January 2006
Vol. 2, Issue 7
The Spinal Column

Win $1,000 Worth of Free Marketing Services
Contest Winner: Congratulations John Davis
To Grow: Time Management: The 6 P's For Success
Marketing Idea of the Month #19: Is Radio Advertising
Worth the Money?
Letter of the Month
Announcing: ChiroCommunity.com Exclusive Network


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The winning doctor will be announced in the February issue of this newsletter.

Congratulations to John Davis!

John Davis is our $1,000 marketing package winner! John Davis, please contact Sonia at Metro Marketing by Wednesday, February 1st, 2006. To be eligible to win for Jaunary, just sign up for our newsletter and look at it when it arrives in your in box. It's that easy to win a $1,000 marketing package.

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To Grow: Time Management: The 6 P's For Success

Score yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest in the ‘6 key P’s for success’ and you will have a strong indication of how well you are doing and the likelihood that your practice will grow and prosper in the months and years ahead.

1. Passion – Do you truly love what you are doing? Do you get out of bed each morning excited about the patients you are going to be seeing that day or are you counting the hours and days until the weekend?

Are you in love with what you are doing or simply look at it as a means to an end?

If the passion and excitement are gone or if you never had it, it may be time to make a career change.

As the saying goes “life’s too short” so why spend most of your waking hours doing something you have to do as opposed to something you want to do.

You would not be the first chiropractor to make a career change. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been out of school 2 or 32 years.

If the flame is gone, it’s time to move on.

Just think about anything in your life you are passionate about and how you feel when involved in that activity.

That’s the same feeling you want to have in your working life as well.

With Passion the rest is easy. Without it it’s a climb straight up the side of a mountain.

2. Planning (Goal Setting) – Most of us spend the day reacting to what happens around us as opposed to proactively charting the course (See November 2005 issue – “Front Seat or Back Seat”).

It’s the start of a new year. By mid-January most resolutions are nothing more than distant memories of several weeks ago.

Where would you like to be a year from today with number of weekly appointments, income per appointment, life value of a patient, annual gross income, annual net income or any other specific measurable markers. Saying you would like to have a larger practice is nice but meaningless when it comes to measurability.

Goal setting and goal reaching is really not that difficult.

First set a measurable goal for a point in time. Example, you are now seeing 100 patients a week and would like that number to be 150 a year from today.

Specific and measurable.

That means you need approximately 4 new patients a month (net of lost patients) to reach 150 in a year.

Okay, 4 per month translates to one per week. What are we going to do specifically to get one new patient this week? The list is endless. At the end of the week check your records. Did you get the new patient or not? If yes, you are on your way. If not, you need 2 new patients the following week just to get back on course.

You get the idea. Hoping, praying and wishing will not get it done.

Specific goal setting and a plan that breaks an annual goal into ‘What do I have to do in the next hour’ is the only way you can insure getting from Point A to Point B.

3. Professional Skills – Yes we know you went to school. But what have you done since?  What courses have you taken? What seminars have you attended? What do you read professionally?

There’s a big world out there. Techniques have changed. Studies have been updated. You need to become a lifetime learner.

We’re back to passion.

Do you have the passion to learn everything there is to learn about your craft or are you happy to coast with what you learned five, ten or maybe 20 years ago?

If you are not moving forward with your professional skills, you are actively sliding backwards as the rest of us pass you by.

4. People Skills – Good luck. You either have it or you don’t. Do you actually like being around and working with people? If not, how did you ever pick the field of chiropractic?

Like it or not your ultimate success will be tied into your people skills as much as it will be to your chiropractic skills.

The same is true of your office staff. Many of them have no interest and therefore no business working with people.

They are slowly and maybe not so slowly destroying your practice.

You and your staff are either “people oriented” or not.

If not, maybe a laboratory job doing medical research would be more fitting.

You can’t change your people skills but you can change the people working for you if they lack them as well.

5. Persistence – The basic difference between those of us who succeed and those of us who do not is that successful people never give up. Never … never … never.

Think back to when you first were learning to ride a two-wheeled vehicle. I can safely assume you fell the first time if not the first 10 times. Did you pack it in and give up? Nope.

If learning to ride that bike was important enough to you, you would have fallen 100 times until you got it right.

Where did that childhood persistence go? See if you can get it back into the bottle and you will be back on the right road. The next time you ‘fail’ at something, remind yourself you are now one failure closer to getting it right.

As Thomas Edison said when he invented the light bulb after over 1200 failed attempts and was asked about how depressing and demoralizing those 1200 failures must have been:

“Not at all. Not at all. I looked at each ‘failure’ as bringing me one step closer to my ultimate success” he replied. So true. So true.

Absolute bullheaded persistence will eventually get you to where you want to be.

The journey may be a long one but the end result will be what you wanted it to be.

6. Personal Responsibility – I’ve saved the best for last.

Take personal responsibility for what is happening in your life. Most of us don’t. It’s the fault of the economy, the weather, the media, the politicians (local or national), the terrorists, your family, your friends, the insurance companies, the medical professionals and the list of who you can blame is endless.

Assume you will get no outside help. Assume that others will try to knock you off the ladder of success. Assume whatever can go wrong will. What are you going to do about it?

Take comfort in that “it’s not your fault” or maybe for the first time in your life take personal responsibility for who you are, where you are and what you are.

Look in the mirror and simply say “I am who I am. I’m where I am because of my actions or inactions”.

If you can shed all the comfort excuses you have taken the first and biggest step toward becoming the person you want to become no matter who that person is.

Okay. These are the ‘6 key P’s for success’. Honestly score yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 for each one. Have others (family and friends) score you as well.

Now set up a plan and program to improve your score on each of the six P’s when you re-evaluate yourself 3 months or a year from today.

Good luck.

Marketing Idea of the Month #19: Is Radio Advertising Worth the Money?

Each month we will give you a proven marketing tip or program that, if done right, will work for you. Collect, read and use all 36 of them over the next three years and you will have put together an effective powerful marketing program to help grow your chiropractic practice.

Last issue’s idea: Rifle vs. Shotgun Advertising. Why Newspaper Ads Are Not For You!

This month’s idea: Is Radio Advertising Worth the Money?

Last month we talked about shotgun vs. rifle advertising and a perfect example would be radio.

Radio advertising can be effective. It can also be a total waste of money.

There are three areas you need to consider: Geographic audience. Subject audience. The offer.

1. Geographic Audience – You know (or I hope you know) where your patients live – which zip codes, from which part of your city or town.

Radio stations know who is listening and where they are from. If 90% of the listening audience is outside of your ‘target zone’ then you will be wasting $900 of every $1,000 you spend. You need to find (if it exists) a radio station whose geographic listening patterns match that of your existing patient base.

If patients are not now traveling from the neighboring town to use your services I can assure you they will not start simply by using radio advertising into the ‘distant’ market.

2. Subject Audience – Okay, you’ve found a station where the percent of ‘out-of-area’ listeners is minimal (under 20%). The vast majority of the dollars you are going to spend will be reaching people who are in your patient target zone.

Now we need to take a look at the subject format of the station itself. If it’s an all-the-time that’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week or 168 hours of weekly programming, get a list of every show that’s on in that 168-hour period. Is there anything close to the editorial content that would be reaching the people you are trying to reach?

A health-oriented program would be a home run. Anything similar? Anything close to that?

Advertising on a health-oriented radio program would mean that the people you are trying to reach have turned on their radio at a specific time to hear about a specific subject – their health. Bingo!

Your promo becomes part of the program.

Your message is that of an invited guest, not an annoying pest.

Want to go even one step further?

Host your own wellness show. Either with a call-in format or not. Now you are not only reaching the right audience, but you are now the community health expert.

For someone to use your services it will help a great deal if they know you, like you, trust you and have come to depend upon you.

What better way than hosting your own call-in wellness local radio program? There is no better way. And just because the station is not now doing it doesn’t mean they would not be interested.

There is only one way to find out. That’s, of course, by asking them.

3. The Offer – Regardless of whether you simply run radio spots or host a program, you still need to create an offer that will get the listener to raise his hand and identify himself.

It can be a ‘soft’ offer such as a free health-oriented booklet such as ’10 Ways to Relieve Back Pain Without Medication’ or a ‘hard’ offer such as a price discount on the first visit.

Remember, the objective of the offer is to create interest and force the listener to call for what is being offered.

Think of it as a piece of bait at the end of a fishing line. The more appealing the bait the more likely the ‘fish will bite’.

Which is the best offer? No one knows. You need to test several. Every market and every audience is different.

You need to not only look at the results that generated the most response but you need to also look beyond that. Which offer ultimately generated the most new patients and long-term patient billings?

Radio advertising can be an expensive black hole or an effective ‘rifle’ media if used properly.

Remember what separates a winning radio campaign from a losing one is geographic listenership, subject listenership and the offer.

Remember if you would like to further discuss the subjects of this newsletter or any prior issues’ content you can reach me at 800-696-7788, ext. 112. Not only is the telephone consultation absolutely free but so are the phone call charges.

Letter of the Month

Each month we will give you a ready-to-use letter that can be used to help promote your practice.

A professional copywriter would charge you anywhere from $150 to $350 to write you a marketing letter, but as a subscriber to The Spinal Column you get it for free.

Don't forget to check out all the back issues and letters of the month as well.

This month’s letter: Letter Inviting People to a Patient Dinner

Free downloadable copy

Click here to download Adobe Acrobat Reader

To grow your practice your professional marketing skills are as important as your chiropractic knowledge, maybe even more so.

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Publisher: The Spinal Column
Director: 800 696 7788, ext. 112
E-Mail: larry@chirometromarketing.com

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