Acupuncture Clinic Marketing

Acupuncture Marketing and Advertising

The Best Resource for Growing Your Practice

November 6th, 2010 · 1 Comment

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I’ve found the best resource to grow your practice, ever.

I’ve mentioned Brooke Thomas before.  She struggled for 3 years as a Rolfing practitioner.  Every mistake you’ve made, Brooke probably made it too.  Or worse.

Three months after she figured out how to market her practice, she had a months long waiting list.

It wasn’t an accident.  She’s done it more than once.  The last time she moved to a new area, and was backlogged for months before she even opened her doors.

I’d say that Brooke knows her stuff.  And she’s one of those shiny people you know if you met them, you’d be great friends with them.

Brooke created the “Practice Abundance Course” to help any holistic, alternative or complementary practitioner figure out how to get new patients.  It the most thorough resource I’ve found, and I’ve paid thousands investigating everything that might work.

Anything I’ve paid, Brooke probably paid more.  She’s a marketing junkie so you don’t have to be.  She also is a results junkie – I can see how she’s eliminated the stuff that DOESN’T work.  She’s also brought in many other experts to contribute their own material.  Looks to me like no expense or effort was spared to put together the best resource possible.

And she also has an online forum as a resource to offer encouragement and support.

The crazy thing is, she’s opened her course to everyone – and you get to choose what you’ll pay.  You decide what it’s worth to you, and/or what you can afford.  Brooke is using the honor system.  (This is a lot like the community acupuncture model.)

Maybe you’re struggling – or not.  If you don’t reliably have new patients coming in and a full backlog, I really recommend checking Brooke out.

If you do take advantage of her course and her price, please be fair to Brooke… and yourself.  Remember this is an investment.  Plan on making back what you paid for the course, many times over – and get the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have more than enough patients.  You can’t put a price on that.

Check out the Practice Abundance Course here.  Or if you’re not interested in the course at the moment, get her Practice Building 101 book for free and make sure you’re not missing something in your own efforts to get patients.

→ 1 CommentTags: Resources

Results ARE Typical

July 23rd, 2010 · 2 Comments

I received an email not long ago which included:

Have you heard the latest FTC hoopla?

The gummint “chatter” about how they are reviewing the testimonial laws and (from what I’ve seen) making them so tight, it won’t hardly even be worth using testimonials anymore?

Ooh.  I -love- testimonials. So this made me nervous.

If you think about it, word of mouth is an informal, impromptu testimonial.  I encourage people to use testimonials on their websites, and I actually had a testimonial feature coded so that patients could brag about their acupuncturist on every page of their site.  You can see examples here, here and here.

They work.

I’ve previously talked about testimonials.  If you look at that page, you’ll notice in the comments that some people are skeptical.  They’re the ones who don’t use them.

So… if the FTC is going to make the laws “so tight, it won’t hardly even be worth using testimonials anymore?” I was a little worried.

Turns out there’s no need.  I looked up the FTC guidelines on testimonials and endorsements.

The big issue is that a lot of ads show testimonials from people, but disclaim them as “results not typical”. The FTC won’t allow using atypical results to mislead customers.  They basically require if your results are not typical, you either:

  1. Have adequate proof to back up the claim that the results shown in the ad are typical, or
  2. Clearly and conspicuously disclose the generally expected performance in the circumstances shown in the ad

Funny thing is that when it comes to acupuncture, results ARE typical.  So neither of the above really apply.  It is typical when:

  • Years of pain leave the body.
  • PMS becomes hardly noticeable, instead of 3 days of suffering.
  • Babies are conceived.
  • Anxiety is relieved.
  • All kinds of chronic conditions go away, or are minimized.

I love that with acupuncture – results are typical.

The first thing I do when visiting any acupuncturist’s website is look at their testimonials.  I’m really, really proud of the profession, and the results you get.

(Note that I’m not a lawyer – there’s still a chance that the government can get their undies in a twist for some stupid reason, so take care.  But so far it looks like the way we use testimonials is just great.)

What have testimonials done for you?

→ 2 CommentsTags: Issues · Website

Read Before New Years!

December 29th, 2009 · 5 Comments

Most people think that having a website is enough to ensure a steady stream of patients.  Most websites bring in 3-6 patients a month without fail.  But unless people can find your website, it’s like having a beautiful clinic … way out in the woods where no one can come visit.  There’s no way they’ll become a patient.  No matter how beautiful that clinic (or website) is, it’s still a huge failure.

The secret to having a successful website is having a website that gets found.

That’s it.

It may surprise you, but being having your website found is even MORE important than having a gorgeous, appealing site! The most common, and cheapest way of being found is through the search engines.  Having your website show up well in the search engines is the difference between several new patients a month… or none at all.

Last time I checked, Frank Prieto charges about $349 a month to provide websites that dominate the search engine listings. I highly recommend him if you’re in a very competitive market, like NYC, Chicago, Atlanta, Vancouver, etc. If you don’t quite have that much competition, you have another option.

Frank has a course that costs $47 a month on how to promote your practice through your website. In it he details the basics of what he uses in his $349 service. Most people just need these basics.

There’s no need to pay $349 a month or even $47 a month. Until New Year’s Day, Frank is letting you have his course for just $10 a month. It’s worth it. Remember, Frank normally charges $349 for his services, each and every month.

If you use his course, you can build up your own website, it costs just $10.  And once it’s set up, you don’t have to pay him.

I believe this is so important, I’m making it free to subscribers to my website service.  If you already have a website with me, just sign up through the above link, and send me an email saying “I signed up with Frank”.  I’ll refund you every penny of the difference.

Pretty much everything that Frank mentions is already built into my website service, and taken care of almost automatically.  But having the details laid out is very valuable.  Don’t forget, Frank does this for a living and charges a small fortune for doing this kind of website promotion.

Now, I want to warn you about one thing.  You may find Frank’s sales letter kind of jarring and a turnoff.  That’s OK.

Just hold your nose and click the signup link as fast as possible. You’ll find that signup link here.

It’s only $10, and is worth it.  If you’re a client of my website service, it’s free for you, because I want you to succeed.  And yes, this offer is available to new website clients.

→ 5 CommentsTags: Issues

The Well Practice

December 29th, 2009 · 2 Comments

You’ll want to read this free, 33 page ebook I found just yesterday.  Head over to The Well Practice and grab it.  It’s called Practice Building 101: Your I-Don’t-Have-to-Feel-Like-An-Icky-Car-Salesman-Guide to Growing a Thriving Wellness Practice.  There’s also a free e-course at the same site where Brooke (the author) talks about avoiding the problems she’s had while building her practice. I haven’t seen the ecourse, but the book is worth reading.

Here’s a good excerpt that I liked:

CREATING A TRAIL OF INFORMATION BREADCRUMBS

I find that when most wellness providers express their distaste for marketing, it’s because marketing falls into the “buy my stuff” category in their minds. It seems the true job of marketing is to find a way to get people to hand over their money. This (clearly) reeks of manipulation and only deepens our hatred of the “M” word.

The best approach for practice building is to create opportunities for potential clients to form a relationship with you before they hire you. Because our fields require so much intimacy and trust, people are going to want to feel like they can know you before they know you. I’ve heard the “buy my stuff” approach likened to an inappropriate marriage proposal. Imagine seeing someone across the proverbial crowded room and sparks start to fly. As the two of you move closer to one another, you’re both flirting. Then, once you’re face to face, the first words out of your mouth are, “Let’s get married!” It just doesn’t happen that way. You flirt, you talk, and you deepen your “relationship” before you even decide if you want to have a first date.

Interesting way to put it, isn’t it?  Brooke gets it.  It’s free.  Check it out.  Then if you want, leave a comment below to convince other people to check it out.

→ 2 CommentsTags: Issues

Talking About Your New “Toy”

September 14th, 2009 ·

My son Brady has a yo-yo.  It’s a nice butterfly yo-yo, and he can’t put it down.  I even took him to the library and tricked him into using the catalog for the first time to find a yo-yo book to learn new tricks.  He was so excited he forgot he didn’t know how to use it.

Brady keeps talking about his tricks and wanting to show them off.   “Dad!  Daadddd!!!  Watch this!” It’s not enough to show me Cats Cradle, UFO, Walk the Dog, Loop the Loop, he has to talk a blue streak about it too.

I even hid the yo-you from him for a month when it was getting out of hand.  He was using it while getting ready to go out, getting ready for bed, even tying his shoes!  Too much.

Funny thing is, the New Toy Syndrome applies even worse to grown-ups.  Even the best, high powered salespeople and companies with million dollar marketing budgets have it happen.  What happens is a company will introduce a great new product with expensive advertising and a huge sales push.

And often it flops.

Makes no sense, until you realize that these salespeople are talking about their new “toy” nonstop.  The customers just aren’t actually interested in the toy – they’re interested in what the toy can do for them.  So it works out that the new and improved gizmo starts to sell well only after the initial excitement dies down.

Fact is, the customer isn’t interested unless they see exactly how it’s going to help them.  So the sales force only starts succeeding when they stop talking up the toy, and start talking TO the customer.

Many acupuncturists are the same way.  Especially the new ones.  They are so excited about their healing art that they just won’t stop talking about it.  (Can’t blame them, you do have to admit Oriental medicine is pretty cool.)

A couple weeks ago, I received an email from a new acupuncturist.  In Never Market Again, I explain how your marketing should be like a slippery slope leading people in the front door of your clinic to become your patient.  She said that “I was reading about the slippery slope which just made me laugh, because I think my slope is actually going out of my office instead of in.

I think you already know what I’m getting at.

She’s almost certainly talking too much about her new toy, and not enough about the patient.

I don’t even have to ask.

Now we both agree, Acupuncture is amazing.  Right?  Just remember, new people just don’t get it yet.   They’re worried about their own problems.  That’s exactly what they walk in your door looking to have handled, so why talk about anything else?

Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t feel free to talk about your toy, your art, your passion.  That excitement come across and be infectious.  It WILL sell people on being your patient.

But only if you listen first!  You must be able to explain just how acupuncture relates to your patient’s problems.  In a way that they can understand.  Then they’ll get that acupuncture is really awesome.

And they’ll start referring.

Like crazy.

I promise.

Everyone what walks in your door is potentially your biggest fan… and unpaid salesperson.  Just be careful how you reveal your “toy,” and you’ll be fine.

Now, can I talk a little bit about my “toy”?  I wrote Never Market Again, and it’s about getting new patients through word of mouth.  It’s incredibly effective.  Super easy.  And a lot of fun.

People LIKE talking about interesting things.  And they like helping other people.  Acupuncture is both interesting and a huge help.  So you’ve got it made – your existing patients will bring you new patients.  Then those new patients bring more new patients.  And on and on.

It’s not unusual for me to hear from acupuncturists doubling their practice within months.  Then doing it again before a year is up.  I believe if you put your mind to it, all it will take to double your practice now is 4-5 months.

Aren’t new toys great?  Check it out.

→ Click to CommentTags: Issues

The Angry Pharmacist

September 14th, 2009 ·

I’ve got a pharmacist waiting to answer my (our questions).  She’s constantly making comments like “You don’t know how bad it is” and “You wouldn’t believe what the pharmaceutical companies are doing!”

So help me out.  Leave some good questions in the comments section below, and we’ll get some answers.

This should be interesting!

→ Click to CommentTags: Issues

It’s Not Working

August 24th, 2009 · 46 Comments

Healthcare is a huge, huge cost in the US. Our healthcare expenses are about half the size of the complete Chinese economy! Our healthcare makes up 1/6th of the economy.  Of every hundred dollars the average American spends,  $16.52 goes to healthcare.  $238,000,000,000 in 2008 alone.

This is just sick (pun intended).

Isn’t this telling us something?  I think so. Two things: [Read more →]

→ 46 CommentsTags: Articles · Issues

Ready, Aim, Fire… or Ready, Fire, Aim?

August 17th, 2009 · 5 Comments

I’m continually shocked at how many acupuncturists are focusing on the wrong things. It happens ALL the time. I’d guess most business owners, let alone acupuncturists, go through the same thing. If you don’t have enough patients/clients/customers, what should you be doing?

Obviously… getting some!

I offer business building coaching, but right now I don’t have ANY coaching clients. There’s a good reason why.

Almost without fail, the folks that want coaching [Read more →]

→ 5 CommentsTags: Articles · Clinics · Issues · Resources

2 Patients Pay for 58

August 17th, 2009 · 13 Comments

If you don’t have a website or aren’t happy with your existing one, this might be the most important thing you read this year. Read on to find out if you qualify for 6 months of website service for just $60 (or less). That’s $10 a month or less.

But first, [Read more →]

→ 13 CommentsTags: Articles · Website

Should You Put Testimonials On Your Website?

June 29th, 2009 · 5 Comments

Last week I asked if you should put your fees on your website or not.  There were a ton of answers.  You can still leave a comment with your experience there.

The answers seem to be divided between people who: [Read more →]

→ 5 CommentsTags: Articles · Clinics · Resources · Website

Do you put your fees on your website?

June 18th, 2009 · 23 Comments

Quick question – do you put your fees on your website?

Most acupuncturists I’ve seen don’t – some people actually use Google Analytics to track how their web visitors look through their site.  The “fees” page is often the top exit page for the site – meaning when people see that page, it’s the last page they look at.

It’s possible that when they see the fee, the web visitor decides to make an appointment, and that’s why they stop at the fees page.  But it’s far more likely that they decided to look elsewhere.

I haven’t heard from any acupuncturists who have successfully posted fees on their sites, except for a few community acupuncture practitioners.  Their fees are obviously lower, so price isn’t going to be as much of an issue.

What’s your experience?

→ 23 CommentsTags: Issues

EFT – Try It On Everything

June 18th, 2009 · 2 Comments

A little while ago I asked for people’s questions about marketing acupuncture.  If you have specific questions about growing a successful practice, please post a comment and I’ll try to answer it.  The best question gets a free copy of Try It On Everything.

However, I just found out that the Try It On Everything folks are letting you set your own price.  It’s a good video – reminds me a little of The Secret, with more of a documentary style.  Check it out – you may be able to use this in your clinic!

→ 2 CommentsTags: Issues

Questions, Problems and Pet Peeves

June 15th, 2009 · 16 Comments

I haven’t been writing much lately because my focus has been on a couple of new projects.  They’re getting more exciting the closer I am to finishing them.  But I’d like to get back in the swing of things by writing for you.

It occurred to me that you may have problems or questions that I’ll answer only by accident.  Why not make it happen on purpose?

To make it more interesting – [Read more →]

→ 16 CommentsTags: Articles · Clinics · Issues · Resources

The Federal Acupuncture Coverage Act of 2009

June 15th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Lexie Bennetts, L.Ac. of Colorado sent me this (Thanks, Lexie!). I believe this is the first time ever that acupuncture has been given any kind of federal coverage, apart from acupuncture in the military. You can send letters to your senators and representative using AAAOMs fast and easy letter-writing tool.

Don’t stop there.  Get your patients, family and friends involved!

The Details

The AAAOM (National Acupuncture Association) is issuing a call to action letter writing campaign in support of HR 646. We are at the forefront of a momentous change in U.S. healthcare, and acupuncture and Oriental medicine is an important part of this crucial transition. In supporting and passing HR646, we are creating a firm foundation for our profession to propel from alternative medicine to mainstream, and we need everyone’s voice to make it happen!

WHAT IS HR 646 AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT? [Read more →]

→ 1 CommentTags: Articles · Issues

How Do You Stand Out?

June 11th, 2009 ·

I just wrote about how domain names (web addresses like AcupunctureClinicWebsites.com and Google.com) are commodity products, so there’s no reason to pay more than the minimum.

Unfortunately, if you don’t stand out, people will try to pay YOU the minimum. Everyone can compete on price, and try making up for the lower price by selling more. It’s a horrible way to make a living.

So how can you stand out? Here’s a few ways:

Specialize.
I’ve already written about this, but specialization almost always justifies a higher price and commands more respect. The only downside is if you’re excluding too many patients who aren’t seeking your specialization – especially if you live in a sparsely populated area.

Your Message.
A message that resonates with people gets attention. It could be as simple as giving a talk at an organic grocery store, and saying “If you’re buying organic food, why wouldn’t you want organic medicine?” There’s always a way to make people think. Find it.

Patient Experience
Pay attention to all parts of your patient’s experience. Paying attention to small details makes people think. Dan Clements at Alternative Health Practice.com talks about doing this with quarters.

http://alternativehealthpractice.com/2008/05/the-unexpected-joys-of-great-service.html

Have an Enemy
Controversy gets attention. Having a shared enemy bonds you with your patients. Many patients try acupuncture after being severely disappointed with the Western model of medicine. Why not explain just why they were disappointed by drug therapies and surgery?

Personality
I know quite a few acupuncturists that succeed mainly through their force of personality. Some are people persons. Some are not. But all of them convey excellence and that the patient is in good hands.

How do you stand out?

→ Click to CommentTags: Articles · Clinics · Resources