In this Founder's Corner episode, Ajay speaks with Dr. Vivek Soham, a NUCCA Chiropractor, CEO & President of Nimbus Brain & Spine. Here, Ajay shares his valuable insights and experience in chiropractic marketing to grow a loyal patient base consistently.
Dr. Vivek Soham is a chiropractor located in San Diego, CA that uses a technique called NUCCA, which focuses on the brain and nervous system. As one of the few providers to provide this unique service, Dr. Soham is looking to attract more local clients and grow his presence in the San Diego area.
Speaker: Hello, and thanks for joining today’s episode of The Founders Corner Podcast, hosted by Ajay Prasad. Join Ajay as he sits down with healthcare professionals to discuss the ways of improving their marketing efforts. As an entrepreneur and proud owner of several seven-figure, web-based businesses. Ajay has now dedicated himself to helping healthcare professionals in building up their practices. If you would like to contact Ajay and become a guest on the Founders Corner Podcast, fill out the form on our website.
In today’s episode, Ajay will be speaking with Dr. Vivek Soham, a chiropractic doctor at Nimbus Brain and Spine with a bachelor’s in human sciences and a master’s in neurophysiology. His mission is to provide solutions and protocols to a vital area being overlooked in the sports performance industry. Enjoy the show!
Ajay: Hi, Dr. Soham.
Dr. Soham: Hello.
Ajay: Hi, how are you doing?
Dr. Soham: Good. Yourself?
Ajay: Good. Good. Where are you located Dr. Soham? I could not tell from the information I got..
Dr. Soham: West San Diego, California.
Ajay: Oh, you’re in San Diego. Okay. Okay. Perfect. So, local.
Dr. Soham: Yes.
Ajay: California. So, Dr. Soham before we jump into your questions, I would just love for you to share something about you, about your business to our audience so that they can relate to it. What we have found is most of the businesses have the problems that are very similar. So, I’m sure many of our audience are probably facing some of the same challenges that you are facing. Would you like to tell us something about you? Quickly.
Dr. Soham: Yeah. I was born in Florida, raised in London. Traveled the world and obviously experienced different things and chose to finally settle down in California. As I was doing my doctorate, I didn’t think I was gonna stay here. And the decision to open up in San Diego California was purely for myself. I’m slowly getting to know people here, but when I initially moved down here, I knew no one. No family, no friends, no connections within the area. So, I opened my business in October of 2020, last year. Signed the lease in August. So, just over a year since we’ve been in this space, right now. I’m a chiropractor. I’m not a traditional chiropractor. I focus more on the brain and the nervous system. I utilize a technique called NUCCA.
Ajay: ..that technique.
Dr. Soham: Yeah. NUCCA focuses more on the brain and the nervous system. It’s more of a long-term solution. There’s no twisting, popping, or cracking. It’s understanding whether you have knee pain, low back pain, we trace it back up to the brain, the brain stem, and understanding how everything’s related, getting to a root cause. So, not everyone is a candidate for NUCCA care. We typically see a lot of headaches, migraines, and hormonal imbalances. That makes about 80 percent of our office. Currently, I’m moving towards more of a human performance-based programs as well. Which, we do work with one professional golfer and one professional basketballer as well, right now.
Ajay: Okay. So, basically the professional golfer and basketballer, are you able to highlight them? I’m just wondering that the
Dr. Soham: I’m able to talk about the golfer. We have an NDA with the basketballer, right now. We’re still in talks with the contracts to be more social about or post more on social media about the basketball player. The profession golfer is Paul Barjon. He actually just received his PGA tour card. So, he’ll be starting in the big leagues in two weeks. And we’ve been working on and off with him since the US opened that just happened here in San Diego, in May.
Ajay: Okay. So, that’s perfect. So, given the technique, how many other people are there around you? What kind of competition do you have? I know there are many chiropractors, obviously. How many people that can claim the same process that you are using?
Dr. Soham: There’s actually only 250 people in the world that do the NUCCA protocol. Of the 250, majority are in the US and there’s only one other NUCCA chiropractor in the San Diego County area.
Dr. Soham: And they are about 25ish minutes, with traffic, from myself. Our furthest patient travels about two hours and 45 minutes, one way. The average patient base travels just over an hour to come see us. So, we do take on more of those complex cases. A lot of our patients have seen chiropractors before. It’s more of a different kind of solution. We do a lot of networking and referrals too.
Ajay: I’m just curious. When the people are driving an hour or so. How to they find out about you?
Dr. Soham: A lot of it’s word of mouth. They also live in different places. I have an elderly couple who comes from Riverside, because that’s where I was commuting from originally, before I finally moved down here. So, they spoke to other people as well. And also, there’s not a lot of NUCCA chiropractors. So, whenever they’re looking on the website for the find a doctor, to see who our registered members are practicing the latest up to date protocol. We would get a lot of referrals from that website too.
Ajay: So, I have not checked it, but if I was to go and search for NUCCA chiropractor then would you show up very quickly, on the Google search?
Dr. Soham: If you were to just Google NUCCA chiropractor, probably not. I’m not the oldest, or the most assuaged, for sure. It depends on what other search parameters you’re putting in. Somehow, recently, through Yelp ads and just Yelp in general. Which has been our greatest source of the generation. We’re getting patients from all over the county. They just assume it’s a regular chiropractor until they read more about it.
Ajay: So, obviously, there are a couple of things I will be getting to your questions, I will specifically tell you, is 1.) I’m sure I’ve not had a chance to look at your website. So, there you are highlighting in how you are different, about how you treat vs. how you’re not a traditional chiropractor. But I will also tell you that because you don’t have that competition, so far. For some very specific keywords. If in our talk company, and at least locally it should not be a lot of problem for you to show up. Because the way the Google algorithm works, when your swing up is local, it’s much easier than if you wanted to show up all over California. That would require too many hoops to jump through.
So, I would say that you should also focus on it, because if you already have that kind of following. So, I am assuming that you have testimonials all over from the right people. You should be able to start to get known locally. First, you always will get found on the web, pertaining to the patients. So, I understand that you are kind of the new one. I know exactly why people are traveling so far. My chiropractor in Orange County, he is close to 70, so he has been doing this forever. But his patients fly from Colorado, because all of these people have moved out of California. It’s not unusual that they are flying to see him. So, whenever they are making either a special trip to see him or whenever they are in California, they see him. So, I know the kind of loyalty that you can generate, once people start to trust you and they have experienced you. So, I totally get it. So, good to know. I think now I understand very well where you are. So, let’s go into your specific questions that you have. Dr. Soham?
Dr. Soham: Oh, sorry. I didn’t know if you wanted me to ask the questions, or if you had the questions there.
Ajay: You can ask the question. Again, I am very mindful of our audience, so that they can understand. Coming out of your mouth will always be more subtle than me reading it.
Dr. Soham: Yeah. So, we sort of highlighted those points. My first question was the majority of our patient base is coming, 72 percent. We do the stats at the beginning of every month. So, that was as of last month, travels over 45 minutes to see me. So, how would you use a developer strategy to gain more local clients? If we put in local chiropractors, I do now appear on the first page. So, it doesn’t have to be NUCCA specific. But I’m definitely not towards the top of the page. So, unless someone is specifically looking for those headache, migraine reliefs, hormonal imbalances, which is a very straightforward case for NUCCA chiropractor. What other strategies would you use to gain more local clients?
Ajay: So, of course for the locals, you understand the aspect of it. And the Google local listing and all. So, you should definitely make sure that you’re making the most out of it. And then the one other thing that I can tell you, especially for getting the local clients, which you may or may not be already doing it, is to definitely, you want to join some networking group. For local businesses, nothing works better than that. So, there are a lot of networking groups around. Now, that I’m telling you I’m totally blacked out over some of the names. But you can find out the need and all.
So, networking is very effective for chiropractor. As a matter of fact, once upon a time, I used to go to the networking groups. And I don’t recall going to any group where there was no chiropractor. So, that is something that I would definitely encourage you to do. By the way, I would put the first focus on the internet, because internet is where you are going to have the most visibility that people are searching. But I would say, try the networking group for sure. And then, because your approach is so different. So, in the local areas where you have the Chamber of Commerces and of the world, you should join and see if you can get a speaking engagement where you can talk about how specifically, this is better. This is a long-term solution. This is not like putting some sort of band-aid. I have a backache and I crack it and go back. And then of course, two weeks later, I need to get cracked again. So, talking also, that just builds the local credibility. The more people know about your procedures.
The thing is that’s the biggest challenge is do they know a bout your procedure? I can tell you that when I went to my chiropractor, before I went to my chiropractor and she always talked about “I will do X-ray” and this and that. And then I go to the next one to talk to and this is my current one and he said, I don’t need X-ray. I can tell you where your problem is. Look at your neck. And that told me that he is not routine. Now, there is a billing X-ray, for this and that. Automatically, I had a lot of trust. So, the more you are sharing your knowledge probably would help, also locally. But again, Dr. Soham, I’m telling you the one thing that will get you the biggest bang for the buck, you’ll get will be making sure you are found on Google for the most relevant keywords. Especially the keywords that other chiropractors will not be using because they don’t have the same expertise. That’s your team, I’m sure that they will be able to do all the research and share with you.
Dr. Soham: Okay. So, a question, just to follow on from that. What working groups would you recommend then?
Ajay: So, there’s the biggest one that is just crossing my mind.
Dr. Soham: BNI.
Ajay: Yeah. BNI. So, BNI you can definitely try. Although, my suspicion is that the one close place chiropractor is probably taken. So, that’s how popular chiropractors are in this networking group. But, if you go on Meetup, and all you have to do is search for the networking group around you. And by the way, networking group also requires some trial and error. So, you want to make sure that the people there are really there to help each other, rather than trying to sell to each other. Which, a lot of networking group does, and they will get one or two customers, but that’s very short-sited. So, I would just say search for one. If BNI’s viable, I BNI’s available, go to BNI. Because through BNI you also have access to much bigger groups. And hopefully, even if there’s another group where there’s a chiropractor, they would probably be okay with you coming in and talk about this new process that you are using.
I don’t know how other chiropractors react to this, the one’s who are just cracking. BNI, will be, if you can get in, I will say that I have seen mostly very successful ones, but also look out for Chamber of Commerce locally. You should be a member of Chamber of Commerce because that’s where you will have a chance to setup. They will arrange all the listings. They will arrange you giving a talk and all. They will charge you money, but at least you will build charisma. Since you’re new here, right. So, you need to start to build your network of trusted people who can be your spokesperson. Not like to get money out of it, just because the more people know you, the more people trust you. Of course, the more they will refer.
Dr. Soham: Yes Yes.
Ajay: And the one other thing that I will also tell you is to really have a very strong referral program built in. So that all the patients who are coming this far and know you, they have a very easy way to inform their friends and relatives about you. So, generally speaking what happens with asking them and say, “Hey would you recommend?” They will say yes, with all intentions to do that, and then the life happens, once they go home. And then you will see that, “Oh, what happened? I have not received it.” So, having a on-going program, patient outreach, to where you are touching bases with them. Maybe as simple as happy Labor Day. But you’ll have your automated system. And then reminding them for the referral, I think is something that you should very strongly look into.
Dr. Soham: Okay.
Dr. Soham: Thank you for that. My next question is, is there a way to run a promotional also, that doesn't sort of devalue, or dilute the service we provide? As I mentioned, there’s about 250 NUCCA chiropractors in the world. The protocol requires specific X-rays in order to understand the 3D image of where the head and neck is, the misalignment. We do take pre- and post-X-rays. It’s very objective, there’s a lot more research to it, hence why the results are more profound. So, how do you create a promotional offer that doesn’t dilute or devalue the service? You’ve probably seen those horribly advertised $29 adjustments and this and that. And we definitely couldn’t do that here. How do you promote yourself? How do you get a promotional offer?
Ajay: If someone comes in, say I have a chronic backache, or I have a chronic headache. If I come to you for the initial diagnosis, what does it involve? And then I’ll be able to answer your question.
Dr. Soham: Okay. So, typically we do free consultations. And that’s just to act as a pre-qualifier, make sure that they’re a candidate for NUCCA care. I understand if they’re a good candidate for NUCCA, what the cost is gonna be like, what’s going on with their case. If you are, then two thumbs up, we’ll bring you into the office. I would say about 15-20 percent of the people that do call us, we do refer out because we generally just can’t help them. That’s why we make it a free consultation, is to build a healthier community vs. just getting them to come in for the sake of coming in. Everyone can benefit, but it’s not necessarily like they need to be here right now.
Ajay: Yeah. So, maybe the first thing is the reason I was saying that is if just the consultation, you can diagnose them. That is perfect, then you can do that. If that requires to further validate, you have to do X-ray and all. I don’t know if you can offer it at no cost, because I don’t know what the cost of the X-rays and all. So, my thing is that if you can offer people to really diagnose your problem, and I will let you know what should be the right way. Either I send you to a or do whatever it is. So, at that point, if you can offer that area and then obviously if it gets very crowded in there, they’ll have to schedule it.
But I think that that will not dilute your thing. And make it very clear for the very specific kind of symptoms. So, if you know that yours is most effective for headache or for backaches or for whatever. Then you say ok, this month I am doing a full free consulting for these kind of cases and include xyz. Because at that point, if someone has come in, and of course you can go ahead and do the same screening that you have. Make sure that someone is able to pay. After you diagnose and everything and say okay, and now it’s going to cost you, whatever $200 per visit and they say, “Doctor, I don’t have that kind of money.” Then it’s a total waste of his time and your time.
So, I think that the more complete solution that you can offer in the beginning the less sellsy it looks. Versus if you start to offer and say $29 for X-ray, people have no idea what the X-ray costs, is it a good deal, bad deal. And it doesn’t make sense. Think about offering something that is valuable for the patient, in the words that they understand. And then, what their problem is, really. And I think that will also gain your goodwill. You will get new patients and who knows, someone may decide not to come to you, but would refer someone else just because you are sharing all the details. That is something that comes to my mind in some special program. I agree with you, you have to be very careful about these specials because it look like you are selling snake oils.
Dr. Soham: Yeah. And we do everything in house here. So, we don’t have to refer out. But everything to complete an actual diagnosis and what’s going on. Most of the time a consultation, it works very well. The issue that I probably most struggle with is each generation, getting them on the phone call. Because most people who find the ads, or find us through the website, I’m gonna go and say I can’t remember what the stat was from last month. But we were in the high 80’s for patients gained from internet. And we’ve always been like that. We don’t have as much internal referrals, which is something that we’re working on. But it’s just a liege generation. I can say yeah, most of our patients come from the internet, but it’s still a very low number. It’s not nowhere near as much as we expect it to be.
Ajay: Even on internet, if you qualify, you have a special offer. You can make this intro offer on the net itself and if they have to take it, they have to fill out the form. So, have a detailed form so that you already have a very good idea. Also, if someone has jumped through the hoops to fill out a form then you know that they are serious.
Dr. Soham: Is there a particular way that you would leverage? You talk about putting an offer on the internet. Would you recommend Facebook, Instagram ads, like LinkedIn? How would you and that would and that would sort of be my next question too.
Ajay: So, for your specific special. It totally depends on the customer base. LinkedIn never makes sense when you’re targeting specific consumers. It’s more like a business, but yet it makes sense. I would say Facebook and Instagram is pretty good. I would try just one. Try the Facebook, you know it’s the one by the same guys. So, it’s the same network. If something works on Facebook it will specifically work on Instagram. So, if they’re making their offer, you can target very specific people you probably know. Is it older people who get this problem? Younger, male, female. So, you can target directly on Facebook. So, if when you have this specific program I would say yeah, try it on Facebook. And the good news is that you don’t need to spend thousands to see if it’s working or not. Few hundred dollars you should be able to see how effective this platform is for attracting patients. But I would say Facebook is a great place right now for targeting. Google, by the way, is also good. But Google’s thing is that, geographically you can target very well. But beyond that it’s not effective. So, if you just wanted to target older people, younger people, whatever. Male, female, that kind of thing, Google is not as good as Facebook. Facebook lets you define who you want with these ads.
Dr. Soham: Yeah. So, my next question leading into that, we already answered the other one. In your time interviewing the founders of all these healthcare practices, what has been the most effective tool used or the most underestimated tool? From your experience.
Ajay: I will share with you the interesting information, and then you will know why I am saying it. So, in the research after research about 80 percent of the prospective patients, guess what they check before they will make a decision about going to a provider. The reviews, right? Online reviews, then, on the flipside, I have seen 95 percent of the providers won’t have good reviews. And the problem with no reviews is, bad reviews, or no reviews is the same. It has the same effect on someone who is trying decide whether they are going to go to Dr. Soham or not. So, one of the easiest and most inexpensive process to do is to have automated process, to generate reviews on the internet on all the platforms.
Don’t do just Google, or just Yelp or just Rate MD. Because different people view different sites. All the people, believe it or not they visit Web MD. That is one of their favorite sites and I think Google, most of the people visit. So, you have to have Google reviews. But having review which is so easy, and most of the people have no report of you because you always have some retractions, you cannot keep 100 percent of your people happy. So, the people who are not happy are likely to write reviews. Almost 100 times more than the ones who are happy. And the very few people who walk out and they are chomping at the bits to go and write a review. One thing that you want to do is just focus. Make sure that you use a lot of tools out in the marketplace. So, you just use one of the tools. But do start getting reviews on a regular basis and keep on improving your profile. I’m telling you, absolutely no matter what, when your patients, even if they’re referred and you have poor reviews, vast majority of them will not show up. So that’s how important it is. It’s a very simple thing. You won’t stay in business very long if your patients are not happy.
Dr. Soham: Yes. Exactly.
Ajay: It’s just a matter of getting them to talk about you online. And that will by the way, will also help with your Google ranking believe it or not. People with good reviews rule the empire. We have seen this for a very long time.
Dr. Soham: Oh, sorry to cut you off.
Ajay: No, no, no, I’m sorry. I cut you off. So, I was just saying what you were asking.
Dr. Soham: Is there a particular way or method that you recommend the most or you’ve noticed is the most effective to getting customers, patients, clients, whatever you call them, to leave a review. Because we mention it and some people have, some people haven’t of course. We have five-star reviews across all platforms. The main three: Google, Facebook, Yelp. The numbers are low, they’re all in single digits. We’ve had at least six or seven taken down from Yelp because we’re not allowed to send them the link to remind them to leave a review. So, there’s certain things that we can and cannot do if the administrator decides to take them down, even though they’re legitimate reviews. So, is there a particular way that you would suggest? Because we have good reviews, we have excellent reviews. We have people that say that’s why they came in. But we just don’t have enough of them. So, what would you recommend?
Ajay: So, there are a lot of review platforms out there. Where you can just check healthcare reputation and stuff like that, and you’ll see that. And what they do, is they either automate through your practice manual system, or someone manually imports it. But every time a patient comes, and obviously when there’s a conclusion. Like if someone has to come for five, six days you don’t want to send them review on the asking the review, to review on second day, because they are not seeing the benefit. But when you send it out automated system so that it goes there, it reminds them, it sends a link. And then these other platforms, they will have the solution because different review sites have their own protocol.
Like you said, Yelp you can not send a review, a link. But guess what you can do? You can ask them the question, “Can you please go to my website, and click on the Yelp, and write a review?” Yelp is very happy with that. So, which means that people have to jump through some hoops and do that. And by the way, Yelp, that is a problem that they are facing because now there has been article after article of analysis that says Yelp reviews always underrepresents the satisfaction. Because they insist that people have to, on their own, write, and we already know that most unhappy people will write it. Happy people, they are busy with their life.
When you are using some kind of platform, I won’t say company, per se. It makes it sound very expensive. If you using it for someone who knows what they are doing, make sure that you have many ways to capture it. You can even have basically just a QR code that you can just request your patient to scan, and they can get through to review. So, there are many ways to get it done. But the idea is you want to use a platform. If you are trying to do it on your own by sending you know, for a very small amount of money. You are spending hours and still, you would not know. Because a lot of things that you will find out, when you are using platforms like, why are people saying happy? You see a lot of them there. You can find things that you can advertise based on the overall sentiment. You can not advertise just one comment, like oh, this is just from one patient. But if you have commutatively 100 patients and in general, they are saying the doctor is very professional, very knowledgeable, now all of a sudden you have something to talk about. So, I would say to do that. That’s one of the most effective and I would say, most effective and one of the cheapest tools that you can use to really build your credibility also.
Dr. Soham: Awesome. That’s all my questions. Thank you for answering them all. That last one was really good. I don’t have any follow-up for that. You explained it very well.
Ajay: So, this is fantastic. Congratulations. New business, I understand when you are in a new place and don’t know anyone, how hard it is. But you already have some following and you know, nothing happens overnight. But I have never seen good businesses not do well in the long run. So, I’m pretty sure that you will be doing fantastic. Best of luck for your business.
Dr. Soham: Thank you.
Ajay: Thank you very much. Have a great day.
Dr. Soham: You too. Bye. I would love to help anyone in the local San Diego area or southern California, provide them with any resources, just to help build a healthier community, whether they become a patient in our office or not. That’s why we have our free consultations. Just visit our website at Nimbusbrainspine.com or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Speaker: Thank you for listening to this episode of The Founders Corner Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to rate and follow us on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and Sam Cloud. If you are interested in being a guest be sure to visit our main page at https://www.gmrwebteam.com/the-founders-corner
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