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C h e c k o u t A B M P 's l a t e s t n e w s a n d b l o g p o s t s . Av a i l a b l e a t w w w. a b m p . c o m . 25 BUSINESS SIDE WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER THERAPISTS WHO WANT TO SPECIALIZE AND WORK WITH A SPECIFIC POPULATION? CG: Specializing in a specific area of care or a specific population is a great way to carve out a unique niche in a saturated market. By understanding who you want to serve and why, it's easier to create marketing language directed to those specific clients. My clients are women with reproductive health concerns, which encompasses a wide range of ages and stages of menstrual health. I seek clients who want to be empowered in their healing process by learning and incorporating self-care tools into daily practice. I began including this language in my marketing so I don't attract clients simply looking for a quick fix. HOW HAS THE PROFESSION CHANGED SINCE YOU ENTERED IT? JML: The essence of massage hasn't changed, but the business of massage has changed dramatically. Therapists may want to consider online scheduling to better meet client convenience. Referrals remain absolutely invaluable, but social media opportunities are driving new business. And lastly, while we may not always be able to compare on price and hours with the franchises, we can offer one constant to clients: our space, our touch, and our presence. IS THERE SOMETHING IN THE MASSAGE PROFESSION YOU WOULD CHANGE IF YOU COULD? TVK: If I could change anything about the massage profession, it would be for us to be more recognized by the medical community as valued therapists. Some do embrace us, but it drives me batty that insurance will sometimes only cover massage if performed by a chiropractor, physical therapist, or other individual when we are the ones who specialize in these modalities! WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER THERAPISTS? TVK: Be you. You have been given gifts to help and serve others in a unique way. Embrace them. KF: Take what you've learned in school and make it your own. Be creative. Get out of your head and learn how to tune-in and LISTEN to your clients and their bodies' response to your work. Follow the body's lead as it assists you in healing itself. JB: Your touch is a brand that makes a true impression on people, so make sure that impression imparts good health, good intention, and confidence in your craft. Have questions or some of your own advice to share with others? Get in touch! Email Les Sweeney is ABMP's president. Contact him at and read his occasional blog posts on Kristin Coverly,, is the manager of professional development at ABMP and creates resources and teaches workshops for therapists across the country. Both are massage therapists with business degrees who care about you and your practice. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PROS AND CONS TO WORKING AS AN EMPLOYEE? JB: Working as an employee is great, especially if you are just starting out. Building experience is key to building confidence and building your savings. It can give you a more flexible schedule that will not only pay the bills, but will also leave time to pursue other ventures. You can also learn a lot about what you like and don't like about the experience and apply it to what you want to do in the future. JML: There are many pros to working as an employee, including camaraderie with other massage therapists, an opportunity to work with a variety of clients, and the employer handling all the marketing, scheduling, and payment collection. Cons can include not being in control of the clients you see, following direction from a manager, having to use a brand of lotion you didn't choose, and tight scheduling between sessions.

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