Massage Business 101: A Guide To Transforming Your Practice With Referral Partners

Hello All!

As many of you know I have recently moved from Michigan to Minnesota & am in the process of rebuilding my practice.

I had my practice & client base in Michigan for 16 years, over time I developed a few key working business relationships which lead to lots of great referrals. This strategy was instrumental in my ability to operate my practice in a very unconventional way.

I didn’t have a website, signage or business cards with the correct address on it.

After years of reading, taking classes & working on my networking skills I discovered this equation; target market + skills to serve this market + strong referral partners = schedule full of great clients.

Recently while talking to my business coach Lyn Christian she asked me to document how I go about waking into a business to create a referral partner relationship.

Soooo here we go!

  1. If at all possible have a referral to the owner of the business. Businesses get lots of random people who walk in to try & sell them stuff. If you don’t have a referral make sure the business is in your target market. Your goal is to build trust with the business owner & make them look like a genius for referring their clients/customers to you.
  2. Do not ask for anything in return, be a person of service. I have made this mistake many times in the past, I would go in & expect to get referrals/business without doing anything for the business owner; it got me nowhere. When I turned my focus on helping them build/strengthen their biz they in turn helped me.
  3. Be prepared to spend some $$$ in their business & become an avid customer. You are looking to build relationships not transactions, with my referral partners I plan on spending a minimum of $300–500 a year in their business. As mentioned above help them with their biz & they will in turn help you with yours.
  4. Visit them often with your crew; bring in friends, family members, colleagues & clients. When you bring these people in tell them why you partner with this store & why it’s so great.
  5. Offer 3 free sessions to them & their staff if they have one. They need to experience your work in order to tell people about you; create cheerleaders & champions.
  6. Set up your table/chair in their business at no cost to the business or customers. Plan on leaving the event/day with clients on your schedule for the following week.
  7. Introduce them to like minded business owners/colleagues & set up events where you all gain exposure & credibility. Be a leader & organize, your business won’t grow by itself.

I cannot stress enough to learn to take risks & build a community of like minded business owners that you can be mutually invested in each other’s success.

Business sucks & is stressful when you on an island with no interaction or help. People want to help you, you have to create a relationship with them & do a little work first to show them you are worth their time.

As I said before, be a leader & make things happen. Don’t wait for it to happen for you.

Practice Makes Improvement 😊

Shawn Kitzman has been practicing Movement Therapies since 1992. He began his Massage Practice in 2000 and is currently working on a book focused on helping Massage Therapists get out of their rut and put the Passion back into their practice. When he is not spending time with his family, getting thrown in Jiu Jitsu, providing solutions for injured athletes in his practice he can be reached at

Like what you read? Give Shawn Kitzman a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.