1. Network with other Health Professionals who can send you clients and to whom you can send clients.
I know that this sounds pretty straightforward and pretty much a DUH moment but what I am saying is to network with people that you would go to for their services. If you want to network with a Chiropractor, then know the Doctor, have it be someone you trust to go to yourself. Don't just call on a every Chiropractor around your location and say let's network. I know this goes against some others who make this recommendation but that is how I feel and is how I have built my practice in the past. My personal Chiropractor was in my network and we did share clients back and forth. Why would you send a client to someone you wouldn't or haven't seen personally?
And don't forget that other Massage Therapists should be on that list also! What? Why would I want to send a client to another therapist? Do you know every modality and how to treat absolutely every condition that a client may have? I know that I certainly don't. You need to be strong enough in your conviction to help your clients and confident enough in your own abilities (or lack thereof) to sometimes refer out! They will come back to you for the service that you provide.
2. Network with people outside of the Health Profession who can send you clients and to who you can send clients.
But why would I want to work with people other that Health Professionals? Do you want to build a client base? And see many different clients? Network outside of your profession. Do you have a favorite Florist? or Travel Agent? or Coffee Shop? or Craft Store? or Hair Stylist? Get with the owner or manager and ask if you can put some of your cards in their business and in return you will put their business's card in your location.
Better yet, plan a marketing campaign with them! Mother's Day, Valentines Day, etc. are get times to buy flowers. Get with the florist that you like who is local to your shop and set up a campaign where they buy flowers from the florist and get a $10 off (or whatever you decide) coupon for a massage or they buy a massage gift certificate from you and get a $10 off (or whatever you decide) coupon for flowers at the florist.
Get creative and get some new clients in the process!
3. Get your name out there! Pound the pavement!
Now there will be some work involved in this one, so get ready.
If you were to take a poll of the other businesses around where you are located, how many even know about you? You would be surprised at the number of people who may go to work right next to you who do not even know that you exist or what your business is about! Get out there and introduce yourself, take some rack cards, your business cards and/or discount coupons so they know who you are (this should be person to person) and what you do. My mantra to new students in my Professional Development class is "For every hour of massage (when you are first getting started) you need to market 2 hours!"
4. Your initial advertising does NOT have to cost you a lot of money!
I know that we are in the age of clicks and SEOs and VistaPrint free business cards. (Remember that there is not really such a thing as totally FREE - those free business cards do come with an advertisement for the company that printed them - thus you are doing advertising for them!) Most of you have a printer and some type of software to create the written word. What I propose is to create some inexpensive "flyers" using colored paper and black ink and taking them around when you are doing #3 above! And 8.5" x 11" piece of paper can be used to create 2 handouts by doing a double print and cutting them in half.
Not high tech enough for you? I'm an old fashioned girl but I still think it would work as an inexpensive way to introduce yourself. Just make sure everything is spelled correctly with proper grammar and all the required information about who you are and what you do - Name, Address, Contact Info, License Number. You could even include a $10 off coupon for the first massage.
5. Plan your advertising/specials around Holidays/Seasons.
You should know about Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas, Valentine's Day, etc. but what about Spring Cleaning, snow shoveling, gardening or sports activities? All of these things can be opportunities to sell Gift Certificates or get people in the door for a massage session.
Be creative and get more clients!
More to come and watch for my book on Amazon!