How to Elegantly Build an Instragram Following with Dr. Kristin Hammer
Founder of Clearwater Chiropractic
Kristin’s mission is to transform the lives of as many people as possible in her lifetime. She believes that your health and healing comes from within and acts to restore this health and healing through natural chiropractic care. Dr. Kristin believes the most important part of care is getting you back to the people, things, and activities that mean the most to you.
Click below to listen to the interview…
Dr. Jeff Langmaid: Hey Docs, welcome to The SMART Chiropractor show and our featured guest segment, I’m Dr. Jeff Langmaid here with my co-host, Dr. Jason Deitch, and today we have Dr. Kristin Hammer. She is somebody that Jason and I came upon. That is one of the best examples we’ve seen of somebody teaching and inviting consistently across social. Kristin, thanks for taking some time in chatting with us today.
Dr. Kristin Hammer: Of course, I’m happy to be here!
Dr. Jeff Langmaid: Right on and I’m going to get right to it. You do a fantastic job of doing what we call Teach and Invite consistently on, specifically your Instagram channel page profile. How did you get started? What what stimulated the thought that that’s a place you should be posting content. Let’s trace it back to when you first picked it up and made that first post or that first story.
Dr. Kristin Hammer: Yeah. So I actually found a podcast somewhere. I can’t even remember what it was, but it kind of just gave me insight on how leveraging your social media could help you in practice and could help you gain new patients with gaining a social media following. So I just dove into it. I actually just started it in January on my own page, so I’ve only been doing it for about a year, but I’d like to think that I got the hang of it now, and I really love it. It’s really fun.
Dr. Jason Deitch: That is awesome. You do. You’ve got thousands of followers. We’ll put your links in the show notes, so people can follow you as well. But for this conversation, I’d like them to follow your lead, not just follow your profile. Tell us about your journey. I mean, you know, a lot of chiropractors are intimidated by this. They think I’m late to the party. And you know, there’s already people that have thousands of followers, millions of views, gazillions of likes. You know, there’s no there’s no room for me anymore. And yet, you know, you said you started a year ago, you’ve already got several thousand. What was your mindset and what was the journey like? I know everybody likes immediate gratification. I’m assuming day two or three, you didn’t have thousands of followers help people understand the reality of the journey and why it’s worth it, right?
Dr. Kristin Hammer: Yeah. So obviously, when you start your page, you start from scratch. And so that’s a little scary because you’re like, Who’s going to want to listen to me? I’m a Chiropractor. I’m not doing beauty tips. I’m not like sharing some really awesome mom videos which are hilarious and can gain bazillion followers overnight. You know, Chiropractic. So definitely a harder niche to get your following because a lot of people don’t care about Chiropractic, to be honest. And so you have to get them to care about it, and you can do that by giving them value that can help their life. You can do that by entertaining them, by sharing of yourself and being open and vulnerable about who you are. Because what I found over this journey in the last year is that people want to go to somebody that they know and they like and they trust. And there’s no, in my opinion, better way to do that than on Instagram, because you really get to show your followers who you are. And at the same time, you get to sneak in there all this Chiropractic knowledge that they don’t know they’re about to get because they just think like, I like that person, I want to follow her. She’s local, because that’s really your goal is to find local people. It’s not about getting a million followers because those followers mean nothing if they’re not coming into your practice. So you just basically my journey has been figuring out how to go about getting a following that is local that knows likes and trust me and eventually wants to come and see me.
Dr. Jeff Langmaid: I think that is a fantastic way to go about it. We talk about I mentioned it a few moments ago, Teach and Invite consistently. That’s sort of the framework that we do at The SMART Chiropractor, and many of our members receive monthly campaigns, weekly topics and daily post. How do you think about content? You do a great job, as you said, educating, engaging, entertaining at times. How do you think about content production? Do you think in terms of percentages, in terms of days of the week, how do you plan out what you’re going to do?
Dr. Kristin Hammer: Yeah. So there’s two ways to do Instagram. And one is like your type, a plan, everything out. There’s some there’s like Instagram calendars out there where you can literally plan content for months in advance. And then if you’re like me, I’m a business owner. They say what most business owners are like C students. And so I mean, I was like a B, but you know, I have not a plan ahead person. So that just doesn’t work for me at all. I am a creative kind of entrepreneur mindset. So for me, it’s I see. Information, I see it something an audio or video, a post that I think would be valuable or I think of something that would be valuable, I jotted down in a little notebook in my phone and then I come back to it later and then I used it as I go. For me, I plan content out. I would even say, I like planet. I more like grab ideas and do it like I’m just a doer, like. But you can totally plan it if that is your personality. And that’s great. I wish I was that way, but I’m just not. So for me, I would hate doing it if I had to plan it and brainstorm and do all this stuff. So for me, it’s on the spot. I use my creativity when it comes to me, so hopefully that answered the question. Sometimes I go on tangents.
Dr. Jason Deitch: Well, absolutely, and it looks like you’re having fun, and I think that’s kind of part of it. I got a lot of questions about how. But before we get into more details about how you’re coming up with and so on, let’s sort of cut to the chase. I think most listeners are probably thinking to themselves, which is, OK, you go through all this stuff, whether it’s planning or it’s spontaneous and is it worth it? I mean, what? What kind of feedback do you get new patients, which I think is what everybody, every Chiropractor wants to know, you know, does it work? Is it worth your time? What would you say to chiropractors about that? I can only imagine you don’t keep doing it if it doesn’t.
Dr. Kristin Hammer: Right? I mean, I probably would, because I do love doing it. But that’s just my personality. Not everybody’s going to have my personality. But absolutely, it’s been amazing for my practice. It’s the best thing I have ever done and kind of the easiest, because again, this type of thing comes easy to me. It doesn’t come easy to everyone, I don’t think, but so it might not be the easiest for everyone, but it’s really fun to do. And OK, go back to that question. What was the actual question? Here I
Dr. Jason Deitch: Go. Well, yeah, I think I think a lot of chiropractors are wondering, you know, am I going to get more new patients if I do this and if I expand a little, if I expand a little more just to get into deeper into it? And this is sort of a follow up on Jeff’s question, too. As it relates to content, you discuss sort of I’m spontaneous versus a planner, but also, you know, as I look. Help people understand. Obviously, these are a lot of pictures of yourself, and some chiropractors would either say, Well, I’m not that good looking or I’m too shy, I’m introverted, or why is a picture of me going to teach someone else about Chiropractic? So I think we know that there’s a relationship building process. You don’t have to start with, Hi, I’m a Chiropractor. You want to buy chiropractic care. You can start with, you know, hey, nice to meet you. It’s a great day and sort of invite them into want to learn more. So, you know, would you share kind of how you think about what type of content you produce? And, you know, every day is not by Chiropractic day? Yeah.
Dr. Kristin Hammer: The biggest thing that I’ll say is you want to find your niche. And so there’s chiropractors out there that are totally neurological based and focus on the brain. And so they post a lot of content about that. For me, I try to meet my patients where they are, even though I’m more of a principle Chiropractor. I focus a lot on my page about what patients think Chiropractic is, and that is the back pain, the neck pain, things like that. So I will focus in on what they want to hear about or what they’ll accept the most. And that’s just my philosophy on doing it. Everybody can do what they want, but that’s where I focus in is meeting the patient, where they’re at. And then I sneakily kind of throw up some philosophy in there sometimes and like, whoa, them with like, Oh, Chiropractic is more than just back pain. And that’s what’s kind of nice about Instagram is you can gain a following. And then once they trust you and they know you, then you can expand and teach them more as you go. But you always want to return back to the base of what your focus of your page is because you’re always going to be getting new followers. And so it is a lot of repeat content because you want to make sure that your main message is still in the forefront of your page.
Dr. Jeff Langmaid: Yeah, revisiting those greatest hits is a great tactical tip. You know, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel consistently. You know, if somebody resonates today, they might resonate with it again next month, next year. And utilizing those high value content pieces can be incredibly impactful. Consistency is one of the keys to success. You show that through your page. There’s no question about that. How do you stay consistent? What sort of your mindset? You seem like a very positive. A person, how do you get out of being concerned with the haters and, you know, growth metrics and how do you stay positive and consistent with it day in and day out? Do you have any mindset practices each and every day? Or is it just a natural disposition?
Dr. Kristin Hammer: It’s definitely a natural disposition for me. I mean, in college, I bartended through school and I had people call me Dr. Smiley. So I mean, like for me, that’s just who I am. But you don’t need to be me on Instagram. You need to be yourself. And if you try to be someone else, it’s going to come off as inauthentic. So of course, for me, I have to be my authentic self, and that is Dr. Smiley. It is a positive person. Regardless of what’s going on in my life, I stay positive. But yeah, the key is just to be yourself. I know other people like, you know, you kind of get your little packet of Chiropractor that are on Instagram that become friends and they’re from all over the world and it’s really cool. But there’s some that I follow that I love and some really take a humorous approach to their videos, and I love their videos that are so funny. Some really focus in on their stretches and exercises. I find those really valuable. And so what you can do, what you’re the best at. And that’s what’s great about Chiropractic is showcase. You showcase who you are. There’s some personalities that are shy and reserved and not super smiley on Instagram, but they have great value and people, I think, love those people just as much as long as they are interacting with their audience and their audience is able to connect with them.
Dr. Jason Deitch: That is awesome. Now what I know is that in addition to building your patient client base members, whatever you refer to them as, you’re also getting more and more Chiropractor saying, Hey, how do I do what you do? And you’re going to start mentoring other chiropractors to do what you do? Let me ask you, you know, let’s get the cat out of the bag. What would be maybe some of the first tips if somebody is thinking about doing this? Hey, would you recommend that they do it? And if so, what? What would you recommend that they do to sort of get going, you know, get started and then start building?
Dr. Kristin Hammer: Yeah. So the first advice I would give would be to create your own page, not your clinics page. So I have both. But again, people want to go to someone they know and your clinics page is to focus on Chiropractic and what’s going on in your practice. My page is Dr. Kristin Hammer on Instagram, and it’s that it’s Dr. Kristin Hamer. And so that would be my first piece of advice would be to create a Dr. Page that is you separate from your clinics page so that they can know you. Of course, you’re going to want to link your clinic in your page so that when your followers do eventually want to come see you, they can easily find you so you can link your website. Still, you can still link your other page in your Instagram for yourself. So that’s I think that’s step one. Get started and create a page that is you the doctor?
Dr. Jeff Langmaid: That’s a great tactical tip. How do you think about stories versus post? Do you segment them based upon content type? Do you drive one to the other stories versus post? Have at it? What are your thoughts?
Dr. Kristin Hammer: I love both for me and again. I think you can choose what you want to do with your page. For me, I focus my posts all about Chiropractic. For the most part, once in a while, I will throw in an interest post like my followers know I love coffee. So once in a while, I’ll throw something about like coffee in there or my kids as I have two little kids. So once in a while, I’ll do a post with my kids. So I think that’s what my posts are about, but mostly Chiropractic. All the reels I do and things like that are always about Chiropractic again. Once in a while, I might do something about being a small business owner. I think people can relate to wanting to support small businesses, so that’s always something you can leverage is being a small business owner. And then my story is, I mean, everybody look a little different. So again, you don’t have to do what I do because I’m probably a little different than a lot of people on their stories in that I think I’m probably too open with my life on my stories. I probably post too much, but that’s just me. And one piece of advice that I have for your stories is to post what you would be comfortable sharing with a stranger on an airplane.
Dr. Kristin Hammer: So for me, I’m Dr. Smiley. I’m super open. I’ll tell you anything about my life. And so for me, I’m a little more open on my stories, other Chiropractor I know that have great followings. Strictly post about health, wellness Chiropractic for me, my stories, I post what I’m doing and I’ll post about my kids and I’ll post about the self care I did that day. And I’ll even post. Like if I go out to the bar, I’ll post some pictures with friends and I’ve had a lot of people come up to me and say, That’s why I really liked you, because you have the same interests I do. You are like me. I really like the person you are. And so I think that’s kind of the key because again, just being yourself, if that’s who you are, if you like to have a drink on the weekends with friends and you’re comfortable sharing that with a person on an airplane doesn’t share it, you know, so I think you just there’s a little professional boundary that you want to keep there. But again, this is your page. This is not my clinic’s page. So that’s, I think, what people like about this page. I don’t think that my followers think I’m necessarily promoting my business.
Dr. Kristin Hammer: I think they think that I am Dr. Kristin and I’m sharing my life and I’m sharing some tips along the way. And I think that is really important and key to actually getting people to want to come in is you should use this page not very salesy like you maybe would with a Facebook ad. I I rarely ever place a call to action on this page because I feel like when I would do that, if I do something like that, I’m going to lose some people’s trust because then I’m going to give them a red flag that I am doing this for their business instead of being their friend and somebody they want to know. But that, again, is my philosophy on it. There’s other Chiropractic that certainly have different philosophies, and I know a lot of chiropractors will just post about health and wellness, and they’ll post like what smoothie they drink in the morning and then they’ll post themselves at the office, and this is in their stories. But of course, if you have no idea what we’re talking about with stories in Reels and all that stuff on Instagram, I’m here to help so I can help through that. So I’m going to start mentoring. But but it’s not hard. We all can figure it out.
Dr. Jason Deitch: One of my favorite books is by Seth Godin, and it’s called This is Marketing. And one of the most popular lines throughout the book is people like us do things like this, and that sounds like exactly what you’re doing is this is who I am. And if you’re like me, these are the things that we do, whether it’s going to the bar or getting adjusted or exercising or smiling with your kids or whatever, it may be so brilliant job and you’re not the only one thinking that way. For those that aren’t as naturally inclined as you are, if somebody were to say, you know, like this is the irony. Like people who say, Well, I don’t want to start going to a Chiropractor because once you start, you got to keep on going. The same principle sort of applies here like, wow, I’m just afraid this is going to take over my entire life. Like, I don’t want to have to post what I had for breakfast, what I had for lunch, what I got for dinner. You know, does it have to take over your entire life? Do you have to have a phone in your hand all the time? Or is there a way to sort of segment it so that you can be efficient in what you’re wanting to accomplish without it basically seeping into every moment of every day?
Dr. Kristin Hammer: Yeah, absolutely. Not everybody has to be like me, but I do it because that’s the person I am. For example, when I was in high school, I had a three hundred page photo album for every year of high school. So I just love photos. I love taking pictures. That’s just who I am. But absolutely not. Again, there’s a lot of chiropractors that don’t post this often, but I do think you want to be consistent. So that’s the key if you want people to start following you. You have to be consistent. So what that means and what I would suggest is ten minutes a day to work on your following and work on your page, at least to start. I mean, I definitely don’t have to do it as much anymore. And stories, I mean, it’s a lot easier than you think. You know, you pull out your phone and you snap a picture of what you’re doing. It’s not as hard as you think. It takes two seconds to post it and you’re done.
Dr. Jeff Langmaid: Consistency is the key to success. We talk about that consistently across this show and across. The SMART Chiropractor, Kristin, you’re a fantastic example of using the platform for good, using the platform for the benefit of your practice, but an indirect benefit. The primary benefit is the education value, you know, entertainment that you deliver to your followers and you do it consistently so. Absolutely fantastic. Give a shout out docs out there. Where can they connect with you? Where can they follow?
Dr. Kristin Hammer: Yeah, so the Instagram name is Dr Christian Hammer. Really easy, so Kristie, I n and then hammer the tool.
Dr. Jeff Langmaid: Easy enough, Kristin, you’ve been fantastic. Thanks for taking some time out of your day and coming on with chatting with us. We’re going to encourage everybody listening and watching, head over, follow along and we’ll be seeing you very soon. Have a great day, Kristin.
Dr. Kristin Hammer: Thank you. Bye.