Ethical osteopathy business and marketing advice delivered in a British accent. You’ll find me running, at the beach or inside our courses 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 clinic, or an established clinic owner, this is precisely how branding fixes osteopaths marketing.
The issue many osteopaths face today is consistency. So how do I get new patients through the door every month? Read on to find out real-life examples of how branding fixes osteopaths marketing.
It has been said that it usually takes one year to fill up one day when you set up your practice. However, 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. Yet, I have learned from and spoken to people in the business world who talk about branding endlessly. So why is branding so important in the business world yet relatively unknown within osteopathy?
Every osteopath hopes that our patients have a story they will tell 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 seeing 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. So 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.
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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 Barbershop.
This barbershop had a sharp classic logo and a slick website with striking gold and black colour schemes. 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, the shop had five 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 feeling of brand trust is where many osteopaths are different. Osteopaths rarely 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 names. Then, 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.
Can you see how 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. Having many methods to choose from 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?
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. The end of the branding process leaves you with the most effective marketing methods that attract the type of patients you love to treat.
Mariana Bakewell practices in a CrossFit gym, but her brand didn’t match her working environment. So 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. Can you start to see how branding fixes osteopaths marketing?
Mariana has a clear direction on marketing towards active and health-conscious people in places where they hang out, such as gyms, Instagram, and Google. She has stopped marketing in areas where active and health-conscious people are less likely to spend their time* such as schools, at home (flyer drops), and age-care facilities. *General examples.
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 a certain amount of treatments is not as crucial as exceeding patient expectations.
Esra Baser, the owner and principal of Hume Osteopathic Clinic, trains each of her new associates for two weeks before treating patients independently. She explained that this was not because she doubted their ability to diagnose, treat or prescribe. Instead, 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, explains a patient’s diagnosis, common questions patients ask, and how they are cared for before and after their appointment.
Esra doesn’t want carbon copies of her as an osteopath. So, instead, she wants to make the best of what the practitioner offers 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. This is exactly how branding fixes osteopaths marketing.
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.
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