Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients, in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
May, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 05
Blogging 101 for Massage Therapists
By Michael Reynolds, CMT
If you ask any massage therapist what his or her most challenging aspect of running a massage practice is, chances are "marketing" would be at the top of the list. Marketing can be a daunting realm and it is sometimes difficult to understand how to effectively market a massage practice in the age of online communications and social media.
Social media includes networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. It also includes content marketing tools like blogging. Of all the tools that can help market your massage business, blogging is one of the most powerful.
So what is a blog? In simple terms, a blog is sort of like a column in a newspaper. It is a space online that is reserved for articles that you ideally post on a consistent schedule. There is more than one type of blog. Some people maintain personal blogs that discuss things like daily activities, cooking, and other hobbies. Another type of blog is the business blog, which is used to market and promote a business.
Massage therapists are uniquely positioned to use business blogging to promote their practices. The idea behind a business blog is that it contains valuable educational content that is relevant and helpful to the target audience of the business. While a personal blog might talk about general daily updates in a person's life, a business blog tends to provide useful tips and expert guidance.
So how does this help you market your massage practice? The concept of content marketing is explained by three ideas: relevance, visibility, and authority.
Relevance refers to how well-aligned your blog is with respect to your target market. Let's say you practice sports massage and your target market consists of runners. If you consistently post blogs that help runners perform better, then your content will be highly relevant to them. Stretching techniques, recovery tips, and even reviews on running products can also be relevant information that would interest runners.
Once you have the attention of some runners, what comes next? Visibility occurs when your blog is shared with other people. This sharing occurs when your content is valuable enough that people want to tell other people about it. Sometimes they will share it on Facebook, Twitter, or other networks, or they might simply email it to friends. For this reason, you'll want to make sure that your blog has sharing buttons on it that make it easy for people to post it to social networks. If they really like your content, they may even subscribe to it and get your blogs delivered via email. Blogging can also help you get discovered more easily on search engines, like Google. Though the specifics of this are beyond the scope of this article, many massage therapists enjoy a boost in Google rankings as a result of dedicated and consistent blogging.
Authority is the final piece of the equation and it is a powerful component of content marketing. When your target market perceives you as having authority, they are likely to buy from you and recommend you to others. Who do runners want to get a massage from? Most likely it is from the massage therapist who clearly understands the needs of a runner.
As you can see, blogging for relevance, visibility, and authority can position you as an expert which leads to referrals and repeat business.
There are many ways to set up a blog, but one of the easiest is to use a service called WordPress. Located at www.wordpress.com, this service allows you to create a free blog and start publishing right away. If you have a website for your massage practice, talk to your website services company and ask them about installing a professional blog on your website. If possible, it's much better to have your blog fully integrated into your website from both a branding and a search perspective.
In general, publishing a new blog once a week is a reasonable schedule to follow. If that level of frequency is a challenge, try every two weeks instead. Both Google and your readers will reward you with increased attention and trust if you are consistent and frequent with your publishing.
If writing is difficult for you, one thing that may help is to keep a notepad in your massage room and start writing down all the questions that your clients ask you. Each question has the potential to become a blog topic. For example:
These are all common questions that you might be asked in a massage session and would make great titles for blogs. Take advantage of your position as a trusted health and wellness practitioner and expand on those questions by writing blogs about these topics.
One of the most important things to remember when writing blogs is not to promote your business. This may seem counter-intuitive but it's an important idea in content marketing. Content that looks like a sales pitch will not get shared and will not gain subscribers. Content that teaches and educates will quickly gain a following.
Blogging is not easy and it can be time-consuming. Additionally, building a following does not happen overnight. It can take months of steady, consistent blogging to really gain momentum; but once you do, it can start to generate more leads for your massage practice than you may have thought possible.
Naturally, your blog should make it easy for your readers to contact you or book a massage, so be sure to include your phone number, email, and a link to your online scheduling system.
As a final piece of advice, I recommend blocking out time in your schedule at the same time every week to write your weekly blog. This will ensure that it becomes part of your routine.
In an hour a week, you can start building a powerful database of articles that can increase your authority as a health and wellness provider, help you reach new prospective clients, and improve your search engine visibility. If this sounds appealing to you, blogging may be worth a look as part of your marketing strategy.
Michael Reynolds is president/CEO of SpinWeb, a professional website design, development and online marketing firm. He has worked in marketing and technology since 1996 and serves on a number of non-profit and networking organization boards. Michael regularly publishes articles, blogs, and e-books that teach his readers how to do business and communicate using digital tools. He also speaks at industry events around the country, including the Web 2.0 Expo, CMS Expo and Blog Indiana. Michael is a certified massage therapist in Indiana and has worked professionally in spas and clinics, as well as served on state and national AMTA committees and boards. He may be contacted via his speaking site at www.michaelreynolds.com or via SpinWeb's website at www.spinweb.net.
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