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May, 2012

Why Your Content is Still King

By Stephanie Beck

In this crazy technological enriched world, where countless amounts of data are available at our fingertips, would it surprise you to know that online content has a very short shelf-life? This includes all online marketing such as your website, social media sites, e-mails, blogs and videos. Did you also know that the average time invested in any marketing piece is about two minutes? And did you know the latest research tells us people will make a buying decision about your practice, product or service as well as you within the first six seconds of reading any information about you?

So, do you think content, and by content I mean not what you say but how you say it, plays an even more important factor into today's online business success? Absolutely! That is why content is still considered king. And that is why the majority of practitioners view marketing as the driving force behind a successful practice. ow more than ever you need to lead with your very best foot forward.

Don't Get Lost

You could have the coolest website, prettiest Facebook page and the best product or service on the planet, but if your message doesn't convey the right benefits to the right people in six seconds, you are lost in a sea of unending data. So how do you know if your content is delivering the right message? One good indication of something needing change would be if your practice isn't growing at the rate you would like it to. And how do you know what message you are sending? Chances are good that the reasons you value chiropractic care are not the same as your patients. So we are going to share the best way to find out what your message should be and how to communicate it so you are growing with the best patients for your practice.

First, think of 5 to 15 of your best patients. These are the patients who are loyal to you, always listen, you seem to have this mutual understanding and caring for their health, they don't need all the "call backs" and they prioritize the importance of chiropractic care, so affordability is never an issue. Spend a little time and write their names down. Now think about what it would mean to your practice to have 50, 100 or 500 patients just like them. Wouldn't that be amazing! How much better would their lives be? How much more satisfying would you feel? Think of the possibilities and guess what? Those patients are out there and may even be someone you have previously treated, but for whatever reason you never connected with them on their terms and in the manner that drew them to you. We can't be all things to all people, nor do we want to be. What you want to do is find those 50 to 500 or more people that are just like your best patients.

Your Fascinating Factor

Next, you are going to have to make the time to send an e-mail to those 5 to 15 of your best patients. In it you will need to ask these best patients for some research help. Share with them that you are evaluating your practice to turn it into a cause. You really want to get an understanding of your skill set and what is fascinating about you. And because they have known you for a while and you value their insight and respect their opinion, you would really appreciate their feedback by answering these two questions:

  • What would you say are my best skills?
  • What would you say are my best talents?

I did this for my own business and, trust me, the results might surprise you. They did me. In fact, those best patients might list items that are completely unrelated to their chiropractic care. I refer to this as the finding your fascination factor. You need to know what it is your best patients find most fascinating about you and your practice. Because if you want to find those 50 to 500 best patients, you need to be able to understand why they believe in you and support you.

As you start to evaluate the responses, you should see a common thread or word throughout. What do I mean by this? Let me share my experience. I have been in sales and marketing for more than 20 years so I expected to hear things that pertained to money or sales achievements. Instead, over and over again, I kept seeing a form of the word authentic. Genuine, "tell it like it is," very friendly, great listener, always very authentic. I kept wondering how in the world does authentic translate into marketing and sales? If people are looking for authenticity, how do I translate that into a message? Well, think about people and their need to be able to trust a person with marketing. They need to feel like they will always hear what they "need" to hear and not just what will make the sale. And those professionals who work with me, know they can always count on authentic marketing advice specifically tailored for their business. As a result, we have our Authentic Marketing Process for all our customers.

Listen and Apply

As you get your responses, listen to what your best customers are saying. It might be, "you're a great listener" or, "I feel like you care" or, "you always make me laugh," which really doesn't have anything to do with adjusting a patient, right? And yet those best customers are telling you those are your best skill set and talents.

Remember, what you want are 50 to 500 more patients just like them. So, you need to understand how these people think, feel and appreciate the benefits of what your practice provides for them. Once you have some data, you then can start formulating the right message so that you can now find the next best patients. Because we know that there are approximately 60,000 chiropractors in the U.S. performing the same services you do, what you need to find out is what makes you unique or "fascinating" to your best or ideal patient. Those patients that are connected, engaged and share a desire for better health. Once you start translating the best message to those best patients at the best time, you should see your practice growing at your desired rate.

Now, what is the BEST time? Well, that is any time your best patients are online. How can you be sure you are engaging them at the best time? By making sure all your online marketing is conveying the right message at any given moment. If your best patients say your best talents are you make chiropractic fun, then you better make sure your website has a sense of fun to it and your social media should be sprinkled with fun facts about chiropractic care. Maybe consider having a "joke of the week" as a signature to your newsletters. Whatever the fascinating factor is for your best patients, if you want more of those patients then you need to be sure you are communicating that factor to the online digital world at all times. This will ensure you have less of a chance of missing an opportunity to connect with other best patients.

Stephanie Beck is the owner of SRB Solutions, an online and social media marketing business. Contact her with questions, comments, and for more information at .

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