Finding viable massage therapy marketing ideas can be tough particularly when you are first starting out. Add to that the fact that because massage therapy is such a personal service, some methods that might work for other types of businesses just may not work for a massage therapy practice.
I have been in business for five (5) years and have learned, sometimes the hard way, how to get a steady stream of clients to come into my practice. In addition to this, I have also tried many marketing methods that were a total flop so in this series I will try to keep you from wasting hundreds and even thousands of dollars on marketing methods that just do not work.
Work Full or Part-Time In Your Own Practice or Mobile Massage Business
This will be the first of many posts I will do on the various ways to market yourself as a massage therapist. If you really want to make a great income as a massage therapist, you really need to consider having your own practice or offering your services on a mobile basis. I don’t care how much you make working for someone else, you will never make your highest income being an employee. If you HAVE to work as an employee, then work PART-TIME on your own to round out your income and to see what it is like to have your own business.
I Accomplished the Impossible
I am by no means a marketing guru, however, when it comes to massage therapy, I have been able to do what many people are a little confused over – bring in a steady stream of clients who are already motivated to use my services by the time they call me. Sure, I get “tire kickers” who are not even sure they want a massage but most of the calls I get, these people already KNOW they want to come see ME and me only. How do I know this? Because they already know the name of the massage they want, and they are willing to work around my schedule. If I am not available that day, they will find another day, rather than hanging up the phone and calling another therapist.
In these upcoming posts I am going to list for you what I believe are some of the easiest ways, starting out, to really get your business going, but keep in mind that the number one way is for you to have your own website. My original website was my BREAD AND BUTTER and if you create yours the right way, your website will become a lifeline for bringing in new clients and here is why:
Create Your Own Website
Now, I could have said BUY your own website but I will not do that. Why? Because you have to realize I have already been down the road and back so I will tell you what is down there. I have paid a LOT of money for a website and I have built a website myself and I truly believe that starting out (or if you have a limited budget) it is good for you to build your own website. The main reason I say this is because most massage therapists have a limited budget to work with even if they are opening their own office. After all, who wants to give their hard-earned profits away?! Also, the money you would spend on having someone else build a site for you could be much better spent on other things for your practice. Another person can maybe help you to put together the structure of a website, but you still will need to do all the writing so why not just do all of it? When you really start making a lot of money you can always have a new website built then but by then you may not need to or want to.
Tidbit: You have to make it through 5 years to really know whether you can survive as a massage therapist in private practice whether you have an office or you are mobile.
To survive in any business – YOU NEED CLIENTS – and so the clients who are looking FOR YOU are sitting at their computer or typing on their smartphone and trying to find a local massage therapist. Most of them are going to Google and some are finding massage therapists through another directory but the point is – they are using TECHNOLOGY to find YOU. Will they find you?
Learn to Write Your Own Content
One of the problems I ran into in trying to have others build a site for me is they always wanted to write the content of the website as well. I would let them do it but then, each time, I would end up writing it all over myself because they never quite got what made my services different from everyone else in town. My first main website was done through a company that offered a free sitebuilder and I simply paid for hosting and the other services I had attached to my account. This site worked GREAT for me and then I changed over to a WordPress website and added a blog. I actually paid to have a company create the new WordPress website and blog for my office and then I realized that I could have simply built the thing myself. I was already used to writing for my own website and it was only a matter of learning to deal with a WordPress website that I needed to learn. WordPress websites offer the most functionality and ease and it is so much you can do with it.
I know what you are thinking – Well Donna – of course, you could do your own WordPress website because you had already built your initial website! Well, this is true. However, I had to go through a learning curve when I built the first site and I had to go through another learning curve when I learned to build my subsequent WordPress website.
Either way, I took the time to LEARN. This is the point I am making. If you just devote a little time each day to learning, you can easily learn to build your own website. And here I will show you the EASY way to do that because when I built my first website I had to hunt around the internet for trainings on how to do this and how to do that. I had to call tech support constantly. It was very FRUSTRATING and it took me way too long to get my first website actually pulling in clients. I show you the way around that here so KEEP READING….
Wealthy Affiliate to the Rescue
I have found the answer that has saved me hundreds and even thousands of dollars and that is Wealthy Affiliate. You see, when I had this company build my new office WordPress website (which I still designed and wrote) – after they were done they basically LEFT ME HANGING! Sure they gave me some written training via email and pointed me toward a few videos that were very general in nature. They also told me if I wanted any more specific help I would have to pay for it!
So for me to say I was PISSED is a serious understatement. Then, to make matters worse, they kept telling me over and over that I would now have access to 24 hour-a-day support. Ok, great I thought. Nope – NOT great. I called several times trying to get help with WordPress questions only to find out that the support was ONLY for hosting-related and domain-related questions – not WordPress questions! What?!
That is when I went looking for a new solution. I needed a way to learn how to work my new WordPress website and blog to be able to make further additions and changes and then learn to create more websites built through WordPress. That is when I stumbled upon Wealthy Affiliate. To me it was like the gates of heaven opened up. Ahhhhh! Suddenly, I had access to every type of training I would ever need on building a successful WordPress website and I would also learn how to monetize my various blogs. More on the monetizing the blog part in future posts!
Wealthy Affiliate offers a free membership for you to get started. I immediately upgraded to Premium because I saw the value and the monthly cost was well worth it for me to be able to build multiple websites and blogs and have access to training, an active community and experts, webinars and videos.
Take The Easy Route
So if someone were to ask me today how to get a massage therapy website up and running, I would say join Wealthy Affiliate. Learn to build your own website. There is a LOT you learn about marketing and your target clients in the process as well. You do not need to know A THING about building a website. All you need is the desire to have a website. You simply go through the process of learning and before long you will have built a fully-functional website that will start bringing you the traffic you need in order to build your practice.
Grabbing Motivated Clients
Now back to the point I was making about people contacting me who were already motivated to make an appointment with me. I could have purchased one of those “canned” websites for massage therapists out there but I chose to be different and it has paid off.
What is the difference though really? Well, I KNOW the answer to that because my clients have TOLD me. Most of my clients have told me at one point or another that the reason they booked is because my website was one of the few that actually made them feel like they already knew me BEFORE they even met me. It was more than “canned” massage descriptions that look just like every other website in town. My website showed that I understood their needs and that I was offering solutions for those needs. I also had clients tell me that they loved the testimonials from other clients on my website. It all boils down to this – I wrote from the heart and it paid off. I did not try to be like everyone else in town and it paid off.
So, if you want to have any real chance of being successful in this day and age of technology, you MUST have your own website. It really does not take a lot of technical know-how. It just takes a decision to be the best.
If you join Wealthy Affiliate be sure to comment on here to let me know you name on there so I can welcome you and make sure you find everything you need. Also, feel free to leave comments on this subject. I really enjoy hearing from other massage therapists!