How To Create Your USP For Massage Marketing

By Carol Wiley

Card that says Unique Selling Proposition and back massage picture | USP For Massage

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.

You Are Not Selling Massage

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.

How To Create a USP For Massage Marketing

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:

  • What do you do best? What special quality or characteristic is meaningful to the people you want to attract?
  • What benefits do clients receive from your massage?
  • What are the most pressing problems your clients face? What is most important to your current and potential clients?
  • What ultimate outcomes do your clients most want? Why should a potential client choose you over any other massage therapist to achieve this outcome?
  • What services will you offer and at what price points? How do these services make you unique?
  • What message do you want your potential clients to receive?

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:

  • Location and environment: Is your office in a convenient location for your target clientele? Do you have a quaint office in the country or are you located downtown close to clients' offices? Do you go onsite at companies, hotels, or clients' homes?
  • Experience: What sets you apart from other massage therapists? Do you share offices with or have referral relationships with other healthcare providers? Do you offer something extra, such as a paraffin hand dip or a foot soak or custom-blended aromatherapy massage oils?
  • Effectiveness: What problem can you solve for clients and how quickly can you solve it?
  • Price: Competing on price can be a race to the bottom that leads to burnout and crippled finances for you. However, if you target a lower-income market, you can work "affordable massage" into your USP.
  • Service: Do you offer a massage service not otherwise available in your area? If you use a service as part of your USP, you also need to explain why it's better than all the other massage out there.

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.

Sample USPs For Massage Therapists

Here are some partial USPs to help you start thinking about how you might want to slant your practice.

  • I help office workers who have chronic tight neck and shoulders and back pain experience relief by providing onsite massage at the workplace.
  • I work with pregnant women and new mothers to help relieve the aches and pain associated with childbearing.
  • I provide massage to help athletes perform better and recovery faster from injury.
  • I bill most insurance and help clients referred by their healthcare providers recover from injury and pain.
  • I provide deep relaxation massage to help you recover from the stresses of life.
  • I provide gentle massage for relaxation, appropriate for highly sensitive people.
  • I provide massage for older adults to help relieve the aches and pains of an aging body and maintain flexibility and mobility. I also help women experiencing menopausal changes reconnect with their changing bodies.

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!

Click here to get my ebook Massage Business and Marketing 101.