Whether you are an established massage therapist beginning to branch out on your own or a newly qualified therapist starting from the ground up, learning how to promote your services is essential. As a small business owner, your time is limited and marketing often falls lower on the priority list – most massage therapists aren’t drawn to the business through a love of marketing! But like the chicken and the egg, the promotion of what you do and your success are intrinsically linked.

Let’s take a look at some creative ideas that will set your massage business up for success.

1. Build a Great Website

First and foremost, we recommend building a website (and not just because that is what OfferingTree is all about)! Think of this as your storefront (even if you have bricks and mortar space). This is often the first place new and potential clients will head to in order to check out your offerings, learn about you and get an idea of your pricing.

A great website no longer needs to take weeks of design and planning with a specialized (and costly) web developer. There are many website building platforms available online that can cater to your needs, and they all make building a website a straightforward process.

The key points for a great and functional website are:

  • Good design that reflects your branding
  • User-friendly and easy to navigate
  • A succinct description of your business and your offerings
  • Easy to sign up to appointments and services
  • Clear pricing and offerings

With these things in place, your business is ready to take bookings!

2. Host an Open House

Hosting an open house can be a great way to invite friends, family and potential clients into your business. You don’t need a brick and mortar space to do this – you can hire a space, or even host it in your home. An open house is an opportunity to gather those that know you and your business and show off your offerings, so you can network and connect with people while centring your business and your offerings.

Crucially, this enables people in your life to show support and to spread that support to their circle of friends. It’s also an opportunity for feedback and ideas on what people might be looking for in your massage services. You can offer light snacks and beverages, and be sure to plan a few words to say about your venture. Your loved ones will relish the opportunity to help boost your business and to see you succeed, and their support is powerful.

3. Volunteer at Local Events

Getting involved in community events is another great way to network locally. The best marketing is being out there, and present, in your community. Get involved in the set up of local events as much as possible, and be sure to have some marketing materials to hand (business cards, flyers, etc) to hand out.

If it’s feasible, you can even offer short, free (or low cost) massages at a local event. In doing so, you can showcase your skills and connect with potential clients at the same time! Who doesn’t want a quick shoulder massage at a local market? Be sure to publicize your attendance at any events like this a lot – share with clients, friends, on all your channels – you want to ensure you add value to the event by inviting more people to attend.

4. Google

Google is a powerful force, and you can harness it in several ways. Firstly, make sure you have a Google My Business listing. Fun fact – customers are about 70% more likely to visit businesses with a Google My Business listing. Setting one up is absolutely free, and comes with a Google map listing to find your business too.

Next – Google reviews. Is there a way to encourage clients to leave Google reviews for your business? Because reviews do matter, and they are checked out by potential clients. Don’t be shy of asking your existing clients to leave a review – you could even offer an incentive such as a discount on their next service. However, try to resist the urge to request friends and family to leave false reviews, as it can undermine your business if it becomes obvious that they are from non-clients.

Also – SEO. If you need to learn more about this, check out our previous blogs here and here. In short, SEO is how you get your business found when people type into a search engine for a business such as yours, and there are a number of tips and tricks to employ to get a higher listing on the search engine. The rule of thumb is that the higher you can feature in the search listings, the more your business will get noticed. See our tip on Blogging below for more on this.

5. Harness Social Media

If your target audience is using social media, it’s important to understand which platform they are most likely to be present on, and then make that your focus.

Establish your business profile on your platform of choice and start to build your followers and interactions. Building a successful profile on social media does take time and commitment, but there are definitely some tips and tricks to making the most of social media and we wrote an article about that here. In essence, being present, answering questions in community groups and building trust are all great starting points.

6. Loyalty Rewards

Introducing a loyalty reward program is a great way to secure returning customers. Loyalty programs enable you to recognize and thank clients that are using your service regularly, making sure they get a good deal for their regular use of your services. If the loyalty reward includes bring-a-friend initiatives, then your clients become ambassadors for your business, incentivizing them not just to talk about your business but also to bring new people to you.

Some loyalty reward options could be:

  • Using a punch card to accrue a number of services and then get one free.
  • A discount or a bonus service for referring a friend (and a reward for the friend too).
  • Using a membership program to ensure that regular clients always get a good deal.
  • Having a level of achievement related to loyalty, so for example, a VIP club for members with special rewards and bonuses just for those clients.

Loyalty rewards are a tried and tested marketing technique and the more creative your idea, and individualized to your business, the better!

7. Set Up a Groupon Campaign

Groupon is a popular coupon code service that can have a really successful impact in bringing in new clients. The process in setting up a campaign in Groupon is straightforward – choose a template and go. You define your own campaign and parameters, and you only pay a fee on the services that sell so it’s a low risk option. Groupon is popular, and clients love to feel they are getting a good bargain, so it could be worth investing in this method to bring some new clients in.

Some things to bear in mind are:

  • Be prepared for it to be a hit. If you promote something on Groupon, it could be incredibly popular depending on your offer and the needs of clients in your area. Be prepared to cope with that increase in business – reaching new clients that can’t book in because you are overwhelmed with requests is a fast way to have your campaign backfire!
  • Be sure your campaign parameters reflect services that you can afford to provide. This might sound obvious but if you do receive an influx of new clients but run each service at a loss, the campaign might not benefit your business at all.
  • Ensure that the service and nurturing that each new client receives is top-level to encourage them to return. Low cost should never equate to a budget-level offering.
  • Think about having an email nurturing campaign in place in advance to maintain contact with those clients after their coupon has been used. This is a smart way to continue contact with them and build up your client base.

8. Blogs and Reels

What common concerns do your clients have? Is there an issue that arises again and again in your work? What questions do you get asked all the time, or is there a common myth in your business that you can bust? If you can think of some answers to these questions, consider creating a blog to answer them, and alongside a blog, you could make short videos to engage potential clients.

Blogging is a great way to boost your marketing in a few different ways. Firstly, sharing your voice, life and opinions in a blog is good for building your brand and can improve on your SEO targets too, meaning your website is found more easily. If your blog is answering questions that someone might put into a search engine – such as ‘great Thai massage in my area’ then you will get found more easily in the search results through your blog. As long as your blog is interesting to your audience and covers topics they want to read about, it is worth putting the time and effort into writing it. And it doesn’t have to be a huge blog entry, it can also be short (around 500 words.) The key is to keep the content interesting and informative – check out our blog post about blogging here. 

Take the subject matter a step further by creating a video or Instagram reel and you stand to really boost your reach. The Instagram algorithm favors reels so they are a great way to get your content more exposure. The great thing about reels is you can have a lot of fun with them and show off your personality in a way that a blog post can’t convey. It’s also a challenge to condense and present your information in a more unique and digestible way, which is great practice for getting to know your content. Try it – you might find you really enjoy it!

9. Partner with Local Businesses

Last but not least is the well-worn concept, which might feel dated but definitely is not – of connecting with other local businesses. This is smart networking. Finding out ways to support other local businesses is usually something that fellow entrepreneurs are interested in. And they have to know that you are out there in order to want to work with you, so our advice is to put yourself out there and make that contact.

Find out if there is a local business community group that you can join and if not consider setting one up yourself. You can also just walk into businesses and introduce yourself, or be completely old-school and send something fun and attention-grabbing in the mail. One idea we loved was to bring along or send in a bag of (unpopped!) popcorn with a note saying ‘just popping in to say hello’. Memorable, right?

You can narrow down your scope and connect with other businesses in the wellness field to see how or if you can support each other in a more focused way – for example, if you know a massage therapist that works in a specific niche that you can refer clients to, and vice versa; or perhaps a local physio clinic refers out to massage therapists and is looking to expand their network. Again, they won’t know you are there unless you put yourself in front of them in some way. And if one contact attempt doesn’t seem to get anywhere, try again.

Whatever hills you climb in establishing your business, OfferingTree has not only the tools, but the education, to help. Each month, OfferingTree teams up with a different wellness expert to host a webinar for free, for our users. The webinars range in topics from marketing to teaching private clients, (and we always want to hear from our users about topics that they want to dive deeper into). If you want to understand more about our product and how we can help you excel in your business, schedule a demo here. We would love to talk to you about what we offer.

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