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July 25th, 2018

Today, we’re talking about the struggle of marketing something completely intangible – like massage therapy.

Selling massage, and yes, you need to actually sell your services, not just exist or you only have a hobby, not a business. But selling massage can be difficult because it’s intangible to your prospective client. It’s not like selling a TV where they can look at it and see if it’ll do what they need it to do. Massage isn’t a tangible product a person can pick up and look at like any product you would find at a retail store. It’s a service. But with any service, what you’re selling is a promise; a promise to deliver results, be that relaxation, pain relief, or anything else. And it is way harder to sell a promise than it is a physical product, because you have to convince people that you can and will follow through on that promise. Because of this your marketing has to be tweaked a bit from the typical marketing tactics of product-based businesses. You can’t follow those same rules.

So here’s 5 keys to marketing your promise…


This is critical! You have to be as clear as possible about what you’re promising a potential client. Keep it concise and fine tune this as much as possible. Are you offering relaxation, pain relief, a specialized therapy to help a certain condition or population…what is it that you’re promising to do for them. This kind of goes back to last week’s copywriting subject on focusing on benefits rather than techniques, but it should be very clear in everything you put out there to market your practice.


First impressions and every impression that follows matters. From your brochures to how you speak to potential clients to the look of your facility and signage; all of this makes an impression on a potential client. This goes right back to branding, which I discussed a couple weeks ago. Your brand, both the core of your brand and the brand visuals, must convey that you can and will follow through on that promise you’re selling. Think about it, if you were to walk into a medical office, you expect to see diplomas and certificates and anatomical diagrams on the wall, right? They’re selling their knowledge, and you want some sort of reassurance that that’s what you’re getting. But in a hair salon you would probably focus more on the photos of models with great hair hanging around, which leaves you thinking “they can make me look like that!”. The same goes for every piece of marketing you put out there. Impressions matter!


Along that same concept of impressions, think about the photos and copy you’re using. If you need more help on the copy side of things, go back and check out last week’s video and group posts all about copywriting. Using your words effectively on your brochure and website, highlighting your promise and showing them (using these keys here) that you can and will follow through, all of that can do a lot of the selling for you. Photos are also extremely important. When it comes to the photos you use on your website or brochures or social media or anywhere else, choose wisely. Your potential clients need to see that promise being carried out in those photos. They need to envision themselves in those photos. If you’re trying to sell orthopedic work and pain relief but you’re using one of those horrible stock photos that has some woman with her head surrounded by rose petals and candles everywhere, they don’t see that promise being carried out. Instead, find photos that really capture what you do and what you’re selling. Calm, smiling faces on relaxed clients as they receive a massage, fingers and palms working deep into the tissues instead of just laying on top of the skin. Those things do make a difference! If you need some realistic photos, and haven’t gotten the chance to have your very own photo shoot, we have an entire library with hundreds of photos for massage therapists, by massage therapists included as part of our membership program.


You have to speak to the individual problem of your ideal client. What are their pain points? What are they struggling with? Make it personal to them and make it tangible. How do you do that? Not only do you need to be clear that you offer the solution to their problem, like “I can get you out of pain” sort of thing, but convey that on a personal level. That when they start getting regular massage with you they’re going to be able to recover from their workouts faster, or that they won’t experience that sharp sciatic pain that’s keeping them from chasing after their kids like they’d like to, or that they’ll finally get a good night’s sleep. Include testimonials and client experiences that draw out these personal touches, these individual stories of the before and after; because that’s what people are buying. They’re buying the promise of that after.


There’s a thousand reasons someone may say they can’t get regular massage, or even just an every once in a while session. It’s important to touch on these objections and offer a rebuttal before those objections even rear their ugly head. Talk about payment plans or package savings if finances are a concern – even compare it to other forms of care they’re blowing money on that wouldn’t be necessary if they started working with you. Speak to the short services you offer or early or late hours for those who can’t ever seem to find the time. Sell the convenience of what you do just as much as the benefit of it. Sit down and write out a list of all the objections you’ve heard, all the reasons people say they can’t get a massage, then write out the rebuttal to each one and how that shouldn’t be an issue…how can you work that into your marketing to answer those objections before they’re ever even voiced.

So there you have it. 5 tips to help you navigate the tricky marketing of a promise and get those massage clients in the door.


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