The first question about marketing that needs to be tackled right away is
“Why is marketing so important for my clinic?”
I was hired by a company a few years ago to research how most chiropractors got patients.
And no matter who I called, their response was always that they got most of their patients through word of mouth and referrals.
The people who didn’t really do a lot of marketing or advertising got, on average, 15 to 20 new patients a month just from word of mouth and referrals. These are all people that have been in practice for a while.
What’s interesting is that people who had marketing and advertising still got most of their patients from word of mouth or referral… but they got two to three times as many.
So I think one of the most important things about marketing is that there are probably people out there who want to use your services, have heard about you, and you’d be a perfect fit for them…
- They just can’t easily get ahold of you.
- They can’t easily get your number.
- They don’t know where you’re at.
Marketing closes that gap and allows those people who want to find you do it better and faster.
On the other side of the coin is the fact that the Clinic/Gym model is relatively new. And everybody that comes into one of these facilities often says:
“Oh man, this is exactly what I was looking for.”
But because it’s so new and there’s not a ton of them, you really got to market and clearly state the message
about what the goal is to have those blended services.
Because a lot of people are looking for it, but they just don’t know it exists. And when they find it, they’re just blown away.
Let’s go over the marketing tools you have on your hands and how you can use them best.
Now, is email marketing effective? Well, email is a good way to send information. I think you, like me, use your email account a lot of times to pull up confirmation numbers for hotel reservations or order details.
It’s also a great place to send content and tell a story like I’m doing right now.
But email is really a one-way communication. You can’t really tell if that person reads it. You can’t tell if they understand it. You don’t have any sense about that.
One-way communication is efficient because you can send 10,000 emails in one click of a button, but it doesn’t mean there’s actual communication going on there.
Whereas other forms of communication that are two-way, like texting, help you have a conversation.
There’s also booking appointments. Typically, unless the person is just absolutely dying in pain, I can’t imagine they book appointments off emails that often. Actually, I don’t think they book any service off email!
So if you only have an email booking service, you might want to consider other options.
Now, if we look at Facebook, it’s the perfect place to make announcements and post quick information, or even redirect people to longer content, like blog posts.
You put up a Facebook post 1,000 people might see it.
But again, if you’re only making announcements, that doesn’t really start a conversation.
It’s hard for your potential patients to get to know you, to get to know what you believe in.
And a lot of them really want and need that before they can commit to getting treated and joining the gym.
Text messages are great to send little “blips” of information:
- remind somebody of something,
- send an appointment reminder,
- send a link to an article.
They’re really good for fast communication.
A member of the staff at a front desk can communicate with 12 to 20 people in five minutes through text messages.
The thing is, text messages get opened much more often and much faster.
You can use this to your advantage by welcoming somebody, helping to get somebody into your office.
If you say, “Hey Mrs. Johnson, we’re excited to meet you. Here’s a quick reminder: your appointment is at 4:00 on Thursday”
She can just say “Thank you,” but she can also interact by saying:
“Actually 4:00 doesn’t work. Do you have a 5:00?”
That really quick communication will take the patient about 10 seconds and make a great first impression.
And if we really want to connect with people, then we also have to look at things like phone calls.
Many people feel like the phone is dead, but the phone is actually incredibly powerful.
Now, it is difficult to get people on the phone. For example, I make a lot of phone calls and most days I only talk to a quarter of the people I call.
But when I do actually connect to them, I can make a huge change in whatever’s going on. Or I can make a really big sale, or I do a lot of one-on-one communication that I can’t do anywhere else online.
Conversations are crucial in our world, and your marketing tools have to allow for those conversations.
I’m sure you see that email can’t do that.
People want to tell you about their pain or what they’re going through.
They want to make sure that you understand them in a way that they can actually get decent care and help.
And sometimes you’re only one or two questions away from them becoming a patient – but a lot of times there’s gotta be something other than email or Facebook to do that, like a text or a phone call.
The real sales for the Clinic/Gym Hybrid model happen through conversation.
It’s very rare that any of my clients have people sign up for a membership without meeting with them, without talking with them. A fitness membership not just something you buy off a website.
So, every marketing tool has a role to play.
But remember to never overlook the most basic and most important of all.
If you want people to be in your Clinic/Gym, you gotta be there for them first.