Podcast

Episode 409

Apr 8, 2022

Can you market your massage business to a community often aligned with sex, but make it clear you’re not selling sex work? We’ve got thoughts.

Listen to "E409: Marketing Within the Kink Community" on Spreaker.
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EPISODE 409

Weekly Roundup

New Study Finds Facebook's Interest Targeting is Inaccurate Around 30% of the Time

Discussion Topic

  • Marketing within the Kink Community
    • Listener question we received: 
      • As a years-long member of alternative communities such as polyamorous, leather/kink, and queer culture, how can I possibly market to these communities without red-flagging my business? I haven't really connected my personal and professional life, because I've been worried about it giving the wrong impression about what I do either to prospective clients or to any governing agencies that may question my business.
    • What is kink? 
      • ‘Kink’ is a set of pleasurable activities that people choose to do together that in other contexts are not pleasurable or usual. It’s also often called BDSM. BDSM is now just a general term which applies to activities, or fantasies, or scenes, that involve a consensual exchange of power, where it’s agreed that one person has more power over another person (for a set period of time). It might involve physical control, sensory deprivation, restraint, or pain, humiliation, being told off, but it’s all previously agreed upon and consent is key. All the kinds of things that might usually be deeply unpleasant but in kink can feel wonderful. It’s something that a lot of people just fantasize about.
      • Kink can be, but is not always about sex.

Quick Tips

  • Evaluate the homepage of your website: does it clearly state who you serve?

Sponsors


Transcript: 

Sponsor message:

This episode is sponsored by The Original Jojoba Company. I firmly believe that massage therapist should only be using the highest quality products because our clients deserve it and our own bodies deserve it. I have been using Jojoba for years because it doesn't go rancid. Literally it can sit on my shelf for years and it does not contain triglycerides like lots of other products do so it won't go bad.

Allissa Haines:

This makes Jojoba a fantastic carrier for essential oils as well because you can use your super expensive, fancy, essential oils in there and know that the bottle of oil itself is not going to get gross. It is non-allergenic so I can use it on any client and every client without being that they're going to react to it. You, my friends, my listeners, thanks for showing up. And as a reward, you get 20% off the price of the product when you shop through our link massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

Michael Reynolds:

Hey everyone, welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint Podcast where we help you attract more clients, make more money and improve your quality of life. I'm Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines:

I'm Allissa Haines.

Michael Reynolds:

We're your host. Welcome to our show today, we are happy you are here. Spring is here, it's raining outside our windows. We're chilling today. My kid's on spring break so we're just kind of having a mellow week. At least I'm having a mellow week. Allissa's not. You've had things going on I know. You doing okay?

Allissa Haines:

Trying man, trying. I haven't been reading anything because, well, that's [inaudible 00:01:37] you've been reading like short little young adult novels just to take myself out of my head at night. So I have nothing to contribute here. But Michael, what have you been reading or listening to?

Michael Reynolds:

Sure. I'll contribute something. So I read an article recently called New Study Finds Facebook's Interest Targeting is Inaccurate Around 30% of the Time. So I wanted to bring this up just for our listeners because we often have questions about Facebook marketing in our Blueprint Mastermind Community and I get the sense that a lot of us feel like we're crazy when we're trying to deal with Facebook advertising.

Michael Reynolds:

And my message today is that you're not crazy, and here is why. So there's a study from North Carolina State University, it was unspecified, it said a team from North Carolina State University. I can't tell if it was a student project or researchers or whatever. But anyway, they ran a study on Facebook interest targeting and found that it was wildly inaccurate a good portion of the time, about a third of the time.

Michael Reynolds:

And some of the examples they gave were the way Facebook actually creates interest targeting is extremely fluffy and inexact. To the point where basically, if you were just like to open a webpage and spend like one second on it, then Facebook would potentially attribute the topic of that webpage to your interest forever more and you would basically be tagged with that interest, even though it might have been just something random or some very incidental exposure to a particular topic.

Michael Reynolds:

So again, they found that it's very problematic. A lot of people have been complaining about this for a while but this is one study that kind of pointed to the fact that, yeah, this is really just inaccurate. Facebook's interest targeting really doesn't work very well. And so the link is in the show notes if you want to read more about some of the details of it but my message mainly to bring this up was that, hey, massage therapists out there are trying to use Facebook to advertise, you are not crazy, it doesn't work very well.

Michael Reynolds:

So keep that in mind. And it's also a good reminder I think for all of us that Facebook is one tool in our toolbox. But as we've mentioned before, I'm not crazy about over-emphasizing time and effort into one platform, especially Facebook, where there's so much lack of control you have over the outcome. So it can be a great tool, but if you're beating your head against a wall trying to make Facebook ads work, you're not crazy and you're not alone. So I want to bring that up today.

Allissa Haines:

Well, that's validating thank you.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

Who's our next sponsor Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

Our friends at Happyface.

Allissa Haines:

Yes, indeed. This episode is sponsored by Happyface. Face cradles can be wicked uncomfortable for a client and that pressure and stuffiness can really mess up the whole massage experience. Happyface is the most comfy face cradle, makes your face happy. So you can give the most relaxing massage of your client's life. It's got a really neat heart shape design. That means there's no pressure being put on the sinuses around the eyes, it's not going to mess up your client's lashes. And there's a lot less adjusting during the massage to get comfortable.

Allissa Haines:

Happyface is made in the USA. It is seamless, so it's a real easy to clean surface that makes me feel really good about sanitation stuff. And it fits on massage tables, it fits... I knew I was going to mess that up. It is designed to fit on massage tables and massage chairs with Velcro on the entire back surface. So your Happyface is going to stay where you put it and it's compatible with all the other face cradle frames and stuff. You can get 20% off your entire purchase at massagebusinessblueprint.com/happyface. You use code massageBB at checkout, but that's all written on that landing page so you don't have to remember it, you can keep driving safely. That is massagebusinessblueprint.com/happyface.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, so we got a great topic today. I'm excited. So do you want to introduce it? Go for it?

Allissa Haines:

I will introduce it. And I'm hoping that some of the words in it don't get us bleeped out by Facebook. They're not bad words but you should be aware if you read the title of this episode, marketing within the kink community, that we will be using adult words that relate to sex. So we got a listener question a while back and I've edited it a little bit because you didn't need to hear all the gushing about how great I am, this listener thinks I am. So here's the question. As a years long member of alternative communities, such as polyamorous, leather, kink and queer culture, how can I possibly market to these communities without red flagging my business? I haven't really connected my personal and professional life because I've been worried it will give the wrong impression about what I do either to prospective clients or to any governing agencies that may question my business.

Allissa Haines:

I love this question. And part of why I love it because I think a lot a lot of people would say, "You cannot connect them, period. You need to be one person in your personal and social life, and especially in this circumstance, it should not in any way be related it to your professional life." And you know how I feel about black and white thinking. I don't like it. I'm a big fan of gray areas and I think they are worthy of being discussed. So we need to start out with a little bit of education. I know that I did and I needed to know, and I want you to know what we're referring to when we say the word kink. I've got a resource, I looked up a few, I found like the most user friendly that I felt worked and I've got it linked in the show notes.

Allissa Haines:

But in a nutshell, and again, this is super broad, we could go really deep into this concept and I'm not going to, it takes us too far into another rabbit hole. But in a nutshell, kink is a set of pleasurable activities that people choose to do together that in other contexts are not particularly pleasurable activities. It's also called BDSM, which has kind of become like a general term that applies to activities or fantasies or scenes that involve a consensual exchange of power where it's agreed upon ahead of time that one person has more power over another. It might involve physical control, sensory deprivation, restraint, pain, humiliation, being told off, but it's all previously agreed upon and consent is key. All the kinds of things that might be deeply unpleasant but in kink can feel wonderful. It is something that a lot of people they just fantasize about and don't necessarily act on.

Allissa Haines:

Kink can be, but is not always about sex. So that's like a whole other rabbit hole, we're not going to go there. For the purposes of this episode, we're going to assume an overlap here since that's what the listener and our questioner kind of implied they're concerned about. So there's that background. And here is like straight up just the thoughts I offered this person about how I think this could be done well and ethically and appropriately.

Allissa Haines:

Here's my solution. I think that this practitioner needs to niche really hard based on a pathology, so like an actual physical issue like migraine or sciatica or scar tissue work, or a modality like trigger point work or craniosacral or a shiatsu, and or a community, an activity or sub-community that is not at all sex related. So like runners or triathletes or dental hygienists and hairdressers for that upper shoulder stuff.

Allissa Haines:

And there's potential for crossover so all three combined would be like treating neck and shoulder pain, so there's your pathology. Using myofascial techniques, so there's your modality. For people who sit at desks all day, there's your sub-community. You could also just take two of them like shiatsu for weekend athletes. But I think when you hit a niche really hard, your marketing is going to be so obviously not sex work. Now that speaks for itself, when you have a very specific, "I provide therapeutic massage for people with migraines," there's no overlap there, there's no confusion there.

Allissa Haines:

So we've got kind of like the basis of how we practice laid out here, but how do you welcome and attract people from those communities that you're involved in personally without attracting clients who are oblivious to this, I'm very specifically niching concept and those clients who might assume there's an overlap of sex work and how to attract people from those communities without attracting the attention of authorities who might give you crap about it? So I think there's a handful of options here and roots to go. I forgot to warn you guys that it's like the height of allergy season, so my throat is all weird and sore, I'm going to take a sip smoothie.

Allissa Haines:

Sorry about that. Here's some approaches that I think could be useful for this practitioner. One, join an LGBT Chamber of Commerce. It's a national organization, that's got lots of chapter, groups, offshoots in most places. So check out that LGBT Chamber of Commerce and maybe poke around for a really progressive networking group or start your own networking group. All of these people involved in these kink sub-communities also have jobs and businesses and other things that they do outside of this community, maybe it could be good to start a networking group with those people.

Allissa Haines:

I say be a vendor at events within these communities. Pride Month, conferences, conventions, whatever, if it's appropriate for you, if you like these kinds of events, absolutely be a vendor and a sponsor. You want to be yourself when you're presenting yourself at these events, but you also want to be the most professionally facing version of yourself. So for example, you might wear something professional or whatever you wear the massage, you can wear your studded necklace, rock on. Maybe don't have your partner there with the leash attached to it. And I got permission to use that example and you can be yourself, you can still be a member of that community just like I'm the member of variety of different communities but you don't show up to a networking event in a prom gown. You show up as the massage practitioner version of yourself, you can still be yourself.

Allissa Haines:

I say get all the various flags and symbols and keywords that are appropriate on your website, and I'm going to get to like the keyword thing in a second. Get those on your website, have some kind of inclusion signal, you know your community's best so whatever kind of inclusion, logos or whatever makes sense for you, use them on your website. If you feel comfortable, use them physically in your office or on your door, it's personal decision, and get content on your website that makes sense for those communities. So what are the typical, physical, and mental issues for various subcultures here? We've got a lot of, if you're dealing with like a trans community, you might be looking at some dysphoria stuff or scar tissue work for people who've had surgeries. There's a whole bunch of stuff that I didn't make a list of and now that's all I have off the top of my head. But when I said keywords earlier, that's what I was talking about. Content that's super relevant for those communities.

Allissa Haines:

How many potential clients? I wonder, I've often wonder this, don't get massage because they are into bondage or sex play that might leave a bruise and they're worried about getting asked about that. I have a friend who, every time they go to the doctor had asked if they're safe at home and they have to be like, "Yes, I'm safe at home. I'm into this. This is why I have a bruise here. Everything's good and safe." So how many clients don't get massaged because they're getting concerned about getting asked about a physical thing going on related to this. So maybe on your website, you can have something that says you can talk about that kind of issue and that says, "I'm not going to ask you questions about your tattoos or your scars or your bruises." You bring that up yourself if you're concerned. Scar massage, self care for people with surgical or transitioning scars, I mentioned that.

Allissa Haines:

How massage can help with an emotional connection. You could create a resource that's a guide on how to massage a partner or partners with inclusive language for poly families. Poly families get left out of a lot of dialogue so just seeing that you are using the right verbiage and open to that is going to make someone feel a little more comfortable talking to you about what they have going on. I remember a chiropractor telling me about treating people with honeymoon neck. I'm putting quotes around that, because they go on their honeymoon and they sleep all snuggled up, with their head all jacked funny for a whole week or more or they simply just get some low back and hip pain from all of the sex on a honeymoon. I think that is so hilarious and awesome and something that needs to be talked about.

Allissa Haines:

I remember having a client come in years ago, a woman that I just super admire. She'd started dating again in her 60s after being widowed. And she came in and she's like, "My back hurts, my leg hurts because we started having sex so you got to do all the things at first." And I was just one, she's a God to me. And two like, "Yeah, okay, I'm glad you felt comfortable telling me that. I know I need works certain parts because you've just been doing a whole bunch of things your body has not been doing and you've been doing a lot of them all at once." There's got to be something to say related to joint pain or shoulder pain from bondage for a long time. And you don't have to say the word bondage you can use gentler words that the right people are going to understand. There's a little bit of coding here and the people who would not be cool with that, aren't going to notice that kind of verbiage, you could do a resource about how to care for tender skin.

Allissa Haines:

There you go. If there's a little bit of hitting involved or whatever, making some skid red and raw, then a resource about how to deal with that could be really helpful or how when we give a massage, we can avoid any areas that might be tender from a little too much friction. Whatever wording you need to use, you know your community better than me. So that is kind of the whole of my thoughts here. So really hard niching so that it's very specific and obvious what you do and not at all related to sex, joining a community of people who also have lives outside of that community, creating a networking group of people who understand there are two versions of you. Making sure that you're the most professional version of yourself when presenting your business within any of these communities and making sure that your website is super inclusive and accessible. And that is all that I have Michael. What do you got?

Michael Reynolds:

I love it. No, it's really, I love the way you walk through this and the way you kind of highlighted this community and talked about some ways to market to that community. So I love it. And we got some comments from Facebook as well. So I'm going to go ahead and go to Facebook comments here.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. Let me address Elise's. So Elise says, "People like to actively engaged in the kink community, never assume sex." Yes. And I did specify that. I want to make sure, I just didn't want to do a whole episode on that. To advertise services related it to kink, I'm not sure. I don't quite get what's being said.

Michael Reynolds:

I think she's saying, don't relate it to sex, relate it to kink.

Allissa Haines:

Oh, I got it. Okay. For example, rope bunnies who have stiffness, soreness after a tie, I can help, et cetera. See, there was a whole bunch of words there that I actually didn't initially understand. So be assured if someone puts that on their website, a whole bunch of vanilla people aren't going to notice that or be offended. So thank you for that, Elise I really appreciate that. Marcy likes my smoothie. Oh, somebody's asking about what my sweatshirt says. So my sweatshirt I'm going to stand up is it's from Ayanna Pressley. She's a representative from the Boston area. And it says, "Policy is my love language." Also. I like it because it's a really long sweatshirt and it's staying really soft on the inside. So thanks for the questions about my sweatshirt.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. I do want to note that when when I was preparing this episode, I was really nervous that I was going to use the wrong verbiage or say the wrong thing. Our original questioner, when I originally answered said that I expressed things mostly properly in my answer. So talking about something I don't have a lot of in depth knowledge about. So I apologize to members of these communities or people who are more educated than me if I've gotten some verbiage wrong, or if I've put off the wrong vibe, I'm happy to having a guest and doing another episode on this. So I put this off for a couple months because I was so nervous about getting it wrong, but I also really think it's a neat topic. But yeah, I have a really hard time with the black and white stuff.

Allissa Haines:

I remember being in massage school and stuff being like, "It's never acceptable for a client to tell you about their erections or to talk about out their penis." And turns out that's not true because if you have a client that you've known for years and then they get diagnosed with prostate cancer and then they have their prostate taken out and then they have a really hard time in recovery with scar tissue and nerve growth and impotence and the medical treatments that go along with that and that's something that they feel they need to tell you about because it might be relevant to their care, it's absolutely appropriate for a client to tell you about their erections.

Allissa Haines:

And I have to tell you, one of the best days of my career was when a client with all of those things came in and said, "It got hard on its own and was so excited to share that major victory two years after prostate surgery." Totally appropriate. Wasn't a weird vibe at all, it was just part of their health. And I think that we need to remember that sex is part of our lives for many people, also not for others, and that's cool. And it's part of our health, it's part of our happiness and our mood and our relationships and everything else that relates to our holistic being and health. And we need to not be afraid to say the words. That's all I got.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, great. Well, before quick tips, let's give a shout out to our sponsor, ABMP.

Allissa Haines:

Yay, ABMP. I am flipping screen so I can find that ad. Okay. ABMP, thanks for being a sponsor for us. One of the many, many benefits of ABMP membership is let's talk about their apps, the five minute muscle app and the ABMP pocket pathology. You can learn more about both of them at abmp.com/apps, A-P-P-S. They are quick reference guides designed to help you very fast and very easily find the information you need to make a snap decision about session planning. When that client walks in and throws something at you that you've never heard of before you can open this up and in the time it takes them to get on the table, you're going to be able to find what you need. They use progressive web app technology in order to take up less space on your phone or device, they are included with ABMP membership, and they're sample demos for non-members abmp.com/apps.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Well, before we get to quick tips, Elise also popped in with a comment saying she loved this podcast topic. So thank you for that, appreciate it.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. Thanks for being patient through my stumbling. I appreciate you Elise.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Quick tips. You want me to share what I got?

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, because I got nothing. I'm tired.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. I got something. So this actually relates, I like the theme here because we're kind of related to, marketing and targeting and websites. So anyway, I've been reading some Twitter posts for people talking about website usability lately and a great thread I read really just kind of drove home the simplest point that we often don't do, which is on our websites, how clearly our are we stating the problem we solve or who we target? How clearly are we stating that? How explicit are we being to make sure we're letting people know who we're a good fit for? So my quick tip today is take a look at the homepage of your website and look at objectively as if you're a first time visitor potential client and does it clearly state who you serve? Does it say some generic phrase or does it clearly state massage therapy for X, Y, Z, or particular treatment for, how clear is it? How well do you state, I do this for this particular population?

Michael Reynolds:

Now, if you're not tightly niche or anything, you may have trouble with this and it may be a good exercise to start thinking through who you want to target more carefully. But especially if you do have a niche and you are specializing at least somewhat, make sure your website reflects that. Sometimes it's difficult for us to be bold and to feel comfortable making a strong, bold statement about who we serve on our websites and in our marketing in general, but give it a try and you can always change it back.

Michael Reynolds:

But in general, the clearer you are about who you help, the more you attract the kind of people you want to attract. So take a look at your website today, see if it's worth maybe reworking the phrasing and the content on your homepage because that's the first thing people look at. Often people don't go beyond the homepage, they just go, "Okay, great. Is this for me? Cool." Book online or contact or not. So your homepage phrasing really should be your most important point of contact and the most important phrase you have on your website. So that's my quick tip for today.

Allissa Haines:

And we love looking at stuff like that. We do things like this for our premium members all the time. So if you feel like you need a community of peer mentors or advisors to help you with things like this, then maybe check out our mastermind membership at massagebusinessblueprint.com/mastermind, join our community, and then you'll have a couple hundred people who are delighted to help answer each other's questions and guide our marketing and approach. Was that smooth, Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

That was smooth, well done.

Allissa Haines:

Thank you, thank you very much. I'm trying to make sure that we sell ourselves a little bit on occasion.

Michael Reynolds:

We occasionally do that, yeah.

Allissa Haines:

We forgot to do that for a few years.

Michael Reynolds:

Better late than never.

Allissa Haines:

All right.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. We good?

Allissa Haines:

We're good.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Well, thanks for everyone who stop by on Facebook Live today, we appreciate the comments. And if you would like to reach out to us, Allissa already mention this, but I'll remind you that our website is massagebusinessblueprint.com and you can email us at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. So with that, appreciate you being a listener. Have a great day. We'll see you next time.

Allissa Haines:

Bye.

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