Clinic Marketing At Christmas – what you can be doing now to grow your practice in 2013

We have just booked our office Christmas party, wow that was painful! 

In many ways the decision-making process we used to plan our Christmas party is like a back pain sufferer’s decision as to where they should go to get help and treatment.

There are five ways we can choose our Christmas party location or a clinic for our back pain:

1/ Somewhere we have been to before
2/ Somewhere which is recommended to us by someone who has been before
3/ Somewhere we have heard of or somehow know about
4/ Somewhere, someone we know has heard of or somehow knows about
5/ A place nobody knows about and we go looking to ‘find’ 

Our Christmas party location search process went like this:

First, various names of locations were presented and discussed.  After the rejections, a new Chinese Party Restaurant nobody could remember the name of began to get favourable comments.

From the location and description I then remembered I had seen it advertised in a free local town A5 magazine … which I had put in my recycling box just the previous day!

I dug it out, got the number and rang.  Sadly it was fully booked, (no Karaoke for us – phew!)

Eventually, after digging up various location names and finding websites through Google and evaluating what they were like from the look of their website, we settled on our choice, phoned and booked.

IMPORTANT – One place we called went straight to answer phone. Given concerns about actually getting in on the date we wanted (needed!), we didn’t bother leaving a message and carried on until we got somewhere which could accommodate us.

This same thing happens with prospective patients who are taking action to get help but can’t talk to anyone, they go to the next clinic.


Applying this example to clinic marketing, word of mouth (1 & 2) is often the default clinic marketing strategy, which neglects 3,4 or 5 leaving prospective patients to go elsewhere.

It goes without saying that your website needs to be findable and inviting for prospective patients.

Working with IDD Therapy providers, we stress the importance of groundwork marketing, i.e. laying the foundations of awareness consistently for tomorrow’s patients to know (like and trust) you.


I got a great example of one way to do this the other week when I got a flyer through my letter box from an estate agent.  Big and bold, it explained that if I was selling my house in 2013, they would be the best people to help me.

It wasn’t a “buy now or regret for the rest of your life” message.  It just planted the awareness seed.


It costs so little to print a couple of thousand A5 leaflets (see  Between Christmas and New Year, your clinic will be quiet and most people will be at home, bored.

Having piled on the pounds through over-eating, why not use the time productively. Put on your trainers and work off some turkey by delivering leaflets to let people in your community know that you are the Go-To clinic in the event that at some point in the future, they need some clinician services.  Plant that seed.

Importantly for you, unlike estate agents and pizza companies who compete with one another, you will have an open field and no competing voices (just see how many such messages you get from your competitors over the break. Any?).

If you don’t want to do it yourself, as a guide, my local leaflet delivery company in Bishops Stortford charges £45 per thousand leaflets.  Don’t just wait for the phone to ring in January, be proactive now.

If you would like a map of how you can market your clinic consistently in 2013, request a free copy of our 12 x 12 marketing report and map using the form below.  It’s short and sweet and you can read it over the break.

Enjoy your Christmas party!

Posted By: Stephen Small

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Back Pain Treatment: How mechanical treatment can help manual therapists treat back pain.

I am often asked why committed manual therapists treating back pain use the mechanical treatment tool, IDD Therapy.

There isn’t a short answer as there is so much which goes into the IDD Therapy programme, however one reason relates to the actual physical limitations of the hands and body.

The spine is incredibly strong and in certain ways, it is impossible to comfortably decompress chronically stiff and immobile spinal segments with the hands alone.  I made this short video at my local gym to graphically illustrate when and how the IDD Therapy treatment tool comes to the aid of the manual therapist.


It is important to stress that manual therapists use IDD Therapy for certain patients only.

This is not an industrial revolution style event of machine vs man.  Nothing can replace the sensitivity and dexterity of the hands, but there comes a time when patients need something more for their pain, which the hands-only treatment model cannot help.

IDD Therapy allows clinicians to comfortably distract and mobilise targeted spinal segments, with sufficient force and for sufficient time to have a therapeutic effect.  This is the essence of what sets IDD Therapy spinal decompression apart from traditional traction and why IDD Therapy is used by increasing numbers of manual therapists.

I should emphasise that IDD Therapy is not a stand-alone treatment.  It is a complete programme of spinal care which combines manual therapy, exercise and other modalities to help clinicians do more for back pain sufferers.

If you have any questions about IDD Therapy treatment, let us know in the box below or for more details visit European IDD Therapy representatives

Posted by: Stephen Small

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The Seven Pillars of a Painless Practice Book Review

The Seven Pillars of a Painless Practice is a must-read business development book for any clinic owner or would-be clinic owner.

Written by highly regarded clinician coaches, James Butler and Celia Champion of ‘Painless Practice’, the Seven Pillars is a straightforward framework which will make you think about the purpose of why you go to work, it will help you understand your ultimate goals and vision for your clinic and most importantly it will be your guide for what you need to do in between!

Established clinic owners may be aware of the elements in the book but so few take or have the time to stop, think and connect everything to get the most from their business.

Anyone on a journey of personal development will have already grasped common concepts relevant to all businesses, it is then about finding those golden nuggets which are your catalyst to take your clinic to the next level. The Seven Pillars has plenty of nuggets.

To buy the book or read the first chapter CLICK HERE.

I have known James and Celia for a number of years.  At a time when competition is growing and when long gone are the days of putting a sign on your door and an ad in the Yellow Pages to get the phone ringing, the book is well worth a read.

I read it in two evenings and made a lot of notes.  The Seven Pillars has plenty of ideas, illustrations and blank forms where you can jot down elements for your own business.  It also has the authors’ trademark sense of humour 🙂 and includes many quotes and practical references.

Final Word

As with all good business or life coaching books and audio programmes, the value comes not from the reading but when you actually pick up a pen afterwards and take action.

Want to do more in your clinic? You can buy the book or read the first chapter by CLICKING HERE

Posted by: Stephen Small