September 2005
Vol. 2, Issue 3
The Spinal Column

Win $1,000 Worth of Free Marketing Services
Contest Winner: Congratulations Dr. John C. Murphy, DC
To Grow: Realizing You Own a Business--Not Running A
Marketing Idea of the Month #15: Promoting and
Marketing Your Web Site
Letter of the Month
Announcing: Exclusive Network
Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund


Win $1,000 Worth of Free Marketing Services

On September 30th we will be awarding a free marketing program valued at $1,000 to one of our subscribers. To be eligible all you need to do is be an active subscriber to The Spinal Column.

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

Congratulations to Dr. John C. Murphy, DC!

Dr. John C. Murphy, DC is our $1,000 marketing package winner for July. Dr. John C. Murphy, DC, please contact Sonia at Metro Marketing by Wednesday, September 28th, 2005. To be eligible to win for October, 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: Realizing You Own a Business--Not Running a Hobby

School prepared you well for the chiropractic skills you would need to help your patients.

They did a poor job in teaching you how to market your practice (build your patient visit base) and in how to run the practice profitably.

Wouldn't it be great if all you needed to do all day were visit with patients while the practice grew and ran itself?

There are consultants who will help you but you still need to know the basics yourself.

As you read this you own one of three practices:

  1. Not seeing enough patients on a daily or weekly basis.
  2. Strong weekly billing but limited cash in the bank
  3. Strong weekly billing and plenty of money to do whatever you want in your personal or business world.

Today we'll talk a bit about #2 – you are seeing the patients but the bank balance always seems to be on empty.

This can be for several reasons. Your fees are too low. Your expenses are too high. Or, maybe you are doing a poor job in collecting the money that is owed to you.

That's the area we want to tackle today – collecting what is rightfully yours.

The insurance part of your practice is the easier portion. Medical insurance billing software, or companies to do it for you, is easy to find.

Again, make sure you buy the right software or engage the right medical billing company.

Talk to your successful chiropractic friends. Don't reinvent the wheel or start with an unknown. You want and need the very best. You need to make sure that you are on a level playing field when you go up against those big insurance companies.

You deserve every last dollar you are entitled to. If you are now doing it yourself but are unhappy with the results, this is a perfect area in which to invest a few dollars.

If the right person or software will bring in tens of thousands of more dollars or even the same dollars but faster, what better way to invest your money?

I can't think of any.

As for the part you collect directly from your patients, it starts with your attitude.

Your fees are fair (if anything most likely too low) and you earned the fees honestly and deserve every penny you have billed your clients.

If you don't believe 100% the above sentence, you have a larger problem that you need to correct first.

Don't be embarrassed about collecting the money. It's yours. You earned it. You deserve it. You need it.

Developing an effective system is truly quite simple. First, spell out the costs … the billing process and the collection expectations with each new patient. Educate them right from the first day.

Be proud of who you are - the services you provide - and realize you have only so many billable hours in the course of any day or any week.

If you don't accept credit cards you should. If you don't ask for monies owed to you, you will not get them. If you don't mail out bills daily or weekly and statements monthly, how can you expect them to be paid?

If you don't make dignified professional collection calls, how can you expect to collect the monies you are owed?

First, put systems in place and write them down. What specifically is explained to each new patient about fees, what they are and when they are due? Who will be doing the explaining and will do it well?

You may even want to consider having your new patient sign a ‘note of understanding' so it's crystal clear from the start.

The longer you let someone fall behind, the more difficult it becomes to collect.

The larger the past due amount coupled with the more passing of time, and the probability of success (collecting the monies) goes from 95% to 5%.

Mail out bills weekly and include something of interest or value such as a health-related article. Of course, remind them always to visit your web site (see the 2nd part of this issue).

Monthly statements (same time every month) go in the mail along with a warm friendly short letter explaining how collecting the monies that are owed to you will enable you to give the same high quality of services you are now giving.

Each week – each month sit down with an accounts receivable (list of who owes you money) aging report which shows who owes you money, how much and when it was due.

Flag those that need gentle (is everything all right) phone calls.

No obnoxious, aggressive collection calls, but rather friendly, “Is everything okay, Mrs. Smith, with our services” phone calls.

It will help collect monies but you will also find out things about your practice you may never have found out otherwise.

A delinquent account can be as much a dissatisfied patient who is about to disappear forever as it is a patient with poor cash flow. Simply asking “is everything all right?” may turn out to be more valuable than you could ever imagine.

People pay their bills based on two criteria.

First is fear of losing the services (we all try very hard to pay our mortgage since we don't want to lose our homes) – the fear factor.

Second is value of the services or product … we feel we are getting more than we are paying for and don't want to lose that arrangement. How fast do you pay for concert or sporting good tickets you really want?

Your patients have to feel that you are the very best chiropractor in town, not just one of ten, twenty or a hundred.

What are you doing every day to position yourself to become the only chiropractor your community residents should want to see?

And your services are second to none. Can you imagine if your patient base considered paying your fees more important than paying their electric bill or car payment?

How hard would it be for you to collect your monies? Not very hard at all.

Again, there are mind set goals you need to work on daily.

If I lived in your town, you'd want me (through your actions, not words) to have come to the conclusion you are the chiropractor of all chiropractors and that in light of the quality of services I am getting, your fees are not only reasonable but need to be paid promptly to insure their continuation.

Again, it's something you need to be working on daily.

If you do implement a professional fee collection system, you will find your bank balances rising with each passing day.

If not, you are in store for more of the same than you are now experiencing.

The choice is yours. Good luck.

Marketing Idea of the Month #15: Promoting and Marketing Your Web Site

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: Your Own Web Site

This month’s idea: Promoting and Marketing Your Web Site

Tens of thousands of people use the internet each month to find a chiropractor.

Once you have your web site in place you need to market and promote it if you want to find new patients.

You can use your web site to direct existing patients to and help build on an existing relationship but you can also use it to find new patients.

Having a newsletter, updated articles, links to other web sites, a calendar of local events, are just a few of the many things that can and should be included on the web site.

You should be encouraging your existing client base to visit your web site on a regular basis.

This can be done by printing your web site address on everything you print from statements to reminder postcards, to business cards and anything else that you print.

If you print it, make sure to include your e-mail address.

The same is true of any correspondence you send out along with any and all media advertising you do, whether it be newspaper, Yellow Pages, flyers, direct mail or the hundreds of other possibilities. If your web site address can be printed on it, or in it, do it.

Obviously if your web site is stagnant and doesn't change on a regular basis, then not very many people will become repeat visitors.

A good example would be this newsletter you are now reading. It's being produced to give you something new and fresh each month.

A reason to come to the web site over and over. Without it you would be long gone.

Remember the famous WIIFM (what's in it for me) … why should your patient, past patient or potential patient be a regular visitor to your web site?

What's In It For Them?

The creative ideas are limitless. It's all a function of time and money. How much time and money you are willing to commit to making your web site different and better than the millions of other web sites.

Okay, new patients. How to find them. We'll cover three possibilities.

Links. This is where somebody visiting another web site will see a small button or link. When they click on it they find themselves at your web site. Think creatively. Who can you exchange links with? Who has a web site that could be directing traffic to your web site and vise versa? The possibilities are endless.

SEO or Search Engines. Millions of people every day do a search through one of the favorite search engines such as Google. When someone types in “chiropractor” and the town or state you are located in, does your web site appear near the top of the list? How does your name get to be the first, second or third one listed?

If you are not on the first page (top 10 listings), you might as well be nowhere. The first listed gets the most clicks and so on. The number of clicks through the web site fall off dramatically if not disappear altogether after the first 5 to 10 listings.

How your web site is designed, what it says and what it doesn't say will determine whether you are listed in the top 3 or nowhere to be found.

There are experts in the field who are willing and able to help you.

Talk to a few of them. Ask for 3 references and then ask for 3 more references.

Call references number 4, 5 and 6. You'll get a better picture of the company you are thinking of using than if you called the first 3 references they gave you.

If I really want to find out whom I'm working with, I may call numbers 7 to 9. After all how many close friends and relatives could they have?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) companies will charge you anywhere from several hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. Check them out carefully and get all the guarantees in writing. With the right help you can be at or near the top of the list any time someone is looking for a chiropractor in your community.

Pay Per Click (PPC) . It's now a multi-billion dollar business and will be getting a lot bigger soon.

When you do a search, on the top of the page over the ‘free' listings and down the right hand margin are paid-for ads. The beauty is you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, which will take them to your web site. If they visit your web site and don't stay, call and register, you still pay. That's why it's called Pay Per Click.

How much per click and how much for each position on the page?

That depends on who else wants the top position and how much they are willing to pay.

As you read this, the cost to have the top position (most clicks to your web site) ranges from 5 cents to over $100 (not one dollar – that's a hundred dollars) per click.

How much should you bid? How much do you need to bid?

If you can have the top position for 50 cents a click, it would be foolish to pay any more. At the same time is 50 cents a click something you can afford?

What's your monthly budget? How many clicks to your web site will it take to produce a new patient? How much are you willing to pay in PPC advertising to generate a new patient?

Again, if you don't have the time, energy or interest to learn it on your own (Google has a great tutorial and your book store will have no shortage of books on the topic) there are many consultants and companies that would be willing to help you, for a fee of course.

You have two goals when it comes to your web site. You will never achieve either one of them but if you understand the ultimate unachievable goal, we can get you pointed in the right direction and we can see how close you can get to them.

Goal # 1. A creative web site.

Every morning you want everyone in your community or communities to visit your web site before they start their busy day.

WIIFM. What's In It For Me. What new, valuable, interesting information are you going to be updating on a daily or weekly basis that will make a visit to your web site as important, as automatic as brushing your teeth or mailing out the payment for the monthly electric bill.

Remember, What's In It For Them. We know what's in it for you.

Goal #2. First Listing on Every Search Engine Search. As for the paid ads, that's easy. Just make a list of the search words you are interested in and be the top bidder every hour of every day.

As for the free listing, that's where you are going to need help. The search engines are forever changing their criteria so you need to work with a SEO company who not only help you once but ongoing as well.

So with a truly creative living, breathing web site you will become the resource of all resources for everyone in your community. And with effective SEO and PPC marketing, the few who don't know of you already, will when they sit down to do a search looking for a chiropractor directly or for help with any one of a number of medical problems they may be having.

Good luck. The limit is only with your imagination, creativity and budget.

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: The Friendly "Collection" Letter

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.

Announcing: Exclusive Referral Network

We are excited to announce the successful launch of, with a phenomenal response
from chiropractors all across the United States!

Don't let your competitor "lock you out" of your zip code!
Click here for more details

Remember, only one chiropractor in each zip code.

Mississippi Chiropractic Association Aids Hurricane Katrina Victims

The Mississippi Chiropractic Association would like to help our MS Coast Chiropractors affected by Katrina. We have many doctors and families who have suffered damage, even total loss of their homes and / or clinics. We have several DC's who are trying to make contact with them and address their needs.

Right now, the best way you can assist our MS Chiropractors and their families is with a donation to the Relief Fund for the MS Chiropractic Association. If you are inclined to help, then it is very simple.

Funds will be disbursed only by order of our Executive Board of the Mississippi Chiropractic Association.

To Mail:

MS Chiro Relief Fund
134 Marion Ave.
McComb, Ms 39648

Thank you in advance for your support,

Vickie M. Webb
MCA Executive Director

Publisher: The Spinal Column
Director: 800 696 7788, ext. 112

P.S. If you would like information on our test drive new patient programs with a 100% money-back guarantee (if we don’t deliver) call us at 800 696 7788, ext. 248.

P.P.S. We now have a new program that pre-qualifies the patients we send you. They must have a treatable condition and insurance or a job.

Call for details at 800 696 7788, ext. 248.


Guaranteed 100% Click here to learn how to take your practice to the next level this Fall Click here for more info on our NEW exclusive chiropractic referral network










































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©2005 Metro Marketing, Inc.

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