a community of practitioners
Hello All :)
I'm a newly licensed massage therapist and I'm independently contracting right now. My problem is lack of clients. I have a facebook and a website as well as an email strictly for business purposes. My question for you all is how do I get myself clients in the door for the first time?
I'm going to take a trip to all the local stores and leave some business cards around but I'm worried that isn't enough. How did you guys get started? I have a pretty sweet deal with the lady I contract for, but that deal does me no good with no clients coming in.
Any help would be truly appreciated.
Give a free massage to a key person in your neighborhood who will review you online.
IMO, you're off to a good start but a good web presence is not the be all end all of marketing. When I started 10 years ago, I did a bit of print advertising and a lot of networking. I talked to everyone I met about what I do AND what separated me from the pack. Everyone I met left that conversation with my business card. I also made sure that my friends all carried my business cards as well - don't be shy about asking your friends and family to help you market your practice.
It takes time to build up your clientele and it takes effort to maintain it. Do you best work, listen to what your clients are telling you and asking you and ALWAYS ask your clients to rebook before they leave your office AND to refer potential clients to you.
Thank you both :)
I took some business cards around town today in hopes of getting some people in the door soon. I've done two 15 minute chair massages so far a 30 minute and I have an hour swedish scheduled for Thursday. I'm seriously hoping to get going here soon, and I really appreciate your help!
If you haven't already, it's worthwhile (and free) to get a verified listing in Google Places. Being in Google Places isn't a silver bullet marketing wise, but it means you may come up when people search for massage in your area on, which is a good thing.
I wrote a blog entry about how to do add yourself to Google Places and optimize your listing:
Hope you find it helpful.
-- Lowell Manners
Get out in your community and get to know people. Get involved with local events that the Chamber of Commerce and/or Rotary puts on. Donate gift certificates to these events and volunteer your time doing chair massage etc. They have to know you are there and feel comfortable with you. A great idea is to go downtown and offer your introductory special to local business. Dress in a professional massage therapist uniform, take business cards and discount coupons (maybe 10% off) and take your appt book.......kind of like when a new neighbor moves in and people bring them a pie....you are the new neighbor and you are introducing yourself with a chair massage. So, going out, being friendly and professional and introducing yourself plus the events and you will get some phone calls...good luck!
Hey Katie! I did this a little while back but check with local salons and spas (one's that don't offer massage already) and see if you can offer their clients a complimentary 10 minute hand/foot massage while they get their hair done, nails done, etc... and then leave them your business card. :) Good luck
There's some great tips on promoting your business and I think it will depend on where you live for what works best. Try print marketing; introducing yourself to other businesses in your area- see about hooking up with specials, i.e. a combo deal with a gym or florist; joining a business networking group; have a good web presence; give free lectures at a library, community center and/or even some stores like Whole Foods have community rooms where you can give talks; call around different groups like your city's botanical garden group and offer to come give a free lecture on massage or aromatherapy; offer referral discounts; etc.
As another poster mentioned, it will take a little time and hard work to get your name out there. Just be sure and keep track of everything you do to promote yourself so you know what works and what doesn't in your area. I've done everything on that list I wrote above and found them all helpful to some degree. I've owned a business in two different cities and in the city I'm in now-- the only thing that has brought me new clients (besides referrals) is a strong web presence and online scheduling. Also, in my current location, the only time chair massage at events brings me business is if I do an event in the neighborhood where my office is located.
Try a variety of marketing ideas and find out what will work best for your area, then you'll know where to spend your resources and time.
I guess it won't work so good now, with the age of the internet.. But I still pay local bills via money order or check, and send it snail mail.. I send my busines card along with the payment.. Sometimes I will write on the back of my card.. GOOD FOR ONE COMPLIMENTRY 25 MIN. MASSAGE. then sign my name.
I just opened my own place in December and I've tried a lot of things some worked and others did not. I ran print ads-netted me 1 client, I placed flyers at people's home-netted me 1 client and 2 complaints, I visited local businesses, ie hotels, salons that did not offer massage, nail salons, tanning, gyms and that has netted me a handful of clients and more will come because I offer a referral credit of $10 (check your state laws) for each booked appt. I set up booths at small town events and shows which netted me a handful of clients. I run an ad on the tvs at the gym and gave free massages to the personal trainers which nets me many clients. Most of my new clients have come in off the internet. I made sure to utilize the webbuilder and get registered with google/yahoo/bing. It is important to get on their maps I think because then it pops up right away and shows clients where you are. My wonderful clients have been a HUGE source of referrals for me and I thank them for it with my referral credit. My overhead is steep because I have a small spa but within 3 months I started making a small profit. It just takes time. Good luck to you!
Oh, I also ran a coupon in Val Pak that was expensive but I've made my money back on it. I also ran an Eversave deal that I am not fond of but has netted me a few good clients. I find many of them though are coupon shoppers and while they will drive a great distance for a mega cheap massage they will not do it for a full price one because they are always buying the cheap deals.
A great way to get started is to get a website and run Google ads. When your clients search on Google for "massage YOUR-TOWN-HERE" then you show up!
Don't run ads on the search Network or the Display Network. Use Search ads only, they work much better!
I've only been in business for about a year. I was very fortunate to get in a company that was already established with another LMT. Don't get me wrong though, her business is great, but I still have to build my own client base. I have recently joined a referral group Goldstarclubs.com. This has done wonderful things for my client base! It does take a while to build a solid client base, I'm still working on that myself. Altough by appt book isn't full, I've been trending up the past couple of months and I think that is they key to staying on target. Good Luck!