Position Yourself as a Massage Expert, Part 4
Be known for something.
That’s the core of good positioning.
It’s how you have focus in your business, your continuing education and your marketing efforts. It’s how word-of-mouth referrals are easily spread—and it’s how you ultimately find yourself and your services in high demand.
Gibby Booth, L.M.T., a massage therapist and myofascial release specialist in Hadley, Massachusetts, owns and is the head therapist of Pioneer Valley Pain Relief Therapies LLC. She is also the founder of the Pain Relievers Group, an online community filled with videos and resources for 24/7 support for those dealing with pain.
Booth has built a profitable business around being a massage expert in her specialty, and in an exclusive interview with MASSAGE Magazine, offered several tips for massage therapists considering specializing in a certain modality.
Specialize in What You’re Passionate About
“I discovered myofascial release when my horse, Delaney, was injured in a trailer,” Booth said. “Traditional rest and painkillers weren’t solving the issue, and because of a suggestion from a friend I gave bodywork a try. I had very little exposure to any sort of bodywork with people, let alone horses, but after seeing the huge transformation that took place with Delaney I became hooked.
“I decided to specialize in myofascial release partly because I had seen the amazing results it produced, but also because the technique felt so natural for me. It just felt so right. It never feels like I am working. Instead I’m having a glorious conversation both with the person speaking-wise and also with their body. They say if you find what you love to do you never work a day in your life, and I think that’s 100 percent correct.”
Give Your Specialty Your All
“I can see why only focusing on one modality may seem limiting, but my success has shown it’s actually the opposite,” Booth said.
“I honestly think I’m a stronger myofascial release therapist because it’s what I do all day, every day. I’m continually taking courses in myofascial release to further my education and enhance my skills. By focusing solely on myofascial release, I’m able to dive deep into the layers of the technique and serve my clients better and more effectively.
“One of my favorite quotes [by American painter Robert Henri (1865–1929) is], ‘Do whatever you do intensely.’ This resonates so much with me because for me, throwing myself headfirst into myofascial release has been at first a bit scary, but then a very rewarding, beautiful roller coaster ride.”
Stand Out as a Massage Expert
“By specializing in only one treatment, my business stands out. I’m not another massage therapist among many in my town; I am the expert in myofascial release. As a result people seek me out specifically. It happens quite often that someone will hear about myofascial release from a friend or doctor and they will Google it, and my business pops up. They will come to me because I specialize specifically in myofascial release over someone who does myofascial release along with a number of other modalities.”
Visualize Your Dream Clientele
“Start with answering this question: Who is it that you love to help? Maybe it’s pregnant women, cancer patients or athletes. Whoever it is, focus on them. You don’t want to specialize in something just to have an area of expertise. It needs to be meaningful to you,” Booth said.
“Who would you work on all day, every day, for free? Of course you will charge for your services, but the answer to that question is where your specialty lies. And if you aren’t sure what makes you tick, then expose yourself to many different avenues and it will become clear.”
Define and Declare Your Expertise
To be a massage expert, you need expertise. It may not be in one certain massage modality like Booth; it might be focusing on a certain type of clientele, or working in a certain setting. Give some thought to what you want to be known for. Think about these questions:
- Why did you become a massage therapist? Who or what inspired your interest?
- Who can you best help and how?
- What conversations do you want your name and services to come up in?
- Which parts of your massage therapy work give you the most satisfaction?
Finding and declaring your focus is vital to the process of positioning yourself and your work.
Click here for Part 5 of this series.
Connie Holen is a Web and graphic designer at PixalityDesign.com. She specializes in creating clean, modern and easy-to-manage websites for small businesses and professionals in the wellness and fitness industries.