When I first started practicing massage, I enjoyed something of a meteoric success. My practice went from zero clients to fully busy within three months. I didn’t really think much about it back then, ten or twelve years ago, but these days, I get asked what I did, and so I thought I’d share.
Some of the things I did when I was practicing full time are things you can read about in other articles here on the Findtouch blog. Things like:
- Setting a safe space for clients
- Listening carefully to what they want
- Palpating before massage
- Checking in gently during the massage
- Providing self-care tips and useful feedback afterwards
These are all things that we’ve heard about, again and again. In addition to those, here are a couple other things that I did, that may or may not be unique, but were certainly effective:
- Educate & empower: Having discovered early on that clients love to focus on and talk about their own bodies, I found that clients are super-excited and feel empowered when they better understand how their body works. So, at the end of each session, I would make a copy of the relevant page from a wonderful book with pictures of different muscles and give it to them. That way, I could show them the particular muscle that was involved and exactly where their injury was.
- Stay close: Whenever I interacted with my clients, I made a point of not doing it while standing across a desk from them or at any kind of distance, but while either sitting or standing side-by-side to reinforce the fact that I was there with them and to break down any distance between us.
- Seek feedback: I’d ask, “What did you like about the session? Is there anything that I could have done differently, or better?” While questions like that made me feel vulnerable and left me concerned at first whether my clients would think I was not fully skilled, I quickly discovered that those questions were received really, really well. In fact, it actually endeared me to my clients in that they not only honestly shared any areas for improvement, but also appreciated the fact that I cared to ask and sought to improve.
I’m not sure which of these practices contributed most to my success, or why, but all together they created the effect of very quickly filling up my massage room with loyal and returning clients who referred others at a brisk pace.