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June, 2013

A One Month Guide to Marketing Your Practice

By Rachel Cunningham

As a chiropractor and small business owner, you often do not have the time or resources to devote to marketing. What you need are effective and efficient methods to market your practice in just a few hours or less week. A successful chiropractic marketing strategy can easily be started in just one month by breaking up the plan into small chunks of time.

In addition to getting results, a successful marketing plan should be streamlined for efficiency. A strong online marketing strategy for a chiropractic practice is well balanced and covers the foundational elements. These elements include a professional website that is user-friendly, an engaging social media presence and video. These foundational pieces should all be connected to maximize benefits and to provide patients with a great user experience. Here is a week-by-week guide to help you execute a strong strategy.

Website Overhaul: Week 1

Marketing Strategy - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Estimated time: 1.5 hours

While a website overhaul may sound like an intensive undertaking, it can be completed in less than two hours. There are three audiences you need consider before you revamp your website: current patients, future patients and search engines. Many people aren't aware that there are simple things you can do to help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and make the site more user-friendly. You only need to set aside 1.5 hours to complete these simple tasks.

To begin, look through your website and verify that your business name, address and phone number (NAP) are correct. If they are listed in multiple spots on the website, be sure that they all match exactly. While verifying that your NAP is consistent, check and make sure it is also highly visible. This makes it easy for site visitors to call your practice.

Next, add clear and professional photos of you, your staff and your office. Only use clear pictures that can be easily viewed. Potential clients will want to see you, your office and your staff. Non-stock photos personalize the experience for the user and build trust with a patient before they visit your practice.

Check all the hyperlinks on your website to be sure they all work. You will be penalized by search engines for broken links and it leaves users with a bad impression. Remove any links that do not work. Best Practice Tip: have the hyperlinks that take users to another website open in a new browser window so that users are not taken away from your site.

Lastly, write a short biography of yourself and ask your staff members to do the same. Share your credentials, experience and something interesting about yourself. Things like how many kids you have or special hobbies are always great ideas. Add these bios to your website next to any photos. The basic website overhaul is complete.

Get Social: Week 2

Estimated time: 1.5 hours

Social media has become not just a place for socializing with friends, but a place where users choose to interact with businesses. In fact, 80% of people prefer to connect with brands through Facebook (Business2Community, 2012). Your patients want to connect with you and social media is the perfect way to that. There is something in it for businesses as well: increased reach. Due to the nature of social media, anything that a chiropractor posts can be seen by non-followers when followers engage with it. This means the practice is reaching a broad audience, rather than just its own patients.

Set aside about 1.5 hours to get your social media up and running. Select which social media sites you would like to concentrate on because having a business page on every social network is impractical. The most popular networks (with the most users) are Facebook, Twitter and Google+. However, if you share a lot of products, recipes or exercises, Pinterest may be the network for your practice. If you are posting daily motivational photos, Instagram may be the best fit. If your time is extremely limited, focusing on Facebook is your best bet.

Each social network, except Twitter, requires a personal profile before you can set up a business page. So start by setting up a personal profile if you don't already have one. Then set up your business page for your practice. Best Practice Tip: Always set up a business page that reflects the name of your practice for SEO and tracking purposes.

When setting up social media, have your website up in another browser window. Use the same elements, logos, photos and colors that you use on your website to keep your branding consistent. If you still have some time left after setting up your social media, go ahead and start using it. Start posting, adding followers, following others and exploring.

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