Need Help with Massage & Marketing

Help each other prosper! Share ideas, concerns and frustrations of developing your business. Share those creative marketing ideas that work! (SOAP charting, rate increases, outcalls, taxes, etc.)

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katrinapuckett
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Need Help with Massage & Marketing

Post by katrinapuckett » Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:19 pm

Hey Everyone....I'm getting my Masters in Business at Washington State University and decided to do my research project on the massage industry, which is my other love. I need some help from you all and hope that you would be willing to share.

In order to help complete a portion of my research, I'm looking to conduct the survey below regarding marketing and business practice. Please answer all the questions to the best of your ability should you decide to participate. Thanks so much for your help!

**If you participate, please be sure to subscribe to the post so that you are notified once I post my final project with all the credits ;-)

1. Did you or do you feel that most therapists have business experience prior to massage school?

2. What do you feel massage school lacks in its training that you wished it included?

3. Why do you feel many therapists are unemployed or underemployed?

4. What are the top 3 things you think most therapists want to learn about marketing their massage business?

5. What are the top 3 forms of marketing you've tried? Which was the most successful?

6. What's the most you feel the average therapist would pay to further education in marketing? Choose one:

A. $100/month. B. $50/month. C. $25/month
D. Nothing.

7. What do you feel the biggest challenge is for massage therapist?
Last edited by katrinapuckett on Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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akashafive
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Re: Need Help with Massage & Marketing

Post by akashafive » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:28 am

Reading through the questions, it seems like it would be difficult to answer several as my schooling and approach to marketing is entirely different from many other therapists and I can hardly answer what I think the "average" therapist would say or feel. :undecided: But I will answer them from *my* point of view. I hope it will help you.

1. Did you or do you feel that most therapists have business experience prior to massage school? No

2. What do you feel massage school lacks in its training that you wished it included? Nothing

3. Why do you feel many therapists are unemployed or underemployed? Because they have unrealistic expectations about the industry and their own bodies

4. What are the top 3 things you think most therapists want to learn about marketing their massage business? I'd like to learn more about attracting my ideal client, what the best advertising avenues are for my personality and pocketbook, and how to market my unique modailites to attract clients not interested in traditional western massage.

5. What are the top 3 forms of marketing you've tried? Paid advertising, free listing/review sites, placing my business on Google Places/Maps for free. Which was the most successful? Google Places/Maps

6. What's the most you feel the average therapist would pay to further education in marketing? Choose one: D. Nothing, but that's me. I have no idea what someone else would be willing to pay.

A. $100/month. B. $50/month. C. $25/month
D. Nothing.

7. What do you feel the biggest challenge is for massage therapist? Assuming they have a private practice, determining their personal and professional bounderies so they can have the practice they want from the start and not have to deal with the frustration of trying to change policies and practices later after their clientele has become use to things.
-Akasha
"Happiness is a journey, not a destination."
-Nancy Giles

katrinapuckett
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Re: Need Help with Massage & Marketing

Post by katrinapuckett » Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:12 am

Thanks! This is great feedback.

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RelaxandRejuvenate
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Re: Need Help with Massage & Marketing

Post by RelaxandRejuvenate » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:04 am

1. Did you or do you feel that most therapists have business experience prior to massage school?

Not usually. Being an employee somewhere rarely provides any "business experience"

2. What do you feel massage school lacks in its training that you wished it included?

Job hunting/retention skills. The lack of professionalism is appauling and often the schools set poor expectation about pay and prospects due to too much focus on the "dream" having your practice. They don't know what it means/takes to be a good employee. This lack of information/skills also leads to MTs being in bad situations they could have avoided -- being an IC when they are really employees, employees not being compensated within the legal standards, etc.

Training someone in massage SHOULD NOT be the goal of the school. Getting someone licensed and employed as a massage therapist is the goal


3. Why do you feel many therapists are unemployed or underemployed?

Both, and usually the fault of the school (60%) and the MT (40%)

4. What are the top 3 things you think most therapists want to learn about marketing their massage business?

Where to find customers? What channels have the best pay off? How to use social media?

5. What are the top 3 forms of marketing you've tried? Which was the most successful?
"Bounceback offers for existing clients. Direct Mail. Email promotions to existing customers

6. What's the most you feel the average therapist would pay to further education in marketing? Choose one:

A. $100/month. B. $50/month. C. $25/month
D. Nothing.

They should be willing to pay 1/3 of whatever one time revenue they expect to generate

7. What do you feel the biggest challenge is for massage therapist?
Making a living. Too many are ill-prepared to find and retain a good job or build a practice
Smithers: "Sir, I'm afraid we have a bad image, people see you as a bit of an ogre." Mr.Burns: "I ought to club them and eat their bones!"

pueppi
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Re: Need Help with Massage & Marketing

Post by pueppi » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:43 am

katrinapuckett wrote:Hey Everyone....I'm getting my Masters in Business at Washington State University... In order to help complete a portion of my research, I'm looking to conduct the survey below regarding marketing and business practice. Please answer all the questions to the best of your ability should you decide to participate. Thanks so much for your help!
I'm answering these without looking at the other replies before me. Likely I agree with some of the initial replies, so I hope I don't leave anything out.

I do hope you'll share your research with us, when you have completed your project. :)



1. Did you or do you feel that most therapists have business experience prior to massage school?
  • I do not feel like most therapists have business experience prior to massage school. I say this as both a student and instructor. Most students during my time around schools were either older and coming out of job (not a business they owned) and switching into massage, or were very young, and just starting to even work.
2. What do you feel massage school lacks in its training that you wished it included?
  • It would be nice if more massage schools tried to explain to students that one doesn't typically make much money their first, second and sometimes even third year - of being self employed (especially, if they have any large debt in their pocket).

    I also think students need to be trained on how to "grow-up" and be more professional, for lack of better terms. I get calls left on my answering machine at work, of new therapists (and old ones) looking for work. Enough start their voice mail they leave with words like: "Yeah, hey man, I'm wondering if you are looking to hire a massage therapist? I'm extremely qualified..."

    As a new therapist, you just aren't going to be extremely qualified and you need to understand that. As someone who leaves a message with "Yeah, hey man..." well, I am not so interested in hiring you (if I did have employees) with that kind of phone etiquette. :shocked:
3. Why do you feel many therapists are unemployed or underemployed?
  • Because they lack the skills to be professional;
  • because they get discouraged when they find out they may have to hold one or more jobs in order to get their business running;
  • because they see the income per session and don't factor in the amount it costs to run their office;
  • because working at a spa can wear them out if it is not run in a way that helps both the owner and the therapist (burn out);
  • because therapists are generally overworked in a spa/franchise (I say generally, not always) and this leads to painful joints, etc, causing them to quit;
  • because they have a limited skill set and/or never honed their skills (learned more than the basics;
  • because many new MT's think they are entitled to just "have" clients immediately, and don't grasp the concept that working toward a goal takes time and effort.
4. What are the top 3 things you think most therapists want to learn about marketing their massage business?
  • a. How to create a website that discusses their personal thoughts and methods in a professional manner.
    b. How to create a cancellation policy they can stick to, rather they have had a good or bad week in the office.
    c. How to garner more clientele that fits their practice model, not just any person coming off the street.
5. What are the top 3 forms of marketing you've tried? Which was the most successful?
  • a. Direct marketing to other health-care professionals.
    b. Random marketing to businesses/potential clients in the area by delivering post-cards about our work to their office, etc.
    c. Word of mouth/client referral via reviews or face to face reference of my work.

    The most successful has always been word of mouth, although it is a lot slower process.

6. What's the most you feel the average therapist would pay to further education in marketing? Choose one: A. $100/month. B. $50/month. C. $25/month D. Nothing.
  • The *average* therapist (not one who frequents and participates in a forum like this): D. Nothing.

7. What do you feel the biggest challenge is for massage therapist?
  • Getting their name out to targeted individuals (ideal client) within the general public, while creating a reason for that person trust the therapists work, enough to try them the first time.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, leading to the most amazing view. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through valleys tinkling with bells...
Houston Massage Therapy - Advanced Massage Therapy - Lucas & Lucas, LLC

katrinapuckett
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Re: Need Help with Massage & Marketing

Post by katrinapuckett » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:14 pm

Wow this is great RandR and Pueppi! I really have a passion for Massage Therapists so I thought this would be a great research project. So far this has been great insight. I've been in the business world for many years myself and in management in the massage industry...so this is very interesting to see this feedback.

The project is for the duration of my spring semester with multiple parts of it due throughout the semester. I will be sure to post it here once I've completed it :-)

Thanks for your help! I'll be sure to include my list of credits :-)

massagebiz
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Re: Need Help with Massage & Marketing

Post by massagebiz » Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:07 pm

Hi Katrina,
I have been working with this same issue for some time. I actually work at providing business knowledge to massage therapists (business school background like yourself). I'd be happy to talk to you if you are looking for some additional information. You'll find that my site (http://www.innovativemassagece.com) and the resources/courses available are directly related to what you are looking into. Feel free to contact me either through my site or directly at [email protected].
Providing business/marketing based continuing education and blog articles on http://www.innovativemassagece.com

pueppi
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Re: Need Help with Massage & Marketing

Post by pueppi » Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:23 am

.


02/10/14 - removed content as I seem to have put it in the wrong thread. :shock:
Last edited by pueppi on Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, leading to the most amazing view. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through valleys tinkling with bells...
Houston Massage Therapy - Advanced Massage Therapy - Lucas & Lucas, LLC

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JLWmassage
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Re: Need Help with Massage & Marketing

Post by JLWmassage » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:47 am

1. Did you or do you feel that most therapists have business experience prior to massage school?

NO

2. What do you feel massage school lacks in its training that you wished it included?

It's the massage schools job to train how to do a massage. Do I wish they would offer more as far as how to market yourself yes! But that would more then likely become a degree program.

3. Why do you feel many therapists are unemployed or underemployed?

They have no clue how much work it takes to build a clientèle! And marketing yourself needs to be a daily project when you are just starting out.

4. What are the top 3 things you think most therapists want to learn about marketing their massage business?

Website
Blogging
Social media


5. What are the top 3 forms of marketing you've tried? Which was the most successful?

My website has been #1 for brining me in business,then reviews on sites such as Yelp and word of mouth referrals

6. What's the most you feel the average therapist would pay to further education in marketing? Choose one:

I pick D as most new MT's have already paid a boat load of money to get their massage education already,paid to get their license and insurance.

A. $100/month. B. $50/month. C. $25/month
D. Nothing.

7. What do you feel the biggest challenge is for massage therapist?

Getting clients, and getting those clients to keep coming back. Many MT's aren't very good at closing the sale and are not comfortable talking to people.


Good luck with your project ! :smt006

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