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Whatever plans you had for your practice are cancelled, delayed or at least radically changed.

With all this craziness, it’s easy to stop until the crisis is over. Don’t. You’ll lose momentum, patient relationships and cash reserves. If you know how, you can improve your practice and reach your goals–even now.

All you need is a little guidance. In this episode, you’ll find out how to win in this crisis. If you want clarity while other chiropractors panic, listen now!

Show highlights include:

  • Why this crisis will challenge you for years—and what to do about it. (11:57)
  • 3 marketing strategies that’ll get zero results right now (and the one-sentence strategy that’ll grow your brand). (13:15)
  • The case against targeting athletes with valuable content. (13:52)
  • One thing you should promote now more than ever. (15:00)
  • How a “virtual coffee” can ignite powerful relationships and set you up for success for years to come. (18:43)
  • 3 ways to flood your practice with patients when you open back up. (21:09)

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Read Full Transcript

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: All right, welcome to another episode of the Modern Chiropractic Marketing Show. This is your host, Dr. Kevin Christie, and if you can't tell by the audio, I am doing a solo episode from the comfort of my own quarantine in my own home, like I'm sure many of you are.

For me, today's episode is just going to be a little potpourri of things related to what's going on. I’ll give you some of my thoughts, some of my strategies, some of the realities that I'm facing that maybe some others are. I've been in a little bit of a unique situation where I started an early paternity leave. I'm recording this on Thursday. I don't even know what day it is anymore, right? On Thursday, April 9, and I believe that's the day. Yep, it's April 9, and on Monday morning my first child is going to be born. [01:14.0]

We're having a C-section because he's being a little stubborn and is breech. We've tried getting him to turn, but just didn't want to work for us. So, we have that coming on and I had to decide to take an early paternity leave two and a half weeks ago, actually, yeah, three weeks ago this Thursday, because just we didn't know when he was going to be born, and if for some reason I did contract COVID-19, I wouldn't be able to go to the hospital and be there during the process of labor and the whole thing. So, I made that decision.

My practices were running without me, which was nice. But then, we're down in South Florida. Our office in Miami is definitely in a hotbed and the one in Palm beach County is in a hotbed as well, not as bad as Miami, but still pretty bad. South Florida in general, we're struggling quite a bit right now, so decided to close the offices for the time being. [02:11.2]

And we'll kind of go week by week, but I'm preparing. I think like everybody else is, I'm preparing for the potential that it could be May 1, mid-May, June 1, I don't know, but I'm preparing financially and psychologically and all that stuff.

Part of the excitement for me is that I will be able to spend the first probably four weeks of my child's life at home and be there. It was originally going to be a two-week paternity that started on obviously the day we went into labor, but we've had a few weeks prior to that, and then I'll have probably another four weeks after that. So, quite an extended vacation for me in a sense, but obviously it'd be a lot of work once the baby comes here. [03:03.7]

It's just been an interesting time for a lot of people, a lot of things, and so I just wanted to cover a handful of topics. Sometimes they're going to be in order and sometimes they're not. But it's going to be something that I had just had on my mind, had a lot of thinking to do and everything.

And the first thing I wanted to kind of chat about was you’ve got to look at what the positives are of this. This isn't going to be a motivational episode. I'm not going to dive into the woo-woo and all that. But you’ve really got to look at the positive things. And, for me, I already mentioned the one, being able to spend the first four weeks with my child and Laura, which is going to be great.

But then, I sat down at the beginning of the year and I was turning 40. I turned 40 on January 9, so at the beginning of the year I wrote out my year 45 plan and it had a lot of details of where I wanted to get to in the next five years. I'm a planner. It's worked for me. It gives me clarity of vision of where I want to get to. [04:02.3]

So, I wrote this down and a couple of the big-ticket items on this were being able to take six weeks off in the summers and be able to live somewhere, immerse into a city, and enjoy that and really kind of get to know that city, whether it's in Europe or America or anywhere, Asia, South America. That's something that we really wanted to do.

And then, the other thing is I wanted to, at some point in the next couple years, at this year, I started by chopping off Fridays, so I don't treat patients on Fridays. That started January 1, so that was a big step. But the next one was to kind of see how the practice could run without me and then also maybe go back into patient care just Mondays and Thursdays. It's something I'm contemplating right now and I'll be discussing that with my team because what I'm thinking is I'm going to give … When we do reopen and get back into it, I've got a great associate that works in my Boca office and patients love him. He’s just really, really doing a great job. [05:09.5]

So, maybe I'm taking that Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday doing some of this stuff, creating, working on the business but getting out and really networking, because, for me, I'm looking at this as having to rebuild a practice. It's not fully like it was when I first did it, but it's going to be a lot of effort and I'll dive into some of that. I'm kind of contemplating that. Maybe out of this, I take from it obviously the quality time with my family, but also knowing that, okay, I went six weeks without working as far as patient care and I know it's doable, and I've kind of enjoyed it in certain ways.

And then, the third is maybe it's that kind of that springboard into less patient care and more working on the business. I still enjoy treating patients. I really do, so I think if I just hit it hard on Monday, hit it hard on Thursday, that would be great. I'm contemplating that one. That's not set in stone. There's just too many variables, but it's something where I'm starting to wrap my mind around and it's something that could be a positive. [06:13.2]

So, there's going to be some things. I want you to just think about what is going to come from this. Every crisis, there's going to be a capability or something that's positive that comes from it, so try to think what that could be for you. Okay?

Let's take a break from today's episode and announce our first sponsor. This is going to be Propel Marketing & Design.
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. [07:01.3]

And if you're looking to get more organic online traffic that pulls in new patients, Propel Marketing & Design is currently offering chiropractors who listen 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.

Let's move on to a different direction. I kind of mentioned the opening backup and ramping backup, and getting out and networking. And what does that look like, right? I want to discuss that, but before we do, I want to kind of dive into this paycheck protection plan, this PPP. [08:00.6]

What's the story with that? I'm not an expert. I've seen some chiropractors out there hopping on and becoming the PPP expert and the COVID-19 crisis expert, and I don't think any of us have the answers for that and I really think the thing with the PPP, you’ve got to really dive into it with a trusted source that's got a financial background. Luckily for me, I have Christine Odle and I've worked a lot with her over the last few weeks on this. And so, I've got a pretty good understanding, but I'm not going to dive into the specifics of it per se.

But what I want you to consider is, if you get this money, let's just use my practice for an example. I know a lot of my listeners are closed like I am. I know a lot of my listeners are still open, but definitely at a much lower percentage.

But let's say you had to lay off some employees, and by some kind of miracle, the money comes in April 15. I'll just make up numbers. And you can't open up until May 15 and just it's a possibility, so I want you to think of this possibility. [09:12.2]

And you bring everybody back. You pay everybody with this PPP money. Again, it's the two and a half times your average monthly payroll. You get that money. You bring all your employees back. You start paying them with the money. You pay your rent. You pay your utilities and so on.

And then, you open up, let's say, Week 5 of that and you've got another four weeks of paying everybody, and you brought everybody back. But when you open up, let's just make up numbers. You were seeing 100 people the week prior to that. Now you're seeing 40, right? And you’ve got this full staff that was there and meant for 100.

And you roll into Week 9, still trying to ramp up, but it's not going the way you want, and the money has run out with the PPP. At least, the grant for sure. You get the eight weeks, unless something changes, Congress passes another law. But as at right now, it's eight weeks. [10:01.4]

So, what happens in Week 9 when you are still at, say, 50, 60, 70% capacity and you have all this staff that you now have to pay out of your own pocket technically and you can't really support them? What does that look like in your practice? Are you able to handle that?

Are you able to handle a situation where Week 9 comes and you're still at 50% capacity for whatever reason, can't get it back up to the numbers that really justified having the amount of staff you had prior to that? What does that look like? Are you going to have to then realize that you don't have the money for them and lay them off again? We don't want to lay them off, bring them back and lay him off again, so you've got to really consider that when you're doing it.

I'm going to let the rest of the PPP … you can find out from your experts whether it's your accountant, your banker, someone that specializes in the details of it. But that's just something I want you to consider because that's something that I have to consider, because we have a pretty well developed staff and we were humming along, and when we closed finally in our Boca office, we were down 70% in office visits, so that’s a lot. [11:10.4]

And so, how long is it going to take to get back to normal? It's not going to happen right away because you're going to open up. Even when you open up or if you're open, and things technically become back to normal, people are going to, I don't think, flood in. I'm hoping people do go out and it's fine, but you’ve got to prepare for these things. And so, what's going to happen when you do open up? And make sure that you have everything in place from a financial standpoint, your employees, and make sure you have a plan.

Okay, so just take that into consideration. I don't want to dive so much into that, but what I do want to dive into is actually being able to ramp back up to where it happens quicker, because part of what I was going to finish the last sentence was we're going to probably roll into a pretty bad economy. Right? We're going to have a lot of people that are jobless, that lost their health insurance, that are not making an income, are not going to spend money on elective things, whether it's health or others. [12:11.3]

And so, we have to be cognizant of the fact that even though the virus is eradicated, which it’s not, but if somehow that happens, we're still going to roll in most likely into a bad economy and potentially a recession. So, what does that look like for your business? It could take some time.

I just want you to start looking into this, thinking like this could be a thing where your practice doesn't return to its normal numbers. Until towards the end of the year or even the beginning of next year, it could be that way. So, you've got to look at ways to reduce some expenses and figure out what your staffing is going to look like.

Don't fall into the trap of you’ve got this PPP money and it has solved your payroll concerns. It may solve them for eight weeks, but does it solve them for the next six months to 10 months? Okay, so consider that. [13:05.5]

Let's try to revamp our thought process around marketing with this. I've worked with a lot of the chiropractors that I coach, and right now we're talking about marketing strategy and messaging related to the present day. You don't want to be selling things. You don't want to be promoting the heck out of stuff. You don't want to be talking about topics that make no sense.
I shot four videos around golf injuries, and it was me and another Titleist Performance Institute fitness trainer, and we had a videographer and we shot all these videos on a Saturday. This was a month ago. It was very early in March. It was shortly after that the videos were still in production when this whole stuff started happening. I just said, okay, we're not releasing any golf stuff.

Down here they've closed all the golf courses. You can't golf. Most of them. There are some high-end private country clubs, but those are few and far between. Plus, people don't really want to talk about their golf swing right now, right? Sports have been canceled. They're worried about more stuff. So, we've tabled that and realized that golf injuries are just not what I need to talk about right now. [14:15.1]

So, what have we been talking about? It's been things at-home ergonomics. It's been how to fix your own back at home, how to fix your own neck, your shoulder or whatever, corrective exercises, exercise programming. Maybe you can talk about mattress and pillows.

A lot of people I notice in my neighborhood are running. I didn't see a lot of these people running before. Now we've got a lot of people running, and so maybe you talk about a pre-run warm up or some running injury prevention, if that's an audience of yours. Maybe it's activities of daily living at home, right? Maybe that's a big one.

And so, look at those things and start to make sure that your topics are congruent with the times and make sure that you're being useful. I want you to provide a ton of value right now. I don't need you to run some kind of big campaign or anything that, unless—so I've got one caveat to that—if you're doing something virtual right now, then I'm all for it. Okay? [15:10.2]

If you're deciding to do the telehealth, then, yeah, you can have a campaign around that tastefully. I just want you to make sure you're still providing a lot of value. Show them educational stuff. Show them some of the functional testing you do. Show them some of the corrective exercises. Give them some value. But then, yeah, you can promote your telehealth and I'm seeing some chiropractors do a really, really fantastic job of that, and so you can do that if you're doing it.

I'm not necessarily getting into telehealth. I'm kind of focusing on … for me, I’m in I guess a unique situation where, yes, I have my private practices, but I do have the Chiropractic Success Academy and I do have the one-on-one-coaching, and so I'm kind of putting a lot of my energies into my work there, which is been rewarding in a lot of ways, and so, I'm going to kind of stay off that. But one of the things that I have been doing for a couple of years, as many of my listeners know, is virtual summits. [16:05.2]

Let me take a break from the podcast for a minute and I want to discuss my clinic, Health-Fit Chiropractic & Sports Recovery, Boca Raton, Miami, Florida. We’ve got two offices. And we just redid our site.

We hired Jon Morrison and his team at Get Clear Sites to give us a great look, a clear message, compelling content, and I just love working with Jon and I know many of you do as well. Jon specializes in working with chiropractors and he's got great pricing packages for all budgets.

Jon promised me that if you mentioned the Modern Chiropractic Marketing Show or MCM, he will give you a great deal on your new site. So, take a look at GetClearSites.com and schedule a demonstration of their amazing platform. You won't regret it. It's user friendly. It looks amazing and just is going to be a game changer for your practice.

And so, what I did was I had a virtual summit I did with runners and triathletes two years ago, summer of 2018. I'm able to just rerun it, replay it. So we set a day, which was a couple of days ago, and we redid the same one. We promoted it tastefully to my audience. [17:10.5]

And then, I am good friends with the owner of one of the Fleet Feet here and he did one of the presentations a couple years ago. He had started a closed Facebook group when they had to close their office and it was like, Running is not canceled. It's just a closed Facebook group of runners.

Then, I'm part of this other triathlon group and so we partnered in there, and the people or the six other experts in the community that were part of virtual summit promoted through to their list, so that was something that we did virtually. That was a campaign around that.

You can definitely dive into virtual summits if you want to. Actually you can go to VirtualSummits.com. That's what I use. It's very, very user-friendly. It's affordable. I think they're running some specials and you can look into that. It's got some moving parts. It's harder when you do it the first time, so this isn't going to be something you're going to roll out in a week or two. It could probably take you 45 days to do it. But just to give you an idea of what some topics are, they're great. [18:09.5]

And then, the other thing that is pretty cool that I actually had an attorney reach out to me that I would consider friends with. We'd definitely do some work together. He's a part of Strategic Coach. I am. We've been to some Strategic Coach member meetings together. But he texted me the other day and he was like, Hey, let's do a virtual coffee. And I was like … I got it right away. And he's like, Let's do a virtual coffee over Zoom. And I said, Let's do it this time, whatever. He sent me the link through my Google calendar and, boom, we have a 30-minute virtual coffee tomorrow actually. And I really liked the idea. I was like, I'm going to steal that idea.

So, I'm going to set up some virtual coffees and my associate is. I'm going to be kind of MIA for a couple of weeks here once the baby's born, so I won't be doing a whole lot of that then. But afterwards I'm going to do some virtual coffee with my contacts that I already have. So, I would [recommend that].

Strategic Coach has a concept they call the “top 20” and the “farm club”. The top 20—and it doesn't have to be 20 people—are really your top 20 points of contact in your community that refer to your business and that you collaborate with. And then, the farm club are ones that you are trying to cultivate. Maybe at some point they get into your top 20. Maybe they don't. But it's just kind of a farm club. [19:23.6]

But look at your top 20 right now and figure out, Who could you do a virtual coffee with? And just to catch up. It’s just like, How are you doing? Just kind of chat. There's a lot to talk about. Everybody's got a unique story right now around this whole thing, and just catch up and just chat about that, chat about what you're excited about, what your plans are to kind of get back into full swing of things, what their plans are, how can you help? Can I be of any assistance to you? Again, it's like having a cup of coffee, right?

So, I like the idea of the virtual coffee and so it’s something we're going to implement, and I highly recommend you do as well, and start doing that with some of your contacts and see how it goes. It should be pretty good. [20:05.3]

Then, what you need to consider, and I'm not going to necessarily dive into the details of it now, is that you need to have a marketing plan, a strategy for when things do become normal again. That’s going to be a combination of online, plus reaching out to people through email and calling them, patients that fell off or patients that were in the middle of a treatment plan or whatever. Have those people earmarked to contact.

Then, the third is community outreach. What type of stuff are you going to do out in the community to get out there and kind of rebuild this practice? When you sit down to write this, I want you to have those three things in place, and making sure that you have the systems and processes to contact patients that fell off. We closed and we know exactly what patients were in the middle of treatment plans. We know which ones were in acute pain. The ones that have been in acute pain and we had to obviously shut the doors, we've actually messaged with them just to see how they're doing, just to keep up with them. So, I recommend that as well. [21:15.4]

Then, yeah, once we're ready to open, we're going to call all the patients that were on the schedule for the first, basically for the prior three to four weeks. We're going to have an email campaign around being open. We're going to [have] Facebook ads. Again, I'm a big believer in funneling your email address list into a Facebook audience, and then you can target those people in that audience that have already been in your practice, so you can run an ad that only those people see. We'll do that, so we'll have a big push when we're open.

And no one's going to be offended by it. People get it. When small businesses have to reopen or try to return to normal, they're not going to get offended that you're promoting the fact that you're open. I still want you to provide contact, but you definitely need to have a strategy in place to try to get it out there that you are open and that you are still taking the necessary precautions from a health standpoint and all that. And just start to probably meet with your team sooner rather than later to lay out what this plan it looks, okay? [22:18.8]

Then, lastly, I want to just wrap this up with my last thing that we're doing, the three of us doctors in my practice. There are three in total, me and two others. We're doing one or two Zoom calls per week and just touching base on stuff. But we've sat down. We did a Zoom call last four days ago, I should say, Monday, and we wrote out all the things that could be better about our practice, whether it's better macros in our EHR system.

We just actually launched a new website and I had both of them read, go through and read through, and check this, that and the other thing, and so that's part of it. If there are any systems and standard operating procedures that you've been wanting to document, write out. Get that going. [23:05.4]

We're also in the middle of Process Street. It's Process.st and you can write all of your systems trainings, SOPs all in there. You can put videos and checklists. I mean, it's a really great way to have your business’ systems documented in there, and so we're working through that slowly. It's going to take some time, but we're jumping on that.

But, essentially, I want you to think of all of the things you've been putting off over the months and years in practice because you’ve just been too busy, and start writing those down, and whether it's you and/or your team, start tackling those and start getting them done. This is one of those legitimate, insanely rare times where, if you're closed, you're going to have a lot of time on your hands where just the world has paused for an extended period of time. [24:00.7]

Even if you're treating patients still in practice, you definitely have a lot more time on your hands, and it's just a really crazy time. But there's something to be said about the world taking a pause and this is a time for you to collect yourself, get better at the things that your practice needs and have a plan and stick to it.

If you have any questions on any details of this, just comment in the Facebook group, Modern Chiropractic Marketing Group, and we'll kind of sort that out.

We might have a little run of solo episodes here in the next few weeks or so because, I don’t know, I'm not a big fan of interviewing in my house with the dog potentially barking and the calls that I get, but I might do some of it. But also being on paternity leave is throwing a wrench in it as well. So, probably a little bit more solo episodes for right now.

I hope this helped. Just wanted to kind of get some thoughts out there. It's obviously an interesting time. Reach out to me if you have any questions. And I wish you guys the best and health, you, your family, friends, patients. [25:08.3]

I wish the economy well. We're going to get through this. Things are going to change. I'm actually trying to digest what that looks like still. I think we all are. But just know that there's something that’s going to be good on the other side. You’ve just got to fight through this, okay?

Have a great week, and I'll talk to you soon.

Thanks for tuning in today. Please be sure to check our redesigned website at www.ModernChiropracticMarketing.com. Stay up-to-date with our blog, where content is regularly added by Kevin and guest contributors. You can also access our library of podcast episodes there. Go to www.ModernChiropracticMarketing.com and subscribe to the podcast today.

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