Seven years ago when I opened the doors to my brand new acupuncture clinic, I was full of excitement and ready to see the dozens of patients who would flock to my treatment table each week. Certainly all those people who had offered to be “guinea pigs” while I was in school would be calling to make appointments. And, of course, anyone who knew me would want to squeeze into my busy schedule for a treatment. I thought that I would work three or four days a week, or even more if I became too busy.
I sent out a letter to everyone I knew that I was now open for business, and waited for the phone to start ringing off the hook. I waited…and waited…and waited. WTF? Was my phone working? Did everyone get my letter? Don’t they know I’m ready for them now? Where are all the patients??
Okay, so maybe your story has a little different spin, but the theme is the same. You’d like more patients. You’re a great practitioner and you have the skills and compassion to really make a difference in many peoples’ lives. You just need to get the word out there that you exist and that you can help them.
I have talked with many acupuncturists throughout the United States, and while there are some that are wildly successful, many are struggling to fill their appointment books and attract enough new patients to sustain them. My guess is that if you’re checking out this website, you may be struggling, too.
My goal is to help you build your practice in ways that feel genuine and comfortable, while being relatively inexpensive. I believe that our profession as a whole needs to grow and become visible and accepted for all of us to become successful.
I teach practice management at my local acupuncture college, and have always been a willing mentor to alternative health students and practitioners. I have hosted numerous field trips to our clinic for both acupuncture and massage therapy students, I have served on the advisory board of a local massage school, and I have met regularly with students and other practitioners who are working hard to be good and successful practitioners. I also work as a consultant and business coach with private clients.
Hosting this website is one more way that I can help further my profession. My vision is to offer guidance, tips, and support for practitioners who are trying to fill their practice. It is also my vision that other practitioners will join me in my mission to mentor those who need help, by offering their own advice, comments, and success stories.
The rest of my story is that I sat around for a couple of months waiting for the hoards of patients to beat down my door. When I realized that wasn’t going to happen, I got busy. I met with people who could help me, I read dozens of marketing books, and tried a number of marketing strategies. I settled on a combination of marketing methods that seem to work best for me. My practice is now successful in that my appointment book fills up, I see a regular stream of new patients, and I’m enjoying my work.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t have to market anymore. Just like any practitioner, there are times that are busier than others. I find that when I get really busy, I don’t put as much effort into marketing, and a month or two down the road, I pay the price with a drop in my patient numbers. The reality is that you will always need to market yourself and your practice, even in the busiest of times, to keep a steady flow of patients coming in your door. I now know what I need to do to keep my practice busy and successful, and would like to share those insights with you.
More About Lynn
As a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.), Lynn practices at Acupuncture in the Park, in Minneapolis, MN. She has hands on experience in building a successful acupuncture practice from scratch. Lynn teaches practice management classes at Northwestern Health Sciences University, and has a long history of mentoring both acupuncture students and new practitioners. In addition, Lynn has talked on practice management at complementary therapy schools, hosted graduating students at her clinic to learn about practice management, and written numerous articles on building a complementary therapy practice.
Lynn is the author of the book, Simple Steps: The Chinese Way to Better Health, a clear and concise explanation of Chinese medicine for the lay person. She is co-author of the book, The BodyWise Woman, a personal health manual for physically active women and girls. Lynn has also written articles on practice management, marketing, health, acupuncture, and Chinese medicine for several publications.
As a public speaker, Lynn is committed to sharing information not only about practice building, but also on acupuncture, good health, and Chinese medicine. She has addressed a wide variety of audiences on several topics.