TCM: Marketing 101


I'd make a great cheerleader.  I'd be the guy to have in your boxing corner.  I'm the one to have on your shoulder in the clinic.  Because I'm on your side.

Listen - I know Michelle is flying all over Arizona to get that new sports medicine acupuncture certificate - and you're not.  You're stuck at home, with your partner and two snotty-nosed kids, helping patients and paying the bills.

I also know that you know that Keith said he sees over one-hundred patients a week - and you don't.  You've got a modest practice of twenty per week where you book off 60 minutes per patient, taking your time with each visit to make sure you get the diagnosis right, and you like to add the TDP lamp and some cupping to most visits.

Plus, you like to stop for lunch and make it to the downtown kettlebell class - where you and your friends get to vent about what your two-year-old flushed down the toilet this week while getting fit and feeling healthy.

I'm on your side.  I'm the guy who's been in practice for over ten years and I get it - that feeling of lack.  That feeling that someone out there is doing more, seeing more and, gasp, being more.  Trust me: they aren't.

Lack is a natural human trait and social media amplifies this concern.  Whenever we see other people 'through the technology looking-glass' we often change the looking-glass to a mirror and we compare.  I'm here to tell you the last thing any of us practitioners should be doing is comparing.  Other than reading my brilliant posts and watching my most entertaining (and informative) videos (oh, and listening to my podcast, too), if at any point you feel a sense of lack - really analyze it and try to find out where it's coming from.  And turn it off.

I honestly, and truly, feel that most practitioners buy the marketing course or jump to a new acupuncture style due to feelings of lack, fear and uncertainty of what the future will hold.

The elephant in the room is that all practitioners will become entrepreneurs.  There may be students loans, rent on a new space, and food to be placed on the table; the last thing this (almost) senior acupuncturist would ever want to see is someone buying a new pulse-reading machine or some guru's take on a marketing course.  Save your money and make it instead.

What if you still want more patients and it's coming from a place of earnest?  Again, instead of purchasing a marketing or acupuncture style course I implore you to put all your blood, sweat and tears into your current case load.  Call your patients after their first visit.  Check in with them when they are sick.  If you have a slow day, spend an extra ten minutes with a patient who you know could use some extra modalities.  Go above and beyond and your patient load will increase exponentially.

And please, please, please stop looking at what everyone else is doing.  Heck, Michelle's husband paid for the trip and Keith's tongue looks like one of my 80-year-old Yin Deficiency patients.  So there.

Kenton Sefcik