic are you an expert in? People are always looking for ways to eat healthier, reduce pain and gain more energy. This event is about helping people solve their problems outside of your office, but you can also let them know what your office can do to help them further. Remember, getting them in your office cannot seem like the primary reason you are hosting the event.
Start an Email List
Social media can come and go. Right now Facebook is very important for a business, but in 5 years it may not be. One thing that lasts throughout the trends is a person’s email. Adding a small checkbox on your initial paperwork asking patients if they’d like to stay up to date on chiropractic health via email could be a great way to grow a quality list. MailChimp offers a free email building service that allows you to collect emails and send out fancy messages for businesses that are starting out with building an email list. Right now it is free as long as your list has less than 2000 subscribers, and you send less than 12,000 emails in a month.
Start by simply collecting emails, even if you aren’t quite sure what you’re going to email them about. After you have a small list, consider a monthly email. Are there any changes to your normal business hours in the upcoming month? Can you feature an exercise or stretch for your patients? Is there any chiropractic news you can share with patients? Your email doesn’t have to be long, but it always needs to be helpful. Too many unhelpful emails lead to people unsubscribing from your list and missing the truly important messages you send out.
Revamp Your Website
For some, this may not fall into the free category, but if you have a website that you can make content changes to yourself, it definitely can be. Decide if your website is portraying your business properly. Does it give the basic information people are looking for, like the doctor’s name and background, the office hours, phone number and address? Is there a contact form so people can easily reach you and ask questions? Do you express yourself and let people know what your values are clearly? Does your site feature answers to those questions you hear all day long? Is it helpful to those researching chiropractors? If not, it might be time to update the content on your site.
If your head is spinning, don’t worry. Take these steps slowly, accomplish one thing at a time, and your business will begin gaining traction!