This year more than ever, everyone is spending more and more time online. in a 2019 report from Hootsuite and We are Social, it showed that the average person is spending 6 hours and 42 minutes a day online with half of that being spent on a mobile device. What's even more important to note is that 80% of your new clients are find you through a google search versus any other type of marketing or referral. Our online presence as therapists is becoming more and more vital to our practice.
Not just for New Clients
While an online presence does help with attracting new clients, its also a way to stay front and center of our current clients minds. Digital material such as an email welcome sequence, digital apps for homecare like Physitrack, newsletters and social media are all ways to connect with our cliens when they are not in front of us. One online tool that my clients have given me the most positive feedback on is my online booking tool. Clients love the convenience of booking from home or work, where they can look at what availability I have while looking at their schedules to make sure it works. They also love that it takes less time to book online than calling in, and they can book online even when the clinic is not open. There is a side benefit to clients using my online booking system - When they visit my website to book online, it increased my SEO, which means my website visibility is boosted on google. One of my favorite ways I have to keep up my digital presence is posting my favorite stretched on social media for common issues that people have. I plan to step this up in the future, as I have posted other people doing the stretches while I have seen other therapists posting pictures or videos of them explaining the stretches themselves. It adds to the confidence in your knowledge and abilities that your clients have in you. A good website and a business Facebook page are a must for your current clients - this gives them a place to look up important information - such as your address or hours of operation - as well as refer others to you.
Google is how your clients are finding you. If you are not showing up on the first page of a google search of "massage (your city)" you are missing out on valuable bookings. I can't stress how important this is! If clients can't find you on the first page, chances are they are going to go with someone on the first page instead of you. While adds do get you noticed, most people pass over the adds and look through the list of organic search results - but not always. Ads do boost your SEO which means you should sit higher in the rankings, even after your ads are finished. There are too many strategies to boosting your SEO to go through in one blog post, but some quick ways to help are adding your website onto your social media, making sure your tag lines are set up so that you show up in searches properly and adding a booking tool onto your website are all ways to help boost your rankings on google.
If you haven't heard of Linktree its a neat tool that you can use to direct people to multiple places in one URL link. Instead of having to choose between what place you want people to be directed to, you can link them to all your important places on one neat little page. This is especially important for Instragram where you can only have one link in your bio. You can have your web page, your newsletter sign up page, your booking tool and your specials page all listed all at once. You can also change the links that are highlighted in your Linktree as often as you like. I really like this tool for posting all my links neatly and not having 20 and 17 of them are hidden. I also love that each link has a button that you get to name instead of just the link showing - so people understand what that link is for. If you haven't seen linktree before - go to Instagram and check out a few bios - I can guarantee you will find one quickly.
That same report about how much time people spent online had another interesting stat in it - of that 6 hours and 42 minutes the average person spends online, 2 hours and 42 minutes is on social media. Social media is important but consistency is key. If you are new to social media - start with one platform - my recommendation is Facebook. The set-up is important: make sure that all your information is there before you start posting. This is key to making sure people understand what your page is all about and if they want to stay tuned into what you are doing. The reason I recommend Facebook first is because people can recommend you on Facebook to others. One page that I follow on Facebook is a Mom's advice page specific to my city. Its at least 3 times a month that someone asks for a recommendation for a Massage Therapist in our area. If the post is set up correctly, when people make a recommendation to me, a little box shows up underneath with my clinics business page link. The poster has the ability to get to my page with one click instead of an entire search. This makes you stand out from the other businesses that don't have their business page set up. Also with my business page, I'm able to create posts to my current followers - such as specials, availability and news. Instagram is also a great place to gain followers, stay connected and get exposure, but takes a bit more work to have consistent engagement.
Social media is more than just gaining attention. Its a way to connect, engage and offer value to your clients. No one likes spam, and a social media page can start to feel spammy really quickly if you are not putting the quality into your posts. Rule of thumb is to give 80% of the time, ask 10% of the time and sell 10% of the time. That means that 80% of your posts should be offering value, telling a story, or giving inspiration to your followers. Things like posting funny memes, telling a personal story, posting a video of a massage or technique, offering advice on stretches or sharing a DIY blog post on a self care recipe. Asking includes posts like invitations to events like open houses or educational webinars you are hosting or posting your web page or newsletter landing pages. Selling involves your clients making a firm commitment with their wallet - such as advertising products you have for sale, monthly specials or promotions or availability for bookings. By offering more value than what you are asking for, your followers will be more engaged and more willing to buy or book from you when you ask.
Make social media as easy as possible on yourself. Use tools to schedule your posts in advance - such as tailwind for Instagram and Pintrests or Canva for Facebook. Also check out pre-made for you content - I really like Health and Hashtags - their content is pre-made specifically for Massage Therapists and is very affordable. If its within your budget - look at hiring a social medial manager for your brand - such as Grey Street media. Social media experts are more expensive than doing it yourself - but good ones know how to use social media to boost your business and get results.
Before you get anxious about running a web page - building a web page does not have to be any more difficult than setting up your social medial pages - it just takes a little bit longer. I have built numerous web pages for my businesses and it is a lot easier than people think. If you are a solo or small practice Massage Therapy business and do not have a booking site and need something affordable, simple to maintain and do not need a lot of extra bells and whistles - check out Mindzplay Massage Manager. There web pages are so beautiful, with professional themes, pre written content, beautiful stock photos of massage with a booking system integrated in - you will have your web page and booking system set up in under 3 hours. If you need something with more bells and whistles, Jane is amazing, but you will need your own website as well. I designed my website with GoDaddy and a wordpress theme. I had my web page completed in under 5 hours - which included creating all the content that is on this page. Do not get scared off by creating your own website - it does not have to be fancy to be effective and it is actually a lot of fun picking out images and colors and layouts!
Websites are important because its where people find the most important information about you. It where search engines point to, where potential clients find out where you are, what you do and where to book with you, but also where you get to describe yourself and your business in a concise introduction to people who are meeting you online for the first time. This can make a really big impact on their decision of whether to book with you or someone else.
Did you know that more than half of people (55% in fact), check their email within an hour of waking up - before they are even at work? 17% of people admit that it is the first thing that they do as soon as they wake up! If that doesn't convince you that email is a super powerful way of getting your current and potential clients attention - I don't know what is! There are some emails that, in my opinion, are a must for any Massage Therapist - such as appointment confirmations and appointment reminders. This slashes your no-show rates DRAMATICALLY and on most online booking platforms can be set-up to be on autopilot for you. There are some emails that I would say are of medium importance - such as follow-up emails for new clients, reminder emails for clients to rebook if they haven't been in after a certain amount of time and emails asking for clients rating/feedback of their appointments. These help create a more consistent relationship with your clients and give you very valuable feedback. Other emails are like icing on a cake - not necessary but make the cake that much more pretty and delicious. These include things like newsletters, personalized home care recommendations, and blog content. While these are not necessary, they are a way of offering your clients and potential clients service without asking anything in return - which makes them feel VALUED. This is so important. Email does have more restrictions and laws to follow to avoid spam. Using a service, like flodesk, makes it easier to not only follow these laws but create easy, beautiful content to send to your clients.
Having a presence online is important to growing your business. While our practice is very difficult to convey through electronics, who we are and what we are all about can be done simply and beautifully. If Techie stuff is not your jam, don't let it get to you. This is one of those tasks on your to do list that is totally worth hiring someone else to take care of for you and the money spent is an investment - not an expense. What you spend will come back to you in increased bookings and exposure. The beautiful thing about hiring someone for your digital needs is that they do not have to be local - this can all be done from anywhere. Look for digital content that you like and then find out who created it - most people are thrilled to share who their team is if you ask. Make sure to keep an eye on all your digital media to make sure it is working, up to date and relevant. Your digital presence is an extension of you and your branding - so have fun with it!