Last weekend was the iO Convention in St Paul’s, London. Whilst we were all networking, learning and dancing after the Gala Dinner and Awards ceremony, all hell was breaking loose about the latest Facebook changes!
A rather sensationalist piece about dual news feeds was going viral and, like a fox amongst the chickens, there was much clucking, fear and panic!
The article whipped up a frenzy by stating that the latest Facebook changes meant DEATH TO SMALL BUSINESSES! I kid you not! The assertion was that all our business posts will be redirected to this other news feed. They feared that your ordinary Joe wouldn’t have a clue that it even exists and therefore wouldn’t go and look at it.
OMG then that must mean that your business will shrivel and die down that deathly quiet and ghostly alley where nothing but a hungry fox lurks…
The hysteria increased as we headed into the new week with ever more delirious opinions. They forecast massive drops in organic reach and theatrical announcements to business page followers stating that ‘you will never see posts from this page again’!
Hold on now – what exactly are the latest Facebook changes?
As of the second quarter of 2017, Facebook had 2 billion monthly active users – which seems insane right?! But what that means in reality is that our news feeds are mega busy.
Unlike Twitter, who feeds ALL posts through in one long and constant stream, Facebook has a nifty and highly intelligent algorithm. This sophisticated software constantly mutates, learning about our preferences via our interaction and behaviour on what we see in our news feeds.
For instance, once upon a time, there were only friends’ posts in my news feed. But as Osteobiz began taking off, I started ‘liking’ my Clients’ business pages as we created them. Back then, four years ago, not many Osteopaths even had a business page but it was something I strongly encouraged. It seemed to me that there was massive value to be had in free and engaging marketing!
However these days, my Facebook feed is rammed with Osteopathic clinic posts from all over the world! But that’s just my choice as it’s my passion and my mission to help more people find Osteopathy. But basically Facebook can’t offer me any other type of posts which might be of interest to me because there simply isn’t any space to show me.
So what they’ve done, rather cleverly, is to create a second news feed which has an entirely different purpose. On the left hand side of your home page is a little rocket icon next to ‘Explore Feed’. (You’ll need to go right down the list there to find it).
This latest Facebook change gives you the opportunity to explore other kinds of posts from pages which you don’t currently follow. The idea is to expand your mind and to entertain you with new content – hence the rocket going off to explore new galaxies!
The algorithm already knows what type of stuff you have liked, reacted to and commented on and so it dishes up more of the same kind of content. The hope is to give you an even better experience on Facebook.
Watch the webinar about this in my Facebook group!
I shall be talking more about the implications of this in a live webinar this evening in my closed Facebook group #OsteopathyWorks. This platform was set up to support and engage with Osteopaths all over the world.
Currently there are nearly 1,400 Osteopaths or students who have come together to help each other with advice and ideas. It’s so important to positively promote the profession after too many unfair and unsubstantiated allegations and negative behaviour from so called journalists and others.
It can be soul destroying when Osteopathy gets bashed by those intent on belittling the profession. However, I feel that engaging in a war of words can become ugly and pointless – much as it feels satisfying to take a jab, jab, right hook back!
Far better, surely, is to rise above it and promote more positive and affirmative information, patient opinion and evidence. This allows individuals to make up their own minds about whether Osteopathic treatment is an option for their pain.
I hope you’ll come into the group and watch the recording to find out more. I’ll also be talking about what action you can be taking to ensure your social media marketing efforts are not wasted and result in patient numbers dropping!
After all, we don’t want THOSE particular chickens coming home to roost…
Osteobiz Whiz is my entry level online programme which not only teaches Facebook marketing but also improves confidence in promoting your services to your community generally. The four modules are designed to take you very quickly from stuck to successful.
You can access all this from the comfort of your armchair whenever you wish! Plus there’s a corresponding and thriving Facebook forum where you’ll get even more ideas, help and advice as well as amazing inspiration from your global colleagues!
Upon completion, simply ask me for your 4 hour CPD certificate and enjoy your busy week!
Doors are open right now!
Here’s more information
It can be difficult to know what to say in our marketing. So sometimes we hesitate, procrastinate, set it aside and do something else instead. Because, quite frankly, we don’t want to get it wrong!
But marketing is the lifeblood of our businesses. If we stop sharing our message, we will be out of mind and that means people may not remember where to go to get the help they need when they need it most.
3 common marketing mistakes and how to improve outcomes
With the constant stream of information and marketing messages hitting our brain, both online and all around us, our eyes and brains inevitably have to filter the vast majority out. We can’t process the amount of stuff that bombards us so we’re mainly focused on relevant information that crosses our path.
So a wishy washy or convoluted message isn’t going to resonate quickly enough to cause us to stop, look and hopefully digest it.
Because we’re such visual creatures, eye-catching images and moving items such as gifs and videos will grab our attention. Sure that’s going to take some time and energy to create relevant stuff to populate our social media news feeds. But it can cost almost nothing if we’re savvy!
Talking to the wrong people
If we’re going to make that much effort to create content to share with potential patients online, then it needs to be accurately aimed at them. There is a terrible fear of being judged within the profession and this tends to be the general position of many of my new Clients. However, our peers are not our customers! So it’s crucial to use appropriate language and simplify the message.
So strip out all references to ‘musculoskeletal’ problems and instead define a clear and simple message. Aim it squarely at those in pain who have yet to discover Osteopathy as a possible solution for their problem.
Once we get busy, the first thing to get dropped from our busy day is usually marketing! However, neglecting to keep up an online presence can lead to boom and bust bookings, a serious problem which bedevils many a small business.
Educating and informing an audience which may be confused as to how we can help means that the message needs to be consistently repeated. It is said that it can take between 5 and 27 times that a person hears about you, reads a post or dips a toe into your website before they will finally take action.
What’s the answer?
There will be lurkers and stalkers out there, watching from the sidelines. They may be keeping a scant eye on us, hesitant about paying for our help.
So we need to keep our message sharp, focus on our audience or target market and maintain contact with them. When we’re building relationships, it’s going to take some effort to help them to understand that investing in us might be a really beneficial choice.
Automating some of our marketing can free us up to get on with what we do best but ensures that we don’t disappear from in front of our specific audience. Consistency is key when building relationships. Not only will rapid fire posting followed by silence confuse people, it also detracts from the trust we were trying to build up.
Armed with a great mix of quality and informative content and a consistent online presence soon means that we become a vital part of our community.
Watch more on social media strategy here
As a big yawn fell out of my face early this morning, I came across an email from an unfamiliar name. But as I read the content my bleary eyes quickly turned blurry! The words this Osteopath shared with me created a flood of emotion from happiness to nostalgia and from pride to excitement.
How did she do this? By speaking from her heart, with love and honesty in wanting me to know how helpful and inspiring she felt I was to her and, she said, the profession. And her words were particularly potent because we haven’t even worked together.
Words, as we all know, are more powerful than the sword. So what we say in our marketing needs to create that emotional response too. Why? Because that’s the fastest way to make us ACT!
So you could bang on all day about the efficacy of Osteopathy and how structure governs function but that alone probably won’t get you extra bookings!
Back to those Osteopaths – the next one to create an emotional response in me sent me a message on Facebook. During our conversation it was clear she was struggling a tad by herself. I immediately felt empathy and a little sad as I’ve felt like that in the past too. So I stopped writing this blog and gave her a some time and encouragement. She toddled off reinvigorated and back on track to do her great work.
How do we create an emotional response?
One way to create an emotional response is to hit their good ol’ pain points! They’ll feel it deep their gut and the painful surge will compel them to take action. They’ll come and see you simply because they don’t want things to get as bad as you paint them!
On the other hand, that can feel a bit mean! So the flip side is to draw a positive picture of health, of getting back to doing what they love to do, maybe taking up their favourite sport again or even to simply picking up their grandchildren without pain. Adding images of happy thriving people, of a similar type to those you’re marketing towards, helps to compound your message.
Your choice of words and images will combine to get their attention, particularly in the busy fast lane of social media. The more specific you are in talking to a target audience the better results you’ll get from your efforts. We both know you haven’t got time to waste on marketing that doesn’t work!
Next this morning, I got a Twitter notification that one of my Osteos had tweeted ‘Gilly is the best!’ in response to a testimonial I had posted. That, too, brought a tear to my eye as I felt a tiny surge of pride and, you know, that little tingle in your nose when your eyes well up. We had a little more banter before cracking on with our work.
So how can you verbalise what you do for your patients which will resonate with more people just like them? How can you appeal to their emotions to encourage them to seek help for their pain?
Now you know I’m always saying that you need a marketing notebook on your desk to jot down those little nuggets you hear from your patients. Those are the very words which will strike a chord when you speak them back out in your marketing. Works like a dream. You can get a lovely red one here in my little shop!
Goodness me – now someone else has sent a text telling me I’m a star for helping them out! At this rate the Old Boy is going to have to widen the doorways at Osteobiz HQ!
PS: Dagnabbit – another email just arrived from a VIP Client who’s sent me testimonials and exciting news about who she’s been talking to about my work with her! Apparently her Facebook page was held up as a fine example and she very kindly mentioned me! More feelings of excitement and abundance! #lovemyosteos
OK I hear you! Social media marketing is not something you feel particularly comfortable about.
You’re not really the type to broadcast to the entire online world that you’re amazing! You’re not about to shout from the rooftops about how skilled you are! Would you even consider that statement to be true?
So many Osteopaths I work with initially have a fundamental distrust relating to social media marketing. It even scares the pants off some!
But consider this:
- What if it’s not about you?
- What if it’s all about those lovely people in your community who are suffering and in pain?
- What if they don’t know what on earth an Osteopath does?
- What if they are unsure what goes on behind your front door?
- Is it voodoo?
- Is it safe?
- Is it worth the money?
- Does it help?
- Does it hurt?
- Does it even work?
There are so many questions and misconceptions in your potential patient’s head but are you listening out for them?
Are you answering those questions in your social media marketing?
Or are you just banging on about being registered and regulated? That’s all very well but you also need to be addressing their concerns. And most importantly you need to be educating and informing them about the benefits of treatment with you.
There’s so many more people out there in your community who need your help
Sadly, they don’t know what you do or how you could help their pain.
They probably distrust you
Last week alongside running Osteobiz, I was helping out in my local estate agents as the two main bosses were away on holiday. Of the five staff in the office, three were in pain.
One had general back pain.
One had hip and shoulder pain.
One had back pain, almost constant headaches and admitted that she munched her way through a PACKET of anti-inflammatory tablets every single week!
Sadly, they were all under 30 years old…
I gave out my own Osteopath’s cards and urged them to see her. But, as one of my Osteobiz Blueprint members posted about in her social media marketing this week, maybe that level of pain has become their ‘normal’. Perhaps they are going to need more encouragement to actually take action and deal with it.
So imagine for a moment that you are not ‘selling’ but merely educating and informing your neighbours about how you help them back to health?
What if you asked some apposite questions in your social media marketing?
What if you allowed them to get to know you a little?
What if they get an aha moment because of one of your social media posts?
What if someone else tags them on your latest Facebook post because what you say is so pertinent to them?
What if they then come to you in pain and you change their lives for the better?
Does that help to put into perspective what you’re trying to do in your social media marketing?
So what are you going to say in your social media marketing today?!
There’s some done for you stuff in my freebie selection – help yourself to whatever you like!.
Then crack on!
Sam used to dread looking at her diary on a Monday morning. There were scant bookings once again and she didn’t quite know why. She had tried everything; you know, newspaper ads, leaflet drops etc. But nothing was working and she was running out of funds.
She began to wonder if her skills weren’t good enough. She wondered what people were thinking about her. Most of all she worried about how she was going to pay the bills this month. She was sick of worrying about it and even wondered if it was time to get a part-time job…
Sam had previously booked to go on a weekend course to learn about growing her Practice. She had invested quite heavily and travelled miles to the venue for the two day course, hoping for answers. She listened well and took copious notes. The theory was all very interesting and made sense.
However, Monday came around again and Sam arrived at Clinic. Yet again she felt disheartened at the dismal state of her diary. She reflected on the two day course and something struck her. She had invested a lot of money in this, had turned up and absorbed the information. But here she was now still not having a flipping clue about what practical steps she could actually take to increase her patient numbers.
Sam didn’t know where to turn next
Sam messaged one of her friends, David, who seemed to be doing well and asked for advice. David told her about an online course he’d done which totally demystified social media marketing. He told Sam that it was easy to follow along with and was immensely practical, with lots of clear training and great ideas for using social media to create relationships with potential new patients. David confided that initially he had been a bit sceptical about using Facebook to build his business. He remembered how it all seemed a bit scary at first. But now he understood it, it was easy and he was happily in his comfort zone and thrilled to be busy every day.
David told Sam that he embraced the new ideas and got really clear on how he wanted his Clinic to serve his neighbours. He identified a strong message to share online and quickly created some really great visuals and brief articles to educate and inform local people. David said he was surprised but it actually worked a treat and cost almost nothing to implement.
Becoming an Osteobiz Whiz!
Sam heard that apart from not having to travel anywhere, there was ongoing access to the online training, a super supportive Facebook forum for the participants and live Q&A sessions to get more ideas and help with implementation.
So Sam signed up and four weeks later, she had put all the steps in place. She felt far more confident now that she knew exactly how to increase her patient list. She knew how to present herself on social media and what strategies actually worked and what not to waste time on. Not only that but she had ongoing support for as long as she wanted it
Looking at her diary for the week, Sam was delighted to notice that she had very few gaps. With that the phone rang and Sam confidently handled a new enquiry…
IF THIS RESONATES – YOU NEED TO BECOME AN OSTEOBIZ WHIZ!
Every day I guide Osteopaths like Sam and David on their journey from stuck to successful. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than to watch the transformation happening before my eyes.
Social media is here to stay and it’s a really easy and cost effective way of enabling your community to understand how you can help them. I give you all the tools, shortcuts and strategies you need to make building a busy Practice happen like clockwork.
If Sam’s story in any way resonated with you, then come on in and let’s turn you into an Osteobiz Whiz!
I’ve slashed the fees for this week only from £297 to only £99! You can even choose instalments of 3 payments x £33 to make it super affordable.
What you get:
- A new online module each week, building towards strong marketing skills
- A supportive Facebook forum for as long as you want
- Live Q&A sessions in the group to get you unstuck fast
- My expert eyes on your Osteobiz growth
- Downloadable workbooks and planners to help you get organised
- A 4 hour CPD certificate upon completion
- I’m on a mission to help more people in pain to find Osteopathic treatment – are you with me?
Just a couple of clicks and you’ll have immediate access to the first module.
Yes let’s start increasing patient bookings today!
Always by your side…
Many Osteopaths wrestle with how to portray themselves out there in the big wide online world. How should you present yourself to the world at large? What sort of things should you say or not say? What is acceptable? What if people judge you harshly? What if people don’t like the Osteobiz persona you project? What if nobody books in because they don’t like you?
Whoa – hold your horses!
We need to have a conversation!
We could ask some more useful questions based upon your own character and beliefs rather that the false ‘professional’ Osteobiz persona. There’s a subtle difference between that and portraying your Osteobiz as specialist and expert. Trying to be ‘professional’ often comes across as dull and boring.
Let’s remember that your online marketing messages are aimed at other human beings in pain. Making human to human connections is going to work much better.
So what is your real Osteobiz persona?
Even if there are more than one of you, what does your collective Osteobiz persona consist of? What are your core values? What are your main objectives? What do you stand for? What do you want for your community? Why did you become Osteopaths? What drives and motivates you?
Once you get clear about what you stand for, it makes it much easier to pull out the core characteristics of your Osteobiz persona.
It may mean pushing through your comfort zone…
Time and again I work with Osteopaths whose website, marketing materials and social media marketing are not working well for them. Together we transform this and enliven the wording and create very strong messages to share with their communities. I encourage them to think differently, to understand who exactly they are creating conversations with and to relax into online marketing.
At first they can be unsure about projecting a more personal and friendly approach to their marketing. However, once they embrace this I watch with unbridled pleasure as they flower. As you would expect, very soon this translates into increased bookings and referrals.
Dull and dismal marketing compelled me to act!
When I started Osteobiz some 4 years ago, my social media news feeds were a hollow old place to be. I followed and liked as many Practices as possible. But the posts that trudged past my eyes were as cold and stodgy as last week’s porridge.
Most were devoid of personality, warmth or any hint of character. It was clear that this was an area which nobody else was tackling! So I began crafting social media and online marketing courses to help Osteopaths to get to grips with transferring their core values and true Osteobiz persona to the online stage.
Now I see characterful and cheerful online marketing
Honestly, it’s heart warming to see such a wonderful array of positive, thought provoking and eloquent messages skipping through my news feeds. I see wonderful conversations being instigated with potential new patients and relevant information being shared. I notice a huge change in the quality and appearance of what’s being shared.
I delight in seeing characterful and energetic Osteobiz personas easily standing out from the array of other tepid online marketing messages.
Most of all, I feel hugely encouraged by the variety and types of post which share an absolute passion for the health and well being of themselves and others. It is inevitable that they will be in great demand and very successful.