Massage Marketing Tips: How to Pick Winners

Listening to someone talk about massage marketing tips is like being handed free, lottery scratch-offs. You can’t wait to score!

Scrape, scrape, scrape…no match…scrape, scrape, scrape…damn…scrape, scrape, scrape…seriously?!…scrape, scrape, scrape…maybe I should switch dimes…

This scenario of trying-and-hoping-but-things-not-working-out was my experience with massage marketing tips in the past.

I got a little sour on the process because I didn’t think the tips worked. But in retrospect, the tips actually weren’t bad. The problem was that I was picking the wrong tip to implement.

How to Pick the Wrong Massage Marketing Tips

Here’s a prime example. When I had an office in a fitness center, I wanted more clients and I knew that I hadn’t remotely tapped the full potential of the fitness center’s membership.

So what did I do?

Naturally I spent money on an outside-the-fitness-center advertising deal that was completely not my target audience. Not surprisingly, the ad netted zero clients.

Eventually, I got up, dusted myself off, made more mistakes, but eventually figured out how to grow my practice. I never hired a marketing expert. I simply learned how to pick the right marketing tips to implement for my current situation.

Here’s a recent example. I wanted to climb the Google, organic-search rankings for for massage in my area. I added a blog to our PressurePerfect website and made some SEO and website adjustments and guess who’s breathing down Massage Envy’s back for the number one slot?

Comin’ to getcha ME! It’s payback time:-)

My regret is that it took me a long time to get to this point in my marketing. And I now realize if I would’ve taken the time to address a couple of beliefs that were holding me back, I would’ve had a handle on marketing much sooner.

Belief# 1: You have to know everything.

If you believe you have to know everything about something to be good at that something AND you’re near a wall, start banging your head against it. Cuz that’s what’s it’s going to feel like when you start trying to implement marketing tips.

Okay, don’t do that…but seriously, if you think like that (like I once did), you’re going to waste a lot of time and be very frustrated because you’ll never feel like you’ve mastered the medium.

A Trick

Maybe this can help you break free: Think of something that you’re really competent at, and then ask yourself: Do I know everything about this subject?

Probably not. But you know enough, right?

I’m not saying grab a margarita and call it a day when it comes to marketing task.

I’m just saying chill.

To be competent doesn’t mean you need to be a master.

Here’s another crippling belief.

Belief #2: You need to spend a lot of money when marketing.

Sure, if you’ve got a cash reserve and have a process that can convert advertising leads into clients, then paid advertising is the way to go.

But if you don’t, then you need to focus on low or no cost massage marketing tips.

By the way, I have some low-cost marketing tips that took my business to the next level. I’ll talk about them a little later, and you can decide if they’re right for you.

Okay, crippling beliefs vanquished. Time to pick the right massage marketing tip for what you need.

How to Pick the Right Massage Marketing Tips

First, we need to start with a general marketing goal. Most everyone wants to bring in more clients. So, we’re going to say that’s our goal.

Next, let’s create two broad categories to dump all massage marketing tips into: Traditional Marketing and eMarketing (anything marketed electronically).

Now dump.

OMG, un-dump! The list goes on and on, right? And within each topic are sub-topics.

In SEO, there’s optimize your home page, optimize your About Page, reduce your webpage load time, blah, blah, blah, blah…

Here’s how you’re going to cut through the list. When you’re looking through your massage marketing tips list, you’re going to ask yourself three questions. Then you’re going to pick the best answer.

Massage Marketing Tips: Questions to Ask

  1. Which tip is going to give me the biggest bang for my time investment right now?

To me, this another way of saying don’t get caught up in the small stuff. The big stuff brings in most of the clients. The little stuff produces small results and you can tweak that stuff once your business is rolling.

I’ll give you my big stuff recommendations in a minute.

  1. Can I see myself doing this marketing tip?

Is this marketing tip something that I have a shot at sticking with? For instance, the idea of doing SEO for my website so that I get a higher search ranking makes we want to run and hide. But I also know that becoming more visible in a Google search can improve my chances of landing a client.

For me, I can put up with the learning curve, knowing there’s a potential payoff on the other side.

However, if I really hated monkeying around with Internet stuff, then I’d pass on the SEO idea.

  1. Does this marketing tip make the most sense in my current situation?

Here’s why I think I went with the outside-the-gym ad when I had an office in the fitness center: I didn’t want to rely on the fitness center for clients.

The gym owner came from corporate America and was a tough cookie. When he bought the gym as an investment, he beat me up some when it came to renegotiating the lease.

So I thought getting clients from outside the gym would give me some security if things went south. But this actually didn’t make the most sense in my current situation.

A client who was a gym member (and liked my work) was as likely to follow me as a person who wasn’t a gym member and liked my work.

If I’d spent the money to do some advertising in the gym, I would’ve certainly netted more clients since I already had a presence in the gym and had great relationships with the personal trainers.

Okay, so once you pick a massage marketing tip, here are some pointers to help you accomplish the task without taking forever to do it.

Implementing Massage Marketing Tips 101

  1. Study enough to understand.

Remember you don’t need to be an expert, so don’t waste time trying to be one. You just need to know why you’re doing the tip and how to get it done.

  1. Find the person who has the shortcut.

This is huge. More than likely, someone has already done what you’re trying to do. It’s worth spending the time to find the person who can point out the hazards and give you the shortcuts. This pointer can save you gobs of time.

  1. Use tools.

It’s also worth looking around to see if there are tools to help you with the marketing tip. This mainly applies to online marketing work, like website design, SEO, blogging and social media.

So, now were coming to my favorite part. Here’s where I get to tell you which tips have worked for me. Let’s start with traditional marketing. But first, I want you to think about something.

My Traditional Marketing Tip

Think about your current massage clients. How many were referrals? Probably a lot, right? A client refers her sister to you…a chiropractor refers her patient…a friend refers his mom…and the beat goes on.

The benefits of referrals are that there free (for the most part) and usually there are no advertising costs involved.

But referrals don’t just grow on trees. You have to get them. The best way that I know to get them is not to hope that a client refers his wife to you. The best to get referrals is to build a referral base. This means you are strategically aligning yourself with people who will consistently refer clients to you.

Here’s a massage marketing tips list for building a referral base.

Within this list is one action item that increased the size of my business by 1/3 in 4 to 6 months. This action item has produced 3 new referral bases. And one is a consistent, ongoing referral machine. Here’s the action item:

Here’s why demo massages work. No matter if it’s Facebook or your neighborhood, information spreads when people are compelled to share something good, bad or shocking. (I’m hoping my massage wasn’t bad or shocking.)

It really only takes one key person within a group to like your massage, and the word will spread like wildfire.

Niche Market

If you want to create a referral base that is a referral machine, you’re first going to want to think about a niche market. A niche market is a group of potential customers who have specific characteristics and a common need.

Anybody who wants a relaxation massage is not a niche market. But moms with kids, ranging from 1 to 12 years old, who want a relaxation massage but can’t find the time to drive to an office is a niche market.

Here’s how you find a niche market: A Niche Market = More Clients ($)

How to Start Demo Massages

Once you settle on a niche market, then it’s time to roll out the demo massages. In this short piece I explain how to do a massage demo program: How to Grow Your Business for Zero $


If you’re targeting a potential referral source in the health field, save yourself from a time-eating misstep and read this: How to Get Massage Clients: Referrals.

Also, for those of you who are agoraphobic (yeah, I had to look that one up), you don’t need to do demo massages on-site. I talked to a MT who didn’t like doing demo massages in public. She lived in the city, was a foodie and was targeting the waiting staffs, chefs and owners who would refer restaurant patrons to her.

So instead of doing demo massages on the premises, she offered to work on them back at her massage studio.

Okay, before I talk about my eMarketing suggestions, I have to tell you that I’m not techy at all. And if I can do this stuff, you can, too. So, let’s have a look at my eMarketing Tips lists.

My Top eMarketing Suggestions

Again, there’s a ton of massage marketing tips that you could be doing. But there’s one that really stands out. What’s the one thing a massage therapist can do in cyberspace to make her business legit?

If you don’t have a website, please, please, please take control of the process and do it yourself.

Here’s why:

  1. You can make changes on the fly.

Imagine having to wait for a designer to add the gift certificate message that you wanted up on your website in time for the winter holidays, but you can’t get a hold of her because she actually has a full-time job and finally she does respond and does what you ask her a week later but made a spelling mistake and it looks embarrassing and you email her about it and she doesn’t get back to you until a week later and asks you what you emailed her about because she lost the email, and OMG you would’ve fired her but she’s a friend and she’s doing it for cheap and then eventually she makes the change but decided that she didn’t like the way you’d phrased the original gift certificate message and rewrote the whole paragraph for you but she’s a horrible writer and by this time no one wants your stupid gift certificates because it’s spring… True story.

  1. You can optimize the website yourself.

SEO is not a selling point, I know. But if you do a few simple things, you’ll be good to go and ahead of a lot of the massage websites out there.

  1. You can add video.

Video is in. With most DIY websites, it’s a breeze.

If you have a website with a domain name that’s not a subdomain name (like www.markmassage/, you’re good to go. I have the next eMarketing tip for you coming up.

If you don’t have a website or want to change to a DIY, check out How to Build a Website Fast.

eMarketing  Tip #2

If you have a place to do massage, you’ll want to claim your business on Google Places. Google Places, a list of local businesses, appears at the top of the screen when someone searches for a term, like “massage”.

So, first, you want to be on that list.

Second, you want to rank as high as you can on that list. Google has some suggestions. Definitely a must read.

If you still got some gas in the tank after you’ve done your website and Google Places, here’s my my last eMarketing “getting started” suggestion.

eMarketing Tip #3

If you haven’t started to collect clients’ email addresses, then start. Having email addresses will allow you to email your clients about massage specials, important information and personal recommendations. It also just reminds them that you’re there.

There’s an easy way to collect email addresses. We have a line for an email address on our intake form. And 90%-ish of our new clients provide an email address on the intake.

After the massage, I let the client know that we periodically email specials out. And then I ask the client if she wants to be on the email list.

I also go through my cell contacts of existing clients. If I don’t have an email address for one, I will call or text her. Here’s what I say/write: “Hi, _______, I’m going to start sending out emails when I’m running a special. Just wanted to know if you’d be interested in receiving that information?”

Here’s a quick primer on getting started with creating and working an email list: How to Email In More Clients.

If you’re getting overwhelmed right about now, back up.

Getting Clear with Massage Marketing Tips

Pick one tip in either category, Traditional Marketing or eMarketing. Then run it through this line of questioning.

  1. Which tip is going to give me the biggest bang for my time investment right now?
  2. Can I see myself doing this marketing tip?
  3. Does this marketing tip make the most sense in my current situation?

Once you find the massage marketing tip that you think will work best for you, apply these strategies to implement it:

  1. Study enough to understand.
  2. Find the person who has the shortcut.
  3. Use tools to help you whenever you can.

Remember that you don’t have to be an expert to have success in marketing. You just need to be competent.

P.S. If you’re struggling with something, jump on my email list. Once I know what you need help with, I can send the right videos, tutorials and articles. The email group is free and you can unsubscribe anytime.




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4 comments… add one
  • Nguyet Apr 1, 2017, 10:10 am

    Hi there Mark Liskey,
    I really like your marketing tips. I read one of your email just about a week ago and I like how you provided a list of Blog Topics. I would like help with blogging. I am not a writer but I could if I have topics that is up my alley- massage. Can you help with that? Thank you.

    • Mark Liskey Apr 1, 2017, 12:42 pm

      Hi Nguyet, I’m glad you liked the marketing tips and thanks for supporting my work. Absolutely I can help you with topics for you blog. By up your alley, I’m thinking you’re talking about topics that are familiar to you, where you have a good knowledge base, right?

      Can you give more details about you and your massage, like what type of massage do you do? What are the kinds of things that you like about massage? Do you like to work with a particular group of clients, like athletes or seniors or cancer survivors? Do you have a niche market you cater to?

      Okay, that’s all my questions for now:-) I’ll wait for your response and we can build from there.

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