Awhile back, Natural Touch Marketing did some marketing consultation/brainstorming sessions. We talked to twenty-four massage therapists of all stripes, bodyworkers, energy workers, skin care specialists, and a new CE teacher. We now have a general idea of your general situation and the general challenges you face. Generally.
Here’s an overview of five basic topics that came up in most of the sessions.
Your clients want to hear from you.
I am here to tell you that your clients do want to know what’s going on in your practice. They do welcome reminders that you exist, that you haven’t seen them in a while, that you are continuing your studies, that you have gift certificates for sale.
I heard a lot of doubt from you: I haven’t been doing this long enough. There are people who are smarter than me. No one wants to hear what I have to say. I don’t want to bug anybody.
Listen: You are the one who has put in the time, the study, and the work. You have passed the tests. You are now qualified. You have earned Worthy. Now it’s time to show people that you are Worthy. Put yourself in the Worthy frame of mind and practice.
You need to understand exactly who you are talking to.
I’m telling you right now that this part of the brainstorm/consultation was probably the most difficult. As a group, we think more broadly about our clients than is useful. Here’s a basic example that seemed to resonate with the brainstormers: If you’re focusing on long-haul truckers, they won’t care that your work will help relax, renew, and revitalize. They care that your work will help them to rotate their heads enough to look over their left shoulder when they merge on the freeway. If I were trying to get you on my table, I wouldn’t send you a message about how relaxation is good for you. I would send you a message telling you that I specialize in work on wrists, thumbs, and forearms.
You save money when you know who your clients are.
When you know what kind of clients you are talking to, you know what kind of problems they face.
When you know what kind of problems they face, you know what to say to them.
When you say the right things to the right people, you save a ton of money and you get more clients.
You can save even more and attract even more by taking your tailored message directly to the people you want to serve. Here, I wrote a big ol’ brainstormy list for you:
Pregnancy Massage (Pre and Post)
- Find the doulas, midwives, and pre-natal yoga teachers. Ask what it would take for them to recommend you to their clients. Do they have mailing lists? Will they be willing to mention/recommend you in their mailings? Do they or their group have newsletters? Will they sell you space for an ad? Can you contribute an article?
- Are there any parenting classes at the local hospital or community college? Usually these classes have lots of informational/self-care handouts. Can you contribute one?
- Find the dads-to-be. The dads need some way to help. (By the way, dads need very specific instructions. They are very afraid of messing up. I know this.) See if you can do a foot massage how-to at a parenting class or whatever.
- Where do the grandmas shop? Baby goods resale shops are grandma magnets. I would go there and make nice to the owners.
- Gyms have mailings lists. Can you buy space for an ad in them?
- There are running clubs, soccer clubs, sports teams administrated by cities and counties. They have meetings and mailings and online groups. They have scheduled competitions. They need volunteers. Go out and meet these people.
- Where do athletes go after a game? Go. Feeling brave? Ask the owner if you can set up your chair. Or your table. (A side bar: My friend used to work at a sports bar in DC. The ex-pat rugby players hung out there because the owner let them bring their dogs. When my friend got off shift, she massaged the dogs. The dogs went into bliss position. The owners looked thoughtfully at their dogs. She handed them her card. This is not something most MT’s would do, but it worked for her.)
- Again, there are clubs. With meetings. Go check out the community centers and the senior centers. Go check out the Hispanic Women’s club down the block. Go ask at the golf course if there are any groups that meet regularly. Fishing clubs, dog walkers, yoga studios, political meetings. Go.
- For these folks, I would look for their family members. Especially the family members that live far away. Surely when someone goes into an assisted living situation, his or her family gets some sort of information package. See if you can’t be a part of that.
- For those that are still independent, ask around at churches. VFW. Granges. Again, at community centers and senior centers.
Your marketing is simply good customer service.
I know you are reluctant to “intrude.” It is not intruding to tell your clients you’re moving. It’s not intruding to tell them that it’s four months until Senior pictures and four months is how long it takes to get adolescent acne under control. It’s not intruding to send an email with desk stretches to your office-worker clients. When you reach out to clients — with the right message — you are telling them things they need to know. You are telling them that you care, that you understand, and that you have solutions. Also, if you tell/remind clients during intake that you send out messages when you have a special or when you’ve got something good to share, and they say it’s all right to contact them, you are absolved.
You really can successfully market your practice in simple ways.
We have written precisely a gabillion and twelve articles about ways, methods, approaches, adjustments, philosophies, structures, techniques, and modus operandi to market your practice. Basically what it all boils down to is that you need to give people solutions to their problems and that these people need to know you exist.
We confirmed through our conversations that many of you are shy, retiring right-brain types. This is all well and good when I am in a session with you. But to get me in your room, you have to show me that you can help me. You don’t have to be loud. You don’t have to do the slicky-salesman thing.
You do have to be ready to talk to me.
You do have to believe you are good enough to talk to me.
Because I believe.