Massage Marketing - Get more new clients - 14 tips

This post targets small to medium massage clinics with a small to no marketing budget. I would say that is the most of us. A lot of massage and natural therapists therapists work from home or rent a small massage room in a gym or health clinic. Some of them struggle to pick up new clients. Some get a regular stream of new clients.

So what do some massage therapists do right and what do some do wrong? What is the difference for success in your business?

Read our 14 steps to get more exposure to potential new clients. This does not only apply to massage therapists … most of the points work for any small business.

Getting new clients is not easy it requires work … hard work. Most massage or natural therapists concentrate on their skills but forget that they also run a business. So think a little bit more business sometimes … :-)

1. The right location for your massage clinic

Get more clients for your massage businessMake sure you are in the right location for your massage business. Especially when you rent a clinic or just one room you have the choice. Don’t settle for a location where you are not confident that you can attract a lot of clients. When you work from your own home you can’t change the location that easy – but you also don’t have the high rental expenses … so you still can give it a go.

When you rent a clinic or room think about the following:

  • street frontage/advertising
  • how many people walk past (go there and count … to see the real traffic of this location)
  • can you get referrals from close by businesses such as a gym or health centre
  • suburb and location within suburb
  • no steps to the clinic … some clients might not be able to walk up steps
  • overall positive feel about the location and room
  • competition (is there a clinic next door?)
  •  … and many more …


2. Networking – for natural therapies & massage

You want to get your name out. Make friends – go to events – conferences – local business events – networking events – new openings of shops. Be active in your local area. Let people know that you are a massage therapist and work in the area. The more people you know the more clients you will get. Be always positive – have a happy feel around you and you will attract more clients.

Be active in your local community. Help out in a sports club or go to local festivals.

3. Word of mouth – Powerful as usual

When people know you and value your services they will refer you. People will talk about the massage experience they had in you clinic. So make sure everybody gets the best service you can offer.

Encourage people to talk about your clinic … maybe give them a few business cards to hand over to their friends.

You can start a referral program for existing clients. Give them an incentive to talk about you …to get you new clients. This could be a cheaper massage … I usually prefer to upgrade them every now and then … give 30min longer or upgrade to a different more expensive modality like Hot Stone Massage.

4. Business cards –  Carry them 24/7

Marketing for massage clinics

Of course you printed some business cards. I usually use them to give to my existing clients and write their new massage appointment time on it. Carry you business cards 24/7 in your wallet or bag. You never know when you might need them and meet a potential client.

Also have the business cards on display next to the dressing area. A lot of clients will take a few … which is great … they will hand them over to their friends.

Make sure you have the following on it:

  • Your business name.
  • Your business logo.
  • Your name.
  • Your title (Licensed Massage Therapist, for example)
  • Your website URL
  • Your email
  • Your phone #.

I suggest even to print different versions of it – you can change the information on the back side. Some ideas would be:

  • Spot for “your next appointment”
  • Facebook URL
  • Bank details (in case somebody wants to pay via Direct Deposit)
  • Referral information

A cheap and efficient way to print business cards is Vistaprint … they always have specials (I got 250 for 15$ delivered).

5. Letterbox drops – waste of paper?

A lot of massage therapists print out a cheap letter box drop which then gets lost in all the other marketing you find in your letter box. The biggest disadvantage is that this type of marketing is not very targeted to people who are interested – on the other side it is very local (which is great!).

Make sure you print high quality and not only on normal printing paper. It shows your professionalism.

I designed once a nice postcard which had only a inspirational photo on the front (no advertising) and the massage clinic information on the back. A lot of new clients told me they kept this card on the fridge or a pin board for a while and had in on display. That is what you want. They should not throw it away and keep you in mind. This postcard was also on display in my clinic next to the dressing area and a lot of clients took them home with the effect that the client keeps you in mind.

Other ideas are printing a calendar for the next year, the most important local phone numbers or a personal notice on the card/paper.

6. Flyers – Depends where they are!

Tips to market your massage clinic - Facebook - Google - SEO - Twitter

You also could print more informative flyers. they are usually too expensive to use as letterbox drops but think about displaying them at the local hairdressers, beauty therapists or health centres.

Use them on fairs and networking events. The goal is again that they don’t get thrown out. An easy way to achieve this is to put a handwritten personal note on the flyer. It looks very personal and far more important than a plain flyer.

7. Get your own website – A must have!

This is an important point. I hope you realize how important. Most of my new clients read about my services and clinic online first. I know of some clinics who get around 80% of their new clients only through online marketing.

Have your own professional website. When you do not have the knowledge to create one you can try services as wordpress.com or other website builders. They still require some technical knowledge. So in the worst case you will need to pay a little for a website.

Design is important – easy to read and navigate – keep it simple. People want to have the information straight away. Make sure your site works for mobile devices. More and more people search on ipads, iphones or other smartphone devices … and this trend will continue. (Did you check how your website looks on an iPhone or iPad ? Do it now!)

In case you don’t have a website or can’t afford one you still can make sure you get found online – read the next point:

8. Online directories – Boost your website and get found!

It does not matter if you have a website or not – you get easier found online when you list your clinic on several online directories. Masageplaces.com.au – the australian niche directory for massage clinics gets you up in the search results. We optimize your listing so that you get found online. 

When you have a website this also works as your link back to your website will boost your own website. People will find you easier. Industry specific directories are great value and link you to the right keywords – in this case:

Acupressure, Acupuncture, Alexander technique, Aromatherapy, Bowen Technique, Chinese Massage, Chiropractic, Corporate Massage, Couples Massage, Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Crystal Massage, Crystal Massage, Cupping, Ear Candling, Dry Needling, Deep Tissue Massage,  Homeopathy, Hot Stone Massage, Joint Mobilisation,  Infant Massage, Indian Head Massage, Kinesiology, Lomilomi, Mobile Massage, Lymphatic Drainage, Remedial Massage … and many more :-)

Of course your location (suburb) is also of high importance ... you operate your clinic usually locally and not over all of Australia. Directories make sure you get found in the right cities (Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, … and also on suburb basis.)

Ok … you found this article on massageplaces.com.au but there are plenty more of directories available in Australia which can help you. I mention a few important ones which you should not miss: Google Places (this gets you massage clinic on the google maps – there are rumours that they might combine this service with Google Plus), Trulocal, Startlocal, Hotfrog, Yellowpages, …

9. Online reviews and ratings – Your clients love you!

New clients for your massage clinic

Directories have usually a great functionality : REVIEWS. They are very important for new clients. Don’t be afraid of negative reviews … you will get one. Just make sure you respond to it in a nice and friendly way. You take the power out of a negative review when you stay friendly.

How to you get your customers to write reviews. Ask them. Ask them to go online and write a little testimonial for you. Sometimes I get a email from a client which I helped out. They feel so much better and want to thank me. I reply to them with a link where they can write that online.

Some clients will not want to register on some sites … don’t force them … just ask them nicely.

10. Facebook, Twitter & Google Plus – Get out there – they need to remember you!

This is a controversial one. You will put a lot of effort in social marketing … it takes time and quality content to build a follower base which is relevant to you. You might not get a new client from Facebook or Twitter. BUT: You stay in contact with your existing clients. They keep you in mind …

You also boost your own website with a Facebook, Twitter & Co account and regular posts. But see it as fun ... don’t post on your private account … post on your business account.

11. Google and the other search engines – You want to be number 1!

The most important tip: Don’t do SEO!

I don’t mean you should not care about your ranking in the serach engines. But don’t buy any links or dodgy SEO services. They usually don’t work … and if they work only for a short time. So don’t think you can buy a number 1 listing on google … you need to earn it!*

So what works? How do you get to number one! Write a lot of RELEVANT topic on your website. Write regularly! Change your content every now and then! To let your site sit and forget! In your case it would write about massages or  and you local area. These are usually the two areas you want to focus on. So get started.

* … I know this is not 100% correct … you can buy a No 1 spot with google Adwords … but you need a lot of money which you need to pay all the time to stay there. It might be a solution when you start up … or have heaps of money.

12. Local marketing – Only local works!

Your massage or natural therapy clinic is local … so only local marketing works best. Forget the city wide newspaper … go for the local one. You think your website is international … yes maybe it is … but you should make it local. Write about local events in your suburb. Mention your suburb (and maybe the neighbouring ones). Make sure you connect locally and know as many people locally. Whatever marketing you will do … it will be LOCAL!

13. Track your clients

massage success in Australia

Ok … don’t misunderstand this. You read now a lot of different ideas how to get different clients. Make sure you find out which way works for you. You do not want to spend your hard earned money on useless marketing (hey … massageplaces.com.au is not expensive … starting at $29/year … when you get only 1 new regular client from this it paid back … sorry I had to write this.)!

You might ask yourself now how you can track the success of certain marketing methods. I keep it simple: You can’t track it 100%. But you can get an idea. An easy way what I do is to ask a little question on the clint intake form or chat with the client. ”How have you heard about us?” The client will tell you … easy!!! Track it in a little table and you soon will find out.

 14. Discounts – Do you really need to discount?

A last word about discounts. There a many different ways of discounting and people love great deals.

I am more a person who likes a reasonable price and a quality treatment. I hate comparing prices at supermarkets and negotiating better rates. I want a great deal outright. Price your services accordingly. I don’t discount on my health! I rather tell my clients to get a better health cover so that they could claim back more :-) .

Don’t have different prices. Different prices and discounts could not only win new clients you could lose clients. How? Think about two clients meeting and talking about your prices. One got a discount one didn’t. What happens? In the best case: The client without the discount will ask for one. In the worst case: You lost a client!

Aren’t you sick of all these different prices in supermarket every day. Checking if the price is good or not … could you maybe get a cheaper deal.

More ideas? Let us know …

I hope this little list helps you to find a few new ideas you have not thought of. Please like it and share it on your facebook …

Let us know if you have some different ideas in the comments below or in our massage forum.

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About The Author


Andrew is looking after massageplaces.com.au - The Australian Online Directory for massage clinics and therapists. He is passionate about natural therapies and is responsible for all the fancy stuff on our websites.