By Matthew Chan
Did you recently graduate from massage therapy school and want to learn how to gain clients? Or are you a massage therapist who wants to learn how to grow your business? There’s no denying that any massage therapist wants to make money while pursuing their passion for helping others. As a graduate of IKRA Academy of Massage Therapy, these are the 10 tips I used to help grow my massage business into a successful enterprise.
Don’t be afraid to specialize, and then use that specialty to gain clients from a specific target market. You must determine and define what type of massage you prefer, the type of clientele you want to work with, and the kind of environment you want to work in. For example, some therapists choose to specialize in Swedish/relaxation massage because they love the relaxing atmosphere of a spa, some become sports therapists because they enjoy working on the field and in a clinic. Personally, I made the decision to focus solely on chair massage because I prefer the dynamic and fast-paced environment of a chair massage setting. I focused all of my efforts into mastering chair massage and quickly developed a reputation as the Chair Massage Guy–because of this specialization, clients felt very confident in hiring me for their events and I became the go-to massage therapist for chair massage services.
2. Work for others
Don’t be in a rush to quit your job at the spa. Your workplace can be a great resource in learning the ins and outs of running a massage business. When I first started in the industry, I worked for several spas around the city so I could learn as much as I could about how the businesses functioned. There are certain lessons you will learn on the job that cannot be taught in school. Working for others will give you the unique experience and expertise you need to succeed with your own business.
3. Take advantage of social media.
In today’s society, having an active social media presence is important for attracting more clients to your business. Instagram and Facebook are major social media sites with millions of users, and as such, they’re terrific ways to get the word out about your business. Be sure to encourage your clients to follow you on social media to keep up to date with the latest deals. Make sure to post quality content on a regular basis that showcases your business’ activities. I get a lot of my new clients from social media because I regularly post pictures and videos of me and my team doing massages. This is the kind of social proof that converts visitors into clients.
4. Loyalty Rewards Program
A client loyalty rewards program is a terrific way to keep existing clients happy while also attracting new ones. Offering loyalty awards is a strategy I use to increase my re-booking rate. In this business, 80% of my income comes from recurring clients, and the other 20% comes from clients who booked only once. This is why it is important to not forget about your present clientele when focusing on extending your client base. People prefer to know that they may get discounts and deals over time, so be sure to mention your rewards program in your advertising. For example, every week, I make it known that if a client books 3 massages with me, I will throw in an extra 20-minute foot massage on their third session. Offering free bonuses like this will entice your clients into booking more massages.
5. Offer Discounts
Offering regular promotions and discounts is a terrific strategy to improve income – and your loyal clients will definitely appreciate your kindness! Send a client an email or text message to give them a discount on their next massage if they haven’t booked an appointment in three months or longer. When clients can save money by purchasing a package of services in advance, everyone benefits. Offering massage package discounts is a good way to keep clients and earn consistent revenue. When offering discounts, make sure to offer them for a limited time (example: 30% off for the next 3 weeks). This will create a sense of urgency with clients, and they will want to take advantage of the offer before it expires.
6. Marketing via email and SMS (texting)
The world is a busy place, and most individuals find it difficult to recall the events of the previous day. Collect your clients’ email addresses and phone numbers and send them texts or emails to remind them of upcoming appointments or to inform them of any special deals you may be running. When you send clients unique, polite emails on key dates like their birthdays, it shows that you care about them and appreciate their business. The simplest approach to almost guaranteeing that your services will not be forgotten is to send a short SMS or an appealing email. SMS texts are very beneficial for filling in the gaps between appointments when you don’t have any. SMS is also good for notifying your clients that you have an open time slot at a discounted rate. Be careful not to send too many messages and emails; you do not want to come across as spammy, which can result in lost clients. A weekly or bi-weekly newsletter is a great way to remind clients of your services and offers.
7. Offer Gift Cards
Gift cards are a great way to expand your client base and gain more exposure. People are always looking for unique gifts for their friends and families, and a massage gift card makes the perfect present for any occasion. One of the best strategies I’ve used to gain new clients is to donate gift cards to fundraisers and events as part of their raffle draws. In return, the events will advertise your business as a sponsor and will post your logo on their event’s marketing materials.
8. Choose the right partner
Although running a massage business on your own can be very rewarding, there is only so much you can accomplish by yourself; this is where having a competent business partner comes in. Having the right partner can help you grow your business exponentially, leading to more clients and more income. Be careful when choosing a partner; you want to pick someone whose skills and strengths compliment your own. For example, my partner is very good at marketing and public relations–whereas I excel at management and logistics. Our roles are clearly defined, allowing each of us to focus on specific aspects of the business–This has allowed us to consistently acquire new clientele at a rate that neither of us could have achieved on our own; if you have the right partner and the right team, the possibilities are endless. If you recently graduated from massage therapy school, you may want to consider teaming up with classmates who share the same goals and values as you do; you will find that it is better to graduate as allies than as competitors.
9. Create a website or a blog
The most critical component of your exposure and visibility is having a website. Having a website will make it easier for potential clients to find you on Google. You can also offer online bookings, gift cards, reference materials, educational features, and more on your website. This type of content aids people in their decision-making process. You may also have a blog on your website and write frequent articles regarding massage therapy’s health advantages and other relevant topics. Regularly publishing a blog post about health and wellness, as well as massage treatments, will assist your website’s local search results and identify you as an expert in the industry. This will foster a sense of trust and professionalism, which will increase the chances of new clients booking you.
10. Make bookings simple and accessible
Accessibility of your massage services is a key component in developing your business. Set up an online booking service to relieve yourself of phone obligations. Clients will enjoy the ease of being able to arrange sessions without having to wait for a callback, and having an online booking service will boost your web presence. In our current digital age, it’s the perfect time to start offering online booking if you don’t already. It necessitates less work on your clients’ behalf and on your end as well.
The massage industry is growing at a rapid rate and massage therapists are in great demand. There are many options to expand your business and increase your clientele. Massage therapy is all about establishing a rapport with your clients and helping them live a better, more fulfilling life. This is exactly how you should promote your massage therapy business. The better you understand your clients and their wants, the more effective your marketing will be. You have to tell people who you really are, where you are, and how your abilities set you apart from the competition when it comes to your massage therapy business.