It is truly never too early to start building your network. If you are still in chiropractic school (and know where you are headed after) then I would encourage you to begin building your network immediately.
Once in practice, it takes some time to develop your reputation and presence in a community. By starting while you are still in chiropractic school, you will have a big advantage upon your start in practice. Whether you planning to be an associate, independent contractor, or going into solo practice; starting early on your network is a good idea.
Thankfully, you have access to computers and technology which connects people with a speed never seen before. I would highly recommend building and establishing a professional chiropractic page. For an in depth tutorial regarding this I recommend Dr. Riekeman and Dr. Deitch’s series of webinars. At the most basic level, it is important for you to “like” and interact with businesses in your area. Additionally, you should post content which will be valuable for the individuals following your page. This may be inspirational, motivational, health living, fitness tips, etc. I would recommend not posting daily “pro” chiropractic messages, but rather focus on the current desires of the community in which you intend to practice. Once you have a following on Facebook, it will be easier to promote and make announcements regarding you office when it opens. You will hit the ground running.
Secondly, I highly recommend immediately starting your outreach and marketing with other physicians near your soon to be practice location. Developing a list of medical doctors and beginning monthly marketing through research will establish your identity with those physicians. Ideally, I recommend actively and consistently marketing towards 40-80 doctors, however, even starting with 20 during school will give you a huge advantage once you begin practice. Starting with specialties such as Primary Care, Orthopedics’, Pediatrician’s, and Internal Medicine is recommended because these physicians see the most patients which would be appropriate to refer for your care. If you have access to peer-reviewed research journals (SPINE, Annals of Internal Medicine, etc) at school then you should be able to accumulate a substantial amount of content. However, be careful. With the speed of social media and publishing, it is essential to use recent and up to date research when marketing. If you do not have access to these journals, or do not have the time to research, design, test, and implement your findings into powerful research briefs, then please contact me. I provide monthly research briefs designed to stimulate relationships and referrals. Currently, I am the only chiropractor actively practicing in a large orthopedic group who has the experience, access, and insight to deliver these “actionable” briefs.
Most of all, remember that marketing is a consistent and always evolving art. By starting early, you will maximize your success.