Ideal Massage Client

Who is your ideal massage client?

The first step in marketing your massage business is finding out just who your ideal massage client is.  Most massage therapist start out just thinking that they will work on everyone and anyone who calls or shows up on their table.  In some ways you might actually have to work that way to begin really knowing what you like and don’t like as far as working on people.

After awhile when you work on everyone including people who you find to be draining, it will take it’s toll on you for sure.  I truly believe that this is one of the biggest causes of burnout in the massage profession as well as the cause of most massage therapists struggles.  When you are constantly running around trying to get everyone to be your client your marketing efforts are often scattered and uneffective.  Knowing who your ideal client is can help you in creating a very targeted marketing plan and get the people you want on your table.

You start first with general demographics – location and consider things like age and sex but it is taking it even farther and finding clients who will appreciate you and who value their health enough to be willing to pay for regular weekly massage (or even once a month).

You can also choose a specialty like pregnancy massage, injury work or working with a more specific disease and condition such as fibromyalgia, herniated discs or carpal tunnel.

When you have a clear image of your ideal client you can use it in your marketing campaigns but also in your policies and procedures.  You can also apply it to your everyday interactions with people and clients.  When you are clear about what you want, it makes room for you to have it.

When you work on people who are less than your ideal client, you are giving away your energy.  You are giving up on your values.  You will lose a little part of yourself each time.  After a few years it will take its’ tool on you, I guarantee it.  When you work on people who are less than your ideal client you will end up feeling resentful which could lead to you even doing less than your best work with people.  Yes it is true.  I talked to a massage therapist once who said she actually felt like hurting someone on the table because they were receiving a significant discount from her.  Even though she was the one giving the discount she felt like she had to to keep that client.  She gave up a piece of herself and ended up with really intense feelings.

To me clients who are less than ideal are people who always cancel at the last minute or always forget their check books.  They are people who complain when I raise my rates $5.  They are people who are not injured who try to use their insurance.  (Insurance here covers massage for acute conditions and not maintenance massage.)

Michael Port in his book Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling
says this:

The first step in building your foundation is to choose your ideal clients, the individuals and businesses with whom you do your best work, the people or environments that energize and inspire you.

In the book Attracting Perfect Customers: The Power of Strategic Synchronicity
by Stacey Hall and Jan Brogniez uses these questions to hone in on the ideal customer or as they call it the Perfect customer:

  • Is this person the perfect customer because he or she shows you respect and values your time?
  • Does this person come to you with realistic expectations?
  • Do they appreciate your efforts happily paying for your services and referring others to your company?
  • Does working with this person make you feel needed, appreciated, respected and understood?
  • Do they reconnect you with the passion and purpose that puts joy in your work-the very reason why you began doing massage in the first place?

In the Book The Answer: Grow Any Business, Achieve Financial Freedom, and Live an Extraordinary Life

.. if you try to be everything to everybody, you end up being nothing to anybody.”

These are just a few resources to help you in learning more about the concept of the “Ideal Massage Client” and helping you on your way to finding yours.

The other thing though is that this is a process.  If you have clients that you find draining it will take time and some marketing to let go of them (and also some self confidence boosting.)  If you don’t have any clients you may not know who your ideal client is.  It will come by taking action and seeing clients and seeing the contrast of how it feels to work with different people.  Having a good business coach or supervisor can also help.

5 thoughts on “Ideal Massage Client”

  1. I have some wonderful ideal clients. They are honest, gracious, good communicators, value our time together, and have integrity. These people make it a pleasure to work and practice massage therapy.
    My less than ideal clients are manipulative, won’t pay for missed visits, don’t return phone calls, push for discounts, complain when fees are raised, and feel so entitled that they don’t respect policies or boundaries. These people-many of whom were ultra rich- have been difficult to deal with and I have worked hard to move them out of my practice. Now I’m happier.

  2. Just wanted to say that I really like the new format of your website. It looks good. Very pleasing colours and easy to navigate. Good work!

    as for my clients…. well, ideally, i like the mix. I find that too much of a good thing gets tedious, so I enjoy going from sports to therapeutic, to relaxing to motor vehicle accident. It keeps things fresh and exciting and requires taking a fresh approach.

  3. I like to use the 80/20 Rule. It is also known as the Pareto Principle or the Rule of the Vital Few and it states that there is an imbalance between causes and results, between effort and reward. 80% of your profit is brought in by 20% of your clients. Realize all clients are NOT equal.

    It is sometimes necessary to “fire” clients when they consume too much of your time for the percentage of your earnings that they represent.

    Here’s how I implement the 80-20 rule in my Fort Lauderdale massage practice.
    I begin with researching and identifying the actions, deals, and clients that currently bring most of my income. This requires a careful analysis.

    Using customer relations management software, we determine how many clients we have, and what percentage of our overall profitability each client represents. You may find that only a few clients bring in the vast majority of your income. You probably don’t need to be told, then, that you need to focus on these clients in order to maximize your business.

    However, you can also take a close look at the clients and determine hot traits they have in common. That is, are your best clients from a specific industry?

    Are they attracted by a specific deal that only you can offer them?
    Determine what it is that makes these clients extra profitable, and then see whether you can translate this into leads that will also become strong clients.

    Kristen T. LMT

  4. Hi, I recently attended a high end business seminar where we did a lot of work on building a profile of our “ideal client”. This included visualising their typical day, their concerns and problems and other aspects of their lives. It was an extremely powerful exercise and made me rethink and rewrite a lot of my marketing material.
    Thanks for the great insights.

  5. Boy do i need to vent about non ideal clients!!! I’m at a place now where only a handful of my clients are ideal, the rest I have started to resent for the reasons you mention, they don’t value my work referring to it as pamper or a treat knowing that full well that it makes me cross as it devalues massage & my work, they take no responsibility for self care, only coming to me once or twice a year when they are in agony and then expect me to “fix them” in one session as that’s all they want to pay for, they take up far too much of my time before and after each session-even though I try to curb this, but find they somehow manage to still take conversation on a tangent or on to the next topic even though I’ve steered them back a couple of times or tried to end the conversation (1 client yesterday took up 2 hours of my time for a 1 hour appointment! She left and I was really annoyed that I’d let her do it, but I find cubing non essential chat from clients the hardest to do). I’m sick of clients that always book my latest appointment even though they are available much earlier in the day, some even try to look over my shoulder at my diary and purposely will book the day I don’t have any other clients in. I’ve now said for confidential reasons I can not show them my diary-so one stopped coming!!! It has to be about a power play for a lot of them, others they are very needy, others down right disrespectful. Business is failing and I’m ready to throw in the towel because of all the non ideal clients, so I’m trying to re-focus on attracting my ideal clients but finding it really hard to market to them

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