Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, retail or business to business (B2B). An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. But what exactly does “branding” mean? How does it affect a small business like yours?
“Your brand is that ADHESIVE image you carry, that has the ability to STICK to the minds of people you meet physically or otherwise. Brand yourself positively because whoever gets to know you when passing by takes your image along!” ― Israelmore Ayivor, Daily Drive 365
Recently, John Williams wrote in a very informative article in Entrepreneur Magazine, titled the Basics of Branding. He points out that simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
Now that you know what branding is, how do you attain it? How do you form it? How build your business off of it?
The first place to begin is to look in the mirror. Who are you? Who is the principle patient? What is your specialty? If you don’t know, you will need to do some soul searching. Figure out where your passion lays. Maybe your answer is right in front of you? Do an inventory of your entire patient base and establish each patient’s unique need. Clarity may be closer than you think.
The next step is to figure out your practice’s mission. Based on that information establish the unique benefits and features of your services. Now build off of that by establishing what your patients think of your service. Finally, determine what qualities you want patients to associate with your practice.
Congratulations, you have just determined your unique selling proposition (U.S.P). In short, that unique benefit, essence, appeal or promise that you hold out to the patient (one that no other doctor offers). It must be a clear, concise, compelling reason that makes your patient aware of what your practice can do for them.
Now you need to tell the world about what makes you different than ever other Chiropractor in town.
Fact, it’s a crowded marketplace; it isn’t enough just to carve out a niche. You have to narrow your focus, but you still have competitors in that arena.
Now is the time to establish your writing voice and distinguish yourself as a pre-eminent source for medical solutions. Create and publish special reports by refining your expertise and conveying it to your target audience. Demonstrate that you know more about something or be better at something, than anyone else. More importantly, and you have to let as many people know as possible.
When you can honestly convey such a message, patients see you (the brand) as the obvious answer to their problems and challenges. Specifically, the logical choice when they’re looking for a medical provider.
Additionally, visibility is a cornerstone of every business strategy and it begins by placing your core (brand) marketing message in front of as many of your targeted patients as possible — as often as possible.
Which is why it is so surprising how often doctors don’t tell anyone of the positive experiences of other patients. New patients are never told about those happy patients that make up their successful practice.
Gather and display your current testimonials. Hang testimonials in frames throughout your waiting areas and halls of your office.
Create a cross section of testimonials to match your medical specialty; ie. prenatal moms, elderly patients, athletes, veterinary patients, etc. the diverse group of people who will be calling in for medical advice and service (the more emotionally-charged, the better).
The entire point of testimonials is that chiropractor “Dr. Jim” must be perceived as the people’s champion. However, make it engaging and fun. You want to draw your patients in and feel good about working with you.
Implement technology in order to capitalize on your testimonials! Implement a 2-minute video on your landing page of your website and the waiting room.
A great example of this strategy lays in this brief video for Hodad’s Burger Shope. Now, I don’t eat red meat much these days, but this sounds like heaven on earth! It is engaging, fun and frankly it makes me want one of his burgers.
From a marketing standpoint, this hits all the essential elements: Headline, specific benefit, strong appeal to self-interest, U.S.P., testimonials, etc. More specifically, the big chains can’t compete, and this impresario is gaining market share and opening new locations!
For any Chiropractor looking to attract and convert more patients, when implemented properly, these videos will make your website more visually appealing (and sticky!).
Your goal should always be to get your brand more exposure. In today’s social media society, visibility is vital to being a leader among your competitors. A few short video testimonials can draw quite a bit of attention, which often will encourage your visitors to share your content with others on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
You should also be promoting your brand on sites like Yelp. Again, it is shocking how few Chiropractors show up on a site. If you are not familiar with this platform, it is a national and regional consumer rating service. According to DMR, here are the most recent statistics regarding Yelp’s readership:
* Thus, when a new, never-before-seen patient is looking for a good chiropractor in their area, they will make their decision based on a service provider’s reviews.
Not only will this help increase exposure across social media networks, but it will also help your search engine rankings. This makes it easier for prospectIive patients to find your practice, access your website, and purchase your services.
One last point regarding video testimonials, they can quickly answer a patient’s questions. It also provides an additional benefit of acting as a visual FAQ section. Moreover, since we live in a visual world, this provides both visual and audio reassurance of your medical practice, your services, and your staff.
* For some patients, a video testimonial adds credibility to the website, your office, and they add a personal touch and a one-on-one experience. You may also consider adding video testimonials, on a timed loop (every hour and one-half or so) in your waiting room, so all patients who visit your office can experience what others say about you too.
It facilitates the boosting of credibility and putting your visitors at ease (a familiar theme by now) – Not only will your video testimonials serve as a visual source of information, but they also have the ability to put potential patients at ease.
As a good and thorough healing professional, it is in your best interest to let as many as possible know about your skills.
To conclude, to establish your brand, you must develop your status as a regional expert in your field. Which means you must carve out your specialty, write and publish books, special reports, and blogs. Note, for step-by-step techniques to upgrade your brand and more cutting-edge promotional strategies, I highly recommend reading the Power Positioning Secrets of theTop 1% Chiropractors in the U.S.
By creating a superior brand platform, you may expand your reach to many organizations to develop exclusive service relationships. Additionally, you establish yourself and your practice as having the expertise other organizations want for its members. In time, proper branding can open you up to all kinds of opportunities like speaking engagements, expert panel position at prestigious institutions, featured author status in prominent publications, etc.
Working on these principles is your recipe for getting out of the anonymity trap, establishing yourself as the leading expert, and building a successful practice.
We invite you to learn how Steve and Claudio can help you immediately. Increase the success of your practice, give them a call at 916.750.6319.