Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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It's Time to Wake Up
It is time for this profession to wake up and tell someone about the healing benefits of acupuncture. This is the time for Asian Medicine. Its popularity, growth and unusual acceptance is nothing short of amazing.
Making Public Health a Chiropractic Priority
As highlighted in this edition's News in Brief, Rand Baird, DC, MPH, FICA, FICC, editor and occasional author of our long-running column, "Chiropractic in the American Public Health Association", was recognized by the organization recently for 40 years of membership.
An Unexpected Superfood: All About Eggs
About 40 years ago, excessive dietary cholesterol was labeled a public health concern. Specifically, it was thought that there was a causal link between consumption of cholesterol-laden foods and increased risk of heart disease.
Relationship Marketing: A Modern Approach
Remember when you used to get real letters in the mail? Not the automated type, but the real deal, hand written with a personal message just because someone was thinking about you? You know what I'm talking about.
Treating LBP in Golfers: Beyond Basic Assessment
The drive to master the most efficient swing demands a tremendous amount from the lower back. Maintaining stability in a flexed posture, supporting torso rotation and repetitively supporting the golf swing all put the lower back in a vulnerable position.
Data: The New Frontier in Health Care
Your practice is empowered with the data you need to improve patient health, run a more efficient (read: profitable) practice, get paid in timely fashion and help show the efficacy of chiropractic on the national stage in the midst of sweeping changes in health care!
Healing the Core: AWB Nepal Earthquake Relief Project
With almost 9,000 people killed during the earthquakes in April and May, another 23,000 suffering injuries, hundreds of thousands left homeless when entire villages collapsed, and many sacred sites destroyed, no one in this country of approximately 28 million has been left untouched by the disaster.
Patient Retention Techniques
When talking about techniques to grow your business, we tend to focus on the "large" aspect of the patient base, that is, on strategies to attract new patients. However, it is important to remember that "loyal" is equally, if not more, important.
Online Marketing Basics: Website Creation
The various online marketing options make it a challenge, especially when all you want to do is help your patients feel better. With such a broad topic, I'm going to share some basics you should know about website creation.
Integrative Sports Medicine
One of the most rewarding and challenging clinical scenarios is the treatment of athletes.
The Ethics of Herbal Prescribing
While teaching ethics classes, I often encounter licensed acupuncturists who are surprised that our use of herbs and supplements has a specific section in the material. It is often an aspect within ethics that clinicians don't think of in practice.
What to do When Today Sucks
Have you ever had one of those days when nothing went the way it should have? The patient with migraines got worse instead of better from a treatment similar to one you've effectively used on him before.
Learning the Transformative Language of the Channel System: The Sinew Channels
The Chinese medical classics describe the energetic terrain of the body in much detail. The acupuncture channel systems, as presented in the Ling Shu illustrate the various expressions our qi energy can take.
News in Brief
Support of F4CP Continues With Latest Donations; Walter Reed Honors Dr. William Morgan; Recognizing 40 Years of Public-Health Activism; Allstate Decision Reversed.
Technology Meets Practice: Chiropractic Every Day
About a year ago, I had an interesting conversation with a DC who made house calls. When I asked why, she was quick to explain she learns much more about her patients when she sees them at home than she could ever observe in the office.
Aetna Updates 97140 Policy
In a development the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors is calling "a resounding victory for chiropractors nationwide," Aetna Insurance Company has updated its national reimbursement policy regarding 97140 (manual therapy), reaching an agreement two years after the association filed a declaratory judgment suit in federal court against the insurer.
Fish Oil: A Key Component to 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 1
All humans, by the very nature of being human, will experience moments of trauma and suffering. What, then, makes the difference in how the individual who experiences trauma, suffering, and spiritual loss reacts to such experiences?
Acupuncture Treatment of Trauma in the Canine
From 1972 until 1976, John Ottaviano and I were treating dogs at five different veterinary clinics in the Los Angeles county area. Usually, we were at a clinic for seven to eight hours.
Preaching to the Choir: How to Extend Our Reach Beyond the CAM Community
Professional conferences offer unique opportunities to network, be exposed to cutting-edge innovators, share your interests and work, and be inspired.
Teaching Qi Gong to Children
Many of us have come to embrace Qi Gong or Tai Chi practice as a regular part of our lives. Qi Gong has been a stabilizing factor in my life for the last twenty years.
ASA Ready to Impact Profession
The American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) is a 501(c)6 (pending), not-for-profit collaboration among state based, acupuncturist professional associations.
ICD-10 Is Not Scary (and Not About Billing)
In my 13 years of consulting with doctors on billing and coding matters, ICD-10 has aroused the biggest combination of misguided fear and ignorance I can remember.
Lower-Extremity Overuse Injuries: Primer on Causes and Corrections
From ankle sprains to stress fractures, shin splints to plantar fasciitis, the research is clear: These common overuse injuries of the lower extremities – among dozens of others – may be related to abnormal foot function in your patients.
Treat Every Patient as an Athlete
Frontal-plane movement pattern dysfunction can set the stage for musculoskeletal injury. Frontal-plane stabilization is essential during the normal activities of daily living: think single-leg stance and gait cycle.
A War You Can Help Patients Win
The average American consumes approximately 60 percent of calories from sugar, flour and refined oils. A donut is a good example of a so-called "food" that represents these calorie sources.
Online Marketing Basics: Website Creation
The various online marketing options make it a challenge, especially when all you want to do is help your clients feel better. With such a broad topic, I'm going to share some basics you should know about website creation. Even though all therapists are taught the same basic strokes, if I pay for a one hour massage from 10 randomly selected therapists, my results may vary a little depending on the skill level and experience. It also depends if I pay for a deep tissue verses a relaxation massage. Each therapist will provide what I paid for, but how it is provided and how I feel afterwards will vary.
The same can be with website creation. When you are evaluating and comparing various website companies or individuals, the first things you need to realize is that not all websites are created equal. Website programmers/designers and graphic artists can both build you a website. Some have specialized training for on page SEO (search engine optimization) and a small number have a strong marketing background or content or copy writing skills. Remember to ask about their skill level and know what it is you are asking for. Not every website build includes on page SEO and almost all of them charge more for copy writing or content creation.
For example, if you hire a database programmer to build a website, but in your mind you envisioned them having a creative and artistic flare, most likely you will be disappointed. It isn't that they won't be able to build you a very good functioning website based on their skill level. But it doesn't meet what you had in mind. The definitions of what you are asking and what they can provide are not congruent. In their mind, you contracted to "build a website." What you feel you asked for was a website designer who could capture the artist meaning of your words. You asked for a website, they provided you a website. The gap was in the communication of expectations and deliverables. Understanding what you don't know and what the various parts of a website could be should save some heartache and frustration. If you want the best converting website, it should have elements of these five areas.
You want a solid outline of the purpose and functionality. Determine what is the purpose of the website, who are you talking directly to and what action do you want them to take when a visitor is on each of the pages of your website. Any website designer should start by asking you to define what is the general purpose of the website as a whole so they are clear on the functionality and how many pages you will need. It will help both of you to if you already have the action plan and target audience for each of the individual pages of your site. Start with the home page and work your way through each page. This will help your programmers to offer the best template or wire frame that is user friendly and will help get you the results you want. If you want it completed within a time frame, you want your programmer to be a strategist who will provide you with exactly what you asked for and not just be a tactical robot. You have to be very specific and this type of person is going to cost more.
You also need keyword research and on page SEO. Some website designers will not invest the time in meta tagging images for social shares and optimizing pages because if the clients do not ever plan on continuing to provide content or invest time into SEO, they consider it a waste of their time. The initial on page SEO does help to get the website indexed by the search engines, but in most cases without properly identifying the customers pain points and best words to rank and continuing to invest in ongoing SEO services, then the website will most likely never increase in ranking. So, unless you specifically pay them for on page SEO or keyword research, it won't be included in the website quote. If you want something done quickly but you are on a limited budget, then paying for the additional may not be the wisest choice. Most website companies will offer an SEO package upgrade offer. Ask about social share features and keyword research. Some of the packages are designed for mass use, meaning they are generalized ranking for local businesses that may not be your ideal target audience. So you end up with clients, but they aren't the type of clients you prefer to work with. That isn't to say these don't work or aren't experts in providing what they say they will do. The difference is in the perception of expectation. Most "mass" market packages are cheap and good and some of them even work fairly quickly, but you still might not be happy with the result because they aren't producing your perfect long-term client.
Content development is another key. Once you have the general purpose of each page outlined and a structure and you know what keywords best apply for that purpose for that page, now craft the content so the keywords flow naturally. Another item to consider is what is acceptable by the FDA, what is legal and ethical. That means understanding your city, county, state and federal guidelines. If you choose to hire someone to write content for you or you use pre-written content from a template site, keep in mind ignorance is not a defense. You are still liable for what is said about your practice. They could be the best writer, but if they aren't aware of your specific regulations and how your clients think it may not be the best use of time or investment. That isn't to say they aren't the expert, they just aren't the best choice for your situation. Most people in order to save money will write the content themselves. Which can work however, you need to write it from the client's perspective, it can't be about what your practice does, it has to be connecting with the visitors so they feel like you understand their problems. That takes a certain amount of finesse and artistry. Sometimes you can save money by creating it yourself then sending it to an expert in content development who then edits it. Editing and re-writing can sometimes cost you a lot less, but it may take you longer.
Creative design is another important step; these are the finishing touches, the icing on the cake so to speak. This is an important part because most of us are visual buyers. It is best if you can find a good marketer to help you with both the content and creative design, but most of the time people hire graphic artists excellent at creating something visually engaging but have not been trained on how to create it so it converts. Yet, creative design is where most people invest the majority of their time, money and effort. If you have defined your purpose, crafted your content with the right keywords and have all your pages with the right SEO and layout with a marketing perspective, it doesn't have to be pretty to produce numbers. My suggestion is to work with someone who is flexible and can take direction and be able to provide you with what you want – more clients.
The final key is marketing perspective, a combination of all the items previously discussed. Understanding what makes a good headline, sub-headline, and what are going to be the "hooks" that speak the visitors language that make them want to do business with you is certainly a specialized talent that many people claim they have but few really do. Knowing where the best place is to capture the eye, what needs to go above the fold and where to put the images and videos so they show up on all types of devices can be a combination of content creation and design. Keep in mind, making something "look pretty" to you, may not be the best marketing strategy for your clients. A well-trained, experienced marketing consultant can assist you with your outline and formulating a solid strategy for each of your pages. Some marketers are really good copywriters as well so they can help you with your content creation. They also have experience working with graphic artists so they can help guide them through the project. One thing you don't find as often is a website programmer that is also a good marketer.
So, the next time you are in the market for a new website, I hope you remember these elements and the varieties available. If you are in the market asking for a Jaguar but you have the budget for a Honda you are going to notice some differences in the result. Both vehicles can get you where you want to go but you have two completely different experiences when driving them.