This post includes:
- The software and tools you’ll need to take your massage services online
- The value you can offer clients with remote massage tutorials and streaming services
- How to open up your client base worldwide through virtual massage classes
- How to upsell product bundles to accompany your live stream tutorials
COVID-19 is causing widespread fear and anxiety throughout the world, so you’ve got a natural audience starving for ways to de-stress and unwind. Why not take your professional skills online and help everyone relax by teaching online massage classes? You’ve got the skills and preparation to teach massage techniques and help clients ease aches and pains; all you need is the technology to connect with them remotely.
What Will I Need to Teach Massage Courses Online?
At a minimum you’ll need a laptop, tablet, or a mobile device installed with a streaming app to kickstart your class. Luckily, Vagaro has just launched a live stream integration that allows you to host virtual massage classes straight from your booking software, making it easy for clients to book, pay, manage and stream your class online. Head over to our streaming intro for more tips on setting up your online services to help you get started.
Where is the Value in Online Massage Therapy Courses?
You’re probably wondering: How can I provide the same care and expertise that my clients receive in my clinic via a video chat?
The short answer is: You’ll offer a very different service, but with the same end goal of relieving tension and pain for your clients. Let’s explore ideas:
- One-on-One Consultations: Offer virtual health consultations to discuss any physical symptoms such as neck pain, back pain, headaches, or specific body cramps. Provide advice, tailored relaxation techniques, and stretches to clients.
- Basic Self Massage Techniques: Focus on simple self-care techniques for relaxation or to soothe achy muscles. The key here is to make the exercises fun, interactive, and easy to learn. You can introduce a variation of this class by focusing on a specific part of the body: Offer a basic foot massage class or a session focused on essential face massage techniques.
- Introduction to Popular Massage Techniques: Give students an overview of the different massage types you offer: deep tissue, Swedish massage, prenatal massage, sports massage, hot stone massage, shiatsu massage…Then help them choose which one is right for them. Include simple self-massage methods to illustrate each massage type. You can even email discounts and promo codes to get clients to try your services out later.
- Couples Massage: Why not teach quarantine buddies to give each other amazing backrubs? Develop a basic massage routine that will help each partner reduce muscle tension and enhance relaxation.
- Gua Sha from Home: Gua sha is the practice of using a tool to apply pressure and scrape the surface of the skin to relieve pain and tension. Use the popularity of this trending technique to attract clients to your class and educate them about the massage technique and the popular stone tools.
- Beat the Slouch: If your clients are currently working from home, chances are they’re not sitting in their favorite ergonomic office chair. This may quickly aggravate aches and pains, so why not jump in and offer a class focused on posture and stretching exercises.
- Virtual Wellness: Consider expanding your online offering to online meditation sessions, naturopathic consults, aromatherapy classes, or other complementary services.
- Massage for Babies and Children: Teach your clients how to bond with their children through gentle massage exercises.
Teach Virtual Massage Classes to the World
Granted, your current clients will be thrilled to try your new online offering. But what about setting yourself the more ambitious goal of marketing your online sessions to a wider audience – at no additional cost to you? If expanding your reach sounds compelling, read on.
The easiest way to grow your client list is to encourage your regulars to share your virtual offering to friends and family on your behalf. Include incentives in your email and text marketing campaigns to reward clients who get their friends to sign up with you. You can also run a social media campaign to get your followers to sign up for a virtual massage class and even offer a group discount! Advertise your massage class on Vagaro.com and on the Vagaro Client App for even more local and nationwide exposure.
No Tools, No Problem
You’ve discussed your virtual classes with a few clients and discovered they don’t have any professional massage tools available at home; one of your regulars has pointed out she’s cash-strapped and unwilling spend a bundle purchasing massage tools online. Now what? Fret not, there’s a good chance your clients already own one or more of these common household items:
- Tennis, golf or lacrosse balls
- Rolling pin or paint roller
- Frozen water bottle
These items can be easily fashioned into great home-made massage tools to help clients work out some of the knots that have been bugging them. You can demonstrate the use of these household tools in your virtual lesson and throw in some complimentary video clips to further illustrate how clients can use them after class.
Upsell Opportunities at your Fingertips
While some clients may be reluctant to invest in massage tools, others may be looking to recreate the total massage experience from home. Do you typically provide a cozy robe, aromatherapy, and a set of sweet-smelling hand towels along with your massage service? Consider selling these add-ons in your online store or offer them for curbside pickup. You can also combine various items into attractive product packages:
- Stress Relief or Couples Massage Kit: Offer a combination of different massagers for whole body care or combine massage tools with aromatherapy candles, eye masks and other feel-good items.
- Infant Massage Kit: Package a variety of infant massage oils with a massage mat, infant neck rest, and detailed massage instructions.
- Lower Back Massage or Facial Massage Kit: Target specific parts of the body with tailored kits containing various massage tools and add-ons such as creams and oils.
- Foot or Body Scrub Kit: Offer an array of body scrubs to exfoliate and soften the skin after the massage.
- Aromatherapy Kit: Suggest a range of essential oils to use in conjunction with any of your self-massage classes.
- Gua Sha Massage Tool Set: Gua sha tools are typically made of jade, rose quartz, crystalline, and other semiprecious stones and are carved to have a firm, flat surface. They’re effective tools and beautiful keepsakes, so why not offer them in your online store as perfect add-ons to your online gua sha course?
- Bliss in Bali Kit: No way to go on holiday? With a little imagination and a themed relaxation kit, transport your clients to their dream destination. All they need to do is close their eyes. Consider designing different kits such as Walk in the Woods, Day at the Beach, Hawaii Getaway…
There’s a (Virtual) Market for Your Massage Business
While it isn’t business as usual for the massage therapy industry, the need for guided relaxation and pain management is at an all-time high given the anxiety and stress over the global pandemic. What’s more, lockdown orders may have disrupted your clients’ regular routines—whether they must work from a less than ideal workstation or they can’t get enough exercise, chances are their bodies are resenting the change. As a massage therapist, you are in a unique position to provide relief – head over to our Intro to Live Streaming blog post and see if virtual sessions are a solution for your business. If you decide to go virtual, tag us on social — we’d love to see what you accomplish!
Images: Giorgio Trovato via Vagaro
Icons: Mia Montemayor via Vagaro