Congratulations OCOM Grads!
You have MUCH to celebrate and be proud of! Take some time to reflect on your grand achievement, and recuperate from all your hard work.
In my opinion, you have just joined the Best Profession on Earth!
And now it is time to leave your cozy OCOM nest and learn to fly! You are well-prepared. Trust yourself.
I enjoyed talking to you about Practice Management and Marketing. I hope you have a new perspective on how to market your services, skills, and unique knowledge. In the age of the world wide web your acupuncture practice is no longer limited by time (the amount of time you can see people in one day) and location (the number of patients in your immediate area). By offering Digital Media in the form of good quality website content, e-books, e-courses, and anything else your imagination can create, you have the opportunity to be an "Infopreneur". If you learn to use your acupuncture business website to achieve an active income from local patients and a passive income from global customers, you can maximize your income potential (and start paying off your "investment-debt" sooner!)
Do not feel like you have to start coming up with e-books and e-courses right now. Just slowly get your website designed properly so that when inspiration strikes (because it will!), you have everything ready.
Keyword Search Tools
In answer to the gentleman who asked where I got the "demand numbers for words like "chinese medicine" versus "oriental medicine" and "points" versus "acupressure points" versus "pressure points", there are several FREE tools online that I use. This is not an exact science so do not be "number bound". Trust your gut!
If you are searching more than one word, use quotations. (Example: "chinese medicine")
1. Google's Overture - gives exact numbers of searches in the previous month. It's finicky and can take some time. Patience, Grasshopper.
2. Google's Adwords Keyword Tool - gives "low", "average", and "high" indicators for search volume. Although it does not give exact numbers, it's still useful. If this link does not work, you may need to sign up for a free Google account in order to use it.
3. Search It! - is a very powerful tool for checking everything from keyword search volume to domain names. Some of the features only work if you are a Site Build It owner. Full use of Search It is included on the Site Build It computer building package.
4. Wordtracker- The Premier Keyword Research Tool for Search Engine Optimization. Go to the "Free Trial" Tab and take it for a test run. This tool gives exact numbers, but requires a payment after the free trial ends.
Do It Yourself or
Hire a Web Designer
Whether you decide to create your own site or hire a webmaster, you will still be doing a lot of work. Take your time and do things well. Only YOU can write the content of your website! I recommend learning the process so you can have a direct influence on how your business is marketed, and you can continue to build it throughout your career. You can always negotiate a middle ground where a web designer gets your site going and then teaches you how to take over. Be very clear on how you negotiate payment for those terms, however.
As you know, I use Site Build It for Insights-For-Acupuncturists, therefore SBI is the all-in-one package I recommend. I KNOW it works because I did not have any web building experience at all prior to this website. All I did was dedicate myself to following their step-by-step 10-Day Action Guide (which really takes more like 30 days). There may be other good web building programs out there, but I do not know about them.
What I can tell you is Site Build It has a solid reputation and has been around for a number of years. They have Free Trial option so you can test out the features before you decide to buy. If you have any questions, please contact me. I'm happy to answer questions. Also, I can provide you with a guest password to the Forums if you'd like a behind-the-scenes look at how good the support is.
Hire a Web Master from Site Build It. This is another option if you really need to hire someone. With an SBI web designer you know you will get someone who understands the importance of keyword-focussed content web pages. Part of their job will be to work with you to determine what words/subjects you need to write about. All the design and organization of your website to make it Search Engine friendly and rank well will be the webmaster's responsibility. Your job will be to write most of the content of your site, but you will have a skilled teacher to help you along the way.
What Not to Name Your Practice
Just in case you missed it, here's the "mistake" I made naming my practice. Enjoy. (And learn!)
What Not to Name Your Practice
How I Opened Points of Origin, PLLC: The Long Version
Tips For Choosing a Clinic Name
My Clinic Website
I am in the process of turning Points of Origin's Clinic website in to a Site Build It, keyword-focussed content site. If you want to watch the transition keep checking in at PointsOfOrigin.com.
If you notice, PointsofOrigin.com "re-directs" to Alternative-Medicine-Works.com because this is the name of my new SBI site. I could have kept my Points of Origin domain name but after doing some of the Keyword Demand techniques in the 10-Day Action Guide I learned that the words "Alternative Medicine" have much higher demand. Of course, they also have a higher Supply, therefore competition. That's okay. I'm such a big believer in the SBI system, I know if I follow the steps my site will do very well in time.
My specific goals for my acupuncture clinic website are to:
1. Write about 60 pages of keyword-focussed content over the next year. (remember, I'm working full time AND writing Insights-For-Acupuncturists!)
2. Have Alternative-Medicine-Works rank around 1,000,000 according to www.alexa.com within 6-8 months.
3. Be in the Top 10 for Google & Live for searches for:
- "Acupuncture/ist Vancouver" - this will be interesting since vancouver, B.C. always comes up with this search.
- "Acupuncture/ist Camas" - piece of cake.
- "Acupuncure/ist Portland" - this could be tough, but a good challenge.
4. Get 100 solid backlinks into the site (for Free) in about 6-8 months.
5. Watch my Traffic climb from the current 0-10 visitors per day to a steady 50-100 with a year.
6. Begin monetization (earning a passive income through affiliate partnerships and Google Adsense) within 6-8 months.
If you look at my Points of Origin Clinic website today (August 2007), you can see it is a typical "brochure site" with 10 pages of the bare necessities.
Follow my progress with me and let me know what you think! Also if any of you have business websites that you want me to watch climb in the ranking, let me know so I can cheer you one!
Thank You OCOM Grads!
Keep up the Good Work!