Starting your own massage therapy studio not only gives you financial freedom, it lets you help people. Building relationships with clients is the key to business success. If you’re a practitioner at any stage of your career, massage therapy marketing can boost your clientele.
Why is marketing a massage therapy business important?
When you’re freshly licensed and getting ready to launch your business, marketing builds brand awareness and brings customers through the door. After you’ve built an established base of clients, you need ongoing marketing to increase repeat business and keep a steady revenue stream.
Essential components of digital marketing
Many cost-effective digital marketing tools exist to help you promote your business and attract new customers. A cohesive digital marketing strategy successfully introduces you to people in your area who need your services.
Potential clients are searching the internet looking for massage therapists in their area, and your professional website lets them find you. Your website should be:
- easy to navigate
- optimized for search engines
In general, your site’s design should be consistent with your other branding elements. Choose colors that complement your custom logo, and coordinate fonts on your business cards and your website.
When you create your website, you can start pretty basic but, at the least, it should consist of the following four pages:
- the homepage
- your About page, which details your history and introduces you to clients,
- a Contact page, and
- a Services page.
It’s a good idea to also include a way to book appointments online.
Although this is not a component of your marketing strategy, an online appointment form that is difficult to use or non-existent can drive customers away from your business. There are many free or low-cost online booking platforms that can be embedded into your website. Choose one that syncs appointments and notifications to your calendar. That way, you can see your true availability when taking appointments over the phone and avoid double booking.
Whatever platform you choose, your online booking system should allow clients to confirm their appointments. Many software platforms send notifications via text message or email a few days before the appointment, reminding your clients of their scheduled massage and letting them confirm or reschedule within the cancellation window.
These features serve as customer touchpoints and help to enhance the customer experience. Once you’ve set up your online booking system, schedule some test appointments, and have friends or family members send tests as well.
Google My Business listing
After you’ve found the perfect space and printed your business cards, sign up for a Google My Business listing, and verify that all information is correct. This tool locates your massage therapy business on Google Maps and shows people your hours and contact information. Once you’re listed, people can review you on Google.
When you build your website, optimize it for search engines. When you use basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) principles in your website and feature other content like meta descriptions and social media tags, Google and other search engines know that your site is legitimate. If you include keywords and phrases that people can use to find your business on the Internet, your website will rank higher in search results.
The goal with SEO is to get on the first page of search results because most people won’t look beyond the first few pages of a search. Apply these SEO principles to enhance your website traffic:
- Keyword optimization. Strategically place keywords and phrases in your website copy.
- Title tags. These are the titles of pages on your website. Keep them simple and accurate.
- Meta descriptions. These are short descriptions that appear in search results. Add keywords to your meta description.
- Quality content. Regularly publishing content on either your website or social media keeps your business at the top of search results.
How to build relationships with your clients
Content marketing is not only beneficial for SEO but also helps you maintain relationships with current and future clients. Maintaining an online presence boosts your credibility so that clients will feel able to trust you as soon as they enter your door.
The fastest and easiest way to build and maintain relationships is through social media. This should be one of the greatest tools in your massage therapy marketing arsenal. During downtime, you can create posts and schedule them to run at normal intervals. Posting regularly keeps your followers engaged and helps build your audience.
- Facebook. This exceedingly popular platform makes it easy for people to find you. Post daily relaxation tips or links to health and wellness articles.
- Instagram. Reach a billion active monthly users with visually appealing photos, short videos, and stories. Share daily meditations or post stories explaining health and wellness topics to your followers.
- YouTube. Video content is extremely suitable for massage therapy. Use YouTube to create short, engaging videos answering client questions or explaining various massage techniques.
When posting, use targeted hashtags that help people find you on the platform.
Start a blog
A well-written blog with informative posts lets you set yourself up as an expert in your industry. For topic ideas, follow trade organizations to keep up with what’s new in the industry. Post a variety of health and wellness content along with content on topics directly related to massage therapy.
These blogs not only engage and inform your client base but also enhance your SEO keeping you at the top of search results.
Managing client reviews
Word of mouth provides some of the best massage therapy marketing. The Internet makes it easier for people to share their experiences with a business, for better or for worse. Encourage clients to leave a review following their appointment, or send them a follow-up email a week or two after the appointment.
You will inevitably get a couple of negative reviews. No business can avoid dissatisfied clients. However, your reaction to negative reviews can build your credibility. Be professional and courteous, and take the opportunity to apologize and see if you can take the conversation offline to remedy the situation.
Methods for promoting your business
Through brand awareness building and massage therapy marketing, you can promote your business, expand your customer base, and bring in clients during slower periods. Consider some of the following promotional methods to help you achieve this.
Define your unique value proposition
Your unique value proposition is the thing that sets you apart from the competition. It is the unique value that you offer to clients, motivating them to choose you over the massage therapist down the street.
To find your unique value proposition, start by polling your current clients. Ask what it is about you as a massage therapist that keeps them coming back. It could be that you know how to apply the right amount of pressure, or you may have a gift for making people feel relaxed around you. Once you’ve figured out what makes you exceptional, play up your strengths.
Pay for social media ads
Most social media platforms now offer sponsored posts. Many of them allow you to set a budget corresponding to the number of clicks your ad receives. You can also set target audiences for your ad. Facebook lets you set targets based on age, location, interests and more. These filters ensure that your sponsored posts appear on the feeds of people in your area who might be interested in your business.
If you’re promoting your business on Instagram and Facebook, use high-quality visuals to get your ad noticed. Well-composed, eye-catching photos can stop people from scrolling past your ads. You may consider purchasing stock photos for these ads or hiring a professional to take pictures for your business.
Keep in touch
Use the “contact us” page on your website to collect email addresses and build a database of addresses from registration forms. Segment these lists by current and potential clients and send out targeted emails. Email marketing can be automated ahead of time. During downtime, you can compose email messages to build relationships with existing clients and bring in new business.
Send out a promotional offer
When you’re starting out, sending out a discount code or a coupon through your email list or social media can establish you in the area and attract clients. You could use a service like Groupon, but make sure you have enough staff to cover the influx of business, or people could end up having a bad experience with your business.
Start smaller with targeted coupons and promotional offers to attract customers at a rate that won’t overwhelm you.
Use a referral program
Create a referral program to enlist your clients’ help in promoting your business. To improve the chances of people telling their friends about you, offer incentives. Give clients a small discount on products and services for every successful referral. You could also offer a discount to new clients or run a two-for-one deal to encourage people to introduce their friends to your business.
To track referrals, you can offer physical coupons or discount codes. There should also be a section on your online booking program in which people can add the name of the person who referred them.
Cross-promote with other businesses
You may know other health and wellness businesses in your area that would coordinate with your branding. Consider cross-promoting with a local yoga studio or a business that sells healthy, organic food. Offer to write guest blogs for these businesses or to promote their shops on your social media page.
Partnering with other businesses builds awareness with their customers. Choose partners whose brands align with yours to target an overlap audience.
Build promotions around events
You’re probably offering promotions and specials for holidays like Christmas, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day. You can also incorporate smaller events like National Massage Day or World Mental Health Day. Do some research to find events that align with your brand, and create social media posts to highlight your company’s relevance. You can then add the event hashtag to your social posts.
Newsletters and automated email blasts are good for keeping in touch with your general audience, but take a more personal approach to your best clients. If all of your registration forms include your clients’ birthdays, you can reach out and wish them a quick happy birthday to show that you remember them.
A week or two after each appointment, send a thank you email with a call to action asking your clients to contact you with any additional questions.
Your massage therapy marketing strategy should begin with an overall brand concept, after which you should create your website. This is your most powerful marketing tool, allowing users to stumble onto your business.
When your website has been designed, optimized for SEO, and made functional across desktop and mobile devices, you can shift gears to promoting your business and drawing in new clients. Use the tools discussed in this article to establish your digital presence and connect with current and prospective clients. Start running promotions to generate business.
After you’ve established your client list, use email and social media to stay in touch, and offer a referral program to encourage your customers to tell their friends about you.
An effective, consistent massage therapy marketing strategy helps you connect regularly with new clients, keeping your calendar and your massage tables full and helping you to achieve steady revenues.