Every massage therapist can earn six figures or more as a massage-business owner.
This is a bold statement, but one supported by ample evidence.
Massage therapists who have a high level of financial success understand marketing and investing—in themselves and their practices—at a deeper level than most other therapists. From their empowered perspective, successful massage therapists understand they must be proficient at certain types of business skills, take bold actions and, as a result, create business results that are head and shoulders above others’.
The biggest issue holding many therapists back from boldly moving forward into either owning their own business or investing in what it takes to earn six figures is their reluctance to break out of their comfort zone. What size is your comfort zone? Is it one that has you thinking small about yourself, uncomfortable with growth and with seeing what’s truly possible for you?
If so, you can, and should, create a larger comfort zone that has you consistently plugged into the electricity of your own purpose and passion.
4 Steps to Financial Prosperity
Here are four ways massage therapists created the conditions that led to them earning six figures or more each year:
1. Develop an empowered and positive mindset.
This is critical. Without confidence in yourself in addition to the massage skills you learned in school, without a strong belief you can succeed, without the determination and persistence to see your dreams to fruition, owning a thriving massage business will be a frustrating and stressful process. If you know your confidence is a weak point for you, start exploring how to change it. Confidence is the basis for everything that can come next for you as a successful massage-business owner.
A large part of creating this mental attitude is to have a driving purpose, a powerful belief in what you are doing and why you are doing it. Most of us in this field are not motivated to excel just for the money; therefore, your purpose has to be related to more than just a desire for more money and financial success.
Once identified, your purpose will propel you forward. It will get you out of bed every morning feeling passionate about what you are doing.
“The fuel that drives my business is the extreme joy that comes from being able to help people in my community get out of pain and return to enjoying life,” says massage therapist Kay Degner of Watertown, Wisconsin. “I am constantly aware that the benefits I provide to my clients can extend well beyond them.
“[These benefits] affect their family life, work life and fuller life in general, and I’m not shy about sharing that with them,” she adds.
Like Degner, you need to know what your particular purpose is and be able to articulate it.
If you want financial prosperity, your purpose must permeate all you do and say. People will buy why you do something more than just what you do.
2. Be proficient in the right kind of business skills for a massage practice.
Consistently successful massage-business owners understand the value of learning the business side of massage, which includes having business structures in place that create financial results.
This piece often gets overlooked by many therapists. If you aspire to six-figure results, be sure you have clear, specific, written goals for your business. These goals must include a financial timeline that looks ahead at least 12 months.
You must also learn, understand and consistently apply effective marketing strategies.
With the right marketing strategies across the board—via social networking, print advertising, networking, developing specialized clientele and serving that clientele with individualized retail products and techniques—you don’t have to work hard at keeping a steady flow of new clients coming through your door.
“I was in practice for six years before deciding to invest in more advanced and targeted massage-business training,” says massage therapist Eric Byrd of Lexington, Kentucky. “Within a couple of months, my income has nearly doubled, with still more room to grow and expand.”
Put effective sales- and practice-management systems in place so you become masterful at converting and retaining new clients.
You must also create a financial budget that causes you to manage and track your financial flow weekly. Too many massage therapists don’t know their numbers as well as they should, and thus end up spending what they earn rather than managing their growth for prosperity and sustainability.
3. Invest in your business with advanced training and equipment.
Successful massage therapists understand investing in their education and equipment sets them up for longevity, and sets them apart from the competition.
When Degner opened her practice 12 years ago, she invested in a hydraulic table, which has contributed to the longevity she has enjoyed in this profession, she says.
Investing in advanced training and equipment also helps you develop a niche practice.
“By adding advanced certifications and combining that with cupping-machine technology, it completely set me apart from all the other therapists in my community,” says massage therapist Julie Redmond of Dayton, Texas. “I now am known as a dedicated pain-and-injury therapist [who uses] advanced techniques and equipment.”
Therapists like Degner and Redmond are visionaries. They can see beyond the present moment and into a future where they have vibrant, active clients who have rediscovered what thriving health feels like.
You need to be able to see investing in advanced training and equipment is not an overhead expense, but a direct path to increased earnings.
“After I integrated an emotional- and energy-clearing technique into my practice, I began using it with my clients and educating them about it,” shares massage therapist Elizabeth Devereux of Big Canoe, Georgia. “The results they got created a buzz in my very small community, resulting in a whole new jump in my clientele.”
4. Develop your practice into a broad-based business with multiple, synergistic revenue streams.
The three most powerful ways to do this are by adding a retail component, offering add-on services and expanding staff. These moves allow you to create niche marketing messages for each unique service aimed at specific types of people in your community, rather than relying on broad, general marketing messages.
Offering retail products that provide specific benefits—analgesics, essential oils, hot-and-cold packs, exercise bands or any other product—to your specific clientele sets you apart as a wellness expert.
Add-on services, from aromatherapy for geriatric clients and body wraps for career professionals to specialized foot treatments for athletes, are another way of setting your practice apart while developing synergistic revenue streams.
Developing staff so you can offer specialized sessions is another way of filling a niche.
“I began hiring more massage therapists with diverse specialties to work with me in my business, which provided jobs in my community and caused my business to increase from $60,000 a year to $600,000,” says massage therapist Kathy Eskelson of Anoka, Minnesota.
Take a Leap
Successful massage-business owners take a leap because they have a purpose and vision. When you embark on the journey of being a six-figure massage therapist by investing in yourself and your business, you make a difference on multiple levels.
The satisfaction you experience when you are living, breathing and working your purpose is profound. Not only does it make a difference for you financially, it affects the lives of everyone you touch, and everyone they interact with.
About the Author
Renae Bechthold has built, owned and operated several companies, including a thriving holistic health care practice, during the past 29 years. She is a business coach and owns Metro Massage, a company committed to transforming business and financial results for massage therapists.