Today I’m going to bring you in behind closed doors and show you exactly what propelled me to success in only 6 months. After I went through my “dry spell” for about a year, these are the marketing techniques that I implemented that set me apart from my peers and attracted clients into my practice.
While there are many different steps one can take to attract clients, (which I cover in my “Secrets to a Successful Massage Therapy Business” training), the following 5 steps took me to a place where I was finally succeeding in this business. I was thrilled when I saw that my actions were actually making a difference and I began to do more and more each and every week.
Read on to discover what started it all for me!
1.) I built an attractive, detailed website that offered information about my practice.
It’s 2010 and if you don’t have a website, you frankly don’t exist. Your future clients need a place to go and learn about your massage practice before they will ever think about making an appointment with you. My website included key information that sucked people in and made them want to pick up the phone. Below are 5 must have’s for any massage website:
*the type of massage therapy you specialize in
*the type of people and issues you work with (i.e. car accidents, work injuries)
*an attractive bio page that discusses your passion for the field of massage therapy
*simple and easy to understand prices & services menu
There are many other things that should be included in a website, but these are the top 5 I recommend in getting started to attract people to you. I highly recommend Site Build It as the service to use when building your website. They make it simple, easy and search engine optimized so that people will find you when searching for a massage therapist in your city. Something that is incredibly difficult if you try to do on your own.
2.) I positioned myself as an expert
I can’t emphasize the importance of this enough. This is a MUST if you are going to be successful. You can not just advertise yourself as a massage therapist and expect people to come see you. What can you do for them? What problems are you capable of solving? You must figure out what your niche is in the field of massage therapy and build a business around that. Do doctors open up practices and just advertise that they are doctors? Never! If you look through a list of doctors in a provider directory they are generally listed by specialty. You must do the same for your practice if you are going to be successful.
A word of advice on how to pick a niche. Figure out what you are most passionate about and go from there. When I was picking my niche I noticed a huge demand for people suffering from different types of pain. I love to work with people that are dealing with pain, and provide them the opportunity to decrease or resolve their pain problems. It’s very rewarding for me. Take some time to figure out where your passions lie and build on that.
3.)I got to know other health care professionals and business owners in the community
You can call this networking, joint venturing or marketing, whatever you want to call it, it’s very powerful. Most massage therapists will end up skipping this step for many different reasons. I think the fear of putting ourselves out there and the possible fear of rejection stops us in our tracks. Trust me when I say that I always hated standing up & speaking in front of a group of people. It’s not something I enjoy doing. But I knew it was a must if I was going to build a successful business. If you aren’t willing to do this, I suggest you work for someone and be an employee. You have to step outside of your boundaries and fears and get to know others within your community if you are going to be a successful business owner.
I worked within a chiropractic clinic which helped to expose my business to many people. The chiropractor and I would refer our clients to each other. I also go to know other physicians and acupuncturists in my community. I introduced myself to personal injury lawyers and attended networking meetings. I recommend looking into BNI, as they are the worlds largest networking and referral organization. The exposure you have in joining an organization like BNI is priceless for your business.
4.) I billed insurance companies to add an additional stream of income and expose myself to more people
Please, please, please don’t let the fear of not knowing how to bill insurance companies keep you from actually doing it. I knew absolutely nothing about billing insurance when I decided to become an insurance provider. While Washington State and Florida are currently the only 2 states that allow massage therapists to bill private insurance, massage therapists in all 50 states are able to bill through PIP (motor vehicle accidents) & Workers Comp. (on the job injuries).
Becoming an insurance provider positions you with an advantage. You will have access to hundreds of people on a monthly basis and earn thousands of dollars extra per year. The acceptance of massage therapy in the medical community continues to increase. Clients are realizing that they have the ability to use insurance, instead of paying out of pocket. Many will go looking for a massage therapist that accepts insurance. Please don’t make the mistake of not accepting insurance. Turning clients away because of this is a no-no in my eyes.
And while many will argue that billing insurance companies is more pain than it’s worth, I disagree. If you are willing to learn how to bill correctly, there will be less headache. If billing insurance companies was more pain that it was worth, I wouldn’t be going on my 5th year as an insurance provider. When you consider that 80% of my business comes from insurance work, you can see the power in becoming a provider.
The one and only insurance billing course I recommend is by Vivian Madison-Mahoney. Vivian has compiled more than 20 years of research and experience into her “Manipulate Your Future” home study course. She is a true expert when it comes to knowing how to bill correctly and make a generous income doing so. Vivian’s courses are well worth the investment and will no doubt help you increase your income once you start billing insurance.
Make sure you mention that you heard about her courses from Ann Ross to receive 20 FREE insurance claim forms.
5.) Lastly, I offered complimentary 30 minute sessions to new clients
I realized early on that if I was going to attract clients into my business, I had to offer something that was going to:
A. Set me apart from the competition
B. Create a risk free way to get my hands on as many people as possible
I came up with the idea to place a form on my website that offers a complimentary 30 minute massage session (with the option to upgrade to an hour for a fee), to each new client. This was powerful because it allowed clients to get a massage without the risk of any money out of their pocket in case they didn’t like the massage. Also, it helped me to get my hands on as many people as possible and guide them through my valuable massage therapy service. I would also provide them with 3-5 gift certificates at the end of the massage to pass out to family, friends, coworkers etc. to expose my business even more.
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It’s important to remember when building your business that most people don’t know you. Getting a massage is a vulnerable decision for anyone. If you can create some type of risk free way to get people on your table, you will be well on your way to creating a very successful business. Don’t forget to provide world class customer service and an amazing massage, and it will only be a matter of time before you are booked solid!
What are you waiting for!
I hope you have enjoyed learning a few of my secrets today. Take the information I have provided for you and start implementing the same principles and ideas into your own massage practice. The sooner you get started, the sooner success will be knocking on your door. Unfortunately, being a great massage therapist isn’t enough to create a successful business. Before you can WOW people with your amazing massages, you have to get them on your table. Before you get them on your table you have to create a system that markets correctly. Do you see the chain reaction? While it is work in the beginning, it’s well worth the time investment. Creating a successful massage therapy business is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding things you will ever accomplish.
To your success,
P.S. If you know of any other massage therapist that could benefit from this information, please don’t hesitate to retweet this post, or forward it to a friend. Thanks!