Beth Wade, LMT
Twisted Roots Chicago
Whether you are purposefully taking steps to strategically develop and build the massage therapy business of your dreams in your community, or are simply going to your practice every day, taking care of your clients, and then going home, you are creating your personal brand. While the first scenario describes a massage therapist who understands the importance of making thoughtful choices and business decisions that will attract new clients while maintaining the loyalty of established customers, the latter scenario describes many business owners who don’t understand or simply overlook the importance of strategically creating a personal brand. To be a successful massage therapist and run a practice that is inviting, professional, and profitable, you must be vested in cultivating and growing a personal brand that differentiates you from all the other massage therapists in your community.
Building your personal brand cannot commence until you first identify and decide upon your personal brand vision. This “vision” of you, your product, and your services is how you desire your clients and the community to perceive (and receive) you. As a massage therapist in your community, this is utterly important because you are your product and therefore, the face of your brand.
Here are 4 steps to help you clarify your vision and start building your uniquely authentic personal brand:
What you value most will quickly and easily shine through to your customers and your community. If you have a strong sense of honor concerning your values, you’ll find that you are passionately committed to ensuring your beliefs are congruent with your actions. If you value integrity, fairness, flexibility, and quality ~ your business practice will reflect those things. All your clients and staff will feel respected, comfortable, and confident in their decision to patronize or work at your practice.
Here are some other things you might value:
By embracing and implementing your values, you’ll staff and clients will get a sense of what your professional brand will be. Once you have identified your values, you’ll need to prioritize them. Is providing individualized customer service something you value more than closing your business at 5 PM sharp eve very night when you’ve had a client arrive a half hour late? If so, you’ll still welcome your late client with open arms instead of rescheduling him/her for a later date. In addition, once you’ve identify years values, you’ll want to be sure that the team you hire to work at your practice (who will always be referring you and your values) are in since with all that you value for how you want to rung your business ~ including the provision of world-class, exceptional customer service.
A key factor in creating a successful personal brand is identifying and actualizing your passions. What you are passionate about in life is your driving force behind all your choices on your life’s path. If you are passionate about living a life free of drugs, toxic foods, negative people, and materials things that don’t enhance, uplift, and inspire you ~ that will show throw at your professional massage therapy practice. You’ll choose natural lighting over fluorescent lights, live green plants over plastic, water over caffeine, soothing minimalistic music over loud disturbing beats, and the aroma of vanilla over the smell of leftovers from the local fast food joint around the corner. Consider the type of experience you want your clients to have each and every time they visit your practice; that experience should reflect what you are passionate about and what is important to you for yourself, your staff, and your clients.
While no one knows you better than you know yourself, sometimes it’s helpful (and interesting) to discover what your particular personality traits are ~ scientifically ~ so that you can work on improving the ones that will most effectively help your practice prosper. The well-known five big personality traits are:
Each of the traits is measured on a scale; you’ll find yourself somewhere on the different scales ~ and those results will describe your personality. You can take a test on the Big Five Personality Traits for free, where you’ll be asked to answer questions based on a scale of agree-ability. The results of this personality test will give you insight into some of your strengths and areas where you could perhaps improve. As most of these traits are things that are inherent in your personality it may be hard to change, however, you could make a change in certain traits to encourage a better personal brand as a massage therapist. For instance, if you’re more reserved than outgoing, it may be good to work on being more social and friendly with your clients. Again, as a massage therapist you are your product, you have to attract and maintain clients not only with your knowledge, skills, and expertise, but also with your personality. As you recognize these traits, try to assess what would be the most beneficial to work on for your personal brand. Making small changes in your personality traits will achieve a large outcome in your professional massage therapy practice.
Ultimately, you should discuss your findings with your friends and family. Their own personal perception of you, combined with your findings from the personality test, may give you a good idea of how clients perceive you in your massage therapy practice. Try to correlate the feedback from those who love you with the goals you have set for yourself in building your brand. Once you have done that, you will be able to build a better personal brand as a massage therapist, achieve more clients for your business and live a happier more fulfilling life.