You have several options to choose from when deciding which courses you want to take to earn continuing education (CE) credits. You may wish to add skills to your repertoire by learning a new modality or technique; you may want to learn more about a niche topic; or you may choose to learn skills to help you better run your business. While the latter may not sound the most intriguing, learning and harnessing business skills, like marketing for massage, is vital to a successful career.
Now, marketing has something of a bad reputation. Many consider it to be manipulative and intrusive; however, when used correctly, this skill can help build your clientele and improve your bottom line.
What Marketing Is and Is Not
According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions and processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners and society at large.”
Marketing allows you to tell people who you are and what value your services provide. It doesn’t mean sending your clients 12 emails a day, filled with bold lettering, yellow highlights and red words screaming at you—marketing doesn’t have to be manipulative or intrusive. In fact, the people who send those types of emails should probably think about finding a marketing course or two themselves.
Where Do You Fit?
Marketing is a broad term, and there are home study CE courses for various aspects of this business skill. LMTs who are considering starting an independent practice or who have done so recently will need to approach marketing differently than those running established practices. Likewise, massage therapists who specialize in a particular modality or in treating a specific type of patient, such as athletes or elderly patients, will need to use different marketing tactics than those who provide aromatherapy or spa treatments.
Find something that works for you and effectively lets your clients know who you are, how they can reach you and why they should want to.
Wealth of Information
With so much information available on the Internet, it’s tempting to use your CE courses for something else. Why take a class when you can find so much about marketing for free? There are a few reasons, actually:
- Trustworthiness. How do you verify that the information you come across on the Internet actually represents best practices for those in the massage therapy profession?
- Structure. When you take a class, the information is provided in a logical sequence and in a way that is manageable, which means you’re much less likely to misinterpret or confuse different approaches.
- Time management. How much time do you have to spend searching for useful information and then sift through the results to find that which may apply to your situation? A class targeted at your industry will save you both time and effort.
Simply put, if you’re looking for new clients, you need to get the word out to new people—the right type of marketing can help accomplish this. Why not combine learning these skills with fulfilling your required CE credits? This allows you to learn important skills on your schedule while also building your business.