Sponsored by Joiful
Technology can be extremely intimidating, especially if you’re old-school and prefer to handle your massage therapy business offline as much as possible.
However, taking this route can inhibit your ability to grow, making the use of some forms of technology preferable if your goal is to create a bigger, stronger business that is able to withstand the test of time.
Or maybe you’re a massage therapist who embraces tech to a certain point, resisting only when the options seem too many or the technology feels too complex. If this is you, you’re likely using software, apps and programs that have been around for a while.
While this is OK, you’re probably really missing out on some of the newer options, which can potentially make conducting business as a massage therapist easier and more effective.
Regardless of where you are on the tech-acceptance spectrum, embracing the use of new technology can help you reach new customers.
It does this first by helping you overcome some of the challenges that many massage therapists face when trying to find more clientele.
Common Challenges Related to Reaching New Customers
Jessica Quiles, L.M.T., is owner of Soñar Spa and she says, “Reaching new customers is always a challenge. As an independent massage therapist, any investment into advertising comes from my own pocket, which forces me to rely primarily on referrals as a means to building my clientele. It’s also difficult to vet potential new clients to work safely.”
Matt Hotmer, C.M.T., agrees that reaching new customers can be difficult in this day and age, adding that some of the challenges he’s faced are one he didn’t expect.
“Firstly, I didn’t expect being a male would’ve been such an obstacle,” says Hotmer. “It seems that the roadblock comes from people’s disbelief that a man can be gentle enough, professional enough, and caring enough to create a safe and intimate space for someone’s own inner journey of healing.”
Another challenge Hotmer has experienced is being able to pursue his massage therapy business—his “dream”—on a full-time basis, allowing him to earn enough to be financially stable in this position alone.
This is partially because of feeling “driven to use my abilities in massage to help those who are medically fragile,” says Hotmer, adding that, “in a hospice situation, this is entirely volunteer.”
While Hotmer is hopeful that this particular obstacle is going to change, stating that “the opportunities in the pain and palliative sector are growing as we speak,” the challenges are still there at the moment. This means that they must be dealt with if there’s any chance of making a decent living doing what he loves.
If you face challenges such as those faced by Quiles and Hotmer, your next question may be how you can use technology to overcome them, especially if you’re faced with a non-tech issue that seems to be presenting issues (such as being male).
Tech Can Help You Overcome Your Challenges
Hotmer shares that he’s used technology to overcome his challenges of being a male therapist by creating a digital portfolio.
This enables him to grow his clientele by “showing my past clients reviews of how my practice is versatile and professional,” says Hotmer. “It helps me by showing people that I’m not just someone who does deep tissue, but who can also provide gentle and connected touch. Seeing other people claim that I’m a great therapist has helped build trust with new clients.”
Hotmer has also used technological solutions to address the financial sustainability issue of providing massage therapy full-time.
“Because of my tireless search through the internet, I’ve found organizations like the Heart Touch Project, who believe that massage should be a more respected part of someone’s hospital care team,” says Hotmer.
In other words, by using technology to connect with agencies that have the same purpose and mission, you can potentially change the future landscape of massage therapy, creating more opportunities where they may not exist today.
Quiles has found technology extremely valuable as well, saying that it has helped create a “huge boost” in the number of clients she serves at her massage therapy business.
“These days, everything is no farther than the push of a button thanks to smartphones and app development,” says Quiles. “Using apps like Joiful make a fast, easy and guaranteed transaction for customers and massage therapists. [The company’s
ability to advertise and secure quality clients takes a lot of pressure off the massage therapist’s shoulders and generates the steadiest work flow I have had in my entire career.”
If Technology Still Makes You Nervous
If you’re still nervous about incorporating technology into your massage therapy business, Quiles has a bit of advice. “It’s important to be flexible and roll with the times,” she says. “I was hesitant at first as well, so I took baby steps, dropping one shift at a spa I worked for to use the apps instead.”
Quiles also advises that you “familiarize yourself with the process, discover what jobs and locations work for you, and which ones are more effort than reward.” And when it comes to the newer tech options, “Big rewards take big risks,” says Quiles.
“Don’t worry about using the same social medium platform as others who might have slightly less therapeutic intentions,” adds Hotmer. “As long as your intentions are pure, then don’t worry about how people judge you. Using our modern culture to gain access to more clients will make you more successful and create a better world around us.”
Ready to make the leap?
If you feel ready to take the leap, Quiles reminds massage therapists that “change can be a scary thing, pushing us outside of our comfort zones.”
That’s why she recommends taking baby steps, like she did.
“Set aside a chunk of time and make booking massages through the apps a priority,” suggests Quiles. “Find your groove and you can slowly begin transferring more and more of your time into booking with the apps and watch your clientele rise to new heights. Within three months of working with the apps, they became my primary source of income and the only question I ask myself is, ‘Why didn’t I start sooner?’”
Hotmer agrees that starting slow is often beneficial. One way to do this is to “use the social media platforms that you’re already signed up with,” he says, further recommending that you “take a peek at the social media pages of successful massage therapists who put off the same vibe you’d like to recreate.”
Find out what technology they’re using and incorporate it in your business too.
While implementing new technology may be scary initially, it can help you grow your massage therapy business by leaps and bounds. Who knows? When all is said and done, you may, like Quiles, wonder what took you so long to use it. Just imagine that.
Tatbeq LLC. launched the app JOIFUL, which encourages Angelenos to pause and take some “me-time” from “that” LA lifestyle. It promises a JOIFUL Expert will arrive within an hour to their home, office, or event. Or for those clients that chose to plan ahead JOIFUL also has a 48 hour in advance booking option.
JOIFUL is not the first mobile wellness on-demand company but they are the first on-demand app in LA that provides energetic, creative, and enthusiastic, yet multiple-licensed massage therapists.
Your safety is no laughing matter! JOIFUL’s fleet of “Experts” go through a rigorous vetting process; verifying their license, car insurance, running a criminal and professional background check. Each applicant is required to come to JOIFUL’s office to complete a mock service and meet the senior management team. Joiful is committed to both the safety of the client and the expert.
Since their pilot launch in February 2017, JOIFUL has had over 500 applicants within Los Angeles, and qualified and approved 120 experts to join their JOIFUL family. The company’s goal is to onboard 200 Experts per month, and complete 2,000 services per month within Los Angeles.
JOIFUL is focused on listening to and growing their community of clients and experts, and that means scaling and launching in other cities around the US and Internationally. They are using a variety of mediums and techniques to reach its target audience, men and woman (majority women) between the ages of 25-44. Their hope is to be the cool “me-time” service brand and tap into the millennial individualistic mind frame.