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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What Makes a Successful Massage Therapist?

Guest Blog Post by Hillary Arrieta LMT

What makes a successful massage therapist? What does success mean to you in regards to your professional life? I asked myself these questions when I began building my practice. It took me a while to come up with a good formula but I think I'm getting closer to nailing it down.

For me, success meant that I was giving the best service I could give, every time I touched a client. It also meant that I was as busy as I wanted to be and that I was also making a living wage.
All of these things have come true for me over the last four years since I started out on my self employment journey!

When I looked around at other successful massage therapists and heart-centered business owners, I saw certain characteristics that they had in common. Here's my short list of a few traits that help make a massage therapist successful in my eyes.

1. They have a positive attitude.
Above all else, staying positive and centered is one of the key ways to become successful. Being in business is hard. There will be days that will test you so having a positive attitude is important. Knowing when to go with the flow and when/how to make changes for the better can help you evolve as a therapist.

2. They give five star customer service.
Your clients deserve the best customer service. This right here can make or break your practice.  I was just reading an article about how more and more Americans are feeling disenfranchised by large corporations who don't care about their customers. When you take the time to care about your clients, they really notice.

Most people need to feel heard and valued. Making a policy agreement is a really smart way to serve your clients. When you lay out a specific process on how your business is managed and you share it with your clients, it establishes clear boundaries. No one feels unsure of things because everything has been presented and agreed upon. You become more confident in following through on business matters, as well.  Also, being organized can help establish trust and allow clients to really relax into their massage, getting the full benefits for your work.

3. They add value to their services.
Just giving someone a bare bones massage is not going to cut it these days. What else can you add to your sessions that adds value? You want to make your clients feel like they are getting a one of a kind service that they can't get anywhere else.

What can you add to put a special mark on your sessions? Hot towels, a unique modality,  a cozy table - these are all suggestions but be creative. Massage is a sensory experience. Even if you're doing a clinical style, you will need to make sure your clients enjoy their time working with you. Take time to assess the environment that you work in and make some changes that are more conducive to your clients ideal experience.

4. They stay aware of the trends and changes in the profession.
The massage industry is always changing. Staying active and up to date on research and changes in the state laws as well as changes in licensing requirements helps you stay relevant. If you're still repeating the same things that you were taught 20 years ago in massage school, chances are that those things are no longer true.

5. They promote and market their practice.
Learning marketing skills is very important for any business to thrive.  Knowing who you serve, attaining new clients that fit in that demographic, and cultivating loyalty from current clients should be a top priority. In the age of information and technology, we have so much right at our fingertips!

There are online business schools and programs geared towards people who have special skills, but may not be business oriented. Pencil in time each week to look at the health of your business and make a list of things you need to do or learn in order to get your practice to where you want it to be. Then seek out that information and implement it ASAP.

6. They keep track of time, money, and set goals.
This is a big part of a successful massage practice. One of my business mentors says that if you're not getting paid, you have a hobby not a business. This is very true. Time is money for us. Don't give away your time. It sends the message that your time isn't valuable and that you also think that your clients time isn't valuable either. Going over on an appointment can make them late for other obligations, which creates more feelings of stress instead of relaxation and well-being.

Also, Knowing where the money is coming from will help you identify what works in your practice. On the flip side, seeing where money is not flowing in to your practice can help you make strategic decisions on what needs to change or be cut out. This can ultimately help you make goals that keep your practice evolving and moving forward for years to come.

What traits make a successful massage therapist in your eyes?
Share in the comments!

Hi! I’m Hillary Arrieta and I help people improve their lives by offering holistic solutions to ease stress, eliminate pain, and inspire self care practices.

I own Gaia Bodywork in Richardson, TX. and specialize in unique and effective massage and meditation techniques such as Barefoot Bar Therapy and iRest® Yoga Nidra.

Gaia Bodywork PLLC offers the Best Massage in Richardson, Texas for pain and stress management.


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