Thank you for supporting independent specialist retailers. FREE next working day delivery on portable massage tables + 30 days returns. Interest free & pay later options available.

0

Your Cart is Empty

How to pick a niche for your massage therapy business. Ask the Muscle Whisperer Series

How to pick a niche for your massage therapy business. Ask the Muscle Whisperer Series

We hope you have all been enjoying our "Ask The Muscle Whisperer" series. This month we asked the UK massage industry's top thought leaders to share key tips for massage therapists to help their massage therapy businesses navigate the changes  in our industry brought about by Covid-19 and come back stronger in 2021!

You can watch the full video with all the specialist's answers compiled together HERE.... or watch each specialist's answer individually in shorter snippets below underneath their name! 


  • SUSAN FINDLAY 
    Susan Findlay Icon for Ask The Muscle Whisperer

    After time to reflect during the pandemic many massage therapists are rethinking their marketing strategies and choosing to niche their businesses. At what stage in your career did you choose a niche for your massage therapy business? How did you pick your niche and what tips would you give to therapists for selecting a niche? 

    I think that it would be safe to say that the last year has been a curveball, or rather a series of curveballs, for everyone. At the start of the year I was looking forward to business as usual; seeing my clients, continuing to develop professionally, and delivering training courses.

    However, Covid-19 and the ensuing lockdowns have meant that I have had to drastically change the way that I deliver my services in order to continue my practice. The good news, for myself and the rest of the massage industry is that we do not have to go extinct; we only have to evolve.

    The answer, in my opinion, lies in specialising. There are thousands upon thousands of massage therapists in the UK who do not specialise in a specific area. However, there are also thousands of potential clients seeking expert treatment for the myriad of conditions which massage has been shown to help. For my fellow massage practitioners, this means that by failing to specialise, you are missing out on clients and income.

    In 2014 I decided to specialise in oncology massage. It’s something that I think is very important – everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer. The area I have chosen to focus on does not just benefit my patients as an oncology specialist. Having a specialism in one area is important for all jobs, and massage is no different. It means that I have something different to offer from many other practising massage therapists. This niche allows me to receive specialist referrals and also provide my clients with the peace of mind that they’re dealing with someone who is experienced in the service which they require.

    For massage therapists who are looking to develop their niche but are still unsure how best to branch out I would suggest looking at two key aspects. Firstly, how do you like to work? Which massage techniques do you excel in and enjoy delivering? Then research your local audience and competition to see where there might be a gap in demand. Some of the most sought-after specialities are Neuromuscular, Myofascial Release, and Oncology. You can then see how your skills best align with the therapeutic approach these specialisms require.

    In my approach to Oncology massage I always aim to approach it from a whole-body perspective. This mean that I have to be aware of the fact that the body is not just a mass of solitary organs, nerves, bones, and muscles which do one job and do not communicate or relate to each other. The body is a finely balanced machine with parts which interact; if one of these is thrown off balance then it will have a knock-on effect. When performing Oncology massages we must be aware of this, and we must also educate ourselves on the fact that any physical malfunctions can also impact on our mental state.  

    Even if the patient does not show any physical symptoms, a cancer diagnosis can be extremely traumatic. Humans typically do not consider their own mortality on a day-to-day basis; cancer can force us to do this in an extremely abrupt manner. Even the word “cancer” is potentially emotionally triggering. This is where I believe that the mental health benefits of massage can have a positive impact on our clients.

    Oncology massage is neither light, fluffy or insubstantial, it addresses the needs of the client and how the tissue responds, the most descriptive word I use when teaching this method is to feel what is happening underneath your hands, to be led by the tissue and respond to it, not force your way through in an unthinking way, but to ‘melt’ into the soft tissue in a considered way.  This approach to Oncology massage is in fitting with my “less is more” ethos when it comes to using force, which I apply to all of my patients.

    Watch Susan answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!

    To find out more about Susan's courses and sign up for her great Massage Monday series click on the image below or follow her on TwitterFacebook or Instagram

    Susan Findlay logo

    Susan Findlay
    Emma Gilmore
    Earle Abrahamson
    Sunita Passi
    Nikki Wolf
    Jayne Burke
    Carl Newbury
  • EMMA GILMORE
    Emma Gilmore profile for Ask The Muscle Whisperer

    For Emma it is so important for massage therapists to choose an area to specialise in. Emma started her career working predominantly in the field of sports therapy, this was because she was drawn to complex chronic injuries and she found that lots of these that she began treating did not relate to sports or exercise. For example, she noticed she was seeing lots of female clients around menopause who were struggling with frozen shoulders.

    However, the aspect of massage therapy that fascinated Emma the most was that after treating clients and seeing vast improvements there was always 5% that remained, something underlying that lay with the emotions behind the injury. Emma started to explore how people relate to their condition or injury and how this is stored in the body. This was not researched heavily at the time, but Emma investigated as much as she could including 2 years training in biodynamic craniosacral therapy and trauma skills for bodyworkers. The gentle touch she learnt in these studies informed her massage therapy and how Emma worked to really engage with clients on an emotional level too.

    From here Emma worked under broad banners of interest such as women’s health, chronic injuries and emotional holding patterns and specialised in different conditions under these such as endometriosis, fibroids, frozen shoulder, and other pathologies that are often overlooked for women. Emma loves this aspect of working in massage therapy, that once you qualify you can take your career in any direction you desire.

    Emma really recommends that when picking your niche as a massage therapist that you choose something you love! The more you can specialise in any area you like, the better your results, more interesting your work as a massage therapist will be and the more you will draw clients to you who need your skills! Over the years this will change but allow yourself to go with it! Allow your massage therapy career to develop with you, ensuring you update your skills as you update and develop as a person! In our massage therapy businesses, we all can feel like we get into ruts from time to time but if this happens explore something new, whether it’s picking up a book or signing up for a new course - anything that reignites your passion in massage therapy!

    School of Bodywork have developed short online courses starting at £20 on a range of topics from TMJ, Trauma in the body, Women’s Health and much more which you can check out here!

     

    Watch Emma answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!

     

    You can see the latest courses on offer at School of Bodywork by clicking the image below! You can also follow on Facebook and Instagram.

    School of Bodywork logo

    Susan Findlay
    Emma Gilmore
    Earle Abrahamson
    Sunita Passi
    Nikki Wolf
    Jayne Burke
    Carl Newbury
  • EARLE ABRAHAMSON 
    Earle Abrahamson profile for Ask The Muscle Whisperer

    For Earle, like many massage therapists, at the start of his career his marketing activities focussed on building up a client base to get established and start bringing in an income. Over time he noticed he was starting to see a lot of sports-based injuries and so he naturally progressed into niching towards this field. But over time this evolved and changed and now he works with a lot of chronic health issues and as an educator and author.

    Earle really recommends that as a massage therapist you avoid niching your massage therapy business too soon as his journey has very much been shaped by the knowledge and experiences he gained as he moved through his career. Earle suggests allowing your journey to unfold and take time to notice what issues you see most often in your massage therapy practice. What conditions or modalities are you drawn to? What do you find yourself wanting to learn more about? And let this shape your path.

    CPD and continuing to learn and grow are crucial for Earle, but he wants to stress that massage therapists should not lose site of the end product when selecting courses. Massage therapists should always consider whether any new skills will directly impact on a group of clients who need and require help and think about ways you can market those skills for your massage therapy business. Earle shares that if you are worried or struggling to find your niche as a massage therapist just follow your instincts, stick to what you are most interested in and the market, and your clients, will find you!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Watch Earle answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below! 

    You can find more details on Earle's latest book 'Muscle Testing – A Concise Manual' by clicking the images below or find out more details on the next Hands On Training courses by clicking here.

     

    Publications:

      • Making Sense of Human Anatomy and Physiology - Lotus Publishers 2016

       

        • Concise Manual of Muscle Testing - Handspring Publishers. Due out October 2019 
      Susan Findlay
      Emma Gilmore
      Earle Abrahamson
      Sunita Passi
      Nikki Wolf
      Jayne Burke
      Carl Newbury
    • SUNITA PASSI
      Sunita Passi

      For Sunita her niche as an Ayurvedic specialist came to her in a moment of serendipity. Sunita used to be a business journalist and whilst on a project in India she came across a meditation shop and what the practitioner said to her inside resonated so deeply she knew she needed to find out more! 

      Sunita suggests to therapists that in order to find a niche for your massage therapy business you take some time to reflect on moments in your own life that have resonated with you on a deep level. What things have you studied that left you desperate to learn more? What aspects of your work as a massage therapist are you obsessed with? 

      For Sunita niches are more powerful when they are something personal and special and it is only after some inner work that we might be able to spot them in our massage therapy practice. Sunita suggests taking some time to meditate and ask yourself questions. She provides a helpful affirmation that might help massage therapists with this practice; 

      "Dear Universe, I am open to understanding how I am better ready to serve my clients" 

      Repeating this affirming and then taking notes on what it awakes in can be really helpful in identifying what resonates with you as a massage therapist on a deep and meaningful level. 

      Watch Sunita answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!

      To check out all Tri-Dosha has to offer, including Sunita's newsletter, give them a follow on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

      Tri-Dosha logo

      Susan Findlay
      Emma Gilmore
      Earle Abrahamson
      Sunita Passi
      Nikki Wolf
      Jayne Burke
      Carl Newbury
    • NIKKI WOLF
      Nikki Wolf joins Ask The Muscle Whisperer from Massage Warehouse

      For new Muscle Whisperer Nikki Wolf when her career began in the 90’s marketing for massage therapists was quite different and Nikki was able to get her massage clients predominantly through word of mouth. Around 10 years ago this changed and marketing for massage therapy businesses exploded and niching became very trendy. Around this time Nikki noticed that she had already naturally had clients who were starting to fit a pattern, but this isn’t always the case for other massage therapists!

      Nikki stresses that niching is just a marketing tool. If you have more than enough clients and are already filling up your clinic’s books through word of mouth, then you might not need to niche. However, if you are advertising your massage therapy business online then niching is crucial, as people’s attention spans online are short and it will help you stand out from the crowd.

      Niching also gives you credibility as a massage therapist and although you might worry that it could end up being repetitive seeing the same types of clients or injuries, this really isn’t the case. Nikki uses the analogy of a shop window. That niching grabs the attention of a client passing by and draws them into your “shop” to see what else you offer.

      There are lots of different directions you can go in when selecting a niche for your massage therapy business. Whether you choose an interest, injury or modality or a combination it must be areas of your work as a massage therapist that you find the most interesting and you feel most passionately about. Nikki suggests getting started by reflecting on your favourite clients. Are there any common denominators between them that could serve as a niche for your massage therapy business? Alternatively, what experiences with massage therapy in your own life could you share with clients authentically? How has massage helped you recover, and would you be interested in bringing this healing to others?

      Watch Nikki answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!

      To find out more about Orchid Massage Academy, click click here or find more details on Nikki's mentorship program, here. Alternatively you can follow on Facebook here

      Orchid Massage Academy

      Susan Findlay
      Emma Gilmore
      Earle Abrahamson
      Sunita Passi
      Nikki Wolf
      Jayne Burke
      Carl Newbury
    • JAYNE BURKE
      Jayne Burke joins Ask The Muscle Whisperer from Massage Warehouse

      For new Muscle Whisperer Jayne it was her experiences working in a post office that shaped the clients she attracts now in her work as a massage therapist. Jayne remembers listening to the stories of her regular customers. Elderly clients collecting their pensions or stressed-out mums coming in for their child benefit and noting how much pain and stress people were experiencing. When she began her career 20 years ago Jayne naturally gravitated to those groups as she loved helping especially elderly clients with chronic pain improve their quality of life.

      As niching became more in vogue for massage therapy businesses Jayne created a specialism for herself helping professional women to reduce stress and this has become a huge passion for her. This niche has allowed Jayne to offer online courses alongside her treatments and revolutionise her massage therapy business. To any massage therapist looking to find their niche Jayne recommends selecting something you know. For example, if you are a runner, target runners as a market to explore rather than cyclists. Take time to think about which clients do you love working with? Sit with your diary and pick out the names which you always look forward to treating with your massage skills. Work out why these clients are your favourites and what issues they come to you with. After doing this you should be able to identify a preventative way you could help them with their aches and pains.

      For Jayne, a lot of her clients who are professional women, their pain is caused by stress and the tension that comes with it. Therefore, Jayne developed some methods for them to reduce their stress and from this created an online course. After the first few massage sessions with a new client after wowing them with her treatments and reducing their pain, Jayne will then offer them this course to hopefully stop their pain coming back and to show the range of her skills as a massage therapist.

      Watch Jayne answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!

      Click hereto find out more about Jayne Burke Holistic Therapies or you can follow on FacebookTwitteror Instagram.
      Susan Findlay
      Emma Gilmore
      Earle Abrahamson
      Sunita Passi
      Nikki Wolf
      Jayne Burke
      Carl Newbury
    • CARL NEWBURY
      Carl Newbury profile for Ask The Muscle Whisperer

      During this past year and the Covid-19 pandemic some therapists have had time to reflect on their massage businesses and may choose to focus on certain niches in the market.

      I have spoken to a handful of therapists that I have worked with over the past 20 years and I would suggest the key to establishing a niche in the bodywork industry is CPD training.

      I don’t think it’s necessarily agonising over how you can be different but offering your clients more than one specialist area of Bodywork like Myofascial Release, Trigger Point Therapy for pain release and much more. That is your Niche - a Multi Skilled Therapist.

      If I know one thing about clients who rebook time after time it’s this – be confident in what advice you give because of your CPD training and be confident in how you apply your touch. Also, my advice to therapists is to embrace online booking and marketing for the future.

      Online marketing includes paying for Google ads or Facebook posts, and it can be expensive, but I think it is a necessary investment, alongside someone who knows about organic online marketing.

      I hope this is helpful.

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Watch Carl answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!

       

      To check out the latest from Massage World Magazine click on the image below and be sure to give them a follow on Twitter and Instagram.

       

      Massage World Magazine

      Susan Findlay
      Emma Gilmore
      Earle Abrahamson
      Sunita Passi
      Nikki Wolf
      Jayne Burke
      Carl Newbury

    Also in Massage Warehouse Blog

    The Importance of Warming Up and Winding Down for Massage Therapists
    The Importance of Warming Up and Winding Down for Massage Therapists

    May 15, 2024 6 min read 0 Comments

    As a massage therapist, have you ever considered that you are actually an athlete? Think about it, both professions… Recognise the importance of stress management, promote recovery and rehabilitation, believe in preventive maintenance, have an understanding of the body and prioritise physical health!
    Read More
    10 Tips for Massage Therapists to Nail That Networking Event
    10 Tips for Massage Therapists to Nail That Networking Event

    April 23, 2024 6 min read 0 Comments

    Have you ever been to a networking event? If you have, a huge well done to you! For many massage therapists, attending a networking event can feel – at best – uncomfortable, and at worst, terrifying.
    Read More
    Top Tips for Sitting Down While Massaging
    Top Tips for Sitting Down While Massaging

    April 03, 2024 5 min read 0 Comments

    If you haven't implemented a strategy for sitting down regularly in your massage treatments, now's your time to start thinking about it. Go on, take a load off!

    And if you do already sit down while massaging, we hope this article inspires you with some more ideas.

    Read More