If you’re a massage therapist, you’ve probably wondered where you can find a job that expands your skills and your salary.
We all love a behind-the-scenes peek at someone’s life, so we’re bringing you the real-life journey of some of our talented bodyworkers with the “My Massage Therapy Journey” series.
Rather than us answering the question, “what’s it like to work for Zeel?” we’re letting our therapists do the talking, spilling all the details on their favorite massage therapy jobs.
As we continue this series today, we’re sharing the story of Alexander C., LMT, a skilled massage therapist in our New York network.
Alexander has a unique story, building a roster of repeat clients from Zeel to make more money while growing his own private practice at the same time. Lots of you have asked how to make this happen yourself, so without further ado, we’ll turn it over to Alexander to share exactly how he did it…
Alexander, tell us about yourself! How did your career begin?
Since you asked, I’ll give you the full story! I’m originally from Venezuela, and when I first came to the US I went to the School of Visual Arts in New York. I became a Graphic Artist, and for many years I worked in the advertising industry.
But in 2007, when the economy went south, I ended up losing my job as a Graphic Artist. After I lost my job, I tried freelancing in the advertising field, but it wasn’t enough to pay bills and care for my family.
It sounds like you were at a crossroads. What led you to the world of massage?
One night I was giving my wife a massage. Even though I had no idea about actual massage techniques, I was known by my friends and family as being good at giving massages.
My wife stopped me mid-massage and told me that I should become a professional massage therapist. I laughed. She told me that she was serious and that I would be good at it.
I shrugged it off again, reluctant to seriously consider going back to school at my age. But curiosity got the best of me, and after I finished her massage I jumped on my computer and started looking for schools in my area.
That’s when I found out that there was a Massage Academy just blocks from my house, and I sent them an email late that night to get more information.
I visited the following day and enrolled on the spot! Just like that, I was in my 50’s and back to school.
What a story, I bet your wife and kids were so proud of you for going back to school and trying something new!
My kids did joke that I was the “teacher’s pet.” I worked hard to master this new profession!
Eleven months later, I proudly completed my certificate and my Massage Therapist journey began!
I bet your wife claims a bit of credit for inspiring your new job. So where did you work as a massage therapist after completing your training?
In the beginning, I worked for myself out of my home studio. I did what most small business owners do, I started a web page, placed a couple of ads on Facebook, and created flyers and business cards and began passing them out like there was no tomorrow. I gave them to everyone on my block and placed flyers in mailboxes in my area.
Once, I was helping a friend who was running for City Councilman, and every building I visited promoting his candidacy, I left a couple of my flyers. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try.
Gradually, my business grew and people started to come to my home studio. But even as my client list grew, my income was not regular. There were a lot of ups and downs in my revenue.
Yes, that’s the big question a lot of newly minted massage therapists have – what kind of massage therapy salary can I expect to earn, and is it consistent?
I wondered the same thing right after school. When working only for myself, I wasn’t making the tons of money they had promised us in school. I didn’t necessarily believe the promises I had heard, but I still felt I could make more than I was making.
Although I was enjoying my new career as a professional massage therapist, I wondered at times if I had made the right career decision because the income was so uncertain.
How did you hear about Zeel? What made you curious to try out working with our massage therapy app?
Well, I was supplementing my home studio practice by working at a spa back then. I was telling one of my spa co-workers that my studio was doing ok, but I was ready for a change.
He told me about Zeel, and gave me Eva Carey’s (Zeel’s National Community Director) business card.
I didn’t know anything about Zeel, but he explained how the mobile massage service worked and suggested I give her a call.
I was a bit skeptical, so I went on the internet and googled Zeel, and it really intrigued me.
I loved the idea, the drive, the concept… everything about Zeel spoke to me.
I made an appointment with Eva at Zeel, and throughout our meeting, I felt an instant connection to her (she used to run a massage school!) and to the organization. I couldn’t wait to start seeing clients.
What do you like most about being a part of the Zeel team?
When I joined Zeel I loved the idea of having it on the side of my studio practice to bolster my income, and that’s exactly how it’s worked out.
Working for Zeel I’ve been able to round out my own business with Zeel clients nicely. There’s Zeel time, and there’s studio time, and it all works together well without any conflicts!
When I walk down the street on my way to a client, I wear the Zeel t-shirt with pride. In order to succeed, you have to love what you do, and Zeel helps me to love my job as a massage therapist again.
I’m definitely making more money than I was before, and I love all the repeat clients I get from Zeel. When I see the orange bar on the app that tells me that I’ve been prioritized, it’s always a boost to my confidence. It’s always nice to be reminded how valuable you are, and that you’re skilled at the work you do.
Everyone at Zeel treats me like a true member of the team. I’ve been lucky enough to provide some massages to Zeel corporate staff and everyone I’ve met is so like-minded and motivated to improve our client’s health. It’s pretty inspiring.
How do you like doing mobile massages on-site?
Visiting Zeel clients has been great. Practicing massage has helped me realize how extroverted I am, I’m a total “people person” and I love getting to know new people through this profession.
Knowing that I have a whole company behind me, from every point of view (safety, professionalism, camaraderie), makes this experience more rewarding.
What do you tell friends who are curious about what it’s like working with Zeel?
We all have those moments in life where we wonder what’s in the future. What should we be reaching for, and how can we get there? That’s how I was feeling before I jumped on board with Zeel. I just felt like I could be doing more. Well, Zeel is that more for me.
If you too are interested in joining Zeel’s nation-wide network of massage therapists, submit an application today.