I don't know about you but I love taking new courses for new Massage techniques or new modalities. I like feeling like I'm keeping things fresh and new. But one of the things that i have failed to do in the past is to take advantage of the marketing that I could be doing with my new courses!
Both your current and potential clients want to see things fresh and new too! Sometimes there is a modality you don't do that they are curious about of would like to try, but never tell you. This very situation came up for me with cupping. I had taken cupping many years ago in school but never practiced it. When it started to become really popular, I decided to take a course. When it came closer to the time to take the course and clients wanted to book in that weekend and couldn't - I expected disappointment because they had to wait. I did not expect excitement. My clients wanted to wait until after I had taken my course because they had already heard about cupping and were willing to wait to try it out from me. Not only were they willing to wait but they told their friends as well. Before i know it I had a waiting list of people excited to try a modality that I hadn't taken a course for yet.
This taught me a very important lesson - marketing my continuing education was a great way to promote myself. It created new, fresh content that my niche was not used to seeing from anyone, it showed me as a professional who takes my craft seriously and invests in becoming an expert and it created excitement and curiosity with both my existing clientele and potential clientele - enough so that people clicked that "Book Now" button.
Here are 10 ways to Market your New Modality:
Teaser Posts on Social Media
As soon as I book my course and know when I will start offering this new technique or modality I put a post up on my social media with tag lines such as "Something big is coming..." or "Exciting News Ahead...Stay Tuned". It gets peoples curiosity spiked and gets them primed for more news to come.
Even if most people have heard of the modality before - I still go in and describe (either on social media or in a Newsletter/blog) something about the modality or technique, something about the course or instructor. People outside of our industry rarely see this kind of detail about massage but are genuinely interested.
Often clients won't completely understand what a modality really means until they can relate it back to themselves. To help make this relation back to the modality I will write 1 to 5 social media posts or one newsletter/blog article about what this modality treats (conditions or indications) or who it is for. So for example, with my aromatherapy courses, I have written posts about how aromatherapy can help ease muscle pain and soreness, can help pain and inflammation in sports injuries and can help ease stress and tension to help with difficulty sleeping. By naming conditions my clients can identify with, my clients can then understand why this service is right for them.
I love a good postcard. I think they are the perfect size to be enough information to be understood but not so much that people don't finish to the end. An email can be just as effective as well. These are for your current clientele, to let them know that something is coming and when they can expect it. You can leave some in your waiting room, include them with your receipts or hand them out to clients at the end of their sessions as a recommendation that may benefit them.
Away from Office Notice
I typically send this out as both an email and social media post about 2 weeks to 1 month in advance of the course. I let my clients know that I will be away on which dates for my course and that we can either schedule them in before or after that time if they need an appointment. I usually include a blurb about how I'm so excited to bring this new technique into my practice and how it will benefit them.
I will generally create a wait list for people to join to be the first to get the chance to try this modality. This builds hype but it also gives you an idea of what sub-set of your niche is really interested in this technique or just trying out new things in general. I will announce my sign-up for the wait list on social media with a link of where they can put their name on the list.
I don't always market this publicly - often I will just talk to clients I think this is suitable for. I like a group of 5 to 10 clients to "practice" my new technique on before I roll it out. I offer them a discounted rate if they are willing to understand that I am just learning. This is where i practice my set-up, scripts, timing, technique and so on. I also ask for feedback, reviews and I'll ask permission if they are comfortable with me taking pictures. I save this for my rock star, ride or die clients. We all have them and know who they are. I like to have this all set up about 2 weeks before I take my course and have my "trial runs" completed no more than 2 weeks after I have finished my course.
Behind the Scenes (At the Course)
I like to take a few behind the scenes photos of the action while I'm in the course. Make sure you have the course instructors/any participants in your photos permission to take photos and share on social media. Most courses love for you to post about their course because it provides exposure and social proof - so make sure to tag them!
Once I have completed the course, have product and equipment needed in my practice, updated my liability insurance to cover it, have completed my "trial runs" with my intro group, and have all my electronic and physical media ready or already updated, I schedule my launch date and roll it out.
First - I create a new service on my treatment option menu - even if its a technique I plan on incorporating into my regular treatment. If it is a new modality - like aromatherapy massage - I price it accordingly and leave it as a permanent addition to my menu. If it is something I plan on incorporating into my regular treatment - I create a new treatment with whatever I call my regular treatments and add "with ________". So for example "60 minute clinical massage with myofascial neck alignment" and then in the description of this treatment I'll add an explanation for the new technique.
I also add it as a check box onto my intake forms - this either sparks a conversation or catches anyone that booked before it was an option on my menu or that were sitting on the fence.
I then put an announcement in a banner on my webpage, on my social media accounts and either in my emailed newsletter or as a separate announcement email. I make sure to announce my launch date so that clients know that it is available.
A "new" technique or modality is only new for a short period of time - so its important to move it off of highlight once the majority of your clientele and audience have heard all about it. If the item is not a new, separate modality, I take if off my service menu and intake forms 1 to 3 months after my launch date. At this time, I will also take the "new service banner" on my website and replace it with an announcement that this technique will now be a regular part of your regular treatment - that way clients don't think you are not offering it anymore. I make this same announcement on social media. I make sure to add this feature/ technique/ modality into my regular marketing rotation so it doesn't get forgotten.
Your excitement, passion and drive speak more to your niche than anything. So if there is some part of your learning journey that you geek out on - share it! When your audience feels your exuberance - they will gravitate towards you and your practice because they can feel your sincerity.