How to Use Storytelling to Attract Patients
If you’re like most chiropractors, you’re responsible for not only treating patients but also running your own practice. To successfully run a long-standing practice, it’s essential to master chiropractic marketing.
Whether you marketing your practice through Instagram, TikTok, Google Ads, email, or Facebook, you must develop a compelling story. Your story is foundational for chiropractic marketing success. A story that connects with your target patients and the problems they’re trying to solve.
In a recent podcast episode, Chad Madden spoke with a master of chiropractic marketing, Dr. Dan Sullivan, aka the Chiropractic Advocate.
In this article, you’ll learn how to craft your story to achieve better results from your chiropractic marketing efforts.
Why Storytelling is the Key to Chiropractic Marketing
“Story is everything,” Sullivan said. “[We] have MRI studies that show how impactful the story is. It connects you with me and me with you differently than facts or information.” That’s why storytelling is a core competency for chiropractic marketing.
“As a professional, as a licensed clinician, to be able to walk into a room and build a level of trust — it’s not only possible, it’s necessary,” he asserted.
Sullivan’s recommendations are based on two years he spent learning from pre-eminent neurologists.
“The thing that separated the good from the great is — across the board — because you feel understood by them,” Sullivan concluded. “And the greatest way to do that is with the power of the story.”
Pro Tip: You can do chiropractic marketing well even if you’re an introvert. “If you’re an introvert and you use extroverted sales strategies, you’re going to exhaust yourself,” he explains. “You’ve been taught that the only way you can ‘sell’ is by coercing somebody. But when you become yourself and you nail your story,” you communicate with data, facts, logic, and information that persuades.
7 Steps for Using Storytelling to Market Your Chiropractic Clinic
A good story fuels your practice’s chiropractic marketing.
“Everyone’s got a story,” Sullivan said. “We’re all unique as clinicians.” And that’s the secret sauce to growing your practice just like it was for him. “The needle-mover was being myself and telling my story.”
Here’s how to develop your story and leverage it in your chiropractic marketing.
1. Find the Elements of Your Story
“Here’s the crazy part about a story,” Sullivan said, “It’s not about the external event. “The story is about the internal event. The attractiveness of your story is not what happened in it, it’s who you became because of it. The very reason why you’re doing what you’re doing is because of your journey.”
The best journeys feature obstacles the storyteller has to overcome. “If there’s no conflict, there’s no story,” Sullivan said. He cited research from McMaster University that shows that we process stories in our brain’s “theory-of-the-mind” network, which is stimulated by the storyteller’s intentions and motivations, beliefs, feelings and actions.
Sullivan developed the Impact Story Formula to help you pinpoint the elements of your story. There are 4 parts to the Impact Story Formula:
- Your upbringing: where you come from and how you are just like your prospect
- Your test: A point in your life that you encountered conflict or challenges that help you to relate better to your prospect
- Your search: How you addressed that conflict or challenge, including your feelings, doubts and the breakthrough that brought you to where you are now
- Your triumph: When and how you accomplished and overcame your test
2. Uncover Your Unique Selling Proposition
By constructing your story, you identify what sets your practice apart from others. This is your unique selling proposition (USP) — the aspects of you and your practice that are yours alone. No one else can sell to those.
A well-structured story contextualizes your USP. “It gets somebody to be like, ‘Wow, I see why you’re so passionate about this, and you’re different than anybody else I’ve been to’,” Sullivan said.
3. Relate to Your Audience
Knowing even a little bit about who you’re talking to — whether that’s educated guesses or information from your intake form or their medical history — helps you connect with them.
“Simon Sinek, in his book, Start with Why, says it’s not about doing business with people who need what you have,” Sullivan continued. “He says about doing business with the people that believe what you believe, and the only way that you would know that as they know your why. How would they know your whys? You tell your story! You can essentially make anybody sitting across from you feel heard and feel understood.” And when prospects feel that connection, they’re more likely to want to work with you.
4. Attract Your Ideal Patients and Repel the Rest
A strong story that reflects your journey and your values appeals to your ideal patient and won’t resonate with the others.
“You repel the people who just love their drugs and want to go do that,” Sullivan says, because they know that’s not how you practice. Meanwhile, the people who are ready to pay and commit to going long-term are compelled to work with you and are more likely to comply with your treatment recommendations.
5. Speak to the Negative
Getting attention in an information-saturated market can be tough. “If you’re going to create something that’s going to cold traffic, speak to the negative because the majority [or our mindset] is already negative,” he explained, citing research that the average human’s daily thoughts are 80% negative.
For example, you might share a short blog post or video on “The 3 Things You Absolutely Never Want to Even Think About Doing if You Have Sciatica.”
6. Create and Distribute Educational Content
Storytelling is effective fodder for engaging your audience with educational content. Here are some examples of effective chiropractic marketing strategies that leverage content:
- Lead magnets: Engage prospects with a relevant and useful product, service or piece of content that can be consumed in 5 to 10 minutes that requires them to share contact information.
- Videos: Show what you know with short videos sharing stretches/exercises or advice for current and prospective patients.
- Workshops: Establish yourself as a trusted expert, connect with attendees and motivate patients to take the next step.
- Paid advertising: Reach people where they are with targeted advertising on Google and YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, or TikTok
- Organic social: Share your story on channels you control and use lead magnets and other content to establish a reputation and build a loyal following that shares your content.
- Email and text marketing: Reach out to prospects and current and past patients with relevant educational information like case studies, trends you’re seeing in your practice, advice and tips to stay connected and keep your practice on their minds.
7. Manage Your Chiropractic Marketing in One Place
Patient Demand software is a unique tool that enables chiropractors to perform email, text, and advertising campaigns that attract leads, convert patients, and deliver measurable results. All in one, easy-to-use platform.