Marketing Strategies & Tactics with Dr. Melissa Longo

Founder of Rockstar Doctor Life

Dr. Melissa Longo is in her 20th year of practice. She has extensive training in prenatal and pediatric care, and was awarded a fellowship with the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association in 2002. Dr. Longo helps DCs realign their businesses to boost their lifestyles to the next level. Through 1:1 coaching, group programs, speaking, and podcasts with inspiring colleagues, she has got something for everyone – and she’s fired up and ready to help.

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This episode is brought to you by The Smart Chiropractor. More new patients, better retention, and consistent reactivations are waiting for you.


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Episode Transcript

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: Hey Docs – Dr. Jeff Langmaid here with my co-host, Dr. Jason Deitch, and we have our featured guest interview on today’s Smart Chiropractor show, Dr. Melissa Longo, somebody I’ve known for a little bit through the podcasting community. Melissa, thanks for taking the time and coming on with us today.

Dr. Melissa Longo: Hey, I love doing this kind of stuff. Thanks for having me, guys.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: You are more than welcome. I want to kick it off with a question. Relative to that, you have interviewed hundreds of people over the course of a few years, and I would be curious to know what’s a takeaway that you’ve learned from interviewing hundreds of docs over the last few years on Rockstar Doctor Life podcast?

Dr. Melissa Longo: My gosh, just one. The first thing that comes to mind would be that you truly can create the life and practice that works for you. I mean, look at you, you’ve done research, you’re helping docs market. I just know when your interview with me, Jeff, I mean, your transition and your journey as a Chiropractor. I mean, I’ve heard so many different stories docs that have big practices, docs that have small practices, dogs that have doctors that have taken their skills and transformed it into teaching people online. I mean, you name it, you can do it. You can write your own blueprint for how you want to help people in the world with your skills as a Chiropractor. And that’s pretty darn exciting to me.

Dr. Jason Deitch: It is super exciting to all of us, and one of the things we look to, you know, hopefully highlight, Melissa, is your experience. A lot of chiropractors get intimidated, overwhelmed. They get paralysis analysis, paralysis by analysis. I’ve got to have the best mic, the best lights, the best everything. And since I don’t, I won’t do anything. Yeah. Would you talk to us about, I guess first the how has it been for you? I know you do programs, online podcasts, social media for both chiropractors to learn from you, but also from your practice for people to learn about what you do, learn about health, learn why you’re not just a chiropractor, but your new and different and unique. Share with us whatever you can about how effective has that been? I know a lot of chiropractors think marketing is advertising, and they pretty much stay in the wheelhouse of I pay you, you send me patients. And if there’s a good ROI calculation, we’ll keep doing it. If there’s not, we won’t. But they don’t take into consideration some of the larger sort of picture of what type of people do advertisements bring in versus people who learn from you or listen to you on a regular basis? I think you know what I’m asking. What do you think chiropractors need to know about this?

Dr. Melissa Longo: Oh gosh, there’s so many things to add there. I’m with you. One hundred percent. I often say to my clients, you know, overthinking leads to an action. If you get stuck thinking you don’t know enough, you’re not good enough. You don’t have all the right gear. Then two things happen one, you never do anything with all the knowledge you have inside you, but the world doesn’t benefit from it either. So I’m a jumper for me personally. I started podcasting twenty fifteen, so six years ago with one little show, then it grew into another show. I mean, I did television before that. When made tons of mistakes doing that. I think that you learn through experience and you grow with your business. I remember when I first started my podcast for chiropractors, I was nervous. I mean, every time I’ve launched something, I’ve been nervous because you’re putting yourself out there and anyone can listen to you. We know now with cancel culture and all this crap like trolls like you’re open, you’re vulnerable to attacks, but you have to believe that your message and your mission for what you want to do in the world is greater than that and you’ve got the right people to support you. So it can be super simple. I started my podcast, my first podcast, with my Apple headset and Skype, and you know, I paid a coach to teach me how to do it. And then I have someone. I don’t like doing the tech stuff. I just like creating the content. So I have someone who actually produces my podcast, but that’s all that I invested. It didn’t cost a lot. It wasn’t a lot of tech.

Dr. Melissa Longo: And over five years I’ve added things to it. But some of the stuff has stayed really, really simple. Whether it’s been the podcast, you know, I’ve got almost three 300 plus shows come with all the shows combined. I’ve got four podcasts which have then evolved into. I mean, my work for chiropractors has evolved into mastermind programs and coaching groups and one on one consulting for people and a branding company and a new program. I just launched and I coached for another company that that taught doctors how to do that within my practice. You know, it was simple things like just doing a podcast, repurposing content that I already had created, you know, workshops I had given handouts of the week that I just started, you know, recording to give another media for people to digest the content. And it just gives you more leverage. And there’s a lot of ease to it and it can be really, really simple. And that just adds more credibility to you and your practice. And people love it. It’s easy for you to get in their heads a little bit more and repeat the same message when they can access you through an email through seeing you and your practice through listening to through a video. So now, now the time is bigger than ever. I mean, I feel like as a health care professional, 20 years for me that I’ve been a Chiropractor. We’ve always been passionate about sharing health and wellness, but now the last two years. There’s such a demand for it more than ever, and now’s the time dogs have to step up.

Dr. Jason Deitch: What do you notice to be the difference in the type of people or the expectations of people who come in, you know, randomly off of an advertisement versus somebody who’s like Dr Longo? I’ve been listening to your podcast. I’ve been learning all about what you’ve been trying to teach me. I’m ready to get going. How would you describe the Chiropractor? Is that not all new patients are the same. What do you notice to be the difference?

Dr. Melissa Longo: Night and day? I mean, when I get people that come in because they saw something on Google like great SEO working, but they are not necessarily my fit and I love that you bring this up because I think we’re running businesses. I want the right people that that appreciate my skill set and my clinical technique. My vibe. I mean, just the other day, I referred someone here, a new new person to my Chiropractor because I could just tell they were not really going to fit. So I think getting really, really clear on who you serve and what your best at. I mean, those are foundational pieces that I’ve learned even from my guests on the podcast. Like, you get to create that I know what I’m best at in my practice and the vibe that I love coming to my practice because it makes me happy because it’s filled with all the amazing people night and day. I mean, people hear your voice, people connect with you. I mean, I’m in at airports where I’ve had people. Stop me. Oh, you’re a rock star doctor. I’m like, Oh yeah, I am. And, you know, builds connection because they feel like they know you because they listened to you over and over again. So it’s a big difference. Big, big difference.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: That’s it’s so powerful because we always talk about teaching and inviting consistently, right, getting out there, teaching your audience something educational, inspiring and then doing that consistently and having the invitation that call to action in there. One thing that I’d love for you to explore with us a little bit is sort of that jump again. I think for a lot of collaborations, it does feel like a jump. Ok? They’re used to treating using their hands, seeing patients in practice, but then going to potentially an online program, creating something that generates revenue without having to be bent over. You know, the treatment table is a big jump for a lot of docs to to even just know where to get started. Can you maybe just touch on your sort of early journey? How did you put those pieces together? What got you interested in it to begin with? And maybe just dove back to a little bit of the origins of how you started to look at online business in addition to brick and mortar business?

Dr. Melissa Longo: Yeah, that’s a great question. And it’s I think it starts with where you’re at in your practice and your personal life. Just like we’re always learning as docs. Your clinical interests change, you know, then you learn, you read a new book, then you start talking about it in your practice. For me, it was the same when I started my podcast five years ago. You know, the ages of my boys, I was female. I was single mom running, trying to my practice, and I remember listening to a podcast and hearing these guys talk about, you know, do this and do that. And I was like, That’s awesome information. But let me tell you, the moms out there don’t have time for that. We’re growing our practices in a different way. Not better, not worse, just different. And I felt there was a gap at that point in time for women in my profession in Chiropractic. So that was my first motivation. It was all coming from just my heart and soul, like, there needs to be more female leadership and more female conversations. And so that’s how it started, and I had no business model around it. I just was like, I want to have conversations because I want to learn how other women in Chiropractic are growing their practices and balancing being the holistic hands on mom. You know that they want to be. So as a personal, it started with the personal, heart centered mission. And I think that’s where docs really should check in with themselves if they have any kind of inkling, you know, it doesn’t have to be necessarily even in health.

Dr. Melissa Longo: I mean, I’ve worked with docs who are looking to increase, you know, kids resilience in sports because their child was bullied at a hockey rink. And so they’ve had a passion for that, and they want to support and build programs online and work with other professionals to teach that. I mean, we’ve worked with clients who want to just are really passionate about all kinds of the different food programs, fasting and like anything that’s close to your heart. So I would tell doc’s watching or listening, like, start with where you’re at and think about what are the common questions you get in your practice. What do you find yourself curious to learn more? What gets you excited? You know, because then learning all the tech stuff and and building it, it becomes so it’s not effortless, but it becomes easy because you’re excited about it. I mean, when I first started my podcast, you know, the names started to come together the creative, the messaging people, the booking interviews and my schedule getting full like those things were easy to accommodate because I was lit up and I was excited to do it and I wouldn’t keep doing it if it still didn’t make me happy to to do it. So I think it starts with you’re finding your, you know, it sounds kind of cliché, but what are you passionate about? And it doesn’t have to only be within health care. I mean, people need our help in whatever areas that we’re passionate about.

Dr. Jason Deitch: You are so right, you knew I would love for you to expand a little bit more on what you were started right there, which is, you know, a lot of times the why the how is easy when you know your wife, which is what I heard. You just pretty much say when you when you’ve got something you want to share that you know is important that you’re passionate about is, you say, close to your heart when you understand the value of the benefit of sharing that with others. When you got your why, the how becomes easy. Oh, I use this technology that microphone these lights got it easy. What would you say to Chiropractor is about the benefits of doing it. You know what most chiropractors are listening for? Is my life going to be easier? Am I going to make more money? Is this going to complicate things? What’s the what’s in it for me if I invest the time and energy to learn this skill set and share this information? So how would you answer that? What was in it for you and what do you see the benefits of for other chiropractors who sort of. Do what they should be doing, as Jeff mentioned, we call it, Tic Teach and Invite consistently doctor means teacher. We’ve all lost sight of the fact that doctors are here to profess their understanding of health, wellness and well-being. Everybody’s just sort of dumb everything down to more new patients get on. You have insurance, you don’t have insurance, and they’ve lost sight of the bigger picture. What are you finding to be the benefits of getting back to those types of basics and really focusing on your passion?

Dr. Melissa Longo: It’s a really easy way to keep your attention high, right? And it’s another wow experience. It’s retention, it’s growth. It’s organic growth. I mean, I my practice grows with flow. I have online booking. I have all kinds of things that make my life much, much more streamlined and simple. As my practice was, I just had the best gym practice ever last year with all this stuff going on in the greater world. And let me tell you how much marketing I do like, I don’t do a lot of paid marketing. My marketing is getting on social media. I mean, I’m confident and comfortable enough doing quick videos, talking about health. When we had to close for 10 weeks in 2020, I started a Facebook group, a private Facebook group for my community so that I could stay in touch with my community of people. That was easy, you know, and it gave me a purpose and something to do every day when I wasn’t in my practice. So there’s so many little ways that you can add these kind of wow experiences to your practice to help them connect with you. I mean, we all know that when people like and trust us, they’re going to be more likely to to take our recommendations. They want to work with you because they believe in you and they believe that you can help them. And it’s so sad. You know, when we get people in our practices that have lost hope, we get them all the time. You know, sometimes we’re their last resort for some people and everyone has told them this is just going to get worse. Well, know your life can change. And when they build that trust in connection with you, they have hope again.

Dr. Melissa Longo: And now, more than ever, people need hope. So I think, you know, long answer to your question, but it’s definitely a way to build trust and authority in a new market in your community. It’s a great way to collaborate. I mean, my podcast here I was talking to even when I had a television show way before podcasts, I would go to other local health professionals. I’d go to the local butcher, I would go to the farmer’s market and we would talk about. My focus was on building health, not about disease prevention. That went a huge way in collaboration and me becoming known as the, you know, the Chiropractor in the community. People that I don’t even know me know me now. So there’s that kind of growth and then it’s people in your practice. Love it, too. When they can say their Chiropractor has a podcast, it’s it causes a ripple effect. I mean, someone might listen to something I say and then realize they have a cousin in Florida that should see a Chiropractor so they might send the podcast. And then next thing you know, they’re looking for a referral and it’s it causes a ripple effect and we take the action in our own communities. It’s not just isolated, it has a bigger effect worldwide and that excites me. So that’s with my practice when it comes to my consulting and coaching, I do. That’s probably another whole conversation, but that’s also really close to my heart because it creates another whole ripple effect. I can’t help everyone in the world get healthier, but I can help docs change their practice and see more people and streamline. And you know, I always say, happy, happy doctors, see more people.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: There is no question about that. I know Jason is going to have a follow up for interviewing other other individuals in your community. That’s something we talk about quite a bit. And for that Florida referral, I’m in Florida. I’ll take it. So thank you very much. That was a message close to home, but you mentioned Facebook groups in a couple of different platforms. When you look out and you kind of project forward, you know, as we’re hitting, you know, we’re into 2022, we’re looking forward to the future. What are some of those platforms that you prefer to engage on? Is Facebook still one of your favorites? Do you use Instagram? You put in all the chips towards podcasting from email. Marketing is a huge one as well. What are some of the platforms that either you love using? Maybe wish that you used more or just the different avenues as you’ve experienced what you know, content marketing at scale that have proven the most fruitful for you over time?

Dr. Melissa Longo: I definitely would say podcasting and email, you know, without a doubt, there’s no censorship right now, right on podcasting. And you know, when you have your email list, you own that content. If Facebook, I used to use a ton a ton, I used to host programs through there. It was free. Easy to create a group for your community. I mean, easy to create a paid program where you can then use their software to host it. But I’m not impressed with Facebook right now. And, you know, from their political leanings and their censorship. But also, I feel like there’s very there’s less traction on there without investing in it. I find that the engagement is different now on Facebook. That might just be my personal experience. Maybe the algorithm doesn’t like me and what I’m saying, I don’t know, but I’m more into. Podcasting, I don’t think, is ever going to go away. Even more recent shows I’ve listened to, they’re like, you can say what you want on podcasts because Spotify is not censoring them. So podcasting is great. I think for me, I love Instagram. To me, it started more for fun, just posting random things and stories, but it’s definitely become more for business and email. Email marketing? Yeah. Email is still really you’re right in someone’s inbox. They don’t have to go anywhere else and look right. So whether it’s your patients or your community and there’s so many ways to create great, you know, options and things for people to find out a little bit about your practice and get a little bit connected with you. And then with email marketing, you know, you can then create automated sequences where you can follow up on people. You can just build a relationship. And when we all know how to build relationships with people in person, building relationships with people in the virtual world is a little different, but it’s still very rewarding and very powerful.

Dr. Jason Deitch: It really is, as evidenced by our experience right here right now. Jeff was right. I do a follow up questions. You mentioned content marketing. Many chiropractors aren’t really sure. You know, they think advertising is marketing, but that’s just advertising. Yeah. When we talk content marketing, you did bring up earlier the idea of sort of talking to other people, the butcher, other people and so on. I’m sure Chiropractor is going, what in the world would a Chiropractor ask a butcher about? So the natural inclination for most chiropractors is to talk about all Chiropractic all the time. Let me tell you about what I do so I can sell you on my idea. But you know, and your experience is which I’d love for you to share that when you actually highlight other people and you bring other people’s information to your audience, they’ll also bring your information to their audience. Now, Butcher may not have a large audience, but other health professionals in your community do tell us more about how that works. The sort of reciprocity of you sharing other people’s information with your people, them sharing you with their people, and how it really broadens your audience, relatively effortlessly.

Dr. Melissa Longo: Yeah, absolutely it does, I think at first of all, depends on your practice philosophy and your practice style. I mean, me going to the butcher shop was important because I believe that health comes from within the body, right? And so my practice is called thrive the family wellness practice. I want people to get adjusted because it’s crucial for their health. But I also want them to change their life when they’re not here, I want them to eat cleaner food. So going to the butcher shop and highlighting, Look, all this meat comes from this area. It tastes delicious. But more importantly, it doesn’t have added hormones, chemicals like things that don’t belong on your body. So that was a fit for me because of my practice style. So I think you first need to know who you are and what your practice model is if you’re a sports stock that might not fit. But the collaboration piece, I mean, collaboration is powerful in general. The more people that know what you do and I’ll admit, I think it does take some confidence in that maybe comes with time. I’m 20 years old practice now. I’m really happy with where I’m at in my practice and what I do. Maybe 15 years ago might not have been, you know, that might not have been that certain for me. I’m even happy to refer to other doctors in my town, other chiropractors that I know we’ll do a better job taking care of someone because collaboration is you really looking after the patient experience? To me, that’s where it’s at.

Dr. Melissa Longo: But you know, when you said earlier too, you know, marketing is marketing advertising, not the same thing at all. I think of marketing and I tell people marketing is an invitation. It’s an invitation for people to get to know you and to bring them into to invite them to explore what you do a little bit more. And content marketing is so valuable for health care professionals because, you know it’s a way that you can pull people towards you. You’re not trying to push all your information on them. Right. That’s like, that’s advertising here. Look at me, look at me, look at me. But content marketing is a way to pull people into your your world of knowledge and expertize in really fun, subtle, aligned ways that fit you and your practice model. So collaboration, I mean, being part of the community for me, it’s fun, but it’s it’s created a ripple effect, absolutely of other health care professionals that then refer to me. And even for me, just knowing, you know, even getting started, I would go into these places and say, I want to know more about what you do so that I can help. So I know all the gyms here. Whether you love CrossFit or you love yoga or you want to run or you want to join the swim club, whatever floats your boat, right, just do just move your body. So I have the perspective of like, I want to know what’s best for my patients. How can your your facility help me? And then that just builds a bridge already.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: I could not agree more. Melissa, I cannot believe we are out of time on today’s segment. You have dropped a ton of gems. I’m going to encourage docs, rewind. Make sure that you’re listening to what Dr. Melissa spoke about because, you know, getting out there in your community, building those alliances, being true to yourself is just so critical to your overall success. Before we wrap up, Melissa, where can docs learn more about you and what you’re up to and how you might be able to even help them in their practice?

Dr. Melissa Longo: Easiest places rock, That’s the podcast name, but it’s also the website and all the current programs. We just launched our Focus Formula program. That next cohort will be until April won’t be till the spring. I work with people one on one. There’s lots of freebies and resources there, too. And and you know, all the interviews are there, so you can find the show on on all the podcast platforms, but probably the easiest places to go to

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: That’s wonderful, Melissa. Thanks for taking the time. On behalf of Dr. Jason Deitch, I’m Dr. Jeff Langmaid and thank you for being our featured guest on today’s show.

Dr. Melissa Longo: Thanks, guys. Have a good day. Bye bye.

Dr. Jason Deitch: Thanks so much.