Many chiropractors dreamed of helping people by practicing chiropractic, only to discover that they have a small business, replete with the same challenges that face virtually all small businesses. One of the most pressing is marketing. In other words, attracting customers.
If chiropractic philosophy was given short shrift at chiropractic college, the basics of running a small business were probably overlooked even more.
When many see the word “marketing” they immediately think of advertising. And while advertising falls under the heading of marketing, you can market your practice without advertising. It’s the distinction between “building” your practice (outside-in) and “growing” your practice (inside-out).
An annual chiropractic marketing calendar for chiropractors is an ideal way to grow your practice.
If I were in practice, here’s what the marketing calendar for the Esteb Relief & Wellness Chiropractic Center might look like:
January Marketing Events
During the first week of the New Year, we send the reactivation letter and include a copy of the Wellness Wheel for patients to rate themselves. We would also send the Winter Issue of our patient newsletter, Relief & Wellness News.
February Marketing Events
Great month to hold a couple of patient focus groups. Take some patients to lunch and uncover their perceptions of your practice.
March Marketing Events
Our patient appreciation day would be held in March since it’s six month apart from a similar event held in September to celebrate the birthday of chiropractic.
April Marketing Events
Time to send the Spring edition of Relief & Wellness News. The practice birthday party would be as close to April 20th as possible. This is the month of our annual coat drive.
May Marketing Events
This is chiropractic reactivation postcard month. We’d choose a different postcard each time to send to inactives—just a low cost reminder about the practice.
June Marketing Events
No marketing initiatives scheduled for June as patients are distracted by new summer activities.
July Marketing Events
The Summer issue of Relief & Wellness News is personalized and mailed this month.
August Marketing Events
This is handout-chiropractic-patient-brochures-to-everyone month! Each week a different health condition is selected and patients are given a brochure.
September Marketing Events
This is the month of the chiropractic birthday party. This year September 18th falls on a Saturday, so we’ll celebrate on the 17th.
October Marketing Events
The Fall issue of Relief & Wellness News is personalized and mailed this month. This is also the month we conduct our annual food drive to help replenish the community pantry before the Thanksgiving holiday.
November Marketing Events
Annual toy drive. Annual Cold and Flu Prevention in-office lecture for patients and guests.
December Marketing Events
In early December, we would conduct our annual Holiday Stress in-office lecture. In mid-December, we would conduct our Parent’s Night Out children’s babysitting and health night. This is a great time to rethink and refine your report of findings.
These monthly events would be complemented by a variety of additional ongoing chiropractic marketing activities including:
Birthday cards – One of two times each year that a patient is most likely to think about their health. Besides an email, we'd send a birthday postcard.
Thank you cards – We’d probably use the Thanks a Million Checks to acknowledge patients for doing what wonderful patients do (referrals, on time for appointments, etc.).
Themed bulletin boards – Our bulletin board would coordinate with the promotional events of the month.
Website generated emails – Our Perfect Patients website would generate the electronic version of our newsletter to help increase top-of-mind awareness.
Press releases – Our practice would send press releases to the media and area influencers announcing new services, practice personnel or new, pro-chiropractic research findings.
Alliance building – As always, we would be cultivating and deepening relationships with allied health care providers such as massage therapists, nutritionists, physical therapists, naturopaths, acupuncturists and others.
If the holidays have distracted patients from attending to their health, this is the perfect time to create your marketing calendar for next year. While you’re at it, determine whom you can delegate much of these projects to so 1) it gets done, and 2) doesn’t distract you from more important duties.