Massage before the internet age
When I started practicing Thai Massage therapy over 18 years ago, it never crossed my mind to have a website. That was for big businesses or geeks, not for massage therapists.
I actually thought I was pretty cool because I had an email address and I even collected the emails of my clients.
Moving forward – massage in the internet age
Well, times have changed. Websites are not just for big business anymore. Anyone who has a real business – yes that includes us healing arts types – really needs a web presence.
It might be just a small site which is little more than an online business card. Or it could be a large one like my site, thaihealingmassage.com, with hundreds of pages, blog, forum, picture gallery and product store.
Why would you need a website, and how would you benefit from one?
8 website benefits for massage therapists
1. Our clients are looking for massage therapy or yoga training or other healing arts online. If you are not sure about that, I have news for you.
Every month millions of people are typing the term “massage”, “massage therapist” or similar terms into google’s search bar.
The question is – will they find you?
2. Your massage website can showcase what you have to offer better than you can explain it verbally. You can use text, pictures, video, nice colors and graphics and your site can look really attractive.
3. Your massage website can inform your clients of new services, offers, products, discounts, or training events.
4. Your site can have a feature where people can sign up to your email list. This is a great way to get new massage clients or customers, and it allows you to send out regular messages to your clientele.
This is good marketing, and it can be done in a very personal way.
5. You can book appointments online. This is professional and allows you to be better organized. There are many online scheduling programs available on the web that make this very easy. Examples are Genbook or Schedulicity.
6. You can have additional income streams by selling products online. This might be massage mats, accessories, oils, books, massage videos or courses.
Now you might be thinking “That’s not for me. I don’t have any products for sale.” Maybe you don’t, but Amazon.com has millions of them, and it is very easy to promote their massage and healing arts related products on your website.
7. Your massage website leverages your time and efforts. Without a web presence, you are always exchanging time for money. You only earn money when you physically work on a client.
But your website works even when you are sleeping. People can buy your products or book appointments 24 hours a day.
8. In today’s world, a website contributes a lot to your professional image. It shows that you have a real business, it makes it convenient for your clients to find you, contact you, and research what you have to offer.
Website options – do it yourself
Now you might think: “Websites are expensive, I cannot afford one.” NOT TRUE! You can create a simple website without spending one single penny. There are many options. Some popular ones are wordpress or weebly.
Next objection: “I don’t know anything about web design. I cannot build a website.” Let’s set this one straight. Just a few years ago I knew nothing about websites or web design, but I knew I needed one.
I was in my fifties already and I did not grow up in the internet generation. I still managed to build one of the biggest massage websites online all by myself. Take a look at thaihealingmassage.com.
If I can do this, you can do it too! I never had any special skills or knowledge. I just built up the site over time. Nowadays you don’t have to be a geek to make a website by yourself. It is really not so difficult. Just try it!
Website options – outsourcing it
Of course you can also get someone else to build a nice website for you and your massage business. This does not have to be very expensive. We live in a global economy and the internet knows no borders.
There are thousands of people who would love to design a site for you at very affordable prices in countries like India, Philippines or Romania. You can check out sites like www.freelancer.com or www.upwork.com.
If you have the money, you can pay a web designer right in your home town. This is the most expensive option, but it can be the most convenient one.
The bottom line is: Having a website is not difficult, and money does not have to be an issue. If you are a professional massage therapist working for yourself, you need a web presence to market your massage business.
The author, Shama Kern, is the founder and director of Thai Healing Massage Academy and the creator of 20 online Thai Massage video training courses. He has been practicing and teaching Thai Massage for 16 years.