When I graduated college, I wanted to work with professional athletes.
I had a background in sports + a keen interest in movement.
To be honest, it also sounded good to say “I worked with professional athletes.”
The day after I got my registration certificate, I started working at a busy chiropractic clinic that treated a lot of athletes and in my mind would be the best place to start. I took continuing ed courses about sports massage, learned as much as I could, worked hard and figured it would just be a matter of time before my practice was full of athletes.
And I waited.
In the meantime, I started treating a lot of patients who had been in car accidents and people who just happened to go to the clinic where I was working. Before I knew it, they ended up being the majority of my clientele instead and I didn’t get to treat many athletes.
You’d think I was happy to be busy but I wasn’t – I was burnt out from working too many hours, doing work that I didn’t love and wasn’t nearly as fulfilled as I’d hoped.
I knew I needed a change.
I moved to Vancouver and started over – with a little more intentionality. I started taking some business courses and really honed in on how I wanted to work and who I wanted to work with. It turns out I didn’t actually want to work with high performance athletes, I wanted to work with the people I call “everyday athletes.”
They’re the ones who are active for the pure joy of it, they run marathons, do yoga, climb mountains and take dance classes.
They were people I could go for coffee with.
They’re creative entrepreneurs with a passion project on the side. They’re dog people. They love adventure, a good book and have a sarcastic sense of humour.
They’re my people.
Knowing who I wanted to work with provided major clarity around the business I wanted to build.
When I was clear on that, I needed a way to connect with the right people, so I started building a website.
It changed everything.
If You Want To Start Marketing + Growing Your Massage Practice, YOU NEED A WEBSITE
A website is crucial because it’s like owning your own little piece of cyber real estate – it’s a home for you online. You can invite people to drop by and visit so they can get to know you a little better and it makes you accessible.
Building my website was a catalyst to growing the business I wanted.
Here are just a few things that have made my site so valuable to my practice that you can implement too.
A Website Makes It Easy For Clients To Find You, No Matter Where You’re Practicing Massage
How can people find your information if it isn’t easily accessible?
This may not be a big deal if you only work out of one space during your entire career, but almost every therapist I know has relocated at least once. Having a website makes it a cinch for clients to find where you work.
It also provides a simple place to refer their friends.
The beauty of having a website, is that clients just need to know your name. If you have good search engine optimization, they don’t even need your full name.
On more than one occasion, clients have typed my name in google and voila! All the ways you can contact me just materialize in front of their eyes. And no, I have never paid someone who randomly called offering to “get me to the first page of Google.”
Please don’t fall for that.
A Website Gives People A Chance To Learn About You Before They Book A Massage
This happens because of the information you share, the word choices you make, and the way you present yourself online.
Within a few minutes of hanging out on my site or social media, people can tell that I’m a dog person, sarcastic, a mom, a coffee drinker, interested in business…the list goes on.
Your website and social media also allow you to share blog posts, articles and pictures that are interesting and of value to your clients. When they book a treatment, they have a general idea of your area of expertise and treatment style.
If you want to work with pregnant women, you’ll share very different information than you would if you want to work with middle-aged men who run ultra marathons.
My website has played a huge role in helping attract clients I work really well with. The way I write and things I share online resonate with a certain type of person and because that information is accessible, these people are more likely to book with me.
Having A Website Can Make Your Massage Treatments More Effective
True story – because it connects you with the right people.
I have had appointments where my style of treatment did not work for the client. She just couldn’t relax, conversation was awkward, we were both a little uncomfortable.
And this is a good thing.
Because on the other hand, I have people who come in and say:
“I booked an appointment with you because I read your website and it mentioned you do deep, relaxing work. It also said that you treat active people. That’s great because I’m a runner and a yoga teacher. Lately, I’ve been having some trouble with my right hip. I really need to feel better because I have a triathalon in a couple of weeks. So if you have any stretches or exercises I can do on my own, that would be great. By the way, your dog is adorable. I have a dog too!”
If you read the “about me” section on my website, that type of interaction makes a lot of sense.
These appointments usually go really, really well. The client has a great treatment, feels better and will tell other like-minded people she knows about that experience.
When you have an effective online presence, you don’t have to chase the clients you want – they find you.
A Website Lets You Keep Your Massage Schedule Up-To-Date
Since moving my practice to Vancouver my schedule has been constantly shifting, depending on life, business and the season. I keep my days and hours updated on my website, so my clients can check there to see when I’m working.
“But can’t they just call the clinic or check the clinic’s website?”
But it is easier to keep your own stuff up-to-date than expecting that the clinic will get website updates done immediately. Some places are really great about it; others aren’t.
I’m a huge advocate for keeping the business side of your practice under your control and a huge key to that is having your own website.
Your Website And Social Media Make It Easy To Book A Massage
Can’t afford a 24/7 receptionist? Neither can I.
Luckily, my website takes care of that for me because it directs clients to where they can book. One of the most positive pieces of feedback I hear, is how much people love the convenience of online booking.
I also share on social media when I have last-minute appointment opportunities and those appointments usually end up booking right away. Fewer gaps in my schedule = a good thing.
WARNING: make sure “available appointments” aren’t the ONLY thing you’re posting from social media. That can come across as spammy.
If you don’t have online booking yet, the clinic I work at uses Click4Time. I have also heard great reviews about JaneApp and ClinicWise.
When Clients Want To Book A Massage, Keep The Information On Your Site Accurate
If I come home from an awesome workshop on fascial release, I can add that information to my bio or write a blog post about it.
If I’ve read a book that has changed my perspective about an area of treatment, I can share that information.
The more you refine your message, the more you’ll connect with the right people.
I can change my hours and availability.
I can update the photo in my bio.
I can choose the colours, fonts and words I use because those play a huge role in influencing the way people perceive me.
A Website Can Give You Insane Clarity About Your Work And Make You A Better Massage Therapist
The best thing about building my website is, the work I put into expressing myself transformed my massage practice in the best way possible.
As I did the work, I learned so much about the things that set me apart as a therapist and how I can use those skills to help people.
Learning how to communicate your strengths and the way your treatment philosophies influence the work you do, will be invaluable to the way you run your business and the impact you have in the lives of your patients.
You have a specific set of skills and knowledge that will help some people more than others. If you aren’t sharing the things that set you apart and truly represent who you are, those people won’t be able to find you and know you’re the right therapist to see. To portray the most accurate picture of who you are and how you work, you need to be in control of your online presence. Doing the work to get clarity around your practice will connect you with the people you can help most and having a website gives those people a way to find you.
I’d love to hear from you. Let me know in the comments if you have a website, I want to check it out!
If you don’t have a website, share what’s holding you back.
Latest posts by Justine Sones (see all)
- 7 Ways A Website Can Improve Your Massage Therapy Business – September 24, 2015