The Fastest Path to Earning More in Your Massage or Bodywork Biz
The #1 question I hear over and over again from big-hearted bodywork therapists who are struggling to create sustainable practices is “How do I get more clients?”
You know the drill: you scour the internet for ideas to market your business. Maybe you even find one or two that you don’t hate, so you try to make them happen. Maybe you set up your massage chair at a health fair, or you put flyers on every car in your local natural foods store parking lot.
Then nothing happens.
The folks you massaged at the health fair never call (even though they have your card) and no one has contacted you from the flyers either.
You’re bummed out and totally discouraged because you’re having a hard time paying your bills, and you’re not sure how much longer you can keep your practice going unless you start earning more money.
Well, here’s the big news: You might not need new clients to earn more money.
When all is said and done, there are basically 3 ways to earn more in your massage or bodywork business. You can:
Find more clients.
Increase your prices for your current clients.
Increase the lifetime value of your clients.
Let’s take a look at each one.
Most bodyworkers think they have to constantly hustle for their next one-hour session.
You think the only way you’re going to earn more is to work with more people. So you spend most of your time and your precious energy trying new marketing ideas, which can be absolutely exhausting and draining.
You may not even be fully present for your current clients because you feel under constant pressure to find more people to come in for your services.
And yes, it’s true — you do need SOME clients to have a successful practice. But you may be surprised by how few people it actually takes to make your business soar.
If you see each of your clients once a month, and you want to have 20 sessions each week, that’s only 80 people. Now, 80 is a lot of people if they’re all in your living room at the same time, but it’s really not that many people in the grand scheme of things.
Maybe you don’t yet have 80 people in your client database, but now you’ve got a solid number to aim for, rather than feeling like you’re spinning your wheels, always hustling, always needing more.
(If you’re not yet at 80 clients, don’t worry — next week, I’ll be giving you a behind-the-scenes look at how I found my first clients.)
For now, remember that there are 2 other ways to earn more money…
The fastest and most direct way to earn more is to raise your prices.
I know, I know.. this can cause so much fear and unease that I’ve created an entire program to help you do it. You can find all about it here.
For now, though, let’s channel our Inner Spocks and look at it from a purely logical angle.
Remember those 80 clients that make up your client base? If you charge $75/session, you’ll be grossing (or bringing in) $6000 per month. Sweet! But that’s what’s called your Top Line. That’s what you earn before your expenses…
Let’s say your business expenses are about $1500 per month. That means your Net Income is $4500. Still pretty terrific, right! Well, don’t forget about paying your taxes. We’ll guestimate low and say you owe $500 in taxes. So now, your Bottom Line is $4000 — you’ve got $4000 to live on for the month. Not bad. Some people can live very comfortably on this, others not so much…
So let’s look at this scenario again, but this time, you’ve raised your prices and are charging $100/session. With 80 people coming in each month, your Top Line is $8000. Your business expenses are the same, and we’ll low-ball the tax estimate again and call your tax bill $800. Now, you’re Bottom Line is $5700.
You’ve got an additional $1700 each month (or more than $20,000 more at the end of the year) and you didn’t have to find one new client to do it!
(Again, I know it can be scary… This will help.)
Raising your prices is hands-down the fastest and most straightforward way to bring in more cash.
The final way to earn more money in your bodywork business is to increase what’s called the Lifetime Value of each client.
You do this by giving each client such a fantastic experience that they want to re-book. All of a sudden, you don’t need to find another new client because you’ve offered such a wonderful service that your current client will come in regularly, over and over.
The mistake therapists make here is that you are so afraid of coming across as pushy that you don’t offer any guidance to your clients. You say something like I used to say when I was just starting out: “Listen to your body. You’ll know when to come back in.”
Except they don’t. Many of our clients are so out of touch with their bodies that they don’t have any idea when to come back in. It’s up to you, as the professional you are, to offer guidance here. If you’ve seen terrific results treating headaches in your work, say that. “In my experience, it usually takes 3-4 sessions to release the underlying tensions that cause headaches. Would you like to go ahead and set those appointments up now?”
All of a sudden, you’ve done a couple of things: You’ve given your client some confidence that you are a professional and know what you are doing. You’ve also given her guidance so that she knows what to expect. When she sets up the appointments, she’s more engaged and invested in her health, so she’ll probably see better results. And you will increase your earnings — and the lifetime value of this client.
The key here is to be genuine and have integrity. You’ve got to be 100% honest with your guidance. Putting your clients on a program and setting up their appointments in advance is freeing and beneficial for both you and your clients. Win-Win.
Going back to the above example, you may not actually need 80 clients to make your income goals. If you’ve got 20 people you see twice a month, then you’ll only need a total of 60 clients. Boom! See how it works?
I really hope you’ll think about your practice in new ways. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the drudgery of constantly hustling for new clients. By raising your prices and increasing the lifetime value of your current clients, you’ll be on your way to the sustainable practice that you’ve dreamed of.
Remember: You do great work in the world. You deserve to make a great living doing it!