If you look at websites, social media pages, and other forms of marketing and promotion for most massage businesses, you’ll find a pretty common focus: techniques. It’s in the services list, in their about section, and even included in their mission statements. “Swedish massage consists of a series of long flowing strokes…blah blah blah.” But most clients don’t care about techniques. Many honestly have no clue that there really are a lot of different techniques and modalities in this industry. Unless your practice is almost solely focused on people who are highly informed about massage and the intricacies of what we do, if you start listing modality names, instructors, and things like that, you’ve already lost the vast majority of your potential clientele. So let’s look at how you should be framing things instead?
One of the biggest fundamentals of marketing to understand is that people buy solutions to their problems. Techniques do not sell. Solutions do. It’s as simple as that. You’re not going to convince someone to drop their hard earned money on your business by telling them that you do this particular stroke, or stretch this way, or move the body in this certain way, or you were trained by someone who is amazing in your eyes and a nobody in the client’s eyes. That doesn’t translate in their brain to any relief for their problem. You have to do two things…
You have to show them you understand the problem.
You have to show them you have the solution to that problem.
We remodeled our kitchen recently and before we hired them and throughout the process, as I watched these guys working every day, I couldn’t care less what techniques they used to knock out the wall in our kitchen, or how exactly they framed out the base for our new island, or what tools it took to replace some of the hardwood flooring in spots…I care that they can do the job and do it well. My focus is on the end result and I expected them, the professionals, to take care of all those details I don’t have the time or brain capacity to learn and implement myself. That’s the whole purpose of hiring them. The same goes when marketing to someone for a massage. Just like a contractor isn’t going to come in and tell me all about his training and tools and all the thought processes behind this or that that goes into the job, neither should we be doing that when we’re marketing our massage services. Now I might have questions or be inquisitive as things go along as to why or how something is done, and massage clients often do the same, but for the most part my trust is in them to use all those years of knowledge and experience to get the job done that I asked them to do.
As a professional, it’s often referred to as “the curse of knowledge”; this idea that you know these particular things and forget that the people you’re talking to do not. Most of your clients don’t know what myofascial release is, or what neuromuscular therapy is, or what Bowen therapy is. And quite honestly, most of them just don’t care. It’s great that you took classes and learned and all that, but what they want to know is if you can help them. Educating them is nice, teaching them a little bit about what you do specifically – especially so they can know what to expect in a session – that’s all wonderful and it is important. But in general, your marketing needs to speak to their problem and not how you’ll fix it, but that you can and will fix it. You may love all the intricacies…they couldn’t care less. They just want you to fix their problem.
So, market to the person who has migraines that your massage will help them do the things they’ve been missing out on.
Market to the person suffering from chronic pain that you can help them to sleep better.
Market to the person who sits at a desk all day that you can relieve their back pain and show them how to prevent it.
Market to the athlete that you can help them perform better.
Market to the stressed out mom that you can give her an hour away from tantrums.
Market to the busy CEO that you can ease their stress and fit it into their schedule.
All that modality stuff is great, and if you want to hang all those certificates up and post some stuff on your website about it all, wonderful. But remember that your marketing is essentially you talking to someone who doesn’t know anything about any of that. Sell a solution, not a technique.
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