July 14, 2011
Building Your Castle
By Alexa Severtsen
After completing massage training (at Northwest Academy for the Healing Arts), you're ready to show the world your new skills and make a name for yourself. If you're not working for a major clinic that provides all the marketing, you'll be the one responsible for attracting clients. So where do you begin?
Two words: Get Involved.
I mean, fanatically involved, you thought school was consuming, building a massage career should occupy your thoughts 24/7.
The most successful practitioners devote 2-3 hours of business promotion and development for every hour of client interaction. (1)
If you're seeing 10 clients per week, that's 20-30 additional hours spent developing your business. Your focus should be to do whatever it takes to get your name out there. Once you've devoted a solid year or two to building your business, you'll get to enjoy all the benefits of your hard work, including a consistent stream of clients.
Here's a list of my top 5 favorite ways to build momentum once you graduate:
5. Know your neighbors. The best way to connect and to build your massage brand is by meeting other practitioners. Seek out a variety of specialists, M,D.'s, N.D.'s, M.S.A.O.M.'s, P.T.'s, D.O.'s, D.C.'s, LMNOPQ's...Stop by their office, introduce yourself, bring business cards, invite them out for coffee or lunch. Build a solid connection and you'll have referrals for life.
4. Subscribe to an RSS feed. Let Google do the research for you. If you have a Gmail account, search for the Google product called "reader". Click on "add a subscription" and type in key words such as "massage" or "alternative health-care". You'll receive the latest research on Massage from around in the world.
3. Follow a Blog. If you're not a fan of spending hours on a computer searching for information, find a blogger who is and follow them. Check out these sites: www.themassagegeek.com/blog/ or www.massageproceblog.com. If you feel comfortable, try responding to some of the blog posts, it'll create name and brand recognition in addition to building relationships with others in the community.
2. Get a Massage Magazine Subscription. Magazines are an easy way to stay up-to-date on the latest products, research and continuing education classes. The more you know about massage the better you can treat your clients, answer their questions and keep their business. Many massage organizations such as AMTA or Massage Magazine will sign you up for a subscription when you become a member.
1. Attend a Massage Conference or Workshop. Find a technique or style that suits your interest and learn everything you can about it. The more knowledgeable you are in your specialty the better known your name will be in the community. So when people think "Pediatric Massage" your name immediately comes to mind.
If you commit to developing your massage identity brand and business right after graduation, you'll be an EXPERT in your field before you know it and maybe even the King or Queen of your castle.
1. Sohnen-Moe, Cherie. Business Mastery 3rd Edition. Arizona: SMA Sohnen Moe Associates, Inc. 2005. Print
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