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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.

Thanks!!

Katie  

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There are fantastic ideas here!  I am new as well and working on the same thing.  Kim, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR POST!  I am a member of ABMP and I have been reading their articles and watching webinars on marketing.  My life just changed drastically and I have moved into a phase of reading and studying so that I will be able to have a few really wonderful clients as opposed to a lot of general massages.  With time on my hands I even watched a webinar on teaching business.  Watching that, even though I am not a teacher, taught me a LOT about the importance of learning the demographics in your area.

 

I learned a lot by simply typing in my zip code and the word demographics into Google.  The biggest civilian job population in my area is health care.  I live in an area with A LOT of millitary as well.  I love working with the elderly and I learned that is a very small portion of the population in my zip code.  If I am going to market to that segment of the population it has to be very targeted.  I think as a basic first step that is one that all of us new people should be taking.

Google Adwords is definitely the most straight-forward way to reach potential clients, but it'll require investment money, and the cost of running ads will depend a lot on the size of the city you're in and the competition that already exists for the keywords you're running.

I started my practice 25 years ago and it sure was different - yet I find that the marketing is still pretty much the same.  There are some great ideas here and one thing to remember is that we must market consistenly and effectively to continue to thrive. If you would like to have the marketing steps I took to reach my current multimillion dollar, multi location success then go to www.iambiz.com and check out the Massage Marketing Brilliance workbook.  My managers use the workbook to keep my company growing - we opened two new studios last year and am looking to open another this year.  If you decide this workbook is for you I will send you the five training calls that will help walk you through it and a free registration to www.moneybeliefbreakthrough.com program.  It can be challenging for us spirit and heart centered entreprenuers to actually accept profit for what we LOVE to do, massage.  It wasn't until I got tired of my struggling and suffering that I turned my biz around and recognized that money was just a form of energy and that in order to help my clients live in a state of well being and live pain free I also needed to thrive both finacially and purposfully. Best of luck to you - this is an amazing field!

Katie,

Where are you located?  Are you in a spa, an office, a clinic?  I would recommend using HealthProfs.com and LinkedIn.  Between these two sites my website now shows up on the first page of any search for massage, massage therapists, etc in my city.

Lots of good ideas here! I think offering chair massage is a great way for people to get to know you in a more public setting and to feel comfortable with you. I'd be careful with print ads unless you have a very targeted market. I work in a 55 and older community that has it's own monthly magazine and I do run a classified ad every month. Some months I get tons of calls, sometimes none, but I always get enough business from it to cover the cost of the ads. Community fairs and events are also good!

Everyone has said this, but it is true...it all takes time. And sometimes you have to keep up a promotion for a little while for it to take. And remember that if one marketing/promotion item doesn't work, don't give up. Try something else. As you get to know your target area/market better, you will be able to modify your marketing efforts and bring in the clients!  Good luck to you.  

HI, i AM FROM   United kingdom, I have my own business THE REAL THAI MASSAGE

we are the same  new in business , I was started, 

,Focus to your business, palnning strategy , what is the flow of the customer

How to get the customers.Most important to the customer is  center of attraction to them  who you are as a owner

How could you introduce your self to them , You need friendly to your customers, always smile, Good atrraction very important  is how you dress up, Formal and always professional if you dealing with them and

your personality, approach, most important is your service.how good you are  to your job

I would like to share this for you how could you get a customer to come to your door??

do some advert,local and live  do your live website  , business card;not enough you need to try this, because even me i have a lot of advert, yes i have a lot of callers in one day ,  YOU NEED PUBLICITY the more  MORE YOU ADVERTISE the Better to your BUSINESS

but all good callers and bad callers you can experience, even how   bad  they are, control your temper that is you are in business; good luck to your business 

what kinds of services  do you offer??

I would like to promote my own business too,

Hi,Im Merle from United Kingdom, 

I agree with you, Im in business for 3 months soon and i have a lot of adverts,many callers but most of them are bad, i cant cope up ,sometimes no callers,no customers,  but still i manage. but now we planning to do the community additional  promotion well see how goes, and i dont like to give up, I want to try and try more more.....until success

my business.

my service is  therapeutic massage,deep massage , 


Mary Duval said:

Lots of good ideas here! I think offering chair massage is a great way for people to get to know you in a more public setting and to feel comfortable with you. I'd be careful with print ads unless you have a very targeted market. I work in a 55 and older community that has it's own monthly magazine and I do run a classified ad every month. Some months I get tons of calls, sometimes none, but I always get enough business from it to cover the cost of the ads. Community fairs and events are also good!

Everyone has said this, but it is true...it all takes time. And sometimes you have to keep up a promotion for a little while for it to take. And remember that if one marketing/promotion item doesn't work, don't give up. Try something else. As you get to know your target area/market better, you will be able to modify your marketing efforts and bring in the clients!  Good luck to you.  

just started my own business for 2 and half  months now, first one month is good profit, 2nd month going better but this month is 

no customers, sometime 2,3 mostly are cancelled their appointment, and they didn't turn up; i am upset because ,

wasting time, wasting  money and effort to them, i have a lot of advert too,internet, news paper,i received loads of callers but most of them are not good callers, i am very disappointed, At this time i have  3,4 customers everyday , sometimes, no callers and no customers and i am  worried; and i need to think  another plans and strategy how to success my business, i am eager to improve more more  But i need to trust myself stronger  and more confident,  I would like some advice to averyone...   .this is my website; www.therealthaimassage.co.uk

Kim Galliher said:

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!

Hello there. You and I are pretty much in the same boat. :) What I would say is talk to your school Success Center (if they have one). Usually they will offer resources to you on marketing, listing you on websites under your specialties, etc. Also, passing the business cards out is a good idea, but keep in mind where you are leaving them and if your specific target market would be shopping there. Look into joining a business networking group in your area. Some can be expensive so watch for that, some also have restrictions on how many people in the same profession can join so also be aware of that. On your facebook page (or any social media that you utilize for this really), keep your posts to a maximum of 1 a day. 2 at the very very most. You don't want to inundate people too much to the point that they block your page from their feed. Try to post specials along with links to articles pertaining to massage therapy. This way you are showing your passion and knowledge for the field while educating potential clients. Also, if you have a chair or access to one, getting out into local businesses and doing chair massages for them can really get people in the door. Word of mouth is your best friend. Just remember with corporate chair massage, you want to be extremely professional in everything you do. Meaning, call ahead of time to set an appointment with the individual that would be in charge of allowing you to come in. Maybe draft an idea of a script ahead of time before you call so that you don't forget any of your important points. Have a business plan prepared to bring with you that outlines exactly what you want to offer the company and exactly what you want to receive in return. If you need any help with writing these things, again check with your school's success center. : ) 

Katie,

I thought the tips in this article were pretty great, and number 6 might be an especially good idea if you're just starting out.

http://massagebodywork.idigitaledition.com/issues/21/34

Jed 

Strategy #6: 
Give Away 200 Gift Certificates

Here’s a technique that works beautifully if you need clients fast. It’s perfect for therapists who have a lot of time on their hands, but not a lot of money to spend on marketing. I’ve tested this strategy out with hundreds of therapists in my “60 Clients in 60 Days” program at BodyworkBiz.com and have tracked their results, so I know it works.

 

Here’s how to do it:

• Print 200 gift certificates on your home printer. You don’t want to spend much money to do this. Use a template in Microsoft Word or create your own. Format three to a page so that they fit into a standard envelope.

• Make the gift certificates for 30-minute massages. This is not a discounted offer. This is a free half-hour massage with no strings attached. Print these conditions clearly at the bottom: “For first-time clients only. No cash value. You can upgrade this gift certificate to a full hour for only $30 [or whatever price you want to charge for the upgrade] by requesting a full hour when booking your appointment.”

• Have your contact information clearly printed on the certificate, and include an expiration date that is two weeks out from the time you plan to distribute them. You want to encourage people to use them immediately. You don’t want these to gather dust or get lost. By having a short expiration date like this, you will attract people who are action-oriented, not people who are only half-interested and will do it one day when they get around to it.

• Carry the gift certificates with you and give them away at every opportunity. For example, when a client comes in for her next massage say, “I’m looking to build my practice. I would like to give you five gift certificates, worth $200, that you can give to your friends. If you know of anyone who’s under a lot of stress or who gets headaches [mention several of the conditions you like to address], then please give them one of these gift certificates. I’d like to help them if I can.”

• When you give out the gift certificate, point out the short expiration date on the bottom of the certificate.

• When someone calls to redeem their gift certificate, ask them if they’d like to upgrade to a full hour for only $30 more. If they don’t take advantage of the upgrade at this point, you can remind them again when they actually come in for their appointment. Just say, “I have some extra time available. Would you like to upgrade your session to a full hour of massage for just $30?”

I've only been in business for a short time as well and I read a great article in Bodysense that has gotten me several clients. As a new business owner and full time high school teacher on limited income I had to find cheap ways to market. I definitely agree about getting on Google Places and just verifying your address so you will show up on Google Maps. The article I read said to print off 100 gift certificates good for 1 free 30 minute massage with the option to upgrade to a full hour for just $30 or $35 I can't remember the exact amount. I opted for $35. I gave these babies to everyone. Clients that were coming to see me I give 5 to. I'll admit doing a free 30 minute massage seems like a lot of an investment but Way more people opted to upgrade for $35. I think I only ended up doing less than 10 free massages. I recently moved my business closer to where I live so I'm almost starting over but this by far has gotten me the most clients. Before I had enough money/ink in my printer I literally wrote the deal on my business cards and handed those out. This is a great way to build clients and get people in your door. Once they are in then it's up to you to get them to re-book. :)

doing a free event that people had to register for a 10minute time slot where they come to me at the time i want to book more clients worked well. I did two shifts of this, got a few people to come again and got about 3 good repeat clients out of it.  I also got to show off Thai massage that I love.

do you have street precence?  what can you do while you are already there?  On a quite morning i'm gonna take my chair outside where people driving by can notice me.  This is the time of year to work on marketing.  it can be slower with the change to fall schedules and the election coming up.  Do you have any updates on your success yet?

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