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Growing Your Practice: Marketing Plan Basics

Developing and implementing an effective marketing plan can go a long way in establishing and growing your practice.

Goals and Objectives

Developing a marketing plan requires that you first develop clear goals and objectives. A goal states your overall values and your mission. An objective is a measurable statement of your goals.

Setting Goals

When you start your business, you will probably have at least one goal that pertains to finding new clients. As your business develops, your new goal might refer to retaining existing clients as well as finding new ones. Your goals might also describe the type of client you want to work with, and your commitment to continuing education and the profession.

Setting Objectives

Every goal should have at least one objective that describes how and when you intend to achieve your goal.

Examples

Goal

Objective

Establish my client base.

By the end of the first six months, have at least six regular clients who book monthly appointments.

Develop a specialty in sports massage.

At the end of this year, at least 75 percent of my clients will be athletes who require sports massage.

Take enough continuing education to maintain my certification.

Earn 12 CEUs each year for four years in order to recertify (48 CEUs at the end of four years).

Equip my session room with accessories that aid my clients' health and comfort..

Budget $300 per quarter to purchase bolsters, heating pads, etc.

 

Strategies and Tactics

A strategy describes your overall plan for reaching your business goals. A tactic describes the tools you will use to carry out your strategy. Both are driven by your marketing plan's goals and objectives.

Develop Strategies

To develop your strategies, ask yourself the question, "How will I go about meeting my goals and objectives?" There are many methods you could use for attracting clients, so you need to think about what methods you'll choose? If you want to develop a clientele in sports massage, you will want to choose a strategy for reaching those prospective clients. If you want to earn 12 CEUs of continuing education this year, your strategy describes the plan for reaching your goal.

Develop Tactics

Once you have decided which strategies are best for your business, you'll need to decide on the details of the final action plan for carrying out your strategy. Your tactics should be detailed and specific. Examples of tactics are:

  • Create a marketing brochure that describes the benefits of sports massage, your credentials, your business hours and your contact information. Send the brochure to local college athletic departments and rehabilitation clinics.
  • Register for "Massage for Tendinitis" and "Pain Relief in Knee Joints" at the AMTA National Convention in October.

Work Your Plan

Once you've developed your goals, objectives, strategies and tactics, you're ready to put your plan into action. Check the results of your plan to see if it's allowing you to meet your goals, at least quarterly. If the plans you've made are meeting or exceeding your expectations, that's great. If they're not producing the results you anticipated, make adjustments.

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Julie A., AMTA member since 2012

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