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In this Post: Finding a niche for your massage practice might not seem that important, but trust me, it can simplify your life and increase your revenue.
Finding a niche for your massage practice is all about narrowing down the type of clients you want to serve and why. Because the truth is, not all clients are created equal.
Your ideal client may be another therapist’s worst nightmare, and the beauty of niching down is that you can get really specific about the type of clients with whom you are working. Then if someone doesn’t fit the bill, you can refer them to a therapist who is better matched to meet their needs.
My Journey Niching Down
I know for me, in the beginning, it was a really scary idea to niche down. I wanted to take every client who walked through my door. Regardless of whether I was the right fit for their needs or not, I didn’t want to turn a single soul down. This worked for a while. I was building a business person by person. But eventually, I started to hone my craft and become more clear on the type of people with whom I enjoyed working.
For me, I realized I really enjoyed working with pregnant mamas. Who knew? When I was in school, I kept as wide a girth as possible from this population. I thought I wanted to work primarily on athletes. But once in the field, it became clear that prenatal massage was my jam.
Once I became clear on my ideal client, it was amazing all the referrals I began to receive. These referrals matched my ideal client to a T. All of a sudden, I was finding more passion and purpose in the work I was doing.
When you have more passion and purpose behind the work you are doing, it is a heck of a lot easier to build a thriving, sustainable practice!
Now, that’s not to say I only work on expectant mothers. No, I have a few different populations of people that I enjoy working with, but I would say that prenatal massage is one of my niches. Probably my favorite.
Have I convinced you that niching down is a worthwhile venture? If so, read on…
Strategies for Finding a Niche for Your Massage Practice
Why did you become a massage therapist?
Often times, the reason we initially decided to pursue massage plays a role as to the direction we would like to take our practice. It is an indicator as to what direction will make us the happiest!
- Did you become a therapist because you were a dancer who experienced an injury, and the massage you received helped you get back to dancing?
- Did you witness a loved one receive geriatric massage, and this work tugged at your heartstrings?
- Maybe you worked in a corporate setting and saw how stressed out people can be and wanted to combat some of this energy?
What type of work do you enjoy doing? Do you have modalities that really light you up?
Think about the type of work that you really enjoy doing.
By narrowing down the type of work you enjoy practicing, you can start to see what kind of people are drawn to this type of work, which will ultimately help you figure out who your ideal client is.
Do you enjoy?
- Energy work
- Detailed work
- Hot Stone
- Emotional recovery
What are your ideal working hours?
Thinking about your ideal working hours is huge! Because you want to make sure that the people you are marketing towards can actually receive massage during the hours you are available, or would ideally like to work.
- Do you have hobbies that you like to participate in during the day so that nights would make for ideal working hours?
- Did you just have a baby, and want to stop working night? Related: How To Change Your Work Schedule After Having A Baby
- Are weekends sacred family time?
Pull it together, what type of client fits all of these criteria?
- If you are trying to stop working night and enjoy therapeutic work, you may want to focus on the active yet retired, or the stressed work from homers.
- Maybe you enjoy doing energy work because it feels aligned with your mission to facilitate more peace in the world. If so, you may want to focus on the yogis in your area.
- Did you move to the mountains to become a ski bum massage therapist? (I know a lot of those.) Your ideal client might have a traditional 9-5 job and want massage in the evenings.
Once you have pulled all of your criteria together and gotten clear on the type of clients who work within your parameters, you can effectively niche down your practice.
Niching Down Has Benefits
One of the benefits of niching down is that you can focus your marketing efforts in a more concise, effective way.
If you want to work with the elderly, you can approach assisted care facilities. If you want to work with moms with young children, you can go to playgroups and explain your specialty, working with frazzled moms who need a break.
By having a niche, you will appear much more attractive to your ideal client than the guy down the street who works on anyone. Don’t be scared to niche down! Look at it as an opportunity to become a specialist who people can’t stop talking about with their friends who also are your perfect ideal client!
Truly, once you find this kind of focus, it is incredible how many opportunities to put yourself in front of the right crowd appear. You are no longer throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. You are now working with pinpoint accuracy to gain the clients that will feed your soul.
- Boulder College of Massage Therapy Graduate
- Nationally Certified through NCBTMB
- Colorado Licensed Massage Therapist
- Certified CranialSacral Level 1 through Upledger
- Certified Herbal Therapist through Nutrition Therapy Institute
- Certified Fujian Massage through Barefoot Masters
- Fort Lewis College - Majored in Art, Minored in Business Administration
- 6 Year Winner of Best Massage Therapist for "Best of The Boat" Competition
- Massage Business Owner Since 2008
- A Village of ResourcesPodcast Episode 005: COVID-19 and The Massage Industry
- A Village of ResourcesPodcast Episode 004: Networking Tips and Tools for Massage Therapists
- A Village of ResourcesPodcast Episode 003: To Niche or Not to Niche Your Massage Practice
- A Village of ResourcesPodcast Episode 002: Work/Life Balance for Massage Therapists with Kids