Attracting new chiropractic patients is an ongoing challenge for many healthcare practices, but it’s vital if your practice is to succeed in an increasingly competitive landscape. With 55% of chiropractors working as solo practitioners, chances are that you’re a chiropractor with your own practice – so the responsibility for keeping the clinic profitable falls directly on you. This puts many chiropractors in a difficult position. The statistics point to the efficacy of chiropractic treatments, with over 77% of people describing their care as “very effective” but, on the other hand, many chiropractors are struggling to keep their practices afloat, as seen in the high student loan default rates among chiropractic graduates.
So, why is there this discrepancy? Chiropractors are providing such an important service, but earnings are trending down. The source of this disconnect may have a simple solution: business acumen. A recent study highlights this issue showing that there are significant gaps in the chiropractic curriculum. That’s just a fancy way of saying that chiropractors need to be trained in delivering chiropractic care, but they also need business training that covers accounting, finance, human resources, and crucially, marketing.
If you couple the lack of business training with the study’s finding that chiropractic earnings have decreased significantly over the past 20 years, then it should come as no surprise that chiropractors have the highest health provider student loan default rates. But it doesn’t need to be like that.
Becoming business savvy isn’t rocket science and if you’re prepared to put in the hard work, you have all the resources you need to turn your practice around (and you’ll have a significant advantage over your competitors). The best place to start is with marketing. If you can improve your cash flow by attracting more clients, it is going to be a lot easier to focus on the other business aspects of your practice.
We’ve rounded up a list of 5 marketing strategies that you can put in place today that will show you how to get new chiropractic patients (and they’re affordable too!)
Quick Win #1 – Update Your Online Presence (Cost: Free)
Chiropractic practices are local businesses, which means that it’s easier to rank your site for your local area. If that sounds a bit high-tech, let’s make it simple. If you can do these four things right now, you’re going to get more leads coming in from your website:
- Make sure your website is up-to-date with your contact details clearly visible. (See more tips for your website here.)
- Set up a Facebook page, fill out all your practice details, and link to your website.
- Claim your Google My Business listing, and fill in your practice details, and link through to your website.
- Write authority blog posts, cover services that you offer in-depth on your website’s blog page, share those posts on your Facebook page and if you have an email list, send the posts through to your clients.
These four steps are going to give you the biggest (and fastest) online wins and, when you’re ready to expand your presence, you have a strong base to work off. Also, because people look online for healthcare services before they make an appointment, you’ve given yourself a good chance of getting found first. In fact, a 2019 survey found that (after patient referrals), website referrals (57%) and social media referrals (38%) were where the majority of new chiropractic clients came from.
Quick Win #2 – Match Your Schedule to Your Clients’ (Cost: Free)
Many chiropractic practices will have lulls throughout the day, especially mid-morning and mid-afternoon as many clients can’t get time off work (and don’t want to take a sick day for an appointment). So, if you’re prepared to be a bit flexible, you might not have to turn away new patients because of a diary clash.
Some ideas that might mean you can take on more clients include:
- Working on a Saturday morning when your clients are more likely to be free.
- Starting earlier or finishing later so you can see clients outside of regular working hours.
- Telehealth video consults for follow-ups which will mean that you can see clients while they’re at work.
- Group classes in the mornings or evenings that focus on therapeutic chiropractic exercises for spinal health.
Quick Win #3 – Set Up a Facebook Ads Campaign (Cost: Low)
There are thousands of resources on the web that will show you how to get started with Facebook Ads but, if it’s your first time, it’s probably easiest just to stick with the Facebook Ads Manager interface. It will take you through the process of getting your ads set up step-by-step, and you can easily have your first one up and ready to run in an hour or two. There’s a bit more to it, and you can definitely benefit from outsourcing to a specialist, but if the goal is to get your business in front of potential clients at an affordable price, this is a good place to start.
There is a cost to running the ads, but you can set your budget low and make changes as you go along. Don’t forget that Facebook ads target people in your local area who will be potentially interested in what you have to offer. Facebook has millions of data points at their fingertips which means that they’re ideally placed to identify the people who are most likely to be interested in your services, and they’re only going to show ads to those people. This takes all the guesswork out of how to get new chiropractic patients because it’s laser-focused targeting. This means that you’re not wasting money, and you only pay according to your budget. And you can choose to scale your budget up and down according to your needs.
You only have to compare this kind of offer to running print ads (for example) to see how much more control you have, how you’ve improved your chances of showing your ads to the exact right people, and how much more affordable it is too.
Quick Win #4 – Build a Referral Network (Cost: Free)
Remember what we were saying about where most practices get their referrals from? Yup, patient referrals at 96% is a clear winner. So, what are you doing right now to grow your referral network? Your referral network should include partners within the healthcare space, but also those that are in some way connected to your target market.
Potential referral partners include:
- Primary-care physicians;
- Physical therapists;
- Local gyms and fitness trainers;
- Sports centres;
- Religious leaders;
- Local online influencers.
Don’t wait for them to come to you! Make a plan to introduce yourself to new potential referrers each week. Then nurture those relationships so that you and your practice are top of mind. Remember to be genuine too – no-one likes someone who is only thinking of their own needs!
Quick Win #5 – Expand Your Product Offering (Cost: Free/Low)
Having a wider range of products and services has two important benefits. Firstly, you can easily cross-sell to your existing clients. And secondly, you’ll be able to attract new clients thanks to a diversified offering. Many chiropractic practices are already doing this with around 50% of practices currently offering products to half or more of their clients. In addition, many practices are also considering expanding the products they offer. Top choices include nutritional supplements, topical analgesics, orthotics, pillows, and CBD products.
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How to Get New Chiropractic Patients on a Budget
We’ve covered five effective ways that can comprehensively answer the perennial question of how to get new chiropractic patients. And the best part is:
- They’re not going to cost you much money.
- You can do them yourself.
- They’re simple to do, although a few will require a small amount of new learning.
- You can get started on them right now.
- They’re going to offer quick results.
There’s so much more that can be done, but it’s often helpful to start small and build your confidence. Then, when you’ve seen some success, you can start to explore other options. If you’re looking for more ideas, have a look at our comprehensive healthcare marketing guide.