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OTHER ITA SITES:
Are You Making This Deadly Massage Marketing Mistake?
If I asked you what makes you and your massage practice unique and different from every other massage practice within 30 minutes driving distance from you, what would you tell me? Would you have an answer? A real answer? Let me tell you why I ask… On page 57 of the book Profit Patterns by Slywotzky and Morrison, the authors begin discussing some of the patterns that occur within a business (massage practice), prior to the business (or massage practice) going into what they call a “no profit pattern”.
A “no profit pattern”, as they describe it, being a period of time where the business doesn’t generate any profit. Pretty straightforward. For our purposes, a no profit pattern will be a period of time where your massage practice really isn’t bringing you the financial reward it should be. A down time in clients and income, if you will.
The authors actually identify two “pre-conditions” that lead a business (a massage practice) into a no profit pattern. In essence, the authors tell us what two conditions occur or exist before a business (or massage practice) becomes profitless. Now… this is some pretty heavy stuff, so hang in there with me for a second. I promise it will be well worth it. The first condition, the only condition we’ll be discussing, is an overabundance of sameness or commonality in an industry or market. If you’re a student or Inner Circle Member of mine for any significant length of time you’ve heard me describe this before as marketing incest.
This is where one massage therapist copies what another massage therapist is doing, who copies what another massage therapist is doing, who copies another, and another, and so on.
First, this “sameness” leads to what’s been called “the dumbing down of marketing”. In massage, for instance, it’s where every practitioner is running the same type of ad, with the same look, same style, same offer, etc. Like a recording of a recording which just continues to decrease in quality, the same thing occurs with the marketing. Everyone’s copying everyone else, and the marketing is just getting worse and worse. Not to mention, looking exactly alike.
Second, what happens is every massage therapist who follows right along with the same type of marketing every other practitioner is doing, positions themselves on a level playing field with everyone else. This is one of the worst things that can happen to any massage therapist. The last thing you want to happen is for you, your practice, and your massage services to be viewed by your target market as a commodity.
As just another MT in the neighborhood, if you will. The reason the authors have “sameness” as a pre-condition to a no profit pattern is pretty simple. When there’s an overabundance of sameness amongst competing businesses (or massage practices), and everyone competes the same way, commoditization follows, and price suppression follows that.
In other words, for massage therapists, they all start to get viewed as the same in the eyes of their prospective clients and the only way to compete with one another is to lower their fees. Inevitably, this leads to less and less profitability. And then business death. I share this with you for a very good reason. You must commit right now to stepping out of the herd of massage therapists you’re competing with, and never allow your massage practice or the massage services you provide to become a commodity in the eyes of your clients and prospective clients.
In other words, right now commit to uniquely positioning your massage practice in your marketplace. So, how do you do that you’re wondering? With your marketing, that’s how.
First of all, realize that if you’re going to grab anyone’s attention – which is the first job your marketing is required to do – it cannot look like everything else out there. It must look different. It must be inviting and exciting. Remember, being boring is the number one sin in massage marketing. And most of the stuff you see from MT’s looks identical and is boring.
Be unique. Ask yourself, with every marketing piece you put out in the marketplace, “Could any other massage therapist say the same things I’m saying, about their own practice?” Could we easily take your name and your practice name out of the ad and replace it with any other massage therapist, and have the ad still work?
If so, you’re simply positioning yourself as a commodity. Big mistake. Take risks with your marketing that get you noticed in the vast ocean of sameness and me-too-ism you see so many massage therapists stuck in. Another thing you must do to prevent commoditization is to have and use a Unique Selling Proposition (USP), sometimes referred to as a Unique Competitive Advantage, in all of your marketing. A USP is really just a single, tightly-defined statement that tells your prospective clients what makes you unique.
It tells your prospective clients in one single statement why they should use your services and not the services of another massage therapist. The best way to craft a powerful USP is to think about what your target market wants, that they’re not getting from other MT’s, and promise to deliver it to them in your marketing. In other words, promise to give your prospective clients what no other massage therapist in your area can promise to give. A promise only you can make.
Do that, and you have one heck of a powerful USP and positioning tool. With that said… always remember… how you position yourself and your massage practice in the eyes of your prospective clients will almost always determine the height of your fees, your cancellation rate, and the ease at which you get clients. Market your massage practice like every other bodywork practitioner and you’ll wind up a commodity. Market your massage practice with a solid USP, a marketing message that matches your target market, and unique look… and you’ll be able to write your own ticket.
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