/blog/blog_09142011.jpg

In about a month the holidays will be upon on. Not literally, of course, but from a marketing standpoint, they will. As soon as the Halloween candy begins to appear on store shelves, promotions for Thanksgiving and Christmas soon will follow. So it’s definitely not too early to think about what you can do to boost your visibility during this period.


The holidays mean more revenue. Clients no doubt feel the stress of shopping and entertaining, and what’s more relaxing than a massage? And there’s incremental business to be had in body care treatments among clients who want to look their best for holiday parties as well as opportunities for gift certificates and retail.


If online activities are not a big part of your promotional plans, you’re missing a huge opportunity to cost effectively get in front of clients and prospects. No doubt you have a website, but today websites are only a part of an active online marketing effort. There are many other online marketing avenues you can take advantage of, if you aren’t already. Here are some of the other key online marketing activities.


Link Swaps

Enhance your business referral network by swapping links with businesses that complement yours. On your website, set up a links page and link to businesses such as health food restaurants, exercise classes, hypnotherapists and other business that you normally would refer clients to who don’t compete with you. In turn, ask those businesses to include your link on their sites or blogs.


Social Networks

No doubt you have a Facebook page or Twitter account. If you only have a personal presence you might want to also create one for your business. In either case, be active. Post something at least every other day about your business or news and tips about issues in massage therapy or skin care. Share posts that appear on other pages that you feel are worthwhile or echo your own sentiments.


Many people overlook LinkedIn but shouldn’t. LinkedIn provides a great way to build your network of business associates, not to mention many of your customers are probably using it. Also, sign up for the various professional groups on LinkedIn. They help you keep on top of industry events and activities. LinkedIn groups are also a great place to post questions and start a conversation about what’s happening in the marketplace.


Blog

Blogging is certainly a commitment but it is well worth the time. Your blog is a great place to share your thoughts about new treatments, massage protocols, products and other health and wellness tips. Pose a question and engage your followers in a dynamic exchange. You’ll find your followers will grow, and the more followers, the greater the opportunity to attract new clients.


You also should explore opportunities to guest blog. Check with your associates to see who else is blogging and if there is an opportunity for you to provide a guest blog post on their site. Guest blogging also shows you have industry clout, which makes you stand out from the competition.


YouTube Videos

One of the best ways to promote yourself if to create a short how-to video and post it to YouTube. Just consider the marketing opportunity. YouTube is the second most popular website with a trillion page views each month. Consider the impact if your video goes viral. That’s why you want to come up with a theme that has broad appeal. Market your video on Facebook, Twitter and the other social networks and ask everyone to share.


Online Forums

There are many forums where you can engage with other professionals. Forums are a good way to expand your referral network and build new business opportunities.


These are just some of the ways to expand your marketing online. You may not have time for all, but pick one or two to start, and stay with it. You’ll not only gain visibility, you’ll have ongoing conversation with your clients, which makes you even more valuable to them.