A little Halloween fun!
Quick… you know your clients better than anyone; think of three reasons why someone would book a massage.
Perhaps it is because they are experiencing lower back pain that is made better by massage. Maybe that person is an athlete and suffers many injuries, or maybe he or she just wants couple minutes of relaxation that they are not going to get anywhere else. Massages can help soothe sore muscles—only ten minutes can reduce inflammation which aids the body with recovery.
You can grow your business by learning why clients book with you. It’s easier to find more clients once you know what motivates someone to book with you in the first place.
People book a massage because they want something. You are that therapist that gives your clients what they need. If someone is experiencing lower back pain or a lot of strain on the muscles, he or she wants you to relieve those symptoms—making the muscles limber and more relaxed. And there are those who lead stressful lives and want you to help get rid of the tension.
What this means for you is that your client depends on you to alleviate pressure, target problem areas and make them feel good on a whole. It sounds obvious, but sometimes it is easy to forget someone wants something from you. Your goal is make certain your client leaves the session feeling better than before.
Did you ever have that one client that you did not like all that much but you continued to smile and persist with sessions nonetheless? You thought he would go away and never come back, but just like clockwork; there he is right on time. I bet you’ve wondered why. It’s because he enjoys the massage.
People want their massage experience to be pleasing. Not only is the massage enjoyable, if you are enjoyable to be around, chances are your clients will pick up on it and continue to use your services. A good massage should be a joyful experience that keeps customers coming back.
Did you know people are more likely to use a product or service their friends or family used in the past? How many times have you bought something just because your friends said it was the best thing since sliced bread?—More often than you probably care to think about!
You can use good-old fashioned word of mouth marketing by using Facebook or other social media.
Quick Tips for Using Facebook to Your Advantage:
- If you do not have a Facebook public page for your massage business, then set one up. It takes only a few minutes and you’ll have it up and running. Be sure to have lots of photos and fill out all the information completely.
- Advertise your page by including it in on your appointment/business cards.
- Ask your clients to leave positive feedback if they are satisfied with the service.
- If someone leaves negative feedback, work through the problem as quickly as you can.
It’s All About Them
There’s no question your business is about helping people. Your clients want to feel special when they are with you, and you can accomplish that when:
- You are friendly and professional.
- You show that you care.
- You listen.
- You make every effort to give an enjoyable and relaxing experience.
Put the above mentioned mannerisms into practice, and no doubt you will have returning clients and referred ones as well.
You are Their Massage Therapist
People will continue to use your service—if you build a rapport with them, you become their massage therapist. Reward returning clients with punch cards, gift bags, or even chances to win a free session.
Trust and Safety
There are several ways to instill trust in all your clients:
- Hang all your certifications in prominent locations. If you cannot hang them, be sure to mention them on your website.
- Build trust and comfortableness. Give folks chances to ask questions and meet you before the actual massage. Allow them to tour your facility if you have one.
Massage has many subtle benefits, especially pleasure and relaxation. With these ideas in mind, you can turn clients into repeating customers and gain new ones in the process. You can build a strong reputation and a trustworthy business—just keep focusing on your clients, and the profits will roll in.
Interesting infographics on Massage Therapist careers from a high level. A couple things that jump out at me are the percentages of self employed and percent that practices full time.
These stats show how much opportunity there is for massage therapists. Self employed, full time therapists have a lot of opportunity for growth. My question is, why are so many considered part time? What can we do to change that? What can we do to make what we’re seeing in Alaska more of the norm?
Courtesy of: HealthSchoolGuide.net
Paid advertising can be a burden for small businesses, especially massage therapists. More than likely, your budget doesn’t allow for big spending on major ad campaigns. This is where Facebook can help; it’s a great way to test out the advertising waters without breaking the bank. Running a Facebook ad campaign will generate more page likes, drive viewers to your website, and create new clients. Additionally, advertising on Facebook is not only cost effective, but it’s also easy. You don’t need to be a marketing mogul to reap the benefits of Facebook ads. Simply follow the steps outlined here to get started.
STEP ONE: Open the Ads Manager Page
You don’t need a business Facebook page to place ads on the social media site. While it’s always a good idea to have a separate page, it’s not a requirement. Here’s the process:
- Log into your personal Facebook account.
- Find and click on the “Create Ads” button from the drop down menu at the top right of your screen.
- You’ll see a pop-up that says “Welcome to Facebook Advertising.” Click “Get Started.”
STEP TWO: Create Your Campaign
Under this step, you’ll determine and set your advertising goal. First, edit the name of your campaign. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; it just needs to be easy for you to remember so that you can stay organized in all your advertising efforts. Next, decide what you want your ads to do. Facebook gives you the following options from which to choose:
- Boost your post
- Promote your page
- Send people to your website
- Promote conversions on your website
- Get installs of your app
- Increase engagement in your app
- Raise attendance at your event
- Get people to claim your offer
If you don’t have a Facebook business page, then the first two options don’t apply to you. Also, you may not have an app, so you can disregard the options related to those.
Additionally, in order to raise attendance at an event, you need an actual Facebook page created. The same goes for getting people to claim your offer; in order to utilize this objective, you need to have an offer posted on Facebook. Eliminating these options leaves you with sending people to and promoting conversions on your website. Once you click on one of these, Facebook will prompt you to enter a URL, and then you’re ready for step three.
STEP THREE: Create an Account
This part is simple – it’s where you tell Facebook who and where you are. You’ll enter your name, country, and timezone. Then it’s on to the fun stuff: narrowing down your target audience and streamlining your budget.
STEP FOUR: Create Your Ad Set
During this part, you have the option to choose exactly which group of people you want to reach. This is perhaps one of the most crucial steps in any advertising, but especially on Facebook. With approximately 170 million Facebook users in the United States alone, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. By designing a specific target audience for your ads, you’ll have a more successful campaign. Some of the criteria Facebook offers for you to create the perfect target audience include:
You can also get as detailed as choosing people with certain lifestyle qualities, such as whether or not they are married.
Once you have the “who” of your ad set determined it’s time for the “How much will this cost me?” question. Facebook offers various ways to work their advertising into your budget, so you can pick the method that works best for you. You can create a successful campaign to target your local market for as little as a dollar a day. Choose from the following options, and then you’re ready to design your ad.
- Pay per day
- Set up a lifetime budget
- Optimize with page clicks
- Optimize with number of impressions
STEP FIVE: Create Your Ad
This is where you get to let your creative juices flow. Come up with catchy text, determine what links to add, and select images. If you do have a business Facebook page, you can link to it in your ad, as well. Finally, Facebook gives you the chance to utilize a call to action button if you so desire. You can ask users to shop now, book now, learn more, sign up, or download.
Put some thought into where your ad links. You want to make sure there is a compelling reason for someone to book with you. Equally important is having online booking options so it’s easy for someone to book with you. Plus, booking appointments is why you’re placing the ad in the first place right!
Don’t let designing your ad intimidate you. Even if you aren’t advertising-savvy, you can have a great ad design, since Facebook breaks the process down into a few easy steps.
STEP SIX: Review and Place Your Order
You did it! You created a Facebook ad campaign with very little time and no hassle. Take a few extra minutes to review everything and make any changes you deem necessary. Once you feel satisfied, place your order and wait for your phone to start ringing with new massage clients!
As a massage therapist, client reviews are vital to the growth of your business, and online reviews are the new “word of mouth.” Without them, you won’t see the growth that’s possible with just a little effort. Keep reading to learn why online reviews are crucial to your success, and how you can generate them.
Why You Need Online Reviews
Your clients’ experience with you will make or break your practice. Because each patient has different needs, your ability to cater to those needs is the most important part of your job. If you do that, clients are sure to come back for more sessions and…drum roll, please…REFER new patients! So the next best way to grow your business is to provide opportunities for satisfied patients to leave online reviews. Consider these statistics from the 2012 Local Consumer Review Survey:
- 52% of consumers say positive reviews encourage them to use a business.
- 52% claim they trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family.
- 76% of people seek online reviews to decide which businesses to use.
With numbers like that, it’s not hard to see the importance of online reviews. But what control do you have over this? Turns out, a lot.
How to Control Online Reviews
There are several things you can do to generate more online reviews. By completing the steps below, you’ll have a large database of awesome reviews.
Take Advantage of Social Media and External Review Sites
The most basic step to generating online reviews is to set up your presence on sites like Yelp! and Google Places, as well as social media sites. According to Socialnomics, 25% of results from online searches come from review sites, social media updates, and blogs. If that’s not convincing enough, eMarketer reports that 65% of consumers from ages 18 to 24 take information from social media into consideration when making a decision. To capitalize on this, dedicate space on your social media pages for reviews, improve your presence on review sites, and ask satisfied clients to leave feedback.
Craft a Space for Reviews on Your Website
Once a potential customer has found you online, she’ll most likely want to check out your website. Let’s face it: websites are the first impressions of the online world. They leave either a negative or positive impact on clients – both current and potential. Having a space on your where current patients can easily leave reviews and potential patients can easily read those reviews will bump up your number of positive impressions. Here’s how:
- Create a “Testimonials” section.
- Set up a form that makes it effortless for clients to leave feedback.
- Link this form to your homepage so it’s easily accessible.
Not only does this generate good reviews, but it helps you avoid bad ones by providing an outlet for unsatisfied clients.
Utilize What You Already Have: Email
Creating an email campaign asking for reviews may seem a bit desperate, but with the right wording and the right timing, it’s an effective way to get what you need. Once a patient finishes a session with you, send a follow-up email asking for feedback. Again, make it a simple process – maybe a survey – so that it doesn’t take up too much time. Additionally, be sure there are links in your email signature to all the places people can leave reviews. This is a simple, one-time task that can have a lasting impact. Note: Remember to get permission to share clients’ feedback online.
Make the Most of Your Blog
User-generated content makes great material for blog posts. Once you’ve collected enough good reviews from clients, create a series of posts titled something like “Patient Reviews.” Following this method not only gives you content for blog posts, but it also allows you to incorporate reviews from your other online outlets like social media and your homepage. As a result, you’ll have a permanent spot of reviews that’s easy for clients to find.
Customize Your Efforts to Your Point of Sale
Just because you do business in person rather than online, it doesn’t mean you can’t encourage online reviews. In fact, most marketing professionals agree that asking for feedback right after a sale (or in your case, a session) is the best time to get great results. Clients are on a high from their massages, meaning any reviews they leave will reflect that feeling. Get the reviews you need by utilizing comment cards or other paper formats, or by verbally directing them to the review section of your website.
The End Result
With the methods outlined above, you’ll have a full array of awesome reviews to utilize in all your marketing efforts. It’s been proven that online reviews are crucial to consumers, so why not take advantage of that to grow your massage therapy business?
MassageBook, the leading massage practice management and scheduling software solution for professional massage therapists and bodyworkers, adds over a dozen new email marketing templates for massage therapists to use in their email marketing campaigns.
“Massage Therapists are busy. Time is money, and often it doesn’t make sense for therapists to spend time creating email templates from scratch. Our goal is to build a comprehensive library of ridiculously easy to use tools to save massage therapists time, while executing more effective marketing campaigns to help drive more clients in the door,” commented Mark Volkmann, CEO of MassageBook.
MassageBook has email templates for:
- Seasonal Holidays and Sales Opportunities
- Gift Certificates
- And More!
Email marketing is one of the best ways to keep clients coming back. Email marketing also delivers a healthy ROI. In fact, for every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment (according to ExactTarget). MassageBook provides bodywork professionals pre-made, optimized marketing tools needed to attract new clients and increase return visits. With holidays, birthdays, anniversaries etc. around the corner, now is the perfect time to increase sales with email marketing.
MassageBook was created specifically for professional massage therapists and bodyworkers. The comprehensive back end bodywork practice software solution gives professionals the tools they need to attract new clients, retain existing ones, and keep the business end of things humming. Massage Book includes essential tools such as online booking, scheduling, SOAP notes, a directory listing on MassageBook, payments and more. Visit http://www.massagebook.com/marketing/home for more details.
Every day there are new opportunities to increase your marketing reach. You can run numerous campaigns, such as blogging, click ads, real commercial campaigns and events. As a massage therapist, you can also give out entry level discounts and business cards, as you are providing a tangible health resource that your customers can use. So how can you learn from your customer base, and how can you use this information to expand your business?
To succeed in marketing, you need to tightly focus on specific goals. Your marketing framework should be scalable and be easily replicated. Whether you are just beginning or advanced, you must have a tightly focused marketing technique. Without direction you could be wasting time and money. Let’s explore how to focus your marketing and leverage your customer base.
First Step to Success
The first step in becoming a successful marketer, and ultimately grow your business, is to get to know your customers and why they are YOUR customers! This means learning from your best clients in an effort to understand why they use your service, and how you can use them as a template for your audience and prospective new customers. Your marketing machine must be laser focused on your customers to achieve the best possible results. To do that you must gather information and do research by asking questions.
What to Ask your Customers
Your marketing should always begin with how you can provide value. Here are a few questions to ask first:
- Who are the people using your service?
- What do your customers value?
- Why do they need massage?
- What do they feel when they come to you for a massage?
- If they are not your client, are they currently using another therapist?
- What will it take to make them your client?
Learn from Your Best Clients
Have a serious conversation with your best clients, and ask them a few questions. These questions can provide insight on how your service is helpful outside of the normal everyday visits.
- How did they find out about you?
- Why did they choose you and the type of massage therapy you provide?
You will find that in many cases your best clients came to you because of a pressing issue in their own lives – such as back pain. You will also find that it didn’t really matter whether they found you online, or in a brick-and-mortar building, because your services are what they were seeking. This will give you some direction for your marketing, because you will know that some of your services have benefited existing customers, so likely it will benefit new customers as well.
Learn Their Why
Ultimately, what you want to learn from your best clients is why they choose you and your services. For example, do they sit at a desk all day? Do they have severe lower back pain because of this? If so, massage therapy is likely the best treatment they’ve found for relief. This information can help you craft marketing messaging that targets people with desk jobs and lower back pain. Once you learn what motivates them, then you’ll know the best way to market to them.
It is vitally important to focus on your customers, know their why and how best to market to them. Find ways to research their pain points, and use your marketing to highlight massage therapy as the solution to their pain.
Because your particular chosen profession requires you:
- to meet with your clients in person,
- to engage in face to face conversations with them,
- to have them come to your brick-and-mortar location, and
- to physically touch them ~
Your professional image plays thee leading role in the success (or failure) of your massage therapy practice. If they’re greeted at your building’s entranceway by the ever-texting teen-aged receptionist you hired, if you’re sporting the same shirt you wore when you first accidentally dripped some BBQ sauce on it three days ago, if your fingernails are still filled with dirt from the gardening you did over the weekend, if your breath smells like an ashtray, if your massage therapy room looks like it hasn’t been cleaned ~ ever, or if you are nowhere to be found when your client arrives for his/her scheduled massage therapy appointment ~ you can rest assured knowing that the professional image you chose to share with the world just cost you your reputation, your future clients, and your career.
Here’s a look at specific actions you can take to create a truly stellar, shining, and impressive professional image:
If you plan to schedule appointments and be available from 7:30 AM through 8 PM four days a week, then your practice must open during those times. If the weather sometimes gets scary and the weatherman recommends everyone stay home, make sure you have your clients’ contact information so that you can let them know that, due to the potentially-dangerous weather, your practice won’t be open today.
If you always welcome walk-ins (along with scheduled appointments), make sure you have the staff available to handle those unexpected clients. A woman who wants to bring her sister from out of town to visit you on a Tuesday night at 7PM, must be able to do that knowing that you are always open at 7 PM on Tuesday nights and that you welcome walk-ins.
If the first Monday of every month you offer a free workshop in your building’s conference room on Top Ways to Reduce Stress, you must ensure that you are there every first Monday to present an engaging and informative talk ~ whether one person shows up or 50.
If you charge $75 to one client, don’t charge her brother $25; give them both a special deal, charge them the same, or reward her for the referral.
Be consistent across the board with how you look, how you present yourself, how you run your business, and what you offer your clients. They’ll appreciate, respect, and count on you to be the ever-available life raft amid life’s stressful and stormy days.
Ever walk into a doctor’s, lawyer’s, or accountant’s office and think that it looks as if they’ve rented the space for the day because it lacks personality? Don’t make your practice like that. Be creative in all you do and in every way you present yourself to your clients and the world. From your website design and the engaging blogs on it, to your building’s landscape design, your waiting room, the scent of your practice, the music you play, and the pictures on the wall ~ each and every component of your brand should never be cookie cutter, but always creative.
People gravitate toward creative professionals. They like to listen to their ideas, opinions, and suggestions. Be that creative massage therapist that your clients, your colleagues, your neighbors, your associates, and everyone on your life’s path gravitates toward. Join professional groups so that you can brainstorm with others, publish creative and inspiring newsletters, associate with other creative individuals who inspire, uplift, and motivate you.
Think of your favorite bakery, sandwich shop, or shoe store. Think of the pizza delivery person, the dog groomer, the mailman. Throughout any given day you meet and are greeted by individuals that just seem to have a ray of sunshine following them; they’re memorable. They’re kind, patient, thoughtful. They look you in the eyes when you talk to them, they have a firm handshake; they make you feel like the most important person in the whole universe – even if it’s just for the moment, the hour, or the day you are with them. Be that memorable person, naturally. Your clients will rave about you; they’ll refer their family and friends to you, and they’ll look forward to the next time they’re in your company.
Be the face in a professional headshot.
Part of your brand is your image. Whether you put your photo on your business card, your newsletters, your LinkedIn profile, or your website, it must be an amazingly-awesome headshot that is 100% professional but doesn’t necessarily look like it is! A professional “headshot whisperer” can capture a photo of you as you are, as you see yourself, and as you want others to see you. That’s a hard feat to accomplish. Considering that pic of yourself at the restaurant with your friends? Or the one with you standing on the stairs with 7 other people? Or the selfie you took this morning on your deck? Fugettaboutit! You need a creative and professional photo. Period.
Be ever-present in your online presence.
From your website to your LinkedIn profile, your Facebook page, your email blasts, your signature, and everything in-between that is online, think before you post and proofread before you post. If you have a Facebook page, make it a business page. (If you have a personal Facebook page, keep it “private” and only accessible to family and close friends – no clients!) Don’t post pictures of yourself in bathing suits, drinking, smoking, or acting in some way you wouldn’t be happy to have your great-grandma see. For every blog you post, make it engaging, interesting, and informative; proofread it over and over. Post regularly, but professionally and creatively. You can hire a professional writer to do this for you if you want to be sure it’s perfect!
Your professional image does matter; plan accordingly!
“No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.”
These words of John Donne are as true today as they were when he first wrote them in the 17th century. Everyone’s connected; everyone’s a part of the whole. As a result, your decisions and your aspirations are naturally inspired, enhanced, and influenced by those who have gone before you and those in the world with you now. Whether from meeting, reading about, hearing stories involving, or witnessing with your own eyes, they’ll always be those on your life’s path you want to emulate. You learn that what they’ve accomplished, you’d like to accomplish, too. You discover that how they operate their massage therapy business, is just what you had imagined for yours. While imitation of others is the highest form of flattery, and while following in someone else’s steps to success can often lead you to success as well, true joy in the business world comes with embracing what inspires you personally and then creating something ingenious from it ~ your own personal style, voice, and uniqueness.
Here’s how to surround yourself with those who inspire you and create your own success:
Step #1 Make a list of people you admire.
Just like business plans and dream boards, literally making a list of people who inspire you will help you to be more like them. On your list, include other massage therapists and owners of massage therapy businesses. In addition, think of relatives, friends, acquaintances, neighbors, colleagues, peers, and celebrities you admire. Add all of them to your list. Next to each name, write down what those people do for a living or, if they’re retired, what field they were in before retirement. Last, detail the reasons why you admire each person that’s on your list.
- Do they make sound business decisions?
- Are they “idea” people?
- Are they millionaires?
- Are they dependable?
- Can you count on them to always be there no matter what?
- Are they selfless?
- Easy to be around?
Identify what it is - specifically – about all the people on your list that makes you admire them.
Step 2: Remove your rose-colored glasses and take another look at your list.
Now that you have your detailed list of all the people you admire and would like to emulate in some way, take a closer look at each person on your list. Do they own 5 lucrative and vastly-popular massage therapy locations, but you know that they haven’t taken a vacation in 5 years? Do they share their time and attention with all sorts of community events and activities, yet they’ve been renting a small apartment for years? Have they published several books about massage therapy, done speaking tours, and create new TV commercials every month, but don’t seem to have any time for their spouse and kids? Are they able to work normal business hours, enjoy time with their family and friends, and have a joyful and meaningful personal life and professional life? While you might first admire the most financially successful massage therapist in your community, perhaps when you take a closer look you’ll discover he’s been divorced 5 times and is often found cranking his elbow at the local watering hole. Not everyone is as they seem; look at the whole picture before you decide you want to be just like someone else.
Step #3: Create a “Top 3” list.
While you can certainly still admire and emulate certain qualities, the work ethic, and character traits of everyone on your list, pick 3 people whose personal and professional lives most succinctly match what you imagine for yourself. If you want to be married and have children and run a successful massage therapy practice, the top three people on your list should not all be single jet-setters who hire others to run their offices. If you want to be involved in the community and of service to others beyond your clients, the top 3 on your list should also reflect those actions in their own lives.
Step #4: Identify the steps your Top 3 took.
It is difficult to emulate someone else if you have no idea how they got where they are. Meet with, interview, or read about the top 3 people on your list and see the path they took that led them to be outstanding in their personal and professional lives. Did they earn advanced degrees? Did they open multiple massage therapy locations? Did they go into business with a partner? Do they have a website that they update on a regular basis and that’s what draws a lot of new clients in? Did they secure investors to help them launch their first practice? Did they connect with vendors to sell soothing candles, minimalistic music CDs, therapeutic pillows, and other stress-freeing products at their practice? Identify the steps the people you admire took. Follow their tracks. Discover as much as you can about their personal and professional journeys that led them to a place you’d like to be.
Step #5: It’s ok to venture off the marked path.
Don’t plan (or expect) to follow the paths exactly of all those you admire. It just cannot be done, so there is no use tossing and turning when you find yourself straying from the directions. You are your own person with your own experiences, personality, quirks, strangeness, and charm! Embrace it! If a person you admire gives lectures, participates in conferences, and publishes an industry magazine twice a year – those are things you can do, too. If, however, one of the massage therapist you admire has her practice open 6 days a week, you don’t have to do that. You can still provide exceptional client service and earn a wonderful income working four days a week! Be inspired and influenced by those you admire, then combine that with your own personal style, skills, and aspirations.