Social media is an essential tool for business owners to use to connect with and attract potential customers. Physical therapy and massage therapists should make regular use of social media in order to grow their existing client list and establish their private practice as a desirable and effective destination for healing and relaxation. Sound difficult? It’s actually quite easy!
All it takes is about 10 minutes of careful attention on a daily basis.
In marketing terms, the photos and words you use to make up social media posts are referred to as “content” and all of the content you post sends a message to your followers. Messaging is an important part of branding or setting yourself apart and defining your business online. Branding isn’t just for social media. Everything from the logo you use on your business cards to the decorations you use in your clinic sends a message about who you are and the kind of practice you have perfected. On social media, you can use carefully chosen language and words to attract new customers and define your private practice in a way that sets you apart. Promote your hands-on experience in the massage business, the health and well-being your years of training and therapeutic massages provide, and the overall experience you and your practice offers. Also, talk about what makes your brand stand out. Do you offer types of massage that other therapists in the local area don’t? Maybe you offer hot stone massages or include an Indian head massage at the end of your treatments. Anything that makes you unique and stand out needs to be promoted on your social media channels!
Social media really is a great way to connect with people. The “social” part of the name isn’t just a false label. Reaching out to the people who follow you by responding when a client comments on one of your posts helps make your account feel more personal and valid for those who follow it. Include calls to action on your posts, encouraging your followers to ask questions that you’ll then answer in the comments. This shows how engaged and friendly you are and it also allows you to demonstrate value to your audience without taking a whole lot of time.
Questions that are too complicated to answer in 10 minutes or less offer you a great opportunity to showcase how deep your knowledge goes. Give a high-level overview answer and suggest that the person who asked the question come in and see you for an appointment. You can even offer a one-time discount for a short session to address the issue at hand. This is just one example of the ways in which reaching out and connecting with others can be useful. You may not experience this exact scenario, but there’s tons of potential if you use your social media accounts in the right way.
While we often have the best of intentions when it comes to introducing new habits into our personal and professional lives, staying consistent can be hard. You don’t need to update every single day, but if you happen to get sick or just feel a little burned out, chances are that your social media schedule will suffer. This is why it’s a good idea to schedule posts ahead of time using a system such as Hootsuite. Scheduling posts ahead of time rather than improvising on the spot each and every time allows you to target your social media activity to a specific point of view and gives you better control of your brand. Plus, you won’t have to stress out about not posting when you’re feeling under the weather or have a lot of other stuff on your plate.
Everything you post on your social media is a message to current and future clients. For this reason, your professional accounts should remain completely separate from your personal social media. This means that if you already have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other socials for your personal life, you should set up business or professional accounts separately for your massage therapy practice.
With a separate, dedicated professional account, you won’t send any mixed messages and you won’t risk alienating your clients with information that might be too personal or too sensitive. Keep all of your posts focused on your practice. You could use Instagram to post pictures of your newly redesigned treatment room or link to a new blog post about the benefits of a specific massage technique on your Facebook. But don’t post family holiday photos unless they’re directly relevant to your practice and of genuine interest to your clients. Focus on the professional and therapeutic qualities that set you apart from other massage therapists rather than on your personal life.
Now that you’ve got some strategy ideas, you may be wondering why we’re recommending that you spend 10 minutes a day building your social media presence. While we don’t literally mean 10 minutes every day, this amount of time is a good guideline that you should try to stick to in general. This might mean that some days you spend a half an hour on social media while on others you spend none. The specifics aren’t that important. What is important is that you strike the right balance between active maintenance and overdoing it.
Social media is a tool for a massage therapist. It’s not a hobby or an activity. As we mentioned above in the Staying Professional section, you shouldn’t treat your physical therapy or message therapist professional social media accounts like your personal accounts. You may not have a strict time limit for how often you update your personal Instagram or Facebook, but that personal account isn’t a promotional tool. Your professional account is.
If you spend too much time on your professional social media accounts, you risk veering off course or getting swept up in the moment. Posting too frequently can also cause your followers to become annoyed and unfollow you.
At the same time, not maintaining your accounts can be a mistake. A prospective client who’s thinking about booking you for an appointment may become confused if your last social media posts are from last year - did you stop updating because you stopped practising or taking new clients? Just a moment’s hesitation can cause that potential client to go elsewhere. Apply what you know and be smart about your strategy. Just don’t spend too much (or too little) time on this part of your massage therapy business!
Online there is lots of debate as to whether professional associations are worthwhile. Many therapists are put off by the cost and, in an attempt to run their clinics as lean as possible, leave this off their list of business expenses. Whether you have recently trained as a massage therapist or whether you have been working in spa but are looking to strike out on your own and set up your own massage therapy business, whatever your circumstance if you are looking to have a successful career in the massage industry then you should seriously consider joining a professional association.
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.