In massage, the power is in your hands. Literally. But aside from having the technical skill required to manipulate the body, you need a lot of soft and interpersonal skills that can set your practice apart from someone else’s.
New clients may feel vulnerable or confused about how best to communicate their needs. Your relationships are essential to growth, and the most successful massage businesses know how to create them. But what makes for stronger professional relationships?
We believe trust is fundamental and should be at the heart of everything we do.
So how do you establish trust? We believe it is with communication—spoken, unspoken, and even digital.
Building trust begins with the first touchpoint: a social media post, Google listing, a friend’s referral, or flyer pinned on a local business’s bulletin board. When a client takes in this information—regardless of the source—professionalism will build the first step to a bridge of trust.
Curated and creative business materials not only instill trust in your business, but conversely, inaccurate information (like hours, phone number, pricing or available services) can undermine trust.
Once a client is inside your practice, their brain is registering judgments about your space. Keeping a clutter-free, clean space is essential if you want to continue establishing trust and communicating high standards. Things like odd smells, stains on the carpet, or countless knick-knacks can be distracting—leaving you with a missed opportunity to impress.
Your appearance and demeanor are also components that can influence a client’s trust. Simple practices like excellent time management, active listening skills, and personal hygiene prove that you respect and care about both yourself and your clients.
If someone arrives at a practice and has to wait for fifteen minutes while another session finishes, that client might not feel their time has been respected. This puts you, as the massage therapist, at a disadvantage for establishing trust and an open line of communication.
The most successful massage business owners know that education is empowerment—for both themselves and their clients. Continued education is a huge part of massage therapy. Though many of the techniques are centuries old, there is new research emerging constantly about the benefits of various therapies, as well as new contraindications of which to be aware.
However, if you’re just educating yourself, you’re only doing half of the work. To have a truly successful massage business, you also need to educate your clients.
Take the extra five minutes to communicate with them about their progress and pain or discomfort. Talk to them about their posture, lifestyle, sleep habits, stress levels, and more. Empower them with the information they need to make changes and what kinds of practices can partner with massage to generate even better results.
Much of the work done in a massage therapist’s room can influence the mental and emotional, as well as the physical. Be sure you alert your clients about these effects and encourage them to share what they are noticing in themselves outside of the room.
As with any career, innovation makes the difference between having a massage business and having a successful massage business. And it can come in the simplest of forms. COVID-19 has forced many of us to innovate the ways in which we manage our schedules, clean our spaces, onboard new clients, and more. It wasn’t an easy transition, but staying flexible and pivoting when necessary has been essential to keeping our businesses alive.
Perhaps you had to space appointments farther apart to make room for more cleaning protocols. Perhaps you introduced contactless intake forms. Perhaps you created paths inside your building to ensure social distance. Whatever you did, that was innovation and—you guessed it—building trust! The innovative ways you adapted to the new normal communicated to your clients that you were thoughtful and considerate of everyone at your practice, including yourself, your staff and other clients.
But let’s not just wait for the next pandemic to find other ways to be innovative. How else can you make your massage business more successful this year?
Other innovations you could consider now:
- Offering mobile services
- Special scheduling for at-risk clients
- Online tutorials for self-massage
- Virtual coaching for fellow therapists
- New certifications (especially if you’re able to continue education online)
- Implementing a better marketing strategy
- Creating a stronger social media presence
- Introducing online booking & payments
Successful massage businesses are built on communication. This means communicating about your policies, your services, and your specialties, as well as asking open-ended questions to clients about how they feel and their level of comfort. But beyond how you communicate with your clients when face to face, communication starts when they are searching online for massage therapists in your area.
How are you representing your business to those who do not yet know you?
Does your website leave something to be desired? Even worse, are you missing a website? When you sign up for MassageBook, you get a fully functional website that allows for online booking, which seamlessly integrates with the app and your calendar. This makes it easier for someone to do business with you and easier to get your schedule the way you want it.
But maybe people don’t even have to go to your website every time. When you use MassageBook’s Reserve with Google integration, you can remove that step by allowing clients to book appointments directly through Google search. When your Google My Business page pops up, there’s a button that says “Book Now” that lets clients choose their time slot and service right then. Boom! It’s never been quicker.
There are about a million pages and places online where people could potentially find you. Social media is a huge part of that network. When someone recommends your business on Facebook, much of their network sees it. Those in their communities might comment and ask for more information—or just click over to your page and explore for themselves.
When you post on Instagram and someone shares it to their Stories, you’re expanding your reach for free—because posting yourself doesn’t cost you anything—with their actively engaged audience.
MassageBook makes it easy to add a “Book Now” button to your Facebook page, plus we also share lots of social media ideas with our members to help solve the problem of what to post.
These forms of digital connection are still communication and just as important as how you present yourself in person.
These tools say that you’re out there looking for potential clients and growing your business. They say that you’re aware of consumer behavior trends and want to make their lives easier. They also say that you value your own time instead of shuffling through paper notebooks, trying to find that week’s schedule.
Yes, they really say all of that!
This brings us to our last point: the most successful massage businesses invest in tools and technologies that support their goals of growth and retention.
For example, if your goal is to spend less time on administrative duties so that you can see more clients (or spend more time with family and friends!), then investing in a tool like MassageBook is a step in the right direction.
First, we can help you get rid of your paper problem. With MassageBook, your schedule, intake forms, SOAP notes, and more are all available with a few touches of a button in our app.
Second, we can help you gain exposure by being listed in our expansive massage therapist directory.
Third, we can automate your appointment reminders, digital marketing initiatives, and allow you to accept online payments.
Lastly, our job is all about making your job easier. That means you can be sure that you have a team behind you who is always looking for new, innovative ways to simplify and grow your business.
And we can do all of this for an incredibly affordable price. Seriously. No hidden fees or contracts. Our pricing is low and straightforward. Plus, we even offer discounts for AMTA and ABMP members.
How’s that for clear communication?
- Author: Amber Ludeman
- Published: September 09, 2020