Who’s your ideal massage client?

Many of us niche down pretty well after we’ve been doing massage for a long time. All of our instructors specialize in Ashiatsu barefoot massage. Some add in a little this or that in addition (like Pillossage or cupping), but we are, in essence, barefoot therapists. Who’s your ideal client for your massage?

When we first start out, our answer is usually, “EVERYONE!”

Massage therapists have a tendency to massage the way they’d like to be worked on. Love cranial? That’s probably your jam. NMT? You’ve likely taken a lot of classes.

What clients do you want to have?

You can’t determine who your ideal client is if you don’t have a firm handle on what your business is and what it does best. -Stephen Sheinbaum, Founder, Bizfi

My ideal client when I started massage is not the same as it is now.

For example, I kept my prices at the low end of my area despite my expertise because I wanted to provide affordable, good quality massage to people like me. I was my ideal client–someone who valued massage but had a family and not much money to spend.

That changed as I started getting irritated with people who thought I should do Groupon or would tell me to let them know next time I “ran a deal”.


Pro-tip: if you get irritated with a certain client or aggravated when you see them on your book, examine why that’s the case and determine why they are outside of your scope of Ideal Client.


Time for a change. Your ideal client does not have to remain the same forever.

A quick examination determined that my current ideal client would be someone who:

  • appreciates the value of massage
  • invests in their health (no couch potatoes)
  • is willing to pay for excellent massage
  • wants deep tissue barefoot massage

Other examples of some of our instructors‘ ideal clients are that Jeni wants someone who “is training for a competition or a race or event. Someone with an end goal who is going to pay attention to their body’s performance closely every day.”

Sara agrees and adds in that her clients also include people who sit all day, wants to move better but is not sure where to start.

“Anyone who is in touch with their body,” Abigail adds. “I love having clients take an active roll in their sessions.”

Julie also focuses on those who take an earnestly participate in their sessions and “can take what I dish out.”

And Dawn focuses on Crossfitters, triathletes, marathoners, police, military, and fire fighters. Mariah, conversely, works on the “above average Joe who works out regularly and leads an active life but isn’t necessarily a hardcore athlete or Cross Fitter.”

Once a student asked me, “How do you deal with the princesses that come in?” I don’t get those high maintenance clients. I guess I just don’t put out that vibe.

How do you niche down to your ideal massage client?

  1. Is there an age range you like to work with (ie. children, geriatric, upwardly mobile)?
  2. Do you prefer working with males or females?
  3. Financial status – college students tend to have less money than someone who is an empty nester.
  4. Physical health–athletes are a different demographic than someone who’s working 70 hours a week versus someone who’s rehabbing.

And conversely, who is my client from hell?

If you want to do deep tissue barefoot massage, then your ideal client is not going to be pregnant women. Reiki is your thing? Athletes will go elsewhere.

Niching down on not only your specialty but your client base will make your business the one that clients will send their similar friends to, will prevent massage burnout and will give you a greater appreciation each day when you work.

Who’s your ideal client?