Marketing Your Acupuncture Practice

**UPDATE** Insights For Acupuncturists is undergoing a renovation! So much has changed since I originally created this website it in 2007. I'll be updating the best information, resources and the latest, greatest marketing strategies for acupuncturists. If you have a topic you are struggling with, let me know by clicking here. Thanks! ~Lisa Hanfileti, LAc

Marketing your acupuncture practice

Marketing to most acupuncturists conjures up distasteful images of pushy salesmen using unethical sales tactics.

You must let go of that notion and start thinking of marketing as one simple concept:

Marketing is a Strategic Method of Telling People WHO You Are & HOW You Can Help Them.

There are many ways to accomplish this. You do not have to stand on the street corner with a megaphone, but you do need to create a way for potential customers to learn about you.

Some marketing methods are costly and some are free. You will have to make choices and experiment with what feels right and fits your budget.

One thing you cannot afford to do is to ignore marketing your new business. You must find marketing methods that get your message out in a way that you are comfortable with.

You can market your acupuncture practice in a tasteful way that is friendly and matches your individual style.

Marketing Basics

The only way to allow patients to benefit from your unique knowledge, skills, and services is to tell them:

Market your acupuncture practice and get referrals by sending REAL cards from your computer. (Serisoulsy, you don;t even have to go buy stamps or drive to the post office!)
  1. Who You Are
  2. What You Do
  3. Where You Are Located
  4. How You Can Be Contacted
  5. When You Are Open
  6. Why They Need You

Only one of these pieces of information is crucial when it comes to marketing your acupuncture practice, and most acupuncturists ignore it.

What you do is TCM, acupuncture, herbal medicine, shiatsu, or anythings else you decide.

Where you are located and How you can be contacted are your address and phone number.

Why your patients need you is because acupuncture and TCM effectively treat the conditions listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as many other health concerns.

All of this is important but generic information.

The one thing that separates YOU as an acupuncturist is Who You Are. Unlike any other profession, how and why you became an acupuncturist is a valuable and marketable resource that is often overlooked.

Your Niche is YOU

I have heard many acupuncturists say that you have to specialize in a certain area of acupuncture treatment, like infertility, addictions, emotional issues, or sports injuries, and then market yourself to people in those groups.

I have a different approach that I believe is not only far more effective, but it's easier!

All you have to do is look to your own experience. Every acupuncturist has a unique story as to why he or she became an acupuncturist.

What separates us from every other health care profession is that very few (if any) of us grew up experiencing, understanding, or believing in acupuncture.

Instead we had some kind of experience, sometimes traumatic, that led us into this strange world of energy medicine. Your evolution, beliefs, and experiences make your perspective and therefore your application of TCM unique.

How and why you became an acupuncturist is your story, all you have to do is learn to tell it.

As an example, my background is in research as a biologist. I was very skeptical of acupuncture until I experienced it. (Read my story, "From Acupuncture Skeptic To Believer And Beyond".) I therefore relate very well to patients who have a "prove it to me" attitude and need scientific and research-based explanations for acupuncture.

I also spent years working as an Embryologist and Andrologist in two different IVF fertility clinics. I have a strong background in reproductive endocrinology and treat many women with fertility issues. I am able to translate their lab work for them and help them understand the often overwhelming IVF pregnancy statistics.

I have two big dogs, one (pictured on the right with acupuncture needles in his head) has an eye disorder, hip dysplasia and seizures. I have successfully managed these conditions with acupuncture, herbs, fish oil, and nutritional supplements.

My other dog has a strange neurological disorder that affects her neck and orientation. She has also been treated with acupuncture, along with prescription medications and supplements and she continues to do very well.

Of course I am not a veterinarian and therefore do not professionally treat dogs with acupuncture, but holistic health care for pets is an area of great interest to many of my patients and I can help them find acupuncture and other holistic resources for their furry family.

This creates a natural bond and feeling of rapport between myself and my patients. You too can find ways to share your life experiences and interests to develop your unique niche.

Let Your Niche Choose You

I know a person who got into acupuncture because their parent received it for hospice care. Now that acupuncturist is devoted to providing acupuncture for people in hospice.

I know of another acupuncturist who sustained life threatening injuries from a motor vehicle accident and used acupuncture to beat and surpass the predicted recovery odds. She now has a large population of patients who have auto accident-related issues. They are relieved to be treated by someone who has been through what they are going through.

Learn how to utilize, market, and share your story. Your journey can be a tremendous asset and attraction for others to seek out YOU and your services.

This is where marketing methods become extremely important. The way you tell people who you are can be the most effective marketing method acupuncturists have.

It is by far the most powerful yet underutilized method we have at our disposal, and yet it is a tool I did not understand until I had already been in practice for over 7 years!

Do not make the same mistake I did.

Start today by learning about the different ways to market your acupuncture practice and decide which marketing method is the most effective, efficient, and rewarding.

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