Archive for the 'Starting Up A Home Massage Business' Category

How To Get More Clients Quickly If You’ve Just Opened Up Your Clinic

How To Get More Clients Quickly If You’ve Just Opened Up Your Clinic

By Amy Roberts LMT

www.MassageTherapySuccess.com

It’s a pretty scary thing to open for business, especially if you’re a massage therapist, because unlike a traditional business, massage is all about a service. People tend to judge a massage therapist a bit more harshly than a traditional business because massage is more personal.

But with a few successful and proven strategies you can have a great experience. The first thing to do is not panic. Panicking with inhibit your ability to be creative and stop you from seeing any potential ideas that may come your way.

Secondly, write a break down of the types of clients you’ve seen in the past. In other words create a client profile. Work out how you can capture that ‘kind of person’ in your new premises again. Creating a client profile is simply writing down a list of your target market then think about where those types of people are so you can do some advertising to those groups of people.

To help with your client profile ask yourself these questions;

What types of people were they?

Where they old?

Young?

Male?

Female?

What types of things did they come to see you for?

Next, remember to be proactive. Don’t wait for clients to come to you. Get out there and get them! Call people who may have your type of client in their own businesses and talk to them. People you may want to contact are Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Dance Studios, Sporting clubs etc. The list is endless. (Before embarking on this exercise, you must know first who your target market is or is going to be in order to contact the appropriate sources.) Introduce yourself to them via phone or even stop by if they are free for a few minutes.

To summarise, marketing your practice must be done regularly. To achieve and experience a high level of success you must market your practice often. How often is up to you, but it is important to understand that it’s not just a once-off. You may decide that in order to experience success in your massage practice, marketing is needed at least once a month.

Always keep proactive in marketing your massage practice and keep your marketing specific to who you are targeting and you can’t go wrong!

Good luck!

Amy Roberts

A Secret Way To Building Your Repeat Massage Client Numbers That No One In The Massage Industry Talks About

Part Two Continued from last week….

 

Last week I disclosed a few hard truths about mailing lists and massage therapy. Actually, when I say “hard” truths, they’re not really hard, they’re just honest. And because I dedicate most of my waking life to bringing Massage Therapist the truth about how to get clients successfully I am going to reveal a few things you need to know in this article.

 

Just before I go on and tell you some secrets that this industry should make available as common knowledge, let me say that you’ll never get any rubbish from me about marketing. I’ve been doing massage too long and coached far too many massage therapists to speak “fluff”. I give it to you straight. And I know you’re in a hurry to get clients, so let’s not stuff around…

 

To recap, because I know you might have forgotten some of last weeks article because you have a life and are busy, I’ll remind you of what I was talking about. Now pay attention because this is excellent stuff and you don’t want to miss it. I want you to read is closely and get the underlining lesson, or message, or whatever you want to call it.

 

Last week I discuss mailing lists and if they would work for you marketing your practice, remember? I listed a whole lot of scenarios about what type of people you could go for….people who have money….people who have money how buy health products and stuff…people who have brought these products and services just recently and whether this would be a good way to get business.

 

Then I said it was all “okay”, and some of those options would be better than not doing anything, but there is an almost guaranteed way of building your practice. There is, in fact, one really keen group of people who will probably take action more so than the other groups will. You’re probably wondering “what group of people?”

 

Your own clients!!

 

Okay here’s the part where, if you get this message, you’ll make it, and if you don’t then go back to that job.

 

I’ll now teach you this message. Take notes of you like, write this stuff down.

 

You see you know one major important thing about the people that have already treated in your clinic. That is they all have actively sought massage, paid for it and will have it again. To market to them again, you must make sure that they are happy clients, not ones that didn’t like your massage.

 

Even if you’ve heard this before I want you to understand the principles of why this is so important because if I had a dollar for every Massage Therapist who missed this, I’d be sitting on an island somewhere with my husband admiring the view.

 

Onward…

 

Now what you have read was designed to give you a good ole refreshed on the things that make lists more responsive to your massage than others. Keeping that in mind, we can safely come to the conclusion that there are pretty much three guiding factors we can depend on when choosing the direct marketing approach to our massage businesses.

 

Let’s take a brief look at what these guiding factors are:

 

Recent massage: We understand now that the more recent a person has had massage or other forms of bodywork treatment (such as physical therapy), the more responsive and positive they will be to our massage. There’s nothing like getting them interested when they’re in the frame of mind already.

 

Your current or recent clients are the best ones to contact to take up your offer- whatever it is you are offering. You see they’ve just had massage, not to long ago, and are still in the frame of mind of having treatment. This is what I mean by “recent.”

 

What if you have no clients, and have no list if people to market to?

 

If you have no clients, then don’t panic. You can still use a mailing list to get new clients and kick start your massage business off to a roaring start.

 

You can still use a mailing list if you have no clients yet, but make sure they have had bodywork treatments recently (the closer the treatment is to massage the better).

 

How often someone’s has massage and bodywork treatments is so important. This is frequency. The more often a person pays for massage and/ or body work treatments, the more desire they have for that service. It just makes sense. If you are offering a deep tissue massage therapy treatment you might just find a lost of people who have gone to Osteopaths, Physical Therapists, Chiropractors etc, to have deeper work done on their muscles. After all people who go to a Chiropractor don’t go for total body relaxation do they? They go because they have pain and discomfort that they want gone. So if you do deep tissue massage that offers the same thing then they’re likely to say yes to your massage. See where I am going? After all having your back “cracked” isn’t relaxation; people have it done for relief, not relaxation. 

 

How much money people spend on bodywork is a factor worth significant consideration. If people on that particular list you are considering have just recently spent $100 on bodywork treatments in the past 30 days, you’re going to get them far more interested in your $60 massage far more than if you targeted a list of people who spent $100 over the past five years. Or if they spent $25 on bodywork treatments.

 

You might be thinking, who on earth charges twenty five bucks for bodywork? Students do during their courses. I know of some people that thought going to the student clinic at the Southern School of Natural Therapies where I trained and paying $15 for half hour was better than going to a professional therapist and paying $30 for half an hour treatment. I don’t mean relaxation massage either, I mean the hard stuff.

Now, those people will not go out and spend $60 or $70 on a professional massage treatment. You see where I am going? So why market to them? You’re much better off marketing to the group who’s recently spent $100 on bodywork and preferably does it regularly.

 

People will always pay for what they desire.

 

These three guidelines are really the only place to start. It’s about getting specific. Being too general will cost you too much wasted time and wasted money. Get specific, hone down your type of client and you’ll get better results.

 

Okay so end of part two.

 

Next week I’ll go into depth about marketing your massage business and the dirty truth about advertising in the newspaper.

 

Oh, and just a side note, before I go, I’m finally getting into the 21st Century. I’m going “video.” That means I’ve just bought some pretty great video software which allows me to talk to you via video. I don’t have a camera yet, but I can still do a presentation. So check the blog for updates on this. I’ll be giving away top marketing tips for free.

 

See you then!

 

Amy Roberts


 

Discover The Cause Of Why Massage Therapists Do Not Get Their Businesses Off The Ground In The First Three Years. And How You Can Avoid This And Have A Thriving Massage Business.

Do you find it “hard” to get new clients coming to you as everyone promises you its so easy to do? Let me tell you something about getting clients and the ease of which that’s done.

It’s very tough….if you use your qualifications as something to try and impress new people. It’s very tough….if you don’t get specific in your marketing. It’s very tough…if you think logos and glossy business cards will impress people. And it’s virtually impossible to get clients if you keep telling them some boring stuff such as how massage therapy helps blood circulation and a whole lot of other stuff they’ve never heard about and are therefore not interested in.

If I can give you just a few words of advice, then here they are: clients want specific benefits. They don’t come to you because you can do wonders for blood circulation or lymphatic drainage. I’d bet most people don’t know what a Lymph is. They come to you because you make them feel good because you get rid of the ache in their back. And they come to you because they like you as a person.

Forget marketing the other way, it won’t work and makes your chances of failing pretty sure. Start thinking of them, what they want, why they come and how you can specifically help them. Then you’re on the right track.

 Amy Roberts

How To Choose The Right Massage Therapy Tables and Accessories

blacl-and-white-pic-of-woman-lying-on-massage-table.jpgWhen I first started massage therapy I had an interesting experience. I bought the wrong table. Sure it was great for the client; nice and thickly padded, soft head piece and comfy foot bolster…but after three massages and found my arms were aching.

Not having the experience or maturity as a massage therapist I did what most young people do; try and make it work. I told myself it was just me and there was nothing wrong with the table. After all I had paid $170 for it and I was determined to get my moneys worth as a massage therapy tool I would value.

After ten massages of this confounded thing I took it back. My massage therapy treatments just felt hard and difficult to apply to my clients. Massage was feeling like too much hard work. So I went into another store called Firm N Fold and explained my problem to the assistant there.

“It’s your table, it’s at the wrong height, its 5 cm too high for you” she said kindly.

I was really surprised. How could something so small cause so much of a problem. After all by this stage I was the one needed massage! My arms and now lower back were starting to give me trouble.

She explained to me, and I understood being a massage therapist, that repetitive movements at a fraction just too high can put stress on the muscles and joints through slight hyperextension. Over time small increments of hyperextension fatigues the muscles that you use for massage.

She then asked me to stand straight. I did so out of curiosity. She then placed her thumb on my hip and said “your table should come no higher than your hip joint. In fact a little lower to allow for the height of the body.”

My current massage table was higher than my hip joint by about an inch. Just enough to wear any massage therapist out!

From then on I knew how to choose my massage table. I ended up getting one customer made which made an immediate difference on the way I felt in doing my massage. I was comfortable and relaxed in my upper body, arms and shoulders and lower back too. It was a much better state to be in.

Here’s a quick guide on how to choose the right massage table and accessories.

Firstly having a table that’s adjustable is the ideal. All different clients come to different heights on the table according to their body weight. Not two people are the same, and as a massage therapist no will appreciate this more! So don’t be afraid to get a massage table customer made that’s also adjustable.

Comfort. Once you’ve got the table height suited to your height then think about this next aspect to look for. Table Padding. A lot of massage tables can be really hard to lie on. That’s ok if you’ve got a good lot of padding you can throw on the massage table, but again that will raise each person by a few centimeters. Its best to find a table with really comfortable padding yet has durability too.

The massage table padding naturally has a lot of bearing on client comfort, but not just to lie on. If the massage table is well padded you can lean against it yourself whilst massaging them. There are a few massage table companies who offer double and triple foam padded massage tables such as Stronglite and Oakworks.

Don’t be confused by lots of foam padding equaling density to firmness. The actual mass thickness that makes up the density of the massage table relates to the weight of the foam, not how soft or firm the massage table is.

The face rest should be able to slide into the massage table easily, without stiffness or problems. It should be adjustable and very comfortable for the client. There should be adequate face-space so the client can breathe comfortably.

You can also add some luxury to your massage table by purchasing an arm support. The arm support is a padded piece that sits under your face piece. Like a platform to rest their arms on. This is especially effective if your client has a shoulder problem and has trouble hanging their arms down or placing them by their side face down. The arm support provides extra comfort for the client. If your client has a problem in their shoulder area, you can use the arm support to open up the Trapezius and Rhomboid areas very effectively.

The same goes with finding a massage table bolster. The massage bolsters are a firm foam padded piece that is placed under the clients ankles to raise the feet, which in turn takes pressure of the clients lower back. This is a brilliant massage accessory because of the amount of people with lower back pain. It’s more comfortable to have it raised high enough that their toes are not touching the table.

This will make your job as a massage therapist easier and more enjoyable; taking the pressure of your body as well as providing superb comfort for your client. After-all there’s nothing worse than being uncomfortable on the massage table!

So think about these things with much consideration and you will find you can last in this business a lot longer and you will be able to provide excellent service to your clients.

Amy Roberts

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Tips For Starting Up A Home Massage Business

If you have just graduated as a Massage Therapist and want to start up your practice from home here are some ways you get started.

First of all, let me say that starting from home is an excellent way to keep overhead costs down, build up a solid client base in the control of your own environment and there are no traveling times to and from work.

Before I give you these important directions to follow lets look at this first, otherwise you won’t be able to do anything: The hardest thing about getting starting is developing momentum. This factor is so underestimated. It’s very easy to sit back and say “it’s all too hard” and rely on clients to come to you without any effort. It can be hard because you have to be very self motivated and be willing to put the time in to start this momentum.

So what are some ways to make this “gaining momentum” easier?

Write down in a special book (blank) that every day you will commit to a minimum of at least one hour dedicated to the pursuit of getting clients. If you work better with routine, then say to yourself “okay everyday, Monday to Friday, between 10 am and 11am I am going to work actively at getting clients.”

See how that feels already? Already you have formed a picture in your mind of yourself actually doing that. That picture can grow into reality and form into your life. That mental image is the basis of getting what you want. It’s very important.

The next thing to do is to have a very clear picture in your mind of what you want to be experiencing. In your special book (I call this my “inspiration book” its really a business planning book, but you can call it whatever name works to get you going) you can then ask yourself a question:

What are some of the ways I can start getting clients today?

Your response might be “contact the local Physical Therapy Center and introduce myself, and leave a brochure or flyer there.” It’s a small gesture but it might lead to something else later.

Make sure though, that the clients you want to treat actually go to the Physical Therapy Center. No point marketing yourself where your potential clients have no intention of going. I want to make that point as clear as the palm of your hand.

The next thing to do is to make sure you follow up and follow up with these people or places you contact. It’s SO important to keep tabs on what your results are from your contact so that you know what’s getting you clients and what is not.

There is no point contacting a swimming center over and over again over a 4 month time frame, and leaving brochures there if you get absolutely no clients from that. There’s no sense “flogging a dead horse” as the saying goes.

This is why you must keep tabs. All you have to do for this is to write in your special book how many times you have contacted them over what period of time and whether you got any response from the swim center or not. If you did special offers and incentives to the swim center over a 6 month period, and gave your “all” and got absolutely nothing back, move on.

If you contacted the Physical Therapist a few times and had two clients from them and those clients came back and referred you other clients over a six month period, to compare, then you know that source is a good source to work on. Perhaps then you can contact the Therapist with a thank you card and some incentive for them to keep referring you their clients. It might be free massage, it might be something else. Whatever it is, make sure you do it and give them something they will like. There is no point rewarding them for the business they have given you with a nice bottle of white wine if they dislike alcohol! Just find out from their receptionist or colleague first. It’s just a bit of sneaky detective work that will go along way.

When do you stop your daily hour commitment to getting clients? You never actually stop working on your massage business to get clients, you’ll always be doing it. That’s just business and if you’ve been in it for as long as I have (since 1994) or for twenty minutes you must realise that the act of marketing is just as important as the massage itself.

The more you build up the busier you will be and that time you spend may go from one hour a day to three hours a week, but whatever time it is, make should you do it and commit to it.

Don’t worry if you take a bit of time to actually gain this momentum, just make sure you commit to it and follow through. Because the thing about starting to take action like this is actually making a promise to yourself and, on a personal level, enhancing your self esteem as well.

Amy Roberts

How Often Should I Market My Massage Business?

This is a question that I get asked on a regular basis. You know that you should do marketing- that’s established but the frequency is not always known. And, to be, honest with you, it sometimes depends on where your massage business is.

I’ll explain.

Clinics who have been established for several years or more often fid that the majority of business either comes from word of mouth or the signage out the front- depending on where they are. The Therapists who have a good number of clients get most of their clientel through word of mouth and advertising they do. Starting Therapists usually get their cleitnel from word of mouth as advertising is not a financial option at this stage.

Did you notice what they have in common? They all have to market themselves. Regardless of what stage you are in you must always continually market yourself. Eevn the most regular clients don’t stay forever. Sometimes this is because of moving out of the area, death, and sometimes they just don’t need us anymore. The latter is great for them because if that happens we have done our jobs and helped them with their problem. But don’t get too comfortable with your client numbers. And even the most established of clinics have hired me to do their marketing for them.

You simply must market your massage business all the time. I would suggest if you are starting out then at least dedicate half an hour a day to doing something. If it’s just a phone call or placing your flyers in a health food store, at least it is something. If you are fairly established and don’t need an influx of clients then every couple of months should be a good start.

What happens if you don’t?

If you don’t you’ll find you hit quiet times more suddenly and without warning. Your marketing will sustain your client numbers for a while but not forever which is why you need to address it on a regular basis.

Marketing is a form of communication and it is that communication that enables people to feel comfortable about coming to you. When people feel that, then you will find that the frequency of new clients will be higher and more solid over the longer times.

Amy Roberts

How Well Do You Know Your Massage Practice?

I have spoken a lot about marketing your massage therapy business in the past few months in the most direct way. I’ve mentioned your target market also and how important it is to know who your clients are.

There is one thing that I have not spoken to you about and I think it’s time I said it. It’s really important and something you must know before I continue giving you good information about massage therapy marketing tips.

Getting to know who your massage therapy clients are is essential because you can’t create an effective marketing message if you don’t know who you are marketing too. Okay, that’s established. But really, you’ve got to take a step further.

This next step is keeping up to date with who is coming to you in your massage business and why. You see in order to be a successful massage therapist you must keep the “finger on the pulse” of your massage business. This means you must know what types of people are coming to you, how long they want their massage therapy treatment for, what they get treated for and if they have successful results.

The main reason we have to do this in our massage therapy practices is because having clients means knowing them. And a huge aspect of that is to actually know how many of them are repeat business, once-offs and casuals to intermediate clients.

By dong this simple analysis will show you exactly what type of massage business you have, and gives you the chance to rectify any potential flaws lurking about, such as 40% of your clients you never see again. Wouldn’t you like to know if that is actually happening? It sounds funny to think you wouldn’t know something as important as this.

I’ll explain.

A client of mine, a very good Therapist who has a thriving massage therapy practice in a busy inner city suburb and has several staff has been running for 13 years. This lovely guy thought he had it made. (I knew just by looking at him that he was in for some serious talk time by me.) To cut a fairly long story short he realised that a major percentage of his clients were never to be seen. I mean up to 48% never came back.

Why? Because he hadn’t identified his target market properly, what they really wanted or worked out how to educate them to come back to continue with a treatment ‘program’. After our meeting he realised that he had to know who was coming through the door and why, and if he could increase the amount of times they came back.

Now you and I both know this isn’t an exercise is getting clients to come back if they don’t need to, but I’m not talking about clients who are ok. I’m talking about clients with chronic muscular dysfunction that needed to come back but didn’t know they needed to. They were not being educated.

After our meeting he then implemented a plan (with my help) to increase the number of times they came back, thus getting better results from the massage treatment, and as a consequence, referring more people to him, because they were better educated. They were better educated because he realised there was a gap in his client identification process and once fixed his once-off clients dropped to 20%.

And hey, this isn’t rocket science, as the saying goes. This is about knowing who’s coming, why and how often so you can keep better tabs on your practice and reap the rewards of success, as you deserve.

Take time to do this every week, so you don’t get behind. Just half an hour to write down who you treated, for how long etc. It will give you better and more effective control over what’s happening and be able to make better decisions in the long run. Success in your massage therapy business will come faster.

Amy Roberts



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