Do you need a kick in the butt to help you get back in the social media game for your massage practice? Look no further. Katherine Parker from Yomassage joins us for this special expert interview episode where she shares her “recipe” for social media marketing success. These simple and accessible tactics will help you approach social media marketing with less stress and better results.
Sponsored by Yomassage.
Sponsor message This episode is sponsored by Yomassage. Yomassage combines restorative stretching, massage, and mindfulness in a small group session. Limited in-person trainings are happening in 2020, and virtual trainings begin the first Monday of each month. You can get a special $50 off on trainings January through March in 2020 using the code BLUEPRINT — that’s all caps, one word, BLUEPRINT. You can go to massagebusinessblueprint.com/yomassage to find out more about Yomassage trainings and use that special code BLUEPRINT for $50 off.
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 am Michael Reynolds, your host today. I’m really excited to be hosting an expert interview episode for you. This is the expert interview episode where we take a little bit of a detour off the beaten path of our usual Friday episodes, and we bring on an expert in a particular topic, and we interview that expert to help teach us more about that topic. I am especially excited today because we have a guest who’s been with us before, who’s been on the podcast, she’s a friend of Massage Business Blueprint, a lovely person, a super smart businesswoman, and somebody you’re going to be thrilled to hear from today. We are talking with Katherine Parker from Yomassage.
Katherine Parker Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be back here with you.
MR Thanks for coming back. I’m glad you like us enough to come back.
KP Of course. Yeah, we love you guys.
MR [Laughing] That’s great. It’s always a good sign. [Laughing]
MR Katherine, I would love to start things off by just kind of refreshing our audience if they haven’t heard about you before, kind of who you are. And I’ll kickstart it by just kind of stating that you, along with your business partner, Tiffany Ryan, are the founders of Yomassage.
And I got to say, Yomassage is taking the world by a storm. What’s your secret? You guys are everywhere. You guys are featured on ABMP’s magazine. You’re featured in all these different places. Your social media game is on point. You guys are just really out there building your brand in a really vibrant way. I love to see how much success you are enjoying.
KP Well, thank you. Yeah. I think I’ll kind of go over a little bit of what we do, like, social mediawise today whenever we’re talking about that. But yeah, I think just — it’s been crazy for us too, and most of it’s been unexpected. 2019 was just insane. So yeah, I’m excited to see what happens in 2020. But I’ll definitely get into kind of like some of the tips and tricks that we’ve used as far as branding and social media, whenever we get into that today.
MR Yeah, and that is our topic today. I’m calling our topic “A Social Media Marketing Recipe for Massage Therapists” because the way you’ve outlined your notes here is a really nice simple recipe for massage therapists to follow based on your success. And so I’m really excited to hear that. So we’ll get a little background on you, we’ll take a break and we’ll talk about Yomassage because you’re also our sponsor today. And then we’ll dig into the recipe.
That sound all right?
KP Yeah, that sounds great.
MR All right. All right. Let’s do it. So background on you. Obviously, you and Tiffany founded Yomassage.
How did you get to this point of founding the business, founding Yomassage? And what is your background specifically in marketing and social media?
KP I actually — I used to own a yoga studio here in Portland. I had a small yoga studio called My Yoga Room, which is actually where we started Yomassage and where I met Tiffany. So I have kind of that local experience for marketing, which I think is the most relevant for massage therapists, that I’ll mostly talk about today. Then I ended up purchasing another yoga studio that was much larger. We moved our Yomassage classes over there, and I was there for about a year. And then I sold that studio just a few months ago to focus more on Yomassage.
But yeah, Tiffany and I just met because she had moved to Portland, and she was looking for a studio to teach at. Her background’s actually in social work. She’s a social work professor and has her Ph.D. She took a sabbatical to learn massage and yoga, and then she went to massage school. And so whenever she came to the studio wanting to teach, she was telling me about her background in massage and why she loves it so much. And it just really kind of got me thinking about how I would really love to be able to get massage more often, and it’s not something that I really ever did for myself except for once a year on a birthday, or maybe not even that often, really, which is kind of crazy. Probably talking to a massage therapist right now, they’re like, what?
But yeah. And then I was like, well, we have to figure out a way to make this something that people can do on a regular basis. And I’m thinking like, how do we get people in once a week or multiple times a week to be able to receive touch? And yeah, so that’s kind of how we came up with the idea of Yomassage. And we started testing it out in my tiny little studio, and then we moved it over to the bigger studio. And now we’re just training therapists across the country.
MR Yeah so it comes to social media, like I said, your strategy is pretty on point. You’ve got almost 2000 followers on your Facebook page. You’ve got over 3000 followers on Instagram. You post on a regular basis. And it looks like you have a lot of engagement, a lot of activity. You really seem to have a really great approach to social media marketing.
Were you always this good at it, or was it something you learned recently?
KP No. I was not always good at it. I have definitely learned over the years, especially from the studio, I learned how the photos really make a big difference — just the quality of the photos — and got into just hiring photographers so we get consistent photos like that. And then really just sticking to a certain set of color schemes and fonts is really important.
I think at the beginning, I was really all over the place. I’d be like, ooh, I like this layout or whatever and these colors. It was just all over the place, and nothing really matched or was consistent. The image qualities were so different. And I think it was a conversation with a friend who was just like, this is the most important part of your business is the branding and how people see your company. And I was like, wow, that’s really powerful, and that really resonated with me. And I just started looking at other brands and found some that I really liked what they were doing and kind of used those as templates for what we do now.
MR Yeah. Awesome. So that’s really encouraging, I think, for our listeners, who hearing you say, oh, I wasn’t always great at this. I was all over the place. I had to learn some stuff. Hearing you say that, I think, is really validating for people that are feeling like they struggle. They wonder, oh, am I just not talented at this stuff? Am I just not good at it? And it sounds like it’s an example of someone — you’ve gotten really good at it through learning and effort and practice — which is great — just like anything else.
KP Yeah, you definitely — it’s something that you have to learn. I don’t think it’s even something that you can — you can’t really go to school for it or take a class on it, like you can pick up tips and tricks throughout the — through these podcasts — or just really going and looking at other brands that you like or other massage therapists, which I’m going tell you guys a few that you can look at their profiles and some that I really like too.
So yeah, and I think what we’re going to talk about, too, is consistency is really key. So even if you do have some good posts, and then it’s like, okay, you’re not posting again until a month or two later, that’s not really going to work even if it’s really pretty and nice-looking. So the consistency part is equally as important.
MR Here’s a question for you. I want your opinion on this. So a lot of people think, oh, digital marketing — and specifically social media — changes all the time, and I’ve got to keep up with all this stuff, and it moves so fast.
What is your opinion? Do you think that much has really changed, or do you think that in general, we are just still not that great at the fundamentals? [Laughing] What’s your opinion?
KP [Laughing] Yeah, I agree with that. I don’t think that it’s changed that much, and I think that these strategies that I’m using right now I could have been using two or three years ago. I really don’t think it’s changed. I think maybe what changes is more of the tracking and the analytics and all that stuff, which I don’t really think that most massage therapists that we’re talking to need to be doing in that detail. Some of these — these basic things that we’re going to talk about today — are not anything that’s going to change, that has changed in the past few years, or I don’t think will change in the near future, either.
MR Yeah. Now, the algorithms change, obviously. And the way that Facebook, for example, will display information based on how it handles data does change. But in general, you’re right. It’s content. It’s reaching the audience with a strong brand and a message that resonates with them. And that never really goes out of style, does it?
KP No. And I don’t — maybe some other people would notice a huge change in their engagement when the algorithms change, but I still would stick with the same principles. And most of my strategies don’t really have anything to do with the algorithms or anything like that. I know I’ve heard Instagram is going to take away likes or whatever. I don’t think that’s going to make a difference at all to any of the stuff that we talk about today.
MR Yeah. It’s funny. When some big change happens like Instagram, people lose their minds for 24 hours, and then life goes on. It’s like, oh, no! No more likes. Okay, who cares? [Laughing] It doesn’t really matter.
KP Yeah. Exactly.
MR Well, let’s dig in to it after a quick break. Let’s take break because you are also sponsoring today’s episode through Yomassage. So let’s take a quick break, and I want to hear about Yomassage specifically.
Can you tell our audience what Yomassage is, why they might be interested in learning more about it, and what to do next if they are?
KP Yes. What Yomassage is is a way that you can serve your clients in a group setting, which not only makes your services more accessible in price, but it makes it more accessible to people because they might not be comfortable with the concept of going in a room with a stranger and getting a massage. It just makes everything more comfortable for people. It’s fully clothed. It’s in a group environment. We teach trauma-sensitive language and just really the concept of making everyone feel comfortable and welcome in these classes.
So really our whole idea and mission is to make touch — therapeutic touch — more accessible. We combine restorative stretch, massage, and mindfulness into a class setting. We can serve up to five people in your group setting by yourself. If you have an assistant or multiple therapists, you can serve even more people. But it’s just a really deeply relaxing experience because of the meditation and the stretch and the touch. We’re just so excited to see all of these therapists that we’ve trained doing classes. And to hear the experiences from the clients is really, really, amazing. A lot of people say that they were feeling more relaxed than they would in a normal massage. And yeah, it’s just been really fun to go on this journey in 2019.
MR And here’s what I like about Yomassage as well. It makes your massage practice more scalable. Allissa always yells at me for using business-speak words like “scalable”, so I’m going to define for you. [Laughing] So for our audience, it’s just in case it’s a little weird, so scalable — what I’m referring to is, you can make more money by serving more people at the same time because you’re not just serving one client at one time, you’re serving up to five, for example, or more if you have an assistant. And you can work fewer hours but also make more money at the same time.
Is that correct?
KP Yeah. That’s exactly right. So our therapists on average are serving about five people in the classes, and they’re charging anywhere from $45 up to $80 per person for the class. And then the classes last around average of 75 to 90 minutes. So yeah, you can definitely make a lot more money than you would in just a one-on-one. It’s really interesting because a lot of other professions like acupuncture and yoga have all — they’re all switching to a group environment, and meditation, but it’s something that massage hasn’t done yet, and this is kind of our way to allow this to become better served in a group setting.
MR Nice. And I know we have a special for our listeners, so January through March you can use a special code to get a discount on training. For our listeners, if you want to check out Yomassage and sign up for a training, you can go to massagebusinessblueprint.com/yomassage and use the special code, BLUEPRINT, all caps, for $50 off.
I think you have to use all caps, correct?
KP It shouldn’t matter, but just use all caps, just in case.
MR Just to be safe? All right. Just to be safe, all caps, BLUEPRINT. So again, that’s massagebusinessblueprint.com/yomassage. Use the code, all caps, BLUEPRINT, and then we can get you $50 off a training during that time period. So thank you for offering that special to our listeners. We appreciate that.
KP Yeah, of course.
MR All right. So let’s jump in to a social media recipe for our listeners, for massage therapists. Let’s talk about — let’s learn from your recipe on what’s been successful for you and bringing it to our listeners. First off, let’s talk about platforms.
What are some of your favorite platforms, and what do you like to see massage therapists use in terms of the actual social platforms?
KP My recommendations are a Facebook page. A lot of you guys already have a Facebook probably. You just need to set up a page for your business if you don’t already have that. And then we’ll talk about what you can post on that page. And then we have Instagram feed, which is really important, and your Instagram stories, which is different than the feed, and having a regular newsletter as well. So these are the main —
MR What? An email newsletter?
KP [Laughing] Yeah. I know. I know.
MR That’s so 1995. Really? [Laughing] I kid because so many people think, oh, email marketing is so old school, but you know what? It really still works really well for a lot of people. So I’m glad that you mentioned that in the same lineup as social media properties.
KP [Laughing] Yeah. Yeah. For sure. I think that that’s really important. There’s so many other things you can do: Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, all this other stuff. But these are really the top four things that I think you should be focusing on. If you can just really forget about everything else and focus on this, I know that you guys — most of you are trying to run your practice at the same time and doing everything that’s involved. So I think if you can just focus on a few key things, so that you can spend the rest of your time making money.
MR Love it. Okay. So Facebook page, kind of a must. Instagram feed, which is the stuff you see when you scroll by. Instagram stories, which I never click on personally, but I know a lot of people love those more. You click on the things at the top where people do videos or little longer form things there. And then, of course, email newsletter.
I know you’re going to get to newsletter platforms, email marketing platforms later, so I’ll hold that thought. But let’s talk about how much you should be posting. There’s a lot of different variety of schools of thought out there. Allissa and I even argue about this because I’m like, hey, we should post five times a day on Facebook because the algorithm says that’s the right balance. And she’s like, no, that’s too much. People get bored. Once a day. So right now, we switched from five times to one time a day, and we’re going to see how that goes. But people argue about this all the time.
In your experience and what’s worked for you, what’s your recommendation on how much people should be posting?
KP I have different recommendations for all these different — those top four different feeds, I guess. But Instagram, I really do think posting every day or every other day if you can’t do every day, it’s really — even on the weekends, just — we’ll talk about scheduling it out. It’s super easy. So yeah, just really consistently every day I think it’s important. We post every day, Monday through Sunday; so every day of the year, 365 days, so that part’s important.
MR Okay. And what types of things do you post or do you recommend massage therapists post?
KP I would recommend getting professional photos of your practice. It shouldn’t be that expensive. You can find a good photographer that can take good photos for probably around $100 to $300 for an hour session, which is probably all that you’ll need, and you can get some good photos that will probably last you for months. Just set up that every few months, so you can get consistent photos for your feed. And personal photos that you’re in as well, I think, are really important.
If you don’t want to do that, I know that you guys have stock photos that you’ve taken — don’t you? — that a therapist can use.
MR Yeah. Our premium members have access to our professional stock photo library.
KP Yeah. That’s an option too. But I do think that just scheduling that time to get photos of your practice, your room, your business, and yourself would be really, really beneficial. And then, just other things are tips related to your niche. I know you guys talked about having a niche, and there’s a lot of different episodes that you guys can listen to on this podcast that will go into that in more detail. But finding what your niche is, and then posting.
So for example, if you’re mostly doing prenatal massage, posting tips that would be relevant to that audience. Or if you’re mostly doing sports massage, posting tips that would be relevant to the audience. Then, videos of you talking are really important because people need to get to know you. And then, just quotes about self-care or any inspirational quotes are always good to post on your feed as well.
MR Okay. What about Instagram stories? Are they different?
KP Instagram stories are different. I would do a few stories a day. I think Allissa’s really good at posting stories.
Do you ever watch her stories?
MR Yeah. She’s really good at Instagram. Instagram is not my favorite. I’m like an “old school, Facebook, LinkedIn” kind of person. She’s all over Instagram and does a really good job at it.
KP Yeah. Yeah. Go look at her stories. But really, it’s just like, what are you doing today? It’s more personal. It doesn’t have to be pretty like I think your feed should be. It can really just be really casual. Whatever you’re doing, you don’t need to wait until you’re in a tropical place or whatever. Try to do something once or a couple times a day where you’re about to give a massage. Just hop on, open up the app, and say, hey, I’m about to do prenatal massage. It’s really awesome because yada-da-da-da. Maybe you show — turn the camera around and just show what your room looks like as you’re setting up for your massage. Maybe you show your coffee for that morning. I don’t know.
It can be something really simple. But again, it needs to be consistent, or else people aren’t going to care. If you’re just posting something once a month, people are — they don’t know you, and they’re not going to care what it is. But if they feel like they’re getting to know you on a daily basis, that’s how you’re going to start being able to connect with your potential clients.
MR These videos don’t have to be professional. In fact, they shouldn’t be, right?
MR I think a lot of people get hung up on, oh, I’m not good on video, and I’ve got to have the right lighting and the right script and all this stuff. What you’re suggesting sounds like, literally, taking one minute, opening your phone, shooting something in your room where you’re saying a little tip or story or something, and then shutting it down and posting it.
That’s it, right?
KP Exactly. Yeah. You don’t want it to seem scripted or anything like that. You want it to seem really casual, really personal. It could be in your bedroom, in your living room. It could be at your office. It could be in your car. It could literally be anywhere, and yeah, I would say you don’t want it to be professional. Don’t spend too much time on it. Maybe at the beginning, you’ll be, oh, you don’t like it, so you erase it and try it again. But that’s just going to make you not — it’s going get you out of the habit. It’s not going to make you want to post, so just get comfortable with yourself and your audience that you feel like you don’t have to try that hard in your stories.
MR That’s great advice. Allissa and I take that approach to our podcast. I don’t think we’ve — we rarely edit. We edit if there’s something like a delivery person rings the doorbell and we have to step away or something — something major. But in general, we rarely edit the podcast. We just click record and go for it, and whatever happens, happens. We just don’t care.
MR And so far, we’ve had 276 episodes here. So far it’s working, so I think it’s really good advice to tell people not to overthink this video thing. Just click record, do something, and then publish it, and move about your day and forget about it.
MR Let’s talk newsletter. What are your newsletter tips?
KP I would say biweekly or monthly. If biweekly sounds like too much for you, I think you could do monthly. But again, you want it to be consistent because I’ve noticed if I — I am subscribed to several different newsletters, and you’ll get accidently subscribed, or someone will subscribe you or whatever. And if I’m not familiar with getting an email from a brand, I have no idea who it is. There’s a couple brands that’ll send me something once every couple months, and I just have no idea who it is because I’m not familiar with them, and it’s not consistent. So I think just having that consistency, whether it’s once a month, biweekly if you can, that just helps so much, and it’s really, really important. And then, having a template for your newsletter.
For all of our newsletters that we plan, we’ve already planned 2020, the whole year, all of our newsletters. You can do that too, especially if you’re doing one a month. That’s 12 newsletters that you have to plan. It’s not really that many. And just talk about — you can do what your availability is for that month, what’s new in your practice. Did you do any trainings? Are you adding any new products? Are you adding any new services? Do you have any tips related to your niche that you want to add in there as well, maybe a picture or something like that? But you can keep it really, really, simple. It doesn’t have to be some really long, drawn out thing.
MR Okay. All right. Facebook page. Who’s right, me or Allissa? [Laughing] I say post more. She says post less.
KP Have you done an experiment yet? How long have you been just doing — switched to once a day?
MR Yeah. We’re doing the experiment now because we’ve done five posts a day. We use an app called MeetEdgar that is a little more expensive, so I’m not sure it’s right for everybody. But it basically let’s you have a library of content, then recycles content and keeps it fresh. So we were doing five a day until last month some time. And then we looked at our stats, and we did notice that most of our traffic did come from Facebook, so then we backed it down to one post a day about a month ago. We haven’t analyzed it since, so we’re going to take a look and compare and see what happens. So we’re totally in the middle of that experiment.
KP I would say once a day. And then — maybe — it’s probably different for you guys too because you have a national — even worldwide — audience, but most of the therapists are looking for a local audience, so I don’t see — I wouldn’t be able to wrap my head around posting five times a day on Facebook. I think that’s way too stressful for most massage therapists who are trying to run their own practice. But maybe if you are using a tool like that, that it just — it’s doing it for you.
Is that kind of what the MeetEdgar does? It just kind of like (indiscernible) —
MR Yeah. Well, I think you’re right. We have a ton of content. We have a ton of content. [Laughing] But you’re right. I agree with you. The typical massage therapy practice — that person running their practice is going to have — is probably going to even struggle to find something to post even once a day, and that’s going to be enough.
KP Exactly. Yeah.
MR I think more than that is going to — you’re right, it’s going to get stressful. So I agree with you.
KP Yeah, so once a day, I would say, on Facebook and — what our strategy really is for Facebook is that we plan out our Instagram feed. That’s the most important one for us. And I would say that’s probably the most important one for you as you’re trying to get a local audience. And that post — we use something call Buffer, which we’ll talk about in a second. And we just — we create the post, and then we say, okay, we want this post to be the same exact post to be shared on Facebook, Twitter, wherever. So we make the post so it’s perfect for Instagram.
And then you can edit it like we do. We edit it differently for the different platforms. But I wouldn’t even say that you need to do that. Just create your one post for that day, and then also say that you want that to post on Facebook. I think that’s the easiest thing that you could do. And that way, you still have a presence. If someone goes to your business page, there’s not nothing on there because you don’t want them to go to your page and see nothing. If you have at least one thing that you’re posting a day, I think that’s perfect.
MR Great. All right. You did kind of segue a little bit into tools here, which I love. I’m a nerd when it comes to apps and tools and all the shiny software you can use to manage the stuff.
So yeah, what are your favorite tools to make stuff easier?
KP I actually — one of the reasons that I love the Facebook page that I really just discovered is that it’s like this email/messenger app built in. If you go to your Facebook page, and then you click on Inbox, you can see — you want to make sure that your Instagram is connected to your Facebook, but you can click in there, and you can see your Instagram direct messages, your Facebook direct messages. And then you can see any comments. If someone’s commented on one of your photos or has tagged you, you can reply right there.
I think that counts as a tool that would be really beneficial for you because it can be overwhelming, especially whenever you start getting a lot of messages from people or comments, and you have to go through all the different apps to reply, having the Facebook page Inbox up on your desktop and just checking that once a day like you do for your email, I think, can be really, really, helpful and make things less daunting.
Do you ever use that?
MR Yeah. All the time.
KP I think it’s really, really awesome. That would a tool that I would definitely start to get used to. And then my favorite one ever is Buffer. It’s just made —
MR I love Buffer.
KP Yeah. It’s so simple too. I’ve tried other things, I think, like HubSpot. There’s a few other ones that are for scheduling posts, but they just are really complicated. They’re not simple. They’re not easy to use. I think Buffer is really intuitive, and it’s just super, super simple. Basically, what you do is you connect it to all of your socials, and it’s free. If you guys are doing what we’re recommending and just using Facebook and Instagram, you only need to connect Facebook and Instagram to it. What you can do is you’ll click on Facebook, and then it’ll have a place for you to post an image and then write a caption. You’ll do that, and then you’ll schedule a time.
What we do is we schedule all of our Instagram posts for the whole week. I will add the photos that I want posted. And then we do have someone who writes our content. She’ll go in and write all the captions. She’ll change the captions for the different platforms. And then we’ll approve them, and then they’re scheduled to go out. So that’s done for the week. What I would recommend for you guys is to do that all yourself. I don’t think that unless you’re making tons and tons and tons of money, that you need to pay someone to do this, not that we’re making tons and tons of money, but it’s just something that you can do yourself.
It’s super easy, and you want it to be personal too. You want people to connect with you and be booking with you, so I think it’s really important that it’s coming from your voice. So yeah, just schedule. I would schedule for the whole month if you can because the less you have to think about it, the less stress it’s going to be. It won’t take that long to do really.
MR Okay. What else?
KP We have Buffer, scheduling that for the month. And then Mailchimp is what I prefer for emails. I would say that I don’t love love Mailchimp, and they do kind of change a lot, but it’s not something that you can’t keep up with.
Do you have an email tool that you like that’s better than Mailchimp that you would recommend?
MR Oh, I do. I’m on a huge kick right now for MailerLite.
MR It’s MailerLite spelled L-I-T-E. I love MailerLite because I’m with you; I don’t love Mailchimp. It’s fine. It works great, but I feel like they keep adding stuff and adding features, and it gets clunky and just has too much stuff there. MailerLite is like, hey, you know what? We’re just this chill email marketing app that sends emails. That’s what we do. [Laughing] It’s so easy to use. The templates are so clean. The drag & drop editor is so comfortable. There’s not a ton of features. You set up your emails. You schedule them. And you send them. It gives you a basic reporting. It’s all you need. And it’s free up to 1000 subscribers, so I feel like MailerLite is the perfect email marketing app for small business.
KP Okay. Yeah. That sounds awesome. I know Mailchimp, it just keeps getting more and more expensive, and they keep changing their pricing models. It’s just crazy. Every month they’re upping our plan, which is ridiculous, but it does — we’re used to it now, and it is kind of hard to change once you’re already using a certain platform. And it does integrate with a lot of different things like Acuity, which we use for our scheduling.
Does the MailerLite — does it integrate with all of your stuff that you want it to?
MR I believe it does through Zapier. It does have a Zapier integration, so I think it does. I haven’t tried that specific integration personally, but I’ve seen it.
KP Okay. Use MailerLite or Mailchimp or whatever you’re using. Just pick a template. Like Michael said, I think that — stick with one because, again, if you have a template, and then you completely change it, the next time you send an email, your audience might not even realize that that’s coming from the same person. So try to keep it looking pretty consistent. Try to keep the topics interesting that they want to read. More of like tips, less like, oh, here’s $20 off or whatever. Make it more tips that would be useful for them, like self-care tips or “five reasons that you should get a massage on a regular basis” or something like that.
MR Yeah. Okay. I noticed you’re a Canva fan for graphics. Do you like to use Canva for graphics?
KP I am. I’m a Canva fan. There’s a lot of people that aren’t, and I don’t really understand why. I know that there’s people — [Laughing]
MR Yep, that’s me. I hate Canva. I hate Canva so much. [Laughing]
KP That’s what people say in our trainings because they’re always recommending, you know, use Canva. There’s always a handful of people that are like, uh, I hate Canva. It sucks.
What don’t you like about it?
MR I don’t know. It feels clunky. I’ve discovered an app called Snappa. Apparently, I’m the peanut gallery today to offer alternatives to all of your good advice. For some reason when I use Canva, I don’t know, it never really — I can never get things the way I want. It just feels like it’s just hard to use. When I use Snappa, Snappa is S-N-A-P-P-A, and it’s basically a tighter box. Basically, it says, hey, pick your social graphic. Here’s some images. Put them together. It’s very locked in. And it makes it really easy for me to click a couple buttons and create graphics really quickly. It doesn’t do as much as Canva does, but I think that’s why I like it. I think most people love Canva. So don’t listen to me, everybody, go use Canva. It is really good. I’m just a cranky person that likes Snappa. It sounds like you really love Canva.
KP I do. I love Canva. I’ve been using it for many years. I like that I can put my brand colors in there, and that’s on every single thing. If I make a different template or for stories or whatever, I can still use my brand colors. They have all the fonts that I know that I want. I will say that it does sometimes, if you’re doing something with a lot of text, it can be a little bit finicky sometimes. The mobile app does not work for Canva, so don’t even try it on your phone because it’s bad.
KP So I would say stick to the desktop. But I really like it. I really like their templates. There’s tons of other things. Spark Post is the one that I like for mobile. I pretty much do everything on my desktop now, so I stick to Canva. But if I was going to make something on my phone, I would use Spark Post, which is an Adobe app. But it’s free. If you have an account with Adobe, it’s obviously free, but it should be free for anyone to use.
I think that it does have a watermark, but you can remove it, and it doesn’t cost you. I think a lot of these apps will try to make you think that you have to pay for certain things, but you actually don’t. I know Canva does that. It makes you think that you have to buy the premium, but you just click out of it, and it doesn’t make you. Same thing with Spark Post. It’ll make you think it has a watermark, but then you just click off of — you remove it, and it’s fine. You don’t have to pay for it.
MR Oh, sneaky. Okay.
KP I know. I know.
MR If you want to make social graphics, Canva and Spark Post are your absolute best.
KP Those are my favorites.
MR All right. Great.
KP I would recommend also, just for all of these things is to just take some time right now — if you don’t have this already — is pick a color scheme for your business. Pick three or four different colors. Write down the color codes. I like to put them in an Excel sheet so that I can just copy and paste them anytime I’m doing something. If I need to create a graphic on Canva, I have those three or four different colors that I always use ready.
Same thing with Spark Post. If I was going to move over to Spark Post, and they don’t save my color schemes, I can just have an Excel spreadsheet, and then I can just copy and paste those color codes. Same thing with fonts. I would pick a couple different fonts that you like so that you’re always using the same ones, and it will make your brand look more cohesive and put together.
MR Yeah. Great advice. All right. The thing I want to — let’s talk local. And the reason I want to talk local is because one of the things that is frustrating to a lot of small business owners is all this marketing advice out there, a lot of it applies to a bigger business or national scale and all these general rules. It doesn’t always apply to tiny, local audiences like we have.
Talk to me about the specific things we can do to attract a local audience.
KP For local audience, I think it’s actually easier than a national or a global audience. So what I would recommend is hashtags are still awesome and relevant. I don’t know how much it helps with your algorithm, but I think as far as getting eyeballs from your local community — or maybe not even having your local community come to you from that hashtag, but it allows you to find other people in your community that are interested in like-minded things, and then you can connect with them.
I would always recommend using local hashtags. If you’re posting a picture of your massage room, and then you just tag #massage, that’s going to do nothing for you in getting local engagement. You always want to do like #massagepdx or #massage — wherever you are. Just make sure that there’s other hashtags that are using that. I would do like #massageportland, #massagepdx, and other relevant things in the health and wellness world that are not necessarily related to massage, but it could be like #pdxwellness or #healthylivingpdx. Yeah, just finding ways — or just doing some searching on your local hashtags and see which ones you want to use. You can use up to 30.
MR So you work at actually going — you go to the search bar or the search box in any social app and look for — you type in keywords, and that will bring you a list of hashtags that are popular, right? Is that how people would search?
KP Right. So I would go to — go to your Instagram app, and then search. Go to Hashtags, and then search something that you think would be a popular hashtag like #massagepdx, and see, if there’s only 50 people using that hashtag, I wouldn’t really bother it — bother with it. But I would look for something that has a thousand or a few thousand or up to maybe like 50,000 hashtags for that specific hashtag. But if you want to find something that’s — I wouldn’t use something that has very little hashtags because no one’s obviously using that. But yeah, just search around a little bit. Look at — even like #pdxyoga or #yogapdx. Things that are similar to massage will help you find other people that interested in the same types of things.
MR Okay. Great. Other local tips.
KP Tag your location always. You can do this in every post. You can do this through Buffer, and you can even put hashtags in Buffer too. In Buffer, you can — uploads that you want to use, write your caption, and then you can tag your location. I would just do the city that you’re in. If you’re in Portland, put Portland, or Springfield or wherever. I wouldn’t do your business location. Do a more broad location. A lot of people do search location hashtags. And then you can do the first comment on Buffer. You might have noticed that a lot of people put the hashtags in their first comment instead of on their post. You can pick those hashtags that you want to use and copy and paste them into your first comment on Instagram. And that’s already pre-scheduled for you.
MR Now, I’ve noticed that on the free version of Buffer, that feature does not exist. It looks like you can’t do the first comment on the free version.
You use the paid version, it sounds like, right?
KP We use the paid. I don’t think it’s that expensive. I think you pay for the year, and it’s going to be $100 or something like that —
MR Okay, got you.
KP — but it’s not — if you don’t want to pay that, do you don’t have — I wouldn’t say posting your hashtags in the first comment is the most important thing ever.
MR [Laughing] It’s not going to make or break your business if you don’t post that first comment.
KP [Laughing] Exactly. Yeah. But yeah, I would definitely tag your location. I think that’s really important. And then in your stories, you can add a location. I would do that too because you never know. Someone might be looking through just the Portland hashtags, and then they might see you, and that’s how they come to your page.
And then the really important thing that I would recommend doing daily — devote ten minutes a day to this — is just going through those local hashtags like #massagepdx or #pdxwellness, something that you might actually find customers instead of businesses because most customers are not going to be using #massagepdx. Customers might be using more like #pdxwellness or #healthylivingpdx. Go through those, and then like those photos, and then comment on them. And don’t comment things that are spammy. I think emojis, just one emoji, is kind of spammy. If you are going to go through and comment on people’s stuff, I would say comment something relevant to that post. It doesn’t have to be super long or anything. It could just be like, oh, that looks so good. Or if it’s food or something, that looks so good.
MR Yeah. Try to be real. Try to be authentic.
KP Yeah. Exactly. Don’t just do a heart. That’s not going to do anything really. I think that part is really, really important. That’s what’s going to help get important — or the people — consumers eyeballs on your page is by interacting. You can’t just expect to post on your feed and hope that someone’s going to get to your page because, in reality, that’s not going to happen. You do need to get your name out there.
And then my favorite thing that has been really, really awesome for us is partnerships and giveaways. Figure out something that you can give away in your business. Maybe you find that once a month it’s worth it for you to give away a 60-minute massage on Instagram. Maybe that’s too much for you right now, but I think that that will really, really — it makes a big difference in engagement. And it makes — a lot of people are going to come to your page for that. You want to make the giveaway something that people have to share or comment three friends if they want a chance to win.
And then partnering with other local businesses to do this — maybe with a tea shop — and you say, okay, here’s a giveaway for this tea business or coffee business. They’re going to give away a free cup of coffee. I’ve giving away a free massage, and this other business is giving away a free yoga class, and we’re all working together. Then those other businesses are posting about it too. And then your — t the requirements are that they have to follow all of those businesses and comment on all of the posts. It’s going to get you a lot of engagement, a lot of followers, and also people who are interested in those types of services.
MR That’s a great idea.
KP And it doesn’t — it’s not that time consuming really, just reaching out to those businesses. They should want to participate. That’s all it really takes. And just maybe if you find two or three businesses that you like working with, you just schedule, okay, on the first of the month we always do this certain giveaway. It just really, really makes a difference in engagement and your presence.
MR Great. I think you mentioned you were going to give us some examples of pages to look at, right?
KP Yes. So I have a few different people that I would recommend. They’re all massage therapists. They’re all Yomassage therapists as well. Linda — and I think she — Linda’s definitely a listener of this podcast too, so hopefully she’s listening to this episode.
MR Shoutout to Linda.
KP [Laughing] Shoutout to Linda. Her Instagram handle is @vitalitytmy, and I just think she has really professional photos. I know she does schedule professional photoshoots every so often for her feed. They’re photos of herself. They’re photos of her giving massages. That’s what she does a lot. And then she also posts a lot of quotes and different flyers and stuff, and her feed just looks really, really nice, and it’s really consistent. So definitely look at Linda’s feed.
MR Yeah. It looks nice. I’m looking at it now.
KP Yeah. And then, @massagemovil. She is out of San Antonio, and she is really, really awesome at marketing as well. She does a lot of tips, and she does — she’s just very comfortable talking on the camera and in her stories and in her feed. She does a lot of tips, or she’ll just be talking about her business or certain classes that are coming up. With Yomassage, we do themes every month. So like, we had a New Year’s theme for this month, so a lot of people are talking about the New Year’s theme. And we have a couples theme for February, so you can talk about that or whatever your niche is. But just being comfortable, connecting with your audience, I think, is something that’s really important. I think she does that really, really well.
She’s also been featured on her local news too. It’s really easy to just reach out to your local news stations. It might be hard to hear back sometimes. But if you’re doing something really interesting, then it’s likely that they’re going to get back to you, and they might want to cover — do a segment on you or something. And she’s been successful on that. And then just working with bloggers in San Antonio. A lot of people have written blogs about her business. She’s really great.
And then, @healingthrufood, Dori. She’s in L.A., and she does a lot of the same things too. She gets on her stories and is talking all the time, showing pictures of her classes, of her massages, posting flyers, posting personal photos of herself, so her audience really associates her with her brand. She also is a nutritionist, so she posts a lot of pictures of her food and does food tips.
Those three I would look at. And they’re not people that have massive 20,000 followers or 50,000,100,000. I think all three of these women have under — a few thousand followers. So even — I think some of these have under 1000 followers. So you don’t need a huge following to have a good base audience.
MR That’s great. Thank you for those examples.
KP Yeah. I would recommend one other person.
Do you follow Joe Therapy? Do you know who that is?
KP He has actually a really, really big following on Instagram. I think he has over a million followers. He does a really good job — I believe he’s a massage therapist — of just posting tips and growing his following through all of the stretches and stuff that he posts. So check him out as far as ideas for types of tips that people might be interested in.
MR Okay. Nice. Yeah, I see 1.3 million followers, so he’s doing something right. [Laughing]
MR Awesome. This has been amazing.
As we wrap up, do you have any other closing tips or recommendations or anything else you’d like to leave our audience with?
KP Yeah, so my final recommendation would be really to spend a few hours of one day a week, really, just scheduling your content for that week. I don’t want you to be, every single day, sitting down and thinking about, oh, no. I have to post. What am I going to post? Plan it a week or even two weeks ahead, so you don’t have think about that. you can focus on other things in your business. And then spend — check in maybe for 15 or 30 minutes a day, and do those liking or commenting. Post a story, so you can see that really this doesn’t have to be something that’s taking you hours and hours. I would say maybe take three hours a week to schedule your posts for the next week or two. And then you’re checking in for 15 to 30 minutes a day.
It’s just going to — that’s how you’re going to take away the stress, and that’s how you’re going to keep it consistent. I can tell you that for sure, if you’re not planning ahead, if you’re just taking it day by day, you’re not going to be consistent, and it’s not going to work out long-term. So plan ahead. Be consistent. Have decent content. I don’t want you guys to get wrapped up on like, it has to look perfect or else I’m not posting it because then you’re not going to post anything. So just make sure it’s looking like a cohesive brand, but think more about putting stuff out that’s consistent and relevant than trying to make it look perfect.
MR So don’t overthink it, huh?
KP Don’t overthink it. [Laughing]
MR [Laughing] So hard for us to not do. [Laughing]
KP I know. Yeah.
MR Well, this is great. Katherine, thank you. Thank you so much. This has been phenomenal. I love your recipe you shared with us for how social media’s been so successful for you and Yomassage.
If somebody listening would like to contact you to reach out with a question or say hello, what’s the best way for them to do that?
KP The best thing to do is to join our Facebook group, which is facebook.com/groups/yomassage. And just request to join. We’re posting in there constantly. People are always asking questions. You can pretty much search any question that anyone’s ever asked about us in that group. Tiffany and I are really active in that group as well. So yeah, post in there. I’d be happy to answer any questions about social media or about Yomassage or anything. And we’d just love connecting with you guys.
MR Wonderful. Well, thank you, Katherine. I really appreciate your time. And just a reminder to our audience to definitely don’t forget about the offer going on right now for Yomassage. Check that out as well as follow Katherine on social media. Follow Yomassage. In addition to following the recipe that she’s outlined for us today, go watch what they do. Go learn from what they’re doing on social media. You’ll probably have fun seeing everything they post as well because you guys have a lot of great information you share. Thank you again for joining us. I’m sure you’ll be back again, but thanks for being here today, Katherine. We appreciate it.
KP Thank you so much for having me. Hopefully we can do this again sometime.
MR Yeah. I’m sure we will. All right. Well, thanks, everyone, for joining us today. We appreciate you being with us. As always, you can find us on our website, which is massagebusinessblueprint.com. You can send us a note there if you have any questions. Also, our premium community’s available there. Again, thanks so much for joining us today. Have an awesome day. We’ll see you next time.