Archive for October, 2009
Did you know that Halloween is now the United States’ second most popular holiday (Christmas being the first) from a commercial standpoint. Marketing our massage services during this holiday often gets overlooked. I must admit that I have never offered a special for this particular holiday while I had my massage practice. I was prompted to think about it when Kris Kelly, a Facebook Friend asked “Anyone putting together exciting Halloween massage or spa packages?” as a status line on his profile page.
He goes on to post, “Believe it or not, there’s a lot of folks who don’t enjoy Halloween for one reason or another. I’ve put together a “get away from the gremlins” package. 90 min massage of their choice in the comfort and convenience of their own home. Just candles and relaxation! Another one I’ve done is while mom or dad are handing out candy, the other one receives a relaxing massage.”
These are two wonderful ideas, but before I give a few more, I wanted to give you a brief history of Halloween. If you can’t wait, just scroll down to the bottom and find out more bewitching ideas.
Halloween (or Hallowe’en … but also known as Samhain, Summer’s End, All Hallow’s Eve, Witches Night, Lamswool, and Snap-Apple), is a holiday that’s celebrated annually on the night of October 31.
History of Halloween
Halloween is said to be among the world’s oldest holidays. It has origins in Ireland and the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain which is a celebration at the end of the harvest season. The festival marked a time where the ancient pagans took stock of their supplies – slaughtering livestock for the winter.
The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundary between the living and the dead dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness (plague) or damaged crops. The celebration of Samhain would frequently involve bonfires, upon which the bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown; costumes and masks were also worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or placate them.
History of Halloween in America
Due to strict Christian traditions and lifestyles, Halloween did not become a holiday in the United States until the 19th century. The arrival of almost 2 million Irish immigrants in the mid-1850s finally brought Halloween to the United States. About 20 years later with the arrival of the Scots, the Scottish version and Halloween became ingrained in our American culture.
As promised, here are a few more Halloween marketing ideas….
Before the Haunt. Get relaxed and refreshed for all those ghoulish creatures with a pumpkin spice scrub and Swedish massage.
Pumpkin Patch Package. Enjoy this package of delicious pumpkin which is a excellent exfoliator. You will begin with a body scrub and the your face will be treated to Pumpkin Enzyme Peel.
Have other ideas for marketing for Halloween, post them in the comments and have a safe holiday!
Sources: www.whatishalloween.com and Wikipedia
Do you use money as an incentive (like cash discounts) to attract new clients? Science may not be on your side on this one…
Watch as Dan Pink presents his case, then decide. Click here to watch the video.
Welcome to Motivation Mondays! Here is your quote for the week.
“Keep it fun or you won’t keep it.” –Kat Ricker
Are you enjoying — having fun — in all things that you are doing? Especially work? If not, why not? Do you think that it is time to move on?
The holidays quickly approaching! Are you ready? You need to have your holiday marketing plan in place in the next week or two in order to take full-advantage of the holiday season to increase your business and income.
There are many businesses (i.e. retailers) that make 50% their yearly revenue from now until Christmas. With the economy still sluggish, competition is bound to be fierce. Businesses will be using a variety of techniques to draw in customers. Don’t get left behind!
You will need to develop your holiday marketing plan. When you develop a holiday marketing plan, you have to consider two things – your business brand (what makes your business unique) and your client demographics. If you keep these things in mind while you are coming up with holiday marketing ideas, you are more likely to choose the strategies that will yield the best success for your massage practice.
Don’t have a huge marketing budget? No problem. With a little know how and a dash of creativity, you will have your recipe for a successful holiday marketing plan.
Let’s take a look at some simple, creative and affordable holiday marketing ideas to increase your revenues during the holiday season:
Market the he** out of your Gift Certificates! A key selling point is that people don’t think to give services as gifts, but they can be very unique (and often much appreciated) gifts. Tell your clients how much the recipient would love your service instead of a fruitcake. Check out my post Gift Certificate Promotions for more ideas.
Do a little revamping. Take what you already offer and create new services such as:
1. Mini-session or samplings. The offer a “Create-Your-Own” package so you clients can have what they want.
2. Create signature services (i.e. take a Reflexology session add an exfoliation and a mask to come up with:
Chocolate Crème Bliss Reflexology
All of the pleasure, none of the guilt! Escape to a state of bliss while the sensory pleasures of chocolate indulgence entice your senses. Your treatment begins with a custom cocoa and honey exfoliation to your feet, followed by a tantalizing, cocoa-laced mud wrap. Next your ultimate journey to relaxation continues with pressure points being stimulated on your feet to pamper your body and mind. An application of deep hydrating, creamy mile and honey lotion completes this chocolate crème fantasy.
3. Offer product with Gift Certificates. You could bundle several products into a basket perhaps with special themes. This is the gift that keeps on giving. The recipient will get the actual gift that they can use until they redeem their Gift Certificate.
4. Offer a “Something of the Month” club: People are always looking for unique gifts to give. Why not help them out and create ongoing cash flow for your massage practice? You can do this type of gift series with almost anything. Seriously. Did you know there is a Bacon of the Month club? Well why not a “Massage of the Month” club.
Free Gift with Purchase. Give your client a gift. Giving a free gift with a purchase is one of the oldest holiday marketing ideas on the planet. However, you need to really consider your client base when you choose what that gift will be.
Send Out Cards. This is an nice way to remember your clients at the Holidays (depending on your target audience, it can be for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or simply “Seasons Greetings”) and also to say thank them for their business. I used to put in a coupon that they could use next year – this idea is fully explained in my ebook Creating a Prosperous Practice with the sample card). You can also send a Happy New Year card. But don’t stop there. Don’t forget about your vast referral base. Be sure to send business holiday cards to your friends, family, associates, and vendors.
Give a coupon or discount. As both a gift to your customers and a way to boost your seasonal revenue, why not offer a discount or send out a coupon that promotes one or more of your services or products. Don’t send your coupons out so early that your customers forget about them, but send them out so they have an adequate amount of time to redeem them. Black Friday (the day after the Thanksgiving) is a good ear mark for sending out coupons.
Offer a holiday special. Encourage larger purchases with this marketing idea. Try offering “Buy Two Gift Certificates and Get a Third Free”. Or here is a variation on this same idea: Tell your customers when they purchase a certain amount, the will get something for free. For instance, “Buy $100 worth of products and get a free CD”. These are just a few ways that you can both thank your customers and offer them something special for the holidays.
Hold a Holiday Open House. This could be for your clients or for the general public (or both or have two separate ones). Offer mini-sessions (see above), products and Gift Certificates for sale. You may even want to have a holiday special for that event (see above).
Take a few minutes to which holiday ideas resonate with you and your business. You don’t have to do them all – one could be enough. Then, put it on your calendar and spread some holiday happiness to your clients!
Best of success to your business this holiday season!
Have a marketing idea not mentioned here that you would like to share? Post them in the comments.
A little over a week ago, I posted a Free Book Offer (just pay $5 S&H) for “Creating a Prosperous Practice, Spending Little or No Money Marketing”. A lot of you have already taken advantage of this offer and I thank you. It is getting close to the deadline and for those of you who are still undecided this may help you decide….
Deadline is October 26th so go to my website today and get your free copy today. To get free book, click here (it will take you to my website so you can pay via PayPal).
Welcome to Motivation Mondays! Here is your quote for the week.
“Let’s be grateful for those who give us happiness; they are the charming gardeners who make our soul bloom.” — Marcel Proust
Today is Blog Action Day which is “an annual event that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day on their own blogs with the aim of sparking discussion around an issue of global importance”. Blog Action Day 2009 is centered around Climate Change.
There is some debate about whether we really need to do anything about Climate Change. As I was doing research about what angle to take with this blog post, I watched a fantastic video on YouTube about the Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See. You might want to watch it here.
There definitely is an uncertainty about our future. I see it locally (some of our local county park wetlands are disappearing) as well as when we travel both domestically and internationally. I bet you are asking “How can I help? I’m just one person and I only have a small massage practice.” I thought I would blog about actions we can take to go green in our massage practices.
Well here we go…..
1. Use organic products. Here are a few companies that offer organic oils, lotions, spa treatments are Lypossage esthetique International, Massage Warehouse and Universal Companies. I’m sure that there are others, but these will get your started. If you know of other companies that offer organic products share them in the comments section.
2. Water conservation. This can mean anything from developing ways to reuse water (i.e. using gray water to water plants) to “unbottling” water (i.e. using reusable containers for water instead of giving your clients a bottle of water.)
3. Energy conservation. Try to use natural lighting as much as possible. Open those curtains/blinds when you can. Or look into solar or wind power options.
4. Create a more healthful environment: (1) use eco-friendly decor (i.e. bamboo or sustainable wood flooring, carpeting made from organic and sustainable resources bamboo curtains/blinds, sheets, blankets); (2) green lighting (i.e. use lighting fixtures that use CFLs and LED lighting to reduce energy consumption).
5. Incorporate natural and organic retail products in your business.
6. Eco Clothing. Wear green clothing – bamboo and organic cotton clothing during your work day (or at home too). On your feet, try shoes using natural rubber or plants such as bamboo, cotton or even hemp.
7. Go green in your marketing efforts. Use social media marketing, cooperative marketing and internet marketing (i.e. instead of printing out a coupon, tell you clients to use CODE XYZ when booking to receive the discount). If you have to mail something out or have a promotional marketing materials, use green products.
8. Green on Clean. Use all natural cleaners for both your office and residence. Check out the natural products from Young Living Essential Oils. I love the Thieves Spray. (P.S. If you want to buy products but don’t have a distributor number yet, sign up under mine 306809 – I get a little commission every time you buy something :0).
9. Recycle. Don’t have a need for something any more in your business (or home)? Can it be recycled or reused? I do this on a regular basis. If you aren’t using it, it is considered clutter. (If you missed my blog post on clutter and how it affects us, you can read it here.)
10. Green Promotional Ideas (1) Shopping Bags – Seems like every store you visit these days offers (for sale or free with purchase) a reusable cloth or heavy duty recycled plastic bags. (2) Put your logo on a reusable water bottle and retail or give them away. (Hint: these are great marketing tools — you will have all those shopping bags and Water bottles out there on a day to day basis doing their duty to tell the world about your business.)
11. Virtual Continuing Education Trainings. With the advances in technology these days, instead of going to take a CE class somewhere, check out who is offering classes on-line. (P.S. This is on my goals for 2010…so stay tuned.)
12. Business Equipment Sharing. Equipment (i.e massage chair, body cushion) that may seldom get used but may be beneficial in your practice can be expensive. Start a cooperative with other MTs (or alternative health professionals) in your area and share the costs.
These 12 ideas will get your started in how you can make a difference in climate change. Do you have any more comments about climate change and what we can do or ideas about going green that you didn’t see here? Please share them in the comments.
Welcome to Monday Motivations! Here is your quote for the week.
“I have a perfect work, In a perfect way; I give a perfect service, For perfect pay.” — Florence Scovel Shinn from her book, The Game of Life and How to Play It
I love marketing and learning about different marketing strategies. I have a great admiration for Seth Godin and his unconventional marketing techniques. In honor of one of his ideas, I am giving away a copy of my book “Creating a Prosperous Practice, Spending Little or No Money Marketing” for free. Yes, free. All you have to do is pay $5 S&H (in the US only).
“Creating a Prosperous Practice” details the marketing strategies that I used during my 1st year in business when I went from spending $10,000+ on marketing to the next year when I drastically cut my advertising dollars, spending practically nothing yet tripling my business.
Not sure it is worth it? Well here is a sample of the first several chapters of the book. If you love the book (or just get tired of reading it on-line) and want to continue reading, click here (it will take you to the “Free Book Offer” page of my website where you can click on the “Add to Cart” to pay.)
Don’t delay, final deadline is October 26, 2009 or until the copies I have run out.
PS: If you are not residing in the US but want a copy of my book, email me and let me know where you are and I will find out the shipping costs.
What do you if you’ve spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a business expense or decision only to realize that there is a mistake or that you are not going down the right path? Do you continue going forward or do you start over from ground zero?
A few days ago I ran across a thought-provoking article by Seth Godin talking about about ignoring sunken costs and it really stuck with me especially since I had just run across a great example of sunken costs on someone’s website. Do yourself a favor, and read this post.
Excerpt from post:
When making a choice between two options, only consider what’s going to happen in the future, not which investments you’ve made in the past. The past investments are over, lost, gone forever. They are irrelevant to the future.
You have two pieces of land. One you bought for $1,000,000, one for $10,000. On which one should you develop a gas station?
I know. The one that’s right next to the huge subdivision being put up, not the one next to the condemned shopping center.
And what was the glaring error that I stumbled upon…
Typos are natural to miss since our brain often reads what it is supposed to say. I’m still finding typos in my book Creating a Prosperous Practice and I even paid an Editor to proof/edit it as well as having four other people proofread it. When I owned MassageWorks, Inc., I used to get emails on occasion directing my attention to a typo on page so and so of the website which I gladly thanked them and made the necessary changes.
However, when you go to the trouble of having someone create a website or create one on your own, your goal is probably to make the best impression possible for potential clients. While typos may be more commonplace in the body of text and may go unnoticed, it is inexcusable on your home page or logo design. “Reiki” and “Therapeutic” are both misspelled.
I should also note that 1) I smudged out her name and 2) I wanted to email her and bring to her attention the two typos but the only method of communication she had listed was a telephone number. I would have preferred to communicate by email. Perhaps something else to consider, give potential clients more ways to get in touch with you.
What are your thoughts about sunken costs?