The massage therapy profession lets independent professionals make great money while connecting to a passion for wellness, healing and helping others. There are many exciting specializations in this field as well from modalities like shiatsu massage, swedish massage, and sports massage with specialized training and benefits. People who practice massage often specialize in specialized care communities as well, from sports injury, recovery from serious health issues and senior care.
With so many massage modalities to choose from and communities to care for, massage therapy is a diverse profession with tremendous opportunity. At the same time, massage can demand a lot physically from its practitioners so it’s important to price your services competitively and know your limits for the number of clients you can serve in a day in order to avoid injury and make your goal income.
No matter what type of massage therapist you are, this post is all about how to price effectively, fill your client book and meet a goal income whether that is $100,000 per year or some other number.
The Massage Therapist Environment
The massage therapist lifestyle is about healing people but also creating an atmosphere so people can relax so massage can be at its most effective. Many massage therapists also become experts in aromatherapy, breathwork, yoga and stretching and other aligned practices that help people relax. Many massage therapists have a great selection of calming music, know how to light a room for maximum relaxation and how to deal with people and make them feel at ease. Other massage therapists such as sports massage keep a clean sports environment that is comfortable for their clientele. After all, it’s all about the right environment for the people you serve.
In this profession, it is recommended to have a treatment space away from home and to create an environment that is conducive to your massage therapy practice. Having your own space helps create a maximally professional environment that allows you to control the space. Other massage therapists rent treatment rooms at spas that create this safe and professional environment for them.
However you create a safe and professional environment in your practice, paying attention to the spaces where you practice massage is an important aspect of creating a loyal clientele who keep booking you. Having a roster of regular clients is one of the most important things a massage therapist can do to stay booked and meet a goal income.
Economics of the Massage Industry
According to the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP), 59% of massage professionals are independent and run their own businesses. That’s over 197,000 independent massage professionals in the USA running their own practice. If that describes you, keep reading. This post is about making a goal income in the massage industry.
The average massage therapist using PocketSuite is making about $22,968 per year. However, the top 10% of massage therapists using PocketSuite are making over $100,000 per year or more. Here are some insights on how these top pros run their successful businesses.
First, let’s talk numbers. The average rate for a 60 minute massage for a massage therapist on PocketSuite is $97 dollars. The best rate for your massage business is based both on the market in which you practice and the size of your practice. Relevant certifications for the modality you practice can also help massage therapists increase their prices.
When it comes to reaching your goal income as a Massage Therapist, it all comes down to your hourly rate and the number of appointments you take each week. In the following charts we will explore the number of appointments you need to fill per week at different price points to reach your goal income. It’s important to keep in mind that some of your appointments may be 90 minutes and charge a higher price. Still, this should be a handy guide for determining the number of goal appointments you need to fill in a week. All of the charts assume you take off 3 full weeks per year with no massage work.
Massage therapy can be physically tiring. So when picking your goal number of appointments to do per week, consider carefully how many you can safely do per day and not risk injury. Your path to your goal income may include raising your prices because you can’t always add tons of new massage appointments to your day as a massage therapist.
Creating Recurring Revenue as a Massage Therapist
Recurring clients helps you reach your goal number of appointments per week consistently. There are a few ways of creating recurring revenue as a massage therapist. First, massage treatments for sports injury, or serious issues often demand repeat appointments. If you serve these clients looking for massage treatments, you can often schedule them for repeat appointments, often weekly.
Massage is also a great way for stressed clients to relax. Many clients may want to commit to buying packages of 5 or 10 massages at a time for a small discount. PocketSuite has an option for massage therapists to sell appointment packages or sell them as gifts. Anytime a client buys packages up front, not only do you get the money right away, but you have attained another repeat client.
Finally, keeping an updated calendar and letting your clients book you online with no friction helps your client list book you more often.
Text Marketing for Massage Therapists
Most massage therapists have a big book of past clients and that is a business asset. You can use text messaging to send out seasonal promotions and deals to your entire list of past clients. It’s a great tool for filling your appointment book in lagging weeks.
PocketSuite has a great tool called smart campaigns that lets you segment and text deals to your overall client list. While it does have a small cost associated with texts, for every dollar massage therapists spend on text marketing, they get back an average of $18 in bookings. It’s a great way to make sure you are reaching your goal income every week.
One way to increase your rates is continuing education. Are there any massage modalities that are priced particularly high in your area? How about massage modalities that are more rare in the town in which you live? By completing training and certification in trending areas of massage you can often increase your offerings into more lucrative types of therapy.
Getting New Clients for a Massager Therapy Practice
Every business needs to bring in new clients. Here are a few strategies you can try as a massage therapist.
Referrals: Most massage businesses grow by word of mouth but that doesn’t mean referrals always just happen on their own. You can incentivize your clients to tell their friends. Offer your clients a discount on their next appointment when someone they referred books their first appointment with you.
Reviews: 92% of prospective new clients who aren’t coming in from a referral will check the reviews on your massage studio listing online before booking. It’s easy to set up a Google Business Profile (GBP) and start getting eviews from your happy clients.
Reviews help prospective clients get the confidence they need to book you for the first time. The more high quality, high rated reviews you have, the better.
The most reviewed massage therapy practices usually ask their clients for a review. You can use PocketSuite to smart campaigns to automatically text all new clients asking them for a review.
If you don’t ask for reviews, then very few people will actually remember to leave you one. And unfortunately, the people who are likely to remember to leave you a review can often be the unhappy ones. So ask your happy clients for a review!
Social Media: If you serve a lot of stress out and busy professionals, social media can remind your clients who need a massage to book you and help you connect with more people who just need to relax.
Remember this clientele that needs to relax are looking for calming images that remind them of how much better they will feel when they finish an appointment with you.
Hiring Massage Therapists And Building a Bigger Massage Business
Once you are able to fill your own book of massage clients reliably, there is no reason to stop. After all, you have proven you are good at building a massage business. You can help other massage therapists by hiring them and using your skills to fill their book of clients as well. It is a win-win for everyone!
PocketSuite Teams has a tool for managing teams and organizing the booking for all of your massage staff. You can also mentor your staff to provide the atmosphere and the quality your business demands. When your business has multiple massage therapists working with full books every week, the sky is truly the limit in enjoying your life and making a great living.
The road to $100K will look different for everyone, but this roadmap will help you get where you want to be while growing your massage business empire.