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Is being more human the key to growing your Massage Therapy Business?

Is being more human the key to growing your Massage Therapy Business?

At the start of the year, we set out 12 steps to growing your massage therapy business in 2019.

A trend which emerged was the need for businesses to offer a more personalised service to tackle the widespread consumer scepticism after a difficult year in 2018. Whilst researching this trend, we came across Tim Leberecht’s Ted Talk 4 ways to build a human company in the time of machines’

It is undeniable that over the next few decades, the way we work is going to change dramatically. As Leberecht points out, businesses built on a human connection will be spared the robot revolution, which is lucky for us massage therapists! But this did get us thinking. How can we as massage therapists future proof our businesses and take advantage of this shift as much as possible?  

Tim Leberecht identifies 4 methods to help businesses be more human in an age of machines. So let's jump right in and look at how this can relate to our work as massage therapists. 


1. Do the unnecessary




This technique can often be seen as frivolous and the first to go in tough times. As we know, often our massage therapy businesses don’t have tonnes of resources, either in terms of time or money, but you can use unnecessary gestures to spark interest in your services and cultivate deeper customer loyalty.  

  • Reward loyal customers - make a note of the number of appointments each client has had when you arrange their next session. When they reach 10 sessions contact them beforehand to remind them of their appointment, thank them for their business and offer them a free 30-minute extension on their treatment. 
  • As we saw in our blog post, in 2019 marketers are targeting their audiences by location. Sponsor local events, such as charity runs, by offering your massage services for a day. Get involved with the promotion for the event and make sure you have someone to take lots of pictures and videos on the day for your social media. Give great treatments and take lots of business cards to hand out to everyone at the end of their massage. 


2. Create intimacy




    Whilst your team is unlikely to take a retreat to Cambodia, creating opportunities to connect with employees, clients and even your own emotions can unlock frustrations and potential pitfalls or develop stronger bonds with your clients. Make space to sit down with your team and talk about what is working well and what isn't. If you work alone, have these check-ins with yourself, be honest and use it as a springboard to change the areas of the business you find difficult or tiring. 


    Facebook post from Karina Lake about the frustration of not being paid for no shows

    Facebook quote from Jessi Gates Brock about the frustrations of enforcing a cancellation policy


    Connecting to your work in this way will draw out what makes you passionate and this will spill over into your interactions with clients.

    Another way to create intimacy and connection is when clients share their struggles with you. Always being careful to maintain appropriate client/therapist boundaries, if your client is sharing their concerns, speak from the heart if you have had a similar experience. For example, if a client is struggling at work, reply with a simple comment like "That must be hard, I can only imagine how you are feeling, I know when I had a tough time at work in the past I found it really draining, let's see how we can help you relax today." This shows your empathy and understanding without straying from the treatment you are giving.

    If you have experienced the same tension areas as your client, demonstrate your knowledge by sharing your experiences and explain how the massage techniques you will be using helped your symptoms in the past. 


    3. Be Ugly




    A daunting prospect for anyone who runs their own small business. 

    If you work as part of a team, make time to sit down together and celebrate your successes but also to speak frankly about problems your employees are facing. Your team will appreciate your concern and by addressing the challenges you are facing together you can grow closer and avoid losing employees. 

    If you work alone, try to imagine yourself as your own employee. What are your current frustrations, what parts of the job do you like the most and the least. Write them on post stick notes and put them in categories in front of you. Through this technique, you might unlock a niche that you want to explore or finally tackle something that has been draining your energy. 


    4. Remain incomplete




    An easy way to use this technique with clients is to run an annual survey. Keep it short and offer an incentive like a 15% discount off their next treatment.

    Ask your clients to give their honest feedback and explain you are always trying to improve so you can offer them the best service. Be bold and ask them what holds you back from seeing me more? Showing your willingness to grow and allowing yourself to be vulnerable in this way will strike a chord with your clients and the answers you receive might surprise you. 

    Some clients might find it hard to fit their treatments in with the hours you are offering. You might seriously increase your massage therapy business by accommodating clients schedules by offering slots one evening a week. For clients who cite money as an issue, you can make a note to subtly send them a loyalty offer in a few months, or offer a discount when booking a series of sessions upfront.  

      Let us know how you get on with these techniques in the comments below! 

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