You will remember me as the person that helped you get your license with my preparatory classes and test banks you used at massageprep.com.
I am writing this blog post because in helping students transition to therapists over the last 10 years, I have heard over and over again the struggles massage therapists have to overcome to get their practices started.
So…I set out to make it a lot easier.
I gathered writers, researchers, web designers, graphic artists and marketing experts to create a tool that would allow massage therapists to take a touch therapy to a digital world.
But how could I do that?
What are the biggest struggles?
Easy. Help you establish your brand!
I mean…you are just fresh out of school, newly licensed as a massage therapist and now what?
How do you get clients?
Well, I’m glad you asked! :)
I’m sure you are probably well aware about what you need for your practice these days – oil, sheets, table, scheduling software, etc…
It’s quite a large list when you consider what you need to help your clients with massage.
But have you thought about the 4 Most Important Online Tools for Your Practice?
Now, before I move on, I have to preface this blog by saying this…I’ve been helping massage therapists since 2002 and I have witnessed an aversion to doing ANYTHING online.
No one wants to venture into the “online marketing world”.
It seems to go against the grain in what we’re trying to do, and you were never taught about the things I’m going to be sharing with you.
I invite you to embrace, and incorporate some, if not all, of these 4 tools into your practice.
Here’s a short list of what I believe are the most important tools you could be using to get more new patients and grow your practice.
1) A Website
Now this is obvious these days. But I am referring to a GOOD website. Now you probably have a website already, if not, well, I think you may be missing the boat and missing out on new patients in your area.
But does your website give you a REAL presence online?
The internet is usually the first place people go these days to gather information and to figure out who they may want to see for their healthcare needs.
If you don’t have a website, you may be getting overlooked. A website is not just an online brochure these days. It’s a living, breathing digital representation of what you have to offer your community and the world! After all, it is the World Wide Web!
2) A Blog
If you consider your website to be your face to the world, then, your blog is the heart of your website! Having a blog allows you to share testimonials, your stories and anything new and relevant about your practice.
A blog gives you that “voice” where you can provide important information about your practice, updates about massage and current research.
Having a blog that is “active” positions you as an expert in your field, and shows your patients and potential patients that you know what you are talking about.
Not only that, adding new content to your blog, as regularly as you can, provides much of the search engine optimization (SEO) for your website.
You see, having new content posted to your website is what Google, Bing, Yahoo and all of the other search engines are looking for.
In their book, Naked Conversations, Robert Scoble and Shel Israel noted:
“Neither a press release nor a full-page ad in the New York Times will boost your search engine ratings as much as a regularly updated blog. The shortest, cheapest, fastest, and easiest route to a prominent Google ranking is to blog often”
A blog is important for EVERY small business, yours included.
Having a blog can DO A LOT for your practice, and will most likely put you ahead of other massage therapists in your area.
3) A Facebook Page
Okay, okay…you may not be a fan of Facebook, I get it! I’m not a “huge” fan myself. BUT, out of all the social media sites out there, Facebook is considered one of the BEST ones to be using these days, especially in a small business like yours.
A properly built Facebook business page that is updated regularly with content that is good, engaging and even funny can be EXTREMELY effective!
Facebook is one of the better tools these days to get word-of-mouth marketing without anyone ever speaking a word. If a patient “Likes” something you post, it will appear on their wall, their friends will see it, they will check it out, and they will find you. From there, they may “Like” you and become enrolled in what you have to offer and who you are.
There are MANY social media sites out there including Twitter, Pinterest, and Linkedin, but Facebook, by far, is a really good place to start.
4) Lead Capture Form
You should have a way to capture leads, or in this case, prospective/interested patients who visit your website.
A lead capture form is basically you offering something of value, like in the case of the image below, a free report on the Top 10 Reasons To Try Massage, in exchange for the website visitor giving you their email address.
When someone visits your website, they are expressing interest in what you have to offer, i.e., your massage care. So, it’s a good idea to have a lead capture form that is designed for someone to say “hey, I want to learn about that, that’s interesting to me” and they input their name and email address.
From that moment on, they “raised” their hand and said “I’m interested in having you help me”. Well, not literally, but by the very fact that they willingly gave you their contact information, they are that much closer to becoming a new patient.
Now it’s in your hands to follow up with them with a series of follow-up emails that introduce yourself, and ultimately ask them to come in by way of a call to action – like offering a free mini-stress reduction massage.
These are just 4 simple things to consider when growing your practice online.
Now, it may seem daunting to try to wrap your head around all of this information, and quite frankly it can be.
That’s why we’ve got a simple solution for you – Massage Perfect Websites.
Marie Anthony, LMP