The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same


It’s become a January tradition for me to do a marketing audit. It takes about fifteen minutes and provides a wealth of information about which marketing activities are attracting clients and which ones aren’t. This allows me to do more of what’s working and less of what isn’t, saving me time and money. Here’s how to do your own:

  • First, count the number of unique clients (not total appointments) from any given month.
  • Then note how each client came to you. If they were referred, how did the person who told them about you come to you? Work backwards until you get to the original referring client. Everyone they have referred will go into the same category.
  • Next, define five categories. For example, I have all clients who heard about me from promotions I did myself in one category. This includes chance meetings, flyers, promo gift certificates, etc. If these are your main marketing techniques, define five different things you’ve tried.
  • Once each client is classified, add up the number of clients in each category. Divide the number of clients per category by the total number of clients from the month to get a percentage.

If your practice is just getting started, doing this every three to six months will make those initial marketing efforts more efficient. Once you’re established, it’s still a good exercise to do once a year to monitor and adjust. I anticipated some changes this time but they weren’t what I expected.

  • Groupon is STILL the leading regular client generator for me (35% this year compared to 40% last year), even though my last deal ended almost a year ago and I redeemed the last voucher in October. Of the twelve regular clients who visited last month who found me on Groupon or were referred by someone who did: nine are from my original campaign in 2014 (of those, two bought the single session, four bought the three pack, and three were referred); two came from my first campaign in 2016 (both purchased the package); and one came from the second deal I ran in 2016 where I experimented with a single 60-minute or 90-minute option (she happened to buy the 90-minute but this strategy did not perform nearly as well as a single and a package).
  • My website has moved up the search engine enough that I’m consistently on page one when searching ashiatsu massage Denver. This increased the number of clients who found me via the Internet from 6% last year to 21% this year. That’s a huge jump! My early SEO techniques played a big part in moving me up from the beginning, and getting set up on Google My Business has taken me to the next level. I learned how to do that from this webinar (it’s an affiliate link so I’ll be compensated should you sign up).
  • Friends, coworkers and clients I knew before opening my current practice accounted for 15% of visitors last month (down from 30% last audit). Three were clients in a previous life, and two were referred by a friend and former coworker. Of the referrals, one is a now monthly regular (this took years to happen) and one was from out of town.
  • American Specialty Health comes in at number four with 12% (just above 11% last year). This variation is probably due to the total number of clients I saw rather than an actual increase since I haven’t been on their provider list since 2015. Basically, this company is a third-party health insurance partner that contracts with wellness practitioners for discounted benefits to their members. It has been a great source of high-quality referrals. I discontinued my affiliation with them because I had switched to ashiatsu exclusively and the people who were calling wanted something more traditional. Otherwise, I would probably still be one of their providers.
  • The final spot is shared by two categories at 9% each. I created a separate category for an ashiatsu therapist who referred clients to me last summer when he started nursing school. Although I’ve seen a handful of them only once, three became regular monthly clients. The other category is my own promotions, two of which I did early in my practice and one that I started late last year. The older promotions were soliciting a physician’s office and gift certificates for Every Body Deserves a Massage Week (one regular client each). The new promotion is on Facebook and I’m excited to announce it is actually paying off! I promise I’ll share the details in my next post.

So what will I do now based on this audit? Depending on how busy I stay, I may do another Groupon campaign. I’ll definitely keep doing this new Facebook promotion as long as it continues to perform. I purchased ad space in an exclusive golf magazine a couple of months ago that will be published quarterly starting next month and will be available to members of three country clubs near my office. My hope is that it will give me the opportunity to provide demos at some of their tournaments this summer. As successful as digital marketing has been for me, I feel the need to connect with my community in person. My next marketing audit will reflect the results of this plan and help plot another course to keep growing the practice that I love!

Which of your marketing efforts are getting the best results? If you don’t see a comment box below, please click the Leave a comment link to share. Thank you!

Booked and Busy subscribers have exclusive access to the Booked and Busy Bonus Room on Facebook. This free group provides resources (including a template to do your own marketing audit) designed to get and keep more clients so you can make more money while helping more people!


About deepheeling

I'm an ashiatsu barefoot deep tissue massage specialist dedicated to sharing my journey to creating a successful business that I love!
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