Building a Practice in a Hospital or University

If you have your sights set on working in an institutional setting such as a hospital, university, or governmental setting, adjust your marketing efforts accordingly.

Offer Free Demonstrations

Some massage marketing strategies are the same no matter what type of practice you’re promoting. In any type of practice, giving free massage at the beginning can build business quickly. The experience of receiving massage is key to making clients out of curious people. In an institutional setting, it is just as important to get people on your chair or table, and that’s especially true for decision-makers. Get these people interested, and they will grease the machinery you need to establish a viable practice.

Research Is Key

In institutional settings, you really need to get your research on massage together. Read industry publications and visit the Massage Therapy Foundation website for access to the latest research findings. Create a packet of research articles and generate multiple copies to hand out. You may even choose to have some copies of research books available to loan or give to movers and shakers, like Complementary and Alternative Therapies Research by Tiffany Field of the Touch Research Institute or Massage Therapy: Integrating Research and Practice by Christopher Moyer and Trish Dryden.

Be Visible Within the Organization

To get the word out about your service, attend internal health fairs and other free outreach events with a massage chair, or substitute a comfortable chair and supportive pillows. Then get your hands on as many backs and shoulders as you can. Schedule presentations on massage, stress reduction, or other related topics. This can provide you with a way to reach people who may then book appointments once they feel they know you. Another avenue to educate potential clientele and get your name out is to write articles for an institutional newsletter about the benefits of massage.

Institutions normally have a complex system of hierarchy in which decisions are made. Be prepared for your promotional efforts to take time. But if you offer quality, professional bodywork and persevere with your promotional efforts, your practice should grow steadily and profitably.