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The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
July, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 07
Grow Your Massage Practice with Online Advertising
By Daniel Ruscigno
When it comes to growing your business, trust and referral-based marketing is ultimately going to be the deciding factor in your massage clinic's success. Providing world-class treatment that inspires your clients to tell their friends and family should be your primary marketing strategy.But, in order to get the ball rolling on word-of-mouth marketing, online advertising is a great, relatively low-cost option to get new customers in your door.
When a potential client is seeking a massage therapist, their likely first stop is going to be Google, where they will search for an MT. While preference is to organically rank at the top of the first page of search results, there are only going to be a handful of people that can occupy those positions (those that have dedicated resources to a long-term SEO strategy). The alternative way to have your clinic listed on the first page is via Google AdWords - the top 3 listings in the search results and often also along the right side of the page.
What's great about Google AdWords is that you can target people in your area that are specifically looking for a massage therapist. When setting up your campaign, the location targeting is simple: enter your office address and set a 10 to 20 mile radius to advertise to. Your next steps are to create the copy for your ad and to choose the keywords you would like to target. For example, you may want your ad to show when someone searches for: massage therapist, massage therapy, hot stone massage and deep tissue massage.
Once your advertisement is ready, it will display in the Google search results and you will only pay when someone clicks on your advertisement. You will get the most out of your Google AdWords campaign if you have an up-to-date and trustworthy looking website that the potential client will feel comfortable enough with to pick up the phone or book their appointment online.
The other online advertising giant is Facebook. While setting up a Facebook ad is somewhat similar to Google AdWords, there are two big differences. First, your ad will include an image. The image is going to be the focal point of your ad so you want to avoid using low quality or stock photography images. This is your chance to be creative and get peoples' attention. The second major difference is how you target your ads. Rather than targeting based on keywords, you target based on elements of peoples' Facebook profile. For example: age, gender, location, marital status, education and even interests.
Like Google AdWords, you will only pay when someone clicks on your advertisement. Since so many people use Facebook (and the Internet in general) from their phones, you may want to consider a responsive website, a website that changes layout based on the screen size, so that those who click on your ad from their phone can easily navigate your site.
A third, and perhaps controversial, online advertising opportunity for massage therapists are group-buying websites like Groupon. This opportunity is controversial because it tends to attract people that are only seeking the best deal (and tend not to be long-term clients), you have to deeply discount your services (usually 40-50%), is not legal in some states, and most importantly, can end up costing you money.
With the warning out of the way, there are some massage therapists that have done very well with group-buying websites. To be successful, there are a few things you want to consider. First, what is your break-even price and how many deal-buying customers do you have to convert into regular clients to make the deal worthwhile. Second, set a limit for how many deals can be sold and consider conditions on the offer like "new clients only." Third, remember that the goal is to get regular clients, so make sure you provide your best service to every customer so that not only do they come back, but they tell their friends about you – kick-starting that ever important word-of mouth marketing strategy.
With new customers coming to your door via online advertising, there is a final online technique to discuss: email newsletters. This is more of a retention and referral-based strategy and involves sending monthly email newsletters to your existing customers. To start your email newsletter campaign, you must obtain permission from your clients to send them emails. You can do this by asking them to fill out a simple form (email address and a box to check to consent will suffice) in your office. When you are asking for their consent, be sure to tell them why they should subscribe to your newsletter.
The newsletter is a way to show your expertise and you want it to primarily be informational. Writing articles that your clients would find useful, such as "3-Minute At Work Stretching Routine," will keep them interested in receiving your emails, while also keeping you at top of their mind when it comes time to book their next massage. Once you've established trust via your email newsletters, you can then use that avenue to advertise any clinic promotions you are offering.
With only a few hours of work, these online advertising options are great ways to attract new clients to your clinic and help grow your business. If you are providing a service that's worth talking about, each new client that finds you online could potentially attract several more through word-of-mouth.
Daniel Ruscigno is the co-founder of ClinicSense (previously PatientCal). ClinicSense offers practice management software that helps with scheduling, soap notes, billing, electronic insurance claims and more. For more information, visit www.ClinicSense.com.
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