How To Find Your First Massage Therapy Clients
Finding your first massage therapy clients
You've completed your massage therapy training and you're ready to bag your first clients.
But where do you start?
Focusing on the marketing essentials will enable you to find your first clients quickly and begin growing your business.
I'm A Qualified Massage Therapist - Where Do I Find My First Clients?
As with any type of business it's easy to get stuck in that: "if I build it, they will come" mindset.
After all, completing your massage therapy training was the all-important bit right? And now you're qualified, clients should be beating a path to your door. Surely you don't have to know about marketing as well?
Unfortunately you do!
Having a great marketing strategy in place will win you those all-important first clients early on, which can be a great boost to your ego (and your bank balance) - and as they say - one success frequently leads to another.
These are the activities you should focus on initially:
Your Web Presence
You will need to establish a website or blog for your business just as soon as you can. These days a business without a website will be viewed with scepticism, if not downright mistrust and you will struggle to make your business a success.
Beware of companies that offer a free domain name and '5 free pages of hosting.' If you want to change hosting companies further down the line you may not be allowed to take your domain name with you which will be a real pain once your business is established.
Far better to purchase your domain name from an independent company like NameCheap. There are many others but NameCheap is well established and enjoys a good reputation. Also you don't want to be restricted in the number of web pages you can build. You will want to have the option to create keyword-rich content freely over time, without being confined to a few pages.
Follow Up Calls & Website Enquiries In A Timely Manner
Many people treat their business like a hobby rather than a professional outfit, then act surprised when their customers don't come back! You won't always be answer a call or respond to a contact form immediately, but decide on a set policy you will adhere to and make sure the details are posted prominently on your website. For example: "We will respond to all enquiries within 24 hours."
Don't Just Offer 'A Massage Appointment' . . .
. . . but rather make each client interaction 'the ultimate pampering experience' - a description or tagline which fits your ideals and is reflected in your branding and corporate identity.
Find Creative Ways To Advertise Your Business (For Free)
Advertising can be expensive so try to use free PR and word-of-mouth tactics as much as possible. Create a press release for your local newspaper and any trade magazines which might like to feature you. You could hold a competition for readers to win a free massage, or provide a coupon or code entitling people to 15 per cent off their first booking.
Following on from your massage therapy training is where the real hard work begins. Owning your own business is full of challenges and uncertainties - but when you make a success of it - there's nothing more rewarding.
Therapy Room DÃ©cor Tips
A visit to a therapist for treatment needs to be successful on a number of levels. The client expects and hopes for a positive outcome from the therapy and this can be achieved more easily by managing the environment of the therapy room.
A therapy room needs to feel welcoming and relaxing to patients or clients. The room is a representation of you and the service you offer so it is important to get it right. Of course, there will be different requirements depending on which particular therapy is on offer, but there are some basic rules that will apply in all situations.
A therapy room should be spotlessly clean. This sounds obvious, but sometimes it can get overlooked. Some therapies are conducted at lower, more relaxing light levels, and dust and grime may be harder to see. Remember, clients notice that sort of thing immediately and it may lose you their custom.
A therapy room should not feel at all cramped or cluttered. Of course, you will have the tools of your trade on hand, but make sure that massage therapy equipment, for example, or other vital kit does not interfere with the flow of the room. The space should feel calm, open and ordered, without distractions.
Ask yourself a few pertinent questions: Does the room feel comfortable? Is the temperature set correctly? Too hot and stuffy or too cool in the air-con? It's a good idea to ask a fellow therapist to treat you in the room. This enables you to experience the space as a client does. How does it feel? Are you relaxed? Is it noisy? Does the air-conditioning blow icily onto you whilst you are on the treatment couch? What do your eyes rest upon during treatment? Is the music too loud or too quiet? Are there any unpleasant odours? Can you really relax?
Naturally, the type of service on offer will influence the decor. A massage therapist specialising in sports injuries will have a decor with a different ambience from one treating children or pregnant women. Massage therapy equipment will be at the centre of the space and dictate how the rest of the room works. Therapy rooms often have small dimensions but clever design can make rooms feel larger.
What colour should a therapy room be? That's a tough one, and often it depends very much on the type of service being provided. Whilst bright white rooms create an impression of clinical cleanliness that may be desirable in an acupuncture setting, they can also be cold and unwelcoming. A relaxing aromatherapy session might be much better undertaken in a darker room with warm, rich colours. Many therapists deal with the problem of room colour by opting for a neutral shade on the walls and using clever lighting to change ambience as and when required. Floor standing lights, low level lamps and overhead spots are all useful and give optimum flexibility.
Therapy rooms found at luxury spas often have more opulent fixtures and fittings. Anything from wall to wall fish tanks, indoor fountains, sea views and scented candles can be expected. Of course, there is no reason why these elements can't be successfully adopted on a smaller scale in your therapy room.