Massage Therapists: Want to know how to keep your appointment book full?

Is this a familiar scenario for you?

You have a lovely massage clinic setup and have clients who tell you they love your treatments. Business seems to be going pretty well!

But, some weeks it can be really slow. No booking request emails are coming through, and it seems like none of your usual clients are rebooking.

So you do what any business owner would do: you figure out a way to ‘drum up’ business.

Maybe you call some previous clients to see if they want to come in. Maybe you work on posting to your blog, or in a newsletter that you send out to clients. Maybe you look for events to attend so you can hand out business cards and meet people.

And thankfully, it works! Your schedule starts to fill up, and you start to feel less anxious about that empty appointment book since it isn’t so empty anymore.

But now that your schedule is full, you stop sending that newsletter. You stop attending networking events. You stop calling clients to check on them and ask them to rebook. You’re busy, you tell yourself, so you don’t need to do that stuff right now.

But a few months later, your schedule starts to get quiet again. The rush of people is now dwindling and you need to start thinking about finding more clients again.

A completely common scenario in many businesses!

The Elephant in the Room with Massage Therapy Appointment Bookings

Let me ask you: does it make sense to run your business this way?

Doing things in this way means that you’re always in a roller coaster of ‘busy-ness’. One month you’re up, the next you’re down.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to keep those appointments coming in?

Now, of course, you can’t predict the future. No one can. So there will be times that you’ll have a quiet day or week because that’s just normal and natural. Maybe a regular client moves out of town and suddenly their appointment slot is empty. Maybe a big storm hits and everyone cancels for the next few days. Or, maybe it’s just a slow time of year. Ebbs and flows happen, and I’m not saying you’re never going to have quieter times in your business.

What I am saying is those times can be more manageable. Instead of weeks where you’ve barely got enough bookings to pay your bills, you’ll have weeks where you’ve got some openings but it will be ok if they don’t fill. Instead of the roller coaster of feast or famine, you’ll have a schedule that is more even-keeled.

But how do you do that? Well, that’s the elephant in the room, friends: you need a marketing plan and you need to stick to it.

Even when your schedule is really busy. Consistency is the key to getting things done. So you have to very literaly schedule yourself time to do it. And remember, the more you do something, the easier it gets. So as you do your marketing you’re going to find it gets easier to do over time.

Marketing Ideas to Keep Your Massage Therapy Schedule Full

So does this mean you need to pay for cheesy ads you don’t like, or cold call people, or stand on a street corner feeling super uncomfortable and hand out business cards?

Oh hell no! I’m not about to tell you you have to do a bunch of marketing that feels really wrong or out-of-place for you. I wouldn’t do things like that, so I’m not going to tell you to do them either.

What you need to do is find methods that feel like they could work for you. That doesn’t mean they won’t be out of your comfort zone at first! But they shouldn’t feel dishonest or gross. No one wants that.

So what might work for you? Well, you need to draw upon your strengths and use those to your advantage when coming up with your plan.

Three Massage Therapy Marketing Ideas to Get You Started

Blog and Email Newsletter: if you’re a good writer and have decent computer skills, a weekly newsletter and blog might be a great fit. Send out the newsletter to current and recent past clients (so as to be within the anti-spam laws – you don’t want to be sending to someone you haven’t seen in years). Repost the content on your blog. Mention the newsletter and blog on any social media you use. Show them to your friends and colleagues. Anything you can do to get the word out.

Videos on YouTube, TikTok or Instagram: If you really love the idea of creating videos, you could hit your favourite social media platform with regular content targeted at current and potential clients. The exact format is going to depend on which platform you choose – TikTok and Instagram tend to be shorter, snappier videos while YouTube can be longer form with more details. But no matter which you choose, the key is to find things your current and potential clients would be intererested in watching. For example, self-care tips, exercises for injury prevention, showing runners how to tie a heel lock (many don’t know how!), a quick demo of a simple baby massage… whatever makes sense for the kinds of clients you see. You can then promote them anywhere that works for you, just like the example above. A newsletter, your website, social media, and so on.

Give Educational Talks: if you’re the kind of person who really enjoys talking to people, loves meeting new people, and is pretty comfortable in front of a crowd, you could book regular talks at places your potential clients would hang out. Lots of possibilities here, from yoga studios and running shops to offices and mom and baby classes. Anywhere you can think of that might be interested in having you in as a guest speaker. Hand out useful information at the talk along with a business card. Give a link to your website with extra information they might want to read. Take down the number of anyone who would like a followup call so you can answer further questions and book them in for an appointment.

The key is to find a plan that works for you and stick to it year-round, not just when you feel like it or when business is slow. Be consistent and you’ll start to see results.

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It can be challenging to keep your appointment book full as a massage therapist! But it doesn't have to be feast or famine. Here are key tips to getting clients to rebook and finding new ones for your private practice.
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