Why Osteopaths Need Branding Before Getting a Website

Branding is a critical part of the website process for osteopaths. Osteopaths need a brand as it's the foundation of osteopathy marketing.
Why Osteopaths Need Branding Before Getting a Website
Branding is essential before you jump into any other form of marketing, including a website.

Osteopaths must have branding before spending a penny on a website

Let’s explain this critical statement: why osteopaths need branding before getting a website.

So, you’re thinking about getting a website for your osteopathic clinic. Well, I’m glad you’ve stumbled across this article because osteopaths shouldn’t spend a penny on getting an osteopathy website until they understand the importance of branding.

Before we build a website for an osteopathic clinic, I ask: “how’s your branding?” This question often causes a puzzled look paired with the sentence: “well, I’ve never really thought about it before. I have a logo designed. Is that what you mean?”

So, if that sounds like what you may respond with, let’s cover what branding is and why it’s essential before getting an osteopathy website.

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Any decent web designer will ask about branding

So, before we dive in, I want to express a strong opinion that we hold here at Osteohustle. We believe that any web designer worth their salt would use your brand as a map to make your website.

We’re in the privileged position of being in the osteopathic world and the design and marketing world, so we understand the standard that osteopaths should hold their website designers to.

If you’ve yet to hire a web designer, you must make sure that they ask you about your brand. Whether you choose to get your website built with us or not, you need to know that your brand will ultimately be the critical factor of taking the dream website you have in your head and turning it into a reality.

What is branding?

Branding is more than a name, logo and colours. It’s actually about taking what makes you unique and using that to broadcast yourself, to allow you to stand out from your competition.

Imagine you’re a complete average Joe, you’ve got back pain, and you’re looking for an osteopath. And that’s even in a good situation since, as an osteopath, you’re up against it because most people have no clue what an osteopath is.

But let’s say in this example, this average Joe types into Google “osteopath near me” and then land on five different osteopathy websites.

Now, I say this because I guarantee that if you remove everything you know as an osteopath, most websites will look the same. They all seem to be saying the same things like ‘musculoskeletal’, the standard ASA/AHPRA list of conditions osteopaths claim to treat, and they’re talking about fancy techniques. All words and ideas that most average Joe’s wouldn’t understand.

All people want to know is the answer to their question: “Yeah, but can you help me?” People don’t care about all these fancy techniques that you do because they don’t understand what they do.

So, how do average Joe’s choose which osteopath to go and see?

Most people who see five osteopathy websites that all look the same to them will base their decision on three different things.

  • Who’s the cheapest?
  • Who’s the closest?
  • Who’s the most experienced?

Those are the factors that make a difference to people’s buying decisions. And they go, “well, they all look pretty similar. They all sound pretty similar. They all claim to treat the same list of conditions” that we are worried about as practitioners with advertising. And so, from that, they then only have those three real, meaningful options that seem to make a difference as to which osteopath to choose.

Branding stops you from being like any other osteopath

Stand out and be chosen by your perfect average Joe. In summary, branding is a three-step process. If you’re looking for more detail, check out How Branding Will Fix Osteopaths Marketing Forever and The Branding Academy for Osteopaths Course.

Step 1: Start with inward-facing elements

So what do we mean by inward-facing elements? We mean your values, what you stand for. All osteopaths learned how to practice osteopathy by following a semi-standardised osteopathic philosophy. But when you’re actually in practice and out of university, you start to discover your unique style of being an osteopath.

We’re all slightly different in how we practice osteopathic principles and why we’re passionate about being an osteopath. That makes osteopathy incredibly rich in diversity. The branding process calls on us to look inwards and pinpoint the unique things about you and use them as the base for your outward-facing elements.

Step 2: Use the inward to inform the outward-facing elements

The outward-facing aspects include a brand logo, brand colours, brand name, things that the general public see. To truly stand out, the inward-facing elements of your brand must influence the outward-facing aspects of your brand so they have real meaning.

Many osteopaths approach websites with some outward-facing elements, like a logo, name, and colours.

When I’m having conversations with osteopaths about websites, I always ask about branding first. So when I say: What’s your brand name? What’s your logo? They usually have a general idea, especially with aspects like a name and logo.

But when I ask them about their values, what they stand for, and where they want to be in their career in 5 or 10 years, they often start to think on the spot. So, therefore, when you go through the branding process, these deep, meaningful questions are answered, so you don’t have to think on the spot. It’s all planned out.

Step 3: Brand Strategy Guide

A brand strategy guide is a physical booklet that compiles everything about your branding (both the outward-facing and inward-facing aspects). The brand strategy guide can be given to somebody like a web designer and go: “that’s everything you need to know about my clinic. That’s everything you need to know about me as a practitioner. And I can now leave you to get on with the job knowing that you can follow these guidelines.”

Having a brand strategy guide allows, in this case, the web designer to find everything about your brand that’s needed to build your website with everything that makes you unique.

The web designer would then ask themselves questions and find everything they need inside your brand strategy guide:

  • What colours and fonts do they use? Ah, they use Helvetica for headers and Futura for the body of text.
  • What colours do they use? They use this light blue, white and light forest green, but they never use white writing over the forest green because it’s hard to read.
  • What kind of ways do these osteopaths want to communicate with the groups of people they want to attract into their clinic? Oh, well, we’ve identified that they care about being friendly, caring, and approachable.
  • What logos do they use? I can see they use this simplified version of their logo for smaller spaces like a website footer.

Why branding before building a website is key

  1. Osteohustle wants to move the profession forward from a grassroots level.

  2. We keep having the same conversation.

  3. Branding is everything.

Let’s break each of those reasons down.

Reason #1: Osteohustle wants osteopathy to grow from a grassroots level

We care about helping you grow your knowledge and skills upwards. Since the inception of Osteohustle, we’ve noticed excellent governing bodies (such as the Institute of Osteopathy, Osteopathy Australia, Osteopaths New Zealand etc) helping us on the top tier national level. We consider this help from the top down. So when I created Osteohustle, one of his primary goals was to help osteopathy as a whole from the ground up.

If a person lands on five different osteopathy websites and they’re all modern, unique, express values, and they have slick branding, people will have a better view of osteopaths as a whole. Add to that that every website clearly communicates how osteopathy can help them in language that everyone understands. This level of professionalism and clarity will genuinely raise the profile of osteopaths on a grassroots level. Moving forward together means that we believe the more osteopaths understand branding, the better awareness we will all have as a profession.

Reason #2: We keep having the same conversation

Many osteopaths contact us about their websites and express that they want a website but don’t know how to go about it. Here’s precisely why branding is the main thing you need to think about before getting yourself a website.

Imagine that you’re standing on an island. Then, you see another island; it’s got exactly what you want on it: your dream patient generating, clearly communicating, fast and stand out website. But, you can only see one way to get to that island, by diving into the water and hoping for the best.

Let me give you an alternative way. Instead of diving for your dream website and gambling on how it will look, what you will say and who it will speak to, you could build a very sturdy bridge.

  • Each plank of the bridge is made up of your answers to questions like:
  • Do you have the PNG of your logo?
  • Are your images compressed?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What are the HEX codes of your colours?
  • What rules should we follow regarding your brand, so it’s uniform in all places your brand appears (website, social media, business cards etc.)

Osteopathy websites must address the look, feel, impression and logistics

By breaking down these questions, we’re looking at four different essential factors. Look, feel, the impression and logistics.

We’re looking at things like logo, colours, font, uniformity. By uniformity, we mean a consistent look across all touch-points for your brand. So if a person has come from your social media, we want to make sure that we’re using the exact same look, feel and impression across both touch points.

Then when we move on to the feel side of things, we’re then looking at things like values, which we’ve touched on throughout this article.

The impression is about having an excellent first impression. So if someone clicks on your website and it’s the first time they’re finding you, you need to be able to make sure that you answer that golden question: “Yeah, but can you help me?”

Are you using the correct language? Are you avoiding jargon? All these questions are answered by your brand, saving you time in the future when you’re building your website or your hiring someone to build your website for you.

Logistics are the technical parts of designing a website. We’re talking about file types, speed, layout etc. Basically, is it user-friendly? User experience has become more critical than ever because Google has recently announced a massive ranking factor for Google Search engines. So what this means is that if your website doesn’t keep people interested and keep people navigating the website, you’re going to worsen your rank because your website isn’t user-friendly.

And so, when we get answers to these kinds of questions, what we’re doing is we’re building that bridge.

Reason #3: Branding is everything

Your website is the second level of your clinic or career foundations. The first priority for your marketing is branding. Branding always comes first.

The exact priority list is:

  1. Branding
  2. Website
  3. Google Business Profile
  4. Google Ads

If you have those four things in place, that leads to automatic patients. If you don’t have those four things, you shouldn’t be touching social media because if you are going to use social media, you need to dedicate the time to it.


In summary, branding is the foundation of everything related to your practice. And if you establish your brand, you can then have that for your entire career, which is critical for every single osteopath; whether you’re a clinic owner or an associate, you have to nail these things.

Can you see how branding gives your website a unique voice, clear direction, a better patient experience, a solid foundation and a way to grow with you as you developed through your career?

You may not have considered these questions before. Branding prepares you to answer all those questions. Branding allows you to have a smooth, upward trajectory where you can confidently say: This is how I lay my foundations that starts with branding. And then, once I’ve got those foundations, I can then actually begin to move on to other things as well.

If you have thought about your website recently, maybe it’s gathered a little bit of digital dust. Perhaps it needs dragging into the 21st century, and it needs to be brought into 2021. To conclude, branding is essential if you’re going to connect with more patients by easily explaining how you can help people.

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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