Hey, chiropractors. We're ready for another Modern Chiropractic Marketing Show with Dr. Kevin Christie, where we discuss the latest in marketing strategies, content marketing, direct response marketing, and business development, with some of the leading experts in the industry.
Kevin: Welcome to another episode of the Modern Chiropractic Marketing Show. This is your host, Kevin Christie, and today I'm just going to do a little solo episode on what probably is on a lot of people's mind right now with everything going on with the virus, with the economy potentially.
I usually batch, trying to get this one out a little bit earlier. I think it could be very useful for people, but I'm not sure when this is going to come out exactly. I'm recording it on March 12, so we'll see how it goes. But last night was when the president spoke and shut down travel from Europe, and there's just obviously so much going on. We know the story. I don't need to dive into that. But what it comes down to is what does it mean for our practice and what do we do? [01:11.1]
And this episode is not going to be about hijacking this pandemic and turning it into a marketing campaign for your practice. That that was a thread that was inside of the modern chiropractic marketing groups. Somebody asked that and there were a lot of comments and a lot of misinformation about what we can do as chiropractors.
Luckily, there were a lot of people in the comments section commenting and saying what we actually can do and what we can't do. I'm not going to get into that. You can see that thread in there. I do think it was equal parts useful and equal parts entertaining, and sometimes even sad. But the reality of it is we need to be prepared as a practice, as a business. I'm not sure where you're at in practice.
This seems to be kind of my third rodeo for something like this. The first one … I started practicing at the very end of ’05, worked for someone for a year and a half, and then, at the tail end of ’07, opened up a practice from scratch with a partner, and we were cash-based, no insurance, and we were a little expensive inside of a gym. [02:19.1]
And then, obviously, 2008 hit and that was really hard, very hard to grow a practice. It just was a constant struggle for over a year, but learned a lot from that, and definitely stayed the course and weathered the storm. Ultimately, the practice did fine. I was able in 2010 to sell my half of that practice, take a little bit of money and open up my own practice up in Boca Raton. And April 1 this year, coming up in a couple of weeks, will be my 10-year anniversary of my own practice here. So, I worked through that.
The second time was 2015. You might have heard me talk about that on a previous episode with as far as Blue Cross Blue Shield going to ash, losing a big corporate account that was $8,000 a month in revenue, basically all profit, all in the same day, April 1 again. That was 2015, so the common theme of April 1. [03:15.2]
And so, now we're here again potentially, right? We don't know what's going to happen, but we have to prepare for it. I think Strategic Coach helped me out in 2015. They have a little PDF and I'm going to share the link. They've encouraged us to share this, so I'm going to run through it, but I'm going to share the link in the show notes to the PDF, and the name of it is The “Scary Times” Success Manual and it just runs down through 10 things that we need to take into consideration during scary times, and, frankly, this is a scary time. I've got some chiropractors that I coach that are in cities that are getting hit really hard right now and we're talking through that consistently, making sure that they have a plan, and we worked together on that. [04:02.4]
I'm doing the same thing with my staff. As of today, as I record this on March 12, it has not impacted my practice yet. We've been just as busy, so we'll see how it goes, but we're going to nonetheless prepare for this.
And so, number one from this little “Scary Times” Success Manual is forget about yourself and focus on others. I'm just going to kind of read the little blurb that each has and give a little bit of a take. But uncertainty can drive people into themselves, and make them feel isolated and helpless, right?
The best strategy here is to go into the opposite direction, expanding your connection with others and focusing on helping them transform their negatives into positives. The more you contribute in this fashion, the less you'll need to worry about your own situation. You'll become a source of confidence for everyone else. And I think that's important. It's important to your family. It's important to your team. It's important to your patient base in your community. Right? [05:02.0]
For me, personally, right now, the other scary part in my life is my wife is 36 weeks pregnant, and so we're due April 12. What's the hospital situation going to be like? What's this virus situation going to be like in South Florida? There's a lot going on. So, I'm trying my best to be a source of confidence for her and my family. I've got a fair amount of employees, right? So, I've got to be a source of confidence in that regard. And then, the patient base and making sure that we do everything to communicate effectively with them and really focus on them.
So, number one is forget about yourself and focus on others, and I do think we can really do a good job of focusing on our team, our family and our patients, and really dive into that and not make it about yourself, and just really try to help everybody else. Okay?
Number two is forget your commodity and focus on your relationships. For commodity, obviously, that's our profession, chiropractic. Just forget about that right now and focus on your relationships, okay? [06:09.9]
And so, what they say here is in uncertain times people become frightened about the viability of their commodities—or in our case, viability of our practice, right?—the things they sell and the jobs they hold. A more strategic response here is to disregard your own commodity and focus on deepening the power and possibility of all of your relationships with family, friends, team members, suppliers, clients, customers and prospects. Every time you strengthen a relationship, the viability of your commodity will increase.
This is going to be an important time to really focus on relationship building and cultivation, and just being present with every patient, with every contact you have, with every family member, team member, all of those. So, number two is forget about your commodity and focus on your relationships. [07:03.1]
Number three—forget about the sale. Focus on creating value. I think this is a big one, right? There's a term called “commission breath,” and that's when you can just tell that that person is really trying to sell you for a commission and they call it commission breath. Patients have the same sense when you're trying to really sell them and you're struggling, and you're trying to do everything you can. So, most people don't like being sold to at the best of times, right? When times are uncertain or scary, they turn off, hang up and slam shut.
But what people want at all times is value creation, right? That is solutions that help them eliminate their dangers, capture their opportunities, and reinforce their strengths. When you focus on providing these three solutions, the sales will naturally flow.
Talking to a colleague of mine in Seattle right now, great chiropractor, and he's up in his game on Instagram and Facebook stories, and really trying to do as much information for at-home care for his patients that are really just not leaving the house in that area, in that Seattle area. So, really start focusing on value creation, and that's where you're going to create a lot more content and get that out to your community. Okay? [08:20.0]
Number four is forget about your losses and focus on your opportunities. Things you had and may have taken for granted sometimes disappear. Some people never get over this. They keep trying to replay their old games. The better strategy is to start an entirely new game, using new ideas, new energies, new tools and new resources. As the world changes, the opportunity suddenly becomes available to achieve far more than you ever did in the past.
I think I really resonate with that one from 2015. So, now it's 2020. Let's say it's three weeks prior to today where things were going really well. Again, they still are right now, but who knows where it's going to be? But our practice was humming along. [09:08.1]
We dropped those insurances that cut us off. We've developed new revenue streams and things were going really good. February I'm not kidding you was our best month in the 10 years I've been in practice from a revenue and profit standpoint. A lot of that, in my opinion, is driven from what I went through in 2015 and the insurance companies putting the kibosh on us, but then me putting the kibosh on them and changing the game.
And so, number four is forget about your losses and focus on your opportunities. This could spawn another opportunity. Again, another chiropractor is getting into the telehealth idea and kind of had one paying customer or patient yesterday. That's a new opportunity, right? So, let's start getting creative.
Let's take a break from today's episode and announce our first sponsor. This is going to be Propel Marketing & Design. [10:00.2]
I've known Darcy Sullivan for years. We've worked hand in hand on my websites. I don't trust anybody else to do this search engine optimization. She does a great job. There's so much to it. A lot of the lingo and the words are beyond my comprehension, but it's just amazing work that she does, and if you really going to get results with Google, you have to make sure your website is SEO optimized and I really don't want you doing it yourself as a chiropractor. So, you just have to have this type of stuff done.
And if you're looking to get more organic online traffic that pulls in new patients, Propel Marketing & Design is currently offering chiropractors who listened to this podcast a free SEO website review. The free review will help you uncover methods that will improve your website and boost your search engine visibility.
Head over to PropelYourCompany.com/chiropractor and schedule your free SEO website review. You won't regret it. She gets great results. Your website needs this. Your search results need this. Head on over there to PropelYourCompany.com/chiropractor to get your free SEO website review. [11:08.0]
All right, number five is forget about your difficulties and focus on your progress. Things may not be as easy as they once were. New difficulties can either defeat you or reveal new strengths. Your body's muscles always get stronger from working against resistance. The same is true for the muscles in your mind, your spirit and your character. Treat this whole period of challenges as a time when you can make your greatest progress as a human being.
And, for me, I do a lot with stoicism. I just do. I really resonate with that. Some of you might find religion to be that real backbone and foundation for you, and that's great. For me, I've been reading a little bit more, journaling a little bit more, really trying to kind of channel some of the stoic philosophy to help with these difficult times and just realize. [12:06.9]
And I'm a big history buff, and I think one of the best things about knowing a lot about history and always learning history like I have—I've been addicted to history since high school. If I could have made a job out of it, I probably would have done that—but one of the things I've learned through history is you know, just everybody's going to go through difficult times and there's just no way around it. If you live long enough, it's just going to happen.
I'm such a history dork. Right now I'm reading an 800-page biography on Douglas MacArthur, General Douglas MacArthur from World War II fame, but a lot of people don't realize what that man went through. I mean, he was in the depths of World War I, the brutal aspect of World War I, and all the things he went through in World War II and then in family life. You can't even imagine what that guy went through before he became famous in general. [13:01.0]
So, I try to draw on some of that and realize that everybody's gone through hard times. Stoic philosophy is helpful for me and I feel like it's going to help me progress as a human being.
Number six is forget about the future and focus on today. The future is an abstraction. It does not exist, except as an idea. The only future that has any reality is the one you continually create for yourself through each day's contributions, achievements and results.
This is an excellent time to ignore all of those experts who never saw the present circumstances coming. Focus on what you can do over the course of each 24 hours and you'll be the only expert on the future you'll ever need. Okay?
I'm trying to limit some of the exposure I'm getting from the news and from Facebook, especially actually as of today. I deleted it from my app. I'm just going to access it occasionally through desktop, but not the newsfeed. I'm going to just obviously go through Facebook groups. There are a few that I really enjoy and I can get at least relevant, sane information from chiropractors for the most part, at least the chiropractic groups I’m in, and then Facebook messenger. [14:11.0]
So, I'm limiting some of the intake or what I get. I'm going to control what I can control, learn what I need to learn, but I'm not going to get involved in all the hysteria that's out there. Okay? So, that's number six. Forget about the future. Focus on today.
Again, focus. There's another little one on that. I've been saving a good amount of money for us to buy a house, right? We want to buy a house in a year. Down in South Florida, they're not cheap, so it takes a little bit of money to do that. There is a reality that that money might go towards the emergency fund, right, and not buying a house in a year or two, but I can't dwell on that. I’m just going to move on from that and be grateful that I've got the liquidity that I do, and just focus on today.
Okay, number seven—forget about who you were and focus on who you can be. Many people define themselves by external circumstances. When these abruptly or unexpectedly change, they don't know who they are, so they keep trying to be who they used to be. [15:11.8]
From now on, take your accused from the inside, from your dreams, ideals, values and operating principles. These need never change regardless of the circumstances. Take advantage of external confusion to become self-directed, self-managed, and self-motivated. So, again, forget about who you were and focus on who you can be. Let's all improve through this, okay?
Eight—forget about events. Focus on your responses. This hits home for us right now, right? The event is the coronavirus and you can't control it, unfortunately. You can't control what's going to happen. You can't control what other people are going to do. You can't control who's coming to the town you live in that might have it. But you can focus on the response to this, right? And I think that's the key.
So, when things are going well, many people think they're actually in control of events. That's why they feel so defeated and depressed when things turn bad. They think they've lost some fundamental ability. You might think you're losing the ability to be good at business because your patients dropped off 60 percent this week, right? There's nothing you can control about that. [16:21.6]
They think they've lost some fundamental ability, and the most consistently successful people in the world know they can't control events, but continually work toward greater control over their creative responses to events. So, let's just unpack that a little bit, right? They're creative responses to events.
What can you start doing to create? What kind of content can you get out there? What kind of communication can you develop with your team, with your patients? What kind of leadership skills can you improve on? That's what I keep on thinking to myself as I look at … you get all these CEOs in general, and imagine some of the stuff that some of these large companies go through. [17:01.4]
The NBA just actually suspended there their whole season last night. Imagine if you're the commissioner of the NBA right now. Imagine that leadership and demand is on there. And so, I compel you to focus on being a really good leader right now, and even if you're not the owner of the practice, you're most likely a doctor. I might get some marketers that listen, but there's a probably support team underneath you. You’ve got to be a leader to them, okay?
And so, anytime there's fear, uncertainty or discomfort, it's an excellent time to focus your attention and energies on being creatively responsive to all of the unpredictable events that lie ahead, and so having that confidence in those leadership skills is going to be huge. And so, we may come out of this in, let's just say, six months from now. Hopefully, it's a lot sooner, but let's just say we're in talking six months and you say, Wow, I gained a lot out of that. I learned a ton about leadership and communication, and how to be strong during tough times. And so, let's make sure we forget about the events and focus on your responses. [18:11.8]
Number nine is forget about what's missing. Focus on what's available, right? Forget about … maybe that half of your patient base is missing and not coming in. So, when things change for the worst, many desirable resources are inevitably missing, including information, knowledge, tools, systems, personnel and capabilities. These deficiencies can paralyze many people who believe they can't make decisions and take action.
A strategic response is to take advantage of every resource that is immediately available in order to achieve as many small results and make as much daily progress as possible. Work with every resource and opportunity at hand, and your confidence will continue to grow.
And in number 10, forget about your complaints. Focus on your gratitude. I think this is a great way to wrap this up. When times get tough, everyone has to make a fundamental decision to complain or to be grateful. [19:10.5]
That's why I'm getting rid of the freaking Facebook newsfeed. In an environment where negative sentiment is rampant, the consequences of this decision are much greater. Complaining only attracts negative thoughts and people. Gratitude, on the other hand, creates the opportunity for the best thinking, actions and results to emerge. Focus on everything you're grateful for. Communicate this and open yourself each day to the best possible consequences, and you need to be grateful. Look for the silver lining and things, okay?
Those are the 10 steps of The “Scary Times” Success Manual by Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach. I'll have the link inside of the show notes. It's a really good PDF. I've just kind of been reading through it a couple of times over this past week and then they just actually sent me an email, Strategic Coach, with an updated version of it, which is what I just read. And the goal of this is to transform current anxieties and fear into strategic growth, progress and achievement. Okay? [20:11.9]
If you have any questions, I'm working diligently with my coaching clients right now on this and it's going to be a big part of our discussions. But if you want to reach out to me, shoot me an email, Kevin@ModernDeskJockey.com. Try not to make it too long. Make it short. If you've just got a simple question, or not simple, but a question that's short and I can help out in any way or you're just concerned, I think there's going to be a lot of that.
This is why I preach and Christine preaches to me and taught me over the last few years about the emergency funds and the importance of it, so this is what that's for, right? If you don't have one, do your best. Conserve your spending. Do everything you can, and then realize once we get through this, because we will, how important an emergency fund is, so that you can really rest assured you're going to make it through these scary times. Okay? [21:02.7]
I hope this was helpful. It's always helpful for me to read through this. I remember in 2015 reading through it, and now, in 2020, it's something that I definitely take seriously and I hope you got some value from it. I wish everybody the best. We will make it through this and we'll come out the other end stronger and better, and learn from it.
So, have a great week. I'll talk to you soon.
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