Podcast Episode #001 How to Use Facebook to Get More Patients (w/ Dr Ben Adkins)
July 21, 2018
In this episode we talk to Dr. Ben Adkins about how he leveraged his personal Facebook page to get more patients in the door and the Red Envelope technique he used to get them coming back in within 48 hours.
Welcome to the Chiro Business Builders podcast. My name is Tabitha Thomas. This podcast is all about giving you a behind-the-scenes access to the world’s top chiropractors and how they build and scale their business.
Today is a very special day for me. I’ve got Dr. Ben Adkins from Poplar Bluff, Missouri with me. It’s special because Ben, you were my first chiropractor, the one who got me into the office for the very first time.
Dr. Ben Adkins: Well, you said it, I didn’t. I feel covered. It’s good to be here.
Tabitha Thomas: Excited to have you with me. I grew up in a family that my parents went to the chiropractor like once a year, and that was usually when they really threw their neck out or back out, or something crazy. So, the fact that you got me in was pretty incredible.
Dr. Ben Adkins: Well, that’s the thing. I kind of grew up in the same environment. When I grew up, I really had a chiropractor that helped me a lot, but it wasn’t something that was a big part of my life early on. Then when I decided to become one, it was because of just that one experience. I tell you, it’s one of those things where I think a lot of folks out there are starting to discover how great chiropractic is, and it becomes something that at least once a month has to be a part of this. Like I said, it’s a very exciting time, I think, for chiropractors just because we’re starting to see more people really understand how great they feel with just avery small amount of ongoing care once they’re out of that initial pain. That’s fun. It’s fun.
Tabitha Thomas: Yes, very much so. Did you always want to be a chiropractor? Is that something that you dreamed about as a kid?
Dr. Ben Adkins: I think it was something that I had this one experience when I was in the third grade. I was having an experience. I had gone to a medical doctor and they couldn’t figure it out. They thought I was stressed. How stressed can a third grader be, in most cases? I don’t think I was stressed at all, but I went to see a chiropractor. Within a couple visits, I was good. It was completely gone. I was feeling great, and everything was good. That stuck with me. I thought, “This is a pretty cool deal. The guy just, with his hands, did something and I’m better.” That stuck with me. But no, going through school, that wasn’t necessarily something that stuck with me as this is what you’re going to do with your life. It was just something that I was always very fascinated by it, and I got up to the point to where I said, “Okay. What am I gonna do with my life?” I knew, hey I want to do something to help people and I don’t exactly know what that is.
So, when I first locked into what I was gonna do with my life, the first thing … I like computers too. I’m either gonna do something with computers or I’m gonna do something in healthcare. When I first started, I went the medical route. That was my first jump into all of it is I was going to be a medical doctor. Then one day, by chance, and isn’t this the way that it always goes. One day by chance, I walked into a pharmacy to get a prescription for my mom, and while I was there, I saw all these folks that had just … just chance that I was there that this was what was going on in this particular pharmacy at that time. There was a bunch of folks that were in there. You could tell it wasn’t something that they necessarily needed, but they were in there and they were very dependent on the pharmacy.
So, I don’t know, something struck me then to say, maybe this path that I’m going down is not a good one. It was just timing, of course, but I started really looking back at, okay how can I still help a lot of people doing healthcare, but at the same time maybe not do it the way that I thought. That led me to start talking to some chiropractors that I knew, and pretty quickly I said, “Yeah. This is the gig for me.”
Tabitha Thomas: Love it. Love it. So, you went to chiropractor college. Logan, I believe.
Dr. Ben Adkins: Yeah, Logan.
Tabitha Thomas: Is where you went. So, Missouri boy. You went to Logan. After that, what happened?
Dr. Ben Adkins: So, went to Logan and graduated 2007. And right out of school, had to pass some boards. I started working with another doctor, and learned a whole lot from this particular doctor about how to do certain things in business and more of the business side of it. I would say that I got a lot of really good training at Logan in terms of how to be a doctor. I didn’t get a lot of really great training, and I don’t think there is really great training. I think that’s why you’re doing what you do in explaining these stories. There’s not a lot of really good training when it comes to how to run the business in the schools. At least you’re not focused on it. You’re just trying to become a doctor, right?
So, I get out in 2007. I start working with another doctor. I learn a lot about practice building, how to run the flow of a practice. And pretty quickly though it becomes something to where just a chance situation, I decide, hey I should be doing this myself. And everything just sort of worked out to where I needed to have my own business. No big falling out, I would say, but it was definitely hard going from a practice that was already somewhat established and saying, “Okay. I’m gonna do this on my own.” So, I open up. I literally drove four hours to go pick up a table that I bought on eBay, a chiropractic table. It was a great table, by the way. And four hours back from where I was. Got a good deal on it. Had this one table. Signed a lease. I quit, and two weeks later, after I put in my two weeks, I had another two weeks. So, basically it was like a month gap between the time I put in my two weeks notice to when we opened the doors to the new clinic. That’s when I had to really figure it out. I thought I had enough but I didn’t. When you don’t have your own thing, it’s a whole other ballgame. Taking it up to that point, that was very interesting. I learned a lot, I would say, within the first six months of opening that practice for myself.
Tabitha Thomas: Yeah, it’s scary to be out there for the very first time and everything be relying on you and what you’re able to accomplish. Dr. Ben Adkins: That was the thing. I remember being like, “This is gonna work. We’re gonna make this work. There’s no other option here.” But I remember opening up the doors on a Monday and it was pretty much me half the day. I think I had someone coming in and giving me a little bit of help during the afternoon, just because I was trying to be very budget conscious at that point. And I didn’t have a lot of people come in. All right, you’re next. Hi. The first week, I had one person come through the door. That was my accountant. Bless his heart. He came in, was my first patient, and supported me pretty much all the way through. But that was a wake-up call for me. I figured, I was like, “Well, they’re not just gonna come in.” So, I really had to start thinking of more creative ways that I could get people through the door. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a whole lot of a budget at that point, so I had to really, really get creative with how we could get people through the door. Thank goodness that Facebook was there because Facebook was something that really ended up becoming a huge growth driver for our practice in that first year, and even into the future.
Tabitha Thomas: Would you say you did a lot of traditional marketing? Did you do the ads in the newspaper, the radio, the television, all of that stuff? Did you do any of that when you had your practice open?
Dr. Ben Adkins: I tried. For the little budget that I had, we tried to do stuff in like the Yellow Book. We tried to do stuff in the newspaper. We tried to do stuff on the radio. Didn’t have a lot of money to do that, but at first it wasn’t doing a whole lot. To be really honest, for the return that we were getting early on, a lot of thos things that time. The return that we were getting early on, it was something that just wasn’t cost effective because we just couldn’t afford to keep up the pace of what we needed to do to get people through the door. So yeah, we were definitely doing some of those things, and I got better at doing those things as we went on, but it was really tough to justify the expense. So really between Facebook, Google, and me just going out and hustling and being everywhere, that was sort of the gig.
Tabitha Thomas: When you say you were doing Facebook marketing, what kind of things were you doing on Facebook?
Dr. Ben Adkins: We had to get really creative because we had a lot of stuff that didn’t work.
Tabitha Thomas: Isn’t that always the case?
Dr. Ben Adkins: We started out doing a lot of F acebook ads just talking about chiropractic, and pretty quickly that became something that we realized the ad just telling people we were there was not a good thing. The ad has to be something very specific, which we learned really quickly, and we do go into that if you want to, too. But one of the big things was I always took a two-pronged approach to it. I always had a business Facebook page and I always had my personal Facebook page, and both of them were very powerful when you used them right and when you used them together. To be honest, the first few months, I had no idea what using them right was, but we got it pretty quick. So if you want, I don’t know what you want me to talk about.
Tabitha Thomas: Yeah, go right ahead.
Dr. Ben Adkins: Okay, cool. If you want, I can talk about what we did on both of those and how it played and what the overall strategy was once we figured out what we were doing. Just to give you a preview, within about six months of when I opened that practice up to six months later, we had a practice that was just as big and busy as folks that had been there 20 years. It was because of this strategy that I’m about to tell you. Diving into it, I’ll start with my personal Facebook page.
At first, I thought it would be really fun and really effective to talk about chiropractic a lot. It was not. It was not at all. Nobody cared. Dr. Ben Adkins: It was not. It was not at all. Nobody cared. They just don’t care about what you are doing with your chiropractic office or what you’re doing with chiropractic. It just does not work that way. Now, your patients, the people that have already been in, they’ve already been helped, they’re indoctrinated, they get it. They love it. They love it, and they’ll tell all their friends about it, but that doesn’t really correlate to what you’re talking about on your Facebook page.
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