By: Dylan RKin, RMT
When you’re fresh in the RMT world, it can be hard to get your name out there and build a clientele base. How do you even start getting clients? And more specifically, how do you start getting the clients YOU want to treat? You have to market yourself! Okay, cool but how does one market oneself when you’re a complete newbie in the field?
First thing is first, if you’re new in the field, is there any certain population you enjoy treating? For example, athletes, children or those with chronic pain? If you’re just happy to be massaging, are there any impairments you get excited about treating or any areas of the body you love to treat more than others? This can be your jumping off point for how you want to market yourself.
Let’s say you’re just excited to be able to massage now, but you really enjoy treating the neck. Now you can narrow down how you want to find clients that want general upper body massage.
How to find your ideal clientele base through marketing
Since we live in the era of the internet, the different ways of marketing ourselves has really expanded. Before, marketing yourself meant only going out in the community and introducing yourself or going to in-person networking events, which can be nerve racking if you’re an introvert. But now, you have the option to go in-person or online!
So, here are three ways you can market yourself to help find your ideal clientele base:
• Social media
• Networking, either online or in-person
• Going out into the community
Starting with social media, this is a great way and if done right, the simplest way to market yourself. Marketing yourself through social media can mean so much. You could create your own business Instagram page or Facebook page where you can post things that interest you (aka neck exercises, neck self-massage tutorials and so on). You could make a TikTok account where you show people how to treat certain impairments of the neck, while also making it entertaining. You can make your own blog and create posts on things that interest you in the massage world and link that back to your other social media platforms. The opportunities when it comes to marketing through social media is endless. You may find that some posts get more engagement than others, so the first few months of social media marketing is truly figuring out what works for your ideal clientele base, setting up a social media posting schedule from that and next thing you know, you have the clients you want to treat and your name is getting out there in the massage therapy community. If you want more information on social media navigation for RMTs, I’ve written an article all about that!
Then we have networking. Networking with your peers either online via LinkedIn and related Facebook groups or at in-person events, like conferences, can be a great way to get your name out there with your peers, which can lead to referrals. If the idea of networking scares you, it’s best to start online. Again, social media is a great for this. You can find other like-minded peers and just message them or comment on their posts. It can be intimidating to message someone you don’t know because you may think they’re too busy for you, but you have to remember they are a person. There were a number of RMTs and other health care practitioners I first messaged before I was even registered to see what it was like being on the “other side” of school and I’m glad I did, because it got my name out there. And now, I make it known that if you’re a student of Massage Therapy or a new RMT and you need guidance, message me and I’ll be glad to help. One of my favourite things in 2021 were the number of messages I got from new grads telling me they passed their OSCEs. I had never met any of them but I was so happy that I could be a part of their journey and now, if I need to refer someone, I have their names and I know the cities they work in.
The fun thing about social media is that you can talk to someone virtually everyday and it gets easier, so when the time comes to do some in-person networking, it doesn’t seem so daunting. You have gained the skills and practice them virtually and now you can do the same thing in person. I’m excited to be able to attend an in-person conference now and meet all the people I’ve talked to over the past year online, in real life. Therefore, remember networking with your peers is a great way to get to know the Massage Therapy community and even find a niche within our small community.
Finally, go to community based events to market yourself. You want to treat people in your community. Social media and networking are great when it comes to reaching the people you want to treat, however this doesn’t necessarily mean those people are within a distance they can come see you. But if you go out into your community, those people can easily access you for massage treatments.
Some examples of going out into the community include: volunteering at races, messaging local gyms ( GoodLife, Martial Arts and Gymnastic clubs) and asking if you can set up your table for free 10 minute massage sessions and hand out your business card, or messaging local business and asking if you can set up a table and offer free mini massages. Send out some emails and see who replies back. Back when I was starting, I was lucky enough to volunteer at a race, where I still work with a few clients that I massaged at their end of the race in 2019. I also messaged a local martial arts studio and not only am I still seeing some clients from that day, but my name has gotten around the club and others come to see me and those clients even see other practitioners at my clinic. So, now because I went to this martial arts club for 2 hours one night almost three years ago, I managed to bring in revenue for my clinic. Yes, it can be intimidating going into a business and handing out your business card, but the people you treat on those days will love it. And it’s a great way to find the clients you want to work with, right in your community. All you have to do is send out emails to places that interest you and be prepared to not hear anything back from a lot of those places, but the places you do hear back from are pretty great.
Just like that, those are three ways you can market yourself as a new RMT. You can get your toes wet by marketing yourself through social media first. Get used to talking about yourself, showcasing yourself and identifying who you enjoy treating. From there you can network through social media and let your peers know that you’re apart of the Massage Therapy community and finally, don’t be afraid to go out into your community. This is a great way to get your name and your business out there in the area where you work, which means there’s a higher chance of people coming to see you.
As always, if you need any guidance when it comes to marketing yourself, don’t hesitate to reach out to me through email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Instagram : @dylan.dynamic.rmt. I’m happy to help and love hearing about all your career wins!