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The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Converting More Clients for Your Massage Therapy Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
This mimicked the same false hope that building a big fan base of followers on social media was going to get your updates to the front of all the newsfeeds. As I shared throughout 2014, social media is all about engagement (fans taking action). High engagement gets your updates to the top of all your fan's newsfeeds.
We know that our space on all social media platforms is leased. Meaning we don't own those platforms, we don't have 100% control of how they function and so in 2014, we worked to develop social media pages to entice our followers to something we do have 100% control of: our website or our landing page. In 2015, I will continue to provide the latest changes and new strategies for social media, because let's face it, that is an ever moving target and you will continue to need guidance. Our focus for 2015 is making sure your website or landing page is optimized to capture, engage and convert those savvy leads into customers.
An Active List
Let's modify the saying "the money is in the list" to "the money is in the active list!" An email list, or any traffic, is worthless if no one ever books a service. Investing time, money and effort into driving traffic to your website, through SEO (Search Engine Optimization), advertising (both on and off line), social media, customer referrals or creating good will within your community, will be fruitless unless you have a good sales funnel. Those leads will ultimately arrive at your website ready to take action; if your website isn't inspiring them to continue taking action, well, that is the equivalent to running a marathon and quitting the last 200 meters. It really does you no good to have a big email list unless they are action takers.
Today's online and offline visitors are very savvy about who they want to have their contact information. In order for your voice to be heard, especially above all the "spammers," you need a good offer. This is what I like to call a "traffic magnet " that captures, engages and converts more of your website traffic into customers.
A traffic magnet is the free "item" you are offering on your landing page or website to attract your ideal audience so you can capture their contact information. The primary job of the traffic magnet is to turn your traffic into leads by getting them to join your mailing list. "Sign up for my free email newsletter" is still the most common traffic magnet used on most websites. Are you currently using this as your offer? I know that offer worked five years ago but if you are being honest with yourself; when was the last time it actually produced a healthy number of website visitors to register? If you are honestly answering that question I bet you haven't seen healthy numbers in months (possibly years). Also, for the majority of website owners, that offer is still in the sidebar of your home page or buried below the fold of your website instead of big and bold in the main header or right below the navigation bar or on its own separate landing page, am I right?
Why should you update your traffic magnet? Because a properly built traffic magnet can easily double if not quadruple your conversion rates. And not just getting them onto your email list but actually getting them to take action and become clients on your table.
Before moving forward into the details, let me be clear that you do not want to make outlandish claims or offers of items you simply can't provide. Therefore, make sure you are staying within the ethical and legal guidelines of what you can say and provide. This means staying within your scope of practice. Reference national professional organization sites that provide consumer based benefits to make it easier. Organizations like the Massage Therapy Foundation, the American Massage Therapy Association, and Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals provide research, statistics and lots of consumer benefits you can use as a basis for your free offer. Also, when you use the information, be sure to properly cite them. This helps build your credibility and authority with your followers.
The Three Secrets
First, make sure you appeal to your very specific ideal audience. Offer a very specific benefit or solution to a very specific problem. For example, if you are offering a free report that tells about the benefits of massage, instead of saying "Opt in for our free report on the top 5 benefits of massage," I recommend something like, "Here's the TOP 5 Ways to feel better in 2015 – Absolutely Free!" Or you could start by saying something like, "For people who are looking to feel better and get healthy in 2015."
You have to know who you are targeting and what problem(s) you are solving. Obviously in the example above, the report would have to include some information about feeling better and getting healthy. That could mean being more relaxed, decreasing stress, sleeping better, and having more energy. Would most people equate those benefits to "feeling better" or fit their definition of "getting healthy?" We know that receiving a massage can provide these benefits for most people. Therefore, in your free report be sure you provide stats or research that supports those items and draws the proper (legal and ethical) conclusions for your readers.
By the way, did you know that a free report is still the number one traffic generating magnet used today? You may have heard it referred to as a "whitepaper." By definition, it is basically a short written document that contains information designed to help your ideal audience solve a problem or learn something new. Keep it simple and reference the legitimate data that are known and accepted benefits.
Second, keep your traffic magnet offer simple. Don't confuse your visitors by offering too much. Simple offers convert best so make your traffic magnet simple to explain. For example, "The 3 Simple ways to decrease stress." Of course, this only works if your ideal audience experiences stress (honestly who doesn't feel stress?). Do you see how this headline is addressing a major problem that a massage could benefit?
If the offer is too complicated to consume, or if it too complicated to see results, you run the risk of your ideal audience getting frustrated and opting out having never booked any services. Offer your ideal audience the solution to their biggest problem.
And third, increase the perceived value of your traffic magnet. The higher the perceived value, the better the conversions will be. You can do this simply by modifying the name, adding some images or increasing what your deliverables are. For example:
You want to deliver real value in your traffic magnet. If you over promise and under deliver, then your ideal audience isn't going to be impressed and more than likely will not become your ideal customer. Always lead with your best stuff and leave them wanting more.
When you create your traffic magnet offer to pre-sell them on the idea of booking your services, they get comfortable with the idea of becoming your client. Your traffic magnet is a great way to get new visitors to know, like and trust you as the expert and someone they want to book treatments with.