This article was originally written by Eric Brown

Click here for a complete directory of pet friendly hotels _4214.shtml
date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:12
When you were starting your massage business, getting your massage therapy business card printed was probably the first thing you did. After all, a business card really defines you as a business person. If you’ve got a card then you must have a business.
But despite all the love and attention massage therapists give their business cards, I have to say that I’ve never felt that they’re all that useful. I’ve never been a big fan of business cards.
I never spent a whole lot of time, energy or money on developing cards for my massage practice. Of course, I had cards printed and they looked professional, but I never really gave them much regard. I never used them.
They sat on my shelf at work, mostly collecting dust. I certainly would never carry them with me.
I just didn’t feel that they were a useful marketing tool. I knew lots of massage therapists with absolutely gorgeous business cards. But that didn’t seem to prevent them from a fate of sitting in their offices twiddling their thumbs waiting for clients to come knocking. My cards were mediocre looking and largely unused and I always had a full slate of clients.
My views changed, however, after a massage business event with some key people in the massage industry.
Last year, as the Director of BodyworkBiz, the busiest massage website on the net, I was invited to participate in a round table discussion. The other participants were people who I would consider icons in the massage therapy industry: Cherie Sohnen-Moe, the author of Business Mastery; Steve Capellini, the respected spa massage expert and the author of Massage for Dummies; Cliff Korn, Editor of Massage Today and Monica Roseberry, author of Marketing Massage.
I felt privileged to be at the same table with these people. We each shared our thoughts about marketing and building a massage practice. Monica, in particular, seemed to be passionately attached to the idea of using business cards. Frankly, I didn’t get it.
But that event made me think about business cards more. And it occurred to me that there was a good reason I didn’t like massage business cards…
Most massage therapist business cards are just too darn wimpy.
You can give out lots of business cards, but for the most part they don’t do a whole lot of work for you. They are completely passive tools. They certainly are not educational nor are they motivational. For all intents and purposes, they are simply scraps of paper (albeit nice scraps) with your phone number should someone be miraculously inspired to call for an appointment.
That’s wimpy!
I’ve never been a fan of that kind of passive marketing – waiting around for someone to maybe do something someday, like pick up the phone to make an appointment.
I like direct marketing. It’s a more active style of marketing. It’s marketing that’s designed to get people to make a decision.
If I have some contact with a potential customer, I want them to TAKE ACTION NOW.
Let’s get real. No matter how well intentioned a person is, if they don’t take action now, they are not likely going to get results. Let’s say you want to lose weight, for example. If you don’t toss the chips in the trashcan and take a walk now, it’s not likely going to happen tomorrow.
Same with massage. Someone may be sore, achy, stressed, but if they don’t book an appointment now or at least take a step in that direction, it’s not likely going to happen.
I don’t want to take a marketing approach that gives someone the opportunity to think about it later. Because we’re all savvy enough to know that “later” almost always means “never”.
So how do you create a massage therapy business card that makes someone want to pick up the phone and call you now?
That’s what we’ll look at in Part 2 of this article.