In my handful of years being single, I’ve noticed a trend among the dating community (aka- other single people). They say things like, “I just want to meet the ‘right’ person,” and other hazy crap like, “I’ll know when I meet him, we’ll just click, there will be chemistry.” And then those same people bitch and moan about all the awful dates they waste time on.
I’ve used a few different online dating sites in the past few years. In 90% of profiles, the same trend occurs. People are vague about their own characteristics, and similarly blurry about what they’re looking for in a partner. It goes like this:
I like to go out, sometimes I like to stay in…I like all kinds of music and I’m looking for someone cool to hang out with. <Insert obligatory photo of guy in NE Patriots jersey holding either a beer or a friend’s baby here. Really.>
Yeah, that’s not helping anyone, buddy. And women do the same thing. (I know because I check out the competition’s profiles. But girls tend to use more ‘hiking in the woods’ pics. What is that about?)
I’m not vague or confused about who I am. Nor am I uncertain about what I’m looking for in a partner. I lay it all out very clearly. It looks something like this:
Me: Gainfully self-employed, child-free, not afraid to sing along loudly to Careless Whisper in any environment. I like who I am, I like my life. It would be nice to meet someone to share that with. Preferably, someone who doesn’t mind that I ended that sentence with a preposition.
I’m comfortably situated on the spectrum somewhere between women with lots of outdoorsy hiking pics and girls in revealing outfits making the duck face in a selfie. I like heels but can’t stand makeup or jewelry. I’m hilarious on twitter, fiercely independent, but I still really, really like it when men open doors and display other chivalrous behaviors. I would like to see some dragon-slaying and defending of my honor should the need arise. That just sounds awesome, right? I also have no trouble taking charge of a situation. I’m versatile like that.
I am firmly in defense of the oxford comma, one space after a period, and an occasional well-placed cuss word to make a point in otherwise civilized conversation. I think grammar and spelling are important, but people who are dicks about it need to calm the hell down. In a recent quest for some hobbies, I’ve taken up learning to make old-school mixed drinks and playing the ukulele. They pair well together. I don’t want to brag here, but I can play almost any song on my ukulele. Unless there’s a B minor. Or an F minor 7. Alright I only know about 6 chords, but I rock them. I rock them hard.
You: Fun, funny and smart. What? Were you expecting me to want a boring, humorless, stupid dude? I’m very much looking for a guy who has his crap together. Seriously. I’m not looking for a fixer-upper. None of us has it entirely figured out, but it would be nice to hang out with someone who likes his work, his life, and is generally happy. If you could commit to always reaching things on the top shelf and opening pickle jars whenever needed, that’s cool, too. I want you to pay for the first date, and I want to cover the second. Kids are awesome, but if you’ve got little ones (or big ones) at home, we’re probably not a good match right now. (But thanks for populating the earth!)
If any of this rings a bell, I hope I hear from you.
Yeah. I still get contacted by guys who don’t in any way meet the parameters I’ve set. Dudes in major career transitions, guys who hate their jobs and whine about it in the first email, men with full custody of a gaggle of kids under the age of 10. But because I know what I’m looking for, it’s easy to weed them out quickly.
Also, because I’m clear, the guys I’ve met and dated have been great. In fact, I’m convinced the matching process is darn effective, since I’m very good friends with a few. The romance wasn’t a keeper but the compatibility stuck on a friendship level. That’s pretty cool.
I had to suffer through some icky dates to figure all this out. Finally, I actually sat down and said, “This is what I want in a partner,” and made a list. Icky dates dramatically decreased, leaving room for the better ones. Occasionally, a guy who doesn’t quite fit the criteria will wow me in some other way. I’ve bent some rules and ended up having some really fun dates and made great friends. But more often than not, staying focussed on what I truly want has served me well.
But this isn’t a dating blog, so let’s move on
In all my teaching and reading about massage and marketing, I’ve found the most common obstacle for a massage therapist is figuring out what she wants. Often, defining what kind of clients a therapist wants to treat, their Ideal Client, is what entirely halts an otherwise motivated person in their marketing efforts.
Have you seen those therapists who list six different ‘specialties’ on their business cards? It kinda stops being special after two. When asked, “Who is your Ideal Client?” the response is “Everyone!” Well, everyone may benefit from your massage, but successful marketing depends on figuring out who you most want to serve, assessing their needs, and sharing how your services meet those needs. You’ve got to nail it down, be precise. Know who you are and who you can best serve.
I’ve got advanced training in Prenatal, Labor and Postnatal massage and I specialize in helping women feel educated, comfortable and relaxed throughout pregnancy and the transition into motherhood.
If you are a mom-to-be experiencing physical discomfort or just nervous about the process, you’re exactly my kind of client! Massage has been shown to decrease depression, anxiety and pain for pregnant women, and massage may be just what you need. Call for more information or to book an appointment.
When you first get out of school, you may not know exactly where you want to go with massage. Start somewhere. Think about your favorite practice ‘clients’. Was there an age group you most enjoyed woking with? A specific pathology that lit you up and made you run to your reference book excitedly? Start there. Write down the characteristics of those clients and pathologies. List how you and your amazing massage skills can serve them. Then put that out to the world. Focus on finding those clients and serving them well.
Network with other massage therapists and health professionals, be sure they know what you do and make extra sure to understand what they do. Focussing on one market doesn’t mean that you blow off any potential client with different pathologies or needs, but be wise about referring out if you know someone who may serve them better. It’ll come back ten-fold. It can be a rough process to figure out what you want. It’s worth the effort.
Much like love, marketing can be brutal. Much like love, you gotta do the work to make it great.
This post is #3 of a 31 day blog challenge.
Image courtesy of thanunkorn /FreeDigitalPhotos.net