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The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
Practicing with Authenticity
To extrapolate from the above quote, patients love healthcare providers they can trust. One way to earn the trust of your patients is by practicing with authenticity. What does that mean, exactly?
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
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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