Building your career, growing a client base or launching into a new industry can be exciting… but also overwhelming. Sometimes it can feel as though the end goal is just so far away. When starting out, tips and tricks from people who have “been there, done that” can be extremely helpful.
Recently, we sat down with Ingrid G – one of our top earning Blys therapists in Sydney – to chat about the pros and cons of mobile massage therapy. Ingrid shared her top tips for growing a client base, getting more jobs (aka earning more $) and building confidence as a massage therapist. Transcription below video.
5 of the Best Things About Being a Mobile Massage Therapist
Steph: What are five of the best things about being a mobile massage therapist?
Ingrid: Number one for me is flexibility. I’m a mum so need work that is flexible and with Blys, I can choose my own hours.
Number two is I get to be my own boss! Nobody is ordering me around – so I like that.
Number three is pay. As a mobile massage therapist pay is good. Especially compared to when I used to work in spas or used to practice in a clinic.
Number four is the location. Sometimes I get to go to these incredible locations. I don’t know what is behind that door. Sometimes it’s a fun party of 60 women, other times it’s massaging VIPs at a concert, sometimes it’s a beautiful home with harbour views or even a house filled with cute puppies or cats (great if you love animals!).
Number five is that I don’t have to do my own marketing. As I have my own business, I know how difficult it is to market and network myself. It takes a lot of effort, time and energy to get new clients. With Blys, I don’t have to do any of that! They look after that while I can focus on simply retaining my clients.
3 Challenges of Being a Mobile Massage Therapist
Steph: What are 3 challenges of being a mobile massage therapist and how have you overcome them?
Ingrid: Number one for me would cost. I can’t drive (yes I’m one of the few people that do mobile but can’t drive), so the costs of Uber or Ola to client locations can sometimes be quite big. However, I accept that this is part of the gig and factor this into my decision making when I choose whether or not to accept a job.
Secondly, the effort of bringing my own equipment compared to if I work at a spa or clinic where everything is already there.
The third one would be the temptation. The money is good so there is the temptation there to keep accepting jobs however if you don’t listen to your body you may get burnt out. So try to avoid that and give yourself plenty of rest because we do really physical work. Yes – everyone needs money but just be aware of the temptation of working too much.
Top Tips and Tricks for New Mobile Massage Therapists
Steph: If you could offer a couple of tips to new mobile massage therapists or new therapists in general, what would they be?
Ingrid: Firstly, you want to make sure you have good hands! Good massage skills. To build those, you can do “swapping”. For example, I swap with a lot of people for various services. Massage is one of those things that people highly value. I swap with babysitting, cleaning etc. By practising this, you can develop your massage skills. It’s also a good opportunity to ask for feedback.
When you’re in a massage with a regular client, you need to be careful not to ask for too much feedback. For example, a lady who used to work for me would ask a lot of questions – to the point that it gave the impression that she didn’t really know what she was doing – even though she did! By doing lots of “swapping” you will be able to get practise reading body language and identifying if someone isn’t comfortable. Therefore, you won’t need to actually ask as much!
Another important skill is your people skills. You need to be able to relate to people, it’s not just about the physical touch. If they need to cry – how do you handle that? If they have a mental issue or some baggage, how do you handle that? I’ll be discussing this type of things at the May Therapist Meet-up in Sydney.
Another one is the importance of creating a WOW experience. This will help to build a loyal client base. What I usually do is provide an aromatherapy spray, candle, hot towel – all making it a very relaxing experience for a client. Now, this style might not suit you – however – there is always a way that you can set yourself apart from other therapists and create a special client experience.
Another thing is building your reputation. Once you have built the confidence and reputation with the Blys team, you usually get additional referrals for different VIP jobs and clients. Now it doesn’t happen overnight, however, if you’re patient, responsible and put in the work, you’ll be able to get there!
Late night bookings are another great way to build your client base. You get paid $15 more which is also great for your pocket. The demand is there and not that many therapists want to do late nights – say from 9 pm onwards. It’s a great opportunity to build those jobs and new clients in the early days.
Last thing is mindset! Have in your mind that there is no competition – there are only opportunities. There are a lot of therapists under Blys wings but they are not you. You can’t please everyone but there will always be a therapist suited to a specific clientele which means there are always opportunities!
Ingrid will be leading the therapist meet-up in May and discussing “How to support clients through emotional times”. She is also running another workshop at the end of April for her own business – Kahyangan.