Jul 2008 Massage Marketing Newsletter

“From The Massage Table: Marketing and Motivation That Works”

July 31, 2008
Volume V, Issue 1

Welcome to the fifth anniversary issue of “From The Massage Table”! My name is Michael Humphreys, cofounder of Help Your Practice.

Each month, From The Massage Table will hit your email inbox with the latest news, special offers and great massage business tips that can help you create the massage practice of your dreams.

Want to make sure you don’t miss an issue? Please add mike@helpyourpractice.com to your address book and keep the spam filters from eating your subscription!

Check It Out: “Instant Massage Marketing”

Imagine if you could take proven massage marketing pieces and just add your own name and contact information…Well, imagine it no more!

Michael has taken some of the most successful massage marketing pieces from his own massage practice to create Instant Massage Marketing.

To learn more about Instant Massage Marketing, go to:

http://www.helpyourpractice.com/instant-massage-marketing.htm

Okay, onto this month’s newsletter!

Monthly Motivational Tip

If you say the word ‘selling’ to many massage therapists, they will wince like if you just said a dirty word in the middle of a church service.  I’ve seen it happen more times than I can remember.  Heck, as a massage therapist I felt that way about sales early in my career too.

Years later, when I owned my massage therapy center, sales training for any of the staff was always uncomfortably received.  Often, as soon as I mentioned sales training, the staff member looked like they wanted to run from the room.

Let me correct a long-standing public misconception: The world’s oldest profession is SALES.  It was not something involving the short-term rental of someone’s physical body.

When the very first hunter took his extra food and sold them so that someone else had food that they needed, he was performing sales.

The honest to goodness truth is, anytime someone offers a product or service that is needed or wanted by someone else, they are engaging in the profession of sales.

So why all of the difficulty around sales?

Well, sales has unfairly gotten the reputation as being a “dirty” profession.  Or that acting in a sales capacity somehow lowers your reputation or cheapens your service.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

When you decided to become a massage therapist, you probably did so because you wanted to help make a difference in someone’s quality of life.

How do you make that difference?

You SELL them on the positive benefits of massage therapy.  You educate them on how much better they will feel after a massage.  How they do need to suffer from back or neck pain any longer… simply get a professional massage.

Just as importantly, you sell the benefits of massage to the people who are interested in hearing them.  You sell the benefits to the people who NEED massage therapy.

Many times, those people are looking for help but don’t know where to find it.  If they have problems with sleeping at night because they are overstressed… should they pop a sleeping pill which has unknown side effects?  Or should they get a stress busting massage instead?

The choice is obvious for a massage therapist… but not as clear-cut to the general public.

The truth is, you can’t sell the benefits of massage to someone who doesn’t believe in its healing powers.  It won’t matter what you say because they won’t be interested in massage.  It would be like trying to sell a Chevy car to a die-hard “Ford Truck” man… the sale would never happen.

I want you to take a small but important step right now.

Take any negative feelings about selling professional massage therapy services and toss them out. Those limiting beliefs are only hurting your clients and hurting your chances of enjoying a full-time career doing what you love: helping other people through the power of massage therapy.

Massage Marketing Monthly Tip

This month I got a question by email, which I thought I’d share with you.  It’s a common question I’ve heard over the years so I believe my answer that I gave to “Janie” (name changed to protect her privacy) will help many subscribers.

“Hi Michael, I had a question for you.  I’m just starting my massage practice but I don’t have any money saved to market with.  I was thinking about using a credit card I have to start marketing my business.  It has a $2000 credit line so that would be a pretty good marketing push to start with.  I could even run a few ads too.  What do you suggest?”

First, congrats on starting your own massage business! I remember how exciting it was when I first started mine.  It was 1993 and I was barely out of college 6 months.  I was dead broke and had to struggle to scrap together $100 to do some “marketing”.  I wouldn’t have even had that except the community center where I opened my office had offered one month’s free rent to help me get started.

Years later, I took my private practice and used over $11K worth of financing to expand it into a massage center… then four years later expanded the center even more with another $20K worth of financing.

I’ve done both starting from scratch and starting with a bunch of outside funds (credit cards, private loans, etc.).  Most of the time I find myself recommending the bootstrapping method to therapists who are starting a new massage business.

Why? There are four big reasons…

1. It forces you to manage your business finances wisely.

2. You have to be aggressive with your targeted marketing plan rather than throwing a stack of money at the lack of business sales and hope the money cures it.

3. You are forced to leverage your most valuable resource to produce new business: Your TIME. You can use plenty of cash-generating methods like marketing, special promotions, etc, etc. to raise more money. You can’t create more time… just 24 hours in a day for everyone, regardless of what you do with it.

4. You stay debt-free which means a big pile of debt doesn’t strangle your business cashflow. A business that runs out of cash won’t stay in business for long.

Debt is fine to take on IF you have the cashflow to make the repayments every month consistently.

You need to use a marketing plan or system.  Just as important, you need to decide who you want to market to. (If you need help with this, I cover both of these in great detail in my book Help Your MASSAGE Practice).

If you use a marketing SYSTEM, you can start with low-cost or even no-cost methods (like networking, referral systems, etc, etc, etc.)… take part of your sales and reinvest them into your marketing so your business finances.

Then as cashflow permits, you start using more expensive — but potentially better results-producing — marketing and advertising. Note that I said potentially. I know plenty of established full-time massage therapists who get most of their new clientele from methods like referrals or even networking.

Because if you don’t know who your ideal prospects are…

If you don’t know how to reach them…

If you don’t use effective marketing — or know how to write your own effective marketing…

… Then you can blow through thousands of dollars very quickly on bad marketing and ineffective advertising.

Best of luck Janie!

Got Feedback Or A Success Story You Would Like To Share?

Drop Michael an email at mike@helpyourpractice.com and tell him now.

That’s all for now. I look forward to talking with you next month.

Seize the Day,

Michael Humphreys

Help Your Practice

Leave a Reply