Sometimes I just sit here staring at the screen, trying to write.
Blogging is tough.
In fact it may be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The first time I hit “publish” it scared the bejeezus out of me and still scares me a bit to this day.
However as they always say, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
The thing is, everyone should be doing it and using blogging as a tool to promote and advertise your massage practice. We live in a generation where information is currency and it’s valuable currency.
As I said, blogging is tough but it CAN be done.
Most of you reading this right now are probably thinking “you just finished saying it’s hard and plus, I’m not a writer!”
Well, guess what? None of us are writers.
Very few people who started a blog sat and thought to themselves “yeah I’m a damn good writer, this is what I should do”.
Most people who got into blogging had something they were passionate about and decided it was time to start a discussion on their passion.
But there are some other reasons why you should start blogging, especially about your massage practice.
Marketing Your Massage Therapy Practice
Any time you decide to market your practice you should be looking at the ROI (return on investment).
There are a few platforms now where you can set up a free site to start your blog (wordpress, wix, weebly to name a few). Down the road you may want to invest money into a site and developer but the free ones can at least get you started.
So really your biggest investment is time.
Here are some stats from Writtent’s 45 Reasons to Blog that might convince you to get started:
- Small businesses that blog get 126% more lead growth than small businesses that do not blog. (Source: ThinkCreative)
- Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors (Source: HubSpot)
- B2C companies that blog get 88% more leads per month than companies that don’t (Source: HubSpot)
- 71% of survey respondents say blogs affect their purchasing decisions (Source: HubSpot)
- 60% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on its site. (Source: CMI)
- 78% of chief marketing officers think custom content is the future of marketing. (Source: Hanley-Wood Business Media)
- Brand engagement rises by 28% when consumers are exposed to both professional content and user-generated product video. (Source: comScore)
- 90% of consumers find custom content useful, 78% believe that companies behind content are interested in building good relationships. (Source: TMG Custom Media)
Looking at that list, the big ones that stand out to me are that blogs affect purchasing decisions, consumers feel more positive about a company after reading their content and consumers believe that companies behind content are interested in building good relationships.
Think about what those three things alone can do for your massage therapy practice.
Now google other Massage Therapists in your area and see who is actively blogging. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
That’s right, barely anyone is doing it because it’s hard, or some have a couple of posts from 2013 and then gave up.
So imagine that if you started doing this consistently and your blog started having the above affects in your local area. All of a sudden, they’re purchasing from you, feel more positive about your company and want to build a relationship with you.
There is no other marketing scheme that is going to do that. Yellow pages, billboards, bus stops, signage, none of these things actually contribute to building a strong relationship with a potential or current patient, it’s just noise.
Establishing Yourself As A Massage Therapy Expert
Whether you’re a new grad or been in business for sometime, you need to establish yourself as an expert in your community.
It takes a bit of a mind shift to start thinking like this, since most of us are pretty humble people. However you need to get over the imposter syndrome and start putting yourself out there (here’s some tips on getting over imposter syndrome).
Pick whatever aspect of massage therapy you know the best and start writing about it. Do research on the topic, pick your favourite aspects about the topic and know them inside and out.
For instance, let’s say you like doing pregnancy and infant massage. Come up with a list of every issue you can possibly think of dealing with pregnancy and write a story associated with that, and how massage therapy can help.
When people in your city or town who are pregnant start doing searches for local healthcare providers, they are going to come across your blog. As long as they can relate to your stories, they will come seeking you over any other therapist in town because you have just answered a majority of their questions and gained their trust.
In my case, I was pretty confident I knew more about first aid than your average Massage Therapist. I also knew I had a ton of stories I could use to convey my message and relate it to therapists on how to handle medical emergencies in their clinic.
So that’s what I started writing about.
Now I’m actually traveling around teaching first aid courses to other practitioners.
The reality is, there is at least one topic you know and you probably know it better than most other therapists.
Start with that.
Becoming a regular blogger also makes you stay on top of your game. When you’re writing and researching topics regularly, that imposter syndrome will start to fade and you will start to feel like you are becoming an expert.
You never know what other Massage Therapists may end up learning from you as well in this whole process.
You just need one topic you’re passionate about to start, then you can start to branch out into other topics as your confidence builds.
This is another important aspect of what blogging can do for you and your business.
It makes you different.
When someone is doing a search for a therapist, there are no end to the options. Blogging can help make you the BEST option.
Say you work in a clinic with several other therapists. A potential patient goes to the website to book in and sees all of your profiles, there has to be something that makes them want to book in with YOU.
Blogging on a regular basis gives you this opportunity and it is just that, an opportunity.
It gives you the opportunity for your target patients to become not only engaged with you, but to keep wanting to come back to you. If you set things up properly and use social media and email subscription services properly, you will be able to stay at the top of your patients mind.
There is no other marketing effort you can make that will do that.
It provides the real opportunity for you to build a following, to build your patient base.
For those of you who are clinic owners and are thinking you don’t want your people doing this, you should be encouraging this.
In fact I’d be encouraging everyone in your clinic to write one blog post per month for your clinic, plus writing one for their own personal sites.
If you’re worried that if one of your practitioners is blogging and could “steal” patients away if they moved, you have to change your thinking. If a patient really likes a therapist, they’re probably going to move with them anyway. If you try and restrict the patient from knowing where the practitioner is, they will do their own work to find out.
It took me two years to finally launch this blog. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to do the work, it’s that I was afraid to start putting myself out there. So far some people have called me out on things I’ve written because they didn’t agree, but it hasn’t happened near as much as I thought it would. There’s nothing wrong with other people having a differing opinion than yours, in fact it’s a good thing. It will help differentiate you. While blogging is a lot of work, the rewards from doing one are immeasurable, especially if you’re using it as a marketing technique for your massage therapy business. You’ll be surprised at the opportunities that start coming your way. Don’t just try to sell, try to inform your potential and current patients, trust me they’ll thank you for it. If blogging is something you’ve been considering but haven’t started, get over your limiting beliefs and jump in. Just be consistent and you’ll start to find your voice. And who knows, maybe soon I’ll be taking a course you’re putting on!