12 Things I’m embarrassed to tell you
Here are 12 things I’m a little embarrassed to tell you, that I think you should know about me!
#1 – I never “network”
I went to a few networking groups and events my first year in practice, and (as an introvert) I felt soo awkward and uncomfortable. So I stopped. I have grown my network over the years with several chiros, therapists, PTs, and doctors that refer to me. But those relationships developed organically, not from a networking group or event.
#2 – I haven’t done any advertising for my acupuncture clinic in years
I did a few flyers when I first started my practice that got an influx of patients in the door. I used to give a talk twice a year at a local university. And I did two Facebook ads when I hired my associates in order to get their schedules busy. And that’s it. None since. Now the only things I advertise are my online courses.
#3 – I’m lazy when it comes to marketing my acupuncture practice
My “marketing” runs on autopilot, without me feeling like I’m really “marketing”. I want to focus on what I love – treating my patients – NOT marketing. I have a steady inflow of patients without working on it from 1) referrals and 2) my website.
I DIYed my SEO for my website, and got myself to page 1 of Google in my city. I made sure my website actually makes people want to work with me and schedule an appointment instead of just click away. And now I can be lazzzzzzzy at marketing and the patients keep flowing in, yessss!
People are always asking me who did my SEO, and are shocked when I tell them I did it myself. You can too, I show you exactly how to do it here.
#4 – I hate “selling” and I am terrible at it
I don’t sell. I’m a terrible saleswoman. Can you tell? I hardly ever write to promote my AcuProsper Courses. Heck, many of you probably don’t even KNOW all the courses that are available on AcuProsper. I think because I was able to build a full practice and pay off my student loans without ever feeling like I was “selling” anything, I feel like I don’t have to sell to succeed. I just have to focus on serving. Not selling, ick.
#5 – I’m trying to figure out the whole mom/business owner balance thing
Sometimes I feel like I have the best of both worlds and in fact women CAN have it ALL. And sometimes I cry when I think about trying to make it to the grocery store. So you know… balance!
#6 – It took months to make my first online course sale, and I totally felt like I had failed
Yah. Crickets. But then I remembered my “WHY” and kept going and it paid off.
#7 – I leave money on the table, because I only want to do things that feel good
For example, I only have one Facebook group (for ProsperRing grads, that I love), although I shouuuuuld have one for each of my online courses (Becoming Mama, How to Attract More Acupuncture Patients, and Start Your Acupuncture Practice). But I don’t want to spend my time on Facebook. So I don’t.
Another example, I very often don’t charge the cancellation fee for patients who reschedule within 24 hours of their appointment. I know things come up and I don’t want to make people feel anxious to schedule with me for fear that something will come up and they’ll be penalized. My patients tend to be very loyal and stick around and show up, and I’m willing to give them a little slack when they need it.
#8 – I hardly ever email my list
It makes me feel spammy, so I don’t do it unless I can really offer value and/or connect. And when I do, it’s so well worth it.
#9 – I kind of hate Facebook and try to spend as little time on social media as possible
I enjoy Instagram more than Facebook, but really don’t want to spend that much time on my phone (especially now that I have a 6 month old daughter whom I want to be a good model for). So I schedule all of my social media posts for the month in advance. In less than 1 hour a month. So that I don’t get sucked into that world and can spend as much time as possible in the present moment with my friends and family. I’m so thankful I’ve figured out how to schedule it all in advance. I also think that “batching” makes it far more efficient.
#10 – I don’t offer packages or discounts of any kind for my services, partially because I’m lazy
And partially because I don’t think it’s necessary to “incentivize” people to “commit to their care”. They come to me because they have a problem they want fixed. They’re obviously going to be willing to do what I recommend in order for them to get the result they desire. I don’t want money to be part of the discussion. I don’t like talking about $ and I don’t like feeling salesy. I believe that if I build enough trust with people, that they will take my compassionate advice. And that’s what happens. Without the hassle of having to keep track of someone’s # of visits for their package. I want to keep it simple.
#11 – I don’t have a referral incentive program, or even send thank you notes for referrals
Not even to doctors who refer to me. I believe that people refer others because they want to help that person, and if they trust me then it will be me they refer people to. Not because they’ll receive a bonus or discount or a thank you note from me. I appreciate the trust and do everything I can to continue earning that person’s trust. Not by sending notes or rewards, but by being a trustworthy person and practitioner.
#12 – I’m never at work to work ON my business when I’m not seeing patients
It runs on autopilot. I hate when things get backed up or I didn’t stick with my routines and systems and have to spend hours in my office doing tedious things like paperwork, billing, or bookkeeping. Ugh, that’s the worst. That’s when being a business owner feels hard. I learned that pretty early on and, in honor of my own happiness, I created systems and routines for everything that needs to get done in my business and it all happens on autopilot. So now I’m only in the office when I’m seeing patients, and working IN my business.
So there you have it – 12 things I’m embarrassed to tell you. I know, I know, a lot of people may judge me for these things. Because it’s not what we’re told we “should” be or do (and because maybe some of these make me seem lazy?). But you know what? I’m actually ok with all of these things! Screw the “shoulds”. Plus, I don’t think things need to be hard to be good. I think we’ve been fed a lie that we need to work harder, hustle, and do more more more. I think we just need to work smarter, not harder. And, as Gabby Bernstein says, take spiritually-aligned action. I love that.
I’m not the typical business teacher who’s going to tell you to do a bunch of things that I wouldn’t do myself. I think that feeling good and spiritually aligned is an integral part of building success. I think you should be yourself, and make your business work for YOU. Not the other way around.
I’m not saying I’ve cracked the code on anything. But I am willing to share what’s worked for me and enabled me to build a 6 figure practice, pay off my loans, and live a life I love. That’s why I created AcuProsper – because I want more acupuncturists to thrive. I think we can change the world if we can spread our message and our medicine to more people.
Alright, thanks for listening to my confessions!
P.S. If you want to learn how I grew my business in a way that felt good and ironically didn’t involve a lot of actual advertising, I share that with you in the Attract More Acupuncture Patients course.
Hi! I'm Katie Altneu
I'm an acupuncturist, herbalist, & business teacher
My acupuncture clinic in Denver, CO makes me so happy. It's full enough to support my life, and simple enough to give me peace of mind. I'm a firm believer that bigger is not always better and that we need to "stop the glorification of busy".
I want your acupuncture clinic to be as full as you'd like it to be. I want acupuncturists to know how to inspire-to-action the people who need us and our medicine. And I believe the best strategies are simple and heartfelt.
Combining my prior education & career in business & finance with my personal experience starting and growing my clinic, I love teaching acupuncturists to master the business side of their clinics. I believe in you and I'm so glad you're here!