Marketing is something you should be doing on a ongoing basis. It’s always better to have too many clients than too few, and you can always offer to put new clients on a waiting list if you can’t fit them in. It’s easy to spend quite a bit of money on ads etc., but you really don’t have to break the bank to spread the word about your business. Here are a few ideas for marketing your business for free:
- Talk to local veterinarians and ask if they are willing to refer people to you. Your best bet for this is probably a veterinarian with a more holistic outlook on health care. Go to the American Holistic Veterinary Association’s website to find such a veterinarian in your area.
- Ask your local animal shelter if you may massage some of their animals on a regular basis. Not only will this help you learn and become a better massage therapist, you will also be providing a wonderful service to the animals while they’re waiting for their forever home. And since massage can be a powerful tool to help shy and fearful animals trust us, you might even be able to help an unadoptable animal become adoptable (but please be sure to not put yourself in danger – you may have to start with a different modality such as Reiki or TTouch with a tool before you are able to touch a very fearful animal).
- Visit pet stores and dog daycare centers in your area. Ask if they think that their clients would be interested in having their dog get a massage while at daycare. Or if you may put up your business cards and/or other marketing materials in their store.
- Think about the possibility of doing workshops where you teach dog owners how to massage their own pets. Good places for this would be local pet businesses, dog daycare centers, or your local adult education center.
- Call the hotels and Bed & Breakfasts in your area and ask if they allow pets. If they do, send a letter to the concierge or the owner letting them know that you are available to come to the hotel and massage their guests’ pets. Include a few brochures and/or business cards that they can display or hand out to their guests.
- Contact local rescue and dog owner groups. Ask if they have any upcoming events where you might be able to offer animal massage.
- Consider adding a blog to your website. Sure, it takes a bit more work to write posts and publish them on a regular basis, but potential clients will find you easier that way. Having to write something on a regular basis might also help you define and develop your business further.
- Contact animal (or any local) publications. Ask if they would be interested in an article by you, or even better, you writing a column about holistic animal health on a regular basis in exchange for free advertising. This will give your business great exposure and also help establish you as an authority on the subject.
- Contact dog walking / pet sitting services in your area and let them know about your business and what services you offer. They might have clients that would be perfect for you.
- Find places online where you can post a little blurb about your business (with a link to your blog/website), write a guest post, or list your contact information.
For more ideas for marketing, see our other posts about how to market your business.