Podcast

Episode 390

Dec 3, 2021

Allissa and Michael discuss how to price your niche or specialty to differentiate it from your average service.

Listen to "E390: Pricing a Niche Modality or Treatment" on Spreaker.
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EPISODE 390

Weekly Roundup


Discussion Topic

  • Pricing a niche treatment

Quick Tips

  • Don’t be afraid to make a change in tech (or anything else)

Sponsors


Transcript: 

Sponsor message: 

This episode is sponsored by PocketSuite. PocketSuite is an all-in-one App that makes it easier to run your massage business. You can schedule and get booked online by clients and manage all your forms and notes and contracts and payments and reminders. All of the things, all within the pocket suite App, and it is all HIPAA compliant my friends whether you are just starting out or a seasoned business owner PocketSuite helps you save time and make a good living. A massage therapist can be up and running on PocketSuite in 15 minutes, our podcast listeners can get 25% off your annual premium subscription for your first year of PocketSuite. And for more information you can visit massagebusinessblueprint.com/pocketsuite.

Michael Reynolds:

Hey everyone, welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast. Excuse me, where we help you attract more clients, make more money and improve your quality of life. I am Michael Reynolds clear-

Allissa Haines:

I'm Allissa. I'm Allissa Haines laughing at Michael.

Michael Reynolds:

And here we are. Welcome, this is going to be an awesome episode I can tell already. Thanks for joining us today, Allissa, how are you doing?

Allissa Haines:

I'm good. I think you're really doing a bang up job so far.

Michael Reynolds:

I think so, yeah.

Allissa Haines:

I think so. And this is not even a beginner thing. We have already recorded another episode this morning and we're just, we're really nailing it. Anyhow.

Michael Reynolds:

Anyhow, what are we reading?

Allissa Haines:

I just recently started subscribing to an email that comes every morning called the... And I lost my train of thought immediately because we are quality podcasters today. It's called the Anti-Racism Daily, and you sign up, you get an email every morning-ish and it is the newsletter to dismantle white supremacy. It has been good reading. I want to say right out the one I just got was about blacking out Black Friday and abstaining from work or shopping and encouraging people in your community to do the same. I know by the time this airs we are a week past Black Friday, but it's got a lot of little links and a lot of little very easy ways to learn and take action. And I have found it really helpful. And I also want to say if you subscribe to this and you're like, "Oh gosh, an email every day is really overwhelming."

Allissa Haines:

You don't have to read it every day if you don't want to. You can just read it some days and learn when you're ready. And also you can go right to the website to learn there. I believe they have the archive there as well. So it is V-A-R D.com. Will have the link in our podcast notes and if this is something that is important to you to perhaps dismantle white supremacy in this the United States of America and elsewhere, I think it's a good read. I think it's worth supporting and it turns out Michael has been subscribing and donating to this cause for quite a while too. Anything stick out to you Michael as far as what you've learned or how you feel it's helped you?

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, it's one of the best email newsletters and article sources I think out there today. It's really thoughtful and I've learned a lot in terms of just kind of unpacking my own biases as a white person and just understanding the perspective of people of color in various situations. And it's just a really great way to listen. I like just being able to read it and just digest and listen. And I've also found it a great way to share these perspectives with others. The tone and the thoughtfulness of the articles is extremely, it's just spot on. It's a great way to share an article and I think it does a lot of good to educate others who are open minded on these topics as well. So it's just all around it's just a really high quality publication. So I really recommend it.

Allissa Haines:

Sweet. Who's our first sponsor Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Our friends at ABMP.

Allissa Haines:

Yay. ABMP. Let's talk about the massage and body work magazine. It is an award winning magazine. It is included in print for ABMP members and the rest of the world. If you are or are not a member can read it for free online at massageandbodyworkdigital.com. It is a fantastic resource. We write a column, The Blueprint for Success. And yeah, there's a ton of regular columns. Ruth Werner has a pathology column, Carl Case has something there's always some kind of hands on article column feature. It is the professional journal. I think it's the best professional journal in the field clearly.

Allissa Haines:

I thought that even before I wrote for them. It includes techniques, in depth features and there's lots of video tie-ins so even if you get the print edition, they've got little QR codes in there, you can scan it'll take you right to the video that is more expansive about the topic even, or demonstrates some hands on techniques. It is really going to cover everything that matters to you as a massage therapist and or body worker. I would encourage you to learn more at abmp.com and specifically you'll find the links there to go to the magazine. But you can go directly to the magazine at massageandbodyworkdigital.com. That is all I have to say.

Michael Reynolds:

[inaudible 00:05:31]. All right. So talk to us about pricing and niche treatment today.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, I'm excited about this. So this is ripped directly from our Blueprint Mastermind, private community. And one of our members asked this, "I am doing a fee increase come January. I have come to niche and TMJ and want to charge accordingly since I'm the only one in the area doing this. And I've got a couple years experience. I plan on going up $5 for my regular treatments, which is a general massage that they do. But increasing the TMJ treatments $10. Does it seem unreasonable to go up $10?" And the bottom line is that this would make their general massage a $100 an hour and their TMJ treatment a $105 an hour.

Allissa Haines:

So I love this because one, this therapist is doing something that a lot of people want to do, which is to start niching and maybe only take in new clients in that particular area. But they're not giving up their general massage clients maybe that they've had for years, but they really want to price for their skillset.

Allissa Haines:

Now the first comments on this thread came from our friend Chris in Vermont, who noted before I could get to it, I love it, that they would actually make that a bigger spread between the general massage and the specialty. Especially if you want to be known for your niche and move away from general massage. That is the way to make yourself more credible, more elite. And I think I agree with Chris wholeheartedly. But I also think that there's more to be done there. I think that a $100 versus a $105 is not a big enough range, but I think there's a lot that can happen when you niche and you're ready to make it a bigger part of your practice and that you're ready to offer your client more in this technique and niche to serve them. And I think a good way of doing that is to actually create an offering more than just one treatment.

Allissa Haines:

And it could be a couple of different things. So let's say they keep their general massage at $100 an hour, fine. The TMJ treatment give it more than just massage. So maybe it could include when you come to this person for TMJ treatments, you get a massage, instructions on healthcare, and that, pardon me, instructions on self-care. And that can include instructions while in the office and helping teach hands on how to take care of yourself. But also a follow up video or some resources. Maybe a sample of some kind of product that is used. For me it would be like [inaudible 00:08:25] lotion or whatever is appropriate or tool that gets used in that portion of self-care. I think it could be packaged as a specialty treatment, maybe even with more than one treatment at a time, to make it worthy and make it special and make it exclusive and make it worthy of that higher price tag.

Allissa Haines:

So maybe you could plan something that would earn you $110 or $120 an hour, sell it as a three package thing. So maybe $350 for three treatments of an hour each. And they include an initial assessment teaching of self-care, take home resources, take home Tula lotion. And that's the package. And that way you're earning more than just a $100 bucks an hour you get for your general [inaudible 00:09:14] they'll think you have to about it anymore kind of massage. And you've packaged this exclusive TMJ treatment that will earn you more money that should because you're highly skilled in this area and not everyone else around you is. So that was my idea to come up with a package. If that is not palatable, palatable TMJ, good job me. So if that doesn't work, if that doesn't feel right, if you're not the kind of therapist that if you don't want to adjust your offerings to include some kind of specialty exclusive package that way, I really would suggest bringing the TMJ treatment up a little more than just a $5 difference.

Allissa Haines:

I would say go to at least a $110 or a $115 at the minimum. And if you don't want to sell a package and you only want to sell individual treatments, this same rule still applies. It could be a $1.20 an hour, but they get a resource or something. You can find a way to differentiate it, to offer more than you do in your just general massage so that people aren't going to blink at paying that higher price. The follow-up question to this is, what about clients who have already been getting that TMJ treatment? That's a big price hike if you're going to go up $20 bucks just for the TMJ. Well, I think it's important to remember that you don't have to raise your price for everybody. You can offer this moving forward for new patients and keep those other clients who are coming to you for maintenance work at the lower price.

Allissa Haines:

You could also offer a package or a specialty treatment at a high price and then move into a maintenance treatment that is not quite so expensive. Or you could just keep those old client at the old price and that's okay too. You could just bump them up to whatever your general massage price is going to be. So it's a smaller price increase for them. You get to decide how much you want to earn off of any particular client. And some people feel like having different prices for different people. It can get complex if there's too much of it, if there's too many levels of it, if you're offering too many discounts to too many people, it gets exhausting. And then you start to feel like you're not earning enough for any particular hour of work.

Allissa Haines:

But you can also limit it. The five clients seeing you for TMJ maintenance work, you can say to them, "I'm going to offer you this lower price because you've already moved into maintenance work with me. But when you tell your friends about me, please do not mention this lower price, because I am not going to offer this to anybody, but you." And that works fine. I did that fine for a long time. There's a few people I still offer a discount to because they've been with me for 17 years. And they know when they refer friends to me they're not going to get that discounted price. And they even know when they buy gift certificates for that particular friend, they're not going to get their typical discounted price. That lower price only goes to that particular client for their exact massage. So, Michael what did you think about this? Because that's really all I have to say, but I feel like you are the king of gift wrapping packages and such to make them more exclusive. So what do you think?

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, I like simplicity. My goal would always be to make it as simple as possible. I like the way you mentioned about having a price differential, like a $5 difference is not enough. It has to look special enough and part of that is your pricing. So if it's something that is truly unique and different, I would make it priced differently and have a bigger disparity between pricing. So I like what you said. I don't disagree with anything you've said. So I think that's kind of what my thoughts are currently. So I'm not sure I have a whole lot of super great wisdom to add beyond that.

Allissa Haines:

Cool. Well, I'm glad I nailed it on the first shot then.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, I think so. Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

So yeah, that's what we think. Don't be afraid to repackage something, offer a little bit more so you feel good about it and make yourself some more money. And that's what I got.

Michael Reynolds:

Nice. I like it. Well, thank you for that. Let's go on and before we move on to quick tips, let's give a shout-out to our sponsor, Jojoba.

Allissa Haines:

Yay, Jojoba. You know that I love HomeCare Jojoba from the original Jojoba company, because it's great for my skin. It doesn't have any weird crap in it that's going to make anybody react to anything. It is non-allergenic. Today I want to mention the Jojoba care retail Starter kit. So if you find that your clients love the Jojoba, you can actually sell it at your office and you can get a retail Starter kit that gives you a little sample to keep right there so people can put a drop on their hand. It gives you some four ounce bottles and some eight ounce bottles and a whole bunch of brochures and a little display thing in my [inaudible 00:14:02] a little [inaudible 00:14:02] and [inaudible 00:14:02]. And you can get it at a reasonable price of $65. Or if you do the organic Jojoba it is $75.

Allissa Haines:

And it's a great way to get started with retail, especially if it's a product you already use and trust. This is a crazy good price for your pricing to resell at the standard price and make some money off of to get started. And yeah, that's what I want to tell you. It'll really help get you resale sales off the ground and your clients will appreciate being able to bring home Homecare at a really good price. You can go to... I lost my notes already. I was reading from the HoboCare site. So I'm sorry. You can go to-

Michael Reynolds:

Okay, we know the link.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, you can go to massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba. We also have a deal where our listeners go to that link and they get 20% off the price of the product. I just want to note you won't get 20% off the retail Starter kit price because that's already crazy low, but all the other stuff you will totally get 20% off of, massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

Michael Reynolds:

Right on.

Allissa Haines:

Sorry, I fumbled through that.

Michael Reynolds:

Oh, that's okay. We're still coming off post Thanksgiving, sleepiness probably so we'll blame that. Hey-

Allissa Haines:

What's your quick tip?

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, quick tips. I was going to mention we have, I've got a thing. This is more of a challenge I kind of just, I want to get a little personal with this today. I'm talking to you listener, so you are who I'm talking to. I'm going to kind of adapt this also from a podcast recording we did recently with ABMP that's going to drop later. But my tip is don't be afraid to make a change in tech or anything else. I'm putting or anything else kind of in parenthesis, but usually it's a change in technology or a tool we're using or something. And this is kind of from an anecdote personally.

Michael Reynolds:

So I've been with Mint Mobile for about a year now. I switched from AT&T, I think it was AT&T or Verizon, one of the big guys to Mint Mobile because I wanted to save money. I cut my bill in half on my cell phone, which is great. But I've discovered that Mint Mobile uses the T-Mobile network, which in my area is terrible and the data is super slow. So I've been just dealing with it for a while and finally I'm like, "Okay, this is ridiculous. I'm dealing with slow data." I just don't want to make a change because the thought of changing my cell phone provider sounds super painful. And I'm like, "You know what? This is ridiculous." So I went online, I did some research and I arrived at Cricket Wireless uses AT&T's networks. So I said, "Okay, I'm going to try Cricket Wireless, about the same price."

Michael Reynolds:

So I went on their website I signed up for service, had them ship me the SIM card, swapped up the SIM card last night, it took literally five minutes and my new service is active. I was like, "That wasn't very painful at all." Usually it's not as painful as we think it's going to be. And now my data is super fast and I'm happy and it took literally 15 minutes of total work to do this. So my point here is, often the story we tell ourselves in our minds about how painful making a change is going to be is not really based in reality. It's not usually going to be that painful. And often if we go ahead and just make that change and put in the effort to switch to, maybe it's a new scheduling system or change out this thing in our office or try a different tool that we think will serve our business better, whatever it might be.

Michael Reynolds:

Generally, if we put the effort in to do it, we're going to be a lot happier later on and we're going to benefit from that indefinitely going forward. So my challenge to you is this, there's everyone listening here, I'm almost sure there is something in your life or in your massage practice that is bugging you a little bit, and it's not working at an optimal level and it's not serving you the way you want. And you would like to change it but you've been sitting on it because it feels painful to change. I want you to change that thing. I want you to go pick that thing out, I want you to think through, okay, how is the change going to happen? What am I going to do, envision what it's going to be like after you make the change. So you feel good about the better state of being you're going to be in after making the change and I want you to do it. That's my challenge and that's my quick tip.

Allissa Haines:

I use Cricket. That's who I switched to a couple years ago when I went from paying $120 something dollars a month with, AT&T to paying $50 bucks a month with Cricket and it's the same service they use AT&T towers. So, yeah, that's great. And you know my little side note here is that there's so many things that seem like a big task, but if you think about it, you only have to do it once. You only had to go online and get signed up for Cricket one time, and then it was done. It's not like a recurring task or mountain that you need to climb. You do it once and you're done. And I always remind people of this when they're thinking of starting a massage business but they get really overwhelmed with all the startup tasks, like getting a GBA and getting your zoning permit and getting your whatever. If you have to have your place inspected by whatever, and all of these things feel big, but you only have to do them one time. And then it's just maintenance after that. So rock on. I think that's wonderful. Take us home, Michael.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, well, Hey, thanks everyone for joining us today. We appreciate you being a listener as always. You can find us on the web at massagebusinessblueprint.com. And if you'd like to email us, the email is podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com that goes to both me and Allissa and one or both of us will answer as quickly as we can. And don't forget about BluePrint Mastermind which is our private community of super smart massage therapists. You can join on our website as well and learn more about it there. Thanks everyone for joining us today. Have a great day. We'll see you next time.

Allissa Haines:

Bye.

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