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Marketing for the Massage Therapist
Just the word marketing sends many massage therapists into a state of confusion. What exactly is marketing? How do I do it? Do I have to sell?! First thing let’s define marketing.
Marketing – The action of promoting products and services. Sales is what you expect after you market your service. Advertising is a way of marketing your service.
Your service is the type of massage that you are trained to do. And your massage modalities can be targeted to a specific “market”. A market is the group of people that would pay for your massage service. And there are many ways to find out who those people are.
A niche market is the group of people who would most benefit from the massage service or services that you offer. EX: Someone who specializes in Sports Massage would be looking for those people who are athletes either as their career of as occasional athletes or weekend warriors.
SO…who is your niche market? Who are the clients who would benefit most from the type of massage that you do?
Start by listing what modalities you are trained or certified in. And make a list of those modalities that you would like to be trained or certified in as this will become your future market!
So what are my preferred modalities? The modalities that I like to use when working with my clients. What clients (and their issues) make you the happiest to work with?
Who are the clients that these modalities best serve?
Develop products and services that make your clients feel as if you were put on the face of the planet just for them!
What are the massage sessions that would be most accommodating to them? Length of time? Time of Day? Day of the Week?
So what is your niche market?
Age of client, Gender Specific (i.e.-pregnancy), Lifestyle (athletic, office worker, stay-at-home mom, etc.), Economic Status are all examples of a niche market.
Don’t market to clients that you do not feel comfortable or competent to work on.
This information is what defines your perfect client. Now take the time to visualize your perfect client. See them if their environment. See them making the appointment with you. See them coming into your office. See them as you are working with them. See them getting off your table energized/relaxed/de-stressed/in less pain, etc. The people that you visualize will be the people that you will draw into your business. Remember also that those issues that you may have knowledge of may be the people that you will attract. If frozen shoulder is something that you have worked through you may find yourself working on an entire client base of people with that same condition.
Now define your actual market. Your market is the total amount of people in a well-defined area that are looking for services such as yours. By having information about the market that is in your area you can then narrow down those that are in your niche market.
The first thing you should know is what is the size of your market? In other words what is the population in the geographic area from which you can expect to get your clients? What is the locality in which you are located? What are the income levels in this area? You should be able to get this information online through census statistics at www.census.gov
Size of your market, Population/geographic area (town, county, zip code, etc.), Locality (where is your office), Income levels (from census data)
You should also be able to come up with an approximate number of your market share.
Market share is the possible number of people available within your population who could get massage. This can be based on age, gender, activities, etc.
How many are available to treat – what is the population in your area who could possibly schedule a massage – # EX - 10,000
What percentage of that population actually want or get massage % – EX -25% so # * % (10,000 x 25% =2,500)
What is your possible percentage of that number? –EX - 5% - 5% x 2,500 = 1050
What is your benefit to this population? What do you do that others in your area do not do? What is your specialty? What are the modalities that you know that you could “market’ to this group? What is their WIIFM?
WIIFM – What’s In It For Me! How does what you are doing satisfy that question for this population? People need to feel that when they are paying for something they are getting value for the money spent.
What are you offering? What needs do your services fill? Come up with a few answers to these questions.
Now come up with the areas in your community where the people are that you are hoping to target in your niche market. Go to Health Clubs (athletic types), Pediatricians (stressed out moms), Obstetricians (Pregnancy Massage), Chiropractors (people with muscle tension, etc.), Health Food Stores (relaxation, etc.) and do some “marketing”. Talk to people, post flyers and do whatever you need to do to introduce yourself to the people who you think that you serve.
Post flyers where the people you want are!
They need to want it, need it or be ready for it!
This is the marketing end of what we need to do as massage therapists! The advertising end is a part of this and includes those flyers that you create, the postcard or e-cards that you send, your business cards, car magnets, brochures, rack cards or whatever way you chose to put your name and your business name into the hands of those people that you want to attract to your business.
Chose a job that you like and you will never have to work a day in your life. Confucious
Paula J Kaprocki, LMT
I am a Licensed Massage Therapist with thoughts, aspirations and opinions - much like any other person on the planet!