SOAP has a Plan. But Does Your Marketing?

content strategy

Many natural healthcare practices confuse their potential patients with unclear messaging. StoryBrand provides a formula to craft your message so that your ideal patients will be captivated and want to engage. Follow this blog series to discover how StoryBrand is a natural fit for marketing your naturopathic, chiropractic, acupuncture, or functional medicine practice.

This article is part 7 of 11 in a series on StoryBrand for Health and Medicine. Check out the entire series here.



StoryBrand for Health and Medicine Part 7: S.O.A.P. has a Plan. But Does Your Marketing?


Do you want to follow somebody who has no clue where he is going? Do you want to hire somebody who is making things up as she goes? Do you want a doctor who is winging it?


Whether we are hiring somebody to do something as simple as wash windows or as complicated as curing cancer, we want an expert who has a PLAN.

When new patients come to you as a health expert, they expect you to know what you’re doing. Plans and processes are reassuring. They show that this isn’t your first rodeo. You’ve done this before, and you know the steps to get patients where they want to be.

You probably have plans and processes for how you run your business and how patients move through your practice, but you may not realize that you need to share plans and processes as part of your marketing message.


Ways to Clarify Your Plan

Before you can include a plan as part of your marketing message, you need to be clear about what your plan is. If your process with patients is complicated and involves a lot of steps, you need to simplify it to 3 or 4 steps to share. The purpose of including a plan in your marketing message is not to overwhelm people or to make them think you’re complicated and smart. The point is to reassure them that you will take them on an intentional journey to success.

There are at least three different types of plans and processes you can consider including in your marketing message:

  • Path to Purchase. One type of plan you can include in your marketing message is the path to purchase. What steps do people need to take to buy your products or services? For example, they may need to choose a type of service, fill out paperwork, and schedule their first visit.
  • Patient Journey. Another type of plan you can include in your marketing message is the journey they can expect once becoming a patient. If you offer hands-on treatments like acupuncture or chiropractic care, patients might need to know that they will come in a few times a week at first, then have a re-evaluation, and then transition to maintenance care. If you take new patients through a complex assessment and evaluation on their first few visits, they might need to know there will be an intake, followed by testing, followed by a visit to review the results. When you explain the journey that patients can expect to follow, you remove the mystery. This makes people feel comfortable, and they will be more willing to sign up for care.
  • Your Promise. The last type of plan you can include in your marketing is the promise of what you deliver. You might promise to get to the root cause, treat the whole person, and treat from the inside out. Or you might promise that all patients will receive chiropractic care, exercise recommendations, and nutrition education. Your promise is different than the patient journey plan because it tells more about your philosophy or services offered.


How to Use a Plan in Your Marketing Message

You can talk about your plans and processes any time you talk about your business. You can include your plans on your website, in your social media posts, and in print materials. Whereas some parts of your marketing message might be more abstract, plans give concrete information that help people know what to expect when they purchase your products and services.



The Plan in the StoryBrand Framework

Read Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller or check out the free online BrandScript tool. You'll see that every good marketing message has a plan. You can learn more at storybrand.com or by hiring a StoryBrand Certified Guide.


Up next

This article is part 7 of 11 in a series on StoryBrand for Health and Medicine. Up next is Part 8: How to Get People to Take Action


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Sarah Cook is a Copywriter, StoryBrand Guide, and former Naturopathic Doctor with 10+ years of experience writing for the naturopathic and functional medicine community.