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Truth in Advertising

Now that we’re steadily rolling into 2024 it seems pretty obvious that quite a few spas, solo practitioners, and continuing education companies are flexing their marketing muscle with multiple efforts in social media.


Going through my Instagram account in just these past two weeks, I was bombarded with easily half a dozen sponsored posts from schools, spas, and private practice practitioners.


Personally, I think it’s great that these businesses see the importance of social media and have decided to find new clients using those platforms.


One thing that has disturbed me a bit however is the nature of the advertising. In one post (I won’t name names) I saw a clinic which included massage therapists and PT’s, essentially put down Deep Tissue massage while attempting to extol the benefits of their own way of working.


Their message was basically, “You don’t need Deep Tissue massage, you need (fill in their own modality here)." Again, I’m all for small business using creative ways of marketing their business, but I don’t feel it’s necessary to put down another modality to do so. I was curious to read the comment section and I wasn’t surprised to find people reacting negatively to the sponsored post. I’d go back to the drawing board on that one.


In another sponsored post, a solo practitioner states how amazing they are and how their potential client will receive “instant tension and pain relief.” Ouch.


One of the most basic things that was drilled into me when creating promotions and ads (especially for continuing education) was how important it was not to over promise. This type of marketing has the potential for setting up the practitioner for epic failure and misses a massive opportunity to educate a client on what massage/bodywork can and can’t do.


It's really important to be open and honest in our industry. We have so many hurdles to overcome in this field and bringing other modalities down or exaggerating your own work is just another hurdle we have to overcome.


If you want my two cents, the best way to advertise is to utilize what I believe to be the most powerful marketing tool in the known galaxy: word of mouth advertising. If you learn how to use word of mouth advertising to your advantage, you won’t need to dish out low blows or exaggerate your abilities, but instead focus on your clients and let them spread the honest truth about your practice.

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