I often hear people say, “I’ve tried everything to get more clients, and nothing works!” In reality, you have tried everything you have been exposed to once or twice—and when that didn’t yield immediate results, you went on to the next vague marketing strategy, hoping that would be the golden ticket to your success.
Regardless of the strategy you choose to get more clients, consistency is key.
I’ve seen people run steep discounts, give free services, undercut their competitors and spend way too much on print or radio advertising that yields little return on investment.
Thinking outside the box and doing things unconventionally will attract amazing clients who will sing your praises and be your greatest advocates. Establishing the like-know-trust factor in your community will be very impactful for your business.
There are so many ways to establish trust in your community—even on a bootstrap budget. Let’s talk about some impactful ways you can market your business and get more clients –ways that have nothing to do with reverting to running discounts in order to get people on your massage table.
We attract the clients we think we deserve, so it’s time to step up to the plate and really be in alignment with our values and goals rather than making decisions out of scarcity and desperation.
5 Easy Ways Get More Clients
1. Partner with nonprofits & charities. Find a local organization you support and that aligns with your business values and offer to donate a portion of proceeds for a certain number of days back to the organization. They will post about your charitable partnership on social media and to their email list, meaning your business is being advertised to their audience for free.
I also like to volunteer at such organizations too. Some of the fellow volunteers (and their friends) have turned into clients as well. Do not partner with a charity simply for notoriety. Do it because it’s a cause you believe in and would support regardless. One member of Badass Bodyworkers, Jessica York, for example, has held clothing drives, support groups, and made backpacks for homeless vets in the Detroit area.
2. Google is king. Seriously, understanding Google is the best thing you can do to market your business on a bootstrap budget. It’s absolutely free and will have the greatest impact online by keeping you on the first page of Google. There are additional features, like Google My Business and reviews, you can use as well.
Utilizing the features on the Google My Business page is a fantastic way of monitoring your metrics and keeps you relevant in the search engines. I often check my Google listing compared to other spas in my area, and my photo views are insane compared to my colleagues’ simply because I keep my listing updated with real-life stock photography and video. Imagery definitely helps when a client is deciding who to spend their money with.
After their appointment, I send my clients a text message right after their appointment so they can leave me a review. Don’t make your clients search for your listing. Make it super easy on them and text them a link, because otherwise they will forget. I like to keep my message short & sweet: “Thank you for choosing [business name] for your well-kneaded massage. The best compliment we can get is a testimonial about your service. [insert Google link] We appreciate your support and look forward to being a part of your wellness journey.”
3. QR codes. QR codes have gained popularity recently due to restaurant menus using them during the pandemic, so clients are familiar with scanning them. I’ve made a QR code for my landing pages and business cards that lead people directly to my booking site or my link in my bio.
One member of Badass Bodyworkers, Amanda James, likes to print her QR code on a T-shirt so even the most introverted or busy people can simply scan your code without even striking up a conversation. How genius is that?
4. Videos and stock photos. Clients want to know who they are working with and why they should spend their time and money on your services, so having real-life stock images is crucial for establishing the like, know, and trust factor. Would you go to a facility that only has cliche´ stock photos posted online or in their windows, or to a therapist who has professional headshots and short video clips highlighting a modality or technique they specialize in?
Photography doesn’t have to be expensive, and is a service you can easily barter for. I personally have invested in a camera that cost less than $400 that I can film with and take my own photos with and pay someone to edit the video for me if need be. Most of the time, my face isn’t even in the videos, it’s just my hands or cupping.
While we are on the topic of video, social media isn’t going anywhere. With all of the major platforms fighting for people’s screen time, learning how to make simple moving graphics on design websites like Canva and editing simple reels will have a major impact on your business as the platforms are all prioritizing video. Remember that consistency and authenticity are key.
5. Support local. We expect our local community to support our local businesses, but are you supporting other small shops in your town as well? Remember that energy flows where our focus goes.
One way to support small and local business is to give shout-outs to your favorite businesses on social media, partner with a photographer or other professional to create a holiday event, set up at open houses, and create packages or treatments using products made by local artisans and sell their retail items.
Keep in mind that people vote with their dollars, so supporting your local economy as much as you can rather than giant corporations will have a positive impact in your business. Supporting local also means going to networking events where you will meet other local business owners that can be a fantastic referral source for you.
Going to networking events and hanging out where your ideal clients hang out is a great way to plant seeds that will become fruitful months and years from one event. I’ve gotten $1,000 corporate clients two to three years after an event that I decided to go to on awhim: unlimited opportunities are out there!
Collaboration starts with conversation and nurturing a dialogue with like minded individuals. Imagine how your business would dwindle if you continued to network with and sell to the same group over and over again. Also, you can go to a Business Network International group twice for free before having to join one, so go to a few different ones to meet new people at no cost to you.
Be Consistent to Get More Clients
I could really write forever about marketing your business on a bootstrap budget, but these are the basics that will help give you a good foundation for getting more clients.
There are so many tactics and strategies out there to get more clients, and it can get super overwhelming super quickly, so choose to focus your efforts on one or two things at time, and do them well. Frustration can set in if there doesn’t seem to be immediate results, so be patient, be consistent and be authentic.
I recently did a podcast episode for Badass Bodyworkers called “Bodyworker ABCs: Authenticity, Bootstrap Budgets, and Community Collaboration” that absolutely blew my mind, so I recommend tuning in to that episode to get your creative juices flowing!
About the Author
Rebecca Brumfield, LMT, is the founder of Badass Bodyworkers. For more mindset tips and business mentoring, visit our free community of Badass Bodyworkers on Facebook.