Growing a business can be challenging. As a massage therapist you’re concerned with your clients wellness first and foremost, but in order to be successful you need to also be concerned with the wellness of your business. Excellent hands-on skills are not enough to grow your business. Ultimately you’ll need to develop your approach to the business side of your practice. Don’t worry, we’re publishing an ongoing series of fresh marketing ideas to get your practice booming!
One useful skill to grow your business is to understand your marketing options. Whether you’re just getting started, or have been in business for some time, there are effective approaches to marketing for little or no cost that work.
Taking a “guerilla” approach and leveraging the power of the Internet, will get your brand out there and grow your clientele. Once you’re established and have filled up your schedule, then explore the costlier side of marketing. For now, these simple low cost tips will help you get your business started.
What is “Guerilla” Marketing?
Guerilla marketing focuses on low-cost, non-traditional methods of marketing used generally in a localized fashion to draw attention to an idea, product or service. For a new start-up, using these techniques is a cost effective way to grow your business.
Let’s look at some low cost options for getting the word out.
Use Flyers Distributed Locally
Flyers placed strategically around your neighborhood can drive traffic to your practice. Online sites like Fiver.com let you hire a professional designer for as little as $5 dollars to create a visually appealing flyer. Once you have a design, visit your local copy shop and produce a few hundred copies. Distribute flyers at local convenience stores, gyms, health food stores, and restaurants to get the word out.
Have an Open House
Open your shop and invite the neighborhood to stop by. Prepare a short presentation on the benefits massage in promoting health. You can set-up a box and ask people to leave their email address in order to win a free massage. Now you have a list of potential clients to send a monthly newsletter.
Encourage Client Referrals
Your greatest source of new business is your existing clients. Ask them for referrals. Offer incentives like a free massage for every three friends they refer.
Get Out of Your Office and Network!
If you’re practice is new, you probably have lots of free time. Use it to network with other businesses in your area. Look for compatible businesses like health food stores, holistic healers, fitness centers, and bookshops. Think about your potential customer’s interests and where they might shop. Stop by, meet the owner, and drop your business card!
These are just a few ideas for marketing your new business that won’t cost a lot of money, but will produce results. Another area offering inexpensive marketing opportunities is online.
Internet Marketing Opportunities
The Internet offers some incredibly effective opportunities to promote your business online. From websites to social media, investing time online will help you grow your business. Here are a few ideas.
Have a Website
A website allows you to educate readers about your practice, rates and availability. Today, most hosts offer free website building tools to get you started. Or, create your free website on MassageBook. Stick to general information and offer insights on the benefits of massage therapy. As your business grows so can your website.
Blog about Massage Therapy
A blog lets you write in more depth about massage therapy, explain the different forms of massage (Shiatsu, reiki, etc), and educate readers about the benefits of massage. If you can’t afford a website, there are free blog sites like Blogspot or WordPress where you can get started.
Engage Thru Social Media
Sites like Facebook, and LinkedIn allow you to set-up free pages for your business where you can interact directly with others online. These websites are a great forum for spreading the word about your practice. Remember to keep the sales talk to a minimum. People engaged on social media sites are looking for information, not a sales pitch. Social media is also a great forum for special offers and directing readers to your blog or website for more information.
Use MassageBook’s free Facebook Integration to allow people to book appointments with you from your Facebook Page!
Advertise on sites like Facebook with Pay Per Click Advertising
This option will cost you a little money, but the results can be explosive. PPC advertising is a form of online advertising where you pay for each interaction with your ad. You can set strict parameters like the price per click and a maximum amount per day to keep your costs manageable.
Marketing your business doesn’t need to cost a fortune. With a little outside-the-box-thinking and some time, you can get your practice off the ground. All of these options are effective and cost little money to implement. As your practice grows, so can your marketing budget.
- Author: Mark Volkmann
- Published: July 23, 2014