While the beginning of a brand new year is the perfect time to set goals and make plans for the continued growth of your massage therapy practice, each new season is also a wonderful launching pad to implement new initiatives to attract additional clients while maintaining the loyalty of established ones. Here’s a look at some great ways to make this year the best one yet for your practice:
The more you give, the more you receive
Do you want more clients? Go back to this simple rule of thumb: you have to give in order to receive. Consider reaching out to your current clients and offering a giveaway (a free session, a monetary credit, a referral bonus) for helping you get the word out for your services. Help them help you; this could be as simple as a postcard they grab on the way out of the door after their therapy session, an email blast or sharing your information with their social networks.
This puts you on the map (literally, depending on the app your clients use) and gets the name of your business in front of an audience you might never have had the opportunity to reach otherwise. You could also consider upping the giveaway value or offering different tiers of value depending on the amount of social media shout-outs the client gives.
When was the last time you reached out to the referral sources in your area? Consider making personal appointments to meet sports therapists, high school and college sports coaches, chiropractors, and doctors near you. Shaking hands and making brief appointments to establish your name and availability for referrals makes it easy for other professionals to remember you when dealing with a client that needs to transition to massage therapy.
Assess Your Surroundings
How well-cared for is your physical, clinical office space? Do clients come once and then never make it back on the appointment book, or do you offer such a welcoming environment and rapport that they schedule their next appointment before leaving? Lighting, cushions, music, comforting beverages, and temperature all play a role in first impressions. If your waiting area is bare and clinical, clients will have a difficult time relaxing and trusting you as a professional. Conversely, if clients are greeted and immediately have a feeling of well-being about their surroundings, they will feel more comfortable with their massage experience.
It may seem strange to ask, but how well do you know your clients? Massage clients appreciate not feeling like just another body on the table. Consider starting the first five minutes of each appointment with a brief consultation on life circumstance. Listening to clients first assures them that they are going to be cared for in the specific areas that they address. Additionally, you can keep an ear open for opportunities to invite them back (stressful jobs, big events, small children in the home.)
Once you have spoken with your client, you should immediately switch into therapeutic mode. Keep the client at the forefront of everything you do. Movements around the table should be slow and predictable. Breathing noises and mouth odor should be as non-existent as possible. For all intents and purposes, during a massage the therapist ought to only exist as a pair of hands and arms there to meet the needs of the person on the table.
The sense of smell is one of the most powerful tools the human brain has for recalling experiences. Have you thought about selling the oils and lotions that you use during therapy? This can not only be a source of cash income, but also stimulate clients to remember their massage experience with you. Consider partnering with essential oil wholesalers to make your own, unique scents that clients can take with them.
Keep in touch
Do you collect personal information on your clients for release forms? If so, you probably already have this key piece of information: their birthday. Remembering clients on their birthday is a surefire way to foster good will. Whether it’s a postcard, email, or text message, keep in touch with everyone who has visited your clinic in the past year. But don’t forget to make it meaningful! Clients don’t need another cheesy something to throw away or delete. They need a reason to come back to you. Offering a free or significantly-discounted massage session can trigger them to make their next appointment.
Up Your Marketing Arsenal
If you really want to take your practice to the next level, you’ll need to arm yourself with new knowledge and tools to increase your marketing effectiveness. Search for tools such as email marketing, gift certificates, online reviews etc. to help your brand stay top of mind and better sway clients to book with you more often.
- Author: Mark Volkmann
- Published: April 06, 2015