by Derek Cromwell
If you’re in business, then you’re in it to make money. Plain and simple. If you planned properly then you’re also doing something that you love, which can make business fun but it’s not practical if you’re not making any profit. The difference between a business and a hobby is money. If you’re a certified massage therapist then you need to focus on massage marketing if you want to be profitable. Otherwise you wind up like the hundreds of thousands of people with a special table collecting dust in a storage unit.
The greatest barrier you’ll face in your success is going to be your competition. In many small business environments, it’s often the people with the deeper pockets that win out and gain the most market share. If they have a big massage marketing budget they can often cast a pretty big shadow. That doesn’t mean you can’t stand out and corner your own share of the market – you just need to be creative and take advantage of what’s available to you.
Many small business owners underestimate the power of website copywriting. Not only does the design and usability of your website affect how people see your business but if it’s optimized properly for local keywords – like “massage in novi” or “metro-Detroit massage” then it’s that much easier to be found locally. Additionally, listing your address on the website helps to ensure that when people around you within a certain radius start searching, you’re more likely to appear first due to your proximity.
Getting great search visibility is key to traffic and good lead generation, but if your website doesn’t connect with them then you lose that traffic as people wander off for a better experience or more informative site. To make sure you convert people landing on your site, help them understand the benefits of doing business with you. Talk about:
- Why you’re unique among competitors
- What are the benefits of doing business with you
- What are the benefits of massage
- What problems can massage solve
In your site content, you should make an immediate connection with a hook – ask a question that’s relevant. “Do you suffer from constant neck pain? Did you know the problem might not be in your neck?” After you hook, follow with some facts and then empathize. Recognize the common problems then offer solutions by talking about the benefits of massage as well as the benefits of working with you. Good engagement, and making that connection, is crucial to building credibility and getting people to call you.
If you haven’t established a business listing in the search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing then now is the time. Claim your business listing, fill it out in detail, add photos and video if you have any, optimize it with keywords similar to your site and add any special promos you want to offer. Replicate this on review sites like Kudzu, Yelp and more.
Make sure your website has a blog and write an article once a week at minimum that talks about various topics relating to massage, the body, common stresses, how to overcome stress, medical conditions that find relief in massage, etc. There are a lot of topics out there to play with. If you’re not the writing type then hire a writer or switch over to video. Record a video of yourself talking about these same topics. Post them to your site blog (making it primarily a video blog) and share them on YouTube.
Just remember to optimize your title and video descriptions using those local keywords so you turn up in local search results.
At some point you have to get out and meet people, and a great way to break into the industry in a big way is to team up with local health and fitness clubs as well as natural or holistic wellness stores. Offer special deals and discounts to existing members or offer a discount on your services for new members who sign up for a club membership. In the case of a natural wellness store or organic foods store, you could offer a discount on services on purchases over a certain dollar amount in the store.
When you first get started, the hardest part of massage marketing is building your brand, or your name, so that people think to call you. A great way to do this is to do a certain number of free massages. I once had a friend who owned a free-standing massage parlor. He took at least one day a week traveling to hospitals and rehab facilities offering free massage to patients (as well as the staff). This produced a lot of referrals and he was able to proudly state that he provided a community service to the sick and recovering people. That built up a great deal of credibility and trust in his brand.
You took classes, you practiced, you read and tested and you’re certified. If you know you’re stuff then you should be marketing yourself as an expert. That means giving some free talks and small seminars on the benefits of massage. You don’t have to do anything big and extravagant; catering isn’t necessary. Get some space at the library or a cheap conference hall and hold a small gathering and talk on the medical benefits of massage, relaxation exercises and offer simple tips people can do at home to reduce stress levels and ease muscle tension. At the end, hand out a brochure, your business card, a marketing index card, a coupon for a discount on their first visit, etc.
All of these tips can be done with a minimal budget and can have a profound impact on your business. You’re in a crowded market, especially if you’re in a major metropolitan area. Everything you do to make your business stand out through massage marketing is going to ensure your success and move you one step closer to living your dream full time.
Derek Cromwell is an SEO copywriter and founder of Thunder Bay Media, specializing in website copywriting and content marketing to help improve brand visibility, search position, traffic and profit for small businesses. To learn more about marketing your business visit