Massage Business 101: Be You, Be Original, Be Authentic & Watch Your Practice Grow
I have to admit I’m kinda pissed at our industry; there is all of this continuing ed shoved down our throat & very little application of how to implement it into our practices. Very few people are offering help as to how to create a unique & authentic practice.
How often have you taken a course, gotten really excited, came home & thought how the freak do it implement this into my practice?
So often what I see is a massage therapist with 3–7 different services listed & 85 different price points for each service. I don’t think this helps the MT at all to build a solid, sustainable practice they are passionate about. I believe it creates confusion for clients & the practitioner & I always think WHY would you be excited to offer a service that you make $5, $10 or $15 less than another service? Your practice should be a direct reflection of your passion & creativity; then built on a solid business structure.
In my practice I offer 1 service for 2 price points; an hour rate & a 1/2 hour rate. The hour rate is the same as two 1/2 hr appointments. This makes it simple for me & my client, there is no confusion on price or what is the “better deal”. In fact it keeps the price shoppers at bay. I charge on average $15 more for a 1/2 hr & $30–40 more for an hour than people in my local market. I have built my practice exclusively on word of mouth & very rarely has someone tried to negotiate with me or complained about my rates.
I also give them waaaay more than the average MT in terms of education about their injury, why it happened & what we are going to do to help them recover as quickly. They also have my permission to fire me if I am not holding up to my end of the bargain.
With all of that being said, I do want to place the blame of not being original where it belongs; on the practitioner. In today’s world of free content & independent study there is no excuse for not being original. If you are reading this; you have all of the tools in front of you. Here are 4 action steps to get you started.
- Independent Study: Make use of podcasts, webinars, YouTube, blogs & the rest of the interwebs power. Here are 3 people I suggest you start to follow; Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin & Chris Brogan. They are all powerhouses & will help to shape your thoughts on how to create a practice that is original, authentic & uniquely you.
- Refine What You Offer: If you offer multiple services go through them & pitch out the ones you are not passionate about. They kill your creativity & passion; most artists have 1–3 mediums max they use to create their work from/on.
- Find Your Passion: Make a list of your last 20 clients & ask yourself the following questions. Who were you excited to work on, why were you excited to work on them & how can you find more of them?
- Be The Best You Can Be: Find continuing education courses that improve the work you are passionate about. It won’t be a mystery as to how to implement what you have learned into your practice then.
I realize that this is all hard work; I know because I have done it. It is easy to be average & like the rest of the industry; but I believe it’s a huge reason burn out is so high in our profession. You don’t have to be average! Go out & seek to be original so that your practice can & will grow.
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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 email@example.com