Building a StoryBrand for Osteopaths

Osteopaths often get stuck with marketing. That’s where branding, and Building a StoryBrand for osteopaths comes in.

Building a Compelling StoryBrand for Your Osteopathic Practice

As an osteopath, you know the importance of effective communication when helping patients. But have you considered using the power of communication to connect with your patients on a deeper level?

Because that’s all marketing is: clear and effective communication about who you are, why you do what you do and how you can help people.

The problem is that osteopaths often get stuck with how to get people to understand how osteopathy can help them. That’s where building a storybrand for osteopaths comes in.

That’s why we’re going to cover one of the most influential business books I’ve ever read because once you understand branding, you’ll see incredible changes in your patients and practice growth.

Let’s go through how you can clarify your brand message and use the principles of Building a StoryBrand to create a compelling narrative that resonates with patients on a whole new level.

What does Building a StoryBrand mean for osteopaths?

In a nutshell, if you want to attract the patients you love treating, make the vision you have for your career a reality and package it into something that makes people say “WOW!” – branding will give you all that and more. So, build your brand with the Osteohustle team who understand both sides of the coin because we’re osteopaths and branding experts.

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The power of a clear message

When everyone is being marketed to all the time, the ability to effectively communicate your message is crucial. At the heart of Building a StoryBrand, Miller highlights the significance of a clear message, advocating that a simple and concise statement is key to capturing your patients’ attention and making a lasting impact.

Clarifying your brand message

As an osteopath, your primary goal is to help patients with the issue they’ve come to you for. However, if your brand message is cluttered with medical jargon and words they don’t understand, potential patients will feel overwhelmed or confused. This is where the power of a clear message comes into play.

To achieve a compelling brand message, it is essential to distill the essence of your osteopathic practice into a succinct statement. Start by identifying the core problems your patients commonly face, such as chronic back pain, postural issues, or restricted mobility. These are the challenges that resonate with potential patients and reflect the primary reasons they seek your expertise as an osteopath.

Once you’ve pinpointed these key challenges, it’s time to present your brand (aka your practice) as the solution. Express how osteopathy can alleviate their pain, restore their movement and ultimately improve their quality of life. By focusing on your patients’ needs and desires, you create a narrative that instantly connects with them on an emotional level.

The impact of connecting emotionally through clarity

Imagine a potential patient stumbling across your website or outdoor signage. They’re looking for an osteopath who can help them overcome their chronic back pain, but they are bombarded with medical words and an overall message of “we can help anyone”. Instead of feeling understood and hopeful, they are left feeling lost and unsure.

Now, consider the impact of a clear and compelling message. The same potential patient visits your website and immediately sees a straightforward statement: “Relieve Chronic Back Pain and Regain Your Mobility with Our Osteopathic Expertise.” Instantly, they recognise that your clinic understands their pain and offers a solution tailored to their needs.

The power of clarity lies in the ability to simplify complex concepts and make them relatable to your potential patients. When patients feel that you understand their struggles and can offer real solutions, they are more likely to engage with your brand and ultimately choose you over anyone else.

“But I don’t just want to treat a certain type of person”

As a team of osteopaths ourselves, we know osteopathy can treat anyone from a 3 month old to a 93 year old. However, when it comes to marketing, if you try to connect with everyone, you’ll connect with no one or even attract patients you don’t enjoy treating.

That’s why when you narrow down your marketing message, you will be able to attract the types of patients you love to treat and because you enjoy treating them, they’ll have a great experience. As a result of them having a great experience, they’ll trust you with referring their friends, family and co-workers with you, despite you not directly marketing to them.

This ‘ripple effect’ will mean two things: 1) you’ll always be able to attract patient you love treating and 2) you’ll be able to diversify your list without wasting time, money or energy trying to appeal to everyone.

Avoiding overwhelm and jargon

In achieving a clear message, avoid the temptation to overwhelm your audience with every detail about osteopathy or a laundry list of services. Instead, focus on the most significant pain points your patients experience and how your osteopathic practice can address those issues.

Moreover, steer clear of jargon or technical terms that might alienate or confuse your patients. Use plain language that resonates with the average Joe. Remember, your objective is not to prove your expertise using medical language but to establish a genuine connection with your patients.

Storytelling is your secret weapon

As an osteopath, you have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in health, but what can truly set you apart is the power of storytelling.

Storytelling is a captivating tool that transcends time and culture, and it has been a part of human communication since the dawn of civilisation. From ancient myths to modern-day advertising, stories have an extraordinary ability to evoke emotions, engage the imagination and leave a lasting impact on those experiencing it.

In Building a StoryBrand, Miller emphasises the significance of storytelling as a secret weapon to connect with your patients on a profound emotional level. By using the narrative structure of the hero’s journey, you can create a compelling story that resonates with your patients, instills trust and inspires them to take action.

The hero’s journey

The hero’s journey is a storytelling archetype that appears in myths, legend and epic tales across different cultures. It follows a pattern where the main character, the hero, embarks on a transformative adventure, faces challenges and trials, receives guidance from a mentor and ultimately emerges victorious, transformed and wiser.

Now, bear with me as I hear you say “I’m an osteopath, how does this relate to me?” That’s a great question and the answer took me a long time to figure out, but once I understood, everything changed.

As an osteopath, you can apply this narrative structure to your brand message. Present your patients as the heroes of their stories, seeking relief from pain and a better quality of life. In this journey, you, the osteopath, become their trusted guide, their mentor, providing the knowledge and expertise to support them in overcoming their (usually) pain-related challenges.

Crafting your story

To incorporate storytelling into your osteopathic practice, start by writing down real-life patient stories. This will allow you to humanise your practice by creating a story showcasing individuals who came to you seeking help and experienced positive outcomes through your help.

Paint a vivid picture of the challenges your patients faced and how they triumphed over hardship with your guidance. Emphasise the emotional aspects of their journey—their frustrations, fears and hopes. Such stories will not only demonstrate your expertise but also allow potential patients to see themselves in those narratives, fostering a deep sense of connection and trust.


For AHPRA practitioners, you can’t use reviews or use patient’s in your marketing. But what you can do is write down real-life patient stories so you can then get in the mindset of what it’s like to be a potential patient looking for your help. Then, when it comes to marketing, you’ll be able to write copy that speaks to them on an emotional level without using reviews or case studies.

Creating empathy

Stories have a unique ability to evoke empathy, as they help individuals understand and relate to the experiences of others. By incorporating empathetic storytelling into your writing, you create a safe and supportive environment for your patients.

When potential patients hear stories of others who have been in similar situations, they feel reassured and understood. This empathetic connection lays the foundation for a strong therapeutic alliance, encouraging patients to choose you.

Visual and emotional storytelling

Storytelling doesn’t solely rely on written or spoken words. Visual storytelling is equally powerful in conveying emotions and messages. Use images, videos or infographics to give people an easy-to-digest way of understanding how you can help them.

Additionally, emotional storytelling goes beyond facts and figures. Share your passion for osteopathy, your commitment to patient care and your dedication to improving lives. Let your genuine enthusiasm shine through, as it will resonate with your audience and make a lasting impression.

Honesty and authenticity

Finally, as you embrace the power of storytelling, it’s crucial to maintain honesty and authenticity. Avoid embellishing or exaggerating patient stories, as trust is paramount in healthcare. Be transparent about the potential outcomes of osteopathic treatments and the limitations of your practice.

Positioning your brand as the guide

In the realm of storytelling and branding, there’s a common theme: heroes and guides.

Heroes are central characters who embark on transformative journeys, while guides are wise mentors who assist the heroes along the way.

As an osteopath, positioning your brand as the guide rather than the hero can profoundly influence how your patients perceive and connect with your practice.

Be the guide, not the hero

One of the central principles underlines in Building a StoryBrand is that successful brands should position themselves as guides, not heroes. This means shifting the focus from your osteopathic practice being the centre of attention to your patients taking the spotlight as the heroes of their health journeys.

By embracing the role of the guide, you demonstrate that your primary mission is to support and empower your patients. You become a reliable ally, helping them overcome their health challenges and achieve their goals. This shift in perspective creates a sense of trust and establishes a long-term relationship with your patients.

Fostering trust

When patients seek an osteopath, they are often in vulnerable situations, grappling with pain or discomfort.

By positioning yourself as the guide, you provide them with a safe and supportive environment. Patients are more likely to trust a manual therapist who listens to their concerns, understands their struggles, and collaborates with them in the healing process.

As the guide, you focus on understanding your patients’ unique needs and tailoring treatments to suit their individual situations. This tailored approach fosters a deeper connection and builds a foundation for patient loyalty.

Listening and empathy

As the guide, it’s essential to be an active listener and demonstrate empathy. Take the time to truly understand your patients’ concerns and fears. Acknowledge their emotions and validate their experiences.

When patients feel heard and understood, they are more likely to open up about their health issues and collaborate with you to find the best solutions. Your empathetic approach will create a positive patient experience and encourage them to recommend your services to others.

Celebrate patient success

In the hero’s journey, guides play a significant role in the hero’s triumphs. Similarly, as an osteopath, you play a crucial part in your patients’ victories over pain and health challenges.

Celebrate your patients’ successes and progress, both big and small. Recognise their determination and hard work in achieving their health goals. Positive reinforcement and encouragement from you as their guide can fuel their motivation to continue the journey towards optimal health.

Ultimately, positioning your brand as the guide fosters lasting connections with your patients. When patients feel supported and cared for throughout their health journey, they are more likely to return to your practice for future needs and recommend your services to others.


By clarifying your brand message, using storytelling to connect emotionally and positioning yourself as the guide, you can elevate your osteopathic practice to new heights.

Embrace the power of these principles and watch as your practice thrives, resonating with patients seeking your expertise and compassionate care.

The Osteohustle team, who are osteopaths and branding experts, is here to guide you in building a compelling StoryBrand for your osteopathic practice.

Written by Alan Zaia M.Ost

Founder & CEO of Osteohustle. You’ll find Alan coaching osteopaths, travelling in a van or writing our weekly newsletter, The Hustle.

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Subscribe to The Hustle

The greatest osteopaths in the world never stop learning.

Get the best business and marketing resources for osteopaths in 30 words or less into your inbox every Monday.  

By subscribing to The Hustle, you agree to our terms and conditions. We’ll never send spam.