Six Essential Reasons Why You Need a Chiropractic Blog
By Patrick MacNamara, DC
I love the quote by Stephen Covey that says, "Everything is created twice." Essentially, what he is saying is that before anything can be physically created, it must be mentally created.
So, let's say you want to build a new home. What process do you go through to accomplish your goal? Do you just show up at the construction site and start putting different pieces of material together expecting things to evolve into your dream home? Of course not!
You first meet with a general contractor and architect to sketch out a floor plan. The floor plan is then created into a blueprint which becomes the primary tool for construction. Simply put, without it your home would never be completed. The same is true with a business blog. Before you launch it, you must be able to answer the question: "Why blog?"
There are essentially six main reasons why you should blog. But, before we discuss the reasons why, allow me to give credit where credit's due.
My inspiration for this article came from an exceptional blog post that I read by Chris Garrett titled "How a Blog Can Grow Your Business - Slides + PDF." For further reading, you can either read his post about the presentation or download his PDF for future reference. Also, before I step you through the reasons, let's establish one extremely important concept: "The blog will become the central hub for all of your online communications with both prospects and patients." Make sure you allow that concept to sink in!
One of your primary goals should be to drive as many people, prospects and patients to your blog through various social media platforms. It will be the central hub for your online business. Now, let's take a look at the six essential reasons why you should blog.
Attracting an Audience
This should be a no-brainer. If you don't have an audience online, then you can't develop the relationships that build trust to convert prospects into quality new patients. Likewise, there isn't a better tool currently online that can generate a greater flood of new prospects than a blog if setup and managed properly.
Case in point, Richard Telofski, Principal Consultant of a New Jersey based social media research company, Kahuna Content, says, "American chiropractors should be jumping en masse into the blog marketing pool, but most won't even get their feet wet. How do we know this? Because less than one percent of American chiropractors blog and, of those that do, over one-third of chiropractor blogs are inactive and look like sad puppy dogs abandoned by the side of the road. Unfortunately, blogging as a marketing tool is not regarded seriously by America's chiropractors. In fact, their absence from blogging is just downright astounding."
It's astounding because there is a high correlation between the average blog reader and the average chiropractic patient. According to industry statistics, males between the ages of 31 and 50 comprise a high percentage of chiropractic patients and an even higher percentage of blog readers. Telofski goes on to state, "If this isn't a perfect demographic alignment between a marketing medium and its target audience, then I don't know what is. It could be the perfect tool, or the perfect "chiropractic assistant', yet the opportunity is squandered by America's chiropractors."
Informing Your Audience
You can establish yourself as THE authority within your community simply by informing prospects of the incredible benefits of chiropractic care. If they don't know what the benefits are, then more than likely they won't even consider your services. One major point to remember, though, is that it's not about you. It's about them! The way you "inform" them is by tailoring your content around their wants and desires. Blogging allows the conversation to evolve as you inform and educate people. The conversation produces interaction through the comments section. It's this interaction you're looking for to start building relationships.
Retaining Your Audience
It doesn't make any since to go through the process of attracting and informing your blog audience if you don't also consider how you'll retain them. It's just as important to the growth of your blog as retaining patients is to your practice. One of the best approaches is to make sure the content you deliver has value to the reader. Successful copywriters will stress that the headline is what draws them in but if you don't deliver on that fancy headline by providing valuable content, you won't have people stick around for long.
Since your blog will become the central hub for all of your online communications, a funnel approach to conversion should be established. You can accomplish a great deal toward this goal through auto-responder emails, RSS feeds and social media platforms like Twitter.
Energizing Your Audience
I'm reminded of a quote by a personal mentor that states, "Enthusiasm is the yeast that raises the dough. No enthusiasm, no dough!" In essence what he's saying is that if you aren't enthusiastic about what you do and provide for patients, then the money simply doesn't flow. Take time to evaluate yourself to determine if you truly are passionate and in love with what you do. If you are, then you will automatically provide over-the-top care and content for your patients. You have to energize your audience to want more and to participate in the conversation of what you offer. The most effective way to accomplish this is by providing content that solves problems for your prospects and patients.
Remember, it's not about you, it's about them. Once you figure out what they want and desire, you can energize them with content that's specifically targeted toward meeting those wants and desires.
What does it mean to recruit people? Basically, it means to call them into action for the benefit of both themselves and you. Now, obviously, this won't happen unless you produce valuable content that meets the wants and desires of your prospects. When you accomplish this, you'll produce "raving fans" for your blog and business. What is a raving fan? As Ken Blanchard wrote in his best-selling book Raving Fans, "if you really want to 'own' the customer, if you want a booming business, you have to go beyond satisfied customers and create raving fans." Having raving fans means that you have achieved the kind of service excellence that turns a customer into a lifetime customer. A raving fan is an advocate of your products or services in the marketplace.
Responding to People
Last but certainly not least, you must respond to people. This is not only the essence behind Web 2.0 and its platforms, but is also what people expect from business owners and their customer service personnel. If you remember the Internet during the middle 1990s, you'll recall how web sites were basically online brochures. They had text, possibly an image or two and nothing more. There was no interaction between visitors and the creators of the sites outside of an occasional email. This all changed with Web 2.0 strategies. Blogging software opened a new era of communication by allowing the visitor to comment and communicate very easily with the creator of the content.
And, now with the emergence of additional Web 2.0 tools, the world of social media has erupted onto the scene. If you simply stand on the sidelines and ignore it, business and customers will pass you by. In order to be THE chiropractor within your community, you must respond and communicate with your prospects. Its the conversation that builds relationships, relationships that build trust and trust that converts prospects into loyal paying patients.
So, there you have it. The six essential reasons why you should blog. If you have any additional questions or comments, I'd love to hear back from you.
Dr. Patrick MacNamara is an Apple aficionado, blogger, chiropractor, Christ-follower, coffer lover, cyclist, husband, father, social media advocate, web designer, and WordPress consultant. He's the founder of Chiropractic Marketing Websites, www.chiropracticmarketingwebsites.com, blogs consistently over at www.nextgenerationchiropractor.com, and helps chiropractors put together Internet marketing strategies that are completely hands-free and automated.