By Brian Acton
Running a local massage business is hard work, and if you spend most of your time with clients or honing your skills, it can be difficult to find the time to market your business. But self-promotion is necessary to bring in new clients and drive repeat business. Luckily, there are many simple tactics you can use to break through with a local audience. Here are eight simple ways to promote your local massage business.
Create a Website Creating a website is a top priority for any new business, as it can convert web traffic into paying clients. Your website can educate locals about your credentials, your services, and other crucial info like location and business hours. You’ll also probably want an online appointment booking platform, either through your website or a paid service. This will make it easier for clients to book appointments and cut the time you spend updating your calendar.
Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce Joining your local chamber of commerce may seem time consuming, as staying active in the group requires regular participation, but membership offers several benefits. It can bring credibility to your business, increase your reputation in the community, and create valuable networking opportunities. You can connect with fellow entrepreneurs to establish business alliances and refer clients to each other. At the very least, you’ll be getting a voice in local government, helping to shape local policies that could directly affect your business.
Join Massage Associations Massage associations large and small can benefit massage businesses. One of the biggest - the American Massage Therapy Association - offers career development and continuing education, access to discounted products and services, trade publications, and even liability insurance. There are also many local and niche groups out there, so make sure to research available associations to find the ones that best suit your needs.
Use Social Media Locally You may already be active on social media, but if you aren’t promoting your posts you might only be reaching your existing audience. When you run valuable promotions, you should try boosting them via paid posts. Paid posts are generally cheap for small business, and you can use them to connect with your local audience. You can also get creative to gain local followers. For instance, you could offer a discount when someone writes a Yelp review or checks into your business on Facebook.
Use Referrals to Spread Word of Mouth Word of mouth is extremely important for local business. Without a large advertising budget or marketing department, you rely on word of mouth to get new clients in the door. You’re probably already striving to offer exceptional service in the hopes that your clients will recommend you to friends. But you can also incentivize referrals with your existing clients to boost the word of mouth effect. For instance, you can offer discounted products or services to clients that refer a certain amount of new client appointments. This gives your loyal clients extra motivation to refer their friends and family.
Spread Your Business Cards Around You should have business cards ready at a moment’s notice. Anyone you speak with for more than 30 seconds should walk away from the conversation with your business card in hand. You don’t have to be pushy; just let them know that your business exists! Business cards can be especially helpful in the hands of the right people. Make sure you’re handing them out to employees or owners at gyms, health food stores, chiropractic clinics, and any other location that has a mission that aligns with massage.
Collect Emails Collect emails on your website, new client intake forms, and anywhere else you can. Email is one of the best ways to stay top-of-mind with prospects and your existing client base. Every email you gather is a potential source of future business. Once you have a healthy list of contacts, you can start email marketing to encourage a steady flow of massage bookings.
Claim Your Yelp Page If your business has a Yelp page, you should claim it. Claiming your Yelp page can help you track views and leads, add photos and a website link, and provide other business info. You’ll also be able to respond to reviews, so you can thank happy clients for a great review and try to appease unhappy reviewers.