How To Get The Most Out Of Your Newspaper Advertising For Your Massage Business

Last week I spoke about where to position your newspaper ad, and where it gets the most readerships. Now this week I’m going to reveal to you how to maximize its effectiveness.

The secret? Make your ad look like anything but an ad! Confused? I’ll explain it a bit better: Make your ad look like a news story. I always had enormous success with editorials.

So here are a few tips for your “ad”. Make your ad, not look like an ad. Don’t use ad-like type and don’t use cartoon pictures of hands or drawings or sketches. Don’t spend anytime on the bells and whistles.

And forget logos completely. Logos are for Coca cola and McDonalds, not for a Massage Therapist that know one knows about yet. Logos for a Massage Therapist are as useful as giving an ice to an Eskimo. People don’t come to you for your logo; they come to you for your personality, your serviceability, the accessibility, your actual massage and more importantly for what they get out of it.

I’m sorry if you didn’t like hearing that, but it’s true. You can do a logo later when you’re a big clinic….if you’ve got time.

First things first you have to learn how to retrain your brain from “expert-at-my-job” to bringing in the “successful-marketing-person” type of thinking. I’m not saying you have to stop the way you do things as a therapist. If you want clients you must learn how to look at yourself as a therapist from your client’s point of view. Making your massage business work is quite an objective exercise. Too often we look at our massage business from our point of view. This kind of thinking is very much centered on the “job” not the “business.” It’s time to change my friend.

Back to your newspaper ad. Forget everything you’ve ever heard about newspaper advertising and advertising in general. To make this work we have to get back to basics. Just imagine for a moment that an employee from the press came to you as a client who was referred by your friend. Let’s say this employee was a reporter who targeted good news stories on the first five pages of the newspaper.

She came to your clinic and needed a massage because of the long hours she does. After the first massage she was hooked. She had no more shoulder and neck pain and for the first time was able to move her head from side to side without pain. And that, to you, was a normal result your clients experienced.

She books in for her appointment next week. After she does so, she goes back home to her computer and decides to write a good news story about you for her page 3 column. She sits down the following morning to write a full page article about you, blasting out all the positives about you and your massage.

You can indeed get people to do this in the real world, but you have to pay them. It’s pretty unlikely that this scenario exists any where but our heads.

The best thing to do? You do it! You can easily sit down at your computer for an hour and write this positivity yourself. After all you are the best person to do it because you know more about your massage and how good it is more than anyone else.

Now I know what you are thinking. “But I can’t write!”

Sure you can. You can write about your massage and how good it is can’t you? After all you trained at it long and hard. All those nights of study, all those practice massage, those exams…and think of all the clients or friends or people you’ve practiced on. I’m sure most people love your massage.

If you’re unsure then do this exercise. First take a piece of paper and in the middle, in a circle, write a statement such as “why do people want to come to me for massage?” Once you read that question out loud, your mind will then answer you and start firing answers at you. Write them as points. Now take those points and make them into an article.

Okay so now that you’re holding that in your mind, start writing this good news story yourself. Write about what its like to call you up, what people felt like when they walked in, what the towels felt like, how you were to the client, what your music is like, what oils you have burning and how relaxing they are and finally what its like to have massage with you. Then at the end of the article write down where people can go to have this wonderfully satisfying and relaxing experience. Put your business hours, phone number, address and website details clearly at the bottom of the news piece.

But still don’t make it look ad-like. Don’t use fancy font, clever pictures or anything else that might make people think “oh, it’s only an ad” and flick the page away from your advert. Ouch.

You should use the same font and layout as you would see on a news story in the paper. The reason why editorial worked so well for me is because editorials really get more readership and get more people looking at them than ads do. The presentation of an editorial is much more believable than an ad because an editorial is not faked, where as an ad can be. I’m not saying you’re going to fake anything so relax. I’m just saying you don’t get a full picture of what’s behind an ad. You do with an editorial.

Most advertising reps will not be able to quote you statistics and results that other advertisers in the paper have had with their ads. Don’t believe me? Just ask them. Why not ask “excuse me Mr. Ad rep, what return on investment has Jo Bloggs on page 19 had with his Physical therapy ad?”

I can almost bet you money that they will have no idea.

I’m not bagging newspaper reps; they work hard and are just doing their job. And their job is to sell space in the newspaper, they’re not marketing experts. If you want to know about how cars really work you go to a mechanic not a used car salesman. If you want to know what works in marketing your practice you ask a massage therapist who uses this medium and whose massage business survival depends on it not an employee of a newspaper company.

Okay I’ve got to finish up. Here are some pointers I want you to remember when thinking about newspaper advertising. Trust me; this will save you a bucket of money in the long run.

ü If you are offered a full page ad space then make sure they run it at the front of the paper or the very back.

ü Include a fabulous, client beneficial headline that your clients are looking for (if you don’t know then ask them)

ü Always choose editorial over looking like an ordinary “ad.” If you can’t then at least make it look like an editorial.

ü Not only should you create a fabulous, problem solving headline, put subheadings in your news piece too.

ü Don’t spend money that you can’t afford to loose.

ü Test small then as you build up and then pay for bigger space.

ü Walk before you run because as much as I know this stuff, and have had first hand experience in my own massage business, there are never any guarantees.

So that’s it for this week. Get cracking on your news piece and if you have any worries then look at the news paper and see for yourself. Which do you look at first? What do you believe over the other, ads or a news story?

Don’t be fooled by my “direct” style of writing. I actually care a great deal about what I do. I just don’t have the time to give you fluff because I know you want clients yesterday and I’m going to tell you exactly how to do it.

Amy Roberts


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1 Response to “How To Get The Most Out Of Your Newspaper Advertising For Your Massage Business”


  1. 1 Jan May 8, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Very helpful!


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