Your job and income as a massage therapist depend almost wholly on making clients happy, so being able to retain existing clients and bring in new ones is incredibly important. An exceptional massage therapist can maintain a long list of clients and continually keep them coming back for more. There are distinct qualities and skills all successful massage therapists must master to build and maintain that client list. We outline them below.
Becoming A Massage Therapist: Skills For Success
Here are some of the top skills you should master to become a successful massage therapist:
- The ability to self-promote: Marketing yourself successfully is vital to maintaining and increasing your client base. Growing your current list with word of mouth, social media, and marketing materials can take you a long way in the world of massage therapy.
- Business management skills: Being able to manage your time, your finances, and your clientele should all be on the top of your to-do list. Stay organized and prioritize your tasks.
- Proper massage techniques: Knowledge of all of the massage, bodywork, and somatic therapy techniques is vital to any professional massage therapy career. Know how to identify and perform trigger point therapy, Swedish massage, cranial sacral therapy, deep tissue massage, geriatric massage, and prenatal massage. You'll never know what type of massage therapy your client or employer will expect you to perform.
- Communication skills: Being able to communicate effectively with your clients is one of the most important skills you'll master as a massage therapist. Tell your first-time clients what to expect before a massage and walk them through the process while performing the massage. Be willing to accommodate their requests. Massage therapy is an incredibly social industry, and all massage therapists must learn how to talk to their clients effectively.
- Professionalism: Presenting your massage area and communicating with your clients professionally may seem like a no-brainer, but mastering this skill will take time and effort. The whole massage atmosphere must be relaxing and professional for each of your clients.
- Dexterity and endurance: It's no secret that massage therapists must learn how to master exceptional dexterity skills, but they also have to learn how to maintain stamina when seeing client after client. The more stamina you have, the more clients you can see every day. A good massage therapist will also be able to perform the more complicated maneuvers that massage therapy requires—and easily.
- Empathy: Being able to listen and empathize with your clients will help improve upon their overall well-being and will strengthen your professional bond with them. Be sensitive to your clients’ needs, and always give them your full attention. Participate in "active" listening.
Get Booked—Or Started
If you master all of the skills and techniques covered in this article and continue to sharpen your skills while working as a massage therapist, then you'll have no problem creating that long list of clients you've been looking for. If you’re yet to begin training but want a massage career, then the first step is as simple as hearing from a school near you.