How to Grow your Massage Therapy Business in 2019

Female massage therapists stand with her arms crossed next to her massage table

Want to grow your massage therapy business to the next level in 2019, get more clients and make your practice stand out, but not sure where to start?

With so many new trends appearing each year it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Where do you start? What should I focus on first?

That’s why we have boiled down this year’s advice, from the likes of Forbes, Workspace, and QuickSprout to create this 12 step guide, so each month you can make small steps to grow your massage business and make 2019 your most successful year yet.

This year, trends to expand and grow your massage business focus around leveraging professional and local networks, recapturing customers’ trust after a difficult 2018 and preparing for the new ways potential client’s search for your services.

Everyone's business will be at a different stage, whether you're recently qualified and just starting out or a long-serving professional who has built up a wide in-person network but needs to grow an online presence. With that in mind, you may already have some of the monthly goals covered so feel free to skip to the months you feel you need to focus on more and bring them forward. But by the end of the year, aim to have every area covered in full and you can look back and say 2019 was the year I brought my massage practice to the next level!

We will get stuck in straight away so you can set up strategies to grow your business throughout 2019 and beyond.  


January - Overhaul your social media strategy

It may sound obvious, but New Year is the time to set yourself some smart goals, especially when it comes to social media. According to asurvey in 2018, 92% of small businesses invested more time and money in at least one social media channel.

This year, as we will see, interacting with local markets is key. Take January to look through your social media accounts and analyse how many of your posts interact with your local community. We will look later on at how being active in your community will boost organic traffic to your business but for now.

  • Go through local websites and create a calendar of upcoming events you can attend.

  • Brainstorm some events you could host yourself to promote the benefits of massage in your local area. Start speaking with local businesses about hosting some events together and supporting each other with some promotion.

  • Look up local charities you admire and think of ways to support them in doing some good for the community.

In January overhaul your social media strategy to expand your massage therapy business in 2019

In 2019 another focus for marketers on social media is authenticity, to win customers’ trust after a stressful 2018. Use this year as a chance to show off what makes you and your massage therapy business unique with the above local community tips!

Which leads us nicely on to..


February - Give your customer service the personal touch

As technology creeps into more areas of our lives, in 2019 customers will seek a more personalised experience in all their purchases. This is where us therapists have a head start! So much of what we do is interacting with our clients to give them a great experience. So use 2019 to think creatively to grow your massage business by making opportunities, inside and outside the treatment room, to personalise your customer’s experience even further.
  • Ask if they have a favourite style of music or scent you can use during their therapy and remember for their next treatment.
  • Make a note of something you spoke about, it could be a holiday they are planning or a new job they are starting. Keep a note by their next appointment so you can start a more personalised conversation next time.   
  • As much as possible share what you are doing on social media. If you have a comments book you can useCanvato create beautiful graphics sharing the best quotes from happy customers.
  • Use a service like TextMagicto automate sending personalised text messages to remind customers of their next appointment. Check out how it works below or test for yourself with their free trial. Not only will this make your practice more personal and stand out from the competition, but it will also serve to reduce last minute cancellations and no-shows which inevitably hurt your bottom line.

March - Keep it local

2018 saw 242 million people utilise location-based services on their phones and tablets and 80% of marketers used location based strategies to develop their businesses.  Whilst this has been a developing trend for a few years, even big businesses still make mistakes and target too wide an audience, neglecting to focus on their local community. Follow these steps from The Balance to master location-based marketing in 2019.

  • Create location specific content for your website or blog to encourage organic traffic from your local area.

  • An easy way to do this is to keep networking in your community. Attend the events you earmarked earlier this year. Sponsor a local event, or create your own, and build up to it on your blog and social media accounts.

  • Share this on social media and use location tags on all your posts to appear on more relevant local searches.

  • Ask repeat customers to leave you reviews, the more 5 star reviews you have, the higher you will appear when search engines make local suggestions.   

  • Create a Google My Business listing and keep it up to date to appear on Google Maps searches.   

  • Finally, select a local audience with Geotargeting during any Pay-per-click advertising campaigns.


April - Embrace Instagram Stories

Instagram is fast climbing the ranks as the best social media tool for businesses. This year a big trend for marketing is Instagram Stories as they allow companies to get out extra content without clogging up customers feeds and turning them off their business. Follow this great guidefrom QuickSprout to see how stories can be used in a variety of ways including;

  • Live behind-the-scenes snippets when attending trade events or local events.
  • Running polls and promotions.
  • Showcasing testimonials.
  • Presenting products.

Utilising Instagram stories to build your massage business


May - Get ready for voice searches

Possibly this years’ freshest trend, experts estimate that by 2020, 50% of online searches will be made using voice-activated devices. As this new technology takes off, it is worth investigating what you can do to ensure your business is found by these devices.

After filling out yourGoogle My Businessprofile last month you will be well on the way to ranking high in local search results. But with voice-activated technology on the rise, you will need to feature some content on your site to ensure clients asking “best massage in (your location)” will be directed straight to you.

SEO experts Yoast give great tips in this article but a good place to start is by dropping your location in naturally to any blog posts. Hopefully, you will already have a head start with the posts you have been creating to shout out to any local events you plan to attend or have been to already.
Another easy way to ensure your website is optimised for voice searches is to provide straightforward answers to your massage clients’ most common questions on an FAQ page on your site.


June - Grow your professional network

With key industry events coming up in June, use this month to get involved in the wider community of massage therapists!

From the 22nd - 23rd follow the action at theWorld Championships in Copenhagen online and interact on Twitter with judges and contestants whose work you admire!Set up a dedicated Twitter list for following industry leaders you find inspiring, to keep you motivated and interacting with the wider community throughout the second half of this year!


July - Avoid joining the noise

Whilst data has become a dirty word in 2018, it can be useful in the age where we all feel a little bombarded online. In 2019 make it your priority to make clients feel special by only sending them relevant offers and content.

According to Forbes, audiences no longer forgive companies who send out streams of content they have no interest in. Technology likeFacebook ads manager can help businesses to see what topics clients are engaging with and create themed lists for when you want to advertise your content. You can streamline along different types of massage or target corporate clients with separate and more relevant offers to your clinic customers.


August - Personalise your email marketing

Year after year, email still generates the highest ROI for businesses with 77% of people still preferring to get promotional messages via email. Obviously, the key to any email marketing campaign’s success is to make sure people open your email!

According toCampaign Monitor, 57% of marketers say personalization is theirmost effective email marketing tactic. As we have already seen, personalisation is a key customer desire for 2019 so another easy way to grow your massage business this year is to send emails with personalised subject lines.

Easy to dowith a free service like MailChimp, emails with a personalised subject line have a 26% higher success rate.

Campaign Monitor Infographic The State of Email Marketing


September - Tighten up your data privacy

After a series of high profile hacks last year, data protection will be another big focus of 2019. Understandably customers are becoming increasingly cautious about their data. Whilst many businesses sadly see the developments of the GDPR as a nuisance, it can be an opportunity to reconnect with clients and prove the value of your small business.

Anything you can do to protect your client’s information will pay off in maintaining their trust and loyalty. Read up on these10 tips and be transparent when collecting data during appointments, take a moment to explain why you need it and how it will be stored to put your client’s minds at ease.


October - Video killed the radio star

By 2020 it is estimated that 82% of online content will be delivered through video.

More and more customers want to see inside your business and dynamic visual content is the only way to grab their attention. Keep videos to under a minute and ensure your video content is of high quality to help it stand out amongst all the competition. It is worth the investment to hire a professional content creator to film a short one minute video introducing you and your space to potential clients. Expressing what makes you unique on camera is more authentic than reading it online and starts to build rapport and trust even before someone books an appointment. 

You can also use video to share your successes and ask your most loyal customers to review your service. Just make sure you thank them with an offer or reward for their time!  

For example, here at Massage Warehouse, we love hearingyour reviews of our products

November - Celebrate Customer Loyalty

As we have seen many of the trends for this year are revolving around cutting through the online noise with great customer service. The team atWorkspace, recommend spending time in 2019 to strengthen the bond with your existing clients. As the festive season approaches, why not use your email newsletter, to show your appreciation with a few fun loyalty rewards and spread some early Christmas cheer!

You could offer
  • Extra relaxation time after their appointment with warm towels and a hot festive drink.
  • Complementary posture analysis - reset for the new year.
  • Prebook treatments for 2020 at a discount.
  • Refer a friend in December and get a free treatment.


December - Take stock and get ready to do it all again!

Many businesses see organising social media posts for Christmas or other holidays as a waste of time, but don’t be a Scrooge! A simple seasonal post is a fantastic way to connect to your clients. Full of emotional appeal, create some beautiful festive imagery using sites likeCanva andUnsplash and thank your clients for their support this year.

You could even get even more personal than previously discussed by posting a very personal message via photo of video. If you have colleagues at our practice post a group video thanking the clients and wishing them holiday greetings! Or if you are a solo therapist, consider posting a message on your own or with your family. 

If you haven't heard of it, check out Bonjoro and get a free trial. It is an excellent way to increase client engagement. It keeps clients engaged along their journey with your massage business. You can thank them for coming onboard, follow up at key milestones, and let them know they are front of mind even in the downtimes. If you use one new tool this year, this is my favourite for you to try!

Finally, as the year draws to a close, congratulate yourself for all your hard work this year! Reflect on what has been successful and what still needs more work as you get ready for 2020!

How festive posts on social media can boost your massage therapy business

Join in the discussion in the comments below! We would love to hear your thoughts. What's worked for you and how have you gotten on growing your massage business in 2019!

Let us know how you are getting on in the comments below along with any questions you may have!


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