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Do male massage therapists have it tougher?

Do male massage therapists have it tougher?

In recent weeks we came across this question... 


Facebook post asking about the challenges of becoming a male massage therapist



It was great to see how many massage therapists took the time to respond and share their experiences. Many talked about struggling to find clients and dealing with people's misconceptions and preferences for female therapists and of seeing colleagues drop out because of the pressures of being a male therapist ... 


Facebook post from Beverley Hunter about male colleagues quitting due to the challenges of being a male massage therapist



Studies have shown that our industry is dominated by female therapists, outnumbering male massage therapists by 4 to 1. 



83% of massage therapists are women


However, looking through the comments, the level of positivity from both male and female therapists was really inspiring and the useful massage therapy business tips being shared seriously impressed us! 


Facebook post from Ian L Terry about the preconceived notions around male massage therapists


As Terry mentions, sometimes clients prefer a male massage therapist as they think they are stronger and might be better at working out tougher knots! The old saying there is a client for everyone really rings true here and the key is to find your niche. Whether there is a particular illness you would like to treat or working with a specific modality. Presenting yourself as a specialist will aid immensely in overcoming any unnecessary worries clients might have! 


Facebook post from Dave Green about struggling to get clients for relaxation massage in the beginning of his career



Many male therapists shared the same experience as Dave that working in sports or remedial massage made it much easier to secure clients and that in time this led to lots of referrals for more general treatments. Never be afraid to ask your most loyal clients for referrals and remember communication is key. If someone mentions a friend or family member is struggling with a certain pain, show off your knowledge with some suggestions of how you can help. Ask your client to take one of your business cards and offer them a discount if their friend books a session with you.  



Facebook post from John Goodenough about working with clothed treatments to build your business as a male massage therapist


Another great option for male massage therapists is to focus on clothed treatments like John. Position yourself as a specialist in headaches or RSI and focus on local business. Create a short pitch and visit in person to offer your services to improve productivity and as a perk for stressed-out employees! 


A matter of professionalism  


Male or female the success of your career as a massage therapist will depend on the way you conduct yourself with clients, your local community and with other colleagues or therapists you encounter. 


 Facebook post from Rodrigo Marcondes Machado about working as a male massage therapist


As we know massage therapy is all about connections and clients can pick up on your energy. Christina provided a great piece of advice for any guys looking to be a massage therapist. Ask the women in your life how you come across and what vibes you give out, you never know what you might be failing to pick up on!  



Facebook post from Christina Martinez about asking tough questions about your demeanour as a male massage therapist



Not all massage therapists run their own business so what can male massage therapists do when they work in a practice and don't have control over the scheduling. Alice shared a great example from her experiences of working as a therapist in a massage clinic which shows how receptionists can help support therapists in tackling this tricky issue. 



Facebook post from Alice Sanvito about using receptionists to help you secure appointments as a male massage therapist


If you are a male massage therapist working within an established massage therapy business and find yourself short of appointments, try subtly listening in to see if your receptionists is using a similar technique to the one above. If not, explain your frustrations and ask for their support. You can share this post with them for an easy way to show how they can help. 


A piece of good news! 



Facebook post from Carley Hippie Cat Neis about clients being more loyal to male massage therapists


For some reason, clients see a good male massage therapist as having a mythical, unicorn-like status. So make sure you give amazing treatments tailored to every client's needs every time and your books will be full in no time! 


To sum up


  • Find yourself a niche so you can position yourself as a specialist, earn more money whilst delivering fewer treatments and free up time to market and grow your massage therapy business. 
  • Ask for referrals from loyal customers and go above and beyond to show your knowledge, professionalism and tailored approach to every client. 
  • Consider a modality like sports massage or clothed treatments whilst you are building your massage therapy business. 
  • Reach out to female friends and family to find out how you come across to potential female clients. 
  • Remain professional in all your dealings with clients, colleagues and in your local community. Word of a bad attitude will spread! 
  • If you work in a clinic listen to the receptionist when they take calls from new clients. Try to find out how the issue of male or female massage therapist is brought up and politely suggest a new technique. 


If you follow these great pieces of advice, there is nothing holding you back from building an amazing career as a male massage therapist! 


If you still struggle to secure clients, check out our blog post to see how you can best promote your massage therapy business in 2019 to make sure you are ahead of the latest marketing trends. 


Are you a male massage therapist? Do you think it is tougher for men to succeed in our industry? Let us know your thoughts in our Facebook thread

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