Direct response marketing is about spending money to make money and being able to measure and track response. Through his business, chiropractic marketing consultant Ben Altadonna of Altadonna Communications, Inc, has been recognized as a direct response marketing expert for his impact in the chiropractic profession, showing over 7,000 doctors of chiropractic ways to grow their practices. Learn how to succeed beyond your wildest dreams as Ben discusses targeted marketing strategies. Ben is President of Altadonna Communications, a multi-media marketing company; Chiro-Trust.org, a research-based Chiropractic association; and ReliefAssist, a topical roll on analgesic that offers “clean relief” for neck and back pain suffers. Ben’s passions include helping entrepreneurs choose the right markets and create the proper strategy, marketing, and messaging that increases their probability of success.
Listen to the podcast here:
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Direct Response Marketing In Chiropractic with Ben Altadonna
I have the great good fortune to be interviewing Ben Altadonna. For those of you who’ve been around direct response marketing at any length of time, Ben needs no introduction. He is the president of Altadonna Communications, a multi-media marketing company, Chiro-Trust.org, a research-based Chiropractic association and ReliefAssist, a topical roll-on analgesic that offers clean relief for neck and back pain sufferers. Ben’s passions include helping entrepreneurs choose the right market and create the proper strategy, marketing, and messaging that increases their probability of success. His hobbies include fitness, fasting, watch collecting, and virtually anything minimalism-related. If you need help with your business, you can reach Ben at AltaComInc@Gmail.com. Ben, thank you so much for joining us.
You’re welcome. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
Let’s go back in time a little bit because I know you didn’t start out the incredible marketer that you are. How did you get started?
I was a practicing chiropractor. Like a lot of you, you’ve heard about Dan Kennedy. The way I got exposed to Dan was through his infomercial that he did with Jeff Paul called, How to Make $4,000 a Day Working at Home in Your Underwear. I bought that information product for $140. From that, it clicked immediately that I’m going to use direct response marketing and lead generation. This is pre-internet, to build my chiropractic office. That’s how I got started, being a student of marketing and it hasn’t ended.
You’ve had quite an impact on the chiropractic industry and then the marketing industry as a whole. Can we talk first about what you did in your chiropractic practice that works so well? How you started helping other chiropractors, and then how you got to where you are right now?
Initially, I used to do lead generation for my chiropractic office by using TV commercials and using 1-800 recorded messages for free reports, a sequence of mails with an expiration date and bonuses, the original model that most people started out from. I started with that which is pre-internet. As a result of making lead generation newspaper ads in our local newspaper for my practice, I was making an information product without even knowing it. I was creating a chiropractic-specific lead generation and lead conversion campaigns that we’re condition-specific based on different types of symptoms. As a result, I was making info products and it occurred to me that maybe I should sell this to chiropractors so they don’t have to think it through. From that point, I ran an ad at trade journals with chiropractors and we did $80,000 our first month and this is when I was making maybe $30,000 a month in my chiropractic office.
It didn’t take me long to figure out I was more valuable working from home than I was working in my office. For those who are still working in your office, that own your own little business, don’t think the grass is greener. I work more now than I ever did, with the skills that I have and the skills you have, you can make a whole hell of a lot of money and still have a lot of time and freedom by just running your mom and pod business. Just because I have a national business marketing to other businesses doesn’t mean that you should necessarily take marketing skills beyond the product or service that you already have. At the end of the day, it’s with the internet, with Facebook and the different technologies nowadays, you can do well marketing to local business also.
How did you get from starting to help other chiropractors to what you’re doing now?
I sold my practice is how I got there and freed up my time to do that. I hired an associate and he took over the practice. I was selling information products to chiropractors. That was my frontend, the first product that I had. Then to my costumers, I offered them other products back then, which was what we call a marketing backend which included seminars, newsletters, and coaching. I’ve reinvented my business. I reverse-engineered my business based on the market and the opportunities and the wants of the marketplace to a point where now I virtually do not have a backend product. I have just Chiro-Trust.org is our consumer. I also market to chiropractors at JoinChiroTrust.com, which if you’re not a chiropractor, you couldn’t even join even if you tried. You’ll be vetted out.
[Tweet “Direct response marketing is about spending money to make money.”]
I’m letting your listeners go to JoinChiroTrust.com, not to join because you have to be a chiropractor, but at least to see what my marketing is in terms of how we sign up doctors to my company. Although what happens that you don’t see is getting them to that website, that’s where my real marketing starts when it comes to marketing to chiropractors. We used to sell shovels, now we do the shoveling for our members. People that bought my information product had to actually implement on their own, now when they join Chiro-Trust, we do the implementation for them. They pay a monthly fee, nothing else to buy, we market to practice for them both online and offline.
Other than direct response marketing, what do you wish you knew when you started that you know now?
In my business, it would be don’t teach doctors how to do marketing because the average business owner got into the business for the wrong reasons. They like the technical or they’re really good at it. They went to chiropractic college and so they make this quantum leap in logic to think that now they should open up a chiropractic practice. Just because you’re a chiropractor, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be a good business owner. Just because you’re a good plumber doesn’t mean you should own a plumbing company. In most small businesses, they’re good chefs, so they open a restaurant. They’re good barbers, so they open a barbershop. They don’t think twice, that’s just their normal ascension. They don’t realize that now they have to adopt a totally different set of skills to actually market what they’re good at. You have to become good at marketing what you are good at in order to become successful in business. That’s why you should always be a marketer. There’s no better valuable skill than understanding the psychology of people and how to get them to do what’s ultimately in their best interest even though it’s not their natural inkling to do so. Marketing is all about human psychology.
With all the success that you have achieve, what’s your biggest challenge now?
My biggest challenge now is to know when enough is enough. I feel I have these superhuman powers and you got to live a balanced life. My challenge is always to maintain balance in my life because I love what I do so much. You still need eight hours of sleep. You need to exercise, you need to nurture your relationships with your loved ones, that’s the biggest challenge, to maintain your balance. That’s my biggest thing is saying no to things that the old Ben would have said yes to.
With all of the information you must get inundated on a daily basis, how do you stay on top of it all?
By creating the right business model and making sure that my business model doesn’t have inherent distractions. I manage people’s expectations. I create processes and systems and I outsource. I created a business model factoring in every possible scenario and weighing the process and pros and cons to those decisions. There’s a lot of elegance to my business that I didn’t have before. It was more inefficient, still profitable, but there’s a lot of craziness. Now my kitchen is less messy like Dan Kennedy says. My business is just a little bit more elegant than it used to be. It’s like taking a RadioShack experience versus going to an Apple Store experience. My business is more like an Apple Store. It used to be more like a RadioShack.
I think that’s something that we all struggled with, how did you learn to make that transition?
Through years of trial and error. Dan Sullivan helped me, the Strategic Coach. I did a lot of book reading and just evolving and getting rid of backend marketing and really trying to make my business more about one thing and being really good at that one thing and really good at marketing it versus having all these backend products. You got to be good at the backend products, fulfillment and creation and then you got to be really good at marketing each. You end up having ten businesses within one. If I can say anything to anybody and it’s not easy to do but always try, if you can, to be known for one thing.
Narrow your market, narrow your focus, narrow your unique abilities, and just market that. It’s easier to create a complex business. It takes more genius to create an elegant business that seems simple in the eyes of the marketplace, but there’s more complexity and simple than it is and just creating everything and make a buck. My business is very well thought out and I’m always cleaning messes and trying to reduce. I call it addition through subtraction. What can I get rid of in my business to increase perceived value and clarity and simplification of message to my marketplace? Simplification of experience as a client of ours so that it’s easy to understand, it’s easy to implement, and it’s easy to explain to others.
I know you’re a voracious learner and a lifelong student. What are three of the best books you’ve ever read that have had the biggest impact on your work?
How to Win Friends and Influence People, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra, and Dan Kennedy’s, No B.S. Business Success. I’m not going to give you a book on copywriting because it’s not about copywriting. I think copywriting is a little overrated. Strategy trumps copywriting and having integrity trumps strategy. First, you have to have the right market, you have to be the right person for that market. You’ve got to care about that market. You can’t be in and out as quick as possible. I’m really not into affiliate marketing like I used to. I’m not into the old school stuff I still see that’s prevalent in the marketplace which is do a seminar, have a bunch of speakers. I just don’t do that stuff anymore.
For people that own their own business in local markets, you don’t have to worry about that. The key thing is maintain relationships with all your customers, if you’re a dentist, if you’re a dry cleaner, you own a Karate studio, maintain relationships with them even when they are not giving you money. While there’s a patient, customer, or client or when they leave you, always provide them value. Daily emails would be a good idea, not just a newsletter. Nowadays, people can consume content way more frequently, so I would do daily email that provides value would be something that everybody should start doing.
What else do you want to share with our folks that I haven’t thought to ask you?
The bottom line is this, don’t get excited about the hype of new landing page technology. Internet marketing is fine. It’s just media. Don’t get excited about internet or different platforms. Yes, you should have a Facebook page for sure. You should do Facebook marketing. Get good at it. Get good at retargeting, but when you retarget, 75% of the monthly content which should be daily should be just good stuff. Another good book is Gary Vaynerchuk’s book that’s called, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. It’s all about providing value. They don’t always ask for people’s money and solicit all the time. Just get them into doing business with you by just being a cool person and giving them value like daily emails and things that are related or unrelated to your business, positive content through daily emails, through Facebook posts, boosting ads. You can do maybe a video once a week, or do a YouTube channel. With the right keywords and right description and tag lines, you want to saturate your market using all types of media that is congruent with your marketplace.
Don’t do Snapchat if your customers or clients are over 30 years old. They’re not going to use Snapchat. Use the social media platform that’s native to your market and then provide a lot of value. Don’t do fake expiration dates, “Five more people that respond will get this or that,” because you can’t scale that. You can’t do that month in and month out. Find a legitimate reason to have an expiration date. Like with Chiro-Trust, we only start doctors on the first of the month. Our legitimate reason is if you want us to start you in February 1st, you’ve got to respond by January 27th. That’s legit and I can say that every month and it still has integrity in it because my reason for having a deadline is because we only start new offices on the first of each month. Why do we start each doctor on the first of each month? That enables me to do a deadline every month. That’s the only reason.
We greatly appreciate your time and your expertise. Ben, one more time, for our audience who are resonating with what you’re saying and want to learn more, where should they go to learn more about you?
They had have to email me if they have a question, I don’t mind. Make it a question. I don’t need a 600-word email, but if you have a question that’s fine. My email address is AltaComInc@Gmail.com. They can also friend me on Facebook, Ben Altadonna. I have a personal page. They can also go there if they like.
Everybody, thank you for being here. Ben, thank you so much for joining us. We greatly appreciate your time.
Thank you, Seth.
- Ben Altadonna – LinkedIn
- Strategic Coach
- How to Win Friends and Influence People
- The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
- No B.S. Business Success
- Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook
- Ben Altadonna – Facebook
About Ben Altadonna
Ben Altadonna is the President of Altadonna Communications Inc., an extremely successful and well-known multi-media marketing and consulting company.
Using strategies and systems that he himself has either invented or perfected, Ben consults with start-ups, manufacturers, information marketers, seminar promoters, and consultants of all types on how to increase both revenue and profit by identifying new opportunities and by looking at virtually every aspect of their product, market, and marketing from his unique perspective. For more information on Ben, go to BenAltadonna.com.
ChiroTrust™ is a new category of Chiropractic membership and Chiropractic marketing.
ChiroTrust™ is the leading Done-For-You marketing company for both small and large Chiropractic practices.
As Ben Altadonna, founder of ChiroTrust says, “We don’t sell shovels to D.C.s, we actually do the shoveling for doctors so that they can adjust patients, get paid, and go home. The need for attending seminars, consulting contracts, spending nights or weekends marketing, and expensive advertising is eliminated. As a matter of fact, most of our members work Monday through Thursday and enjoy a 3-day weekend each and every week!”
ChiroTrust is endorsed by Michael Roizen, M.D., Chief Wellness Officer of The Cleveland Clinic and consultant to “The Dr. Oz Show”, Dr. Steve Yeomans, 3rd generation Chiropractor and author of the Chiropractic text entitled, Quantitative Functional Capacity Evaluation, and chiropractic legend, Dr. Dan Murphy, D.C.