Exploding an Instagram Following as a Student with Brooks Hill

A Student Advocate for Chiropractic

Brooks is a supercharged and passionate chiropractic student at Parker University. If you’re a chiropractic student, Brooks is a great example of an audience you can start building before you start your practice. Especially when it comes to documenting your journey.

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Episode Transcript

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: Hey Docs, I’m Dr. Jeff Langmaid here with my co-host, Dr. Jason Deitch, and this is our featured guest segment on The SMART Chiropractor Show, and today we have a special guest that we interviewed – a student, Brooks Hill, at Parker University. I know Jason and I came upon what you’ve done, Brooks, online, and it’s been awesome. We’ve been following along, and we wanted to have you on today chat. Ask some questions about what you’re up to, how you get started, and have some fun together. So how are you?

Brooks Hill: I’m doing great today. I’ve had all of my caffeine for the day, so we’re ready. We’re ready to go!

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: I love it! So, I want to kick start. I’ve followed what you’ve been doing on Instagram – I want to say – I was like a primary platform, and we’ll get into our thoughts on some of that. But I just would love to ask you, like, when you made that first post in earnest, so to speak – how did you think of the idea to track and follow and document your journey as a student? Because I’ve always thought about it and I’ve seen you put it into action, I think it’s awesome. How do you think of it and how did you get started?

Brooks Hill: Oh, man, what a good question. So, when I was introduced to chiropractic, I did what anybody would do nowadays and I got on Instagram and I was looking for resources of, OK, what is chiropractic school like from a student’s perspective? What is the process to apply? And I did find someone who was documenting their journey while they were in school, but I was in my undergrad at the time, and so I was most concerned about what it looked like to get to where he was. And I couldn’t really find it. Not to say that it wasn’t out there. It may have been. Maybe I wasn’t doing my best at searching it, but I couldn’t really find anything. And personally, I just felt like that was the Lord’s way of saying, you’re up your turn. And, so, I consulted with those closest with me who knew me best, and they were all super supportive of this idea of me starting an Instagram, starting a platform, to share this journey in this process, even before it kind of started. And, so, my mom actually came up with the name Destination DC, which stands for Destination Doctor of Chiropractic, and my sister had a fashion blog at the time, and she shared some really incredible tips and tricks as far as strategy goes with me. So, I was super blessed to have her sharing that insight before I actually got started. And then my brother in law, they don’t know that they’re getting all these shout outs, but they are because they deserve it! My brother in law has a really nice camera. He’s kind of dabbled with photography here and there.

Brooks Hill: He would shoot my sister’s blog photos and so he, you know, shot my kind of first shoot for my Instagram. So, you know, it was like kind of a family affair and and we made it work. And the vision at the very beginning was, to one, educate the public on what Chiropractic is as a profession. Because as I as I started working in a chiropractic office and really myself got involved in chiropractic and started seeing a chiropractor, I started to realize that when I talked to other people, they had no idea what I was talking about. So, I knew that there was a gap there to be filled education wise and then to, like we talked about a second ago, my goal was to encourage and show students that chiropractic is an option as a profession. Because at the time I was in my undergrad, still at Texas A&M and at least at A&M, you know, if you’re in a kinesiology major, you’re going prepped like that. That is your goal. There are so many resources on campus to get you there, but nothing for chiropractic. And so one of the things I did, along with the Instagram was refounded the Chiropractic Society at Texas A&M, which that’s a whole other story that we can get into at another time. But that’s where Destination DC was rooted. It was to educate the public on what chiropractic is, and then also to show students that, you know it is an option as a career if you’re interested in health care and what it looks like to get there.

Dr. Jason Deitch: That’s a great, great inspiring, motivating way of being, and I honor it and appreciate it. I’d love for you to dig a little bit deeper and share with Docs who are in practice, oftentimes wondering “How do I get more new patients?” – help them understand your perspective of “I just want to help people understand this better” versus Docs who typically go, “Yeah, I’m doing this to get something.” Help people understand your perspective of kind of how it works. You’re sharing on a regular basis. Obviously, you’ve got some tips from those non chiropractors who can sort of help you understand it, but you know, get into if you would – do you enjoy doing it? What kind of feedback do you get? Do you think people are listening? You know, what do you think is happening as a result of of your efforts?

Brooks Hill: Sure. No, so, you know, it’s funny. One of my tips – that I’m just going to throw in a little tip here because it ties into to this answer – is, you know, once you get a year, a few years into social media in general – but specifically on Instagram is where I’ve found the most benefit from this – is look at your archived posts because one, they inspire you. They show you kind of where you started out. And two, they’re in there. They’re an opportunity to actually reshare and push out content for the day because you can reshare it or something you’ve already posted. But the way that this ties in is, lately, I’ve been doing that. I’ve been looking at my archived posts, and initially I noticed that I was posting a lot about chiropractic in general – what chiropractors do, what they treat, what they can treat, what what it’s like to go into a chiropractor’s office. It was very, very educational content, and I found that, you know, my friends, family and then as it grew into just the general public, if you will, the non chiropractors or non chiropractic students out there that they were very, very receptive and open to hearing about this form of health care that they didn’t even realize could help them. So, you know, educationally, there is such an opportunity for chiropractors to get on Instagram and just share what they’re experiencing in their office.

Brooks Hill: Obviously, I am not a chiropractor yet, so I can’t necessarily speak to the getting new patients, but coming from a place – and this goes, this is just a value that I think I hold in life that I have found and I’m sure you all can attest to as well that has been very helpful – but coming from a place of just service and sharing with those that follow you on Destination DC, we call it our chiropractic community. And my goal and vision with that is for it not to just be people who are literally chiropractors, but for it to be people who maybe start seeing a chiropractor because of an educational post that I’ve shown, you know, they’re included in the chiropractic community when I referenced that. So, educational posts, I think, are huge and they help people see and it makes it personal for them. “Oh, I have shoulder pain. Oh, I didn’t realize that chiropractors even did that. Oh, it looks like that.” It’s not scary, you know – it’s just kind of opening that door for them and then student wise. So, initially, like I said, my my contact kind of started out very educational. Then I started to actually go through the application process myself of chiropractic schools.

Brooks Hill: So, my content shifted into more of that application process realm. And I got so much great feedback from students who are so thankful to to know, “Oh, that’s what it looks like. Oh, that’s what I need to do. Oh, just just the the basics of the application process.” And then as I got into school, it turned into a lot of tips and tricks as a student, as a chiropractic school student, not only in the classroom, but but even I think, more importantly, outside of the classroom. And now I’m less than a year away from entering clinic, and I really want to start shifting almost back into that educational realm because I really want to exercise the muscle of communicating chiropractic. And, so, to tie all of that together to answer your question, Jason, you know, I think as chiropractors, a few specific things that that you you can do to help get engaged with your audience and possibly bring in new patients. You know, get clear on what your goal is. If that’s your goal, great. Own it and then get it consistent. So, get clear and get consistent on your posting. And you don’t have to really be a social media guru to know that, you know. You can Google :What do I do on Instagram to grow?” And that’s going to be probably number one is consistently posting.

Brooks Hill: But number two, I would say stay on the path. And another cliché way of saying that is just staying true to to yourself that that comes across very much so, especially if you’re on Stories or doing any type of video. But if you can hit home the getting clear on your goal, then the staying on the path will come naturally, right? And then the third thing – and I really want to stress this to chiropractors because I think that this audience, your audience, will relate to – this is adaptation. You are you are literally masters of adaptation as a chiropractor. You’re adapting to patients walking into your office every day. You’re adapting treatment to that to their specific needs. Not only that, but you’re helping them adapt to thoughts, traumas, toxins, you know, the stresses in their life through chiropractic adjustments, through chiropractic care. So, why not apply that to your social media? You know, adapt with the platform. As it changes, you also have to change as a creator. And it may be a little uncomfortable at first, but if you can really work that and work that angle, exercise that muscle of just applying adaptation to social media. That will help tremendously when it comes to growth and when it comes to connecting with whoever your community or audiences.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: Those are incredibly powerful tips, and I want everybody to know we didn’t feed you notes. We always talk about consistency is the number one predictor of success, and you’re right there with us. And we always talk about Teach and Invite, Consistently. Lead with education, you know, inspiration, education, engagement, a little bit of entertainment at times. So, I think that that’s so awesome. With that posting, you know, this is the question that I get. You know, there’s some, many, maybe most, you know, chiropractors that are, you know, fearful of getting in front of the camera, quite frankly, you know, fearful of getting out there. And on the flip side, I have a lot of students that if I go to speak somewhere, I’m always asked, like, they’re not sure, like, “Should I, shouldn’t I?” There’s like nerves around like, “What do I do? What don’t I do” I don’t want to do something too early. I don’t want to get in trouble” – all of these things combined, you know, in one. How have you navigated that? I mean, was this a natural thing for you? Did it – did you have a little fear that you had to get over? And how have you sort of navigated ensuring that, you know, what you’re posting is true to yourself, as you said? Well, also, you know, you know, doing what’s right externally, so to speak, obviously being within a school, et cetera, you have to be cognizant of that. How have you navigated those waters? I’d love to know because I think a lot of other students would love to get started, but just are fearful in a variety of ways to get started.

Brooks Hill: Oh, I love that question because I have found that as well. You know, friends and and students who reach out through Instagram, they’re just like, “I don’t even know where to start.” And it is hard. I was actually just talking to a student just before this earlier today who was asking that exact question. And my biggest tip with him or to him was the getting clear on the goals, but even more so – where is the gap and how can you provide value to that gap? And it doesn’t have to look like what somebody else is doing, what you’re doing, what I’m doing, you know. We each have our own strengths and finding how we can apply directly the value that we have – we already know we have our strengths – to that need I think is is the way to go. So finding the gap, finding how you can provide value is what I would focus on. And what I would tell somebody else and to go along with that, I’m a huge believer, and I’ve already said it many times, but strengths – just really honing in on your strength. So, you know, maybe the first step for for somebody is to really get real with themselves on “What are my strengths?” So that way they can learn, “OK, oh, I see now how I can kind of make it me…” make that content subject whatever it is “me” – a little bit more personable.

Brooks Hill: And to answer your second question. I think that, as students, especially, my biggest recommendation to them is exercise communication. Like, just start talking to people, even if it’s – and this can go to chiropractors, so it doesn’t just have to go to students – but even if it’s just setting up a phone or a video camera and just talking and starting to practice that, but especially when you’re at events, you know, introduce yourself. Just start. And I know I’ve said it a million times, but I think it’s so important – just exercise that muscle. I think as chiropractors they will get this, you know – exercise that muscle of communication because it pays off in so many ways and especially in content creation. I’m sorry that was the answer to your first question! Now, to answer your second question. So, this is something that the fear around creating an account has been coming up more and more recently, at least to me and probably to you guys as well as students to to stay in the safe zone. You know, obviously we’re not allowed to recommend treatment or care or any, you know, anything like that with all of my educational type posts. I always have multiple Docs read it over. That’s an assurance just for me mentally, you know, to make sure that, “OK, this is what I’m learning, and this is what I think I know. But I would also like to hear multiple perspectives.”

Brooks Hill: So I have doctors in my phone who are probably annoyed with me by how much I ask them to read over posts, but I’m very thankful for their time. And then at the end of the of the post, I’ll always add, you know, I am not a licensed Chiropractor, I’m a student, something to the effect of, you know, I am not a doctor yet, and that’s just kind of a safety precaution. Obviously, this is actually a really big one. I’m glad. I’m so glad you brought this up the name. So the name, I think a lot of students can get very excited about creating a Chiropractic focused Instagram account, and they will put Cairo their name or their name, DC, insinuating that they are already graduated and licensed. And my biggest tip is just don’t do that plain and simple. Just don’t do that because that’s where oh, it just I just get nervous for them. I haven’t personally experienced getting in trouble for anything, so I can’t give like a real life. This is what will happen if you know they come for you, but you know that that would be. My statement is just be very weary of how you word things in your educational content, your at name, and then always putting a little disclaimer at the bottom if you’re unsure on how something will come across.

Dr. Jason Deitch: Those are great, great tips. Brooks, what I’d love for you to sort of you mentioned something earlier. I’d love for you to dig a little bit deeper on, and that was the word document your experience. You know, a lot of chiropractors are trying to try to figure out, what do I say? You know, our philosophy of The SMART Chiropractor is we have different monthly campaigns with different weekly topics and different suggestions for daily posts. So there’s a structure to it. A lot of chiropractors just think of Facebook and Instagram and immediately just go to, Well, that’s advertising, right? Can’t I hire somebody to do ads on those platforms for me? Would you dig a little bit deeper into the concept of documenting your experience and maybe even forecast? I know you’re a student now, but for a lot of listeners who are practicing chiropractors, you were a practicing chiropractor right now knowing what you know, what is that documenting your experience sort of mean? And how would you apply that in practice if you were in practice today?

Brooks Hill: Sure. Well, one of my favorite things to to see other chiropractors post is, you know, after a long day in practice or a long week or and by long, I mean, great and good and positive, just highlighting a a highlight of the week from a patient experience, a patient interaction, a win of the week, whatever you want to call it, there’s so many play words that you could use there, but that’s my favorite thing to consume when it comes to chiropractors posting. I love seeing what is in their office and chiropractors students. I mean, I’m speaking from a student perspective here. It is so inspiring for us students to hear what is going on in the real world because you all know how it is in school, you are just in the books, you are in the trenches, you were in the nitty gritty details you are in the don’t do this, don’t do this, don’t do this. And it is so nice to hear some wins and some positive patient experiences. So that would definitely be a huge one. Whether that is once a day, once a week, once a month, even I would be just sitting down. It can be very relaxed and just talking to the camera. It doesn’t have to be live, it can be recorded. So if you mess up, you can redo it and just sharing what literally happened. I think that brings a lot of personality. You know, you’re able to truly speak from experience and that comes across on camera, for sure. So that would be my biggest recommendation is just literally set up a camera after hours, spend two to five minutes just sharing a win. And I think that will attract so much positivity to your practice.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: You got to get in those reps, you got to get that repetition. It’s a skill just like just like an adjustment. As I always say, you know, the first time you have on video, you know, is going to not probably be as good as the tenth time in the 100th times going to be better and the same as delivering the care in your practice. I’m going to I’m going to change lanes a little bit. You’re sitting in front of a Parker University sign on Parker University’s campus. Parker Vegas is coming up. Jason and I are going to be out there. What will you be there? What are you looking forward to? And what’s your involvement level?

Brooks Hill: Oh man, I am so excited for Parker Vegas, so it will be actually my first time to be at a Parker seminars. Las Vegas So I’ve never been to a Parker Vegas and I am just over the Moon about it, my involvement. So I will be moderating the philosophy track or the Chiropractic Principles track, so come see me over there. I’ll be introducing the speakers and getting to know them. And, you know, really just getting to know everybody who comes through that, that track in that room and then also myself and another doc and our production team are going to be interviewing attendees during the breaks. So make sure to find us at the Parker University booth because we want to hear attendees and docs your office staff. We want to hear y’all’s experience at Parker seminars. So that will be my involvement this year, and I am just very, very ecstatic about it because all I keep hearing at every Parker seminars that I’ve been to, which have been either in Dallas or Orlando, has been, Oh, just wait till Vegas. So I am very, very excited about it.

Dr. Jason Deitch: That is fantastic, Brooks. It’s obviously that you are enthusiastic, excited. You love doing what you do. It’s obvious help those that may not quite be as enthusiastic as you are. Understand how much time does it really take? I mean, if you love something, you can wake up in the morning and film your entire day. And some people do. But you know, a lot of chiropractors are not looking to be the next internet influencer and so on. They’re looking to maybe make a difference in their community or maybe just looking to sort of get a few more patients sticking around. How much time do you think it really has to take? Is it a chore or are you able to fit it in in a sort of routine that almost makes it second nature and really easy to make part of your life knowing consistency inconsistencies the name of the game? You know, what do you recommend for people to stay consistent and how do you do that as efficiently as possible?

Brooks Hill: I love this question, Jason, because I really had to recently get real with myself on my strengths and my weaknesses kind of like we talked about earlier and how that was affecting my time management surrounding my social media and balancing everything else because we all have all the things going on all the time. So how do we fit social media into that, as you said, as efficiently as possible while still being passionate about it? So for me, I’ll give a real life example, and hopefully this will translate to your audience. I am not very skilled when it comes to editing. So while I have the goal of eventually being very consistent on my YouTube channel, I recognize right now my time and my skills are most valuable on other platforms. So I devote lots of energy towards Instagram. As Dr. Langmaid, you said earlier, is kind of my main platform, so I devote a lot of time to Instagram and I devote a lot of time to TikTok because I know I can produce content. Quickly and efficiently, and I can produce, more importantly, quality content quickly and efficiently, and I think, you know, it doesn’t have to be perfect by any means. But if you’re listening right now and you’re thinking, Oh, so I don’t have to do all the all of them, no, you don’t have to do all of them. That would be one of my pieces of advice to you is figure out where you can bring your skills and they see the most you see, you reap the most benefit from it in the most efficient way possible. So I think it’s really about getting real with yourself on how you can do that.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: Brooks, you have been absolutely fantastic taking the time today. I think there’s I’m going to encourage if you are a student listening and watching this or you’re an experienced doc, you’re probably going to want to rewind this, you know, get some of those gold nuggets that were dropped throughout the episode. You’ve just been again, fantastic. Thank you for taking time out of your day. I’m going to continue to follow along. I know Jason and our entire team will as well. So thank you for the work you do and we’ll look forward to seeing you in Vegas.

Brooks Hill: Oh, thank you all so much. It has been an honor to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

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