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Entries in Internet Marketing (4)


How To Start Your Own Internet Business For The Risk-Averse Physician Entrepreneur

How To Turn Your Passion Into ProfitsNew

In a recent issue of Medical Economics, I was astonished when I read the title of the cover "Passion Powers Success". To my amazement, the topic was discussing Physician Entrepreneurship, and the importance of running your own business.

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For years, physician entrepreneurship was often considered "taboo". Just recently, I was approached to speak at a physician conference.  However once I had mentioned the title 'Becoming Your Own Boss"- they asked if we could change the topic to something else.

"We don't want to train doctors that way" - says a nameless physician spokesman, as if somehow my speech will cause an exodus of doctors leaving the field and cause mass destruction to our healthcare system.

Is the phrase “physician entrepreneur” an oxymoron?

Becoming an entrepreneur, does not necessarily means quitting your day job.  What it does give you is more choices of what you want to do in your life.  I know many entrepreneurs who still maintain a partial or even full practice, yet are enriched with the challenges and rewards that being one brings.

Now being an entrepreneur is obviously not without its risks. If you have ever watched the ABC Show “Shark Tank”, you will see evidence of everyday inventors who have spent their life savings on creating products, and later finding out the hard way that no one else would want to buy it.

Some think being an entrepreneur requires you to buy a business or franchise.  One couple I have been consulting with recently took over a jewelry business.  They rent store space, hired employees and pay massive overhead.  They take turns working at a store for 12 hours a day, including weekends, while still working their current job. Although they are now making a profit, they have in a sense “bought a second job”.

Many of the above examples, could have been solved by testing out ideas and products using the internet first.  The internet is the greatest level playing field we could every have.  It allows you to reach people in a cost-effective manner in almost any demographic, occupation, or niche market.  My client could have created a website selling jewelry, hired a virtual assistant to run and take orders, and avoid the extra financial costs of running a “brick and mortar” store.

And if you feel you do not have the technical knowhow in building a website, sometimes you don’t even need one! I recently had a great conversation with a radiologist who I helped get his first ebook onto Amazon.  In a short time period, he averages about 10 sales a day, and gets a nice check each month. The best part is he only had to create it once, but it is on a topic that is “evergreen”, content that will always be relevant,  where we both expect sales to continue for years to come.  He already has plans of creating five related books in this field by the end of the year now and building a nice nest egg for him and his family.

Becoming an entrepreneur opens you up to more business models and different ways of thinking. As doctors, generally we only make more money by seeing more patients.  However through the internet, you have the ability to create and launch products such as ebooks, apps, information products, newsletters, subscription sites, and home study online courses where it is created once and get paid on a regular basis. If the only way you are generating revenue is by seeing more patients, it is time to open and consider different avenues of revenue.


I Don’t Want to Eat Your Vomit

Are you just regurgitating what everyone else is saying?

Via Zen Punk Marketing

Regurgitating the same old wisdom is a problem for a lot of advice blogs (and podcasts), whether the topic is marketing, fiction writing, motorcycle safety or parenting.

“Build your business through relationships.” “Show, don’t tell.” “Point your chin in the direction you want the motorcycle to go.” “Don’t allow your toddlers to play with live hand grenades.”

It’s so easy to write a post on a topic that has been done to death. And I am guilty of this, too, at times. Let me tell you, regurgitating the same old wisdom we’ve heard multiple times from other sources is no way to market. It doesn’t encourage readers to stick around.

So how do you break out of this trap? How do you come up with original ideas that are genuinely helpful?

Well, I’m not going to tell you. Because then I would just be regurgitating someone else’s wisdom. And I know you don’t want to eat my vomit.

So where can you turn to get some origionality back?

Most of what keeps us uninteresting boils down to conformity, consistency, shared values, and yes, thinking about things the same way everyone else does. There’s nothing wrong with that necessarily, but if you can mentally accept that it’s actually nothing more than groupthink that helps a society function, you can then give yourself permission to turn everything that’s accepted upside down and shake out the illusions.

One way to view creative thinking is to look at it as a destructive force. You’re tearing away the often arbitrary rules that others have set for you, and asking either “why” or “why not” whenever confronted with the way “everyone” does things.

This is easier said than done, since people will often defend the rules they follow even in the face of evidence that the rule doesn’t work. People love to celebrate rebels like Richard Branson, but few seem brave enough to emulate him. Quit worshipping rule breakers and start breaking some rules.

If you'd like to learn from some rule breakers, here will be plenty at the Medical Fusion Conference


Print MD - Medical Marketing As A Side Business

Building a side business that utilizes your domain expertise and scales.

Print is a side business that I've built  to address a very specific need for medical spas and cosmetic practices: how to handle direct mail and marketing with professional design that doesn't break the bank.

Print is designed to do just that. It's a site where a plastic surgeon or cosmetic practice can get everything they need, from postcards, business cards, appointment cards and posters, all professionaly created and integrated into 'campaigns'.

View the current campaigns

The emphasis on a virtical niche that I have a lot of domain expertise in means that we can offer business cards, posters, referral and appointment cards that all match, ensure the highest quality design and printing, and give a price break. Nice.

Oh, and you can enter your own copy, address and even upload your logo to customize your marketing materials just the way you want. Click here for a demo.

The business end of this is a focus on using technology that scales. A cosmetic practice can now access custom design and professional copywriting for 20% of what it would cost them to produce it and they have the additional benefit of small, on-demand orders. So what if another clinic in another state has the same postcard...

This business model is possible because a typical design agency or print shop has to offer everything, has some hefty overhead costs and is constrained by geography, an online product isn't limited by those constraints. Better yet, there's no additional cost for additional sales.

Of course, developing this kind of side business does come with some risk. All of the effort and much of the cost is invested on the front end so if you build something that no one wants, you're SOL.

In this case, I've combined my own domain expertise in cosmetic medicine with my resources around design, copywriting, and marketing. Since I own a cosmetic medical community (Medical Spa MD), an advertising agency (Wild Blue) and some familiarity with markeing and sales, I'm pretty comfortable that this business will be part of a collective win.

With, I've designed the operations so that I am able to direct the business without working 'in' the business. All of the fulfillment, customer service, payment transactions and the rest are completely outsourced and it won't matter if the business takes a while to begin to turn a profit.

Since I'll be learing just a much from what doesn't sell as what does, I'll be able to quickly itterate and change direction. If there's a new product that I think may do well, I'll have a platfrom that I can test it with and make a determination to keep, dump or modify it quickly. Since I've developed this business on the side, it's effect is cumulative and I have enough control that I can tweak it constantly.

Of course this isn't the first business that I've started and it certainly won't be the last. The cumulative effect is that I've developed a process that allows me to create value that doesn't require a constant exchange of time for money. Instead, I invest at the beginning. It's only by detemining how the market is reacting to our business that you can make informed decisions. When you start a business of any kind, you'll hear lots of praise about what a great idea it is. It's only when people part with cash for your product or services that you'll know you're on to something.

Businesses always come with costs, even if it's only opportunity cost. So, if you're going to fail, fail fast.

If you're a physician that's looking to build revenue and income from businesses, services and products outside of your clinical practice, we'll be here to help.


5 Reasons For Physicians To Start An Online Business

Can you build an online business outside your medical career? An unequivocal YES!

When I started my business that originated from a hobby several years ago, I was only able to work on my internet business from 5am – 7:30am. Why those hours? The reason being, that was the only time period I had available outside of my clinical hours. Building a business these days is different from how it used to be. Today businesses can be built virtually with little overhead. Here are five reasons why you need to be starting an online business today.

1. An online business is inexpensive to startup. This isn’t the case with most medical practices. You can start a business with the price of a domain name (around $10 from and monthly hosting (such as from I have personally built businesses for the price of a cost of a good dinner for two.

2. An online business can be run from nearly anywhere. I have run a business from sitting at the back of a Starbucks, to flying at 30,000 feet with airplane wi-fi, to sitting on the beaches in Australia. Wherever you can bring a laptop and a decent internet connection, you can run the day-to-day your company – what other type of business can you say that about?

3. An online business can be outsourced. I have a physical office with less than 10 employees for my software company, however I also hire workers as independent contractors from around the world. I have writers who are based in the United Kingdom, programmers in Eastern Europe, and web designers in the Philippines. They all do quality work but they don’t need to be in my office for me to maintain it. You can work with independent contractors with sites such as or  (For more resources check out my blog at

4. An online business can start out small. Great websites start from simple ideas. Who would have thought businesses would have started from sending DVDs by mail (Netflix), project planning software (Basecamp), and coupons for local businesses (Groupon)? However, don’t feel you have to have a killer idea to start a sustainable business. Can you improve on an existing idea that will save people time and money?  If so you have the foundation for a successful business.

5. An online business can be scalable. Once you have an offer that works, you can grow your business in a systematic, simple approach. Most initial methods to market your practice can be done free or inexpensively, so there are fewer startup costs compared to a franchise or brick and motor company, and then you can reinvest your profits back in your business.  Unlike most practices, you no longer have to be the sole breadearner for your business. Hopefully this article sparks your imagination - I'd love to hear your ideas!

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