Local Massage Networks are a great way to connect with your community of like minded massage therapists for support, CE, activism, awareness and fun! You can find one of the local massage networks or start your own. Some of the areas that need a network are Seattle (Could have a few – North, South, West), East of Seattle – Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, or wherever you live that you can’t find a network.
The general structure that some of the current groups have is to host short 2-3 hour CE Classes every month during the winter with summers off. The first 30 mins to an hour is used for networking through a potluck. A presenter is arranged and is usually paid a fee like half the money collected for the event or something like that. CE presenters are found each month by the leaders of the group. They also usually meet in the same place and at the same time, making it easy for people to remember.
Start Your Own Network
First decide what kind of network do you want to create. Will it be for CE or just to meet? Gather a few of your friends for support and to start talking about this. To start a network you will need to find a regular place to meet or just start meeting at coffee shops to start the conversation and get things rolling. The network can be for the purpose of providing CE or just for meeting for coffee for shop talk and support. If you are thinking of adding CE, you will need to find a place to have the classes. The larger groups like Bellingham and Snohomish meet regularly in the same place that they pay a small fee to rent.
Start an email list so that you can notify people of when your next meetings/get-togethers are or you can try using Facebook. www.mailchimp.com is one of the easiest to use and is free with some limits to the number of emails that can be sent per month. The way this works is that the network leaders charge a very small fee for the CE class so that they can pay for organizational fees and expenses. Some have actually gone on to create an official non-profit organization. To do this, you will need to have bylaws and board members with official duties and responsibilities. The Secretary of State has more information on what you need to do to make it into an official nonprofit organization.
Create a Website
Some of the larger networks have been able to create websites. It can be a simple, low cost website done through a webhost like www.weebly.com or it can be done through www.wordpress.com . Use your website to collect people’s emails and announce events. Have a way for readers to sign up for your newsletter and connect with your social media pages.