Massage therapists and bodyworkers are one of the many close-contact professions that have been profoundly impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. Despite the pandemic, many massage therapists have been able to pivot their business model and adapt to the circumstances, finding safe, alternative ways to continue working. Here are some tips to help you re-imagine your massage therapy business, add virtual services to your menu, and bring in more clients.
Reassure Customers of Their Safety
Like many other regulated hands-on professions, sanitation and hygiene have always been a significant part of the daily workflow. The only difference is that before COVID-19, performing sanitation practices behind the scenes was vital to the customer experience. Now, sanitation and hygiene are part of the customer experience – and customers expect transparency about how you’re keeping them safe. Making small adaptations to your daily workflow reassures clients, which leads to positive reviews – and the Vagaro COVID-Ready badge!
- Automated emails and text reminders keep clients informed about your business sanitation, safety, and distancing practices.
- Touchless forms make it easy to pre-screen customers and send liability waivers before appointments.
- Encourage online prepayments and use Vagaro’s COVID-Clean checkout for in-person payments.
Pro Tip: Download the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) guidelines PDF, created specifically for your industry.
Ask Your Clients What They Need Right Now
One thing that everyone’s experience of the pandemic has in common is that change has come in ways both big and small. It’s easy to assume that you know what your clients need – but why not just ask them? You might just be surprised by what you find out! For instance, clients may be more open than you’d guess to learning ways to de-stress from home, through virtual appointments or social distance instructional sessions. By sending a contactless form, you can gain insight to what your massage clients need and want. This will give you a clear vision for how to pivot your business, the digital services to offer, and how to personalize the client experience.
Diversify Your Business Model with Virtual Services
Did you know that human beings can become “touch starved”? It’s true! Human beings are hard-wired for touch, which is why massage is such an important service in times of stress. Surprisingly, studies show that virtual chats deliver 80% of the benefits of in-person contact, which makes adding digital massage services a useful way to diversify. Many massage therapists are trained in other wellness disciplines, like yoga, personal training, meditation, nutrition, or life coaching. Based on the results of your client survey, you may find that you’ve got a built-in client base for new additions to your service menu.
Virtual One-on-One Appointments. Offer live stream appointments with clients to teach them massage techniques that they can perform at home, to decompress and keep themselves limber.
In-person Instructional Sessions. Maintaining a safe 6-foot distance, you can teach clients self-massage tricks, review their form, and instruct them in more complex, tension-relieving stretching and mobility exercises.
Online Group Sessions. These are a great way to attract new clients, especially when offered at a lower price point, on a sliding scale, or hosted for free. You can organize a group session to talk about overall wellness, to teach a specific technique, or as a Q & A conference. Massage, guided imagery, mediation, yoga, stretching, and relaxation techniques are topics sure to attract a crowd, leading to new client relationships down the road.
Use YouTube to Get Bookings for Your Live Streams
YouTube’s content-on-demand format makes it an ideal platform to attract new clients to sign up for your live stream sessions. By filming short videos for YouTube – which you can then use across multiple social media platforms – you let new clients “try before they buy.” YouTube videos let you introduce yourself and your massage business to clients and take a virtual tour of your facilities. Teaching viewers a skill on YouTube might prompt them to sign up for future workshops and one-on-one sessions, attracting new clients with ease.
Introduce Yourself! Let new clients learn about you, your credentials, your business, and why you love being a massage therapist. You can also talk about other wellness disciplines you’re passionate about, so new clients will know about other services you may offer.
Virtual Tour of Your Practice. Welcome new and virtual clients to your clinic with a virtual tour. This lets new clients get acquainted with the space and know what to expect when they visit.
Sanitation Showcase. Create a video that walks viewers through your sanitation protocols and provides reassurance that they’re in safe hands when they book a massage.
Teach Them a Trick. Think of the most common issues you help new clients with – especially if they’ve been working from home in a less-than-ergonomic workspace. By focusing on one stress or pain-relieving technique, you can inspire viewers to sign up for a virtual session or one-on-one appointment, in-person or online.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to include a call-to-action that links to your website, upcoming digital sessions, and booking page in your YouTube clips, and make sure to mention them at the end of your video. That way, viewers can become clients with just a few clicks!
Human Beings Need Physical Contact
The benefits of massage encompass both the physical and the emotional. With the widespread adoption of working and attending school from home, there is more need than ever for massage to relieve stress and body pain. Despite the obstacles presented by social distancing, massage therapy remains an in-demand profession that’s easily adapted to perform online and in-person. Massage is part of the “big picture” of wellness, so it’s time to adapt your business to the changing needs of customers.
If you’re ready to pivot your massage business to a wellness business combining in-person and virtual services, we’ve got the tools to get you started! Use Vagaro forms to learn what your customers want, host virtual sessions via live stream, and use Vagaro’s marketing tools to promote your new services.