If there was ever a better time for practitioners to get serious about marketing their acupuncture "business" is now. Yes, I know the economy is in the dumps. I'm not going to stick my head in the sand and pretend we're not facing some nasty times. But at the same time I refuse to participate in this recession.
Frankly, I'm sick and tired of the gloom and doom we get fed by the media every single day. While I understand most people are concerned over the economy, you have to admit that bad news sells a great deal more newspapers and TV coverage than good news.
Why is it you don't hear the mainstream media report that Amazon.com had it's best holiday season ever, with over 6.3-million items ordered worldwide on the peak day, Dec 15, 2008. No wonder Jeff Bezos was wishing everyone happy holidays.
Or that recession proof companies like Procter & Gamble, Costco Wholesale and Kraft Foods, along with Johnson & Johnson and Novartis had decent financials in recent quarters. Not to mention Walmart and McDonalds to name a few more. And then of course Google that continues to break records.
These days the story of the man with little education selling hot dogs on the side of the road during the great depression comes to mind. This fellow was doing just fine selling good tasting hot dogs everyday to passing motorist.
He was hard of hearing and had poor vision so he didn't listen to the radio or read newspapers. His roadside hot dog stand was doing great. He had purchased a larger stove and increased his meat and bun orders. He had put up signs advertising how good his hot dogs were, and he was selling more hot dogs than ever.
What happens next is the moral of the story. When his son graduates from college and meets up with him, the son says... "Dad, haven't you heard? We're in a great depression. Stocks have plummeted, banks have defaulted and people are jumping out of buildings" (or something like that.)
The man thought to himself that his son must be right, because he was educated, listened to the news and read the paper. So the man took down the signs and cut back on his meat and bun orders and quit standing by the roadside. His sales dropped dramatically and soon he was out of business. He said to his son, "You know son, you were right. We certainly are in the midst of a great depression."
I have a strong feeling this is a true story of that era. Many times our biggest obstacle is not the economy or competition, but the organ we carry in between our ears. Why is it some practitioners always do well, even in a down economy while others just scrape by?
I'm going to say something that is so outside the norm of your mindset that it may just go right over your head, so please pay close attention. If there's anything you take away from this post this is it;
You're not in the acupuncture business. You're in the business of marketing your acupuncture practice.
When you accept this truth you will see things start happening for you. There's a reason why an average practitioner with good marketing can earn two or three times as much as the experienced acupuncturist with little or poor marketing.
I guess the point I'm trying to make is this; "It's better to be better at marketing than to be better at acupuncture." Yes I know you may disagree. Please understand I'm not saying you shouldn't strive for excellence in your profession. What I am saying is that there's a lot of excellent acupuncturists with great healing skills that are struggling while other less experienced practitioners are doing very well.
The secret is in the marketing.
Frank Prieto is a marketing strategist helping acupuncturists generate highly qualified leads from the internet and converting more of them into new patients.