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Here's why your massage therapy business needs a niche.

A target drawn in green chalk with a dart laying pointing to the bullseye

Do you find yourself putting in hours of work marketing your massage therapy business but you are still struggling to get a steady stream of loyal clients?

Do clients seem to come and go, only getting in touch when they are really struggling with symptoms of various ailments?

Do you sometimes feel like a jack of all trades but king or queen of none :)?

Whilst it might seem counterintuitive, sometimes by reducing the number of services you offer and instead focusing on and becoming an expert in the few rather than trying to please the masses, you can reduce the amount of time you need to spend on marketing and grow your massage therapy business significantly!

Experts and specialists get more free marketing than anyone else, via word of mouth!

Are there symptoms that you see crop up frequently in your clients? Is there a particular style of massage you are drawn to? Or are there certain aches and pains that you feel particularly drawn to solving for your clients? Maybe you have personal experience with a certain problem or maybe a family member has struggled with an ailment and you feel passionate about the power of massage to relieve the symptoms?

By specialising in solving a particular problem you won’t appeal to everyone but to those who are seeking the answer, your services will become invaluable! If you deliver excellent massage treatments, focusing on each customers’ individual needs then rather than constantly having to look for new clients, you will have a solid base of loyal clients who will return for frequent treatments. You can also minimise the amount of time you need to spend on marketing, targeting only the groups relevant to your niche.

Take time to think about your experiences as a massage therapist so far. What ailments do you see the most? What work do you enjoy and derive the most satisfaction from?

Not all niches require a large commitment such as training. There are some that can even just be exploited seasonally. We will run through 10 ideas for niches that you could explore to secure more loyal clients. Just make sure you take time to test your new niche, slowly promoting your new massage specialism and building up a network of clients before changing your entire massage therapy business.

So we will start off with one that is easy to implement...


1. Detox 


There is a lot of debate about to what extent massage detoxes the body of toxins.




However, it is undeniable that each January as we celebrate the start of a new year we are all tempted to try and turn over a new leaf, kick some bad habits and rejuvenate our bodies!


Facebook post from Amy Bennett about promoting massage for detox


With some smart marketing, this is an easy niche to appeal to. Make sure from the 1st of January there is a large sign in the window of your clinic offering to help clients kick start some new healthy habits!


Post for social media to promote massage as part of a New Year detox program


You can download this post designed for social media here


On social media and when you present yourself in the local community, be sure to spread all the ways in which massage can support people through their detox process. Focus on how after all the overindulgences of the festive season adding a regular massage schedule into your routine can support clients in their quests for better health in a variety of ways including; 


  • Improving posture, removing aches and pains making it easier to hit the gym! 
  • Lowering blood pressure and reducing stress levels. 
  • The reduction in stress and its accompanying symptoms can, in turn, help battle conditions like insomnia and getting a better nights sleep, in general, does wonders for helping the body through the detoxing process. 
  • Reduces headaches and pain in the joints. 


See if there are any events or classes in your local area aimed at getting people involved in exercise for the new year. As we all know, a career as a massage therapist can take its toll on your body, so attend these events or classes yourself and commit to some much-needed self-care! Become part of the community and offer your services to the group. 

Go to local gyms and drop off flyers, speak to personal trainers and ask them to refer anyone they think could benefit from a massage and give them an incentive like a discount for every person who books through their referral. Best of all ask if you can come in with a massage chair and deliver taster sessions in the foyer between some of the busiest classes. 

With this niche, timing is everything. Make sure you are well rested over the festive period and all your promotional materials are ready so you can hit the ground running as soon as January arrives!


2. Hayfever 


Another seasonal suggestion, a promotion focusing on the benefits of massage for people suffering from hayfever and other seasonal allergies can really set you above the competition! Swot up on the benefits in our blog post before setting to work promoting your hayfever busting abilities! 

Place an advert like the ones below, in your clinic window, in local papers, doctors surgeries or on local facebook groups and offer a discount for first-time clients. You can use the free service from Canva to create designs in different sizes for leaflets, flyers or social media. Don’t be afraid to reach out to local radio stations, who are often looking for ways to fill their air time and ask to come in and talk about the benefits of massage for hayfever sufferers. Make sure you ask a few weeks before the allergy season starts so they can schedule you into their programming.  


Hayfever Wreaking Havoc - design one for Massage Therapists  


 Hayfever Wreaking Havoc design 2 for Massage Therapists


You can download these two posts designed for social media here


3. Text Neck 


A relatively new phenomenon, the increasing amount of time we spend staring at our phone screens is creating new ailment, text neck!

Capture people’s attention with this curious sounding condition and win over new clients with this image and a witty promotion on social media! Ask your current followers to share your post with any friends or family who are addicted to their smartphones!


Infographic about the pressure on the neck muscles caused by text neck


You can download this post for social media here


In your post promise to cure their text neck and improve posture in just 5 hours and offer a discount on 5 prepaid treatments. When clients visit for their first treatment, ask if you can take before and after photos to help them see the progress they are making and so you can recommend the best course of treatment as you progress! After the first session send them a link to the video below so they can start to break bad habits!



When you finish the 5 sessions take time to show your client how far they have come and how much their posture has improved. Suggest ways you could continue to work together and offer another discount if they choose to book another block of 5 sessions. Add another incentive by saying these sessions can be taken anytime within 6 or 12 months.

Whilst this niche is unlikely to become the sole focus of your massage therapy business, it can be a good way to grab the public’s attention and boost business! Do a good job and clients will see the benefit in scheduling in regular treatments.


4. Headaches


An easy niche to master, read up on some techniques and familiarise yourself with the different symptoms associated with various types of headache. Show off your knowledge by starting each session by identifying the type and likely cause of your clients' headaches. Promote yourself as a specialist online by sharing this post and outlining your process, highlighting the tailor-made approach you will take to cure each client's particular symptoms. 

 Infographic showing the difficult types and causes of headaches

You can download this post for social media here


Show your sincerity with a punchy mission statement. Share online in your social media bio and on your website and in your clinic with a big poster in the window. For example; 


  • Our mission: help 1000 headache sufferers find relief. 
  • Our mission: help headaches sufferers in Sheffield find relief. 
  • Our mission: curing migraines in Oxford, one client at a time. 


5. RSI 


RSI is becoming increasingly common and if you have ever experienced it yourself you know what a distraction the pain can be! 

A fantastic niche for mobile massage therapists to hone in on, make a list of all the companies in your local area where staff spend a lot of time on computers. Use Canva to create a small flyer or leaflet with some carefully selected statistics and a breakdown of your rates. 

  • 1 in 50 (half a million) of all workers in the UK have reported an RSI condition.
  • 5.4 million working days were lost in sick leave due to RSI last year. 
  • Every day, six people in the UK leave their jobs due to an RSI condition

(Source: TUC Safety Rep Survey 2003)

Whenever possible, go in person and ask to speak to the human resources manager. Be confident and present your services as a great benefit they can offer their staff and also boost productivity by nipping any aches and pains in the bud. Companies are always looking for inexpensive benefits they can offer employees to keep them loyal and as a way to beat the competition when hiring new staff so be sure to present a few options of how you can collaborate together. Some ideas could include; 

  • Each week the company pay for a 3-hour slot over the common lunch hours (12-3pm) which you break down into four 45 minute slots which they offer out to their employees on a rota. This allows employees to have a massage and still have a chance to eat something before returning from their break. 
  • The offer above can also be on a subsidised basis. For example, say you charge the company £150 for the three hours, then they offer their employees the chance to have a 45-minute massage at a subsidised rate of £25, whilst they pay the difference. This is still a great discount for the employees and the company stand to make back some of the money. Just ensure you agree that you are paid for the slot regardless and the money for the massage is paid directly to the HR team to avoid any complications.   
  • You can be added to the benefits on offer at work parties or as an incentive for beating targets! Charge a fixed rate to come in with a massage chair to offer short taster massages at an event as an extra treat for hardworking employees! 


6. Pregnancy and baby massage


According to the Expert Review of Obstetrics and Gynecology, women who received prenatal massage on a regular basis not only required less medication during childbirth but also on average experienced a shorter labour time by an average of three hours! This staggering finding has been linked to the ability of massage to significantly lower stress levels.


Post for social media with fact for expectant mothers that according to studies women who receive regular massages during pregnancy experience a shorter labour time by an average of three hours!


You can download this post for social media here


If this is a niche you have an interest in exploring then investigate courses that can bring you up to speed on all the contraindications and techniques you need to know. The London School of Massage offers a one-day introduction and with WellMother you can study for four days in either London or Bristol and become a true expert with the great benefits of learning techniques for massage during labour and postnatal period which will give you options to expand the services you offer. 

Which leads us nicely onto our final point that with this niche, in particular, the possibilities to expand the range of services are especially good. After establishing yourself as a prenatal massage specialist and delivering amazing treatments to your pregnant clients you can go onto to create a range of services including accompanying clients during labour, a series of treatments after the birth and even massage sessions for mummy and baby!

Create a series of special offer packages you can promote in your waiting room, in person and online for a series of sessions after the little one arrives! Some ideas could include; 

  • Loyalty discount - as your client reaches her due date send them a card wishing them luck and mentioning you look forward to seeing them again after the birth. Include a coupon offering 25% off when pre-booking 5 treatments. 
  • Book 2 postnatal massage sessions and receive a free 15-minute massage session for your baby. 

To promote yourself as a pregnancy massage expert, reach out to local groups for expectant mothers and new mums. Team up with other therapists or beauticians to host pampering evenings, with massages, manicures and a chance to meet other new mums or mums to be. Offer these potential clients a taster session for £10 and take lots of pictures for your social media of everyone having a great time! Ask for some feedback and offer a discount on their first treatment if they get in touch and book after the event. 


7. Arthritis 


Increasingly researchers and doctors are promoting massage as a way to relieve some of the pain associated with arthritis and recommend that the moderate pressure from “massage can result in a significant reduction in pain” (Tiffany Field, PhD, a research psychologist at the University of Miami Medical School). This is trickling down and more massage therapists are seeing clients approaching them for help. 


Facebook post about seeing multiple clients with arthritis


Online, the Arthritis Foundation lists a number of types of massage that can ease the symptoms on its website. The good news is many of these are typical styles of massage rather than anything that would require any additional training. Read up on what techniques are especially effective and then get to work promoting your services! 

Continue networking with local GPs and ask local doctors surgeries, libraries and councils if you can put flyers in waiting rooms, front desks or posters on a notice board. Offer an introductory discount for first-time clients or a 5% discount for OAPs.  


8. Fibromyalgia 


According to Pain Doctor, massage has 6 main benefits to clients dealing with Fibromyalgia;


  1. Increased serotonin levels
  2. Decreased stress hormones
  3. Decreased substance P levels
  4. Improved sleep
  5. Decreased pain at tender points
  6. An improved overall sense of well-being


A quick search online and you will see there is a massive need for massage therapists who specialise in helping clients with fibromyalgia. People who are struggling with this condition are comforted knowing that they are in the hands of someone who really understands their symptoms. This condition doesn’t often receive the level of empathy it deserves and this can lead in turn to struggles with depression. With their compassionate ear and a few special techniques, massage therapists can have a big impact on the lives of people struggling with this disease. This quick video from Massage Nerd gives a great introduction to the different considerations you need to keep in mind when working with someone with fibromyalgia.



Read up on some of the literature around the topic or look into some hands-on training. For example, JING Massage offer a one-day course where you will learn everything you need to correctly assess and treat clients with fibromyalgia. 

When working with clients with fibromyalgia, it is vital to focus on delivering a tailored massage treatment. Ask what symptoms are especially troubling your client at the start of each massage and check in frequently to make sure the pressure level is enough but not causing too much discomfort.  

At the end of your first appointment, it is worth telling clients that around 10% of people withfibromyalgia will experience aggravated symptoms after their first few massage treatments. However, with a little perseverance, they will soon feel the benefit.

Once you are ready to start promoting your services as a fibromyalgia specialist, speak with local doctors, ask to put flyers up in hospitals and see if there are any charities or support groups in the area. Take a look on Facebook and other social media channels to see if their are any groups online. If there isn't, set one up for your area, share some articles that might be of interest and give people a place to talk. When the time is right, subtly mention your work as a massage therapist and offer a discount code to anyone in the group. 


9. Mental health


It has been proven that touch is imperative for our development when we are babies. But this need for touch doesn't go away as we get older. 

People suffering from mental health challenges like depression and anxiety can really benefit from the decrease in cortisol and an increase in dopamine experienced during a massage treatment. 



Reducing stress and grounding people in their bodies is often commonly quoted as a benefit and can help support other practices such as meditation often recommended to reduce the side effects of anxiety. 

This great guide from mental health charity Mind goes through all the common FAQs and outlines the benefits of massage beautifully and is well worth a share as you start promoting your services. 

Reach out to doctors and local charities to offer your support. You could reach out to offices to encourage them to beat the stigma around mental health in your community by offering to give a short talk to employees and taster sessions in the foyer. Take lots of business cards and see if bosses can be persuaded to subsidise weekly sessions.  


10. Cancer


This is the niche that requires the most amount of work to initiate but is perhaps one of the most rewarding in terms of the impact you can have on your clients.

Working with clients battling cancer requires very specific techniques and any massage therapists interested in working in this area will need to undergo specialist training to ensure they do not harm patients who are already vulnerable.

You can get a feel for what is involved and if working with oncology massage might be for you with this 4-minute video.

Some of the most respected courses are provided by Susan Findlay who presents the video above. After completing an online course and 3 days of practical sessions, you will be a fully qualified oncology massage therapist and have the knowledge to provide treatments safely and with confidence.

If you decided to specialise in oncology massage then reach out to local GP’s, hospitals and charities. Take the time to go in and speak to doctors, receptionists and charity workers in person to build a personal connection and always offer a discount to any referrals that come from these sources.

Demonstrate your commitment to the cause by supporting local cancer charity events or offering to sponsor your own. Ask local supermarkets if you can bring in a massage chair on Saturday lunchtime and offer 15-minute taster massages to customers for a charity donation. Not only will you demonstrate your commitment to charity partners, but you might also pick up some new clients for a more general style of massage whilst you develop your new niche.    


Have you explored any niches with your massage therapy business? How have you found the response?

Do you think you will act on this and find a niche to become an expert in?

Let us know in the comments of this Facebook post here

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