© Osteohustle — All rights reserved — 2021
Osteopath, ethical osteopathy business advice delivered with a British accent. You’ll find me running, at the beach or on a call helping osteopaths create their perfect work-life balance.
Are you struggling to get your name out there? Whether you’re a new graduate, starting your own clinic, or an established clinic owner, branding is the best step you can take towards marketing yourself with ease. The issue many osteopaths face today is consistency. How do I get new patients through the door every month? Read on to find out real-life examples of branding making marketing easy!
It has been said that it usually takes one year to fill up one day when you set up your own practice. When I opened my practice Optimal Osteopathy in 2017, one year felt too long – I wanted to do something about it. Therefore, I spent two years reaching out to hundreds of healthcare business owners to learn as much as I could about running a successful clinic.
During this time of learning, there was one word that no osteopath ever mentioned. Many healthcare business owners I spoke to explained the importance of identity, being different, and finding your niche. These are all parts of having a brand; however, branding was never explicitly highlighted. People I have learned from and spoken to in the business world speak of branding endlessly. So why is branding so important in the business world, yet relatively unknown within osteopathy?
Every osteopath hopes that our patients each have a story they will tell to others after being treated by you. They may say… “They listened to me”, “they fixed my back”, or “I always feel so much better after I’ve been”. Successful branding communicates what people can expect to experience when coming to see you before meeting you or walking into your clinic. You can share what makes you different through the words you use and the images of you treating. All of which tells potential patients that they can expect to feel listened to, supported, motivated or reassured when they visit you.
It’s important to mention here that the visual aspects (name, logo, colours, font style, etc.) of a brand are fundamental because they visually represent what you stand for. However, a name and logo don’t make a brand and mean nothing without a purpose behind them. Visual aspects of your brand should intertwine with the meaning behind your brand to connect with how your patients think and feel about you. It is how they experience going to see “my osteopath”.
Every osteopath works on their brand already by being a fantastic practitioner. You’re crafting your reputation. But suppose you expand that into everything connected to you. In that case, you will build your patient list far quicker than treating for a year to fill up a day in your weekly working calendar.
The greatest osteopaths in the world never stop learning. If you’re looking to feed your brain with the best clinic-building methods, you need to read The Hustle. Every week you’ll get the latest ethical and effective business strategies specifically for osteopaths. The Hustle is confined to a maximum of 30 words, so it’s perfect for on-the-go osteopaths. Subscribe today for free!
In 2017 I moved to Cardiff, Wales, and needed a barber. While looking online, I found numerous barbershops near me, but one stood out from the rest. Capello.
Capello barbershop had a sharp classic logo and a slick website, both with a striking gold and black colour scheme. It was further away from other barbers, but I chose Capello based on the look of their brand. Bearing in mind that I knew nothing about branding at this time. When I arrived, their signage stood out from the rest of the street. As I walked in, it was filled with 5 or so busy barbers, but that day I was seen by the shop owner, Alessandro. He did a fantastic job, so I went back, seeing Alessandro every time.
Alessandro was on holiday one day, so I got my hair cut by someone else at Capello. I didn’t mind not seeing my usual barber, which got me thinking, why? Ultimately, I trusted the brand, not Alessandro. I trusted anyone who passed the Capello quality test.
This is where many osteopaths are different. They don’t have the ‘Capello’ brand; they have the ‘Alessandro Barbershop’ brand. I’ve spoken to hundreds of osteopaths who have built an incredible reputation for themselves using their name. With hard work and dedication, they hire an associate. The problem is that often the associate struggles to get busy because patients, even new ones, typically only trust the name on the door.
The osteopath has become the go-to osteopath as opposed to the go-to clinic.
There are hundreds of marketing methods, from Google Ads, websites, and social media to leaflets, a-boards, and developing business-to-business relationships. This is a double-edged sword as having such variety can be liberating or overwhelming. Many osteopaths feel confused about marketing. How do I get started? What works? Is all this effort bringing patients in?
We all understand that osteopaths can treat anyone from a nine-day-old to a ninety-year-old. But that doesn’t mean you should market yourself to everyone. Ask yourself: who do you love to treat? By actively narrowing down who you market to (the people you love to treat), you’ll connect with them and stand out above your competition. Once you do a fantastic job treating them, they will recommend you to their friends and family, adding variety to your patient list through word-of-mouth.
A strong, clear brand allows you to filter through all possible marketing methods. This leaves you with the most effective ones that attract the type of patients you love to treat.
Mariana Bakewell practices in a CrossFit gym, but her brand didn’t match the environment she worked in. Together we created a CrossFit-style brand with an osteopathic twist. Ignite Osteopaths.
See how Mariana’s business name matches the logo. It follows the CrossFit branding – fire is movement and energy while telling you what to expect when seeing Ignite Osteopaths.
Mariana has a clear direction on how to market towards active and health-conscious people in places where they hang out, such as gyms, Instagram, and Google. She has stopped marketing in places where active and health-conscious people are less likely to spend their time* such as schools, at home (flyer drops), and age-care facilities. *These examples are generalised.
The idea of new patients flooding your clinic is an exciting one. However, any long-standing osteopath will tell you that returning patients are the ones that keep you in business. We’re not here to tell you how to treat. Whether or not you give your patients detailed plans and recommend x amount of treatments is not as important as exceeding patient expectations.
Esra Baser, the owner and principal of Hume Osteopathic Clinic, trains each of her new associates for two weeks before they start treating patients on their own. She explained that this was not because she doubted their ability to diagnose, treat or prescribe. It was to show them the experience that patients of Hume Osteopathy Clinic have come to expect. She uses those two weeks to teach her new staff how to act around patients, how to explain a patient’s diagnosis, common questions patients ask and how the patient is cared for before and after their appointment.
Esra doesn’t want carbon copies of her as an osteopath. She wants to make the best of what the practitioner has to offer while delivering the Hume Osteopathic Clinic perfect patient experience. That is phenomenal branding in action as it keeps them wanting to come back and refer friends too.
Overall, branding is the missing link in osteopathy marketing. Branding can provide you with a career-lasting priority checklist of marketing methods that reach the people you love to treat while standing out from your competition. Remove dozens of time-consuming tasks and create a brand that fills you with pride so you can stop worrying about filling your books each week.
If you’re interested in standing out, making marketing easy, and having an unforgettable patient experience check out our courses here.
Is it time for a change but don’t know where to start? You may be interested in how we’ve been even the most experienced clinic owners achieve their dream clinic. Running your clinic can be beyond stressful. That’s where we come in. Whether your goal is to control your work-life balance, reduce your workdays, install systems that make your clinic run smoothly or hire the right people to help you succeed, we can help.
© Osteohustle — All rights reserved — 2021