So you have completed massage therapy school and maybe spent some time working as a massage therapist for somebody else. You have done some research, found a place or made a space in your home, invested in a good massage table, soothing lighting, massage oils, and all the rest and now you are ready to hang out your shingle and go into business for yourself. Congratulations! Now all you need are clients…
Deciding to go out on your own can be scary, but with a little creativity and a little energy you can build a solid client base to ensure your success. Most people, when they are looking for a massage therapist, are going to first ask their friends and family for their experiences and recommendations, and that’s a good place to start. People want to go with someone they know can be trusted. But when you have exhausted your own circle of friends and family for referrals you need to get creative. And you need to get yourself known.
Getting yourself known is key. A massage puts people in a vulnerable position. If your prospective clients have already met you and seen you, then they will immediately feel much more comfortable in choosing you. So get yourself out there and get known! To do this you must think creatively and take advantage of every opportunity to get out there, to meet people one on one, to offer a sample of your services and to hand out your business cards by the bucketful.
Contact businesses in your area. Many large and small companies have wellness programs. Get on the phone, speak to human resources and offer to come to the worksite as part of their wellness program and give ten or fifteen minute massages to their employees. It’s a win win for you and for the business that lets you in: they get happy employees; you get to meet people and demonstrate your skills.
Try contacting local schools. Lots of schools have special teacher appreciation days or weeks. Call them up, offer your services, grab your massage table and go! Teachers work hard, they deserve a massage to feel appreciated and you will find a whole new client base.
Rent a space at your local street fairs or art fairs. Booth rentals are often relatively inexpensive for these smaller events and they are a great way to meet a lot of people in a short amount of time. Offer just quick foot or hand massages for those events and you’ll be surprised at how many people remember you and use that business card next time they need a massage.
Try flu shot clinics at your area grocery store. While people wait they can enjoy a quick seated massage and you can make a number of new clients quickly!
Offer your services and your self for charity auctions and events. Don’t just donate a gift certificate, but offer to go there too – pack up your portable massage table and set up in a corner for short massages and then watch the bidding war for your services!
So think creatively, get yourself out there and get yourself known. When the phone starts ringing off the hook, you will be glad you did!