How To Out Market Your Massage Competitors


Here’s a question I get from massage therapists frequently. Many therapists ask me how to deal with local competition.  The truth is, if you aren’t marketing yourself effectively, it can seem like there is always too much competition around you.

I just checked with the online Yellow Pages to see how many massage therapists, massage therapy centers, day spas, or medical offices offering massage were in my area.  That online search came back with a count of 84 options within a 5-mile radius of my massage office!  That’s double the number of competitors than were around me just 4 years ago.

Am I worried?

Not at all.

Even when I owned my massage therapy center, I didn’t worry about my competitors.

Will I lose any sleep over the thought of losing clients to one of these other massage providers?

Not even a wink.

These days, I not looking for any massage clients so, I’ll use my old massage therapy center as a better example.  It’s a more accurate comparison to most massage therapy practices because I was actively looking to attract more massage clients then.

With my massage center, I knew I had some major competitive advantages, even over any competitors who offered more therapists, a bigger location, or even more upscale decor (like granite tile in their lobby).

Let me explain what two of my competitive advantages were.

Advantage #1: I focused on getting specific types of clients.

In countless studies, a specialist will command more money and social prestige than a generalist.  In my professional massage experience, I have found this to be true. As I explained in my article, “I Don’t Want To Limit Myself To Getting Any New Massage Clients” if you try to go after every type of massage client, you’ll wind up attracting few or practically none of them.

Take clients who are looking for the day spa experience when they get a professional massage.  Since I wasn’t interested in spending $100K (or more) to create another day spa in my area, my massage therapy center wouldn’t appeal to them since we didn’t offer showers, fluffy robes, hair styling, mud wraps, and the other pamping services of the typical spa.

Of course, the massage therapy client who was looking for a quiet, relaxing place to get a great professional massage, then my massage center sounded just perfect to them.

I took the time to do some research on the target markets I wanted to go after and how to get them to respond to my marketing.  I developed and refined my methods for doing so, which I share in several chapters of “Help Your MASSAGE Practice”.

It’s such a critical step, yet so many massage therapists don’t do it and will continue to struggle financially instead.

Advantage #2: I Out Marketed My Competitors

After doing some informal surveying of my clients, I discovered 5 interesting facts.

1. Many of them had tried a competitor before they came to me.  A few had tried a competitor when they couldn’t get a last minute appointment at my center.

2. NONE of my competitors ever sent them any follow-up mailings.  No welcome letters. No special offers.  Nothing to recognize their birthday or special occasions like the birth of a child.

3. Many of them looked forward to getting mailings from my massage therapy center.  From the client educational newsletters to postcard mailings, over 85% of them reported that they read or looked at everything we had sent them.

4. Approximately half of them requested that I send them educational materials, both online and offline, more frequently than I already doing!

5. None of my competitors had ever sent them any educational content.

Most of my competitors relied on their Yellow Page ad and periodic referrals to attract new clients.  In contrast, I frequently used as many as 30 different marketing and advertising methods in a given month to attract new clients and make more sales.

Your clients are bombarded daily by thousands of advertising, marketing, and sales pitches. Your clients are constantly being pitched to, to give someone else their hard-earned money.  After a while, it’s only human nature to start to tune out all of the sales pitches.

Yet, I’ve used a different approach with my clients. I give them great, useful information in the form of free reports, client education newsletters, and so on.  I have become a trusted health advisor instead of an annoying, whiny salesman.  So they look forward to hearing from me because I’ve become a welcome addition to their lives.

Think about how you can create similar types of advantages for your massage business.

Your bank account will thank you!

Until next time,

Michael Humphreys

3 Responses to How To Out Market Your Massage Competitors

  1. Becky

    Thanks Michael. :o)

    That was a great reminder about follow-up letters, and sending out information on a regular basis.

    Time to go work on my next newsletter! :o)

  2. Dee

    Hi Michael! I’m a struggling mobile massage business owner I really could use some advice from you please email me. Thanks for this article!

  3. Carrie

    Hi Michael, thanks for your article. I used to mail out birthday cards but found it a very costly marketing exercise, that brought very few sales in return so I stopped it. I take people’s email addresses but I worry about sending unwanted marketing material or information that may annoy people. I’m 2 years in to being a self employed massage therapist and finding that 90% of people who come through the door are people that have a massage once a year for “a treat” and I’m desperately trying to find those that understand massage as a lifestyle/health choice. Of course I am regularly posting info about the many benefits of massage on my social media page, but again it gets little response. I want to be able to target my services to those that already understand the benefits and want to and have the means to access massage regularly, but that’s the bit I’m struggling to know how to do!

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