Chiropractors are now looking newer and more innovative ways to market their practice. Many have found creating original visuals and videos works great to engage audiences, and there’s no question that Chiropractors need to think about shifting their content strategy that way. Instagram allows for a perfect medium to create and share images and at the same time, grow an online following for your office. Listen to the audio interview with Chris Burfield below…
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Tabor: Hello and welcome, ladies and gentlemen. I’m Dr. Tabor Smith. I’m bringing you this interview today. Today it’s going to be just a really fun webinar, really great time. We are here with a good friend of mine and a long-time chiropractor, chiropractic advocate and chiropractic marketer. Some of you might know him, you might have had heard of his name. It’s Chris Burfield.
He’s done a lot for the profession and I’m just honored that he’s here with us today. We are going to cover some really cool things on marketing, some things that you probably haven’t heard of before. I’m super excited.
Chris, how are you doing?
Chris: I’m doing great, man. I’m excited for today.
Tabor: Awesome. Before we get into it, I’ll just let the cat out of the bag. We are going to be talking about something that is blowing up right now, not in the chiropractic profession, as a lot of chiropractors may not have even heard of it, and they are definitely not utilizing it, but it’s Instagram. I’m telling you it is blowing up. We are starting to see Instagram users and Instagram profiles that are just getting hundreds and thousands if not millions of followers. It’s a media that’s really going crazy right now.
I’m going to turn it over to Chris to let him first introduce himself and let him build up. Then we’ll get right into that topic. I wanted to go ahead and share it. I need to keep all of you on the edge of your seats, so hang on.
Chris, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you are doing.
Chris: My name is Christopher Burfield. I have been involved with the chiropractic profession now for over 17 years. It’s been 17 and a half years actually. I got my start back in 1997 at the fresh young age of 21. I had dropped out of college. Actually I failed out. I like to tell people I dropped out. It sounds like it was on my terms, but I failed out of college and needed to get a job.
I ended up answering an ad in a local newspaper and it was for a chiropractic office. I got hired there and got turned on to the big idea. I got turned on to chiropractic and I absolutely fell in love with it. It was instant. I like to tell people, looking back over my life, it wasn’t that I found chiropractic, but chiropractic found me, and that’s how I really feel.
It’s been an amazing journey ever since. I worked as a chiropractic assistant up until 2003. I had moved from Pennsylvania to Texas in the year 2000. While I was down here I roomed with some students that were going to Parker College of Chiropractic, and became good friends with one of them. When he was getting ready to graduate he decided he was going to open his own practice, but he knew nothing about growing a practice. I had a lot of experience in marketing practices. That was my primary position in the practices I worked for prior to that. He asked me if I would like to go for a partnership with them.
In 2003, I actually opened my own chiropractic office. I co-owned it for seven years. We opened it for less than $12,000 with some credit cards and a refund check that I got from the IRS that year. It was make it or break it. It was either we were going to succeed or we were going to go out of business the next month because we had no working capital. We just turned on that marketing machine and got out there and got our name out there, and seven years later we grew into a practice that was seeing about 250 patients visits a week, making over $700,000 a year.
At that point is when I decided that I wanted to teach marketing to other chiropractors so they could enjoy the type of success that I enjoyed over the years. In 2010, I sold my half of the practice to my business partner and I have been teaching marketing ever since. I couldn’t be happier. I absolutely love what I do.
Tabor: Awesome, man. I’ve got to tell you that we are glad to have you on our team as far as chiropractic goes.
To get into our topic today, which is Instagram, there are probably a lot of people out there I’m assuming that don’t even know what that is. Can you tell us a little bit about Instagram, what it is, how you use it, how you found it and all of those good things?
Chris: I really believe the Instagram is one of those underutilized practice-building tools that most chiropractors are not taking full advantage of. The reason why I say that is on my Facebook page I probably have, I don’t know, 2,600 or 2,700 friends, primarily all chiropractors. When I recently opened up my new Instagram account I was able to automatically follow anybody that was on my Facebook account that was also on Instagram. Instagram gives you that option.
There were like only 800 chiropractors that even had an Instagram account out of the 2,700 or 2,800 people that I’m friends with on Facebook. I thought, “Wow, that’s really low considering just how amazing Instagram really is.”
I have been on it for a few years now. I had a private account. I post pictures of my personal life with my family and what not, just being really goofy. I like to post a lot of goofy pictures of myself doing funny things and what not with my family.
I recently opened up an account that was primarily for business reasons and I wanted to make it into a theme where I would be able to teach marketing through Instagram by giving marketing tips of the day, running contests to make it more fun for people and what not. I just opened the account like two weeks ago. The Instagram account is ChiropracticUnderground. That’s my user ID for that. I primarily just post marketing tips, practice-building advice and just straight up inspiration on it.
In the last couple of weeks, I have grown it from an account that had zero followers to an account that has I think about 180 followers right now just in the last two weeks.
The reason why I decided to do it for my business was really because of my wife. My wife and daughter started an account not too long ago, about three months ago. My daughter is collecting these toys now. They are called Shopkins. They are just little toys that are pieces of fruits and vegetables and laundry detergent. They are just little miniature toys.
My daughter decided she want to start collecting them, so she and my wife made an account. The account name is ShopkinsLove. They started running weekly contests on there where they would give away Shopkins. My wife would go to the store and she’d buy these Shopkins toys. They would post a picture of it and then run a contest and say, “Hey, if you are following our account and you like this post and leave a comment that says, ‘I love Shopkins,’ you will be entered into drawing to win this package of toys.” Her account in the last three months organically has grown from the zero followers to she’s now approaching 1,800 followers.
These people absolutely adore her. She actually does customs now. She will take these little toys, the Shopkins, and she will open the pack up. Then she will get out acrylic paint and she will paint them and make customs out of them. She includes those in her giveaways and it’s pretty amazing. It showed me how powerful Instagram can be in making you famous within your community, making you famous across the globe. Instafamous is how we refer to it. It’s been pretty wild.
For example, just the other day, and this isn’t the first time this is happened, she showed me and said, “I love it when people post this.” She showed to me a screen capture of one of our followers. A girl made a post and said, “Oh my God, ShopkinsLove is following me.” These people are getting excited when she follows them back because they are looking at her as she’s some sort of celebrity.
They post a lot of just inspirational things on there as well. She’s always about sharing the Shopkins love, as she puts it. I was watching this and I was really intrigued by it and I thought, “Wow. She really has a tribe of loyal, dedicated followers.”
When she posts, it gets like no less than a hundred likes and like 128 comments. People are sharing her stuff, and her tribe or following is just building and building. Of course, she’s not monetizing it because she’s doing it just as something fun and to give back a little bit, but it made me realize, “If she could do that for a toy, imagine what chiropractors could do for Chiropractic.”
I have created my own business account and I’m building a tribe of loyal followers on Instagram. It’s a lot of fun.
Tabor: Nice. If there are some people watching that don’t know what Instagram is at all, it’s primarily a way to share pictures and then you could also comment on that. It also is primarily an app, am I correct?
Chris: Yes, Instagram is primarily an app. The website is there as well. It’s Instagram.com, but you can’t really do what you can do with the app.
What you want to do is you want to go to your app store, or Google Play Store and download Instagram and create your free account.
Tabor: Which is why I think this is growing so rapidly. We are starting to move into a mobile economy.
Chris: Oh, absolutely. Everything is now geared towards apps. As a matter of fact, one of the toys that my daughter wants for Christmas is this little robot called MiP. It actually runs on your iPhone. Instead of having like a controller, it’s actually your iPhone. It’s an app that you download and you can make all it do all of these different things. Everything is going mobile. It’s moving to a point where everything is just going to be 100% mobile.
Tabor: Absolutely. It’s funny you say that. There’s a special thermostat they install that’s digital and you can raise it and lower it with your phone, with an app. You don’t have to get up and go over there and change the thermostat. That’s how lazy we’re becoming.
I have an Instagram and I’ve had it for a while. I actually enjoy following people and seeing the pictures that they post and posting some of my family and sometimes, but I definitely don’t utilize it like I probably should.
One thing that we talked about a lot and is vitally important, especially for chiropractors, is building your tribe and building that following. Your patients are your tribe and how well you communicate with them, how well you share with them and how well you keep them, for lack of the better word, attached to your community, that’s going to help your practice and that’s going to help what you are doing as a chiropractor.
Chris: Absolutely. I couldn’t agree with that more. One of the things about social media is it’s to ultimately get people off of social media. What I’m using Instagram for is to really get people off of Instagram.
Chris: I will give everybody some tips and advice on how they would actually market their practice on the Instagram. I will give you some insight into what I’m doing and how I’m doing it.
Instagram has your profile page where you can upload a photo. In your bio you can put an active link to your website. What I like to do is put an active link to actually a landing page where I can give away some sort of product or maybe even a service that people can get for free in exchange for their email address.
One of the things that I give away on my Instagram account is I have an 18-page report on how to promote, perform and close successful dinner workshops. Out of the 180 followers that I have on there right now, over 60 of them are currently on my email list. I don’t promote that all the time, but the link is sitting there in the bio. I typically give away marketing tips, free practice-building advice and inspirational stuff, and then every once in a while I will throw up an image of my dinner workshop report and say, “Hey, click the link in my bio to go download this free report.” Obviously when people see that, that has a lot of value to it.
I’ll say, “Click the link in my bio @ChiropracticUnderground.” I make it really easy where they can just click @ChiropracticUnderground and go straight over to my profile page. Then my link is sitting there and they can click on that and they go over to my landing page. That’s where I give away the free reports.
Tabor: Let me ask you this. For the people who already have a Instagram account, they probably know how to do this, but for others right now who are going to start their own Instagram account, how would they find your page? Is there search engine inside Instagram or how will they find you?
Chris: Instagram has its own search bar. You can give them your username. Mine is ChiropracticUnderground. They can go and even type in your name, like Chris Burfield. As long as your name is somewhere inside your bio or it’s your username, it will search through and it will find that.
A lot of times people might name their Instagram XYZChiropractic and they don’t mention their actual name anywhere in the profile or in their bio. When you go to do the search for Dr. Tabor Smith, it might not necessarily pull you up because there are no keywords there associated with your name, but just your clinic.
One of the things that you can do is you can post to Facebook, or you can send out an email to your current list and say, “Hey, I just created a brand new Instagram account,” or, “Hey, I have an Instagram account. Make sure you are following me.” Then give them the ID of your Instagram account so they can go and search that.
Tabor: I think that’s important because one of the easiest ways that I learn is I copy people. If you all just search on your Instagram app, you use that search bar, and you search for ChiropracticUnderground, you will actually see how Chris’s Instagram is set up. Then you will be able to do that yourself.
Chris: For sure. One of the things I really love about Instagram is that, to me, Instagram is a big party. I don’t know if you are like this or not, but on Facebook sometimes I get so angry when I’m reading down through people’s posts. I say, “Really? That person just said that?” They are posting stuff about politics, their religion and stuff like that. It just gets kind of irritating sometimes. They say one or two things you should never talk about are politics and religion, but Facebook is filled of that kind of stuff. On Instagram, it’s a different game.
What I love about Instagram is that I can post a picture to Instagram and then there is a little tab that I can click and it says “Facebook.” As soon as I post it the Instagram it immediately posts it to the Facebook as well. I can continue to post stuff on Facebook, but I can do it through Instagram.
Instagram is so much more fun. You are posting pictures. Like I said, the people that I follow anyway, they are posting pictures of really inspiring quotes or them in their office. I’m friends with a lot of chiropractors, and they will post pictures of them in their office with their patients just giving them a hug. It just seems like it’s a much more positive environment on Instagram than what it is on Facebook. That’s another reason why I’m spending most of my time on Instagram right now.
Chiropractors might be thinking right now, “I understand Instagram has some value, but my practice is local. How am I supposed to market myself to local people when Instagram is worldwide? What good does it do me if somebody in Australia is actually following me?” If they are thinking small that’s how they might be thinking. How does it benefit just my practice in general?
Instagram has what’s called a hashtags, which we are all familiar with or at least we should be unless we have been hiding in a case somewhere. With the hashtag, I can go and actually search in the search bar of Instagram. There is a tab that says “Hashtags.” I can type in “McKinney, Texas” and spell the whole word out or I can type in “McKinney, TX.” When I go to that hashtag what I will find is pictures that people have uploaded to Instagram that have also hashtagged the name of my town.
For example, there could be 2,500 or 4,000 pictures on that hashtag that have to do with McKinney, Texas. Chances are those people live locally, unless they are here visiting from out of state or something like visiting family members, but chances are most of those hashtags are going to be from people that live locally.
What I can do is actually go and follow those people. What I will do is, once I follow them, go and look through their pictures. I will usually find maybe pictures that have been posted in the last week or so. What I will do is I will make a comment and also like their picture. I don’t try to do it from pictures that were posted like 52 weeks ago because that looks a little stalkerish, especially since I don’t know them. What I will do is I will find a picture they posted within the last week and I will like it. Then I will also leave a comment.
Let’s say someone posted a picture of them at a sushi restaurant in McKinney. What I will do is I will leave a comment and say, “Oh my gosh, sushi is one of my favorite meals. That looks so good.” That’s it. Typically what those people will do is they will respond back. They will put @ChiropracticUnderground so that way I get a notification on it. They will say, “@Chiropractic Underground, sushi is one of my favorite dishes as well.” Then a lot of times what I will find is that those people will actually immediately follow me back. Now I have this little relationship that I’m building with them.
Now that I’m following them and they are following me, I’m seeing everything they are posting and they are seeing everything that I’m posting. That gives me an opportunity to spotlight my office. I could be running a contest where maybe I’m giving away a free bottle supplements or maybe I’m giving away a free massage. I can say, “Hey, if you like this make sure you are following me, like this post and then comment with ‘I love chiropractic’ right in the comments.”
People that aren’t even in your office but live in your town will come over and they will type in “I love chiropractic” just for an opportunity to win. What that does is, again, strengthens the relationship if I’m giving away some sort of free service in my office as a contest. They end up calling my office to schedule that appointment and I bring them in. It could be even to give away a free exam or whatever you want to do.
Those are just some different ways that you can market your practice through Instagram.
Tabor: Let me ask you this, Chris. This is really for me because I don’t even know the answer of this question. There might be some chiropractors like me who have a personal Instagram and I’ve posted personal pictures to it. Would you recommend that I use that personal account or should I create one for my office and for my business? Can you have two accounts? Do I need two phones for that?
Chris: No, you do not need two phones for that. You can have two accounts. You can have as many accounts as you want. My personal account is Chris_Burfield. That’s my personal account. I’ve had it for years. It’s got something close to 500 photos posted on it. When I want to switch from my personal account to my business account, you just log out and then log back in under your other ID. You don’t need multiple phones for that. You can just log in and log out with different accounts.
Yes, I would recommend that you actually have a business account. It’s okay to post some personal pictures from time to time because it lets people see that you are a real human being. They see you interacting with your family and they get a little bit of an inside look at your life, which most people don’t get to see with their doctors. You can do that from time to time, but I would primarily use it as a way to educate people.
I follow some really cool people on Instagram and they will post videos. This one guy I follow, if I remember, is called TheNaturalDoctor or something like that. He will post videos of him making some sort of little healthy dish and then he will put in the comments section the recipe and the ingredients for it.
One of the cool things with Instagram is now they have this feature on your iPhone where you can do a time lapse. I could actually cook a whole meal that might take me 10 to 15 minutes to prepare, but I can time lapse and shrink it down to a quick 15-second video. That’s what Instagram gives you. They give you 15 seconds to get your message across. I could actually speed that up and time lapse it, and it will go really quick, but then I have the ingredients and the recipe listed in the comments below. I’m actually providing people with something of value.
I follow another account that’s called ShreddingMeals. All he does is post these amazingly delicious recipes and pictures of meals for people that want to get lean, fit and shredded, and it’s really cool. That’s all he posts, but I follow him just for that reason.
As a chiropractor, your primary focus is health and wellness, and that includes not only chiropractic, but having a positive attitude, eating right, exercising, stretching and all of those things that go along with being well. You can post tips and advice and show people how to live a healthy lifestyle. They will find a lot of value in that, more value than what they will find if you are posting pictures of you hanging out with a group of friends at some fancy restaurant in town.
If you are actually providing them with content that will add value to their life, they will follow you to the end. You will have people in your town, just like my wife, saying, “Oh my god, PureWellnessChiropractic just followed me back.” That’s the power of Instagram.
Tabor: Awesome. I think this is big, and I think this is definitely the direction that our marketing has got to start heading for that case that we mentioned earlier. Everything is moving and becoming more mobile, so this is a way to market and utilize all of the people out there who are more mobile and who are on Instagram already or the millions of people who will be on Instagram soon.
For those of you who don’t know the reason why we keep talking about Facebook, Facebook actually owns Instagram, am I correct, Chris?
Chris: Yes, they do. They bought them out a couple of years ago for some ungodly amount. It was like $800 million or something like that, or $1.2 billion. It was something crazy.
Tabor: In other words, it would have been nice to have owned Instagram when Facebook bought them out. Obviously Zuckerberg for Facebook sees into the future and he saw that one. He knew we were all moving very mobile.
I think this is big, man. I think probably a lot of the younger chiropractors who are just graduating already knew this maybe. I’m going to do that. We are going to start own business Instagram page and start building our tribe and following that way as well.
Chris: Do it. It’s just so much fun.
Tabor: That’s a good point too. Let’s do some things that are fun. That’s important.
Chris: Sometimes marketing your office can seem like a drag. You say, “Oh, we have to go out and do this event and do this stuff.” Instagram is something small that you can just do when you are just doing what you do. You don’t have to really make any extra effort other than snap a picture.
Tabor, would you mind if I actually gave everybody a list of some different tools that they could use to enhance their Instagram?
Tabor: Please do.
Chris: Here are some free tools that I use. Actually, let me back up. This one is not free. This one will actually cost you $2.99.
Tabor: Chris, that’s way out of my marketing budget.
Chris: I’m sure somebody is out there saying that.
Tabor: You’re right. They’re either saying that or that the video they’re watching is not worth $2.99.
Chris: It’s an app called Word Swag. When you take a picture, you upload your picture into the app and then you can type out your text. It has all of these awesome, really cool fonts that really make your picture pop. If you go to my page, which is ChiropracticUnderground, you will see that every photo I upload has text on it. People are used to seeing that on Facebook and it’s even bigger on Instagram. You can put an inspirational quote actually on your image.
There’s one thing I like to do to try to position myself more as an authority figure. Earlier today I was out driving around and it was kind of raining and drizzling a little bit here today. There was this one tree that still had a bunch of leaves left on it, but it was all yellow. All of the leaves were yellow and then all of the trees around it were kind of dead. That one tree is just kind of really stood out and it looked really pretty. I thought, “I’m going to do a quick marketing tip.”
What I did was I got out and took a picture of myself. I centered myself off of the camera a little bit. I was more to the right side of the lens, and then I had this open area on the left where you can kind of see the tree and the road. Then what I did is I just wrote a marketing tip using Word Swag and I placed it off to the left.
One of the things you can do is, if you have quotes that you have actually come up with, there are different things. There’s one quote I’m trying to remember off the top of my head. It’s leaving me, Tabor.
Anyway, I got this quote about being indecisive. I can’t remember it off the top of my head. It’s about being indecisive and having fear. “Fear and indecision to pursue your goals and dreams is what keeps people living in the poor house, paycheck-to-paycheck their entire life.” That’s a quote that I want said and I thought, “Wow, that’s actually pretty good.” I actually took a picture of myself and I put that quote on it.
If you look at all of the authority figures on Facebook people, like Robert Kiyosaki, Tony Robbins and Brendon Burchard, they always have a picture of themselves and then a quote that they actually said right next to them. What that does is it creates authority and celebrity status in the minds of your audience because they say, “Oh, wow, this guy is a doctor and here is his actual quote.” When you begin the post that type of stuff over and over again and they are seeing your face along with that quote, they start to recognize you as being more of a celebrity, more of an authority figure. Word Swag is a great app that people can use for that.
Another app that I have is called Vont. With Vont, I can shoot a video of myself, a 15-second video, giving a quick marketing tip and then I can actually put text on the video.
Today, again, I shot a video and gave it a marketing tip. I used the Vont to actually write “ChiropracticUnderground’s Marketing Tip 15.” When people see that on the video they say, “Oh, wow, that’s Marketing Tip 15. That means there were 14 other marketing tips prior to that. Let me go and check that out.” The next thing you know, they are clicking on my ID, they are going over to my page and they are looking at all the marketing tips and free advice that I’m giving on my Instagram. That’s another one. It’s called Vont. It’s a very cool app. That one is free.
Then I also downloaded another free app called Instameter. What I like about Instameter is it actually looks at your audience engagement. It keeps stats basically and I can see which one of my followers left the most comments on my photos, which one has liked the most photos, who recently followed me and who un-followed me. You can’t see any of that stuff on Instagram. I can get real time data on how popular my Instagram account actually is for people and how well they actually like it.
That’s another one. It’s free for Instameter, but there are a couple of upgrades that you might pay a total of $2 for to get access to the full app, but there is a lot of stuff the free version does.
It’s really cool. I’m all about the numbers and keeping stats and making sure that what I’m doing is actually working. Instameter is a cool free app.
Tabor: That’s awesome. Were those three apps the ones you were going to tell us about?
Chris: Those are the three primary ones I use.
Tabor: Dude, that’s so cool. Thank you for sharing those tools with us. I had no idea about that. I don’t know if you realize that people pay thousands of dollars for marketing programs and kits, and you just gave us the Instagram marketing package and it’s going to cost us about $5. That’s huge. I had no idea you could actually track your Instagram following and see who is the person who posts the most and the most activity. That’s sweet.
Chris: Just a way a chiropractor can utilize that, Tabor, is I can go into that Instameter and I can look and say, “Oh, wow, Dr. Tabor Smith has liked 25 of my photos and he’s left 14 comments. I think I want to do something nice for Dr. Tabor today.”
What I can do is I can then send you a direct message through Instagram and say, “Hey, Tabor. I see that you are a loyal follower on my Instagram. I just want to let you know how much I really appreciate you. I want to give this to you as a free gift. I do massage in my office and I just want to give you a free 30-minute massage. Call the office, here is the phone number, and schedule it sometime this week or whatever works best for you. I just wanted to say thank you.”
You can give away stuff to your loyal followers and then all of a sudden they say, “Oh my god, that is so cool. It was totally unexpected.” The next thing you know they are posting about it on their Instagram where their entire following is saying, “Oh, wow, Dr. Tabor Smith is so cool. This chiropractor in town just gave me a free 30-minute massage because he’s noticed that I have been following him and commenting.”
It just gives you more exposure. It’s all about relationship building and I don’t think enough chiropractors take time to establish real relationships with people. Let’s go out and do a screening and see how many people we can get scheduled, or make a post on Facebook and offer up this free promotion and see if I can get some patients from it.
Really where you are going to end up creating celebrity status and becoming an authority figure in your town is by building your relationships with your people. Instagram is a great place to do that.
Tabor: Absolutely. I think that’s probably the most valuable advice any chiropractor can take and implement. We all need to do that more and just be thankful for the following we do have. Treat them like we appreciate them. I’m going to start doing that more in my office, especially this time of year. Let’s give gifts. If anything, just give them a hug and tell them thank you. That builds your following and it will build your practice as well.
Thank you, Chris, for being here today and sharing this information. I know you have a lot more information than just Instagram advice. How would somebody get ahold of you if they have questions or how can they start following you besides your Instagram page, which is ChiropracticUnderground? Ladies and gentlemen, just go to your Instagram account and search ChiropracticUnderground and start following him. What other information would you like to give them, Chris?
Chris: They can always visit my blog, which is ChiropracticUnderground.com. Just for everybody taking time today to actually listen in on this interview, I would like give a free gift. I have a free 18-page report on how to promote, present and close successful dinner workshops.
They can actually go to ChiropracticUnderground.com/dinner-doc. They can opt-in there and get the free report.
Tabor: Awesome, man. Thank you for that. We will definitely include a link on this page where you are watching this video. Again, thank you, Chris. We appreciate the value you shared with us today. Thanks for being on our call.
Chris: I appreciate it. Thank you for inviting me. I had a lot of fun.
Tabor: Awesome. Everybody have a great day. Thank you.