Marketing: As Easy As Pie

By Kristin Coverly
[Business Side]

Practitioners often tell me the idea of marketing their practice feels overwhelming and panic-inducing.
It doesn’t have to be! Think about it like this: you don’t eat a whole pie at once, right? (Well, unless it’s one of those days.) You cut it into slices and take one bite at a time. Same goes for marketing. You don’t need to implement every marketing idea all at once; break your marketing plan into segments and take it one bite-size idea at a time.
Let’s look at three segments of the marketing pie—getting new clients on your own, getting new clients with help from others, and keeping current clients coming back regularly. Your goal is to identify one marketing strategy you want to implement in each category.
Add each strategy to the Marketing Pie Chart (see page 25 for instructions on how to get your own), list the steps you’ll need to take to implement it successfully, and set a deadline to keep you on track. Here are some suggestions for each segment. Take one and run with it or use them to inspire your own creative idea.

New Client Marketing Ideas

Paid Social Media Advertising

If you’ve already put time and effort into creating and maintaining a social media presence for your practice, take it to the next level with paid advertising on those social media platforms to increase your reach and spread awareness about your practice. For example, Facebook will walk you through the process of boosting a post or creating an ad, choosing an audience (based on interests, location, age, etc.), and picking a starting price point, which can be as low as $1 a day.

In-Person Events

What’s the most compelling form of promotion for your practice? Your touch! Find opportunities to let potential clients experience your hands-on work. It takes the guesswork out of the equation for clients: they’ll know exactly what your touch feels like (what they’re getting) and will be more comfortable scheduling a full-length session. Be proactive and research area events, groups, and organizations and contact them to create opportunities for you to share what you have to offer (and get new clients into your practice)!

Referral Marketing Ideas

Current Client Referral Strategy

As lovely as it is when a current client refers a new client on their own, we can’t bank on that happening and call it a marketing strategy. Actively encourage current clients to refer others to you by asking them directly and then providing the tools they need to do so easily and effectively—social media posts for them to share, emails for them to forward, and cards for them to hand out.

Business-to-Business Referral Marketing

Think outside the referral strategy box and find creative ways to partner with other local business owners to work together to boost both businesses. Practitioners have had success partnering with a wide variety of businesses, including dentists, estheticians, florists, real estate agents, restaurants, and swim coaches. Look for businesses that cater to the same type of clients you work with (or want to work with). If you’re feeling a bit nervous about taking the first step, start with a business you’re familiar with or where you have a connection (family or friend of a friend) with the owner. Brainstorm the unique ways you can cross-promote each other’s business.

Client Retention Marketing Ideas

Package Plans and Membership Programs

One of the behaviors we want clients to adopt is to book consistently, right? Two marketing strategies that encourage this behavior (in addition to loyalty rewards) are package plans in which clients purchase multiple sessions at one time for a discounted rate, and membership programs, where clients pay a monthly fee for a discounted rate or another incentive. Research what other businesses do along these lines and create your own version that works for your clients and your practice.

Quick-Return Offers

Another behavior we want to encourage in clients is to return sooner than later. Quick-return offers do just that by offering an incentive for a client to book another appointment within a certain period of time. For example, offer a complimentary upgrade to a 75-minute session if a client comes in for their next appointment within three weeks instead of their typical four weeks. You can run these promotions all the time (keep it fresh by changing the time period, type of session, and incentive), only during your slow periods, or as a one-off to promote a new modality.
Keep going! When you successfully implement a bite-size marketing strategy, create another within the same pie segment. Your marketing plan will be a full-size and effective pie in no time.

Kristin Coverly, LMT, is the manager of professional education at ABMP. She’s a massage therapist with a business degree who cares about you and your practice and loves providing tools and education to help you succeed. Watch her webinars at and contact her at