Advice From Industry Experts

The Power Of Collaboration | Growing Your Massage Business

updated on

April 29, 2024

The Power Of Collaboration

If you are a Canadian massage therapist, chances are you’ve heard of Margaret Wallis-Duffy, the spirited wellness entrepreneur on a mission to educate and empower Canadians to become the CEO of their health through the now Health Canada Recognized, PHAM (Preventative Health Awareness Month).

Having also been an award-winning clinic owner and massage therapist for over 30 years - Margaret believes that massage therapists play a core role in acting as catalysts for global wellness, and ambassadors for the PHAM movement. 

“If we stay in our comfort zone and we don’t try new things, we don’t grow” - MWD

In this Lunch & Learn, Margaret challenges massage therapists to think bigger - asking what it would look like to step outside the treatment room walls and have an impact on a more global scale through interprofessional collaboration.  And the best part? Taking these steps will help you grow your business as well.  Let’s get into it.

Watch the lunch & learn here:

Why Interprofessional Collaboration Is Important

Building connections in the wellness space helps you grow your business, but it also helps your patients get the help they need before they even know they need it.  That’s the power of preventative health.

Margaret urges massage therapists, to shift their mindset to see the importance their work has on a global scale.  And imagine what it might look like to work with other wellness providers in different spaces to impact global wellness.

"It’s massage therapists that started (this movement) and it’s going to be massage therapists that are the heartbeat of this movement” - MWD

What Healthcare Professionals Can Refer Each Other? 

Think of it this way: what healthcare professionals do you regularly see as the CEO of your health? There is your answer. 

Margaret shares a story about how she spent time working one day a week in an optometry clinic offering microcurrent point stimulation therapy, a.k .a. “The Dolphin, to aid the treatment of amblyopia (lazy eye) and reduce cortisol levels.

“The Dolphin is within my scope of practice… so I plopped myself in an optometry Clinic once a week….and I had my Clinic… but now I have all these referrals from Optometrists” - MLD

Margaret also shared how she urged a client to see an oncologist after noticing a slight change in her physical shape.  Because of this awareness, confidence, and connection - Margaret likely saved this client's life - because it was cancer, and it was aggressive.

The long and the short of it is that the healthcare industry should work together to support their clients in their journeys as the CEO’s of their health. 

How To Build A Referral Network With Other Healthcare Providers

Building a referral network is about understanding the needs of others and how you can help.  For example, if you want to get doctor referrals, they will want to know that you can help their patients in a way that will reflect them positively and truly help.  They need to trust you -  so how can you share and communicate this and build a strong relationship over time?

Over 30 years, Margaret built a wildly successful Clinic, but initially, she pounded the pavement to grow her network. Here’s what she recommends to anyone looking to get started:

1. Share How You Can Support Them
Sharing that you support their needs is the key to building these relationships. Share who you are and what you can do to help them  - build a strong story around your purpose and how it aligns with theirs - this will build a stronger connection.

2. Go Face-To-Face

Over time, building a face-to-face connection builds trust and helps people feel confident in referring their clients your way. 

3. Leave Something To Be Remembered By
Margaret would leave a referral pad and some delicious banana bread! Thinking outside of the box in this way led to her success, and leaving a referral pad made it easy for clinicians to send clients her way.

4. Offer A Free Massage

People want to refer people they know are good, and what better way is there to do that than to offer a sample of your services?  That’s the super power of being a massage therapist - no one will say no to a free massage!

5. Follow Up
Remember to follow up and check in with your community, ask how you can help.

“You can never underestimate the power of connecting face-to-face with people, connect with people, and ask how you can help them.”

The power of collaboration with Margaret Wallis-Duffy

How To Find & Connect With Potential Practitioner Referrals

In the digital age, it’s easy to find people to connect with, online or in person.  The trick is to have the confidence to do so - as a massage therapist, try pushing yourself outside your comfort zone and beyond the treatment room walls.

Here are a few more specific places to find referrals

1. Local business meet up’s
2. Free community webinars or seminars
3. Your existing network of healthcare providers
4. Online groups or forums
5. By having a voice in your community

Why You Should Refer To Other Industries

Referrals go both ways! If you have a client who would benefit from Physiotherapy or another treatment modality that is outside your scope, it looks good on you to send your client their way to help them grow on their wellness journey.  Global wellness is a journey we are all on together, and leaning into collaboration and connection is the key to helping our society, in general, become more healthy and well. 

Want More Help Growing Your Massage Business?

If you want more help growing your health business, Margaret offers coaching for practitioners. 
You can also apply to be involved in the integrative health directory 

For more Lunch & Learns, join us in the ClinicSense Community Hub where we’ll be hosting more discussions to help you grow your business, your network and how ClinicSense can help.

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