Should Acupuncturists Use Groupon, Living Social & Other Online Coupons?

March 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Acupuncture Marketing

There seem to be two ‘camps’ when it comes to acupuncturists using Groupon, Living Social and other online coupon programs to promote their services. One camp says, it’s a great opportunity to gain exposure, get new patients and make some money. And another camp says that the deep discounts and high fees make it a financial bust, and worse, devalues the profession.

There’s no doubt that you can lose money using these online coupon programs (as has been well documented in the dining industry), but if you read the coupon program’s fine print, understand your goals, calculate your ‘ break even price point’ and plan accordingly, I believe you can make these programs work for your acupuncture practice.

Here are my recommendations to any practitioner who is thinking about using Groupon, Living Social, or any online coupon company.  Understand and plan on ways to optimize:

(1) Front end income
(2) Back end income ** VERY IMPORTANT!
(3) Costs (including time)

(1) Front end income
Front end income is what you get from your coupon sales. When you see service based businesses using Groupon to sell over 1000 coupons at $50 a pop (like a local glass blowing teacher did), it’s pretty easy to get caught up in the “$50,000 payday” and think you’ve found the answer to all your prayers.  But if that’s all you see, you could be one of the many business owners who lose money on these deals. So please, pay attention! If we examine an acupuncturist who courageously tried out the Groupon program to sell a $30 coupon for a 45 minute session we can see that $30 x 109 purchases (last I checked) = $3,270. Half goes to Groupon so that leaves $1,635 in front end income. That’s only about $15 per person for 45 minutes of treatment, which stinks! BUT WAIT…  here’s what you also have to factor in:

  • 15-30% of people who buy the coupon never redeem it before it expires. That free money. Don’t count on it, but just know that it’s there.
  • For an acupuncturist who does not have a full schedule and ALL s/he has is TIME, this is a great way to get exposure, create buzz, and generate profit (see back end income below) without laying out any cash.

(2) Back end income
This is the key to generating profits! You need a plan in place to upsell these coupon-purchasing customers. What I like about Mary Ann’s Groupon is she included in her sale an “Individual Wellness Plan”. This is clearly aimed at getting these initial buyers back through her doors for a series of treatments.  Even if just 10% of her initial 109 people scheduled 6 treatments as part of her “Individual Wellness Plan” (at her normal rate of $80) that’s 10 (people) x 6 (visits) x $80 = $4,800. Now we’re talkin! Acupuncturists MUST learn how to turn these qualified customers into repeat patients (who refer new patients) in order to make significant long term income. If you add in sales of herbs, oils, books etc., that backend revenue per coupon-paying customer increases. For those of us who understand (and teach) online marketing, the backend income can also significantly increase by offering products like digital products or online wellness coaching and creating automated email campaigns to keep customers interested and coming back. In other words, this is a great way to build a list of qualified customers for future service or product sales.

(3) Costs
The big thing acupuncturists need to watch here is time. (Costs for needles and other office supplies is usually minimal.)  The cash infusion from the front end income can help take care of working expenses and pay for upsell items (sold when they receive their session).  But time is something that is limited and scheduling must be planned so that full paying patient slots are not taken up by $15 slots. I would recommend dedicating 2-3 days a week just to the Groupon people and get them all scheduled and treated within 3 – 6 months. Personally I think a year is too long to ‘wrap up’ the coupon customers. This may mean working days that you don’t usually work until everyone gets their coupon redeemed.

So before we dismiss Groupons and other social online coupon programs for acupuncture practitioners, I think it’s important do some research (read other business’ deals), think things through, test it out on a small scale then take the lessons learned to larger and larger scales so you can minimize your risk and maximize your potential for generating profits. That’s why I congratulate Mary Ann for having the courage to TRY something new, generate buzz and build her business.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this (or any other acupuncture marketing) topic.  Chime in below!

Peace,

Lisa Hanfileti, LAc
Insights-For-Acupuncturists.com

 

 

For Picky Acupuncturists

February 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Acupuncture Marketing

If you had the chance to learn a marketing system to help you get and keep patients scheduling with you, wouldn’t you jump at the chance?

I wouldn’t.

I’m super picky.

I would need to do some research to make sure that the person who developed the program was:

  • An acupuncturist (okay, I’m biased too)
  • Genuine and demonstrated an authentic desire to help other acupuncturists succeed
  • A “proven commodity” – in other words, someone who already created other reputable products
  • Hardcore about testing the program and had proof that it worked
  • Accessible and not one of those ‘untouchable gurus’ who hid behind web pages
  • So confident in the product that s/he offered a no questions asked, 100% money back guarantee
  • Generous and priced the product so it was fair and affordable
  • Committed to support and personalized follow up for every customer

When I investigate (or create) a system, program or product that is designed to help acupuncture students and practitioners, I am looking to make sure it is valuable, easy to use and affordable.

Jeffrey Grossman's LIVE Course Starts Soon! Click Here to Learn More Now.I am so glad to be able to report that Jeffrey Grossman, LAc did a great job when he created his Patient Reactivation Program For Acupuncturists. Not only did he meet all of my criteria above, but he did a few other things that I’m not sure most people realize.

For instance, Jeffrey is including in this program:

  • Weekly live calls so you can interact directly with Jeffrey to ask questions and get help
  • A members-only forum where you can network and interact with other acupuncturists from all over the planet
  • Templates for letters and emails that you can customize so you don’t have to waste time and energy re-inventing the wheel
  • A payment plan to make it easier for every acupuncturist (regardless of income bracket) to participate

You do not have any patients (or even be in practice yet for that matter) to benefit from this program!

Even students who are just thinking about their practice can learn from Jeffrey how to put a system in place that ‘automatically’ educates (current or potential) patients so that the reactivation process is rarely necessary.

And when it is necessary, you get even better results.

So if you haven’t investigated Jeffrey’s Patient Reactivation Program yet, please go ahead and take this important step. He has done all the work for you, laid out the plan, handed you the templates so that all you have to do is say YES!

The 4-week live course starts in 1 week, so don’t wait.

Here’s the link to Jeffery’s video about the course and everything included in it:

http://www.mcssl.com/app/?af=1301880

If you have any questions, go ahead and let me know. I’m here for you because I know The World Needs More Acupuncturists!

Peace,

Lisa Hanfileti, LAc

Michael Port’s Booked Solid University Coaching Program

January 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Acupuncture Marketing

Michael Port VideoI have been following Michael Port for years. He wrote a book a while back called “Book Yourself Solid”.

Honestly, at first I was reluctant to embrace him because I wondered if he was one of those ‘slick’ salesmen.  (Which I now see was a reflection of my own discomfort with marketing and not a true picture of him.)

Nonetheless, as I studied him and his materials I was cautious but remained open minded.  After all, I wanted my acupuncture practice to succeed and I needed to learn everything I could to ensure that would happen.

What I learned about Michael Port is that he is nothing like my initial (erroneous) perception!  He is authentic and very passionate about providing business training to the service-based business community.

He recently created an innovative online small business coaching program that I think is perfect for the acupuncture community.  He shows you the fastest and most effective ways to book yourself solid and then build a business that runs without you.  Listen, I hate to say it but if you are struggling to run your business and you have not developed systems to automate your marketing and referrals, then you are always going to struggle to make it.  It’s just a fact.

Michael Port’s new program is called Booked Solid University and he offers everything you need to know about building your business in one extraordinary e-learning environment.

I know e-learning can take a little getting used to, but for acupuncturists who are no longer in their college environment, it is the next best thing.  The structure is the same, in that you have regular class times to meet and you have a community of virtual classmates to interact with.  I think the reason many acupuncturists fail in business is because they do not have a disciplined schedule for learning marketing and implementing what they learn.

Booked Solid University keeps you on task and accountable so you are always putting into action what you learn in a sequential, logical manner (just like acupuncture college).

Here’s what’s amazing. You get all of his courses and programs under one roof for just a few dollars a day. His program includes an Entrepreneur’s Mastery Program and Booked Solid Electives that show you exactly how to:

  • Get clients with ease and integrity.
  • Improve focus on what’s most important.
  • Increase free time and improve your lifestyle.
  • Maximize wealth and influence.

And, better yet, right now he’s offering a 50% DISCOUNT to the next few people who enroll. It was for the next 50 people but I know those spots are getting nabbed faster than you can say Booked Solid, so there can’t be many left.

I heard he created Booked Solid U because he was sick of all the other so called “gurus” charging ridiculous fees for business education. He just doesn’t think you should pay a lot to learn how to get booked solid. Now, that’s a good man. That’s the right thing to do.

I’ve read every word about the coaching program on his website and it is the most comprehensive, breakthrough interactive, go-at-your-own pace, self-guided, online education community, offering easy-to-use, yet advanced educational technology for the small business owner. Seriously, I know which specific coaching programs are available to acupuncturists and this is one of the best for those of us who are planning a lengthy and successful career in the acupuncture profession.

The ribbon has been cut and the doors flung open to Booked Solid University. I recommend you rush out and grab one of the 50% OFF spots while they still last. Just imagine what your business could look like in one short year from now.

Please do not be one of the (all too many) acupuncturists who will look back and WISH they had taken advantage of this opportunity.

Check it out now:
http://www.insights-for-acupuncturists.com/bookedsolid-coaching

Lisa Hanfileti, LAc
Insights-For-Acupuncturists.com

A WordPress Blog for Your Acupuncture Business Website?

November 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Acupuncture Websites

WordPress Post

Acupuncture Business Blog??

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is, Can I use a WordPress blog for my business website?

It’s an understandable question given that I write about how acupuncturists, or any self-employed business owner, can benefit from Site Build It’s affordable website building software.  (Especially since they announced their new “Recession Buster” special of $29.99 per month.)

But WordPress is FREE blogging software, so why have I not specifically recommended it to acupuncturists to use as their business website?  It’s a fair question!   I mean, if you are on a budget (and you should be!) who wouldn’t want a free Internet marketing platform for their business?

Unless… there’s a catch.

Is there a catch?

Okay, so what’s the catch?!

All right, hang on.  I promise to answer your questions and put you at ease so that you can make a very informed decision.  I really want you to understand what’s at stake here and why you definitely do NOT want to jump into a blog without understanding one very crucial piece of the “free” WordPress blog puzzle.

Let me explain a little bit about how I know so much about WordPress.

Ever since I wrote the book, “Complementary and Alternative Marketing: How to Attract New Patients, Market Your Practice, and Generate Passive Income With Your Acupuncture Website”, acupuncturists have been asking me if the easy marketing methods I describe can be applied to a WordPress blog.

I use and promote web building software by Site Build It, mostly because you get incredible training in marketing at the same time that you learn how to create a website.  And since most acupuncturists never receive any training in marketing from their acupuncture college, this education can be a practice saving benefit.  (It was for me!)

But I also understand that Site Build It’s step-by-step website building program is not for everyone. Let’s face it, it’s a lot of work to develop a business plan and learn marketing at the same time that you are creating a website. I know that you want to be an acupuncturist, not a web designer. I get it!

Which is why I personally investigated other methods of acupuncture business website creation, including the free WordPress blogs that are so attractive. (Hey, in case you haven’t noticed, you are reading this article on my WordPress blog!  But it is also connect to my Site Build It website, Insights-For-Acupuncturists.com for a very good reason.  But that’s another story.)

So What’s the Deal With WordPress?

Here’s the deal with WordPress. (Drumroll!)

YES! you can absolutely apply my marketing strategies and passive income generation to a WordPress blog, BUT here’s the catch:  BE SURE TO PAY FOR YOUR OWN HOSTING.

Do NOT use the free WordPress blog available through wordpress.COM where they give you a domain name.

Instead use the free WordPress blog available through wordpress.ORG and purchase your own domain name.

The reason is because since WordPress is hosting the site and absorbing those (minimal) costs, they actually own your domain name and the ‘real estate’ on which your material resides. They can pull down your business blog any time they want for any reason they want. This is true of any free blogging sites, such as those by GoDaddy, Google, Yahoo, and the thousands of other companies offering free blogs and websites.

If WordPress decides they do not like your content or subject matter they can simply delete your entire blog. POOF! It’s gone!  Although WordPress has not censored any acupuncturists to my knowledge, they have removed other blogs from other businesses without any warning or explanation. And they have every right to do it because they are paying for the hosting!

This is the equivalent of you renting an apartment and the landlord changing the terms of your lease. Landlords hold all the cards and you have to comply or move out. Sure, you can take your furniture, but where are you going to put it? You need your own web “real estate” and domain name to ensure that you are in control of your business.

Instead of using wordpress.com, go ahead and get a wordpress blog through wordpress.org (which is still free) and pay for the hosting yourself.

I use and recommend the “Baby Plan” through Hostgator, which you can look at here:

Just click on ‘Web Hosting’ and select the ‘Baby’. You can also start with the ‘Hatchling’ and upgrade to Baby when you are doing more income generation and need some of the features that will facilitate that.

The Baby plan costs $7.95 a month and it is well worth it to own your blog, which means you own your business. Plus Hostgator gives you unlimited hosting so you can get a bunch of other WordPress blogs (through wordpress.org for free) and host them through Hostgator without any additional costs. That’s what I do! Here are some of the other WordPress blogs I have hosted through Hostgator:

You may notice that they all look similar, but that’s just because I like this particular ‘theme’ (design).  There are lots of affordable designs to choose from or you can use the free themes provided by WordPress. (Check out a large selection of functional WordPress themes by Brian Gardner.)

3 Awesome WordPress Resources to Help You Set Up Your Acupuncture Business Blog

Here are 3 awesome WordPress Resources to help you get started.

You may need a little help with the initial set up of your acupuncture business blog (which is why I recommend the easy to follow video tutorials, below). If you have a geeky friend who can help you, this is the time to ask for it. (I LOVE my geeky friends!) Just be sure that you learn how to create your own posts so you can add content. In other words, do not turn everything over to your geeky friends unless they are going to teach you how to use the blog yourself.

#1 WordPress Resource: Burton Kent’s Acupuncture Clinic Websites. Burton Kent, author of, Never Market Again, has a company that builds acupuncture websites for practitioners using WordPress. He sets them up using all the practical applications that are important for a functional business website. Plus he has added some incredible features that are specific to acupuncturists and solo-based providers.

However, Burton makes it very clear that he is not a fan of generating passive income through your acupuncture site. It’s not that he is against it, but he’s not sure it is worth your time. I, on the other hand, believe that passive income generation through your blog is so easy that it is a no brainer! So setting up your income generation is something you need to do on your own (which I recommend anyway and it’s why I have #2 WordPress Resource below).

Burton Ken’ts set-up fees are very reasonable and you will not find better support for acupuncturists.

You can learn more about his website packages here:

http://www.insights-for-acupuncturists.com/burtons-webspecial

Please let Burton know that I referred you!

================================

#2 WordPress Resource: Step-by-step WordPress Tutorials. I HIGHLY recommend these WordPress training tutorials because they are:

  1. Easy to understand
  2. Affordable
  3. Focus on how to maximize your income generation through your website

If you are using Burton Kent’s website package these are the perfect tutorials to help you set up your methods of passive income generation with easy-to-use ‘plugins’ and instructions.

Learn more about Step-by-step WordPress training here:

http://www.empoweredbusinessentrepreneurs.com/wordpress-step-by-step

This guy really knows his stuff and he over-delivers with helpful tips. The video instructions are clear. If you plan on incorporating a way to generate income through your blog, then these training tutorials are a must.

================================

#3 WordPress Resource: Educational marketing with your blog. Another option is a service provided by Charles Heflin, who is a WordPress guru and traffic generation genius. If you like the look of moving graphics and are willing to pay extra for the set up, then check him out.

His personal philosophy is geared towards supporting businesses that create quality content and his services are especially appropriate if you are a practitioner who really wants to advance your practice through educational marketing using article writing, video posts, and social media connections like Facebook and Twitter, and bookmarking sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit etc. This is a great way to elicit interaction and develop a strong socially driven following. You can get started from the gitgo with a powerful WordPress site for your clinical practice that is perfect for monetization and attracting the right patients, customers, and visitors to you.

Learn more about Charles Heflin’s WordPress set up services here:

http://www.empoweredbusinessentrepreneurs.com/wordpress-services

This WordPress package comes with many extra bells and whistles to help you with traffic generation and instructions on how to continue to develop your site. I am currently using his Content Syndication services and I can tell you firsthand that they are POWERFUL!

Learn more about Content Syndication here:

http://www.empoweredbusinessentrepreneurs.com/synnd

All three of these WordPress resources can be used individually or combined, so do not limit yourself to just one.

If you have any questions feel free to Speak Your Mind in the box below and I will be happy to provide answers.

Your success matters to me!

Lisa Hanfileti, LAc
Insights-For-Acupuncturists.com

How to Attract More Patients With Your Acupuncture Website

August 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Acupuncture Websites, News

How to Attract More Patients With Your Acupuncture Website

How to Attract More Patients With Your Acupuncture Website - 44 page Ebook

Not all websites are created equal. If you want your acupuncture website to bring more new patients through your doors then you have to pay attention to some key design elements.

Research shows that you have about 3 seconds to get the attention of your website visitor (e.g. potential patient) before they make a decision to click off your website or click deeper into your website.

What makes someone want to stay on your website?

It all starts with the design of your website.  That is, how it looks to your visitor.

In the same way that you might go out of your way to put your patients at ease the first time they arrive at your acupuncture clinic, you want to make your website visitors feel comfortable when they land on your web pages.

You can create a feeling of ‘comfort’ for people who visit your website by using design elements that help your visitor stay oriented on the page.

These include using:

  • Colors that are not too bright or too dark. Often times a dark background with white lettering is difficult to read and will cause your visitor to strain.  Stay away from black and dark purple backgrounds with white lettering.  It might look good to you and appeal to your sense of creativity, but (I hate to break the news to you),  your website isn’t about YOU.  It is about making your visitor feel comfortable and that means making the design EASY for your potential new patient to read more about you.
  • Fonts that are clean and clear. Although it is tempting to use cursive writing and fun fonts on your website, stick with the standard fonts (e.g. Arial, Times New Roman, Tahoma, and  Garamond) and colors that appear clear.  Do not use too much bright red or bold lettering, saving that only for the things that you want to emphasize.  Also, do not center all of your text the way you might find writing in a greeting card. Although it might look good to you, your visitor may have a different type of computer screen or web browser that chops the text up at odd intervals and looks messy.  Play it safe and keep your text justified to the left.
  • Your  opt-in box is located “Above the Fold”. Each page of your website has a very valuable section referred to as  the area “above the fold”.  This is everything you see on a webpage before you scroll down and it is the very first thing your visitor sees when they land on your site.  You want to use this precious real estate by giving your potential patients a way to interact with you.  This can be accomplished with an opt-in box for a newsletter, free report, ebook, or any other subscription or download that you can send them in exchange for their name and email address.  This is a crucial step in the process of establishing contact with your website visitors.  (More on this in Bonus Webinar 2, see below.)

Of course, there are many other web design elements that are important for you to include (and avoid!) in order to attract new patients to your acupuncture clinic.

Acupuncture Website Design Elements

Acupuncture Website Design Elements

These are just a few of the design elements that I explain in detail in my web class video recording and companion 44-page ebook on “Website Design Elements:  What You Absolutely Need and What You Can Do Without”.

Here is a complete list of the Bonus recordings that are included with your purchase of my ebook, Complementary and Alternative Marketing:  How to Attract New Patients, Market Your Practice, and Earn Passive Income With Your Acupuncture Website.

Bonus Webinar #1: “Website Design Elements: What You Absolutely Need and What You Can Do Without”

What the heck are the most important features of a website?  I will give you a list of “dos” and “dont’s” for your website so that you learn how to use these design elements to bring new patients through your doors.

Bonus Webinar #2: “The Secret to Online Income, Part 1: List Building and Database Management”

There is a lot of misunderstanding about what a “List” or “Database” is and how you should use the information in a responsible way. I give you important facts and show you some powerful online tools to automate the management of your database in a responsible, legal, and ethical way.

Bonus Webinar #3: “The Secret to Online Income, Part 2: Affiliate Marketing With Your Acupuncture Website”

Once you understand the power of affiliate marketing your whole life will change! I show you exactly how you can begin earning money TODAY (even without a website) using affiliate marketing techniques. What you learn in this webinar is your key to earning passive income though your acupuncture website for the rest of your acupuncture career and beyond.

Bonus Webinar #4: “Relationship Marketing Tools to Build Your Acupuncture Practice & Online Income”

Building relationships is the key to referral marketing. I show you some easy ways to build lasting rapport with your patients, customers, and even other professionals. Using tools that automate the communication process and leverage your time to help you stay in consistent contact with your patients is crucial to your overall marketing success.

Click Here to get started with these webinars today.

Your success matters to me!

Lisa Hanfileti, LAc

Next Page »