Monday, October 27, 2014

Canvas Your Area

How often do you walk around your neighborhood to visit other nearby businesses?  Do you have businesses in your area that target the same market as yours?

Get some business cards, postcards, brochures, fliers, (if you don't have any of these things, get some printed out ASAP) and bring them around to drop off at local businesses.  Introduce yourself and take your time conversing with those you meet.  Dropping off your marketing material is called canvasing your area.  Let other businesses know who you are and what you do.  Head to businesses that take care of the same clientele as you and target your market this way.  Place your information in areas where your target market will find it. 

When was the last time your canvased your area?  Tell us what you leave at other businesses that brings your customers to you.  Share your stories below, or at the Massage Marketing Toolbox facebook group.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Send A Thanksgiving Greeting Card To Your Clients, Employees, & Vendors

Have you ever received a holiday card from a business before?  I have, and it is usually a Christmas/Season's Greetings themed card. And I usually get a whole slew of them in the mail, and a whole ton more in my email inbox.  Sending a holiday card is no longer going to get your noticed by your customers.  It will not help you to stand out from other businesses since they are doing the same thing.

How about we all change up that holiday to Thanksgiving instead.  You will be the first holiday greeting card in everyone's hands.  Obviously, you will be beating the holiday rush.  This is one more way to get your business to the front of your clients' minds.

Thank you for reading this blog! ~Luisa

So what do you write in a Thanksgiving card?  Here are some ideas:

For your best clients:
Thank you for being our valued customer. Wishing you a lovely Thanksgiving and a joyous holiday season.
Thank you, (insert client name here), for the pleasure of working with you.  I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving.

For clients you haven't seen in a while:
Happy Thanksgiving! We hope to see you again soon.

For vendors and suppliers that you work with:
We sincerely appreciate all your hard work and dedication throughout the year.
From our company to yours, happy holidays!

For your employees:
Thank you for the fantastic job you do everyday.
No job is ever too big or too small for you.  Thank you for always going above and beyond.
It is important to find people you can count on in this business.  You are one of those reliable employees.  Thank you for all you do.
Thank you for being such a dedicated and valuable employee.  Please enjoy the enclosed gift certificate as a token of my thanks. (If you use this phrase, do make sure you actually enclose a gift certificate that your employee will like to have and use.)

You can also add a promotional item to your greeting cards, such as a calendar (you will probably be the first business to give one if you send a Thanksgiving card rather than waiting until December to send one out).  This is a nice way for people to see your message throughout the year each time they look at their calendar.  You could enclose a special offer.  Maybe let them know of any upcoming holiday sales.  Or, you could just leave the card as is with a personalized message of thanks.

Let me know your thoughts on sending greeting cards and what your plan is this year.  Leave a comment here on the blog, or send a comment to the Massage Marketing Toolbox facebook group.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Adding Value vs. Discounting Your Massage Services

I received a lot of feedback from last week's post about the type of promotion I was considering to do.  You can read more about it by clicking here.  I was told (by quite a few people) that I should always do a free upgrade instead of a discount as I would  attract the wrong type of clientele.  I think it all depends on what your offer is, and what you must realize as a business owner, is that you are still discounting when you offer a free upgrade.  The only difference is the way you market the promotion to the public.

Here are two ways to offer the same deal.  Which one gets your attention?

Take 25% OFF a 60 minute Hot Bamboo massage. Only $75!  (Regular price is $100).


FREE Hot Bamboo upgrade to any 60 minute Signature Massage!  (A $25 dollar value.)

Would you rather a free upgrade, or $25 off?

I tested this with my current clients, and noticed that many chose to use the first offer of the discount instead of the upgrade.  There were some that chose the second offer, but no where near as many who chose the first.  I'd like you to test this out with your clients.  See which offer entices a bigger response.  You may have the same findings as I did.  You may have the opposite turnout.

So what?

When you think about the promotion you want to run, think about your clients and what would appeal to them.  See if there is a way to word your offer differently while essentially having the exact same promotion you originally intended.

I would love to see your results and your ideas.  Let me know what you come up with by commenting on this post, or visiting the Massage Marketing Toolbox facebook group.

Next week we will talk about combining these two ideas of discounting and upgrading into one solid promotion by bundling. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Which Would You Prefer - A Tip, Or A Referral?

I've seen tipping discussed very often in several massage therapy Facebook groups as well as on Linkedin.  Many massage therapists depend on tips much the same as a waitstaff does in a restaurant.  There has been much debate on whether we should even be accepting tips if we want to be considered health care workers.  Here is a list of interesting articles I have compiled on the subject.

The therapist point of view:

The Tipping Point Where Do You Stand on Receiving Gratuities? by Laura Allen

 Death To Tips! by Kelly Bowers

To Tip Or Not To Tip? by Cherie Sohnen-Moe

The client point of view:

How much do you tip a massage therapist for a 60 minute massage?

As you can see, there are many differing opinions on the subject.  Here is how I handle the situation when client asks me about my tipping policy. I let them know that I don't expect tips, but they are appreciated.  If you leave it at that, your client may feel guilty if they don't tip you, so before that happens, I then let them know that I would much rather they give me a referral.  If they know of anyone that could use some relaxation, or some relief from their body aches to pass on my information.  I then give them something to hand out.  This is key.  I hand them a few business cards, or my current promotional flier.  Handing your client the flier increases the chances of them actually telling people about you, and it also increases the chances that the referral will actually come to see you sooner than later with the promo flier.

So, what do you feel about tipping?  Personally, I'd prefer the referral instead.  Here is why:
  1. Better Value. A tip doesn't last, a referral can turn into repeat business.  This is much more valuable to me than a few extra dollars are in the moment.
  2. Rewards My Current Clients. I have a referral program in place in my business.  (I know some areas of the country don't allow this, so if your in one of those areas, don't break the rules.)  For each referral someone sends me, they get a $10 credit good to use toward any service.
  3. Builds My Business.  We all know word of mouth is the best way to build your business.  Potential clients are more inclined to try you out if someone they know is telling them how awesome you are.
Do you accept tips?  What is your tipping policy?  Let me know in the comments below, or in the Facebook Massage Marketing Group.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Partnering With A Local Business (Part 3)

There are different ways you can partner with local businesses to promote your practice.  This is part 3 of 3 posts.

Create A VIP Card For Local Employees

I live in a town that is known as the corporate king of the suburbs.  There are many companies headquartered in my area.  Here is something that I am going to be trying out for January next year.  I think it will be a great tie in to New Year's Resolutions.  I will choose a nearby company and offer VIP cards for the employees.  There are many companies that I've seen do something like this, but never seen a massage therapist do the same. I've seen bars and night clubs have VIP cards where they offer discounts on admission, or drink specials that they can only get with the card.  I have seen restaurants do this with a free dessert for VIP card holders.  I have seen grocery stores that have reward/membership cards in which you save money off the price, or you rack up points to earn credit towards your next purchase.  So why not create a VIP card for a massage business?

Here is my plan:

We all know that healthy employees = happy employees and happy employees = more productive ones.

I am going to create a VIP card (business card) and offer them to businesses to give out to their employees.  I am a member of two local chambers so I can spread the word out easily and limit it to 2 businesses (one in each chamber).  It will have a limited time offer on the back side, with my business contact information on the front.  Below are my ideas that I've been brainstorming. 

which would you prefer?  option #1 or option #2?

Option #1 adds on free upgrades at a minimal cost to me, and option #2 offers special pricing.  Which would you prefer to receive?  Let me know in the comments below, or in the facebook Massage Marketing Toolbox group.