I’ve been a bodyworker for pretty much 8 years. I started massage school in nov 2002 and graduated in August of 2003. School was what you would expect for a massage program; Composition & Physiology, Myology, Pathology, Technique, Life values, and Business were just part of my 9-month program. I learned a lot, and I grew as a person. But how well made it happen prepare me to grow a successful therapeutic massage business?
I left school with a business plan on hand and an workplace all set up to see clients. I recently needed to get my licence (a short 7 days process at that time) and some clients. So, I considered my business plan and put my marketing plan into action.
I printed my business cards, gift certificates, flyers and paper prints. I carried my flyers with me everywhere I went and never missed the opportunity to place one on a message board or post one in a window. I was offering new client special offers at a unbelievably low price for this area. I networked 출장마사지 to friends and family sending emails and letters with business cards offering this starting rate to them and their friends.
Sometime around Come early july that same year, I began my online efforts. I purchased a great url of your website and built myself a very nice website considering I had never done any web work prior to this. The website made it to the the top of search engine pages. Perfect. All I had to do was wait for individuals to contact me, right? After all I was at the top of the page!
I continued to work a part time job at this point to help supplement my income. If i saw 4 clients in a week I was excited. All my marketing efforts, all my time and money… for 4 clients each week. Don’t get me wrong, I was very fortunate for those 4 clients. But following a year of this, I was getting worn down. My business plan did not say it would be this tough. So, I chose to leave private practice and was offered a job building a local spa. (I had 11 years or previous management experience. )
I spent two years at the spa. I had a great arrangement where I could still see clients but I didn’t are related my own marketing. Plus, it meant I could leave my in your free time job. However, it still was not the vision I had of earning a living for myself.
I worked at the spa for 2 years. Where time I was discovering my passion: CranioSacral Therapy. I was training through the Upledger Institute; I became a teaching admin and was on the path to certification. But the more in depth I got with my training the more I realized I had to go back into private practice to completely come into my own.
In April 2006, I went back into private practice. This time I had some clients that followed me from the spa. But I knew I must start marketing again in order to grow my practice. So, I went online to research massage marketing tips and strategies. And that is when I ran across a future webinar for massage experienced counselors on what to manufacture a affiliate based business. It was a free webinar, so i thought, ‘Why not? ha I had no idea that it would be the marketing technique I would use the most with success.
Before I get to that, I want to say one thing that we discovered. And that is, that typical marketing techniques do not work for massage because massage is not a typical service. Massage marketing has to be different. There is a therapeutic relationship involved and we need to take that into consideration. This ties in directly with what I believe to be the online strategy that makes most sense for massage experienced counselors and other bodyworkers…
What’s the number one way most experienced counselors say they get clients? Word of mouth testimonials. If you can build a solid relationship with your clients, they will become affiliate machines. Seriously. If you have a strong relationship with your clients and someone asks one of them who they recommend for massage or bodywork, who do you think they will say? You, of course!
It sounds simple and it is actually simple.
The partnership at the office is practically a no-brainer. You will have a great intake with the client, listen to his/her needs, and provide a session that meets his/her goals. Your customer service should be top notch without being extraordinary or fake. You should be a great listener. But what are the results after they leave? How do you continue to build the partnership? Isn’t it time for this?
Homemade cards. I kid you not.
Clients get homemade cards from me all the time. They are never forced. I never send one if i don’t mean what I am saying inside the card. But I really do use them. The ability of a honest, unexpected unit card is amazing. Clients talk about this level of detail. They post the cards on their refrigerators. They tell others about them. This is powerful stuff. What types of cards do i send?
After the first session, the client will obtain a thank you card. Then, all through the year, they will obtain a birthday card, litigant appreciation card, thanks for the affiliate card, and perhaps one or two other in season cards or sometimes a funny holiday card, like National Watermelon Day (which is May 3 if you need to mark your calendars). There are so many reasons to send cards, but here is the catch.
I mentioned it quickly before. They have to be genuine, honest cards. NOT marketing cards. These cards are not to talk about your monthly special or offer discounts or do any kind of promotion. If that is the point of the card, they will be treated like all of those other spam and the value is lost. The doctor has to truly come from a place of appreciation. That is what builds the partnership. And when you have that relationship, your clients will talk about you to all of their friends. They will get to be the best form of marketing anyone could ask for: walking, talking testimonials.
So how is my business now? I have been back in private practice for pretty much 3. 5 years. I am Upledger Certified in CranioSacral Therapy. I have clients who have been with me for over 5 years. I am booking three to four weeks ahead depending on the season. I send out 30+ cards per month and I look forward to that number getting larger each month.
Pretty powerful for a simple little card, huh?
Brian Thayer is a Boston Licensed Massage Hypnotherapist, an Upledger Certified CranioSacral Hypnotherapist, an avowed CranioSacral Therapy teaching admin, and a study group leader. He also shows others how to set up a system of sending homemade cards to build client relationships and grow a affiliate based business.