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A B M P m e m b e r s e a r n F R E E C E a t w w w. a b m p . c o m / c e b y r e a d i n g M a s s a g e & B o d y w o r k m a g a z i n e 27 Share your love for local businesses and referral partners as you go about your day. Use your favorite social media platform to check in to the businesses you frequent and write reviews for all the local businesses you patronize in your normal routines. Whenever I get my oil changed, I use my Facebook business page to check into the auto shop, and I rave about the great service and superfast Wi-Fi that makes it easy to work while I wait. You can check in at your bank, laundromat, chiropractor, palm reader, and all the other places you hit on your regular errand runs. Follow the social media accounts of all your referral partners and share their relevant posts with your own audience. You could add a small- business blurb to your regular emails and plug a new partner in each email. My very favorite way to send love to my referral partners is an annual "My Favorite Things" blog post. Make a list of your favorite local businesses and write a simple sentence or two about what makes them great. Be sure to include a link to their website. Publish the blog post on your website and share the heck out of it in your emails and social media. It's worth mentioning again: consistency is key. Don't just make one referral and call it a day. Constantly look for ways to support and send business to your referral partners. Once you start looking, the opportunities are everywhere. REWARD YOUR VERY FREQUENT REFERRERS When you get rolling with networking, you'll find you have a few well-connected clients and local business owners who The most obvious way to build the partnership is to send your referral partners new customers. send you lots of new clients. In these cases, it may seem redundant to send thank-you notes every few weeks. A small gift once or twice a year could be a really sweet gesture to show your appreciation. While it's common to send gifts of appreciation during the winter holiday season, I prefer to thank my VIP referrers off- season. It doesn't matter when you do it, but be consistent year to year. A gift doesn't need to be expensive or fancy—simple and thoughtful is enough. And if you can purchase gifts at a local business, even better. Once you get the hang of it, thanking clients and referral partners may become your favorite part of networking. It feels warm and fuzzy to think about how kind and loyal your community can be and even better to be generous with referrals and thank-yous in return. Make it a habit and the benefits to your massage practice will grow over time and help build your client base. Allissa Haines runs a massage practice and collaborative wellness center in Massachusetts. She partners with Michael Reynolds to create business and marketing resources for massage therapists like you at

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