Here is where you will find different marketing ideas.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, this week we’re giving thanks on social media!
Something that makes social media distinct from other forms of communication is that it is quite public. This public element is a great way to build relationships by giving people public recognition.
Who do you want to say thank you to? It could be a vendor, a client, or a colleague. Tell them you appreciate them by leaving a comment on their Facebook Page or writing a message on twitter.
When we think of marketing, we often think of the headlines, the advertising, the offers – the Big Campaigns. But marketing isn’t always about the Big Campaign but all the little opportunities to promote your massage practice and share your message.
One marketing opportunity you’ve likely overlooked is your LinkedIn website listings. Most people leave them as “My Website” or “My Blog”. By customizing them, you can give a quick overview of what your website(s) have to offer every time someone views your LinkedIn profile.
I made you a five-minute video explaining how to customize your LinkedIn websites, add your Twitter handle and customize your Linkedin profile, watch it here.
In case you havenʼt heard about Twitter or donʼt know much about it yet, Twitter is a microblogging site that allows you to send short messages of 140 characters to less out to everyone who follows you.
On Twitter, you follow people of interest to you and they follow you. If you are going to use Twitter to gain business, I suggest you follow people in your area — start with clients but then move on from there to other local businesses.
Think of Twitter as a party. You donʼt show up at a party and only talk about yourself or your business, right? No, you engage in conversation. Ask leading questions to find out what people are doing. You also give information – a book your read or are reading, an article, a blog post your wrote or read, etc. that can help the person you are talking to with their problem. Same thing with Twitter.
Then mixed in with that line of conversation, you promote your business: post last minute cancelations, promotions/specials, blog posts, classes, etc.
Just to give you an example on how I have used Twitter — one week, I had several openings, so on Monday morning I posted this: “Openings this week: Tues at 5, Wed at 2 & Thurs at 10, need a massage call 703-851-6922, email or DM me.” I did all that in 103 characters and I was completely booked by the end of Monday.
So get tweetinʼ! If you havenʼt started a Twitter account yet, this video walks you through the steps.
Last week we talking about going local by getting a Google Places. This week we want to continue our on-line presence by adding your business to Yelp.com
Almost everyone is heading online to solve their problems these days, whether they need a massage therapist or a florist! Making your business stand out in local search results can have an instant impact on your bottom line, especially if your competitors are not reading this blog post!
One popular website for business reviews is yelp.com. Adding your business (or updating an existing listing) to yelp is easy and free. Just go to https://biz.yelp.com/support/unlocking and follow their step-by-step process to get started. The more information you can add about your business the better!
After your business is listed its time to get reviews – contact a few happy clients who you have a great personal relationship with and ask if they might consider writing you a review. One review is often enough to get the ball rolling and lead to many more.
You might want to take proactive approach about this one and add your business. Anyone can add any business and write a review on them. You will want to monitor it too for comments especially if they are not positive.
Those listings are a part of a free service called Google Places (formerly Google Local). Your Google places listing allows customer reviews, videos, and even a place for you to post updated special offers!
Start by going here to list your business. You will need to create a Google account for this process if you don’t have one already.
Google will take you through some forms to fill out about your business: such as store hours, parking, types of services, credit cards, etc.
Here’s my Google Places listing that you can check out as an example. The more information the better, so fill out every field and add some pictures and videos. Don’t forget to solicit reviews from your customers to juice up your places page!
Nike said, “Just do it.” Timex said it takes a licking and keep on ticking. And GE mentioned that it brings good things to life.
Developing a tagline can go a long way to help market your massage business. A well-conceived tagline makes it easier for clients to remember your company’s name, to think positively about why they should use your services and to differentiate your business from the rest of the pack (especially if you are in a crowded area with lots of massage therapists).
If you donʼt already have a tagline, letʼs make it a rock solid. Hereʼs how…
What Makes a Good Tagline?
A good tagline is: short (three to seven words); simple (avoid industry jargon), specific (Tell why they should choose you over your competition).
As with all advertising (because thatʼs what a tagline is), identify your audience and then focus on their needs and wants.
Writing a Good Tagline
If all this seems like a tall order for a short phrase, donʼt worry. It is doable by following these steps.
Brainstorm keywords: Just like doing keyword research for your web site.
Brainstorm benefits and values: Now make a list of words that describe the benefits of massage, along with things a client might value about it.
Combine words: See if you can combine two or more keywords, or keywords plus benefits and values, to create a descriptive phrase. Donʼt edit yet!
Pick your favorites: Now start editing. Go through your phrases, and consider how you can make them into a tagline. Pick two or three favorites.
Test your favorites on others: Get opinions of people not in the massage business. So hit up your friends and family. Make sure they both like it and actually understand it.
Your final tagline should be specific enough to say something meaningful, but general enough to remain relevant as your business grows and expands.
Often times when I am meeting with client about building their business online, Iʼll ask if they have a Facebook fan page. Most, do not. They find the process confusing and donʼt know where to start. Plus, its just one more thing to do on top of their long to-do list.
Why do you, as a small business or start-up need one? Check out these stats from Facebook:
-More than 500 million users
-50% of active users log on to Facebook on any given day
-Average user spends more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook
Think about this: your clients are not going to log onto your website everyday, but more than half of all users log on to Facebook in any given day. Thatʼs over 175 million people you could potentially reach with a daily status message. Plus, a Facebook page offers these advantages:
1. Visible to even those without a Facebook profile account. If you send a Twitter message or email with a link, anyone can view the page.
2. Indexed on Google. Meaning, if someone does an online search of your company, this is one more link that will come up.
3. Not sure who your target market is? Facebook fan pages can help you figure that out. Each page keeps statistics of who your followers are and who is participating. It will tell you if they are male or female, their age range, where they are located and what language they speak.
4. With a regular Facebook profile you are limited to 5,000 friends. With a Facebook Page the number of fans is unlimited. This might not be a huge thing if you are just starting out, but always plan for your growth.
5. You can further establish your brand. People do business with people they know, like and trust. Social media is all about building the trust over time and Facbook is a great way to do that.
If you want to build a successful massage practice in today’s economy, you must have a powerful online presence. In 2010, Pew Research Foundation reported 62% of Americans search for health information online. People are online looking for support and information. If you are not present where people are hanging out, looking for you, it makes it that much harder for your practice to grow.
I know some of us havenʼt reached the digital age and are uncomfortable with the idea that we must be online to build our practices. Online is where people are and all business, commerce and marketing is moving in that direction (this is why newspapers, traditional TV and radio are struggling to survive). Here is my short list of what you need to develop an effective online presence.
1. A blog. Blogs are a wonderful way to post helpful information for your current and prospective clients. A blog that you can edit and update independent of a designer allows you to optimize your marketing and multiple income streams. I suggest a WordPress.org blog that you host independently. You can use a free template or paid theme (for a paid theme, I suggest Headway, check the Resource section of my website for more info.)
2. Active profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great place to network with like minded colleagues. Think of it as an online, never ending networking event.
3. Get a Facebook Business Page. With over 500 million users on Facebook, some of them are bound to be looking for YOU! Be active. Provide value! Check out this blog post for a video tutorial.
4. Twitter. I canʼt tell you how much I love Twitter as a marketing tool! Used effectively, Twitter allows you to communicate your ideas to thousands of people many times per day. At first glance, Twitter may not seem relevant or make much sense to you. Iʼm planning on pulling together a class teaching the ins and outs of Twitter for helping professionals. In the meantime, hereʼs a short video tutorial to get you started. Follow people who tweet ideas that speak to your interests. Many will follow you back. When you feel comfortable, start sending your own tweets. Donʼt worry, itʼs free and you canʼt break it!
A big mistake I see my clients (heck, other businesses for that matter!) make is thinking that social media marketing (SMM) is not as important as other parts of your business. I say you canʼt afford not to make SM a priority. SM is an extremely powerful tool and itʼs FREE to boot! So youʼll want to take advantage of it. If you donʼt embrace SM, your competition will. If you are resisting it, believe me your competition is right there using social media to connect with their clients…and possibly yours. Youʼre likely not making SM a part of your business because youʼre resisting it. Anything you resists become bigger, but you probably already know that. If you think of social media as if “I have to” vs. “I get to” youʼll never embrace it.
When you resist something, youʼre probably not going to get great results. So hereʼs the deal, just as you put lots of passion into giving massage, put that much passion and energy into your SMM (into the times youʼre on any of the SM platforms and engaging with your clients).
Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule? The belief that success is 80% mindset and 20% mechanics. The power is how you think about a situation (mindset), not how you solve it (mechanics). Itʼs one thing to know the latest and greatest tips for SMM (and I will be teaching those in the future), but itʼs an entirely different experience when you have values that are aligned with your SM strategy. Those who embrace SMM as an extension of their personality and as a way to penetrate the thoughts, feelings and desires of their audience, theyʼre the successes because theyʼve embraced SM, not resisted it.
This week, let go of the guilt of what you “should” be doing but youʼre not and stop resisting integrating SMM into your business model. Youʼll free up a lot of mental space which allows you to embrace SMM in a new way. How can you turn your SM experience into something you enjoy and embrace? Once you answer this, you will definitely be able to up your game and spend less effort and enjoy the process.
Now weʼre getting to the “secret sauce” of what will make your massage practice thrive. Today, people have money theyʼre willing to spend, but theyʼre going to be much more selective on where and with whom. Also, people still want a “human touch.” While they can be picky about who they work with, they are still going to be inclined to work with folks who they know, like and trust. This is where your Honest, Unique, Benefit, or HUB, comes in.
Your HUB is the center of your business. It encompasses your interests, training, personality, specialty, income streams, and marketing plan. Here is how I conceptualize your HUB:
H – Honest. As professionals we must be honest with ourselves and the public about our training and skills. As I mentioned in the last newsletter, none of us are good at treating everybody. We are however, excellent at treating some people and certain types of conditions. Take a few minutes to outline your honest assessment of your skills. Which clients do you feel you help best? What issues are you not equipped to treat? This exercise will also help you to more narrowly define your specialty.
U – Unique. While your training may be similar to many other massage therapists, the one trait your bring to your work that is 100% unique is YOU. Your personality, ideas and passions are all expressed in your work. Rather than view this as a liability, I encourage you to highlight your unique attributes within your practice. In a profession where we have lots of competition, what sets you apart will be your approach, style and passion. This will allow those clients who resonate with who you are to greatly benefit from your work together. What makes YOU unique in your work? How can you ethically communicate your unique self to clients in ways that benefit them?
B – Benefit. People chose to work with you because they feel there is a desired outcome. What benefit do you offer? What outcome can people expect? Depending on your specialty benefits can include: better sleep, increased flexibility, improved self esteem, reduced stress or anxiety…
Now your job it to clearly and concisely explain what you do and why it helps. This will allow clients to identify YOU as the person they want to work with.