March 2006 Massage Marketing Newsletter

Help Your Practice Massage Marketing Newsletter

March 21, 2006
Volume II, Issue 9

Welcome to the Help Your Practice Massage Marketing Newsletter!

My name is Michael Humphreys, cofounder of Help Your Practice.

Each month, Help Your Practice will be coming to your email inbox with the latest Help Your Practice news, special offers and great massage business tips that can help you create the massage practice of your dreams.

I have a couple quick points before we get into this month’s newsletter.

First, I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the online survey and gotten their fr*ee copy of “Lights, Music, Massage” for their feedback. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and it helps me learn what massage practice building tools and articles are most wanted and needed.

Next, I’m working on finalizing the first set of Client Education Newsletters. I have been promising a number of the newsletter subscribers that I would have them done “soon”.

Part of finalizing them has been updating any outdated health information and removing my massage practice’s contact information from various places in every issue. Look for an email update within the next two weeks with more information and details once they are finished.

Finally, I’m working a new website design for Help Your Practice which should debut in the next month or so.

Since Help Your Practice has almost 70 individual pages, sometimes trying to find stuff has been challenging for our readers. The new design will make it easier for everyone to find what they are looking for on this site.

Okay, now let’s get into this month’s newsletter!

Now Available: Instant Massage Marketing

Discover how to generate loads of new clients by using proven massage marketing pieces…

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, please click here…


Goal Setting Monthly Tip
By Eric Mitchell, C.S.C.S.

Hey Everyone!

I’m taking a short break from running my new speed & conditioning center to write this column.

Last month, we talked about Adversity. This month, I have chosen a topic that has been on my mind for the last couple of weeks: Good Health.

As health care providers, we frequently do not take good enough care of ourselves! We spend so much time and effort making other people feel great, that we often deny ourselves the same thing.

Massage Therapists often prepare their practices to be pleasing for the client. The massage office has the necessary environment to make people feel good.

The problem is you feel don’t feel great yourself because you have not eaten well, slept well or exercised (besides doing massage) in the last few months. You have sacrificed good health habits to focus on getting your business thriving. But if your body is tired, sick, and in pain, is your business and your life really thriving?

Sure, the money is coming in. You are able to pay the bills and have enough to sock away for a rainy day.

Ask yourself, when was the last time you got a massage yourself? Or went to your local fitness center to do some cardiovascular exercise and stretching? Are you really in tune with what you tell your clients about taking care of their health?

Okay, let me take a step back because some of you may feel I am being a little harsh.

Take a minute and ask yourself
these three questions. Be Honest!

Do you get at least 7 hours of sleep each night?

Are you eating 3-4 times daily for optimal health?

Besides doing massage, do you do an exercise program 2-3 times each week?

If you answered “no” to any these questions you are not helping your clients, your business, or your own quality of life.

Mike and I have seen both massage therapists and personal trainers with busy practices have to fold them because they simply neglected their own health until they couldn’t neglect it anymore.

Make the commitment to yourself. Focus on which area needs improving (the amount of sleep you get, eating optimally, or getting regular exercise) and you will find it helps make you a better therapist and a healthier person.

Monthly Massage Marketing Tip
By Michael Humphreys, N.C.T.M.B.

This month’s massage marketing tip is going to focus on a frequent question that readers have asked me:

“Michael, if you were starting your massage practice from scratch today, what would you do to get massage clients and get a busy practice?”

Let me start by saying it would be a lot easier for me today to start from scratch than it was in 1993, because all of the massage practice building and marketing information I have learned and mastered since then. Since I learned massage initially from private training, I didn’t even get the basic business training that is commonly taught in massage schools today.

In addition, when I started there wasn’t any massage marketing websites. The Internet was not very well known to the general public. In 1993, I didn’t even own a computer yet!

When I originally started my massage business, I thought I knew enough marketing to succeed…in hindsight, I knew practically ZERO marketing or business building skills.

When I started, I didn’t know what a referral system was, or how to write an ad, or a lot of the skills that will help grow any type of business.

Here’s an example. In 1993, one of my very first clients asked me if I offered a “prepaid package” and I didn’t know what she meant. Fortunately, she explained what it was to me and what types of packages her previous massage therapist used to offer her. Thirteen years later, this kind soul is still a loyal client of mine.

In this exercise, I’ll assume that I don’t have any money to pay for advertising or more powerful marketing like direct mail. I will assume that I have enough money to get business cards printed up, which I’ll get done at Staples because they do fast and reasonably priced quality work (about $35 for 1000 cards).

For this exercise, I won’t cheat and read the massage marketing and practice building book that Eric and I wrote, Help Your MASSAGE Practice to get additional fast start ideas. <grin>

Here’s how I grow my massage practice
from scratch today in just 4 steps:

Step 1: Educate myself on marketing, advertising, and basic business management. When it comes to massage marketing and massage practice building, what you don’t know will hurt you.

To get started on this, I would read everything I could find written by massage therapists who have developed either successful massage therapy clinics or try to interview them in person and “pick their brains”. I’d look in the bookstores, libraries, industry periodicals, and even on the Internet.

Step 2: Come up with a target market to focus all of my efforts on. You can’t be the “massage solution” to every single person in your area, so just focus on one market. Here is a link to an article I previously wrote called “I Don’t Want To Limit Myself To Getting Any New Massage Clients”.

Step 3: Use multiple referral systems. First, I’d use one referral system for every massage client I currently had or would be getting. Next, I’d use a different referral system for friends or family members who referred a new client to me. Finally, I’d use a completely different referral system to any business associates that made a referral to me.

When I owned my massage therapy center, I frequently had as many as seven different referral systems going at one time. You can get a little creative with your referral systems, but here’s a common one that works well with low to middle class income clientele:

Your existing client refers someone new to you. The new client gets money off on their first appointment. Your existing client earns a referral credit on their account which is good for money off on their next appointment.

Before you dismiss this simple sounding referral system, I will tell you that this basic referral system which I only did with clients on their initial visit, would consistently produce 2-3 new clients every month.

Of course, if I had combined some additional marketing to remind my existing clients about the referral program, it probably would have produced even more referrals.

Step 4: Focus on “wowing” the new client and getting them to rebook. Give them a great massage.

Educate them on the importance of regular massage. Make a recommendation on how often they should get a massage based on their individual needs. Ask them to reschedule.

This step takes some work to practice and get comfortable with it. It’s definitely worth the effort. This is one of the keys to creating a busy, full-time massage practice. It’s been a cornerstone in both Eric and my own busy practices. It’s so important that we dedicated a whole chapter in Help Your MASSAGE Practice just on client retention techniques.

These days, over 70% of my clients schedule their next appointment before they leave my office. The rest will call once they have their schedule figured out or they feel they need a massage. I don’t have to worry about filling my weekly schedule because it’s usually 70% or more already filled. The rest of my schedule fills with appointment requests from new clients and existing clients calling to take any openings I may have remaining.

I realize that the previous paragraph may sound conceited as hell to some people, but that is certainly not my intent. I am merely trying to demonstrate how powerful step 4 can be when you work on perfecting it.

Try this four step approach in your own massage business. You will find you can steadily grow your massage business inexpensively this way!

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

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

That’s all for this month. On behalf of Eric, we’ll look forward to talking with you next month.

Seize The Day,
Michael Humphreys
Help Your Practice

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