Getting reviews for your massage business is important. It gives you instant credibility during those crucial first seconds when a client is deciding, “should I explore this therapist’s page further, or should I go back to looking at cat memes?” It lets curious clients see how other people perceive you. Are they praising your ability to deal with pain? Your expertise? These reviews, along with pictures, videos, and autobiographical information, can form a clear picture of who you are and how you operate before a client even steps into your office. In other words, each new client will be your biggest fan before you even meet.
You may have noticed that clients don’t seem to leave a lot of spontaneous reviews. Even the ones who rave about you and send you referrals don’t always hit up Yelp or Facebook to sing your praises. Over time, that can leave you with a strong online presence, but no outside references to back up your credibility.
Like I’ve said before, I’m no business powerhouse. I have trouble asking clients to pay for their massage, let alone do me favors like leaving me a review. I mean… that’ll take them a whole three minutes! I can’t ask them for that! So, before I get into my strategy, I want to reassure you: The clients who love you WANT to help you out. They wish they could leave you thousand dollar tips and send the world to your door. Giving them another way of helping you isn’t just something they’re willing to do, it’s something they’ll be enthusiastic about!
So start with those clients, the ones you know are your biggest fans. These are your ambassadors, and they can be a real driving influence in your business’s growth. You’ll eventually want to start soliciting reviews from everyone who seems to enjoy your massage, but this is a good jumping off point.
The trick: Ask in two parts. First, after a massage, ask if you can send them an email later with a link to review websites. It’ll sound something like this: “Hey, if I email you a link, would you mind leaving me a brief review on [site]?” Full stop. Don’t say, “but only if it’s not too much trouble,” or anything like that. Remember: They love you, and it’ll take three minutes.
Later, send them an email that sounds something like this: “Hi [name], click here to review me on [Facebook/Google/Yelp/etc]. These reviews let new clients see that I know what I’m doing, and that I’m a bit different. It doesn’t need to be long, and even just a rating would be helpful. Thanks so much!” Notice how I’ve prompted them to leave certain information in their review: That I’m good at what I do, AND how I’m different. This will get you higher quality reviews than the standard “They’re the best, you should see them!”
I’ve had a much higher success rate with this method than either just asking in person OR sending an email. Asking in two parts seems to keep it fresh in their mind, and they’re less likely to think, “well, I’ll do that later.” Once you get the review, make sure to thank them the next time they’re in! Let the gratitude flow both ways, and you’ll each end up as excellent advocates for the other.
What strategies do you use to get reviews? While I have a pretty Facebook-centric strategy, what sites work for you? Have you gotten clients directly from having good reviews?
By the way, I should mention that Allissa and Michael at Massage Business Blueprint have a recent podcast on this very topic, with lots of good info on automating review requests, and how reviews can influence how high you show up on Google searches. Something I’d like to add is that Google has recently started including reviews from other sites (including Facebook) with your business information in search results, so any review is a useful review!