Your 2020 Marketing Calendar

Strategies and Actions to Grow Your Business

By Allissa Haines and Michael Reynolds

Great marketing is a combination of strategic ideas and action, but it can be hard to know where to start and what to do next. To help you plan for a successful 2020, we are sharing our favorite marketing ideas to help you stay on task—and increase productivity—each month of the year.

January: Begin Fresh

Give your online presence a good cleaning. On your website—and in all the places you have a business listing (Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, Google My Business, etc.)—review and update your:

• Contact information

• Menu of services

• Pricing

• Cover images and profile photos

If you sell gift certificates, mid-January is a great time to plan your Valentine’s Day sales campaigns. In order to be ready by February 1:

• Prepare 1–2 emails to your list to promote gift certificate sales.

• Prepare 3–5 graphics for posting on social media.

February: Connect

Running a massage business is all about connecting. We connect with our clients and help them connect with themselves. Still, small business ownership can be a little isolating and lonely. Meeting local business owners and potential referral partners can be comforting and inspiring—and could bring you new clients too! To make solid connections:

• Seek out a local networking event, and attend as a visitor. Ask around, and do an internet search for a new group to visit. Start by searching your local chamber of commerce or Business Network International group.

• Schedule at least one coffee or lunch meeting (or an online visit) with a local business owner or potential referral partner.

March: Get Seen

Your website’s been looking sharp and fresh since January, but is it getting enough visitors? Use these tips to help build traffic:

• Take time to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) to be sure your website is prominent when potential clients search for massage.

• Check out the ABMP benefit the ThriveHive Google Grader ( to help you get more calls and bookings through your Google My Business listing.

• Add a short video or blog post to your website.

• Make a few posts to your social media sites now, and schedule a few future posts.

April: Bring ’Em Back

It’s often easier to bring a long-lost client back than it is to recruit a brand-new client. A note in the mail or an email can remind a client that they want to get on your schedule. Keep it short and simple: “It’s been so long! I hope you are feeling well, and I’ll see you again soon.” Include a business card with the note, and/or make sure your booking link is obvious in your email signature. To reconnect with clients:

• Flip through your files or scroll through your calendar. Choose 10 clients to contact via email or postal mail.

• Write the notes or emails and get them sent right away.

If you sell gift certificates, now is the time to plan your Mother’s Day sales campaigns. In order to be ready to launch by May 1:

• Prepare 1–2 emails to your list to promote gift certificate sales.

• Prepare 3–5 graphics for posting on social media.

May: Spread the Word

If you are looking for new clients, online reviews from current clients can help. There are a few low-pressure ways to ask a client to leave a review:

• You can post on social media requesting reviews.

• You can send an email to clients.

• You can even post a small sign in your office with a gently worded request for a review.

My favorite automated method is to put a request at the beginning of my email signature so it automatically appears as a postscript on every email. I embed a link to my Google My Business listing to make it easy for clients to quickly leave a review. (You can do this for Facebook too.)

If you sell gift certificates, now is a great time to plan your Father’s Day sales campaigns. In order to be ready to launch by June 1:

• Prepare 1–2 emails to your list to promote gift certificate sales.

• Prepare 3–5 graphics for posting on social media.

June: Reward Your Cheerleaders

Consider how you can reward clients who refer new clients. Brainstorm ways you can upgrade a treatment without discounting. After all, you already have a client who is happy to pay your regular fee and tell the world about you. There is no need to take a pay cut. Here are a couple of ideas:

• If you do hot stone massage or aromatherapy, it’s easy to add a mini-stone or scent experience to a regular massage.

• A referral reward can be as simple as an extra 10 minutes added to the next treatment.

To build a successful referral campaign:

• Tell clients about your new referral rewards program via email, on social media, and/or office signage.

• Track referral program results in a spreadsheet or paper file, and reward your referrers accordingly! Remember, a handwritten thank-you note is a nice touch too.

July: Get Smart

Learning something new is a great way to inject some excitement into your massage business! Take an online class or watch some technique videos that are relevant to your specialty. (We love and Share your excitement with your clients in the following ways:

• Tell your clients what you learned in an email campaign and/or social media post.

• Share pictures and short videos of you watching the training and practicing on a friend.

• Write a blog post or record a video about why you love this new technique and why you think clients will love it too.

August: Share the Knowledge

A resource page on a website can be a rich and useful source of information for clients. A great research page is detailed and contains a variety of media (text, embedded videos, pictures, and links to other resources).

Your resource page might help clients learn more about a particular health issue, offer resources that pertain to that issue, and may share how massage can help or support a person dealing with that issue. For example, if you serve clients with cancer, you may have a whole page about chemotherapy-related peripheral neuropathy. You could:

• Explain what it is and what it feels like.

• Provide links to resources and organizations supporting people with neuropathy.

• Talk about what precautions you take when working on clients with the issue.

• Demonstrate self-care techniques to provide relief.

• Offer links to other trusted local practitioners who also treat neuropathy.

Resource pages are great for improving your SEO and helping potential clients get to know you and your style better. Create a resource page for your website, focusing on one particular health issue you treat. Share that page via email and social media posts.

September: Show Your Work

We know that in 2018 only 18 percent of adults in the US received a massage.1 There are many factors that keep people from trying massage, but much of that is fear of the unknown. Movies and TV do a terrible job of depicting realistic massage, and stock photos, with a model covered in stones and flowers with her head wrenched to the side, aren’t helpful.

That fear problem can easily be solved with a short demo video or some pictures of your typical massage. You don’t need fancy equipment. You don’t need professional editing skills. Just get a friend on the table and another friend (or a tripod) to hold a quality smartphone, and then take video or pictures.

In your video or pictures:

• Demonstrate a few minutes of a typical back massage (or your specialty, like TMJD work).

• Record or photograph a short back massage demonstration. With video, you can talk while you massage, and cover the logistics of a treatment. With pictures, you can take some still shots and write a few sentences for each.

• Publish your video or photos in a blog post, on your website, in an email, and/or to your social media sites.

October: Prep for the Holidays

If you sell gift certificates, it’s time to think about your holiday sales plan. To prepare for your holiday campaign, consider your need for new clients, your schedule, and your comfort level with discounts as you design your emails and images for selling over the holiday season. Reflect on the types of discounts you offered in the past. Did gift certificates sell well? Did you feel good about the pricing, or were you a little grumpy when those low-priced gift certificates were redeemed? With those thoughts in mind:

• Create your holiday sales emails and social posts.

• Be sure to include easy and obvious links to gift certificate sales pages.

If you don’t sell gift certificates, consider sending some love and donations to your favorite local charity over the holidays. Use a blog post, emails, and social media posts to teach your clients about your favorite charitable causes, and encourage them to donate as well. Be sure to add links in your emails and posts to make it easy for your clients to contribute.

November: Share Your Favorites

This is the perfect season to write a gift guide showcasing the local businesses in your area. Or, you could make a video sharing all your favorite places to eat and shop in your area.

Just be sure to include your own business and feature any retail items you sell, including your gift certificates. To put this plan in motion:

• Write 1–2 sentences about each of your favorite local businesses. Be sure to include website links.

• Send an email to your list with that blog post (or video).

• Feature one business each day on your social media. Link to the blog post and be sure to tag that business’s social media accounts too.

December: Reflect

The end of the year is a good time to reflect on your marketing activities, and evaluate the success of those activities. It’s often helpful to focus on specific metrics. Ask yourself:

• Did traffic to your website increase?

• Did online bookings increase?

• Did your retention rate increase?

When you identify an improvement, connect it to an activity or set of activities that had an effect on the outcome. Assess how you feel. Maybe it felt great when new clients said they found you online, or they loved your website. How about when a client shared that your resource page helped them figure out and eliminate a migraine trigger?

Once you finish reflecting, scale back on anything that wasn’t effective, and be sure your 2021 plan includes activities that bring you more clients—and more joy!

Allissa Haines and Michael Reynolds can be found at, a member-based community designed to help you attract more clients, make more money, and improve your quality of life.


1. Les Sweeney, “How Many Massage Therapists Are There in the United States?” Massage & Bodywork 34, no. 6 (November/December 2019): 80,