Massage Marketing 101: Tell Your Story To Stand Out Part 3 

Hello All! 

If you have been following along in this series we discussed in Part 1 the importance your back story, in Part 2 we put your back story + content creation to get your story out there. 

Today’s post is all about using your back story to create a niche market for your practice. If you truly want clients who value your work & you love to work with; serving a niche market is a must. 

Often I get pushback from Massage Therapists when talking about niche markets. They are worried about not having a big enough market share or being to exclusive & hurting people’s feelings. 

I remember feeling the same way until my former business partner & I parted ways. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it until I was referred a client who reminded me of why I loved my work. 

Seth Godin wrote a great blog post on niche markets. Here is an excerpt from his post. 

If you think you need a bigger market, you’re actually saying that the market you already have doesn’t need you/depend on you/talk about you enough.”

Having a well thought out & developed back story will help your to attract your niche market & stand out from your “competition”. 

It will allow you develop a strong, loyal & stable clientele base who will value your work. These clients will pay more for your work & passionately refer their friends & family members. Many of them will become “partners” in building your practice. 

We often have this idea we need 1,000, 10,000 or more clients when in reality we only need 100 or 200 clients who value our work. 

Find your niche, serve it well & let your “competition” fight for the rest. 

In this video Gary V talks about niche markets around the 5 min mark. 

Action Steps

  • Take some time to write your backstory out
  • Search for trends in your backstory. Most likely these could be your niche markets 
  • Research your niche market to learn how to serve it the best 
  • Market to your niche market using your backstory as street cred 

Practice Makes Improvement 😊

Do you struggle using your back story? 

Would you like to attract clients who value your work & you love to work with?

Join me September 21st 2016 as I teach a 6 month webinar focused on using your backstory to attract clients who value your work & you love to work with. 

For more information contact me @  

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Massage Marketing 101: Tell Your Story To Stand Out Part 2 

Hello All! 

In Part 1 of this series we discussed how to use your backstory to stand out, attract clients who value your work & you love to work with. 

In today’s post we are going to discuss how to create content around this very important topic. 

The pushback I when I talk with massage therapists about creating content is “I don’t want to be pushy” or “I don’t have anything to say that hasn’t been said.” 

In this video Chris Brogan of Owner Media Group talks about creating content that doesn’t seem pushy or aggressive.  

When I first started blogging/creating content I felt like I didn’t have anything “new” to say. I was correct, I didn’t have anything new to say but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have anything relevant to say. 

People want to hear your story & they want to hear you “rehash” old stories in your voice. We haven’t really told any new stories in a long, long time; but we still buy books, listen to music & watch movies.

Joseph Campbell discusses this in his book ‘A Hero’s Journey’. Here is a great video explaining how we all are “heros” & how our story can be relevant. 

I believe that our story is relevant in our marketing/social media presence because it gives our audience a glimpse into our worlds & allows them to relate to us. It has been my experience people want to authentically connect with others.  

If our goal is to attract clients who value our work & we love to work with, doesn’t it make sense to market with the goal of connecting & being authentic? 

If you are struggling creating content here are a couple ideas of how to get started. 

  • Use your backstory. How did you become interested in Massage? Where did you go to school? Why do you prefer the modalities you use? 
  • Post content that reflects your successes in your practice,  client testimonials or get a collegue to write you a recommendation. 
  • Every once in a while post something you are passionate about & rant a bit. Friction can create traction with people; but beware you don’t create a culture of negativity. 

Here Gary Vaynerchuk talking about how often, when & why you should post content. 

Practice Makes Improvement 😊

Do you struggle using your back story? 

Would you like to attract clients who value your work & you love to work with?

Join me September 21st 2016 as I teach a 6 month webinar focused on using your backstory to attract clients who value your work & you love to work with. 

For more information contact me @ 

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Massage Marketing 101: Tell Your Story To Stand Out Part 1 

Hello All, 
Learning to tell your story is more important than ever before. People are looking for a connection with their massage therapist & it needs to happen fast. 

The biggest thing I have learned in my 16 years of practice is clients come to us for our skills; but they stay with us for the relationships we build. 
One trick I learned early in my career is to find out your clients back story & see it aligns with yours. 

I will ask the following questions. 

  • Where are they from? 
  • Where did they go to school/college
  • What do they do for work 
  • If referred by a mutual friend or family member do you have a funny story to tell? Obviously keep it professional & isn’t being mean 

If I can find any tie in between us it creates a little trust & then continue to build on that trust. 

I have also found telling my backstory is a very important piece of building that trust. As a male therapist who works on youth athletes getting the trust of my clients parents is critical. 

Here are 2 videos & a blog post on telling your story effectively.
Practice Makes Improvement 😊

Do you struggle using your back story? 

Would you like to attract clients who value your work & you love to work with?
Join me September 21st 2016 as I teach a 6 month webinar focused on using your backstory to attract clients who value your work & you love to work with. 

For more information contact me @ 

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Michigan NKT Level 1 August 15-16 2015

Hello All,

A little quick reminder that on August 15 & 16 2015 I will be hosting NKT™ Level 1 here in Michigan at Functional Strength Gym in Wixom Mi. It will be taught by Dr Eric Nelson who taught L1 here last year. Last year we had a great group and a great turn out for L1 and this year we are making plans to make it even better.

In Level 1 you will be taught how to get past symptoms and begin to look for the root cause. We find that after L1 students see an increase in their referrals, client/patient satisfaction and overall business pretty quickly. Another side benefit is access to an unbelievable network of practitioners from around the world. I was at NKT™ L3 in May of ’15 and met people from Australia, Taiwan, Canada and all over the States. If you have been following my work you know that NKT™ plays a large role in my practice and I have seen my practice explode since I took it in Sept of ’12.

You can find out more about the seminar at and clicking on the upcoming seminars tab. Early registration is coming up fast so get signed up ASAP!

Hope to see you there!

Practice Makes Improvement 🙂

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Health Care Practitioners & How to Spot a Crappy One

Hello All,

It has been an while since my last post. From time to time I like to get up on my Soap Box and spew what I believe to be is gospel. This post is one of those posts. So if you are happy with seeing a crappy health care practitioner then go back to watching puppies or kittens on FB or instagram. If you are interested in what I believe constitutes a crappy health care practitioner read on.

Before I make my David Letterman list let me first define who I am talking about when I am discussing a “Health Care Practitioner”. Massage Therapists, Chiropractors, Personal Trainers, Physical Therapists, Yoga and Pilates instructors all fall into this category.

  • Giving you advice they clearly have no experience with. Example: Health Care Practitioner who is super skinny and has no experience (meaning years) moving heavy objects telling you it’s “bad for you” and you should be doing aerial gymnastics on a stability ball/bosu ball to get stronger. Or the reverse big huge powerlifter/strongman telling you how to train for a 50k or ultramarathon. You will usually find the skinny guy giving strength advice and not the big guy giving endurance advice… If is doesn’t walk like a duck and talk like a duck, it’s probably not a duck.
  • An office staff that is all under the age of 25 and looks like they were grabbed out of the trendy clothing store in the mall. There are a couple practices where I practice who have “hot girls” on staff. I like attractive people as much as the next person, but what I don’t appreciate or respect is using them to drive a certain demographic in the door (men ages 18-75). These kids are probably paid less than someone who is 10 years older and has the same experience. It is in my opinion subtle exploitation and shady.
  • The health care professionals who also work  there are either all under the age of 30 and their seems to be a revolving door of new staff. If a practice cannot keep staff their is instability at the top and the practice is out to make one thing $$$. Keeping good staff is a sign of stability and lack of ego at the top.
  • High reliance on “evidence” based theories as mode of practice. If the practitioner relies to heavily on strictly evidenced based practice in my opinion they cannot think for themselves. The medical industry is very slow to change and is often times light years behind people who are in the trenches and thinking for themselves through both scientific research and practical experience.
  • On the flip side there are lots of people out there who believe the medical industry is evil and will fall for all kinds of craziness… I once talked to a practitioner that was taking baths in Mountain Dew (yes you read that right) to loose weight… This practitioner had an advanced practice degree along with years as a nurse. Just like politics and religion the middle is usually where the truth is and the fringes are filled with crazy people.
  • A protocol that relies heavily on supplements/magic potions. I have used lots of supplementation and worked at a wellness center for my first 3 years in practice. I believe supplementation can be valuable but beware of the practitioner who sells them like the local crack dealer, it can be a lot of wasted time, money and energy.
  • Upon first visit there is no plan laid out for you. They don’t have a time line on how soon your injuries improve. I expect to see improvement after the first two sessions, if I don’t I start to suspect I am out of my paygrade/skillsets and need to refer client on to someone else.  There should be a plan but it should fit your personal and financial lifestyle. In my practice my initial plan is 1x a week for 4-6 weeks, after problem is resolved I give my client the option to set up maintenance appointments every 3-4 weeks. I have found this keeps my clients out of serious injuries and allows me to build a practice that building a long term relationship with my clients.
  • On the flip side a practitioner who has you coming back 3x a week for 30 weeks and has a “payment” plan for you is probably in it for a cash grab. You may improve during this time but it is highly unlikely. To again play the balance game beware of the practitioner who has no plan whatsoever and tells you to come back when the universe, tea leaves or your neighbor dog tells you to come back.
  • A practitioner who sells you on improvement but you don’t feel  like you are getting any better. Sometimes progress is slow at first, but in a short period of time you should be noticing improvements in pain, range of motion and performance. If after 3-4 visits there no improvement start asking why. If they keep telling you to be patient ask what their plan is. If they don’t have one that makes sense to you it is time to move on.

Don’t fall for degrees, certificates, shiny badges, nice offices or cute staff members. You should expect and get high level of care which makes an impact on your quality of life and a practitioner who advocates for your wellness and care. If you cannot find one in your area reach out to me at and I will see if I can help you find someone local to you.

Practice Makes Improvement 🙂

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Ken Blackburn’s Kettlebell Snatch Article

Hello All,

Here is a great article from my good friend and Kettlebell Coach Ken Blackburn. I remember the first time I met Ken it was at the local Panera Bread in Fenton, my wife actually recognized him before I did. Later that year I had Ken teach a CKT Level 1 at my old Martial Arts School and we have been good friends since.

One of the things I really admired about Ken was his ability to take a complex movement like Kettlebell Snatch and break it down into simple and repeatable steps. In the article he outlines everything from the 7 primary movement patterns, breathing and the important topic of hand care.  What is really cool also about his article is that the pics/videos are all of Ken’s elite crew of Kettlebell Sport bad asses who regularly tear up the competition here in the States.

If you are interested in Kettlebells for conditioning or interested in Kettlebell Sport I suggest you reach out to Ken and see how you can host a CKT Level 1 course in your area. You will be hard pressed to get better instruction anywhere!

Here is the article.

Also here is a great video showing one of Ken’s athletes Chris Doenlen performing the Kettlebell Snatch.

Practice Makes Improvement 🙂

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The Shawn Show Episode 6: Runners, Injuries, Kettlebells & Progression

Hello All,

In Episode 6 of the Shawn Show I discuss a current client and how we have gotten him back to running and his progression to improve his athletic base. Sport specific athletes often are over conditioned in their specialty (running in this case) and lack general strength and mobility. I discuss how we are going to use the Kettlebell to retrain his posterior chain and improve his running.

Hope you enjoy it!

Practice Makes Improvement 🙂

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