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

Are You Sure You Want To Be An Acupuncturist?

January 13, 2011 by  
Filed under News for Acupuncturists

Although my acupuncture practice has been in existence for over 10 years now, something terrible happened just a few short years after I opened my acupuncture business. It caused me to ask myself the question, “are you sure you want to be an acupuncturist?”

I’ve learned that my story is really not all that unusual (which is kinda scary).  I won’t bore you right now with all the details, just suffice it to say, I had been confronted with some unexpected circumstances that led to a financial crisis in my business. It was a horrible “do or die” situation and I was faced with a very serious decision with only two choices:

CHOICE #1: Quit. I’m not a quitter, but honestly no one would blame me… it had been a tough year, enough to break anyone’s will. I could walk away proud for giving it a go.

CHOICE #2: Learn how to build a successful acupuncture business. Crap! I hated the B word! Learning business skills meant I would have to face my fears and dig deep… I hated practice management mumbo jumbo and only wanted to immerse myself in the healing arts. It would be easier to quit… I just didn’t know if I had what it takes?

Before I really had a chance to methodically weigh the pros and cons of each choice (something I always do with important decisions), I felt something deep inside that overwhelmed my thought processes. If the feeling had words they would be, “I AM AN ACUPUNCTURIST!”

It wasn’t a question. It was a statement.

And I knew then and there I had to do what it took to learn how to take control of my practice and build a sustainable and profitable business. (I felt SICK!)

That was about 5 years ago and I can look back now and smile. Learning business and marketing skills was not as difficult as I had thought.

The hardest part was trying to figure everything out on my own. Back then, there wasn’t a whole lot of support for acupuncturists trying to build a business. It was super difficult for me to tell the difference between legitimate marketing methods and unproven schemes promoted by so-called experts.

I’ll admit it, I was lucky.  I connected myself with the right people, attended awesome training programs and got top notch coaching from experienced teachers. They continue to inspire me and motivate me.

I could have taken everything I learned and built my practice and lived a very happy, quiet life.  But the thing is, when I had my epiphany, that I AM an acupuncturist, I also made the commitment right then and there to find a way to teach everything I learned to YOU and anyone else in the entire acupuncture community who wanted to learn.

It has taken me a little longer than I anticipated.  My research, testing and re-testing is part of the reason you haven’t heard much from me in recent months.  But I’m happy to say, I am confident that my business partner, Alicia Bausley, and I at Empowered Business Entrepreneurs, LLC have developed the ultimate business and marketing course specifically for acupuncturists.

I’ll be launching it soon and it will culminate in a 2-day live event (that we’re tentatively calling the Acupuncture Business Academy Super Summit). I already have some top notch speakers lined up and two full days of training that will absolutely change the way you approach your practice, business and LIFE!

The Acupuncture Business Academy will solve many of your marketing challenges and set you up with everything you need to build a successful practice.  How do I know? Because I have spent several YEARS ‘in the trenches’, listening to you, talking to you and working with you.  I’ve learned that business and marketing techniques that work well in other fields (like chiropractic, dentistry, internet business, etc) do NOT work for acupuncturists, and I’ve refined and simplified everything to make this course easy to learn and effective to implement.

Although the Internet is a great tools and I’ve enjoyed meeting many of you online, I am looking forward to connecting with you in person.  I’ll be sharing more details as everything gets finalized.  There is A LOT to get done and I am personally overseeing every detail so that you have the best training and awesome experience.

I hope you are as excited about the Acupuncture Business Academy Super Summit as I am!  I’d love to hear your thoughts! Go ahead and share your feedback below. After all, we’re in this together!

Peace,

Lisa Hanfileti, LAc
Insights-For-Acupuncturists.com


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Other News For Acupuncturists
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Business Coaching For Acupuncturists With Kevin Doherty, LAc
“Inner Freedom, Outer Success” Starts January 18th, 2011
Click here for more info.


Your Acupuncture Practice Blueprint for 2010

December 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Acupuncture Marketing

How would you like to get a hold of your own detailed business blueprint to plan your acupuncture practice so that you can make 2010 your most profitable year ever?  You have an incredible one-time opportunity to attend a 90-minute teleclass (by phone) with one of the leaders in the acupuncture business and marketing field.

Kevin Doherty, LAc, author of Build Your Dream Practice, is offering a class to show you the exact steps and marketing strategies that he has used to build his successful acupuncture career.

Dream Practice TeleclassClick the screen to learn more from Kevin Doherty, LAc

When I graduated from acupuncture school and started my practice (in 2000) there wasn’t anyone out there providing the kinds of resources and guidance that Kevin offers.  I would have JUMPED at the chance to learn from an experienced acupuncturist so that I could have avoided the mistakes I made opening my acupuncture practice.

In this one-time teleseminar Kevin will give you his personal acupuncture business blueprint and share proven business planning and marketing strategies to help you thoughtfully build and grow your acupuncture practice.

For details on how to register for the class click on the link below:

“How to Make 2010 The Best Year Ever In Your Private Practice”

Dream Practice Coaching

The class is being held on Thursday December 10th at 5 pm Pacific, 8 pm Eastern time. This live event is a great opportunity to ask questions directly to Kevin, but if you are unable to attend it will be recorded.  You must register, however in order to receive the recording.  Click Here now to learn more.

Wishing that 2010 is the best year ever in your acupuncture practice!

Warm regards,

Lisa Hanfileti, LAc
Insights-For-Acupuncturists.com

How List Building and Database Management Can Grow Your Acupuncture Business

September 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Acupuncture Websites

List Building and Database Management Ebook

List Building and Database Management Ebook

What does list building and database management have to do with using your business website to generate new patients, clients, and customers? The answer in a word is, EVERYTHING!

Years ago, when I was just starting my acupuncturist career I was only focused on providing quality care to my patients and nothing else.  I can tell you firsthand that the last thing on my mind was something as boring and seemingly unrelated to patient care as “website lists” and “databases”.  Yuk!

What I did not realize back then that I know now is that learning a few simple things about building a list through my business website is the key to providing quality care to my current patients, as well as to potential new patients, clients and customers.

And — get this — even providing care to (and earning money from) people who never even walk through my acupuncture clinic doors!

Building a list through your website can change your entire acupuncture practice and generate significant passive income.

But how?  In order to understand how important building a list is and how it can be utilized to bring additional revenue into your business, let’s start with the basics.

What is a “List”?

If you read my last blog post on Website Design Elements For Acupuncturists then you learned the importance of having specific places on your website that entice interaction with your website visitor.   These can be as simple as a place to subscribe to your newsletter or opt-in to receive a free report about Chinese herbs, acupuncture, or any healing method you have special knowledge about.

You create your list by exchanging something of value (e.g. your newsletter or special report) for your web visitors name and email address.  Once you receive their name and email address, they become a member of your “List”.  There, that’s not so hard!

Here is the significance of your List.  By subscribing to YOUR information they are telling you that they are interested in:

  • YOU – as an expert and a practitioner
  • CHINESE MEDICINE – and all the other topics in your newsletter or report
  • HEALING – for themselves and perhaps even others
  • PARTICIPATING IN THEIR HEALTH CARE – they are actively searching for solutions.

When someone joins your list through your website they are telling you that they want more information from you and may even want to become your new patient!  In business terms, they are very qualified “leads” or “prospects” for you to follow up with and offer more information about the services you provide.

List Building is Easy... and Essential.

List Building is Easy... and Essential.

Your list is the equivalent of having patients lined up at your acupuncture clinic door.  Honestly, the people on your list are even more qualified (and by ‘more qualified’, I mean more likely to become your patient or purchase your products) than someone who found you in the Yellow Pages.

Why?  Because people do not give up their email addresses easily.  To give you their contact information, they must have likely scrutinized the information on your website and educated themselves about you before making the decision to trade their email address for your expert information.

What is List (or Database) Management?

Your list of interested subscribers and potential patients is only as good as your management of  — or relationship with — those people.  You must follow up on a consistent basis to continue to develop your relationship with them.

There are many easy, effective, safe, and legal methods of maintaining contact with the people on your list.  I go over the best methods for acupuncturists and include the best time-saving tools in my video and ebook bonus series included with my ebook,

“Complementary and Alternative Marketing:  How to Attract New Patients, Market Your Practice, and Earn Passive Income With Your Acupuncture Website” – CLICK HERE

I can only sit and wonder how much income I lost by not starting to build my list earlier!  I was in practice for over 7 years before I started learning how to build relationships with my website.  Now it is one of the easiest and most economical ways to attract new patients and even earn significant income from people who never walk through my doors.  (I will cover more on that in my next post on Affiliate income.)

Please do not make the same mistakes I did. By learning some very simple steps and using affordable tools you can use your acupuncture website to create a virtual line of patients standing outside your clinic doors!

Click Here to read more about my book and the bonus video recordings here.

Your success matters to me.

Peace,

Lisa Hanfileti, LAc

Insights-for-Acupuncturists.com

P.S. Look for my next post on, “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 through your acupuncture website for the rest of your acupuncture career and beyond.

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