I was very fortunate to catch up with Ann Bell recently. Ann is a very experienced massage therapist, but she’s also recently started a brand-new massage business, so I thought it would be great to talk to her about how that’s going for her.
Ann has been a massage therapist for 22 years now, after experiencing the benefits of massage for herself and then finding herself looking for a career move. She told me, “I was looking for a career move and a friend said to me, ‘Well, you like massage. Why don’t you go to school?’ And I’m like, ‘Well, what happens if I don’t like it?’ And she says, ‘Well then, you’ve learned a new skill.’ I said, ‘Okay.’ So I did. I went to school and I loved it.”
Like A Duck to Water
Lucky for Ann, she took to massage therapy ‘like a duck to water’ so that was a very wise career move. Initially, like many of us, Ann worked out of holistic center, where other people were responsible for marketing and promotions. She then worked from home for a short time but despite really enjoying it, she still lacked confidence in the marketing side.
Last May 1st Ann launched her own business, Healing Haven. “I found this space where I can live and work in the same space. But I knew I didn’t have the skills to market myself, I just knew I didn’t have that information.”
Learning the Skills to Market Her New Massage Business
That was where Massage and Spa Success came in! Ann joined just at the right time for her business, just before she launched. Ann decided that the Bootcamp was the way to go – she said, “I found you and your classes, and the Bootcamp and I started it in February. I said to myself, ‘This is perfect!'” She added, “I felt really strongly coming into this that I could make it a big success because I had the skills, I had the confidence, and I also had your support, including coaching with you one-on-one.”
The importance of coaching and mentoring certainly can’t be underestimated, and Ann told me that she’d really benefited from the support she’s received so far. “I’ve always been mentored in one form or another, and I feel mentoring is very important. If you want to go somewhere, and you don’t know how to get there, other people have to show you. And it’s so worth the investment.”
What Marketing Strategies Have Worked Well
It’s always wonderful to hear that people have achieved success with the help of the Bootcamp, or the classes, so it’s fantastic to hear that Ann got so much from her investment. I asked her about which of the marketing strategies have worked well for her. Like many people, social media has changed the way she promotes her massage business. “I’m a big Facebook person,” she explains, “I post at least three times a day.”
Like most busy massage therapists, even though she loves her Facebook, Ann admits to not having the time or inclination to come up with ideas for three daily posts by herself. She laughs, “between Boot camp and the Marketing Content Club, you give me all the information. All I have to do is sit down, schedule, and post.”
Ann also makes the most of advertising opportunities in her local newspaper and working in a small village means that she has the perfect opportunity to make her premises stand out, “I make sure I decorate the outside of my business so I bring attention to myself that way.”
Ann has found networking groups really useful too, like the local Chamber of Commerce, although sometimes just a little networking is enough! She recalls, “I started with BNI 1, a local BNI Group. And I found that to be a little overwhelming because my business was taking off at the same time, and I didn’t have the time. I had to choose between BNI and the Chamber, and I chose the Chamber because that had more flexibility for my needs.”
Everything is going great for Ann at the moment but I wanted to find out more about the challenges she faced when she first got started with Healing Haven. No surprises here; time management was her #1 issue! “It’s finding the time to do everything”, she said, “and then finding the time to slow down and turn it off; I can be a bit of a workaholic. I’m learning to turn off my day – I’ve always been a big proponent of self-care. I have a massage every two weeks. I do chiropractic, yoga, all of that.”
Along with self-care, Ann admits to using goal sheets as a motivator, and to help her juggle everything she has to keep going in order to run a successful massage business. It must be working as she is already thinking about her next move!
Dreams and Goals
“I now have the ability and the confidence to go, ‘Why not me? Why not do some of these things?’ So now, the next business I’m looking to open is a salt cave, and an indoor labyrinth for walking meditation…This is very exciting for me!”
Ann admits that her latest business idea is also a retirement plan for when she stops massaging. “Eventually, I’m going to stop massaging and this is the bridge to that. I’ve never had the foresight before to actually dream or plan this way. So by taking Bootcamp, I learned how to make a plan, how to dream, how to make all of these dreams happen. And before, they would just stay in my head and I’d go, ‘Well, I don’t know how to do that.'”
It’s so fantastic to hear that the work we’ve done together in Bootcamp and the support from coaching and classes has given Ann the confidence boost she needed to realise her potential and aim for her dream business goals. She admitted that although she’s already excited about starting to plan the new enterprise, she is still nervous – it’s a big step into the unknown.
The People Around You Make A Difference
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m scared to death doing this second business. I have all the questions: Can I do it? Will it happen? Will people come? I have the same fears. But I’m able to temper them because I use you as my business coach, and my sessions. I remember my Bootcamp, and all the things I have to do. I also surround myself with other successful people.”
I can sense – and share – Ann’s excitement about her new project, and it’s truly uplifting to feel that as a coach I have been a part of her story so far. I have a good feeling that Ann’s story will continue to unfold, and that her plans will soon be a reality…