Is 2020 the year you want to grow the client list for your massage therapy business? This is the most common desire for massage therapists but often we can get wrapped up in activities that drain our time, energy and resources and reward us with zero in terms of more massage clients.
But don't fear! Here are our 3 top tips you can start easily implementing today to get more clients and grow your massage therapy business in 2020.
Whilst it is important to have an online presence many massage therapists spread themselves too thin, dedicating hours each week to social media marketing for their massage therapy business. After an initial effort to get yourself set up you should be able to do all you need online in less than 10 minutes a day - here's how.
Massage therapist online check list:
Look how short that list is! Don't overstretch yourself trying to have a presence on every social media channel out there. Your online presence just needs to serve to outline your services clearly to potential clients and prove you are a professional business! Limit yourself to one or two social media channels and aim for a few posts a week then get outside and get networking with your local community!
One of the quickest ways to grow your massage therapy business is slightly counter intuitive. By choosing a specific niche and focusing on promoting your services to select groups you can actually present yourself as a specialist and stand out from the crowd allowing you to fill up your diary with treatments you can charge more for.
For example if you focus on pregnancy massage, use one of your 10 minute online marketing sessions to interact with local expectant mum groups on Facebook. Pair up with a beautician and offer to host a pampering night where mums to be can try mini treatments at a discounted rate whilst networking with others. Reach out to local antenatal classes and offer to give a short talk and speak to local GP's offering any clients they refer a discount on a series of massage treatments. Networking with local medical professionals is really crucial to developing your massage therapy business so don't hide behind a screen!
At the end of the day clients choose their massage therapists because they have been referred by friends, family or a trusted medical professional and because they feel safe and respected when they meet with you not because your Instagram profile is a crafted work of art. So don't get caught up in the online world and get out there!
It can be really tempting when meeting potential massage clients or promoting your services as a therapist to focus on your qualifications, reeling off the years of experience and presenting a list of services you can offer. However it is likely that clients have come to you through referral, they know you are a professional with experience and education and even if you meet a potential client randomly, more than anything they will want to know how you can help them specifically!
When interacting with potential massage clients focus solely on them. What issues are they having? Where is their pain and what type of issues are they experiencing? Setting out directly, using your knowledge of anatomy and physiology, how you would address their pain during a series of massage treatments will establish you within a medical framework and will make them feel heard and cared for! This approach takes massage out of the beauty industry and sparks awareness amongst the public that massage is a suitable treatment for a variety of ailments.
First and foremost clients are looking for a solution to their problems and by providing a tailor made massage rather than a generic treatment you will secure their business and their loyalty. It seems obvious but it is surprising how easily massage therapists get stuck in a rut, stressed out from trying to fill their schedule, and end up performing treatments that are a set routine. Signing up for free resources like Susan Findlay's Massage Mondays is a great way to keep your skills refreshed. Each Monday Susan shares techniques for specific muscles or to aid particular conditions, perfect for tailoring your treatments!
Very few massage therapists adore sitting down to the paperwork and business side of the job. But brushing up your business skills is a vital part of your business practice and many would argue that you need to be an entrepreneur first and massage therapist second.
Meghan Mari and Rachael Fairweather from JING Advanced Massage Training think business skills are a crucial trait for all massage therapists looking to build a successful practice.
Fundamentally a massage therapy business can’t last the test of time if you aren’t keeping on top of your finances, marketing and other basic operational needs. Learning some basic business skills can help you become an even better massage therapist and there are some free online resources that can help you get started.
Another great way to develop your knowledge is through a mentor. Whilst our time working in the massage industry is notoriously usually spent in isolation it is important to network with other local therapists. However it can be easier said than done to find a local mentor. Perhaps the massage therapists in your area are at a similar stage of their career or maybe you live very remotely. However, with the internet it is possible to link up with the wider massage community online.
Signing up for online groups on Facebook is a great way to connect to other therapists around the world. In these groups therapists post questions and get feedback on all sorts of issues they face when running their massage therapy businesses.
You can also look to industry leaders who post lots of great content on social media such as Susan Findlay with her Massage Monday series or Brittany Spence or sign up for our weekly newsletter The Muscle Whisperer where we share our thoughtful tips for therapists and our monthly Q&A series Ask the Muscle Whisperer where we put your questions to some of the top massage therapists in the UK.
Massage tables comes in many different shapes and size. It can be confusing for you, the customer, to choose the right one but we are here to help!
A lot of customers call us up after they have bought the wrong size massage table elsewhere and we would like to help you avoid this mistake. It normally goes something like this; they like the look of a picture of a massage table on a website, they like the low price and then they check the carrying weight is ok. If the carrying weight fits their needs they click add to cart and the new massage table turns up at their doorstep in a few days. They unfortunately assume all massage tables are pretty much the same width and size.
The standard size of a massage table is 28 inches wide (71cms) and 73 inches (185cms) long. One of the reasons many "lightweight" budget massage tables are so cheap is because
Make sure the massage table is the right size for you and your clients as the narrow massage tables at 61cms can be very uncomfortable for anyone who isn't petite and many clients cannot relax with their shoulders and arms unsupported.
Almost all therapists choose the standard 28 inch wide massage table. All our massage tables are the same length so it is only the width and shape our customers need to decide on.
Your massage table should be wide enough to cater for the wide variety of shapes and sizes of your clients. It needs to be wide enough to comfortably accommodate your treatment style, while being narrow enough to ensure you don’t have to strain your own back during treatments.
Each therapist's postural training and ability is different, so only you will know what massage table width you can handle. We have spoken to therapists who are five feet tall and get the wider 30 inch massage tables, and we speak to six foot therapists who have back problems and go for a 25 inch wide massage table. Everyone is different.
Generally speaking, if you are of smaller stature, you may do better with one of the narrower 25-inch massage tables. If you're quite tall, or are particularly keen to offer your clients a very spacious experience, a 30-inch massage table might be more suitable.
If you are in doubt, see if you can go into your local training college and see whether the massage tables there suit you. However, there is another way to get a feel for what will work of you don’t have access to a couch when you are deciding:
Cut out a piece of cardboard to the dimensions of both sizes you are deciding between. Put it on top of the kitchen table and lean over it. Visualise a client lying there, and see which width will suit you and your client best.
Make sure you can get close enough to the table that you can pivot at the waist and have your shoulders squared to the clients hips, with your hands parallel to the clients' spine. Working in this position will ensure an injury-free career, so it's an important factor in your decision.
The most popular massage table widths are 28 and 30 inches. We sell 25-inch massage tables but you should really only choose this width if you are shorter in height and having a wider massage table might put your own back at risk over the course of your career.
You can also choose the 25-inch if you want to have the lightest massage table possible. By reducing the width of the massage table, the weight is also reduced. Now, this can mean a trade-off of some client comfort, but this trade is often worthwhile if you are a fully mobile therapist and use public transport frequently, where saving a kilogram or two will make a difference to you over time.
Nowadays, almost all portable massage tables come with height adjustable legs. Whichever massage table you choose should come with a large height range to accommodate you, and to cater for a broad range of therapies.
A common height range of massage tables is between 60 to 80cm, and this height range should cater for everyone. To check which height you need your massage table to be at follow this rule of thumb:
1. Stand up straight with your hands by your sides. Clench your fists.
2. Measure the distance between the floor and your knuckles
3. This distance should equal the height of your massage table.
4. Add a few inches in height to allow for the body of the patient on the massage table.
The height of a massage table is usually only adjusted when different therapists are using the same massage table, or if you have a client that is outside the average size you normally treat. So for example, if someone with a lot of body depth comes for a treatment after an average size person, you may need to adjust the height a notch or two.
You should be able to adjust the height of a massage table in just 2-3 minutes. Even though you mightn't adjust the height very often, the faster the better when you do have to!
There are 2 types of height adjustment mechanisms found on modern massage tables.
1) Twisting knobs (found only on wooden massage tables):
If you are working with a wooden massage table, it is better to have two knobs on each of the four legs for greater strength and reliability. When buying online, make sure to check how many knobs are on the legs. Cheap massage tables often only have one knob, and when you raise the legs to the highest heights they are less stable and have been known to snap.
2) Telescopic push-buttons (found only on aluminium massage tables):
The mechanism to adjust the height of an aluminium massage table is much the same as the push-button method on aluminium crutches. It only takes a few seconds to adjust each leg, and the mechanism is very reliable. Check out the video to see how it’s done.
The following are the different shapes of massage tables on the market.
1. Rectangle shaped with square corners
This is the traditional shape of a massage table and the one you are probably familiar with seeing. Our Combi-lite 3 in 1 and Affinity Portaflex are shaped like this.
2. Rectangle shaped with rounded corners
Same as no 1 above in every way except the corners are rounded. Does not affect function in any way, just a different design/look.
3. Hour glass shaped with gradual gradient
A fabulous massage table innovation in recent years, which solves a lot of the problems around choosing the correct width is the hourglass shaped massage table.
This style of massage table is wider at the ends, and tapers somewhat at the middle. This provide a spacious and comfortable experience for your client (as the shoulder and feet area are 30 inches wide) without compromising your own posture and health, as the middle of the couch where you lean over is a much narrower 26 inches wide.Having recently upgraded to one of these hourglass massage tables myself, I can vouch that my working days are much more comfortable, and many of my clients have commented on the extra comfort from the wider shoulder area.
The name says it all! There are no corners on the massage table. Therapists normally choose this for one of two reasons. They simply like the look of this massage table and it is aesthetically more pleasing in their treatment room and/or they find it easier to move around the massage table during the treatment without having to side step the corners. This is particularly handy when space is limited in your treatment room.