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Aromatherapy is an amazing treatment, very effective, gentle and versatile. Plus there are multiple ways aromatherapists can grow and increase their income.
But over the years I have seen lots of aromatherapists who never work as aromatherapists, even though they'd love to. And others who do work as aromatherapists but who don't make a good living from it.
There are seven components of a successful aromatherapy business, some of them essential, others that are very nice to have. By successful aromatherapy business, I mean successful 3 ways:-
- successful in terms of the benefits you bring your clients,
- successful in terms of a profitable business, (aka you don't worry about paying the bills!)
- successful in terms of the deep satisfaction and joy you get from working with essential oils.
Number One is a thorough understanding of essential oils, so you can pick a safe blend for your client based on their mental/emotional and physical needs as well as their skin type, and even the time of day. So during your training you should do lots of case studies and get plenty of support and feedback.
Number Two is a practical understanding of the chemistry of essential oils. When you understand the chemistry of essential oils you understand how essential oils work, why some are contraindicated to certain conditions, why some blend particularly well with others and lots more. You know what chemicals you need to include in your blend, and this makes your blends really effective.
If your eyes glaze over when you think of chemistry, don’t worry you don't need to learn lots of mysterious symbols (unless you want to!) and you don't need to have studied chemistry at school.
Most colleges require students to be able to rattle off the main chemical in each of the 42 essential oils they study, without explaining WHY they need this information, and when they might need particular chemicals. To my mind, this doesn’t make students better educated or more confident aromatherapists.
Let me give you an example of practical aromatherapy in action.
I had a student who on one of my in-person aromatherapy courses. She missed a class and came in the following class and told me she had a really nasty chest infection that she just could not clear up.
I asked her was she using essential oils, and she said she was. She was using Lavender, Benzoin, Eucalyptus and other lovely essential oils that are well known for easing coughs and colds. But they were having very little effect. I knew exactly why, but she didn't. I asked the other students in the class to come up with a blend to help this nasty infection.
They come up with various blends, but only one girl had a blend that would work. But she didn't know why her blend would work when the others didn't.
The students hadn't worked out that they needed a particular chemical, called a ketone, to deal with the infection. All the other, more popular, essential oils helped with the symptoms, and it was important to have them in the blend, but they couldn't destroy a nasty or persistent infection.
The class created a top notch blend, and the student used it in an inhaler and a chest rub. The following week, the infection had completely cleared up.
Number Three is what I call Aromapsychology. Which is aromatherapy for the mind and emotions. Pick up any aromatherapy book, and you'll see a list of essential oils that are calming, uplifting, stimulating etc. But we're all individuals, so it's never one size fits all. In my
Number Four is insurance, the course you take needs to be recognised by insurance companies, so you can treat paying clients.
Number Five, not essential but a BIG plus, is having extra aromatherapy skills such as pregnancy aromatherapy or an aromatherapy facial. This helps you to stand out from other therapists, it positions you as an expert, and it makes it easier to raise your rates without losing clients.
Number Six is being able to spread the word about your business and tell clients what they need to know before they book with you. What conditions does aromatherapy help? Why should they book with you - what skills and experience do you have? What success stories do you have? What does a treatment feel like? How do they book with you?
How to go about this? There are so many ways! Google My Business, social media, websites, a rebooking strategy, and more. But don’t be overwhelmed by the options - pick one thing, work on that then pick something else.
Number Seven (again not essential, but another big plus) multiple streams of income. Teaching, selling aromatherapy products, corporate work, there are lots more. I’ll be running a webinar about multiple income options for aromatherapists on 12th April 2023. You can register here, and if you miss the live class there will be a replay.
I hope you enjoyed that, feel free to leave a comment or ask a question below, and I'll get back to you asap,