To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “A Labor of Love: A Massage Doula Specialty Benefits Mothers and Babies,” by Judith Koch, in the March 2011 issue. Article summary: A growing number of massage therapists have found an exciting way to enhance their practices and take part in one of the most miraculous events known to humankind by becoming doulas.
by Rick Morgan, C.M.T
When you’re working with the pregnancy demographic, you aren’t just marketing to pregnant women. At least 50 percent of the time, it is the expectant father who first sends the client to you. Therefore, you want to aim much of your pregnancy massage marketing to him.
Why is this? Because dad wants to do something—anything—to help his pregnant wife feel better. He also wants to protect her as best he can. So he will look for the best pregnancy massage practice, and he will check credentials and references.
The following four tips will help your marketing and branding reflect your expertise and professionalism.
Tip 1: Become a pregnancy massage expert. If you really want to work with pregnant clients, invest in advanced training and credentials. This is one of the few course areas that is truly a good return on investment when marketed correctly. Husbands and loved ones look at your training when making a decision regarding the soon to be mom.
Tip 2: Limit your menu of services. Think about whether your list of services makes you appear as a dedicated specialist in pregnancy massage, or a “jack of all trades.” Limit your services to three to five items; any more and you look scattered. Get rid of deep tissue, sports, pain relief and Swedish as separate offerings and put them under one “therapeutic massage” heading.
Tip 3: Create professional marketing materials. This is tough if you don’t have the budget to hire professionals. But putting handmade fliers on windshields is not going to inspire confidence. Fortunately, there are great low-cost, website templates and online sources for low-cost, but professional brochures and business cards. Invest in them. It’s worth it.
Tip 4: Remember your target audience. These are educated consumers. Make sure your marketing speaks not only to the expectant mom, but also dad. Make him feel like he’s putting mom in good hands.
Rick Morgan, C.M.T., is founder of the American Pregnancy Massage Association (http://americanpregnancymassage.org/) and owns the Pregnancy Massage Center Herndon, Virginia. He teaches business marketing at AKS School of Massage in Herndon.