a community of practitioners
Those are some great ideas! Thank you! I thought I was getting out there, but I guess I have been "playing it safe" and not really getting myself out there. I will try some of those ideas for sure! Thank you!
It is great that you are doing alot of things to promote yourself but is sounds like you are just randomly putting the word out there. Who is your ideal client? Who do you want as clients? If you specialize in something it is easier to focus your marketing efforts. That doesn't mean you can't work on other people outside that specialty.
The thing is that you just have to keep doing something everyday. Just because you do something once and it doesn't work that time doesn't mean it won't work. I think you have to keep doing it until you get enough exposure and enough people will know who to go to when they do need massage. If you don't have clients spend everyday marketing,working on your website, writing articles to get traffic to your website,writing letters to doctors or others to develop your network -
I don't think it does take that much time to get a full practice. I think it just takes a lot of work, a lot of creativity and perseverance.
I have a long list of ideas
info for your website and getting traffic
and info about creating your referral network.
You just have to keep at it until you have the clients that you need. do a groupon or other group buying discount thing and get people in the door and have a good follow up program..do whatever you need to do. Give massages away for free for a month.
So much good info has already been offered...(Great ideas Tracy!)
No offense intended, but your website definitely needs help. The color scheme is bland and doesn't catch the eye. The banner ads NEED to go! And you desperately need content; so many of your pages have NOTHING on them. Having a website isn't enough - your website has to engage your prospective client and give them a reason to want to get a massage from you.
You said earlier that you are hesitant to spend $ on advertising, but there are other ways of marketing your practice other than advertising. (Print ads IMO are really hit-and-miss anyway.) I like Tracy's idea of doing "volunteer" massage for emergency responders (ERs), but I would go one step further: in addition to getting your face in front of the ERs, I would also put out a press release announcing that you will be doing this. This way you're getting the word out to the people you're volunteering to, but also putting it out to the community that you are community minded and people respond to that.
Always carry your business cards AND your calendar with you wherever you go. Everyone I meet will leave that encounter knowing what I do and will have at least 2 of my business cards (I tell them one is for them and the other is to give to a friend who needs me.) I've been at social gatherings and have had people ask for an appointment right then and there - having your calendar available at all times is essential.
Work on your "30-second commercial" - be able to readily and succinctly tell someone what it is you do. Go beyond your title; don't just say "I'm a massage therapist" - tell them what you do FOR your clients. "I help people find solace from the stress of daily living." for example. The point is to create interest and engage them in conversation. Help them realize how you can help them.
And, I'll echo - keep at it. Marketing is an ongoing process - 24/7/365. Find your niche, target your message and be persistent.
Hi Stephanie, I have also tried all of the networking sites with little sucess. I get most of my business from working my profession into casual conversation. I also have set up a chair massage tent at a couple of events and email my website address to everyone I know. I am also on call at a salon and a chiropractors office. I have been told the first year or two are the most difficult, but stick with it and things will begin to happen for you. I notice a small growth in my customer base every month. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Most of all tell everyone what you do! Good luck and have fun.
Hi Stephanie -
You have a nice list of modalities: Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Reflexology, Sports Massage, Reiki, Pre-natal Pregnancy Massage, Abdominal Massage, Myofascial Release, Chair Massage, Therapeutic Massage, Shiatsu, Trigger Point Therapy, Acupressure, Lymph Drainage, Aromatherapy, Energy Work, Chakra Balancing).
Here are some practice building tips:
PRACTICE BUILDING TIPS
This is what your website page looks like when I pull it up. I would suggest getting your own website outside of the company you are currently utilizing. ABMP can help you with this. Contact ABMP to obtain details about website opportunities for ABMP members.
You are welcome to research and join groups on the Massage and Bodywork Professionals site. Two groups that come to mind right away are Practice Building and Career Opportunities. I believe there is a group that focus on every one of the specializations you list on your webpage: Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Reflexology, Sports Massage, Reiki, Pre-natal Pregnancy Massage, Abdominal Massage, Myofascial Release, Chair Massage, Therapeutic Massage, Shiatsu, Trigger Point Therapy, Acupressure, Lymph Drainage, Aromatherapy, Energy Work, Chakra Balancing. This website offers a great opportunity for networking.
There are several courses available specializing in Practice Building and Marketing. Ariana Institute offers an online CE course in Practice Building and Marketing for Massage Therapists. If you want a scholarship to take the course, please contact me.
Laura Allen has written a wonderful book about practice building and marketing. I would suggest that you get the book and follow the guidelines offered.
You mentioned that you are working full time and have a daughter, so that refines your hours of availability. Saturdays are usually the highest income producing days for massage therapists, so if you could make yourself available then, it may open doors for more clients to come your way.
Have you considered working for a clinic or spa that already has an established clientele? That works well for many therapists.
You can Google "massage Modesto" as part of your marketing strategy. This is what I found. You could follow up on these leads and see who might be interested in having you join them.
|1127 13th St, Modesto, California
|1801 Tully Rd # A2, Modesto
|2717 Coffee Road, Modesto -
"Family owned businesses that provide world class service should be recognized."
yelp.com (9) - citysearch.com (6) - yahoo.com (6)
|516 Needham Street, Modesto
|(Inside All Knotted Up Massage Therapy), 1521 K Street, Modesto
|225 E. Granger RD.#1 (McHenry Village), Modesto
|420 Downey Avenue, Modesto
citysearch.com (2) - yelp.com (2) - insiderpages.com (2)
Judging my the responses you have received, you certainly reached out to the right massage community. I think you'll find this ABMP Massage and Bodywork site one of the most helpful resources you could possibly utilize. Congratulations on making a wise choice and reaching out. People are willing to be supportive and caring when given the opportunity.
I will be thinking of you and wishing you the very best...
Warmly, Ariana Vincent, Ariana Institute
Hi Stephanie--- Just starting out mabey you should try some different avenues. Offer your services in Chrio's offices, salons, Hospice, there are many places you can start out at and find where your supposed to be.
When I first started I knew I wanted more of a medical approach to my practice, but I did try different places.
Hi Stephanie- I too, am fairly new to this business and was having problems creating my earning capacity. Here's what I did and it worked for me: ( it too, takes a little time, but once word gets out, it spreads like wildfire )
For a limited time I offered a 50 minute massage for $25.00 if they would sign an agreement to stick with it for 12 months. That's one massage per month (they may choose more than one for that price also). They prepaid $25.00 for an initial total of $50.00 at their first session. 24 hours notice required to cancel or re-schedule.
If they missed a month of massage, I kept the prepaid money and the contract was broken. ( I always allow for emergency or out of control situations). The thought behind doing this was to bring in business, allow some who felt that they could not afford to try a massage to give it 12 months to see the effects and the benefits, and allow those who already knew the benefits the opportunity to reap them and feel the financial break normally associated with massage, and to see that I had steady income for 12 months.
I give outstanding service, as I'm sure you do, treat my clientele as if they are the most important thing on earth (they are) and word has gotten out. I no longer take contracts because the people who took advantage of it do the greatest advertising for me.
Last year I was broke-this year I am working as much as I want to. I hope you can take something out of this and that your business flourishes. Keep your head up, the economy is bad right now and I know it's hard to keep a smile on your face, Let us know how you're doing.
There are many great tips here. Thanks Ariana for that list. I'm still reletively new to the business. I have found the more I have a positive atitude, the more clients I get. I know that isn't really advertising help but I feel people are attracted to positive energy. So seeing how well you are doing and not how far you are from your personal goal helps in my opinion.
I have tryed craigslist. I still post a few time on there. A lot of my clients come from craigslist but most that reply are looking for very cheap massages. So I try not to use that as my number one advertising. I use facebook and have started useing twitter. Facebook has been the best for me. Friends and family are my biggest help. With them getting massages from me and telling people they know have gotten me quit a few more clients.
Another thing I have started doing is sending out postcard saying "Thank you for being a client". I also put on there 20% off any massage service if they bring in the postcard. Also listing the prices on the back is a great idea so they can see what 20% off will be.
Wear a shirt around that reads "I rub feet". You'll get comments and clients while running your errands. ;)
Here's one here: http://bit.ly/Irubfeet