Posts tagged Marketing
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.
Based on your specialty, who are the other professionals in your community who also work with the same clients? Identify 5-10 people who work with the same population, but in different role. Reach out to these individuals with a letter of introduction. (Note: Laura Allenʼs book A Massage Therapistʼs Guide to Business has the actual letter she uses to build her practitioner referral network — worth a look see).
Identify that you are building your massage practice with a specific focus and you would like to touch base soon to talk about how you can support them with their patients/clients. It is very important that you focus on how you can help them, not how they can help you. Remember everyone wants to know WIIFM (whatʼs in it for me?).
If you do get a referral, ask the client for permission to send a treatment summary to the referring person. Follow up with a one page letter thanking them for the referral and give a brief summary of your diagnosis and treatment plan. Physicians do this for each other as a matter of course and greatly appreciate when others reach out in this way. This courtesy will demonstrate that you are professional, taking good care of their patients and will build trust so that they will send more referrals to your practice.
Update your referral sources 1-2 times a year. A quick letter simply stating any changes or new services in your practice.
Return the favor and refer clients to your referral sources as well.
Itʼs not difficult to build a few mutual referral relationships. It does take time and effort. However, keep in mind you are building a relationship and people are much more willing to refer to someone they know, like and trust.
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!
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.
The BEST way to build a sustainable massage practice that attracts many clients is to develop a practice specialty. Let me outline the reasons why a specialty niche is the only way to establish a thriving business.
The truth is, when we donʼt specialize we look and sound like every other massage therapist out there. When you are a generalist every other massage therapist in your community is your direct competition.
We are conditioned to work with specialists and experts. We want to work with someone who understands our specific needs. For example, if someone owns a Honda they want to bring their car to a repair shop that services Hondas, not just “cars.” The same is true for massage.
Every person out there is thinking about their specific problem and saying to themselves WIIFM? (Whatʼs In It For Me). People do not stay up at night thinking, “Gee, I really need to work with a therapist.” They stay up at night thinking, “I really need help with my back pain.” When you specialize you can speak to peopleʼs real worries and needs, not some general mish-mash of ideas that donʼt resonate with what they are thinking or feeling.
You are not good at helping everyone. No one is. You will need a specialty to focus your marketing efforts. Ever try to market to everyone? Iʼm talking about adults, kids, couples, older folks, single people, married people…. It doesnʼt work. Your message is too vague, people donʼt see themselves in your message, so they glaze over and ignore you all together. But if you specialize and tighten your marketing to focus on one group of people who can see their needs described on your web site, the right clients will self-identify that YOU are the person they want to work with.
I encourage you to sit down for an hour or so and contemplate your area of specialty. This does take some soul searching and acceptance that by narrowing your practice there will be some clients you do not help.
I want to share a short and fun story with you that may change the way you name your services and products. Most of us just name our services by the name of the modality — Hot Stone Massage, Swedish, etc. Right? I know I did, but I’m in the process of changing that so stay tuned.
One way to differentiate yourself is to make it impossible for people to compare your services with the massage therapist down the street…you know like comparing apples to oranges, you just can’t do it.
So here’s that funny story…
Once upon a time there was an ambitious French wine team that wanted to break into the competitive international
wine market. They knew that they had to go for something unique in order to stand out in the crowd.
While most wines are either named after the location they originate from or from the grape they are made with (sound familiar?) — think Malbec or Chardonnay, this team went for something gutsy and daring instead.
Nuts? Well maybe, maybe not.
This wine grew into an international success within only a couple of years, and according to their interviews, the unusual name was one of the MAIN reasons for that.
So, what’s the lesson here?
Well, when you go on naming your services (products, etc.), you may want to think about using an unusual, visual name that makes people go say “Eh?”.
You can always state the features and benefits later, but first, you have to grab THEIR ATTENTION.
And when you pique their interest with an unusual name, they are more likely to check it out…just like I did with the name of this blog post. Clever, eh?
Surprise them! So instead of Swedish Massage how about Body Bliss?
What kind of unusual name can YOU pick for the types of massage you offer (or your products)? Do share in the comments.
Haven’t jumped on the Facebook Page marketing bandwagon yet? Do you think that it isn’t worth your time? Not sure what all of the fuss is about?
8 advantages of including Facebook Pages in your Marketing Strategy
1. Mini-websites. I’m a big promoter of having your own website! A website should be the hub of your marketing. But, if you haven’t started your website yet, Facebook Pages are indexed by the search engines unlike personal profiles. So if you had a Facebook Page, someone could still find you on the internet and do business with you.
2. “Opting In” vs. “Not Opting Out”. People must take an affirmative action by clicking the “Like” button. This says a lot more than “I choose not to opt out” if they had subscribed to your email newsletter. From a marketer’s perspective, these people have effectively raised their hand to say “yes, I want to hear from you.” They are your number one, gold plated prospects and you treat them as such.
3. Incredible Social Proof. When someone “Likes” your page, all of their friends see. This has tremendous marketing “up side.” When someone doesn’t opt out of emails, nobody knows and there is zero additional up side.
4. Build a Community. Fans (Facebook doesn’t call them Fans anymore – but what do you call them “Likers”) can interact with each other. They can ask and answer questions. They can also post photos and videos (provided you have allowed this in your permissions).
5. Analytics. Facebook provides detailed statistics with regard to interactions that occur on Pages. This makes is very easy to quantify the value of the Page over time. Typical email marketing solutions provide counts of the number of times a message is read or a link is clicked. However, Facebook has additional metrics that can measure interactivity and “buzz.”
6. Reach. Pages are open to everyone on Facebook (that’s 700 million users) as well as the rest of the world (see #1 above) – not just your email subscribers.
7. Demographics. The fastest growing age demographic on Facebook is 35 to 45 year olds. This is a critical demographic for many organizations.
8. Cost. Facebook Pages are FREE. Enough said.
What are your thoughts? Do you have a Facebook Page? Let me know if I missed something.
Clients often start their journey on your website, researching what you offer, and it in many cases is where they finish their journey – making the decision to email or phone you to make a purchase. But small businesses fail to take the steps to monitor and improve their website conversions. Why turn good customers away? Just a few steps will make your website that much better.
1. Start Measuring. If you aren’t measuring your website’s performance, how can you improve it? Thankfully, Google Analytics is a free tool that is often noted to be better – in terms of functionality and ease of use – than many of the paid tools on the market. Get it installed, and start watching the data on where your customers come from and what they do when they get to your site. Walk through the data in the shoes of your customer – how does it feel?
2. Spring Clean. Technically we are still in Spring even though it feels like Summer. A good de-clutter is good for your home, both your real home and your virtual one. Whenever Google adds something to their homepage, they decide what gets removed. You don’t need to be that drastic, but you can definitely do some cleaning and de-cluttering. Take a hard look at every page, image, and block of content and remove anything not adding value. (Actually it is a good idea to clean and de-clutter at least once a quarter.)
3. Get Some Feedback. It’s hard to catch all the little niggles and quirks of your website if you’re the one that wrote the content. Get some feedback from a trusted source. Whether it’s a client, friend or family member, ask someone to tell you what you think. You don’t know what you’re missing. You could even give incentives or freebies to a few clients who give you feedback.
4. Add pictures of People. The secret of marketing is that people like to do business with people. So many websites are cold and lifeless, and that could easily be fixed with a few images of you and your staff/massage therapists. If there are no photos of you, what’s a visitor to think except what are you hiding?
5. Start answering some questions. The reality is most websites fail to include enough detail for their users. People come to your website with a question – so have an answer. Document every question you’ve ever been asked about your services or products, and get an FAQ page that answers those questions. Ask your staff or whoever answer the phones or greets the clients when they arrive – what are those questions?
Building a great website is more like an art than a science; it’s about adding the information users are desperate for and getting rid of anything else that stands between yourself and your next client. If you monitor your performance and get feedback, though, you’ll be leaps ahead of the competition.
Do you have any other secrets to make your website more effective?
Have a card tossing contest for you customers where they win prizes. You could send out an email, Tweet and post a notice on your Facebook business page to let you clients know about the event. Really promote and have specials going on the day of the event.
Or if you don’t want your clients tossing your business cards create a competition among your employees (or independent contractors) and have your clients come and watch.
Maybe even post videos of your employees prepping for the competition on your website and YouTube. Give the employees competition nicknames like Relaxation Rustler or Restorative Rep — use names to promote your business’ benefits. Maybe, you’ll even end up with a new brand character.
Whatever you decide to do turn it into a marketing event and offer special prices on competition days. It could turn into an ongoing promotion for a few weeks or months or an annual event that customers look forward to seeing.
Be sure to be safe during the competitions. You may want to have safety goggles for competitors to wear. Or make it an easy card toss like those toss a ping pong ball into the goldfish bowl games you see at Fairs and Carnivals. Turn it into a toss the business card into recycle bins at various distances and each distance gets an increasingly better prize or discount.
Check out this video of the Master Business Card Thrower to get some ideas. It’s worth the 2 minutes to watch it. I wonder how much practice the guy had to do. You’ll never look at your business card the same way again.
Good copy makes all the difference when marketing your services to clients. Have you seen the Old Spice ad (if you haven’t seen it check it out below)? The commercial has an interesting visual style with all the special effects but what really grabs attention are the words being said:
“Hello ladies. Look at your man. Now back to me. Now back at your man. Now back to me. Sadly, he isn’t me. But if he stopped using lady-scented body wash and switched to Old Spice, he could smell like he’s me. Look down. Back up. Where are you? You’re on a boat with the man your man could smell like. What’s in your hand? Back at me. I have it. It’s an oyster with two tickets to that thing you love. Look again. The tickets are now diamonds. Anything is possible when your man smells like Old Spice and not a lady. I’m on a horse.”
The copy engages the listener directly. It tells you what to do and think and how things could be if you buy this product that opens up possibilities.
Suddenly everyone is listening and thinking either “How can I be that man” or “How can I get a man like that?” Hmm, well if Old Spice can help let’s buy some. Men will buy it hoping to be that cool guy in the commercial. Women will buy it hoping her man will morph into that cool guy or at least smell as good.
Anything is possible when you wear Old Spice. Boy that makes you want to buy. I was ready to buy it for my husband.
Now how can you use good copywriting to engage your website visitors and get them thinking “How can I feel like that” so they will want to buy your service?