Two Key Components That Lead To A Successful Practice

acupuncture_marketing_yin_yang_keyI’ve been helping acupuncturists build successful practices since 2002 all with simple and effective marketing strategies.

During that time, I have heard from SO MANY of you that “you hate marketing” or “you wish someone would just do it for you” or “you wish people would just line up outside your clinic just because you give good Qi!

Thats all fine and good and I totally get that!

And it would be nice to just stand behind your treatment table and receive an abundance of patients without doing ANY SORT of marketing.

The truth is my friend…that when you chose this noble career of helping people, you also chose to become some sort of a business/marketing person. (See my post: Two Hats You Must Wear When Treating Your Patients)

In order to run a successful practice you need to have a steady flow of new patients, right?

And in order to have a steady flow of new patients, YOU NEED TO MARKET YOUR PRACTICE!

That is the absolute truth!

You can be so good at helping people in so many ways, but you won’t be helping anyone if you don’t let them know that you exist.

Now, there are tons of ways to market your practice, and I’ve blogged about many of them here. 

In the most simplistic terms, marketing encompasses ALL contact between anyone in your practice with everyone in the outside world.

Your healing and marketing are closely related because your goal is to heal as many people as possible – and marketing you and your practice can make that possible.

There are Two Key Components That Lead To A Successful Practice:

Having a tried and true system and structure in place – you need to have at minimum, a system of how you will market your practice in a consistent and predictable way.

This includes having both external and internal marketing activities taking place in your practice each and every month. (you can watch my video on the 3ERule here)

As a rule of thumb, I like to have 3 marketing funnels taking place each and every month. This is the 3ERule.

I have found that in order to maintain a steady flow of new patients, you need to have marketing activities taking place in your practice at ALL times. 

Marketing encompasses all contact with people.

To start and grow a thriving practice, you should be aware of the many direct and indirect ways that you come in contact with prospective, existing, and former patients.

To do this, try to pay attention to all five of the human senses, PLUS how you interact in the world around you:

  • How do people see you and your practice? Do you promote yourself as an acupuncturist in what you wear, i.e. “Acupuncture Works” T-shirt and clinical jacket with mandarin collar? Do you wear authentic Chinese attire? Do you ever carry around a small plastic meridian doll? (By the way, when I began my practice I did this for a while, and let me tell you, it got attention and new patients. It gets people talking and provides an opportunity to interact with them.) What does your marketing collateral (brochures, education cards, clinic forms, business card, Web site, advertisements, signs, etc.) say about you and your practice? Have you applied Feng Shui principles to your practice? Does your clinic décor and neatness inspire a warm, calm feeling?
  • What do people hear when they enter your practice? Is there loud traffic, talking, music, or other noise that might interfere with the healing process? Can you create an acoustically pleasing environment that relaxes your patients with calming music, soothing water fountains, or a sound-blocking white noise machine?
  • What do people feel when they enter your practice? Is your furniture comfortable? Is it too cold or too hot? Is there a draft? Is your waiting area too crowded with patients virtually sitting on top of each other?
  • What do people smell when they enter your practice? Are there any chemical or unclean smells? Do you burn incense, moxa, aromatic herbs, cooked herbs or aromatherapy? If so, are the aromas strong enough to be effective without overpowering?
  • What do people taste when they enter your practice? Do you have fresh water, juices, tea, or other beverages available? Do you use herbs, tinctures, or patent medicines?
  • How do you interact with your patients? Do you seek to form lasting relationships with them? Do you radiate concern for their health and well-being? Do you express concern for the health and well-being of their family and friends? Do you ask about their family and home life? Is your staff courteous and supportive? Do have specific practice and patient-education protocols that foster long-lasting relationships with new and existing patients?
  • How do your patients feel and think about you and your practice? Do you ask for testimonials? How can this information help you improve your practice and your healing abilities?

These are some of the many questions you’ll want to ask yourself over and over again.

When you keep these questions in mind when interacting with your patients, presenting yourself and your practice to them will come naturally and effortlessly.

Now let’s talk about why marketing matters. You still with me? 🙂

Marketing goes far beyond placing ads or distributing flyers.

What if I told you that healing and marketing are one and the same?

That the same skills and passions that make you a great healer can also help you market your practice?

In fact, the truest definition of marketing encompasses all contact between you and anyone in your practice with everyone outside that practice: the Feng Shui of your clinic; scents or aromas; your demeanor; how you answer the phone; how you relate with your customers.

Whether you know it or not, you are marketing yourself every waking second of every day.

The question is, are you doing all of this accidentally, or with clarity, intention, and focus?

Combine your mission as a healer with the idea that marketing encompasses all contact with the outside world, and you’ll soon realize that healing and marketing are one and the same.

The goal of your marketing is to build rapport, establish trust, get new patients, apply patient education protocols and grow your practice.

Done with clarity and intention, marketing helps you fulfill your life’s mission because you’ll be able to treat more people; more people equals more visits; more visits equals more money; more money provides a means to make dreams come true.

When marketing is done in an unclear or accidental way, it could be preventing you from doing the most good in this world.

I remember one of those sayings that my acupuncture teacher once said in class that stuck with me, “in ancient times, an acupuncturist was compensated for their work as long as the person remained healthy. When they became ill, it was the practitioner’s responsibility to get them well again.”

That’s healthcare at its finest!

Unfortunately, that’s not the way it is done today.

The complexity of our modern society has forced us to adopt a universal means of barter–money.

Take away all of the emotions surrounding money, and what having it can mean, and you’ll realize that it’s a tool in the same way your needles are tools.

Money is power.

Money makes the world go around.

So you need it, and in order to get it you need a steady flow of new and existing patients.

Embrace the idea that marketing helps you help more people with this AWESOME and POWERFUL medicine!

And that alone, will make a a HUGE impact on your practice 

me_smallJeffrey Grossman, BA, L.Ac

Acupuncture Media Works, Owner/Founder

In 2002, Jeffrey founded Acupuncture Media Works combining his advertising, marketing and graphic design skills with his love of acupuncture. Over the past 12 years, Acupuncture Media Works has grown to be the #1 leader and supplier of acupuncture patient education materials, marketing tools, practice building materials and websites for the acupuncture profession.