One Year to a Successful Massage Therapy Practice LauraAllenMT
Some people make things happen. Some people watch things happen. Some people wonder what happened.
When the economy sucks • People cut back on things they consider to be luxuries. • People are worried about affordable healthcare. • Massage is something you need to instill in their mind as a necessity. • Regular massage can cut down on visits to the doctor and medications.
When “Economic Stimulus” checks were sent out, I sent out “Economic Stimulus” coupons offering $10 off on your first massage to anyone who hadn’t been to my business in 3 months or more.
EXPAND! I took advantage of empty offices and expanded my business during the worst part of the recession.
Marketing vs. Advertising Marketing is: • Everything you do to promote your business Advertising is: • Marketing that you pay for
The Crucial Step Creating a marketing budget that you can live with—and that will do your business the most good. Residual Marketing: Why marketing experts advise against it, and why I EMBRACE it!
Constructing the Budget • Begin by listing all other expenses (rent, utilities, laundry, taxes, etc). • Know your break-even point without including any advertising in the budget.
But Wait! at home. When you’re considering your break-even point, you also have to take into consideration the obligations you have at home.
Then be realistic about how much money you can afford to spend each month on advertising.
Don’t forget to include the Yellow Pages and monthly cost of your website. • Create a marketing calendar that can co-exist in harmony with your budget. • Mark the holidays you’ll want to schedule promotions around, festivals and events you’ll want to participate in and publicize through print ads, radio, or other media that you have to pay for.
How to Avoid Wasting Advertising Dollars • We’re constantly bombarded with advertising “opportunities.” • Using the ROI (return on investment) formula is a wise way to help you choose where to spend your money. To figure that out:
How much does the advertising cost? • How many potential customers will be exposed to it? • How much per person does that equal? • To put that in perspective, if you place a $100 ad in the newspaper that reaches 25,000 subscribers, that costs you .004 per person to reach that audience. If you spend the same $100 for an ad in a specialty publication that has 5,000 subscribers, that costs you 1 cent per person to reach that audience.
Rescheduling Clients • The cheapest clients you can market to are the ones you already have! • Ask every single client to reschedule. • Offering package deals is an incentive for repeat business. • If a first-time visitor doesn’t reschedule on the spot, send them a discount postcard for their next visit. • Call clients you haven’t seen in a long time, or send them a personal note. It might jog their memory that they’re overdue for a massage!
Inexpensive Radio Advertising • Ask for an interview instead of an ad. • Barter gift certificates in exchange for radio time. • Instead of paying for an expensive package of ads, ask the station rep to call you whenever there’s a sponsorship opportunity—like Christmas Eve music, a basketball tournament, election results. the airwaves will be saturated with your ad for x number of hours instead of random ads appearing now and then.
Press Releases • Press releases are FREE advertising. • YOU have to take the effort to write a press release and send it to the media—SOCIAL MEDIA as well as your other outlets. • Always take the trouble to find out who the appropriate person is to send the press release to.
Anytime something noteworthy happens, from your graduation from massage school to announcing your retirement, and everything in between, is ripe for a press release. Receiving an award or recognition, attending a convention or even a continuing education class, hosting a non-profit event, performing community service, and many more opportunities exist for using a press release.
Promotional Items • Look in your junk drawer at all the promo items you have collected from other companies—and if they’re in the junk drawer, don’t spend your money on them. • Buy promo items that people will actually use—pens, sticky notes, magnets, water bottles. • Shop around for the best price. Buying in quantity will get you the best deal.
How often do you USE a measuring tape, a tire gauge, or a sewing kit? Exactly.
The power of communication is exponential • Investing a few minutes a day can keep your business in the limelight • You can reach targeted audiences • No waiting for print ads—not to mention saving trees--you can make an announcement in seconds • You can create your own social network
Business, Social, or Both? • Many people have network accounts strictly for business • Some have separate accounts for their social lives, friends and relatives • Some people mix business and social relationships
It’s estimated that 80% of employers now check social media sites before hiring. If the boss saw your FB page, would you still get the job?
Even if you have the policy of not allowing clients to be your FB friends, remember that how you have your privacy set has everything to do with whether or not they might see your pictures or postings on the page of a mutual friend.
If you have a business presence on social media, it’s fine to post your website url, business address and other contact information. Avoid putting your private e-mail address, home phone and address for everyone in cyberspace to see.
The most important thing to remember about Social Media: It only works if you work it.
The Rest of the Internet • In addition to using social media, you ought to maximize your use of the Internet to the good of your business.
Your Referral Network • Other massage therapists • Physicians • PTs • Midwives • Doulas • Ots • Herbalists • Nurse Practitioners • Chiropractors • Osteopaths • Naturopaths • EVERY Business Person in your community
Remember Success is relative. What is it you want? What’s standing in your way? What can you do to rectify the situation?