Mine did. I admit, I knew nothing about marketing a massage business, so I just did what everybody else did. Well, not exactly. Most of them actually had a massage business.
Still, I used a similar-looking logo, my massage business cards blended with all the others, and my ads used wording very much like the other ads I saw.
Yes, I did get some clients marketing my massage business that way, but not nearly enough to make a living.
If you look for massage therapists in the Yellow Pages, you’re going to see massage businesses using words like feather, angel, touch, balance, healing, and tranquility. Now, all these fit with massage therapy.
But if you market your massage business the same way others market theirs, you blend in, and your message never gets through. To get noticed your massage business has to look different, feel different, and be different.
How do you do this?
One way to make your massage business stand out is to give it a name that doesn’t blend in with the others. For example, a friend of mine who specialized in deep tissue massage named his massage business, “Jackhammer Massage.”
Now, if you’re looking through a list of massage businesses and you see a list of words like feather, angel, jackhammer, and relaxing, which one do you think would stand out? I thought it was brilliant.
Another way for your massage business to stand out is to provide outstanding customer service, treat your current clients like gold, and continually ask them for referrals. Too many massage therapists, it seems, don’t understand how to build relationships.
Did I say referrals? Definitely. You need to ask every client who lies on your table for a referral. You’d be surprised how quickly this can build your massage business.
Another friend of mine built her entire massage business on referrals alone. She gave everyone she massaged a stack of about 10 of her massage business cards and asked them to send their friends and family to her.
They did. Within a year, her massage business had 2 other massage therapists working under her, and she moved into a new place.
Keep in mind, this is only from referrals, and all she did was ask for them. This is an extremely simple but effective way to build a huge massage business really fast.
Also, having a polished website puts your massage business way above the rest. Most massage therapists have websites, but few have websites that are pleasing to the eye, inform potential clients about the benefits of massage therapy, and have a convenient way to contact the massage therapist.
If your massage business has a website like this then you have a huge advantage over those using free web services. Cutting corners here screams your lack of professionalism.
I’m always disappointed when I visit a massage therapist’s blog, and it’s hosted by one of the free services. My first thought is always, “If you can’t afford a decent website that costs about ten bucks a month, where else are you cutting corners?”
You don’t want potential clients for your massage business having thoughts like these. You want to come off as being a solid professional. With the right website, you can literally own your local market.
Probably the most powerful way to stand out when marketing your massage business is to stay in communication with your clients. Phone calls, postcards, and gifts are awesome ways to make sure you and your massage business are never far from your client’s mind.
Never forget that people do business with those they know, like, and trust. Calling your clients fairly regularly, sending them postcards and gifts, and showing interest in them insures you’ll have that trust, and your massage business will have all the repeat business you can handle.
If you don’t build relationships, it’s impossible to build a successful massage business. If your clients don’t feel like they know, like, and trust you, they probably won’t be back.
And, possibly even more important, they won’t send their friends and family to see you. Without that sense of relationship, people won’t really care about you or your massage business.
Be sure to check out my free report, “7 Steps to 60 Clients in 90 Days,” where I give you a step-by-step blueprint for building a successful massage business.
At least that’s what I told myself when I was struggling trying to build my own massage business. That’s also what they said in massage school. Nobody told me how much time it would take, however.
I honestly didn’t become disheartened in my massage business until my friends started quitting their jobs and doing massage full time.
These people graduated massage school when I did. I was nowhere near being able to quit my time-sucking, graveyard shift, and demeaning hard labor and operate the massage business of my dreams.
Frustrated doesn’t even begin to describe what I felt.
What’s more, is that nobody could help, it seemed. I kept getting the same old tired advice. Just talk to more people. Put ads everywhere.
Well, I did all those things, and nothing much changed as far as my massage business goes. Yes, I’d get clients, but they’d disappear, never to be heard from again as soon as they left my office.
Had I known about these strategies to build my massage business back then, it sure would have caused my life to be a lot easier.
Massage Business Strategy #1: Network only with potential customers
I used to talk to everybody about massage therapy. That’s what I was told to do. Looking back now, I see how much time I wasted.
The truth is, even though everybody can benefit from massage, most people aren’t open to getting one. You know those unredeemed gift certificates that were purchased as Christmas gifts that are still sitting around in July? Yea, that’s what I’m talking about.
Think about it: Less than a quarter of the population gets massages.
Why would you want to market your massage business to people who wouldn’t dream of getting a massage? That would be like trying to sell steaks to vegetarians.
If you’re like me, you might feel like you’re trying to convince people of the benefits of massage. Trust me when I tell you that you won’t build a massage business that way. If you do that, you’re fighting an uphill battle you’re sure to lose.
It’s so much easier when you select only qualified people to spend time with. If someone comes off as being negative or not open to massage at all, run away, don’t walk.
Most people have an opinion of massage, and most will be happy to go on and on about “massage parlors” and share with you what little they really know about massage. Wasting time with these people will do nothing to build your massage business.
Massage Business Strategy #2: Ask for referrals
This simple action builds massage businesses. Referrals power up your marketing efforts because you’re borrowing the credibility of your client.
What am I talking about?
Well, you see, people do business with those they know, like, and trust. If you ask your client to refer her friends and family to you, there’s a good chance her friends and family trust her.
So, even though you don’t have the trust of the person just yet, you do have your client’s trust working for you. You can build a huge massage business this way.
How do you get referrals? This one is easy . . . You ask.
You just tell your client that you would really appreciate any referrals he can send your way. Tell him what your ideal client is like, and give him some business cards. Most of your clients will be happy to help you build your massage business.
Some massage therapists rely solely on referrals. With good reason: It works.
Massage Business Strategy #3: Stay in touch
Holding on to your regular clients builds your massage business in ways you’ll never be able to if you only focus on getting new clients.
For one, keeping your clients costs less. You don’t have to convince them what a massage from you is going to be like. They already know. This means you can focus less on marketing your massage business and more on building relationships with your already established ones.
What’s the best way to stay in touch with your clients?
The phone is good, and I’d suggest you put it to use. Give your clients a call a couple times a month just to see how they’re doing.
Sending postcards, however, gives the client something tangible. When she gets a card in the mail from you, it automatically generates good feelings. This increases the likelihood she’ll be scheduling another massage soon.
For more strategies, be sure to check out my free report, “7 Steps to 60 Clients in 90 Days,” which lays out the exact system I used to build my massage business.
In fact if your massage marketing efforts are focusing on the population as a whole, you’re wasting a huge amount of time, money, and energy.
According to some studies, only 23% of the population has actually received a massage, and are likely to get a massage again. Consider this the next time you’re thinking about putting together your massage marketing campaign.
That means that 77% of the population is not even open to massage. Why on Earth would you want to try to market to those people? Unfortunately, this is how most massage therapists focus their massage marketing.
The key phrase you should consider is, “target market.”
The trick, it would seem, is to focus your massage marketing on the people open to massage and make them aware of your services. This is not really as difficult as it might seem.
Massage Marketing Tip #1: Work with a chiropractor
Working with a chiropractor can put you face-to-face with many people who can use your services. These people are your target market. Focusing your massage marketing on them will build your massage business much quicker than trying to get just anybody on your table.
Developing relationships with these people might mean a client for life. How do you do this? Ask the chiropractor to introduce you to his patients. If possible, find out some of their interests. Then, the next time you see them, say something like, “Hey, those Cowboys sure are kicking butt this year, eh?”
With massage marketing, relationships are key.
Plus, working in a chiropractic office gives you instant credibility. Despite the misconceived notion that “They’re not really doctors,” their patients believe otherwise. And, if you’re affiliated with a chiropractor and he’s recommending your services, well there are few massage marketing techniques more effective.
Massage Marketing Tip #2: Rent a mailing list
When I was contemplating my own massage marketing strategy when I graduated massage school, I actually did this first thing. Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to hold onto those clients at the time.
You can go to a list specialist who can find a large list of people in your area who have had a massage say, in the last 5 years. This massage marketing strategy even allows you to target people with certain income levels, who live in certain zip codes, or are male or female.
The trick to using massage marketing methods like purchased mailing lists is knowing who your target market really is. I’ve found females who have had a massage in the last 6 months and with incomes above $100,000 to be the most receptive.
Talk about being targeted!
Massage Marketing Tip #3: Find them online
Using this massage marketing method, you simply write an ebook or special report about something like back pain, then give it away online in exchange for people’s name, email, and phone number.
Then, you can target your audience to where only local prospects see your ad. Pay Per Click advertising is really best for this, but there are some techniques you really have to know before you do a Pay Per Click campaign.
If your report is well-written, you have instant credibility with the client as soon as they read it. When you call them up or email them, they’ll feel like they already know you, which is the first step to trusting you.
And you probably already know that people do business with those they know, like and trust.
To use this massage marketing method, you’re going to have to have a website, preferably a blog, with lots of information on it about massage. After setting up your blog, I’d make a blog post every day for at least 2 weeks before trying to send traffic there with Pay Per Click.
To really do this effectively, you’re going to need to know about things like SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, to make sure your website gets found. It’s no good writing quality articles and blog posts if nobody in your target market reads them.
If you’re serious about massage marketing online, I’d recommend starting a self-hosted blog from WordPress.org, and buying a plugin called SEO Pressor. This makes sure all your pages and posts are optimized for the major search engines.
Massage Marketing Tip #4: Business cards
When using business cards in your massage marketing strategy, please don’t do stupid stuff like leaving them in public restrooms. Is that really the kind of message you want to put out there?
Here’s a better way: Give everybody you know and like at least 10 of your business cards, and ask them to do you a favor. That favor, of course, is to have them give your cards to 10 of their friends.
Do you see the power in this massage marketing technique?
If you have 10 friends who give your business cards to 10 of their friends, that’s 100 people who now have your contact information and know that you do massage!