You may have considered joining a local business organization to gain more exposure for your massage practice. However, there may be a better way to make connections.
When one of your clients announces her pregnancy, you have a prime opportunity to expand your business network and develop relationships with other area professionals. Consider the fact that your client most likely will be under the care of a medical professional and will also interact with a number of other entities as part of her care and changing life situation. There is no reason that you, too, can’t join this network.
Establish a Dialogue
According to Carole Osborne, author of Pre- and Perinatal Massage Therapy: A Comprehensive Guide to Prenatal, Labor, and Postpartum Practice, Second Edition and Deep Tissue Sculpting, Second Edition and a massage educator, reaching out to others who are involved in the lives of pregnant clients can help widen your professional network.
Collaboration with other professionals usually yields a number of benefits. First, you can be more effective in administering massage to your client when you establish rapport with her medical care specialist. Establishing a dialogue can help you receive guidance on medical issues, according to Osborne.
Working hand in hand with a doula or midwife can also help you better understand your client’s special needs. As the pregnancy progresses, conversations between you and the midwife or doula can help both of you monitor your client’s health.
If conditions arise that warrant precautions or present contraindications for massage, the midwife can inform you. In the long run, this means more comprehensive and safe care for your pregnant client.
Also, opening lines of communication can lead to more marketing and networking opportunities, according to Osborne.
Every contact you make enlarges your circle of influence and may lead to more business. Just think, if your massage efforts, in collaboration with a midwife, help a woman sail through her pregnancy, word-of-mouth will reach other women and you may get more clients.
Once a midwife gets to know you and appreciate your knowledge and experience in this field, you may see more referrals
If you establish a connection and begin to exchange information with a health care provider, doctor, hospital or other entity covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), be sure to have your client sign a consent form granting you permission to release and share information. The other medical professionals with whom you communicate will also need to have your client sign a release form.
So with whom would you collaborate? According to Osborne, maternity massage therapists would benefit from relationships with childbirth educators, midwives, doulas, yoga and exercise teachers, psychotherapists, lactation consultants, prenatal photographers, domestic violence hotlines, social service agencies and substance abuse centers.
During the course of treating your pregnant clients, you become invested in their care and want the best possible outcomes for them. By establishing a connection to others involved in their lives, you and your clients both benefit.