Here’s the article I wrote in the August 2007 edition.
The One-to-Many Principle
Putting your message out there.
|Written by Michael Beattie, DC|
Putting your message out there. The “one-to-many” principle describes a system in which you create a message once and it can be viewed repeatedly by several people. A website is the ultimate one-to-many vehicle, which, with minimal effort on your part, can be viewed by hundreds if not thousands.
The added beauty of a website is that information can be offered not only in text format but also through interactive forms and forums, audio and video, all accessible 24 hours a day.
The so-called Wellness Revolution now upon us is expected to generate trillions of dollars, and chiropractors can, if they so choose, seize this opportunity to position themselves as wellness leaders.
Industry Canada estimates that 65 per cent of Canadians use the Internet daily.(1) The majority of them have both a university education and an annual salary in excess of $60,000.(2) That demographic description can be compared to the typical patient at some chiropractic offices.
So how do you get your own website so that you can use the Internet to provide chiropractic and health information? The entire process can be simple and enjoyable, especially if you team up with someone who has already done it all. The first step is to pick and register a domain name. There are no real rules for selection; it can be named after you, your clinic, or anything you feel reflects the image you want to portray.
When it comes to registering a domain name, a “.com” is preferable since it is the suffix that people typically add when searching. If that is not available, other options include “.ca” (for Canada), “.org” or “.net,” and there are several others.
Your domain name can be registered through a registrar whose fees range from $15 to $75 per year. Though domain names must be renewed each year, adding multiple years to a domain name can result in a discount.
Once your domain name is registered, you need to host your files somewhere on the Internet. But unless you know what you are looking for and what is meant by “php,” “cgi,” “ftp,” and “html,” etc., I recommend consulting with someone who has the necessary experience to match your needs with a hosting company.
CREATING YOUR WEBSITE
The last step – creating your website – is the most involved. You need to sort and compile material and graphics. Presenting only your name, address, phone number and hours means that you are actually missing out on the biggest benefit of a website. If you make the effort to provide relevant and pertinent health information, those who want to know more might search out your services.
Internet technology allows for music, slide and PowerPoint shows, videos, MP3s, and so on. With today’s fast-paced schedules, mounting your health talk on the Internet can significantly increase patient education and sharing. You can conduct “webinars” (online interactive seminars) and podcasts so that participants can discuss and learn about chiropractic from the non-threatening comfort of their home.
You can supercharge your website into a marketing machine that is set up to collect the e-mail addresses of those who wish to receive your newsletter.
E-mailing to your database is the perfect way to keep in touch. Another great tip to save you and new patients time: add your intake forms to your site so they can fill them out before their first visit.
It used to be essential for a company to have a toll-free number. Now it is crucial for any business to have a website. How many times do patients want your opinion after reading something on the Internet? These days, people are better informed, and they are willing to do their own research before making any decisions.
Your interactive, professionally designed website brimming with interesting content will ensure that members of the public can easily source a chiropractor who will lead them into and through a lifetime of health.•