Here’s a list of reasons why I never reached the massage income level I wanted in the past: some clients left, I had to move my office, my website was broken, I didn’t have money to advertise, I’m not good at selling my services, family took up more time than I thought, my shoes were too tight…and on and on. Ultimately, these reasons weren’t the problem. This was: I simply didn’t know how to push to the next level.
Pushing to the Next Massage Income Level
The next level is a point in your massage business where you have all the clients you want, but you’re only doing a minimal amount of effort to bring them in.
Sounds pretty good, right?
So how do we get there?
The default answer is to work harder.
But if you’re working harder doing the wrong things, you’re just wasting your hard work.
The key to reaching the next level is to follow a plan.
Admittedly, I had no massage income plan in place early on in my massage career. Then one slow week, I had a serious business talk with myself. In retrospect, I realize this “talk” actually led to the first step in my push to reach the next level.
4 Steps to Increase Your Massage Income
1. Admit to yourself that you’re only halfway there.
Okay, you may be 2/5 or 4/7 of the way to where you want to be. It doesn’t matter. The point I’m trying to make is that you’re NOT content with your current massage income. And thinking in terms of “1/2 way there” can help move you along.
For one, it’s encouraging.
Congrats you’re ½ way there! You’ve already done a lot of the hard work.
And, two, it’s a reality check.
Sorry, you have another 1/2 to go. Time to buckle up, put that helmet back on and get serious like you did when you got through massage school and established your client base.
Once you make that psychological and emotional commitment of doing whatever it takes, it’s time to…
2. Go all in with marketing.
At one point, I almost doubled my income in less than a year because I got better at massage.
I got better at marketing.
It’s okay…say it with me: marketing.
It took me a long time to get comfortable with that word because I was afraid I’d turn into this:
But I didn’t.
I’m still me.
Marketing covers a big swath of territory. The easiest, cheapest and least painful way for most massage therapists to market is through word of mouth.
And that’s exactly what I did.
I set out to create referral sources outside of my client base with chiropractors, physical therapists, personal trainers, runners and local, sport-hobby store employees.
My reasoning for demo massages and free gift certificates over other marketing strategies, like free talks, was that you can yammer on about the benefits of massage at the Moose Lodge annual Toy Drive, but nothing is going to sell your massage as much as you getting your hands on a “moose”.
The first three months of demo massage marketing were physically and mentally hard. Some places that I engaged were dead ends. I cut them and zeroed in on the most promising places. I started to get some referrals, but not enough to make me feel like I was going to hit my new income goal.
This is when I wanted to stop—and where you’ll want to stop. But this is precisely when you need to…
3. Keep pushing forward even though you’re not getting the complete return you want on your labor investment.
When you push on, the needle will jump. Your average massage income will go up. Not as high as you want it to be, but enough so that you get a shot of adrenaline.
However, at the same time you might feel even more squashed then before because you’re running really freakin’ hard now.
Here’s what I mean. About month four I had 2 or 3 demo massage going on a week. I was asked to sponsor events where I donated on-site massage. I was answering questions from trainers and coaches about their clients and athletes. And I could barely fit in new clients because of all the promotional activities I was doing.
Yes, I was making more money, about ¾ of the way there, but Markie didn’t want to play no more.
Fortunately, my massage income numbers evoked another adrenaline producing event in me. I was now periodically hitting the number that I wanted to be my weekly, average income.
And that was enough for me to do what I recommend you do…
4. Keep your hand on the hot burner until you have clients coming out of your ears.
Here’s something that I discovered on the other end: The pain from being over-stretched is temporary.
And here’s when and how it will change. Once you have no room in your schedule for new clients, back off with your marketing.If you don't have to push clients into the next week, you don't have enough clients. Click To Tweet
If you’ve been going every week to a place to do on-site massage, cut back to once a month or stop entirely if that’s a natural ending.
Initially, I was nervous to back off working referral sources because I thought the valve would shut off.
But it didn’t because I had built great relationships. Now I could go into maintenance mode which meant cutting way back on my demo massages.
Massage Income Breakthrough in a Nutshell
Pushing to the next massage income level is do-able. Forget working harder at what you’re currently doing. You need a plan and you need to persevere at that plan.
Here’s my 4-step plan:
- Admit to yourself that you’re ½-way there.
- Go all in with marketing. I recommend promoting through demo massages. It’s by far the cheapest (almost free) way to market.
- Keep pushing forward even though you’re not getting a complete return on your labor investment.
- Keep your hand on the hot burner until you have clients coming out of your ears.
If you’re doing referral marketing, these two articles will get you moving in the right direction:
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