Business networking. Do those two words get you excited or nervous, or both?

What about social networking? Any better (or worse)

Networking at local and in-person events is a great way to meet new people, find practitioners you can collaborate with, and get the word out about your business. Building your online social networks is just as important, for the same reasons.

network-online

Allow me to state some obvious, and maybe not so obvious, reasons that you should be active on key massage therapy groups.

  • Expand your circles — the more people you know, the more opportunity there is to grow your business. This includes finding new clients, mentors, and collaborators.
  • Show your commitment to your community — regular attendance at networking and social events demonstrates your accessibility and commitment to your circle of contacts and community.
  • Build your personal brand — Online networking groups are opportunities to build your personal brand and make an impression on those around you.
  • Professional growth and learning — As professionals, we can and should be learning from each other. Have a question or need help with a tricky client, reach out to your network and get answers and support.
  • Massage can be a lonely business — It’s not unusual for an independent massage therapist to work a full day and not speak to anyone but clients. We work in quiet, isolated spaces, and often at wacky night and weekend hours that can further isolate us from social events. The beauty of online networking is that you can be online anytime. Conversations may continue over the course of a day or a week, so you get to be active on your own schedule.

Where are some of the hot spots online where massage therapists of all stripes gather to do all of the above, and more? We have a list of the top forums, groups, pages and places that you should check out and perhaps, get involved.

1. Massage Learning Network

massage-learning-network

The Massage Learning Network has a unique vibe. Unlike many of the other groups we’ll mention, in this community you can create video posts (like short tutorials, or just a conversation starter), which means there is a wealth of video help on this site. The community is fairly active when it comes to posting, answering questions, and general participation, but it’s definitely a growing network that is lesser known than some of the more established networks listed below. It has a search function, as well as tags and categories of posts, so it’s very easy to find something you’re looking for. Hundreds of massage therapists are members of this free community, including names you might recognize like Massage Nerd and Allissa Haines. It’s definitely worth checking out to see if it’s the right group for you.

2. Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals – LinkedIn

ABMP-linkedin

This might be the most active group for massage therapists on LinkedIn. Chances are if you only have one networking group online, this is the one. With more than 13,000 members, this group is a great place to go for a quick response to a question you might have. The group has a wide variety of practitioners, so the conversations can be lively and spirited as well as informative. Members share tips, news articles, blog posts, and research studies on a regular basis.

3. American Massage Therapy Association – LInkedIn

amta-linkedin

The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) represents more than 58,000 massage therapists. The group on LinkedIn has more than 11,000 members and is very active. As with the ABMP LinkedIn group, you can post discussions, promotions, jobs, and search the forum to view archived posts.

You can also join your state chapter’s LinkedIn group, if they have one. Several state AMTA chapters have their own groups on LinkedIn, so it’s worth checking to see if yours is represented. You can check on your chapter’s website for a link, or search groups for your chapter name.

4. Massage Therapy Community- Google Plus

google-plus-mtcommunity

This is a site for licensed professional massage therapists to discuss concerns and experiences. Yes, it’s smaller than the LinkedIn groups that have been around for longer, but it is the largest massage therapy Community on Google Plus (800+ members). Our friend and Google Plus advocate Lu Mueller-Kaul (who contributed to our post about Google Plus awhile back) says that she gets a lot out of the group–thoughtful discussions and useful information. Getting on the Googel Plus bandwagon now might not be a bad idea, especially if you want to get in with a smallish group of folks who are passionate about Google Plus and Massage Therapy.

Where are your favorite massage community hangouts online? Add yours to our list in the comments below!

 

Comments from original Massamio post:

Thanks for the shout-out, Benjamin! We’ll look forward to seeing you all in the ABMP LinkedIn group 🙂 — Posted @ Monday, November 25, 2013 1:53 PM by Abram Herman at ABMP

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