According to the New Global Wellness Institute research, the worldwide wellness market is growing at an all-time high historic rate and is now a $4.2 trillion global industry

A big part of the wellness market includes massage therapy, sports massage and physiotherapy. In fact, research estimates that massage therapy was an $18 billion industry in 2018 according to the IBIS World Industry Report.

Opening a massage business is an exciting venture filled with a lot of opportunities to help those who need massage therapy to maintain a healthy mind, body and soul. An important strategy to acquire and retain customers includes strategic and effective massage marketing. Jumping straight into advertising can be costly and hiring a marketing resource can also be a big expense. Here are some tips on how to most effectively market your massage business to build credibility and find customers.

Establish your unique brand and target your ideal clientele

When starting a massage business you should prioritize your branding and specific niche to appeal to your ideal clients. Elements of your brand include not only your core wellness services, but also your logo, personality, tone of voice and personal story. It’s really important to find your niche and ideal demographic first, and then create your marketing plan. You should take time to learn how to effectively market to your audience in a way that connects their needs with the services you offer, which will help convert them to customers. 

Rebecca Bossick, Founder and Specialist Physiotherapist of Physio LDN in London, explains how she built her therapy services and the most effective marketing strategies for doing so.

“I knew that in order to build Physio LDN I needed to fully understand my target audience and find my niche. In previous employments, I had specialized in elite sports physiotherapy so it was an obvious choice. I worked closely with an up-and-coming graphic designer to work on a logo that fit my brand identity and ideal client base. I knew I wanted to be a slick, modern brand with a modern take on traditional physio services such as prehab, rehab and massage,” she says. “The biggest learning curve has been understanding that Physio LDN doesn’t need to cater to everyone, it’s okay to have a niche and stick to what you’re best at.”

Website, branding and copy should speak to your demographic

Your website is very important for your brand and helps you create your online presence. Your website should include your logo, brand personality, and of course, should highlight your massage and wellness services in a compelling and clear way. It’s also impactful to take time to optimize your website copy in a way that emotionally connects to your niche and keeps the reader engaged enough to contact you through a web form or phone call. You may want to consider hiring a copywriter as a resource, especially for powerful language, optimized navigation, and keywords to use that will help increase traffic and patient conversions.

Implement digital SEO for your website to boost traffic

Search engine optimization (SEO) is extremely important to drive traffic to your website, which in turn, will bring foot traffic in your door. When potential customers are searching online for “massage therapy” or “physiotherapy and sports massage,” you ideally want to pop up in those online searches as a local business. You can take online courses to learn the basics of SEO such as Udemy and depending on what web platform you use, there are step-by-step SEO optimization tools such as Yoast that can help you. When the time is right and you have the budget, hiring an SEO and digital marketing specialist can be extremely valuable. 

Founder of Wild Rose Eastern Medicine in Portland, OR, Kaisa Jones, told us how important it is to prioritize SEO for your website. “I didn’t realize how important SEO was when I launched my website a year ago. However, I realized the platform I chose wasn’t great for SEO and I was getting very little website traffic which was impacting my business. I am now moving my website to a platform that will allow me to optimize my SEO. I also now have a resource to help me with my SEO strategy.” She further explains that she is using this opportunity to rebrand in a way that will get more specific on the clientele she would like to treat. 

As you update your website for SEO, it’s also very important to make sure your website is optimized for mobile since so many people searching for local business listings are on-the-go. 

Be active on social media to establish and expand your online community

When you set up social media pages for your massage business, you can expand your online community in a very humanizing way. Channels like Instagram and Facebook allow you to express your brand personality while communicating directly with your potential patients. It’s important to post thought-out, unique content and engage with your online community through comments, messages, contests and promotions. Social media is a great way to expand your reach, gain more website and foot traffic and even start building an email list.

Bossick highlights the importance of social media authenticity and connection with your clients. “I managed my own Instagram platform from the start as I wanted it to have my own voice and tone,” she says. “I take advantage of my well-known clientele as they are often willing to be in a photo or five!” 

ClassPass provides exposure

When you join a wellness marketplace you highlight your business to customers that might not find you otherwise. 

“Classpass has been fabulous! When you open a new business I highly recommend offering sessions on ClassPass,” Jones explains. “I will offer 30-minute treatments and once the customer comes in to visit us, we can continue discussing how else we can benefit them.”

Bossick had similar sentiments. “Patient numbers quickly grew and I was able to recruit five new therapists. I knew that I needed to fill any spare slots that we had in order to keep Physio LDN’s therapists busy and thankfully I was contacted by ClassPass at just the right time. ClassPass has allowed us to fill daily spaces with 30-minute sports massage, cupping, acupuncture and assisted stretching sessions.”

Network with other health practitioners in your area for referrals

Many doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists recommend massage therapy as part of a holistic treatment plan, so it’s impactful to network with this health and wellness community. Many states also allow insurance coverage for services like massage and eastern medicine treatments, so it’s great to become a local medical insurance coverage referral. Jones told us that she receives a lot of patients through insurance coverage listings.

Bossick explained that as soon as she honed in on her niche and opened her first location, she began networking with local medical and healthcare professionals and the sporting elite. 

Building a massage business is an exciting venture with expansive opportunity in the health and wellness space. When you build your marketing plan it’s important to establish your unique brand and hone in on your ideal clientele. Once you set up that foundation for your business, you can use your brand and target audience to launch a professional website, implement SEO best practices, expand your online community through social media. 

To expand your reach even farther, you can join a third-party marketplace like ClassPass and network with your medical community to gain referrals. Explore how ClassPass can help you grow your wellness business — contact the team here.