By Carol Wiley
Why should I book a massage with you, rather than with someone down the street?
If you can't answer that question, you need to develop your unique selling proposition (USP). A USP for massage marketing helps differentiate you from other massage therapists.
The first thing you need to realize is you aren't selling massage!
To most potential clients, a massage is a massage. They see no difference between you and the unlicensed foot massage business on the next block. They don’t know Swedish from Russian or Deep Tissue from Myofascial Release, and most of them don’t care.
They care if you can give them the outcome or benefits they want.
What that fact means is you must stop marketing your massage techniques and market the benefits you provide to clients. Do you provide deep relaxation? Do you help with pain relief and injury recovery? Do you help runners achieve better race times or athletes perform better in their chosen sports? Do you help stressed office workers with chronic tension and pain caused by sitting too long hunched over a computer?
Or maybe you help warehouse or construction workers recover from the physical demands of their jobs. Or perhaps you specialize in working with pregnant women and new mothers. Or with older adults. Etc.
A successful massage practice requires you to focus your marketing efforts. That doesn't mean you can't see other people who want to make an appointment. However, you must develop the skills that let you provide outstanding service to one to three target markets and clearly communicate to people in those target markets why they should make an appointment with you.
To start developing your unique selling proposition, consider the people you most want to reach. What makes you and your massage services different from other massage therapists in your area?
1. Who are your target clients?
Make a list of everything you know about your current clients. Use that information to create a profile of your target client. That profile can include age, income, occupation, gender, location, and other demographics. You also can consider specialties such as new moms, weekend warriors, couples, and so forth.
2. What are the needs of your target clients?
What will make a client come back to your massage practice? In addition to the services you offer, think about other qualities meaningful to clients such as convenience, customer service, reliability, and hours that fit their schedule.
Specific questions to ask yourself when creating your USP include:
3. How does your massage practice meet the needs of target clients?
Make a list of the aspects of your massage practice relative to meeting the needs of your clients. Write down all the things that make your massage special, including:
For each aspect of your business, create a few sentences to express what it means to your clients.
During this process, ask your best current clients what they think sets you apart from other massage therapists.
Here are some partial USPs to help you start thinking about how you might want to slant your practice.
Creating a USP for massage marketing is a cornerstone in a good business plan. Don't worry about alienating some people. You can't be all things to all people. Find your interests and strengths and play them up!