Marketing: What Is the Key to Practice Growth?

I was talking with a colleague during a break at a seminar. He was still enjoying his practice, but not getting the financial rewards he wanted.

I mentioned marketing. He said, “We don’t do any marketing.”


I suspect that he meant he didn’t do any advertising. Marketing goes well beyond advertising. Simply put, marketing is the process of exchanging goods or services with another person. Obviously, if you aren’t marketing, you aren’t in business.

But go a little deeper. When I was in practice, I often found that a promotion would result in increased business. It was also true that the increase often could not be tracked to the promotion. What was the cause? Why did business increase?

A colleague told me about a friend of his who was doing great selling real estate using videos. He decided to use videos to promote his practice. He was quite excited. He bought a camera and other equipment. His practice took off. He didn’t have time to record a video. What caused the increase?

I talked with a marketing analyst for an insurance company. The marketing department wanted to run a direct mail campaign. He agreed, but wanted to organize it to determine the results.

“We already know it works. We’ve tested this before.”

“Great. Show me the data.”

Sure enough, they had data before the promotion and after the promotion and business had increased.

The analyst said, “We need a control group.”

“We did that too.”

“Let me see the results.”

They had before and after data on an area that did not receive the direct mail promotion. The control group actually outperformed the group that got the promotion. What caused the increase?

I’ve also used direct mail and seen no change in my business. What causes the difference? It is pretty difficult to determine. Could it be energy? Could it be enthusiasm? Could it be emotion?

A chiropractic coach said that sometimes we are tested. He gave an example of a new patient coming in right before he was going to close. He said it was the Universe asking, “How bad do you want it?

I’ve seen something similar. Early in my practice life, I went to the office on Saturday morning. My wife wanted me home by 2:00 pm to attend a party. I had four new patients that morning. It made me a little late. At that time, it would not have been unusual to only have four new patients in a month. Did it have to do with my desire to please my wife and make it home on time? Was it a test?

When I created marketing courses for my Udemy course, I wanted to go beyond the standard marketing advice. I realized that many people are like my colleague that I mentioned in the beginning. What he needs is a way to get his spizzerinctum back.

I created a process for docs who have been in practice for a while and have lost their spizzerinctum. I call it internal marketing. It is a process of getting your head right, getting your procedures right, remembering WHY you do what you do, and making practice fun again.

For me, that was the always the key. I want to have fun!! I hired a man in his 60s to help in my office. He graduated from chiropractic school in the 40s. He had built a large practice with his father. When Washington State began licensure of chiropractors, he didn’t get a license. He started other businesses, but his love was chiropractic. He was having fun being involved again. One day we were just slammed. When he showed up I said, “Got your roller skates on?” We were having fun.

Before you spend a lot of money on advertising, look at yourself. What do you want? What makes you happy? Who do you like to hang out with? Think about having fun!!

Then, tell people what you do so you can have fun. For me, that was the key. If I wasn’t having fun, the practice didn’t grow. Energy, enthusiasm, and emotion – are the key to practice growth. Have fun!!

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About Me

I’m a retired chiropractor, real estate broker, married for 45 years with 4 children, 6 grandchildren. I completed the MBA and pre-med curriculums and worked for IBM for 3 years before going back to chiropractic college.

Now I spend my time taking care of grandkids, reading, thinking, teaching, and speaking. I enjoy helping others succeed.


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