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I am a fairly new Massage Therapist.  I graduated with 500 hours in July and rented a room from the school I graduated from here in California for $100 a month (it is actually $200, but I split it with another graduate). 

I am trying everything to get clients and not getting any success.  I have tried:

Craigslist (which I get the MOST business from)
I have donated gift certificates to various events as raffle prizes and even the winners haven't called to redeem their certificates.  (So, I can't GIVE massages away? lol)
I advertise at the health club I belong to and even give 10% off and give out 5 minute freebie massages during the advertising events and have only booked 4 massages off of that (and those we at 1/2 price because I was desperate)!
I am on call with a local salon/spa here in town, but have only done 4 massages for them and that is at a 60/40 split.

I just got a new website set up, I have passed out hundreds of cards and volunteered at different events.  Almost everyone that gets a massage from me says it is awesome, but I just don't know why I am having such a hard time getting business.  I have done many swaps with other therapists to make sure that my technique, attitude and "bedside manner" are good and would keep business.

I am open to any suggestions you may have.  I really want to succeed in this business and hope I am just having a hard time getting it off the ground. 

Thanks in advance for any ideas you may have!

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Thanks RJ. :)

RJ Waldron said:
love the shirt idea. :)

Joshua Guffey (@TechGuyLikesZen) said:
Wear a shirt around that reads "I rub feet". You'll get comments and clients while running your errands. ;)
Here's one here:

So many great ideas here, Stephanie.


I have to agree with Julie, that targeting the kinds of people you would like to work on can really help build your practice. A couple of people mentioned doing just that — 1) focusing on runners and people who attend sports events, and 2) chiropractic patients.

If you want to read more, here's an article:

Good luck!




First and foremost, we need to figure out exactly what it is we’re doing.  Sure, we’re performing massage, but ‘performing massage’ doesn’t sell.  Neither does massage modalities or features of massage.  Benefits of massage sell, especially when they are presented in an exciting manner to a specific target market. 


So, the first step is to write down on a piece of paper all the features or massage modalities you perform.  An example would be:  Hot stone massage.  That’s a feature or modality.  Next, pick one modality at a time and write down all the benefits of that modality.  Another example would be deep tissue massage.  ‘Deep tissue massage’ is the feature, relieving lower back pain is the benefit. 


This then digs into the real issue, which is providing solutions for people.  This is what we’re doing, by explaining the benefits in an exciting manner, then performing the massage. 


Now that you have your features and benefits, look at WHO these can benefit.  What’s your target market?  Who will benefit from each ‘benefit’ that you offer?  Look around in your demographics or neighborhood.  Who’s on their feet all day?  Who sits in front of a computer and has lower back pain?  People all stressed out? 


A couple of my favorite target markets are:


Hair Stylists  (On their feet hunched over clients all day.)

CPA's - At a desk crunching numbers all day in front of a computer.

Dentists - Same as hair stylists.

Golfers - Obvious reasons.


See how this works?  Look around at the businesses in your area and see what you find.  


I know this sounds real simple but it’s not.  It’s easy but not simple.  The minute we attempt to market our business or attract clients we revert back to thinking like a ‘therapist,’ not the client.  Clients don’t care about deep tissue or hot stone massage, they want the benefit from it, the solution to their problem. 


It’s critical, now, to practice this on a daily basis; think as the client and think in terms of benefits and solutions.  Do this when people ask you what you do.  Don’t say you’re a massage therapist.  You are a stress relief specialist.  A back pain expert.  This is especially critical when it comes to any printed marketing material. 


Here's a great massage package idea that you can do right now. 


I highly suggest trying to create a massage package that corresponds with the time of year.  Right now it's January, freezing cold in most of the country, dreary, and we're not even close to spring yet.


Use this to your advantage.  It's very easy to do.  You can offer a "Winter Wonder Wrap".  If you do wraps in your practice, you already have a package right under your nose.  All you have to do is change the name of your wrap and maybe tweak it a little bit to give it a winter feel.


If you don't do wraps, you can easily use an electric blanket to wrap your clients in.  You can also integrate hot packs and hot stone massage into your package.  You can add a moisturizer to help skin that gets dry and cracked in winter. Offer your clients hot chocolate when their session is done.  Tiger Balm helps warm up the skin and muscles as well. 


The point is to try and think of how to combine massage with winter.


You actually don't have to drive yourself crazy trying to think of a massage package from scratch.  What you want to do is use what you know and think outside of the box a little.  You don't have to reinvent the wheel. 


What you want to try to accomplish with this package is to:


1.  Offer something new to your clients.


2.  Offer your clients something that your competition isn't.


3.  Have a reason to contact your clients.


4.  Offer them something fun.  A winter warm up massage package might be just the thing they're looking for.  Plus, getting an offer like this in the mail could very well brighten up their day.


Here's an idea that I got from a friend.  She told me that when she mails out a sales letter for her snow storm relief massage package, she fills a little baggy with white glitter to simulate snow and attaches it to her sales letter. 


Now THAT'S a great eye-grabbing gimmick! 


So if you create your own 'Snow Storm Relief' or 'Winter Wonder Wrap' massage package and add a little bag of 'snow' in your well crafted sales letter, you're going to get calls! 


The cost?  A little thought, some stamps, some small plastic baggies and some white glitter (which can be bought at your local dollar store).


See how easy that is?  Remember, you don't have to get elaborate.  Just think of a few cute warm-up modalities and give it a winter spin.  Your clients will love you for it - and you'll be offering something different as well!


Here’s another thought…


Create a letter that you can mail out or hand deliver to all the M.D.’s, D.O.’s, Chiropractors, Pediatricians, etc., etc. 


It’s going to be a critique letter.  Offer these professionals a free massage as long as they critique your massage.  All these professionals love to give their opinions about just about everything, right?  This will do a couple of things.


First, you gain exposure.  If they love your work then perhaps they can keep you in mind or refer you clients.  They may also become a regular paying client.  If that occurs then you can enter into with them on joint ventures and endorsed offers.


Here’s another idea.  Hair stylists.  If you have some that work in your Spa or massage establishment, great.  If not, get out there and visit some local salons. 


Introduce yourself to the owner and manager and tell them that you are a massage therapist and would like to work together with the stylists as well as offer them a free massage.  If you are allowed, collect the names of the stylists in each particular salon. 


Then go back and create a flyer offering these stylists a free 20 minute sample of your massage.  Each letter must be personalized to each stylist, thus why you needed to get their names as mentioned above. 


Spice up the letter.  Mention how you can relieve their upper-back and neck and shoulder pain from leaning over their clients all day.  Mention something about their tired and sore feet from being on them all day, standing.  Last but not least list your location and your hours. 


Now, take these letters back to the location and distribute them.  Talk to as many stylists as possible and build a relationship if you can. 


As mentioned above, they may become your clients.  Then, also as mentioned above, you can participate in joint ventures and endorsed offers with them.  You promote their business and they promote yours. 


Here’s an example of a free report I just created.  Read through this and see how it all ties together. 


How Day Spa's Stress You Out!


Thanks for your time!





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