5 Tips to Grow as an Independent Massage Therapist

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Are you ready to level up your massage therapy game? You can become an independent massage therapist and make more money doing what you love.

We put together our best tips to be successful as a massage therapist.

independent massage therapist

What’s an independent massage therapist?

Massage therapists provide treatments to counteract muscle tension and promote wellness for their clients. They typically work in med spas, gyms, or other facilities as part of a team. Independent massage therapists run their own client-based massage business. They may be solo entrepreneurs or have a small team. 

As an independent massage therapist, you build a roster of loyal clients and set your own rates.  You’re your own boss, which means you have endless potential to grow in your career. 

How do I become a successful massage therapist?

Massage therapists are in high demand. Many skilled professionals have turned their passion into a profitable independent business. And you can too! 

Here are a few expert tips to succeed as an independent massage therapist.

#1 Stick to state-approved training courses

Massage therapists must handle clients with care, so proper training and education is essential. You can get the skills you need by completing a massage therapy course.  

A good massage therapy course teaches both treatment techniques and business management best practices. Plus, these courses prepare you to take on your state’s licensing exam. There are hundreds of massage therapy courses online. 

independent massage therapist

Before you make a decision, remember that some states require you to complete a set number of training hours before you can receive your massage therapist license. So do your research and be sure your program meets those requirements before you enroll or pay tuition. 

You can learn massage therapy by taking a specialized course at a community college or independent trade school. Some massage therapists go on to earn their Associate of Applied Science Degree in  Massage Therapy.

#2 Stand out with specialty massage certifications

The best way to grow as an independent massage therapist is to differentiate yourself from other services in the area.

Most states require massage therapists to earn their licenses before they can start a business. And you might have to take additional courses every couple of years to renew your license. But your massage therapy training shouldn’t end when you get your license. After all, you have to show clients why they should choose your independent business over a larger chain spa.

Independent massage therapists often get certified in a massage specialty like stone massage to perform hot stone therapy or sports massage to work with athletes. This way, you add to your service offers, attract more clients and stay competitive in your industry

#3 Join a professional organization to grow your network and get access to resources

Just because you’re an independent massage therapist doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. You can learn from experts in your industry by joining a professional organization like Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP). 

Professional organizations like ABMP can boost your career and guide you through the hurdles of starting a business. ABMP also provides discounts on business software and special rates on insurance to protect your massage practice.

#4 Get a booking app

As an independent massage therapist, you handle the nitty-gritty of running a business on your own. So, you need business software. Business software, or a booking app, helps you manage clients and get repeat bookings by: 

  • Automating online booking and appointment scheduling
  • Accepting multiple forms of payments from clients and giving you quick payouts
  • Sending contracts, forms, and other personalized communication to clients
  • Providing features to bundle your services and sell retail products

Business software like PocketSuite makes it easy to manage clients so that you can focus on your craft.

#5 Diversify your marketing

It’s time to promote your independent massage business. You can get creative with marketing channels to attract new clients. In general, you can:

  • Create an online presence, like a professional website, where clients can easily find and book you. Then list your business on Google.
  • Curate dedicated social media pages for your business. Customize a Facebook page, launch an Instagram, or hop on Threads to increase your visibility quickly. Social media marketing doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Create posts that show off your expertise and service results. 
  • Use email and text marketing to reach clients and activate leads 
  • Ask for referrals to land high-quality clients from people who can vouch for the quality of your services. You can get referrals from current clients or other pros in the health and wellness industry.
independent massage therapist

The Bottom Line

Independent massage therapists can build a successful business with loyal clients and high income. To grow your business, take advantage of specialty certifications, professional organizations like ABMP, and business software like PocketSuite.

PocketSuite is all-in-one software to run your business. From bookings to payments to contracts, we have everything you need to grow as a massage therapist.