To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Practice Building: Be Your Brand,” , in the September 2011 issue. Article summary: The one-on-one work you do with clients may be the main service you provide, but creating a thriving massage practice takes more than manual skills. To bring new clients to your table and keep them coming back for more, it’s necessary to portray an appealing and consistent professional image.

When you’re finished pinning down the details of your own professional brand, shift the focus to consistency, ensuring your desired image is portrayed across the board. Begin with your marketing materials, checking to see if the same symbols, themes, colors and fonts run from business cards and brochures to gift certificates and any online media.

“If the therapist uses a particular image consistently, it’s immediately recognized by the clients,” said Joe’ll Diane, administrator of Watercolors, a company that provides a wide array of marketing materials for massage therapists. “Consistency helps the client immediately recognize the image and make positive associations with the therapist.”

This kind of consistency is just as important when it comes to your values, and making sure your actions match your words. When everything you say and do is in alignment with your mission statement and values, you can convey a powerful message of integrity.

“If one of the important elements you value is being environmentally conscious, then you would want to make sure you’re using recycled paper, that you have systems in place for recycling within your practice,” said Cherie Sohnen-Moe. “Your clients need to be able to see you’re really walking the talk.”

Stay constant with all your professional details, and work to weave your brand into everything you do, whether you’re at work or out mingling in the community. Once you have invested the time and energy to define and shape an all-around professional image, you won’t want to let a lack of consistency undermine the effort.

Brandi Schlossberg is an avid bodywork client and full-time journalist based in Reno, Nevada. She has written for MASSAGE Magazine on many topics, including “Invest in Your Practice: How Purchasing High-End Items Helps Create Business Success” (August) and “Touch Helps Patients Heal: Medical Massage” (July). For more information about WaterColors, visit