I opened my massage therapy practice in January 2011, and since then, I have tried all kinds of ways to bring in clients. To be honest, early on, I wasted a LOT of money paying for magazine ads, local publication ads, country club ads, newspaper ads, etc. I did Groupon and that was a total disaster as we sold way too many of them! I partnered up with Spafinder and I did not like that because we automatically would lose a part of our per session fee.
I also did a lot of free stuff like chair massages at local events with the understanding that the people I worked on would then book an appointment to come into the office. Nope. I think I got one client to actually book an appointment. So after a couple years of saying YES to everyone who expected that massage therapists should do FREE things in order to get business, I just stopped the madness and said NO.
I recall right now one particular magazine ad costing me a little over $600! I might as well have taken six $100 bills and walked over to the toilet and toss them in and flushed them!
Return on Investment – Return on My Time
I eventually came up with a hard and fast rule when it came to spending money on anything designed to promote my massage practice. If I decided to try something new, I had to see a return on investment (whether of my time or my money) within a reasonable amount of time or I had to chuck it!
Having a Website Was The Key
I eventually learned that our website would be the single most important thing that would bring in a consistent flow of clients. Our website has gone thru several changes since 2011 but one thing has not changed – people just keep on finding it over and over again online. And, they are finding it FOR FREE! To this day, I STILL HAVE NEVER PAID FOR GOOGLE ADWORDS, even though I was tempted to do so several times.
Our Local Clients Find Us FOR FREE!
You see, I consistently ask our clients how they found us. I am just curious. The majority of the time they say they got on Google and did a search and we came up on page 1 of Google. Every now and then people locate us on Facebook or Instagram. A small percentage said they found us through Google MAPS and one client even said Suri (IPhone assistant) told her about us! I fell out laughing over that one! However, over 80% of our clients tell us or they put on the client intake form, that they Googled us and we were on page 1…
It is Important to Understand Organic Searches
When someone is riding down the street and they realize they seriously need to get a massage like NOW, and they go to Google and type in something like MASSAGE THERAPY CLEVELAND and your company comes up somewhere on the first page of Google and toward the top of the page, that is called an ORGANIC or FREE search result. Why? It is FREE to you! You did absolutely NOTHING to make that client find you other than making sure you had a properly optimized website. You PAID absolutely NOTHING to acquire that client so any money you make from that client once they book with you is PURE PROFIT!
New Clients Are Searching For You Online!
Here are some stats that should really get your attention:
- Over 80% of internet users have a smartphone. The majority of cell phone companies from Sprint to Verizon to T-Mobile are all giving away FREE cell phones when you do a contract with service. So this number is just going to grow even more!
- Google gets 96% of mobile search traffic and Yahoo and Bing account for the rest. That means that the majority of potential clients are Googling massage services. Google also dominates when it comes to searches done with a mobile device so when they Google, they need to find you!
- About 57% of users say that will absolutely not recommend a local business that has a poorly designed website. Why? Because it makes you look unprofessional and out-of-touch with everything. You not only need a website but you need a website that is optimized for mobile.
- Over 70% of high-priced marketers are now giving most of their attention to MOBILE MARKETING. That should tell you just how important it is that your business can be found online.
- 88% of potential clients who search for a local business on a mobile device will call or go to that business in 24 hours!
- About 40% of mobile searches are for LOCAL BUSINESSES!
- The cost to have a company handle local SEO for your company can cost between $300 to $2000 per month. This can be very daunting if you are a smaller company, just starting out, or you have a very limited advertising budget..
I Learned How to Build and Manage My Website
I am going to be straight with you. There are all kinds of new services popping up all over the internet promising that you can come build a website with them and they act like that is all you need to do to get found online. That is HOGWASH! It DOES matter where you build your website and it DOES matter what platform you build it on.
I have all of our office websites at Wealthy Affiliate now. I have tried many of the hosting services out there – GoDaddy, Wix, Sitebuilder, Intuit, etc. and I ended up being very disappointed. As a matter of fact, this past January 2018, our main office website got hacked with the last hosting company that I was with because they did not have adequate security!
Why I Chose Wealthy Affiliate?
We had our main website rebuilt two years ago onto the WordPress platform and I had never done WordPress so I not only needed a good host – I needed to get proper instruction on working within WordPress! The hosting company who I stayed with at the time – did not offer ANY training whatsoever for WordPress and in fact, they CHARGED EXTRA FOR HELPING YOU WITH WORDPRESS! Omg!
That is when I started searching for a place where I could get ongoing training to not only learn WordPress but to learn search engine optimization (SEO), on-page SEO, and I needed to learn how to set up and run a blog that I could use to bring in even more local clients.
I found everything I needed and MORE at Wealthy Affiliate. Want to check them out? You can set up an account FOR FREE and build a website FOR FREE.