Since opening our office in 2011, I have listened to many marketers with regard to marketing massage and many of them teach you about getting client referrals and building up your client base so you no longer need to look for new clients. Now, I DO understand this and I know it is possible to build a good clientele to the point where you do not even need new clients coming in the door, however, there are also many instances where that is just not true.
Some good examples are:
- Massage therapists who happen to live and practice in a tourist town, where the clients come and go and do not actually live there;
- Part of your clients are wealthy and they disappear on you part of the year because they have homes in warmer clients or they vacation for a month or more at a time in the winter months;
- A good portion of the clients you attract are visiting the area for conferences, meetings, and visiting friends or relatives and so you may see them once or twice and then they are gone
- You do prenatal massage and your clients tend to mostly come in during their pregnancy but not necessarily after;
- Your practice is located in a college town and you have a lot of college students who are your clients and they leave during the summer, go on spring break, and when they graduate they leave the area altogether;
- Even if you do manage to build a strong base of clients that come in all the time, eventually some clients will wander away, move to a new city, or just stop coming for whatever reason
For us, early on, I found myself serving a lot of the travelers to the area – so much so that I eventually developed a massage that is called Traveler’s Delight. I would get the people who were here for conferences, business meetings, here for a several weeks for a particular project for their work, construction workers who traveled to the area to work on a particular new building or project, etc. So those clients, I would see while they were here and then they would be gone.
We also attracted many clients who were here at the Cleveland Clinic as a caregiver to someone who needed cancer treatment or an operation. Before opening my office, I used to do hotel massage at the Intercontinental Hotels that served the Cleveland Clinic so it was the same thing then – we worked on the caregivers who were there with a patient in the hospital. Once we got our office, we again attracted that same clientele. One lady in particular, was in town for almost two years as her son was having operation after operation so she came to me at least twice a month the whole time she was here.
Also, because couple massage is a huge deal for us, we attract all the couples who come to the area. We get people contacting us from all over the U.S. who want to book a session for when they arrive in the Cleveland area. About a third to a half of our couples, at any given time, are from out of town. We also get a lot of couples who are dating and who are home from college and come in to see us.
So, as you can see, it has served us well to learn to market effectively online, so all these wonderful people can find us!