Creating a More Professional Image, by Amy Roberts, MASSAGE MagazineIt can be a bit tricky for a massage therapist to create a sophisticated, professional and yet relaxed environment all within the same space. It is important to understand the needs of clients from the moment they enter the space and provide them with the overall experience they are seeking. This means reviewing the reception or entrance area, changing areas and treatment rooms for continuity of professional image, cleanliness and appeal.

Your reception or entrance area should be warm, uncluttered and clean. Flowers in the corner to brighten a room works wonders to add life to an otherwise plain wall. A live potted plant, such as a fern, also endues a feeling of freshness and relaxation. But make sure these things are at an appropriate size. You certainly don’t want a client to have to share the space with a looming fern frond that desperately needs to be cut back.

Many clients begin their massage-therapy experience with sensory experiences, such as fragrance or the relaxing scent of essential oils. This could easily begin in the reception or entrance area and also take place in treatment areas. Many massage therapists understand that some people have diverse interests and for this reason keep magazines or reading materials up to date and the latest issues on hand. A good idea may be provide relaxing materials, which may include travel publications and local interest publications, instead of beauty and gossip magazines. It just adds a classier touch to your clinic.

It is also important to make a good amount of direct eye contact with all clients and welcome them sincerely. Since massage therapy is meant to eliminate or reduce stress, an indifferent or uninterested greeting will not set the client in a receptive mind frame to receive massage or give your clinic a good reputation.

If you have a separate area for clients to change, it is important that they feel completely supported. This means comfortable and well-fitting dressing gowns or robes, comfortable footwear, if necessary, a warm or comfortable room temperature as well as a continuation of the relaxing and well-decorated interior.

It might be a good idea to have a firmly established system for walking a client to the treatment room. This will quickly create a feeling of welcomed and professional care, and allow the client to continue his or her overall process of relaxation.

In addition to having a clean and friendly environment, many clients respond to the personal appearances of those around them. It is important to always maintain a good personal presentation with the clients. This can be achieved through a dress code or uniforms, such as smocks or scrubs, but in soothing colors and not clinical in appearance.

One final thought on professional presentation includes some comments about marketing and advertising materials as well as the overall design scheme of the massage business itself.  Even though I don’t advise using a logo as a marketing tool, logos can work fine within the practice itself. For professional presentation, it can be a good idea to implement a logo and color scheme to all marketing materials and project that into the professional space to achieve a very stylized and positive image.

Amy Roberts is a massage therapist and massage therapy business coach. Her Web sites, and teach massage therapists around the world how to get more clients quickly and easily, and keep them coming back. Amy has regular business video tutorials available on her marketing Web site.