How long it REALLY takes to turn someone into a paying massage client?

Uncategorized Aug 17, 2020


I am THE worst for being disappointed when my marketing doesn't work.


Put my heart & soul (not to mention hopes & dreams!) into a poster design, video creation, or set of FB Ads for it only to launch to crickets.


Feels like I let down my team, perhaps I'm kidding myself that I can do this business thing after all and just best to stick to good old word of mouth. Slow and steady wins the race after all, am I right?!


No! I'm definitely not right! And neither are you if you feel the same too after your marketing is a flop!


- Learn in this episode the AVERAGE amount of time it takes for someone to actually turn into a paying client.

- Understand why it's SOOO important to keep going with your marketing

- Discover why are you so close already to finding something that works!




Podcast Transcript

Welcome to the massage therapist, business and marketing podcast. I'm your host, Vicki mush. I mean, today's episode, we are going to be talking about how long does it take to turn someone into a paying client? Hi guys, welcome back to the podcast For that extra caffeine. Today has been one of those days, busy, busy, busy,

busy, but then not looking after myself. This was something that we spoke about to the clinic. Business growth guide is actually this energy management type thing and how easy it is to burn out. Now, this does link to today's episode. I'm not just going on a poor me rant, although every now and then, of course we all need one of those,

um, this idea of how long does it take someone to become a client is a question that we just never have to think about. As massage therapists. We are extremely lucky in our business that pretty much 999 times out of a thousand clients magically appear at our door and that's might seem like I'm being a bit fickle. But what I mean is is that we don't really have to put that much work into helping them make their decisions when people luckily really do understand in most cases,

what massage is. They understand that it is somebody's working hands on bodies, either for relaxation or pain relief. And that makes it a lot easier for us than a lot of industries for people to see the benefits that can, you know, imagine them. And they might even have experienced a massage from their partner or, you know, sort of, uh,

even self massaging and rubbing their knee if they get pain. Right? So these are not things that are necessarily unfamiliar. And generally speaking, the first time we ever come in contact with our sort of clients or customer base is when they've already booked an appointment when they've already made an intention to give us money. So kind of as an industry, having to learn things like online marketing,

or even thinking about how long does it take for someone to make that decision? You know, we've never really had to do that, but there's two reasons why we do have to learn this sort of stuff. Now, one is just increased competition. I'm amazed how many more massage courses there are out there from when I first started 15 years ago. And even then they were plenty of massage therapists of all shapes and sizes and disciplines in my area,

but there's so many more courses and also so many more than people graduating at a higher level more and more and more it's, it's a very attractive, um, kind of career because you actually make a difference to people's lives. So obviously increased competition means that we have to start thinking about, you know, how are we going to get in front of potential clients?

And you know, how long is that process going to take from that first point of contact to them booking where it was before, or if you'd been in a small village before, or you've been working for a long time like myself, you know, partly you could just get people coming to your door because you happen to be one of the few therapists,

a working, be open and have availability and see within easy travel distance of the person. Whereas now they have a choice, but the second reason has got nothing to do with massage whatsoever, but it has to do with people's attention and time and energy. And increasingly we know more and more year on year that people have more things asking for their attention,

be that work, be that family, be that social media, whatever it might be. And this idea of grabbing someone's attention, creating something that's meaningful and building relationship to the point where they're willing, happy and able to hand over money in exchange for your service. That's tough when there's so many other things like, um, I dunno there could be signing up to yet another course of how to use a foam roller to help with that back pain,

right? Like your you've got the source of things, as well as I dunno, what are things that I've learned how to do recently late online learn how to do cut crease makeup, except I've never done it on myself. Um, I've researched how to self publish a book. And I was looking into conversion bopsy of the night. Like these are all things that are taking people's mind away from,

Oh, maybe I should book him for a massage and get some relaxation, or maybe I should pick him for a massage for that knee pain I've been having. So those are two reasons why we need to really start as an industry thinking and understanding about how long it takes someone to become a client and leading this right, the way back into how I opened this about energy and effort is that it's really disappointing.

I have yet to break this cycle. This is, this is why I know it so well. It's really disappointing when you do a marketing campaign. And literally to me, that means any effort, a tool that is new. So in our case, we're relaunching post COVID. I'm trying to fill the diary up. And my brain remembers all of my successes,

meaning that I set really and reasonable expectations for what the marketing is going to look like. So I really struggle with the fact that my emotional state, how I judge myself and my success is tied quite tightly to the performance of a marketing campaign, you know, low bookings, or I must be doing a bad job, lots of bookings. I must be doing a good job,

but this is not how it works. I mean, we know anyway that it's not an ideal way, and this is why I spent a lot of time learning about personal development. Um, but the there's many, many, many, many factors that go into the success of a marketing campaign and with our failed, the ones that have been the most successful have been ones where there's been a number of factors in place,

but one in particular is it it's, it's not to a cold audience, there's been some buildup. So what does this even mean? And what, what is the idea? What are we talking about when we're saying, how long does it take someone to become a client? But I mean, is, is it full of papers of this episode, talking around from the first point of contact that they've had with you and that your business and that could be walking past your shop and seeing your site that could be seeing an ad on Google that could be somebody mentioning to them about you in particular,

or them having, seeing a post that somebody had shared to their rowing group or their cycling group, whatever that might be from that point of contact, how long does it take for the average client to book in, for an appointment with you? And let's qualify that as well as full-price just to kind of make things easier, the best way to understand any of this is going back to the normal distribution curve.

And this of course is where a picture would be helpful, but for podcasts, we don't have that. So you're gonna have to close your eyes part from if you're driving and just in your mind, draw out a graph. So you've got that X axis. That's sort of two to one at the top. I don't even know if it's so long since I've done it anyway,

we've got the two lines that intersect now, a normal distribution as you draw what your graph looks like. It goes from left to right. And it starts off flat. And then you get this big hump and then it then drops down again and then it tails off. Okay. Now this explains so many things in business. It's a really good one for understanding how things work.

Now, in this case, we can break that up into sections. Um, I haven't made notes for this, so I can't tell you how many sections would be precise, but let's just say, let's cut it in to say sort of, I dunno, that's a good number for blend. I know six sections. Okay. So what's going to happen if you cut it into six equal sections,

the first section, the first group of clients that are going to book with you are quite low. That's in that first little tail based, quite low number of clients, but they'll book immediately. And these are people who know they've had a problem. They'd been looking for the solution. They might even have gone to your website or other people's websites multiple times.

So when they hear of you, when they hear what you do, where you are, where your base and that you've got availability, they'll book straight away, but that's a really low amount. Now the majority of potential clients are in that big hump of the curve, but it takes time to get to that point. And then there's a group of clients who are on the tail end of the curve that you might have had some contact with,

or they might even have a free taster session with you, but then they can take a really long time to book that first paid appointment. Now for a frame of reference. And I have the data to back this up from our clinic. The, obviously you can put a post out and immediately get a booking, but that's going to be from that very small group who are super Keem,

how long who's this spectrum? Like, what's the other range? What's the slowest amount that we've seen with stuff? Well, so far the longest I've seen is four years. So I've had one person come in for one of our freebie taster massages for our headstart health week, which is literally just to introduce people to me or to other, uh, like disciplines,

techniques, styles. Um, if they've already had a massage with us specialties, that was the word I was often, come on, Vicky, you got it. Um, and they'd come in and they took them four years. And then they booked in for an appointment with myself, which was higher price. And they booked him for a series of sessions for a very,

very specialist issue, mr. Stuff, and they didn't pay for anything appointments. Didn't see any of our team didn't see anybody in between. So for years. So just think about that. If at one end of this normal distribution curve is zero. As in like effectively day one, like immediate, the other is four years. It goes to show that about halfway in the middle.

If we literally put it in the middle that's two years, take a breath. Second. Cause some of you would have already jumped ahead as to what this means. You're right. What this means is is the majority of people that see, yes, advertising can take anywhere between one and three, two years too, to then act upon it one in three years.

That's what that biggest chunk that because whomp of the curve is now either that's going to do one of two things. It's either going to freak you out. I'll make you feel super despondent. And Oh my God, when I leave money, now I don't need money in that time period. Or it's going to make you feel relieved because you've been working really,

really hard at marketing your business, but you've not yet you been seeing much return for it yet. And this is what the key thing is, is understanding that lots of people, particularly men now, a days compared to before, but to get to that first beginning of curve of upward curve of a lot of clients are seeing a lot of return for your marketing.

We're looking at 12 months, we're looking ping at you taking time to build things up consistently. By the way, I would also add consistently doesn't mean that you have to do it every single week consistently just means that you continue to keep advertising. You know, you may we'll do a, it didn't for two or three months at a time of social media.

I have six weeks off and then do it again. But that's still better than doing nothing. Okay. Consistently doesn't have to be weekly because I can really put people off. Um, but it can take 12 months before then all of a sudden you get to the stage where it feels easy. And the reason that it feels easy is because you were a Facebook post out and you will then get five or 10 bookings for an offer,

or you'll send an email and you'll be able to generate 25 bookings from one email for a particular offer that you do or, or inviting people in for an open, whatever it might be. But the reason is, is not because that particular email is any better than any of the email that you've sent. But the reason is is that people who joined your list 12 months ago or heard of you 12 months ago have reached that tipping point of going,

right. I'm going to get on it. Like these people do know their stuff. Like, you know, they've just announced that they've added some extra availability that absolutely works. I can probably time it with regard to doing that on the way to the gym, the way home from the gym when I work at so and so on a Thursday, whatever it is,

right. I'm going to give it a go. And this is the key thing is that most of us, and like I say, I am absolutely in this, this boat, all, I will put stuff out there and not feel like I get much engagement, much return or anything like that. And I've got another story for you. So we literally,

the other day we have a private Facebook group for our team at the clinic. And, um, little secret. I try to use it for morale building, um, primarily, but we do use it as a communication tool. We stuff I'm one of the team members posted the other day and they just said, I just want to let you guys know.

Cause they had been the one who'd been primarily delivering online classes. And this is something that we developed during lockdown and we'd seen out, Oh no, not on non-class this, this was it. It was for the Facebook lives that we were doing. Now, Facebook lives are lawful for you putting them out there and then not getting any response at all whatsoever.

People not liking people, not engaging. There's certainly other. And they said so many clients have been saying to them since we'd gone back and done in person again, thank you so much for doing that. We're really impressed with how you consistently showed up and did that. And like I say, my jaw was dropping to the floor with each one of these.

Um, and like, we're just so glad that you're back and the, you know, it was, we felt that you were there with us through lockdown. Now this is exactly what I wanted to happen with a marketing campaign. I mean, ideally I also wants it to turn into a gazillion online appointments booked and things like that. But the reality of the situation is we didn't get any feedback.

We were talking into the void, but it was working like the strategy was working. So you put something out there that's new. You're not used to it. You haven't got the experience necessarily of knowing, well, what are the numbers I should be expecting here? You know, if I'm not boosting these ads and people are just watching kind of the,

what am I, what am I meant to expect? How many are going to turn into actual paying appointments we should have. And it was really difficult. I didn't have the numbers. I often do have the numbers for a lot of stuff from doing this for awhile. And what I'm saying to you is, is that if, if you are getting started with marketing in a proactive way,

and this could be, you might have been in practice zero months, cause you've only just qualified or been in practice five years. But if you're starting to do marketing campaigns and do stuff out there and you're putting things out there and people aren't responding, what, what I'm trying to say to you in this episode and get you to understand is that bookings are not the only measure of success with stuff.

Because one of the things that helps people book is increasing confidence, increasing knowledge. There's things like availability. You know, if you are doing this because you're a solo practitioner and you're booked about 70% of the time, people may be going onto your website, but you can't, they can't get the times that they want at the moment, which by the way,

it means that you should be hiring. Um, but it takes a while for people to get to the stage of booking. And then even when they do want to book there's factors, that can stop them from doing that, which we don't know. But what I want to ask you to just think about is think of your own experience with buying something.

I'm just trying to think of. Okay. So there's, there's a money bootcamp course, which I did not think would be my thing whatsoever. It's run by a lady, Denise Duffield Thomas. I think it is. Um, and I've seen her advertise for like years and years and years, years, and years. And I was like, Oh,

she looks a bit, woo, woo. Like, I don't know. What's all this money, beliefs things, not for me. Anyway, long story short, I did some independent reading, some independent books with stuff. It was like, Oh my God, this is really useful to me. And she's got a mini boot camp, which is like,

I don't know, like $2,000, something like that. So high price point now I haven't at the time of recording this, signed up for it, but I'm working on it. And that doesn't mean that I'm saving the money to work on it. The internally I'm, I'm being warmed up as a client to going, yeah. You know? Well,

and then every blog post, I see every book of hers that I listened to, it gets me a step closer to going, you know what? This is going to be worth it for me. This is worth me paying. Now that was an extreme price point example compared to perhaps like a $50 massage when we do, we have 50 pounds. So it'd be like,

I don't know, 17 $90 massage for you guys. Right. But it's still the same process still happens. So any buying decision, so, and holidays are a great example. If you're anything like me, I'll, I'll go and look on something and then come back off and then go back on again. And off that process still happens even when someone's thinking about booking an appointment.

But I think what we all forget is therapist is we know how fricking awesome massage is. And we completely forget what it's like for that person who didn't. And I say, I with myself, you know, have the perfect example in that I had plenty of opportunities to go for sports massage or manual therapy and stuff. During my teens, late teens and early twenties at university,

I was really heavily involved in sport, but I was really anti anything where people were like touching my body. Like I don't find massage relaxing in the traditional way in the, my brain is so busy. The, I just spend 55 minutes going, what am I meant to do? How am I meant to act like, Oh, that's interesting. Why are they gone like that?

Um, I can hear the floor creaking as they move. Like I never, you know, it was never like an enjoyable thing. So it never really occurred to me that because struggling to relax or through getting pain through exercise, that massage would be something that would be helpful for me. And I took her a long time to get to that kind of point.

So just remember there's a few things like you've got the, we tend to see the people who were at that front end of that normal distribution curve that curve, that buying curve there at the front end. And they're really ready to buy. They're desperate and looking for somebody that's what is the initial success when you first get going? But it takes them around 12 months to begin to hit that upward curve where the same post,

this is what's even more cool, right? The exact freaking same Facebook post or same email that you send out all of a sudden, and let's just, let's make this really scientific or scientific as possible. You have 500 people on your email list magically from day one, right? Send out an email with that. You're likely to get probably something like 5%.

So what is that? So if 10% is 50, so 25, so maybe 25 people get in touch and you maybe get 10 bookings from that. Right. But you could send that same awesome offer out or same, you know, to the clinic, whatever it is that you're doing in a year's time. And you'll get narrowed to 10, 15% of people then signing up and then you wait another time period.

And then if the people are still on your list, assuming that they haven't unsubscribed and stuff, you'll get high percentage again, the following year. And this is because of this, this how long it takes someone to become a client. So the take homes, I guess, that I'm, after from you seeing here, one, it takes a lot longer than we think the majority of people to be happy with buying it's don't judge yourself or your campaigns on anything other than the fact,

the fact that have a party out there, as long as you've done that, that's that genuinely at this stage is all you are in control of. Are you marketing or not marketing? As long as you're marketing, your business will grow. Um, the next one is regard to, it's fine to reuse content, literally like take whatever you wrote for the last time you had that offer or they suddenly take it,

reuse it. What I normally say is then Adelaide bit more. So let's just say you spent two hours writing some emails and some Facebook posts the next time reuse them, but just spend 30 minutes this time doing a few more. So then you've got an even bigger amount of primary stuff to use. And then again, you can reuse that stuff from there,

reuse any videos, reuse, any pictures that you created, like literally save yourself time. Don't then make it harder for yourself. But if we've got this sort of 12 month type thing, bearing in mind, the middle of the curve is going to be around two years. Just again, use that to help create a marketing calendar, just know, right?

Okay. People know now at our clinic that we have a summer health week and we have a Christmas 12 days of Christmas offers, even if they never bought the past two, three years, they know it. They know it's legit as well. Like often people who are at the end of the curve, they're a bit more hesitant and a bit more skeptical,

but more cynical about stuff. They need other people to have gone first to prove it's either safe, reliable, or actually does make a difference. So again, just reuse it. And that starts to create your marketing calendar for you, which then of course, makes it easier for you to maintain easier for you to be consistent. And of course it takes less energy as well.

So I hope that's been helpful and a new way of thinking around that client journey. Cause like I said, we do think of a business where they have to do sales calls, think of a business where they have to, um, you know, um, kind of cold call and stuff. They still end up getting sales and they still end up getting customers that they work with potentially for long times we get the other way round.

We get the clients To us, which is super lucky, but it means that yeah, Miss out on learning some of these fundamentals around how marketing and buying decisions are made, you do it yourself. Yeah. You, you have this buying decision process. We miss out on some of that. And then either we then, um, judge ourselves and say that our marketing is really,

really bad and it's not working or then we just don't do it at all this stuff. But this is the benefit. You don't have to do anything amazing and exotic with stuff. You literally just have to go right. Get your email less, which is of course what we talked about last week, build email list yet, and then find some way of communicating with them.

That works for you. I say absolutely would recommend monthly, just an update of what's going on in your business and then sharing the offers and being prepared to play the long game with stuff. If you, if you're prepared to have massages your career, then give your business and give your clients chance to actually warm up and want to book with you. All right.

You know, don't, don't expect them to have kind of had this sort of come to Jesus moment of like realization of like how amazing massages they, they have a very different backstory to you. And like I said, you might even have been like me what? You didn't even have a massage for ages. So just give the clients yeah. Be a bit more compassionate to them and give them a little bit more help by revisiting that marketing that you did,

you know? Right. Okay. I've gotten out of the habit of doing my social media. We'll get back into it because even if no one's been responding, I promise you, you have been helping people. And some of these people will want to come and get your hands on service, just give them time. All right. So as always guys,

you take care, please, by the way, um, leave a review. You have the podcast, you can do that on iTunes, Potiphar in their kind of main places. Um, literally five styles would make a massive difference to helping other massage therapists find this and help support me creating the content for this and keep taking over the world one appointment at a time.

And remember you are more than just your hands, much love. Bye bye.



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