Advertising on a budget. That’s a topic a lot of you are wondering about!
Today, I’ve got five advertising ideas for you that are free. Yes, I said the f-word… the one we all like!
But before I get into the details, let me be clear about something: nothing is completely free, and none of these things are going to give you overnight success.
Everything in this list will take work. Sometimes hours, sometimes days and months.
Advertising your business isn’t something you can do once and forget about it. It shouldn’t be the thing you squeeze in between seeing clients, posting a quick thing to Facebook, or dropping off a couple of business cards and then forgetting about it. It should be a process you are consistently working on.
Ok, ready to talk advertising?
Five Effective Free Advertising Methods for Massage Therapists
1. Get Listed On Google (Maps + Business)
This one is so simple and can really help people find you! Get a listing on Google Business, which will also list you on Google Maps.
This helps get more eyes on your website, which is why I recommend you use this tip combined with the next one. More views on your website can lead to more bookings.
Hot Tip: If you don’t have a specific clinic location – for example, if you mostly do mobile services – you can still have a listing! Just put yourself in as a ‘service area’ business.
2. Make Pinterest Do Work For You
If you’re a newsletter subscriber, then you know how much I love Pinterest.
It’s not just for recipes and home decorating anymore!
The workflow is essentially this: Get yourself a business Pinterest account.
Then, create blog posts or articles on your website that your ideal clients would be interested in. Stretches? How to relieve discomfort after working all day at a desk? Advice for new runners? You get the idea.
Next, create a nice image using a tool such as Canva (also free!) to post to Pinterest.
Finally, using that image and the address of your blog post, pin it on one of your Pinterest boards!
Remember, Pinterest is a search engine. Cultivating an audience there will lead to more clicks on your website. It also means there will be more links to your website from Google, helping people find you faster. Big win!
For more on using Pinterest, check out my post and podcast episode about it.
3. Place Your Business Cards Out In The Community
Ok, yes, this one isn’t 100% free.
However, the vast majority of you are still ordering and using business cards these days, so why not make them do some heavy lifting in your advertising plans?
Just make sure you are placing your business cards strategically.
What do I mean by that?
Well, figure out where your ideal clients would frequent, and get your cards in front of them there.
For example: if you work with runners, see if you can place some cards at the cash of your local running store.
If you work with pregnancy, think about placing cards at baby stores.
More of an accident rehabilitation therapist? No problem! What about doctor’s offices or brace and supportive device providers?
You get the idea, I’m sure! Don’t just put your cards in local cafes or on random store bulletin boards. They rarely get results, because they just aren’t being seen by the right people (or at least, not all that often). Be strategic, which will help the right people find you faster.
4. Leverage Facebook Community Groups
Are you still using Facebook? Based on what I’m seeing, many of you are.
That means you should consider leveraging it to your advantage.
Lots of community groups allow businesses to advertise on them. However, no one likes spam, so you have to be smart about how you do this, so members don’t see your posts as spam.
Well, two things: be helpful, and make sure to follow the community rules for advertising.
Respond to other people’s posts. Get to know people. Leave a review of a local restaurant. Let people know about the big sale at Costco this week. Whatever fits the group and is genuinely you trying to be helpful… try that!
Then, you can also post about your business.
If you build a real rapport with people, they will support you, and think of you when looking for a massage therapist!
5. Do Free Speaking Gigs Offering Your Expertise
Now, I know some of you read this and immediately say “No way, not my thing”.
And I get that!
Either you don’t like public speaking, or you don’t want to do it for free.
But hear me out!
No one is saying you have to do a TEDx talk or anything like that. We don’t want you to spend so much time on this you barely have time for anything else!
That said, doing a handful of events that align with your business goals can be a great way to get your name out there.
Maybe it’s going to a local running club once per season to talk about the benefits of strength training for runners.
Maybe you give a talk at a senior’s residence about exercises to help keep you mobile as you age.
Or, maybe you do something over Zoom that fits! A virtual health summit attended mostly by people in your area? A local online book club?
The idea is to find the fit that is best for your abilities and your ideal client base. Don’t do a talk if your target audience won’t be listening, and don’t do too many of these for free, since yes, your time is worth money. But done in the right way, this can be a very effective way to get known in your community, which will, in turn, get more eyes on your website and more people clicking on that ‘book now’ button – which is our goal, right?
So which free advertising method are you going to jump into first?