resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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)?
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?!"
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.
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
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.
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.
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 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.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
January, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 01
Creating a Predictable Plan for Growing Your Massage Practice
By Stephanie Beck
If you are at a point in your massage practice where you need more customers, then this article is perfect for you. To get more customers, you need to adapt your current marketing plan. Most likely, you will need to increase your exposure to potential massage clients and this means increasing traffic to your desired source.What is traffic? Traffic is a common term some refer to as leads, potential customers, referrals, your tribe of followers or prospects.
Internet marketers get traffic from a ton of sources and we direct traffic to a desired source. This means that before we launch any campaign, we have to know what the desired outcome is. In other words, what is the purpose of the marketing campaign and what do you want them to do when they get to their desired source. That desired source might be one of the following:
Each of these desired sources can be increased by implementing various marketing tools to increase the amount of traffic to your desired outcome. I would caution that before you launch head strong into any marketing campaign, it would be best to know your conversion rate and have quick and easy ways to measure any marketing you choose to implement. You might be asking yourself, "What is a conversion rate?" Your conversion rate is a ratio of traffic to completed transactions. Your definition of completed transaction should be specific to your offer. For example, your offer might be to exchange a free report for someone's e-mail address. Or have a person sign up for a newsletter. Or it might be to book an appointment for a massage. To help you create a great offer, I've included a link to a blog post on how to do just that: http://blog.massagetoday.com/wibb/2012/05/25/how-to-create-a-great-call-to-action-cta/.
Today, most massage therapy business owners want to use the Internet to generate traffic. The most common ways to increase online traffic are:
As a massage practice owner (or manager for a massage business) you need to be able to justify any additional costs. How are you going to know if a marketing piece is working or not unless you have a way to measure it? And for those of you who are saying, "Hey, I'm a brand new therapist, I don't have any leads, traffic or anything to measure." Well, your conversion rate is currently 0%. So, you will have to implement some type of marketing campaign to increase your traffic to make any changes to this figure. An old way of increasing traffic is word of mouth. Now, with the popularity of social media sites, creating referrals and word of mouth digitally has seen tremendous growth for massage businesses.
For some massage practitioners, knowing you have more money than month at then of a 30-day cycle has been your form of tracking your business success. Many massage therapists work for years without knowing their conversions rates until they make a choice to have a predictable plan for growth. For some, that means working smarter and not harder, while for others, it means focusing on building an exit plan to retire. Others want a way to make more money. Still others just want the opportunity to touch more lives. Whatever your driving force, once you make the decision to grow your massage practice, you need to know how to create a predictable plan and do it in the most efficient and productive way. You will find that knowing conversion rates and your return on investment (ROI) really matter.
Why are conversion rates important? Consider this. A common practice to boost traffic for a website is to hire Search Engine Optimization services. Let's say you spend 6 to 12 months on SEO services to get yourself ranked on page one of Google. That's great to be on page one of Google, as long as you accomplished two goals:
The Importance of Analytics
In most cases, all traffic leads to a website. You can spend countless hours ranking for keywords and being on page one, but if your conversion rate is less than 1%, that is not enough to justify the time and money invested in the project. Common problems associated with low conversion rates are poor website design/navigation or simply because the offer needs to be fixed. How do you know if an offer is going to be a good converter? I would recommend you set up a website analytics and budget some pay per click before launching into any other marketing. Google provides Google Analytics for free on any website. Find out more at: www.google.com/analytics/.
Why add analytics? Because when you drive traffic to your source, you need to have a way of measuring to know that you are getting the best conversions possible at that source with the least amount of investment. All social media sites offer insights (analytics) to measure the traffic. Some even tell you what devices customers are using to access them. Mobile devices are rapidly growing segments of the online market so consider how your site will perform on a mobile device when you are revamping your website. We will discuss mobile marketing options in an upcoming article. Once you have analytics set up, now you are ready to start pay per click.
What is pay per click (PPC)? For online marketing, the quickest way to start testing your offer is to pay Google or social media sites for certain ads for your keywords to a desired target audience, and then test to see how well they convert. You will need to make sure you have good copy, image and benefits so they produce. Set up a PPC budget for $200 or less per month or a daily budget of $20. Then bid on your keywords and start by testing how they perform. You will only be charged when people click on your ad. That is why you will see it referred to as, pay per click. The beauty of this is that you can have PPC up and running in one day and you can have results the same day without making it costly. It is also the least expensive way to give you data because you can stop a PPC campaign at any time, as well as make any adjustments to it.
Your results are fairly easy to measure. If no one clicks on the ad, then you need to adjust your ad. If people click on the ad to your website, but no one purchases or you lose them at any point in your process, then you need to fix your website. Meaning you need to evaluate the way people are interacting on your site. Either your offer needs to be adjusted or the process to get the offer needs help. Also, realize you won't get 100% of the people to take advantage of the offer.
Let's put some real numbers to the equation. Let's say you place an ad and you know 100 people click through on the ad to your website and you know that 10 of those people bought your offer. That means you have a 10% conversion rate. This, by the way, is really good. Usually, 6% is considered exceptionally good for Internet buying and most companies are happy with 2% to 4%. You do need to understand the value of a client when you are evaluating your conversion rate. We will discuss the value of the client in a future article as well.
If you are considering investing in media buys, you can use PPC to test your message/offer to your targeted audience before investing hundreds or even thousands into a full ad for several months of print, radio or television exposure. You might think you have the best magazine, television or radio ad copy in the world, but if your offer is bad or your website doesn't convert, you don't get a chance to get that money back. At least with PPC, if the ad gets clicked but does not convert, you can stop the ad, make adjustments to your website and test again before you invest the BIG dollars. This is why you will need to monitor your PPC daily.
Once you know how the process works and converts, now you can make arrangements to invest into systems to increase your traffic from even more sources like SEO services, social media campaigns and media buys because you know what to expect your conversion rate to be. As long as those tools are used effectively to produce the right traffic, you should have return on your investment. Of course, nothing in life is guaranteed. Make the effort to minimize your learning costs by utilizing the tools and services available so you can create a predictable plan for growing your massage practice.
Click here for more information about Stephanie Beck.
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