The GPS: Storytelling and Messaging

In part one of this four-part series, I discussed the “Fuel” of your marketing, which is having a strategic content marketing plan. Consistent and creative content is what will drive your marketing effectiveness and sustainability.

With that said, too many Chiropractors are putting out what Robert Rose calls “random acts of content.” What he is alluding to is content you release with no strategic plan and no clear message. In part 1 of this series, we discussed briefly on creating your clearly defined audience. Now, let’s help you create your clearly defined message that matches your clearly defined audience.

Clearly Defined Message

• Avoids Random, Sporadic, and Confusing Messages

• Helps you identify your ideal patient and understand what they desire most.

• Identifies the struggles they are facing internally and externally.

• Provides strategies for a plan to establish your company as a guide that your clients come to for solutions to their problems.

• Establishes what success looks like for your clients then focuses your marketing efforts towards that.


In many circles, including The Modern Chiropractic Marketing Group, the book Building Your Story Brand by Donald Miller has become the main resource when it comes to story and marketing. It is a great book, and I recommend it.

With that said, I first started learning about “story” from Robert Rose of The Content Marketing Institute. I attended his Content Marketing Masterclass in Austin, TX in 2017, and he dove deep into storytelling. It was great, and from that time I realized messaging and “story” was the missing ingredient for most chiropractic marketing.

Too many businesses make themselves the hero in the story, instead of the customer or patient. Businesses and Chiropractors need to make themselves the guide and the customer/patient the hero.

Historically, Chiropractors have focused on how great they are as doctors, how special their technique is, how their office is the best. They have consistently talked about themselves and made them and their technique and education the hero. It’s not surprising, Doctors and Professionals spend many years in school and tons of training. We tend to feel special and want to show how special we are. The reality? Patients don’t care about that stuff. Yes, they want to know you are good, and they want to know you are qualified, but what they want to know is how you are going to address their concerns or as Donald Miller calls them, the External, Internal and Philosophical Conflicts.

Addressing Their Conflicts

External Conflict : Shoulder Pain   Internal Conflict : Can't play catch with son.   Philosophical Conflict : Doesn't want pills or surgery.

External Conflict: Shoulder Pain

Internal Conflict: Can't play catch with son.

Philosophical Conflict: Doesn't want pills or surgery.

Our One-Liner

Your one-liner tells a quick story about how you and how your business helps others.

Part 1: The Problem

Part 2: The Solution

Part 3: The Reward

"Too many people struggle with pain and injuries. We provide effective treatment that allows you to perform well in life, sport, and work without pills, surgery, and high costs".

Sequence of a Story

Every story or plot has 7 characteristics, writes Donald Miller in his book Building a Story Brand. The 7 aspects of a story are as follows:

A Character (Hero): Your Patient

With a Problem: The External, Internal, and Philosophical conflicts we outlined above with the dad.

Meets a Guide: You, the Chiropractor

Who has a Plan: Treatment plan and at-home recommendations

And Calls them into Action: Patient following your recommendations

Which can lead to Failure: Not getting better and not playing catch with his son

Or Success: Playing catch with this son and solving his internal conflict of wanting to be a great dad to his son.

Where to Utilize Story for Your Practice

·         Website: Your website should have clear messaging with effective calls to action.

·         One-Liner: Your one-liner tells a quick story about how you help others.

·         Messaging: The overall messaging of the content you create.

·         Blogs: Bob The Golfer Story

·         Videos you shoot

·         Video "Stories of Transformation": Instead of regular testimonial videos, how about story of transformations?

·         Patient Communication: Inside the Chiropractic Success Academy, we have a concise report of findings strategy that is story branded so that your patients resonate with what you are recommending for them.

·         Public Speaking

I love using stories in all of the above. However, I think one of the best opportunities we have is patient communication. Imagine instead of just telling the patient their diagnosis and treatment plan; we address the 7 aspects of story in our concise report of findings? I think many evidence-informed Chiropractors are jaded with the historically over done Chiropractic Report of Findings that is a dog and pony show to help “close” the patient into long-term care plans.

How about instead of that, it sounds more like this:

“Mr. Jones (1), you currently are presented with impingement syndrome of the right shoulder (2a1). During our evaluation and bio-mechanical assessment, we found that you lack proper scapular stability (you can break this down for them in more lay terms) (2a2). I didn’t find any red flags that require imaging or orthopedic consult (2b). We can have you playing catch with your son in no time with the conservative care we offer here (2c).

I know it can be frustrating to have this pain, but our team here will guide you along the way to resolve this condition and see that it doesn’t come back (3).

Our treatment plan for you will include (insert treatment methods and treatment frequency and duration here) (4). I am recommending you follow this treatment plan and for the time being avoid any overhead lifting, throwing, or swinging. I want you to do the corrective exercises we prescribed for you once daily. Please implement the proper ergonomics we covered for your workstation to avoid over-using that right shoulder when typing and using the mouse (5).

Mr. Jones, if you follow this treatment plan, I believe you will recover from this shoulder pain and get full activities back (6). We will keep an open line of communication during each visit to make sure we are progressing as desired” (7).

1: Hero/Character

2a1: External Conflict (Direct cause/diagnosis)

2a2: External Conflict (Indirect Cause)

2b: Philosophical Conflict

2c: Internal Conflict

3: Guide

4: Plan

5: Action

6: Avoided Failure

7: Success

Congratulations, if you have read part 1 and 2 of this series,  you have now developed your Clearly Defined Audience and Clearly Defined Message to take your marketing to the next level. Now when you optimize the distribution channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Email, YouTube, Google, Direct Mail, etc., you will get effective results. That will be part 3 of this blog series.