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Marketing for Professional Businesses (Doctors, Lawyers, etc...)

Yankees338

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Jul 24, 2007
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My dad is a chiropractor and acupuncturist. He has a practice of his own, and I get the "pleasure" of working there when I need some extra cash or want to help out. Ever since I've realized that I don't really want to have a job, I've been thinking of other ways to make some money. I also want to help out my dad in doing so. I figured I could try and help him get some patients into his office.

I'm also going to be getting my license in March, and all along, I've been expecting a car to just be there for me as one was for my brother. When he turned 17, my dad bought him a nice used car, so I figured that I would get something about the same. Well, recently, my dad has been second-guessing that. I don't know if he's just trying to get me to give in to something or if he's serious, but I know that I really, really want a car when I get my license! :) Today, I offered to get him 20 patients (which could easily turn into several thousand dollars if they stick with him for a bit) in exchange for my own car when I get my license. I figured that even if I didn't get the car, it'd be a good experience to try and help market his practice.

Anyway, that brings me to the original point of this thread after that long, pointless intro...what types of things could I do to market a practice like this? I was thinking of just posting on Craigslist and in other local businesses. If he accepts my offer, which I doubt he will because he's very narrow-minded like that, I'll try and think of other ideas. I believe that the gov't limits what professionals like doctors can do with marketing. For instance, it's very hard for them to get away with offering "deals" to patients. They have to follow very strict guidelines, so I don't want to do anything that would infringe upon them.

This also has me thinking about the whole B-Quandrant vs. S-Quandrant topic. If my advertising, hypothetically, became so successful that he had 100s of people scheduling appointments, he would just become so busy that it'd almost not even be worth all the effort in acquiring the new patients. He could open another practice, but this would all be so time consuming. It seems like it'd be very difficult to turn his practice into a B-Quandrant business. The only thing I could think of was to hire other doctors to help him out.


As always, please post anything relevant that you have to offer. Has anyone had success with something similar or do they know of any successful professionals who have some successful marketing strategies?
 

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Runum

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Re: Marketing for Professional Businesses (Doctors, Lawyers, etc.

The chiropractor I go to also does sports rehab for local HS athletes. I think he makes contact with all the local HS sports coaches and trainers so that he can get a referral if an athlete is injured. I do know he calls his place of business a "Chiropractic and Sports Clinic." Maybe you could hook him up with our coaches and trainers, and also your opponents coaches and trainers? Good luck.:cheers:

Greg
 

Jakko

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Sep 2, 2007
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Re: Marketing for Professional Businesses (Doctors, Lawyers, etc.

Does your dad have a website? Maybe you can include some testimonials on the website.

Also, can he do something like a promotion where he gives free examinations to his existing patients if they refer their friends and relatives to him?

I've been to a chiropractor before but that was only because I was in an accident when someone hit my car from behind. It was nothing serious but I also got some money back from the insurance company. So maybe you can target people who have been in accidents?

I think most of the time when people choose a professional like a chiropractor, they go with whoever that can get their insurance to cover the service. So I think it's important to keep insurance in mind too?

Hope this helps.
 

Jonleehacker

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Re: Marketing for Professional Businesses (Doctors, Lawyers, etc.

If he says no to...
I offered to get him 20 patients (which could easily turn into several thousand dollars if they stick with him for a bit) in exchange for my own car when I get my license.
then turn it around a bit. Ask him to define the lifetime value of a client in his business (or as a great exercise, figure it out yourself). Then ask what he would be willing to pay for a new client...keeping in mind that number which you suggested could be thousands.

If it were me, I'd also call a couple of his competitors and ask them what they'd be willing to pay for a new client.

Now setup a basic web page that outlines what your dad does and targets patients in that area (geographics are very important here). Put a simple form requesting: email, phone number & name and tell people that they will receive a free "back health tips" eBook (which you'll write with help from your dad).

Also, tell people that they will receive a call from a registered chiropractor and acupuncturist when they sign up to answer any questions they might have.

Buy traffic to the site using Google Adwords, or writing articles, or posting in forums related to your city with a link in your signature.

Now the fun part...

Each time someone signs up, sell the "lead" (the info the person filled in to your form) to your dad, if he says no to your concept and you've got the balls, sell them to his competitors for a while until he gets the idea ;)

Then as an alternative income stream, write product reviews that people who visit chiropractors and acupuncturists would be interested in and send them to your list of prospects, with affiliate links of course.

Rinse and repeat with other local businesses or move on to other cities and continue with the chiropractor and acupuncturist theme.

Dad will be asking you to buy him a car in no time.
 
OP
OP
Yankees338

Yankees338

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Jul 24, 2007
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Re: Marketing for Professional Businesses (Doctors, Lawyers, etc.

Greg, I've referred a few friends during baseball season. There's definitely a market there. Thanks for the idea...I'll see if the Athletic Director at my school would have any interest in sending athletes to my dad. Thanks!

Jakko, thanks for the response. He already does try to get accident patients. That works pretty well, but they're sometimes tough to target.

I think it'd be easier to try and market the acupuncture because it's more unique, and it can used to treat so many different problems...many of which are extremely common like smoking, pain, and weight trouble.
 
OP
OP
Yankees338

Yankees338

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Jul 24, 2007
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Re: Marketing for Professional Businesses (Doctors, Lawyers, etc.

If he says no to...


then turn it around a bit. Ask him to define the lifetime value of a client in his business (or as a great exercise, figure it out yourself). Then ask what he would be willing to pay for a new client...keeping in mind that number which you suggested could be thousands.

If it were me, I'd also call a couple of his competitors and ask them what they'd be willing to pay for a new client.

Now setup a basic web page that outlines what your dad does and targets patients in that area (geographics are very important here). Put a simple form requesting: email, phone number & name and tell people that they will receive a free "back health tips" eBook (which you'll write with help from your dad).

Also, tell people that they will receive a call from a registered chiropractor and acupuncturist when they sign up to answer any questions they might have.

Buy traffic to the site using Google Adwords, or writing articles, or posting in forums related to your city with a link in your signature.

Now the fun part...

Each time someone signs up, sell the "lead" (the info the person filled in to your form) to your dad, if he says no to your concept and you've got the balls, sell them to his competitors for a while until he gets the idea ;)

Then as an alternative income stream, write product reviews that people who visit chiropractors and acupuncturists would be interested in and send them to your list of prospects, with affiliate links of course.

Rinse and repeat with other local businesses or move on to other cities and continue with the chiropractor and acupuncturist theme.

Dad will be asking you to buy him a car in no time.
Great suggestions...thanks! Definitely have some food for thought here. I have another business I'm trying to start up, but I'll consider something like this in my spare time. I was thinking of some sort of "RateMyDoctor" site actually.

And...hmm...would I have the balls to do that? Probably once or twice just to make a point. :thumbsup:
 

Diane Kennedy

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Aug 31, 2007
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Re: Marketing for Professional Businesses (Doctors, Lawyers, etc.

On the marketing for professional businesses (car or no car)

- Be seen as an expert.
Write a book
Write a column in a local paper
Do interviews on local talk radio
Give a talk to a group of target market

- Define idea client - target market
Drill down once the ideal client base is discovered. I look for 5 ways I can get
into that group, once identified (marketing, advertising, speaking)

- Ask for referrals from current client base.
Get testimonials.
Follow TheCoach's program for getting referrals.
Do a focus group of best clients and ask for their suggestion on how to build
practice. (Amazing what cheerleaders you'll get out of that)
 

Diane Kennedy

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Re: Marketing for Professional Businesses (Doctors, Lawyers, etc.

Yankee338 - This is such a great thread idea. I can't wait to see what comes out of it.

I know you're interested in real estate, but I have to say, you may find that a way of creating leads for professionals makes you a lot more money, even more passively, if you get a a system going. You could be on to something here. Most professionals totally suck at marketing. They go to classes, and then never implement. So, if you can give them qualified leads or even better customers, they will pay you!

Rep ++
 
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Yankees338

Yankees338

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Re: Marketing for Professional Businesses (Doctors, Lawyers, etc.

Thanks, Diane!

My dad also does seminars (he used to do more, but he stopped for awhile when he started acupuncture school), but whenever I propose ideas to him that involve something like writing an article for a blog or something like that, he comes up with the same "I don't have the time for that crap" excuse. He really pisses me off sometimes!!! I'm sure I do the same to him even more, though. :)

I guess I'll just have to prove to him that I'm not just dreaming here, and the only way to do that will be to get results. I guess I'll be giving this a shot eventually! I want to get my first little business off the ground, but now, if that falls through, at least I've already got a backup plan!
 

Diane Kennedy

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Aug 31, 2007
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Re: Marketing for Professional Businesses (Doctors, Lawyers, etc.

Thanks, Diane!

My dad also does seminars (he used to do more, but he stopped for awhile when he started acupuncture school), but whenever I propose ideas to him that involve something like writing an article for a blog or something like that, he comes up with the same "I don't have the time for that crap" excuse.
It's hard to hear ideas from your son. Plus, he probably really is busy and doesn't see the benefit.

What if you ghost wrote some articles for him? if you can get him to talk into a tape recorder about various topics, you could write up posts for a blog. (Hey Dad, what would be the best exercise for someone with chronic lower back to do? that type of thing - draw him out with questions)
 
OP
OP
Yankees338

Yankees338

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Re: Marketing for Professional Businesses (Doctors, Lawyers, etc.

Well, I actually do know quite a bit about the type of stuff he does. I could definitely write an article about things such as this, promoting his practice, and try sending them in to local publications such as the newspaper and maybe some magazines. If I get the basic outline done, I'm sure he'd be willing to read and edit it.

And I definitely understand what you're saying about having trouble hearing things from your son. I think he struggles with that. He'll never admit it, though. :)
 

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Yankees338

Yankees338

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Re: Marketing for Professional Businesses (Doctors, Lawyers, etc.

Awhile ago, I was thinking about a blog that promoted natural health. I wanted to tie it in with an online store selling natural and organic products. I'm considering trying something like this again. I'd like to have it all under a huge website: articles, lead generation, and either selling or using affiliate marketing to promote other products. Having a direct connection to the medical community with my dad would greatly benefit the project. I could, at the very least, offer free lead generation for him in exchange for a few articles or something. I'm sure he'd deny that offer, though...he'd just see it as more work.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Re: Marketing for Professional Businesses (Doctors, Lawyers, etc.

Yanks, check out the latest post in "My Story" thread. This is how you turn a doctor "S-quadrant" activity into an automated business. I used plastic surgeons as an example, but it can be for any professional type business.

If he says no to...


then turn it around a bit. Ask him to define the lifetime value of a client in his business (or as a great exercise, figure it out yourself). Then ask what he would be willing to pay for a new client...keeping in mind that number which you suggested could be thousands.

If it were me, I'd also call a couple of his competitors and ask them what they'd be willing to pay for a new client.

Now setup a basic web page that outlines what your dad does and targets patients in that area (geographics are very important here). Put a simple form requesting: email, phone number & name and tell people that they will receive a free "back health tips" eBook (which you'll write with help from your dad).

Also, tell people that they will receive a call from a registered chiropractor and acupuncturist when they sign up to answer any questions they might have.

Buy traffic to the site using Google Adwords, or writing articles, or posting in forums related to your city with a link in your signature.

Now the fun part...

Each time someone signs up, sell the "lead" (the info the person filled in to your form) to your dad, if he says no to your concept and you've got the balls, sell them to his competitors for a while until he gets the idea ;)

Then as an alternative income stream, write product reviews that people who visit chiropractors and acupuncturists would be interested in and send them to your list of prospects, with affiliate links of course.

Rinse and repeat with other local businesses or move on to other cities and continue with the chiropractor and acupuncturist theme.

Dad will be asking you to buy him a car in no time.
Ditto on the above, explains more on the vertical portal idea I mentioned here:

http://www.thefastlanetomillions.com/showthread.php?p=20835#post20834
 

Jakko

Contributor
Sep 2, 2007
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Re: Marketing for Professional Businesses (Doctors, Lawyers, etc.

Yanks, check out the latest post in "My Story" thread. This is how you turn a doctor "S-quadrant" activity into an automated business. I used plastic surgeons as an example, but it can be for any professional type business.



Ditto on the above, explains more on the vertical portal idea I mentioned here:

http://www.thefastlanetomillions.com/showthread.php?p=20835#post20834
I was reading a business article on this new website called yelp.com

The founders worked at paypal and when paypal got sold to ebay, they were looking at several ideas for a startup. One of the founder of the yelp website wanted to look for a good doctor but he didn't know where so he thought about setting up a website where people would review their experiences with their doctors and share them with others. After a few years later, I think they kinda tweaked their business model and now the site has reviews for almost all the businesses in your local area. I think their business model is B2B but usage base is C2B. Just wanted it point this out. :smxB:
 

tbsells

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Jul 27, 2007
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Re: Marketing for Professional Businesses (Doctors, Lawyers, etc.

Bump. I just stumbled upon this great thread. Apparently I missed it the first time. Very useful stuff for everyone to consider. I'll post more after considering some ideas. Rep+ Yankees!
 
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Yankees338

Yankees338

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Re: Marketing for Professional Businesses (Doctors, Lawyers, etc.

Bump. I just stumbled upon this great thread. Apparently I missed it the first time. Very useful stuff for everyone to consider. I'll post more after considering some ideas. Rep+ Yankees!
Thanks tb...

I think I'm gonna take some of the ideas from this thread and run with them. My plan is to create a site that is focused on a specific industry. I have focused on the industry and philosophy as a whole; however, I will also offer leads to specialists within the general field. I'm also planning on complimenting the idea with a blog or another informational source to drive traffic.

I'm going to continue this thread in the Speedway. I'll go into more specifics there so it's a bit more protected.

Thanks for all the ideas, guys!!! I'll go back and give rep to every response I got here. I don't remember if I did that beforehand, but you all deserve it.
 

tbsells

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Re: Marketing for Professional Businesses (Doctors, Lawyers, etc.

I have a friend who is a very successful chiro. He swears by these little ads in the local paper that drive traffic to his website or phone number with prerecorded messages. The ads are about 1"x3" so they are inexpensive and say things such as "suffering from headaches?" or "wrist pain?" or "car accident?" The ad directs people to his website which has info about the underlying conditions and possible solutions or, alternatively to a 24/7 prerecorded phone message about the condition. He says it works better than anything else.
 

carlhuber

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Jan 31, 2008
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Re: Marketing for Professional Businesses (Doctors, Lawyers, etc.

Sorry, I just really briefly skimmed this thread but have some really nicely designed flyers (brochures, really) printed up and ask all of the local gyms and fitness centers to stock them on their front desks. If you want quality patients with health care, etc, give that a shot. A good way to elevate the clientèle, too. I don't know if I'd go fishing for patients through Craigslist.
 
OP
OP
Yankees338

Yankees338

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Jul 24, 2007
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Re: Marketing for Professional Businesses (Doctors, Lawyers, etc.

Sorry, I just really briefly skimmed this thread but have some really nicely designed flyers (brochures, really) printed up and ask all of the local gyms and fitness centers to stock them on their front desks. If you want quality patients with health care, etc, give that a shot. A good way to elevate the clientèle, too. I don't know if I'd go fishing for patients through Craigslist.
Good idea! Rep+++

Business to business marketing is very beneficial. What kind of practice do you have? I'll see if any local gyms are willing to hold some business cards.

EDIT: Looks like you're a web designer from another post of yours. Have you tried advertising through some local technology and/or computer stores? Maybe there are some business marketing firms that could help recommend your services? Thanks for the advice, again!
 
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carlhuber

New Contributor
Jan 31, 2008
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Re: Marketing for Professional Businesses (Doctors, Lawyers, etc.

Hey, thanks Yankees338!

I don't want to detract from your thread, but I'm a full time graphic designer (and some-time web designer) at a small marketing communications firm. I don't tend to need to advertise my freelance as it comes in now and then by word of mouth. But I am getting a little curious as to what else I can do for revenue generators. I am available.

Having those gyms and fitness centers hold business cards is a good start! Of course, if he has any other promotional material, ask them about that too. Remember that you're not just trying to make people aware of the business; you're trying to convince them it's good. But yes, business cards are definitely better than nothing.

Another thought would be to see if your area has a wiki page. For example, Rochester has a "rochester wiki" that lists restaurants and local attractions and some businesses. Create a page for the business there. And see about other web based business lists for your area. But, again, avoid places like trolling Craigslist. It's a good thing to be available when people are looking.
 
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