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Massage Today
June, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 06

Women in Business Blog Exclusive: Mirror, Mirror

By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT

This is a visual profession. That means your appearance matters a lot. Consumers want to "see" their massage therapists. A visual assessment is often a determining factor in choosing a therapist, even over skill set.

In fact, studies show that advertising with a photograph is more effective than without. It is not important to be beautiful or thin; typical fashion rules do not apply in our industry. What potential clients are looking for is what I call "the picture of health" and is often displayed in the skin, the eyes and the smile.

Most massage therapists have a website or some sort of internet presence. Photographs accompany the profile and in fact, should. Yet I am disappointed, sometimes even horrified, by what some therapists think is appropriate, attractive or good marketing. Here are some tips for projecting the right visual image:

  • Get a professional to take the photo. Barter for it, if necessary. A candid shot at last summer's party (cropping out the rest of the guests) isn't going to cut it.
  • Take a high resolution image so it can be used in a variety of mediums. A photo can be made smaller but can't always be made bigger without losing integrity.
  • Mirror, Mirror - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Don't have your sunglasses on your head.
  • Don't flaunt your cleavage, your muscles, your legs or any other attribute you have worked for at the gym.
  • Dress the part. If you think you look too casual, you do. Always dress a little better than you think.
  • Don't be afraid to get a close up shot. Remember people want to see your face, your smile, your eyes.
  • Take an image of you working on a client. Remember to get the client's written permission to use the image.
  • Show a variety of images on your web page or social media site.
  • If your life isn't appropriate, consider NOT having an internet presence. Google yourself to learn what images already exist online.
  • Check for "tagged" photos on Facebook to make sure your best image is represented. Untag yourself if necessary.

This is clearly a short list but you get the idea. The photo you use to market yourself matters. When in doubt, ask a trusted friend or even a client. Make sure the image you show the world is a good one and if it isn't...change it.

Stay focused.

To read other posts from our expert panel, visit the WIBB blog at

Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.


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