5 Things I did that exploded my acupuncture practice, without advertising
Marketing an acupuncture clinic and attracting patients can be hard, especially when we’re trained acupuncturists not trained marketers. We didn’t get into this medicine because we’re super stoked on acupuncture marketing, right?
No way, we just want to practice our medicine… not worry about marketing it. Unfortunately, it’s a big part of what we have to do… especially in the beginning.
Well, here are 5 things I did that really helped me grow my acupuncture clinic. Whether or not I realized what I was doing at the time 🙂 These are now at the core of what I teach in my acupuncture marketing courses.
I’m sharing it in hopes that it may help someone else on their journey. You can either watch the video or listen to the podcast, whichever is more convenient for you.
Here are five things that I did that exploded my acupuncture clinic and they might surprise you. No packages, no slick advertisements. As acupuncturists, we just want to practice our medicine… not worry about marketing it. But unfortunately, it’s a big part of what we have to do… especially in the beginning.
I’d love to hear from you… What things have helped you grow your acupuncture clinic? Have you worked on honing these? Do any of these resonate with you? Leave a comment below (scroll all the way down) and let me know.
In case you can’t watch right now, here’s a rough transcript:
Hi, I’m going to share with you five marketing strategies that made a huge difference in growing my acupuncture clinic, and they might surprise you.
Okay, so let’s dive in.
The first thing is I learned to cultivate my confidence, and I chose confidence instead of the voice of my inner critic. And I chose to believe in myself and I deliberately learned to communicate confidently. So what I mean by this is that confidence didn’t just come naturally to me, but it is something that I realized we first have to choose. Give yourself permission to feel confidence, choose it over that voice and that inner critic.
And I think we tend to think it’s something you’re either born with and have or don’t have. But it turns out that, actually based on ancient Daoist texts, it’s something we can cultivate and we can learn. And confidence is also something we communicate. It’s a communication event. It’s not just something you either have or don’t have, but we can cultivate it and we can communicate it.
I focused in on cultivating my confidence, because your patients can feel whether you have confidence or not, and they’re constantly asking themselves, can I trust this person? Am I in the right place? Can this person really help me? Am I wasting my time or money? And so you’ve got to to be able to lead them with hope, saying, yes, you’re in the right place. And I think I can help. And what I think is important to know is that for a lot of us, it didn’t come naturally.
And it’s okay if when you graduate you’re like, oh my gosh, I have so much to learn. Can I really help? I’m not sure. We all have that inner critic and that imposter syndrome and that’s okay. And you can learn to cultivate confidence. And this is something I love to teach and help acupuncturists with that we cover in the prospering.
Number two is I honed my intake process. So I made sure that my intake process, that first initial visit, that it builds trust. And I made sure I was educating my patients on the treatment plan, letting them know they’re in the right place. I have confidence, I have hope for you. I understand you. I have a process and a plan for you. And here’s the plan.
I think that in school we need to be taught this so much more. We’re taught the 10 questions, how to do the questioning for the intake, but people are not robots. You don’t just need to get information for a diagnosis from them. We also are educating them, building a relationship, building trust, and there are things that we all need to know about how to deliver an effective intake process.
Number three, I built my authority. I didn’t realize I was doing this actually. I did this by blogging regularly. That’s not the only way to do it. There are many ways to build your authority, and I love helping acupuncturists figure out what their best medium for this is.
I was blogging thinking I was just helping my SEO. Turns out I was also really building my authority. I created content that shared my wisdom, that let people know I have answers. I’m an expert. Here’s a piece of it, and you’re in the right place and you can trust me and here’s a little piece of how I work and how I think. And it really strongly built my authority and made people who landed on my website or discovered me through social media, they could see that and say, wow, this person knows what she’s talking about and has some answers. Yeah. So that really, really helped me, and I didn’t even realize what I was doing.
And number four, I worked on my SEO, and I did it myself. You don’t need to pay someone to do it for you. In fact, I think you are the best person to do your SEO because you know your medicine, you know your patients and your audience better than anyone else, and you have control over your website. And it’s not hard, in 10 simple steps, you can boost your SEO. And SEO is search engine optimization, by the way. And it’s how you show up in a Google search. Do you show up on page one, page two, page 10? The magic of this is that you can pay for advertising, but you don’t know that those people who are seeing your ad are actually in need of your services. Right?
When someone types into Google and is looking for an acupuncturist in Denver, acupuncturists for fertility in Denver, they are looking for you. And if you show up in that exact moment when they want you, that is a powerful thing. It’s a service, a powerful service you provide your patients and potential patients to be there in the exact moment that they want you. So that is why working on your SEO is super powerful. Better than any advertising. And especially if you’ve built your authority, so when they land on your website they, oh, I trust this person. It’s really powerful.
And it leads us to number five.
The fifth thing I did that exploded my acupuncture practice is I continued to tweak my website so that it actually resonates with my patients and potential patients and inspires them to action. So I didn’t just design it once and leave it. I still go back in and tweak my website sometimes. And so don’t just leave your website and think it’s done.
The more you get to understand your patients deeply and… You know, we have an amazing gift, that we have patients sit down in our intake chair and we hear their needs, their desires, their fears, their challenges. Big companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to do that market research. We have them right there and we know our patients deeply. And you want to let people know who land on your website, that you’re an expert, that you understand them and that you can confidently guide them to where they want to be.
The best way to build your practice and attract your following is, I think, with these five steps, not by spending money on ads. Not by being pushy or salesy or slimy, but by showing up as a compassionate leader, exactly when they need you, letting them know that they can trust you.
And it actually feels really good, to me, to be like, wow, that is what I stand for. Wow, yeah, I do. And it’s stepping into my worth even, saying I do have things to offer. That is what I believe. I’m going to put it out there. And leading by giving, by building that authority, I’m leading by contributing, by saying I’m not going to attach so tightly to all the ways I can help people. I’m going to actually give some of this wisdom for free.
I see acupuncturists say, “they need to pay me to get that information”, and it’s kind of like saying I’m not going to put logs on a fire until the fire warms me, which is just not how it works. You have to put logs on the fire in order to get that warmth, you’ve got to feed it, lead by contribution. And it always comes back around, and it feels really good. You can help the world even with your marketing message. Yeah. Okay.
So I hope that helps. It’s that simple. No packages, no slick advertisements. My clinic grew to 20 patients a week within the first 10 months of practice and it snowballed from there. I think those first few patients are the hardest. My loans were paid off within four years of graduating and then I stopped taking new patients, hired associates, started a wait list. And patients are clamoring to come to our clinic because I’ve built authority and connection and authentic messaging that resonates and inspires them. And it’s true from my heart as well.
So I’m kind of blown away by this and this is what I love teaching other acupuncturists to do, and I show you exactly how to do this in the marketing course Attract More Acupuncture Patients. I’ll let you know when it opens up. Be sure to get on my VIP list in the meantime. So that’s by going to my website and downloading my top 10 tips, and then you’ll be notified when it opens up. But I hope this helps and keep doing what you’re doing because the world needs you. Thanks.
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!