Featured image for an article about the top 5 mistakes to avoid when marketing your massage therapy business. Image of lightbulb with marketing symbols on a wall.

You’ve spent years mastering massage techniques and building a loyal clientele. Your passion for massage and helping others shows through in every session, and the clients you work with love the massage sessions they have with you at your table. But despite your skills and dedication, you find yourself struggling to attract new clients and grow your business. Sound familiar?

Marketing your massage therapy business effectively requires more than just mastering massage techniques and providing excellent client service. Despite your skills and dedication, attracting new clients and growing your business can be a challenge.

Being a great massage therapist is no longer enough to guarantee success. While being great at massage and client satisfaction are important, they’re just pieces of the puzzle. 

To get your massage business ahead, you need to understand the marketing side of the massage therapy business and the subtleties of promoting your massage services, connecting with your ideal clients, and standing out in a crowded market.

Key Takeaways

  • Engage in active promotion. Attend local events, network, and leverage social media platforms. Visibility is important for attracting new clients.
  • Identify and market a specific niche within massage therapy to stand out from competitors. Specialization attracts clients who are willing to pay more for expert services.
  • Maintain a modern, easy-to-navigate website that highlights your specialties and services. A professional online presence increases credibility and improves search engine rankings.
  • Collect and display testimonials, reviews, and client endorsements prominently on your website and social media. 
  • Encourage clients to leave reviews on your Google Business Account. Positive Google reviews dramatically influence potential client choices. Responding to all reviews professionally shows your commitment to excellent service.

Understanding the Customer Journey in Massage Therapy Marketing

Enter the concept of the customer journey, a fundamental piece of effective marketing. The customer journey, simply put, is the path that potential clients take from the moment they first hear about your massage services to the moment they book a session (and hopefully become loyal clients). Why is the customer journey so important?

A Real-Life Example of the Customer Journey

Let’s consider this scenario; it’s your wedding anniversary, and you want to book a special dinner at a restaurant recommended by your best friend. Excited and ready to reserve a table, you encounter a problem: you can’t find the restaurant’s website, leaving you unsure about their menu and the overall ambiance. After much effort, you finally find a contact number but only reach an answering machine, repeatedly. Eventually, after multiple attempts, you manage to make a reservation. However, when you arrive, the restaurant isn’t what you expected, ending in just an okay experience.

This example shows why business owners need to recognize the customer journey in your massage therapy business. When they hear about you, what’s next? By addressing potential client’s needs and pain points at each stage, from initial discovery to booking, you can offer a smooth experience, turning first-time clients into loyal ones for your massage business.

Now that we’ve set the stage and know the importance of the customer journey, it’s time to dive into the top five mistakes to avoid when marketing your massage therapy business. 

Step 1: Not Putting Yourself Out There

Let’s start with a quick story about my wife and I doing a 5K run. After the race, we stumbled upon a small business owner promoting her products at the event. Intrigued, my wife ended up making a purchase on the spot. The next day, we saw her again downtown, spreading the word about her business again. The moral of the story? Sometimes, you’ve got to step out and promote your business actively. Whether it’s networking at local events, volunteering, or posting on your Instagram, getting out there is key to attracting new clients. Expecting social media to reach every corner of your market is a massage therapy marketing misstep that limits your business growth.

Step 2: Do You Have a Specialty?

Next, let’s talk about finding your niche. Every massage therapist has something special to offer, whether it’s sports massage, prenatal care, or therapeutic massage for chronic pain. But, many of us try to be jacks-of-all-trades, offering a little bit of everything. But here’s the thing, when you don’t have a niche, you don’t stand out from all the other massage therapists in your local area. This is a fairly typical marketing blunder in massage therapy.

So, take some time to figure out what sets you apart and focus your marketing efforts accordingly. Maybe you’re passionate about helping athletes recover from injuries, or maybe you excel at easing the discomfort of expectant mothers. Whatever it is, discover your niche and make it a focal point in your marketing. Failing to do this is a common massage therapy advertising mistake.

Mistake #3: Optimizing Your Website Incorrectly

In today’s digital age, having a website is a must. Your website is like your digital storefront, it’s where potential clients go to learn more about you and your services. But if your website looks like it’s stuck in the ’90s, you’re not going to impress anyone. So, spruce it up, make it easy to navigate, and don’t forget to showcase your specialties front and center. Highlight what you do and more importantly who you work on and where. Not only does this position you as an expert in your field, but it also helps boost your website’s search engine rankings.

Mistake #4: Not Showcasing Social Proof

Ever wonder why online reviews are so important? It’s because we trust what other people have to say. Testimonials, reviews, and endorsements from happy clients go a long way. But many of us fail to leverage social proof effectively. Don’t make that mistake. Collect testimonials, showcase before-and-after photos, and create videos with your clients. Remember, potential clients are more likely to trust the opinions of their peers than any marketing message you put out there. These should be all over your website and Instagram account.

Mistake #5: Not Cultivating Google Reviews

Last but not least, let’s discuss Google reviews. When potential clients search for massage therapy services in their area, one of the first things they’ll look for is reviews. And where do they turn? Google. So, make sure you’re creating a strong presence on your Google Business Account and encouraging clients to leave reviews. 

The more five-star reviews you have, the better! Think about installing a follow-up system to request feedback from clients after their sessions. And don’t forget to respond to reviews, both positive and negative, in a timely and professional manner. This shows potential clients that you value their feedback and are committed to providing excellent service. Failing to manage this aspect properly can be one of the massage therapy marketing mistakes that will prevent growth and sustainability.

And there you have it, five common marketing mistakes to avoid in your massage therapy business. By putting yourself out there, finding your niche, creating an online presence, showcasing social proof, and cultivating Google reviews, you’ll be well on your way to attracting more clients and growing your business. Remember, marketing is all about connecting with people and showing them how you can help improve their lives.

Image of headshot of massage influencer Joe Yoon

About the Author

Joe Yoon is a massage therapist, personal trainer and founder of JoeTherapy, a company that provides massage therapy at his clinic in Orlando, Florida, and through which he teaches stretching and self-massage techniques online. He wrote “Better Stretching: 9 Minutes a Day to Greater Flexibility, Less Pain, and Enhanced Performance, the JoeTherapy Way,” which was released in early 2020. Joe is also a MASSAGE Magazine All-Star, one of a team of innovative therapists and teachers who educate the magazine’s community of massage therapists in our print magazine, on our social media channels and on our website.

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