Many small business owners do little to increase their list or reach out to more potential Patients. Some don’t know how to and some feel they shouldn’t have to.
However the reality is that anything which isn’t nurtured will go into decline. For instance, I left strict instructions with my boys when I recently went travelling for four months. I asked them to keep the noise down when they had parties (I am a realist) and to water my two orchids once a week.
When I returned Max had stripped out my despised old green carpets and replaced them with quality beige ones. I was delighted! However, I was horrified to discover that one of my orchids was totally dead in my office window and the other was clinging to life. So whilst there were no police reports waiting for me, they had totally forgotten to give any attention to my plants!
So I’ve carefully watered and nurtured the one that survived and one month later, incredibly and as you can see, it is in full bloom! But the other one is in the bin…
Growth requires energy and nurturing
I was recently teaching at one of the Osteo schools. The class looked a little puzzled as I began talking about marketing on social media. When I asked them what was up, they told me that their tutors had told them that they should never market themselves on social media as it was demeaning!
To say I was flabbergasted is an understatement!
The online world is now an integral part of our lives. And it isn’t going away.
And we’re very lucky to be living in an era where we can get in front of our audience with very little investment too.
3 Key Areas to Focus on for growth
- Invest in continuing education, be it professional or business related. Our modern world is changing rapidly and if our business is to continually thrive, we need to keep abreast of new developments and stay ahead of the curve.
- Raise your prices, confident in the knowledge that you’re a valuable resource for your patients. When I began Osteobiz I wasn’t sure where to pitch my prices; after all my business was unique. However, some who bought in at very low cost didn’t value the content and didn’t do the work. Now that I’ve considerably raised the investment to work with me, Clients do value my courses and coaching, get the work done and grow their lists.
- Market your Clinic relentlessly, demostrating your true value. There is such fear around what to say in self-promotion and it can feel like selling your soul. But ultimately, if people don’t understand how you can help them then they will never book to see you. There are great ways to provide value to your community that don’t come across as salesy but DO elevate you to health professional and expert in your field. And there’s nothing demeaning about that.
Ultimately, to get a business off the ground, build and maintain growth, we’ve got to be totally determined, focused and irrepressible!
Have you got your tickets to my NEW live event on Friday 8 June 2018?
OSTEOBIZ INSPIRATION DAY is all about stoking up your energy and working on some practical ways to increase patient numbers, which you can take home and implement. Plus the day will be interspersed with inspirational Osteopaths sharing their knowledge and experience.
By the end of the day you will:
- Feel rebooted, energised and inspired
- Have a clearer vision of how to create your future success
- Know how to position yourself within your community
- Have some new ways of marketing yourself which your competitors simply aren’t using
The venue is the beautiful 16th century Barn Hotel in Ruislip, West London, next door to Ruislip Underground Station. It is easily accessibly from the M40/M25/M1 and there’s free parking too.
Registration is from 9am, we start at 9.30am and end at 4.30. The VIP Elite Reception begins shortly after.
A hearty lunch is included and all refreshments throughout the day. My aim is to totally spoil you and give you a day of valuable and inspiring CPD (7hrs) like you’ve never had before!
And if you’d like to be further pampered, you can choose the VIP Elite option, with extra goodies and you’ll enjoy a fizz and fun reception from 5pm! Plus you’ll get the chance to have my undivided attention and focus on all your business related questions.
Get your tickets here and take a well-deserved day away from the coal face and return re-energised!
International Osteoapthic Healthcare Week is a superb opportunity to educate and inform your community about how you help them back to health.
You can talk about being curious about why they are experiencing pain and discomfort. You could mention that you’re like a Pain Detective, looking for the root cause of their pain. You could say that like a car needs a mechanic to fix it sometimes, you’re there to maintain their optimum health and function.
Whatever you say, say it loud, say it often and keep repeating it. We live in a very busy world where a monumental amount of information is constantly bombarding us. Eventually your message will land with the people who need your help. But you may not get through to them until they’ve heard it a dozen times or more!
International Osteopathic Healthcare Week
This is running from 15-22 April, so it’s a great idea to get this trending by using the hashtags #OsteoapthyWorks and #IOHW2018.
If we all do this on our social media a few extra times this week and get excited about it, we can create a shift in the public’s perceptions.
Click my Facebook page link to find lots of shareable short videos to help you get the message across.
Here’s one which has been shared over 50 times already!
Strong, consistent marketing will lead to massively increased patient numbers.
Let’s keep sharing the message that #OsteopathyWorks
Social media mistakes are now highly detrimental to your ablity to connect with potential patients. I spend a large amount of time trawling through social media business pages and a goodly amount of time face-palming!
You see, where there is no strategy there is little likelihood of getting results. So that’s valuable time and engery put into marketing but with no clear idea what you’re trying to achieve.
#1 Mistake – incomplete information
Having incomplete information on your social media pages, is like having a leaflet with no contact details! Only today I came across a Facebook page but there was no website for me to find out more. There was scant information about the person. Indeed so I wasn’t even sure it they were male or female. That could be a very important piece of information for a person in pain.
FIX: Let’s check every social media page you have and ensure that all information is complete so that potential patients know who they’re dealing with.
#2 Mistake – sending potential patients to other media websites
The whole point of engaging with potential (and current patients) on social media is to create and sustain converstaions, rapport and build trust. As you know, social media and the internet in general is a bit of a rabbit hole, down which it’s possible to disappear for long periods!
But if you think that posting a BBC or Washington Post article is being helpful to your marketing, think again! Once they’ve clicked the link and gone off to read this, they may very well head off again somewhere else via another link. They may well have forgotten how they even got there in the first place. So what has this tactic achieved? You’ve very kindly added to the number of hits a media organisation got for its article!
FIX: Take the subject matter and write up a synopsis in your own words. Talk about this particular news or point of view and give your own opinion. Now you are building trust with your potential patient.
#3 Mistake – not posting for weeks or even months
It saddens me when I find a social media page where nothing has been posted for weeks or months! It makes me wonder what’s going on in their life. Why are they neglecting their followers? Why are they not sharing valuable information and advice?
FIX: Ensure there is sacrosanct time set aside in the diary for social media marketing. After all, it’s free and it works like a dream if you keep going with it. If you don’t put petrol in your car it will grind to a halt; this is much the same.
It’s time to become as strategic in social media marketing as you are in treatment!
Work out who you’re trying to connect with. How do you help them? What do they need? How do you help them etc etc. Once you have worked out your strategies, you can implment them and stop making those social media mistakes!
Facebook Ads, what an easy way to get more patients huh? Bung some money at it, stick a pic on it, Bob’s your Uncle and…
Ahhhh – but wait..
Everyone’s doing it these days. You missed the boat didn’t you? So busy sitting out the back and wringing your hands because bookings were sh… ummm I mean… rubbish.
LIfe’s changed buddy. Things ain’t what they used to be. Tech and social media is moving on so fast it makes your eyes water/bleed/fillintheblank
The only thing that’s changing is that these things are going to continue RAPIDLY changing. And you’d better get with the programme buddy!
OK – sorry – I’m getting a bit “down with the kids” but honestly, we’re all going to have to keep up with the reality around us. Even our language isn’t the same as 25 years ago! Blogs? Posts? Social Media? Reach? Insights?
It’s no good burying our heads in the sand. Social media is MAHOOSIVE and it’s here to stay. More than that it will continue to rapidly grow, in my opinion, and evolve into an ever more integral part of our lives.
Are Facebook Ads for you?
So there’s every Tom, Dick and Harriet telling you that you NEED to get au fait with Facebook Ads and it’s the EASY way to get to your target market. They tell you they’ll get you new LEADS for a few coins. Yes it’s all wonderful in Facebook Ads land.
Well yes and no.
Sometimes it’s a useful tool, IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING, YOU HAVE A STRATEGY AND YOU HAVE THE TIME TO TEST, TEST, TEST!
Most Osteos I’ve seen dabbling with this have got their fingers burnt and, similar to Google Ads and the like have found it a costly business with little return on investment to show for it.
Why doesn’t it generally work for Osteopaths?
Personally, I think (at the moment) online Facebook Ads etc don’t usually work for you because you’re dealing with people’s health. And maybe because you’re breaching etiquette.
Frankly, it’s like proposing marriage on the first date! Most will find this a little forward or even freaky…
I kid you not. A Facebook Ad is, if properly targeted, appearing in your potential patient’s news feed. Imagine for a moment if a Bereavement Counsellor popped a Facebook Ad in front of you. Or a Dentist. Or a Funeral Director. Would you click and buy? Would you? On the first occasion you even heard of them?
I think not.
You need to see their Facebook page and their website. You need to see WHO is behind this page and what they stand for. You need to LIKE who they are and what they stand for. Most of all you need to TRUST that they are right for you and for the task you need them to fulfil. All this before you hand over a single penny.
You are highly unlikely to click and buy on the first occasion you see them in your news feed.
And that is why, without very keen long term goals, Facebook Ads probably won’t work for you.
Added to that, as you’ve probably heard, space in our news feeds is getting tighter as more people jostle for our attention.
Apart from family and friends, there’s the local butcher’s page we liked and the local running club along with the bike repair shop. They post some useful and interesting stuff. We like seeing it and interacting with it.
But we keep getting more friends and we keep liking more pages and then there’s the companies targeting us – Facebook is running out of space. And this is presenting a problem.
So if not Facebook Ads then what?
Crucially, I believe that you need to curate a very interesting page of content. Now that sounds both scary and flipping time consuming. But you can do it and you can create superb pages which your local population find interesting and love to connect with because you have something useful to say and share.
Best of all – you can do all that for ZILCH, FREE OR FOR PRACTICALLY NOWT!
That way you’re creating relationships with potential patients, demonstrating your expertise and sharing great information with them so that WHEN THEY ARE READY, they will come to you.
Bunging money at Facebook Ads (or anywhere else) is not the magic formula to building a cracking Practice.
Well thought through strategies and implementation of them are the keys to long lasting success.
I’ve done it from a standing start with just a crazy idea and a bag full of passion. A massive number of my Clients have done it from a place of little or no understanding of marketing.
And I believe that you can too.
During February we’ll be sharing the OSTEOBIZ LURVE on social media!
My new online club Osteobiz Mastery will give you low cost training and solutions to more patients, income and success. One baby step at a time.
Find out more here and I hope to begin helping you today!
Social media is something that Osteopaths tend to naturally shy away from. All that online exposure to an invisible, intangible and incongruent group of all sorts of disparate pairs of judgemental eyes. Err no thank you!
Many retreat and continue to hide away from the whole unsavoury idea. They can feel almost like they’re putting themselves out there into the ether with no feedback to reflect on, no verbal discourse, no facial expressions to interpret. Nothing, nowt, nada.
It can feel like you’re exposing yourself in the crassest possible way and it can therefore feel unsafe and even downright formidable’.
Getting perspective on social media
The simple truth is that the online world and implicitly social media is very much here to stay. It may evolve but it ain’t going away – ever!
Yes social media will continue to alter at a rapid rate. Be assured that it’s not a 5 minute wonder like nutribullets which are sooo last year! Therefore, if you’re aiming to be maintaining a full diary for the rest of your career, harnessing social media is critical to your Osteobiz. Not only that but keeping ahead of all the changes will ensure that you don’t end up being an online dinosaur.
Facebook in particular are at the cutting edge of providing a social media experience which is all about enhancing our lives. It connects us with others and very much aligns with pulling communities together, building and strengthening relationships.
I think you will agree that that is indeed your general aim too within your own community. So whilst you might be getting out there and forging new relationships with groups around you – at least I hope you are – this is something which can also be done online to very great effect.
Indeed this is the cornerstone of what I teach my Osteo Clients and once they see the value in this, apply my techniques and remain consistent in their marketing, they see a direct correlation to increased bookings. Did you know that some Osteopaths are finding that Facebook is pretty much their sole pathway to new patients and increased bookings?
Once you understand the best strategies for nurturing your online followers, you’ll find that it isn’t all that spurious, unsavoury or unappealing. It can be a fabulous and speedy way of educating and informing potential and current patients, spreading the word about the efficacy of Osteopathic treatment and all the myriad benefits that this brings to people stuck in pain.
And that’s why I’m especially keen for you to use a key social media phenomenon – the hashtag. Together let’s spread the word far and wide – #OsteopathyWorks
If you ever need some help with this, I specialise in scaredy cats, the social media phobic and other related confidence issues…
Nab my easy online training to get you started – click here and get Social Media Savvy!
Also if you haven’t already, join the mission on Facebook here
Self confidence is a tricky customer! I spent my childhood wondering why all my school reports said, “Lacks confidence”! You might find that surprising, but it’s true!
I thought I was confident but now, looking back, I can see that I was hesitant and unsure about raising my hand or standing out from the crowd. It’s taken a few decades to sort my head out and stop those self destructive notions from affecting the outcomes I’ve wanted in my life.
Even when I launched Osteobiz four years ago, the old mind monkeys were laughing and poking fun at me.
Who on earth did I think I was, eh?
What made me think I was best placed to help Osteopaths to build their Practices?
What if it all crashed and I looked like a right numpty?
Dreaming big is something I’ve always done but my own self confidence has often got in my way and made me doubt myself, my skills and my worth to the world.
Being self confident is not about being arrogant
Issues around self confidence is a common problem I find amongst Osteopaths too. Thankfully though, arrogance is a trait I rarely see in the profession. Having self confidence in our own value, our skills and our abilities is absolutely critical in business.
When we don’t particularly rate our own worth, it can transfer to our potential customers. They can feel that reticence and feel unsure about whether or not you are the right fit or right Practitioner for them. This all happens on an energetic level. You know how it feels when someone doesn’t gel with you or just isn’t your cup of tea?
Over the years I have worked on my own self confidence and picked off those annoying mind monkeys one by one! I have looked for the evidence that indeed I do know what I’m talking about. I have checked that what I offer is fit for purpose and tweaked and improved things to ensure I’m giving the best value possible. And yes, I have increased my prices when I believe that I’m selling my services way too cheaply.
How does self confidence affect bookings?
Call me woowoo but I have come to believe that the kind of vibe we put out there dictates what we receive in return. The more self confident I have become, the more of my perfect clients have come forward to work with me. More than that, wonderful opportunities, collaborations and inspiration make their way to me. All these things allow me to help the very people who want to build better businesses and help more people in pain.
It’s win win all the way.
So here’s a tip. If you ever struggle with self confidence, start your day with a few minutes with yourself.
Now imagine all those new patients happily rushing to their appointment with you. Imagine how grateful they are to have finally found your magic hands. And imagine how happy they are to pay you a fair fee for all that you give them.
How exciting does it feel in your belly when you see your diary as full as you wish it to be? How rewarding is it to hear the testimony of your happy Patients? Will that put a self confidence token in your piggy bank so that you can continue to stride forwards?
Do you see the correlation between your self confidence and your success?
It must feel amazing to help people back to health every day. I can only imagine how exciting and rewarding that must feel.
Talking of self confidence, I was again interviewed by Steven Bruce at the Academy of Physical Medicine yesterday. Having battled up the M1 and arrived just 5 minutes before transmission, thankfully, those pesky mind monkeys didn’t have time to get started!!
It was a great discussion and actually not at all scary! We were talking all things Facebook and how to get the most out of it. Check out the video recording here – you can skip past the (carefully selected) music if you wish.
APM provides high quality online CPD on a variety of topics relating to your Practice and development of your skills. They will even make and host a FREE website for you! I think that’s astonishingly good value.
And if you’ve never been on Steven’s First Aid Course, you’ve missed out on some thoroughly rewarding training and his highly entertaining delivery. I got to see some of his teaching yesterday and I cried with laughter so much that my mascara ran! I certainly won’t be forgetting those key messages as they’re now deeply embedded in my memory!
Check out the member benefits here and try it for just six quid for the first month.