How do you decide your prices?
Do you look at the “going rate” in your local area and go for something similar?
I did that for years. I felt like I couldn’t put my prices up above what other therapists in my area were charging.
Even though I was never short of clients, my massages were shit-hot, I had YEARS of experience AND I owned a massage school – I always stuck to the “going rate”. I would put my prices up by £5 every 3 years.
And then one day a new massage therapist set up shop just down the road. She didn’t care about going rates. Her prices were £20 higher than the rest of us were charging.
Guess what? Her business boomed. She had clients coming out of her ears! (Don’t know if that’s possible, but she was definitely busy!)
I thought, WOW she must be absolutely amazing at massage! So I booked a massage with her…
Yes, her massage was fine. Pretty standard and definitely no better than mine.
I was bewildered…How was she getting all these client’s to pay £20 more per session without blinking an eye?
What was the secret to her success?
I watched her for a while…I tried to work out her marketing techniques, I read her social posts, I looked at her website.
And this is what I discovered.
Yes, she knew what she was doing with her marketing and her social media. She knew how to get glowing testimonials. She had a niche.
BUT SO DID I !!
And then I realised her real secret…
She didn’t care what other therapists were charging. She was playing her own game. She charged her own prices based on what she thought her clients would be willing to pay.
She just understood the value of what she was offering and she made sure her clients did too.
So I took her lead …and I raised my prices by an extra £25 an hour!
That’s right, overnight I nearly doubled my prices. That might seem a rash move, but I didn’t care. I knew now that there were people who WOULD pay that amount – I just had to find them and do the right marketing to them.
And I had to make sure the massage I gave and the client experience around it, was worth every penny.
And it worked. The clients booked. And they re-booked. And they referred.
I had a full diary – even though I was charging nearly double most therapists in the area.
The moral of the tale?
Don’t base your rates on everyone else. You can charge based on what YOU want, not what everyone else does.
Decide what you want to charge. And then make damned sure your massage is good enough, the client experience is good enough and your marketing is good enough.
PS. Not if you’re just starting out though! If you are new to massage, you need to earn your price increase. That’s when it’s absolutely fine to start at the going rate. Get experience. Get good! And then you can raise your prices 😊