Are you one of the many massage therapists or body workers who run their own massage practice/center? If so, I´m sure you can agree with me on that being your own boss has many benefits: you decide on the therapies you offer, you decide on the pricing, you decide how many clients you book per day, etc. But as with everything, there are always challenges, and an important one for massage therapists is how to attract new clients. Check out my tips on how to promote yourself and get that regular clientele!
Tips For Capturing New Clients
- First, think about who your target group is? Who are your massage treatments aimed at? It is not the same to offer singing bowl massage therapies than to offer Swedish massage or sports massage. In marketing it is often recommended that you create a character that represents your “ideal customer”, and that you use him or her as a base on which you develop your entire marketing strategy. So for example if your character is Lisa, a 35 year old mother living in a residential area, working part-time, then you would think about what her life looks like, where she spends her time, what schedule she has, what websites or social media sites she visits, etc.
- Get street visibility and credibility. A massage center is a local business, and the chances are that most of your clients will be from the nearby areas, so get out there and get famous in the neighborhood! Print flyers, business cards, gift vouchers, etc. (I usually use Vistaprint), and hand them out to neighbors, nearby shops, lunch places, gyms, beauty salons, basically any businesses near your massage practice. Include promotions or even free try-outs on your flyers to give people an incentive to book a massage with you! Remember to design your marketing material well, keeping in mind both the layout (it needs to look nice AND reflect your massage business philosophy) as well as funcionality (include your phone number, address, street map, website, appointment calendar on the business cards, etc). A great idea is also to organize 20min talks or a talk&walk for business groups during their lunch break to introduce yourself to several people at once. Maybe you have a wellness or health business next door that could be interested?
- Care for your online presence. Yes, I know it takes a lot of time to be active online, but this is crucial if you want to be successful in attracting new clients to your massage practice. First of all, you should have a website, in which you introduce yourself as an expert in what you do, as this really gives you credibility and a professional look. Nowadays it is easy and cheap to create a website so no need to invest a lot of time nor money on it. I came across Booxi, a great platform for managing your appointments, customer relations, and they even create a website for you, so have a look! Then there is always WordPress for creating a stand-alone website. Apart from a website, you should of course be on facebook, twitter, google, etc. But use your social media accounts wisely. Think about what you want to achieve on each platform. For example Foursquare is a good tool to list your business to get local visibility, on Facebook you can promote your FB page and target your ads to people who are interested in massage in your area, on Twitter you can follow people and businesses in your area and build your network, on Google you can include your location on google maps, etc. There are many ways to have an online presence, but I really recommend you to think wisely about where you want to be and how you want to use these channels to build a profitable network.
- Develop a referral program. This is important because if you don´t have one, most likely, even if your clients like your massages, they will not go the extra mile (or meter!) to recommend you. You don´t need anything fancy, simply offer your clients a discount or even a free massage after they referred you to their friends and colleagues, and you got some new clients thanks to them. Word of mouth marketing is consistently proven to be the most effective form of marketing so don’t miss out on it!
- Recurrent incentives. Especially if you are starting your own massage center, it is a good idea to give people incentives to visit you and to try out your amazing massages! So in addition to the free try-out you might offer first-timers, you can have weekly deals on a certain treatment, or seasonal discounts on certain massages, etc. There might be several massage and beauty centers on your block so be creative and develop fun initiatives that motivate people to come to you for more!
- Offer a WOW-experience on all levels. Once you have succeeded to attract a client to your massage center, you need to provide them with that WOW-experience to make sure that they will want to rebook with you! This is one of the most important aspects, because what´s the use of attracting a bunch of new clients if they then don´t enjoy their experience and don’t recommend you further, right? So how do you create a WOW-experience? By paying attention to every detail: the decoration, the lighting, the scents, the music, how you welcome your client, what you offer him/her pre-treatment, what you ask pre-treatment to really understand his/her needs, how you make sure that he/she is comfortable before the massage begins, how you read his/her body language during the massage, how you end the treatment, how you ask for feedback and recommend a follow-up treatment, etc. It is not only about the treatment, and the pressure you apply during the massage, it is so much more than that, so make sure you take into account every detail.
- Build lasting relationships. You might be thinking, how does this fit into “How To Attract New Clients For My Massage Practice?”, but it does for this simple reason: if you create great relationships with even a few clients, they will bring you new clients! So take care of the clients you have. Call or email them, not only for rebooking but also just for checking on them and see how they are doing. Reward them by offerig them special benefits. If you have a client that is interested in the local food movement, why not send her an article about that? Think out of the box and create relationships, it always pays off!
There are of course many more things you can do in order to attract new clients to your massage center, but I believe that the ones I mention here are among the most important ones to keep in mind. If you have any suggestions or additions to my list please feel free to share them in the comments below, thank you!
Wishing you a wonderful day ahead,
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