Monthly Archives: August 2006

Hiring the Right Therapists

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I recently received an email from a therapist who was opening a massage clinic specializing in injury treatment and wanted to know how to tell if his prospective therapists had sufficient training. Of course he could look at their resume, but that doesn’t show the whole picture.

As far as their skill level, nothing beats experiencing the work of your prospective therapists for yourself. That will tell you a lot, and not JUST about their massage skills. You will also get to see them in action and decide if their manner and personality syle fits the mood of your clinic.

It is also a good idea to encourage your new therapists to continue to hone their skills. One way I have seen to be effective is to have massage DVDs available for them in-house to watch and encourage them to buddy with a colleague to practice.

However, an even better way is to offer a set amount of money annually to each therapist for continuing education. You could do this based on the average number of sessions they provide, how long they have worked for you, or some other way that you choose. Not only will this keep their skills sharp, but it is a great incentive to keep good therapists.

And remember, the reputation of your clinic or day spa rests to a great extent on the skill, expertise and manner of your therapists, so investing in them is money well spent.

Think Bigger About Who You Are!

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Today I was inspired by new words of wisdom from my ballet teacher, Cher. She said, “Dance is a life-long exploration into getting bigger about who you are.” You see as dancers we are always trying to reach our heads closer to the ceiling, our arms wider to the side, our legs longer and higher…. and on it goes.

It reminded me of something I read recently in Michael Port’s excellent book, Book Yourself Solid (see book recommendations on the left). He said that the greatest strategy for personal and business development on the planet is bold self-expression. I couldn’t agree more. So often we water down our “message” so much that we just get lost in the crowd.

Instead, Michael thinks that we need to get bigger about who we are and what we offer the world. To that end, he has started The Think Big Revolution.

I think we should start a Think Big Revolution for massage therapists. What do you think?

Thinking of Starting Your Own Massage Practice?

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In response to a previous post I had written about a massage student trying to decide whether to work for an established wellness center or go off and build her own practice, another therapist, Marcy, recently had some great comments that I wanted to share with you. She said:

Learn all areas of the business before you jump in to starting your own practice. It takes years of discipline and hard work to sustain a thriving business. It’s a lifestyle not a job. Start taking classes to enhance what you already know and continually attend trade shows and networking events to stay current and get your name out there. Persistence, perseverence and a positive attutude will help you naturally succeed!

Thanks Marcy. I couldn’t agree more.

Do we have any more experienced therapists out there with insights for new therapists thinking of starting their own massage practice? Just hit the “comments” link and feel free to share your thoughts.

Do You Take Up Enough Space?

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Prior to my massage career I danced professionally in NYC for many years. I no longer dance professionally, but I do still take dance classes regularly. It’s one of the ways that I feed my soul!

I have a wonderful ballet teacher who is always providing insightful snippets that apply to life outside the dance studio as much as in it. In class yesterday she stopped us and said that we should redo the exercise, but this time as we were dancing, we should take up every morsel of space that we possibly could. Our movements became bigger and we all danced with more commitment and presence.

It made me wonder about my professional life, and the places that I don’t take up as much space as the universe provides. When I do “claim my space and fill it” I have so much more confidence and pizzazz.

So where, in growing your massage business, do you take up all the space available to you, and where do you just slide by?

If It Worked For Cleopatra….

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I was recently reading the book for solo-professionals by Harriet Rubin called “Soloing”. She reminded me of the famous ploy executed by Cleopatra when she wanted to get an audience with none other than Julius Caesar. She had herself wrapped up in a beautiful Persian carpet and delivered to his palace. It worked!

Then there was the consultant who tried and failed to reach a potentially very lucrative prospect. He never could get past the secretary. Till one day he heard that his potential prospect was going to be at a conference in a local hotel. So he hand delivered steaming hot pizza to the conference room right before lunch. And he got his client!

So who are your hard-to-reach potential clients or joint-venture partners (folks who reach the same target market as you but offering different services or products) and what creative ways can you think of to reach them that are outside the box of conventional marketing.

In other words, what can you learn from Cleopatra?

More low cost marketing ideas.

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Here are some more massage marketing ideas from blog reader Warwick Bumstead on the use of fliers and networking:

Fliers don’t need to be expensive, you just need to have a good offer for people to take it up. I have found if you value-add instead of discounting the repeat is better. A common one I use is receive your first one hour massage at 1/2 hour price. Team up with another business that you can help with clients and they can help you. A lot of businesses do mail outs each month. Find out if they can put fliers in with their mail outs for a free massage or you pay half the postage etc. Networking meetings are another great place to go. Aim to talk to about 10 people, don’t go in, see some one you know and only talk to them. Move around the room.

Thanks again Warwick for sharing your experience and wisdom.

Some great low cost massage marketing ideas that work!

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I just got a new comment on this blog from Warwick Bumstead of Core Benefits, Toowoomba, Australia. He had some great ideas for getting new massage clients that are free or don’t cost much. According to Warwick, the best clients are referrals because he has found that massage clients that are referred seem to come back more often than the clients you get from advertising. Here’s what he said:

I have found that newspaper adverts have very little response and are over priced and over rated. The best advertising that I have found to work for me are Gift Certificates which I supply businesses for free for them to give to their clients as an up-sale or a gift. The value of the gift certificate is only 1/4 of the price of a massage and the store only validates it for 1 month so it is not put into a drawer and forgotten about. The types of businesses I supply with these are upper class and fitness clubs.

Thanks Warwick. So what have you found to be the best way to get new massage clients? Please click on the comments link below and tell us.