New Graduates and Practitioners – Read This!

[Image courtesy of hywards at]

[Image courtesy of hywards at]

If you are a new massage school graduate or practitioner – congratulations! The first part of your mission, your education, is complete. The next challenge is clear. You must make the leap from your first client to a successful massage practice. One recommended strategy for beginners is to get experience working in several settings. A second tip is to start small, and a third is to specialize.

Experiencing Different Environments

Why should you take the time to work in more than one venue?

  1. The more exposure to a variety of massage businesses, the better you will know the kind of setting in which you will be the happiest. For instance, you may be most interested in helping people recover from injuries in a clinical setting, or you may love working in the soothing ambiance of a spa, or your skills may shine in a practice shared by only 2 or 3 practitioners.
  2. You will discover if having your own practice appeals to you more or less than working as an employee or contractor for someone else.

If you have an eye on establishing your own business, you can use the time spent as an employee to note what you do or don’t like about where you work.

  1. How do you feel about the way clientele are treated?
  2. What perks or discounts are clients most responsive to?
  3. What do you feel attracts clientele to the business?
  4. What marketing materials are used to attract massage clients?

Taking the Plunge

When you do strike off on your own, start small. Don’t jump in with a large investment in an expansive massage clinic or spa. Some alternatives:

  1. Start in your home.
  2. Rent a one-room office.
  3. Sublet a room from a group of health practitioners, part-time if necessary.

Setting Yourself Apart from the Crowd

Many industry gurus say it’s important to be unique in some way. Specialize in helping with a particular condition or group of people. For example, if you do both pregnancy massage and sports massage, decide to promote just one of them in the beginning. Of course, you turn no one away. But focusing on what you do best may actually get you noticed more than just putting out your shingle: Jane Smith, massage therapist.

Start by:

  1. Focusing your public relations efforts toward your specialty.
  2. Sending out a press release.
  3. Putting up flyers in places potential clients in that group might see them.
  4. Telling everyone you meet what you are doing and why you believe in it.
  5. Giving them a business card that promotes your specialization.

Finally, work to ensure your first massage clients become regular clients. Give them the best sessions you can, and thank them for their business. Offer them package deals and ask them to refer your services to others.