Whether you’re competing with 30 other chiropractic offices in your city, or you’re the only one in town, you need a way to make noise and be noticed. People LOVE coming together and sharing an experience with others, which is why you should make it easy for them to be able to do so.
“Chiropractic Events” doesn’t mean you have a community talk about spinal stress (but it could). Your goal is to generate as many smiles as possible, while also generating as many referrals and new patients as possible. Remember to define how many desired new patient leads and actual leads come out from each initiative.
Here are 7 real world ideas that Dr. Tom used successfully to grow his practice that you can introduce to your marketing plan in 2016:
Thanksgiving Food Drive
While Thanksgiving just passed in Canada, our Southern neighbours still have that holiday to look forward to, so why not give thanks for the opportunity to generate new patients at this time of year.
Logistics; you need to start by deciding which local organization you’ll be contributing towards.
The goal is to contribute to a great cause, of course, while also generating new patients for your practice.
I suggest you get 500-1000 tickets printed that offer a 50% discount on their first or next visit in exchange for donating a canned good. You can email your patients and let them know when this promotion is on so they can bring in a canned good at their next appointment (or schedule a new appointment that week).
Take it to the next level and canvas the neighbourhood. Get your team to go door-to-door on a weekend afternoon asking for a canned good donation and in exchange you can give them a coupon for your services.
Don’t forget to feed this story to the local press so you can get extra PR (you don’t get what you don’t ask for).
People are excited to get together in December and share in the magic of the season. If you have lots of room at your office you can host it there, or look into renting a space in the community.
You’ll want to have a sign up for the party at your front desk for at least 3 weeks in advance, and an email invite that goes out to your patient list (Evite is a good platform where you can create a beautiful invite and upload your email list).
In Dr. Tom’s office, they asked for the kids to register by name and age. This way Santa had a toy for every little girl and boy at the party (about $10 limit each). You can make this as simple or as extravagant as you would like – DJ, catered food, etc.
Make sure to take a ton of pictures to use on your weekly newsletters, your social media, and even your future reactivation letters! The goal here is to keep building a strong relationship with your “tribe” and re-engage your old patients by having something fun to invite them to. You can include a raffle draw or introduce a referral contest for those who bring guests to the party.
Donate a Day’s Service
Dr. Tom liked to donate a full day of clinic proceeds toward a cause, usually a local Santa fund in December. The service was provided for free but patients were asked to donate to the cause instead, having the majority of the clientele donating the full service fee.
When you donate a large sum like this, it makes for a great story that can be used for a blog post and social media (yours and the cause you’re donating too). This positions you as a generous and trustworthy doctor in the community.
… it also made the other docs in the area look inside and raise their own standards when they heard about what he was doing.
Dr. Tom LOVED hosting a beach day inside the office once the gloomy weather starts rolling in. He would get a ton of sand delivered to the office and fill a space in the reception area, dress up in Hawaiian leis, and offer the chances for prizes to be earned.
If you handed out coconut water, allowed parents to bring their kids in to build a sand castle, and had a raffle draw to win a prize, I’m sure you could get a news crew out to cover the story and definitely make a “splash”.
Valentine’s Day – Contest of Love
Oh Valentine’s, that time of year where everyone is pressured into expressing love in some fashion or another. So why not make it even more competitive (for those who choose to participate).
In Tom’s office they liked to host a Letter of Love contest. Here’s what you can do…
Let everyone know in early February that you are hosting a contest for the best heartfelt letter written (with full confidentiality ensured). You’re going to want a decent prize on the line for this one in order to boost participation (a day at the spa for two would suffice).
Your patients will be instructed to craft a message from their heart for anyone of their choice. They will type up (or hand write for bonus points) a letter, choosing to sign it or leave it confidential. They will stuff it into an addressed envelope and submit it to the office before February 12th. This gives you two days to personally read every letter and choose who tugs your heartstrings the hardest.
You can then hire someone on Kijiji/Craigslist to drive around on February 14th and deliver them as a value add to your patients. Once your winner is chosen, make sure to share the winner over mass email, social media, and even a “love-ly” poster in the office.
Always share these wins with as many people as possible to help the word spread about your unique approach to business.
Family Mini Putt Contest
This was an annual event Dr. Tom hosted and each passing year brought more and more participation with equally matched intensity. Families started making team shirts, all fighting for the next title.
To do this right, you’re going to need a real cup or medal to present the team with the lowest score (what would the Stanley Cup be without the cup…). You can choose to pay for everyone’s mini golf admission or work out a deal with the owner to get a discount. You’re offering a fun opportunity to bring families together and that is often reason enough for people to show up and appreciate you for the occasion.
You can take it up a notch and turn it into a potluck with toys and balls for the kids to play with after the putt putt contest.
No need to over complicate this, just make sure to have fun. But remember, all marketing events should still have a call to action for visits, referrals or testimonials to ensure the message has wings.
A very popular event for Dr. Tom’s office was their annual boat cruise.
For obvious reasons this only works if you live in a community with a large body of water, and it helps if you own the boat. Regardless, the boat cruise was an excellent way to build deeper, more substantial relationships with their patients.
Whether it’s a boat cruise, a pool party, a bus tour, a potluck Taco Tuesday… it doesn’t much matter as long as you are the reason behind a good time that brings people together. Who would stop supporting a healthy lifestyle initiative with a doctor they know, like, and trust!
Referral contests can be an excellent way to generate MASSIVE referrals. Full Circle’s coaching client out of Quebec City had a few referral contests that created tons of new business.
The first was a giveaway for a mediterranean cruise.
Patients got a ballot for the contest with every referral they brought into the practice. Once the contest closed, this campaign brought in a whopping 58 referrals! Considering his average patient brought $2,000 into the practice (avg lifestime spend), that is an extra $116,000 in potential practice profits for the investment of a $2500 cruise and a little ingenuity.
I would take that ROI any day.
This particular doc did a couple referral contests like this, generating an impressive number of new patients each time. The trick is knowing what your patients want and being willing to invest good money on the prize.
In order to do this confidently in your practice you’re going to need to track your ROI and know the lifetime value of your average patient. Click here to download our tracking template.
There’s a few examples you can implement, but let the lesson of this article not be limited to these 8 ideas but rather a creative kick in the pants to start thinking about how you can piggyback on holidays, events and local news stories to bring in new patients and/or create a deeper relationship with your “Tribe”.
Leave a comment below and let us know an event or contest you’ve put on that generated an impressive amount of new business! We may feature your story! You may also check out Seth Godin’s “Tribes” book as a great way to grow your culture and internal marketing.
My Marketing team is offering complimentary authenticity calls to help you get creative in your marketing in the month of November and learn how to use the tracking calendar. You can email for a slot by clicking the image below.