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Should all our massage therapy industry sue Craigslist?

In the past years, craigslist has been a good source of getting clients for a lot of therapists. Including myself. One year ago, Craigslist started charging $10 per ad for postings in the therapeutic section AND the erotic section. Their excuse was that they wanted to "regulate" the people posting on the erotic section and to stop the over-posting on the therapeutic section, specially to stop the erotic ads.

It would be great if that would be the case. But its not. Craigslist charges to post in the therapeutic section but they still approve erotic/sensual ads on this section. And what is even worse, they ban and reject legitimate posts from serious licensed therapists. I have tried to post an ad and it has been rejected. And I see the ads that they approve and the most of them are not really legitimate.

Craigslist behavior its only degrading the image of our industry. They are discriminating with no reasons legitimate posts and they are approving the illegitimate ones in our section.

So, is this not reason enough to sue this website against our industry? I think that the national board should do something about this! we have to do something about this!

What do you think?

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I did an audible gasp when I read:

"Lisa, I know. But like it or not, craigslist its a good source for getting clients"

I may not remember all the details of the "craigslist killer" events, but it made me realize that some money just shouldn't be made. Personally, I've decided that to maintain my professional credibility (and maybe my life), I need to stay clear from even the very appearance of impropriety. And nothing says "let's just CALL it massage" like craigslist....I don't care how many letters (CMT, LMT, ABCXYZ) you put after your name in the ad. It's tainted.

Even before I was a therapist, if I were looking to BE massaged I wouldn't go to craigslist! So I'm weary of folks that go there to request that service. Even if you have consistent clientele that originated from there, don't let them easily (maybe ever) earn your trust.

But to answer the question I say NO. I'm a firm believer that whatever happens, it's always for my good. They may have saved you from a wacko by refusing your post. Just say thank you and move on.

Angela Lind said:
Laura, wow.. I didn't know that. So that means they can do whatever they want, degrade our image freely? so unfair!

Lisa, I know. But like it or not, craigslist its a good source for getting clients. Many of my regulars they found me first on craigslist (years ago). It's been months I haven't posted anything there and I tried yesterday to post again, and I found out I was banned without reason. So what other websites are good to advertise then?


Lisa said:
i think you should leave Craigslist to the exotic and find other ways to advertise. find your target market and then go after THEM. Craigslist is dangerous and a free for all. i would NEVER advertise there.
I don't know on your case, but for me, 4 years ago, Craigslist helped me a lot to get clients and RESPECTFUL clients, mostly WOMEN, married, with children. So please, stop generalizing because in my case, years ago it wasn't that bad. I agree that right now the site is completely degraded and nasty. I won't be posting any ads there any more for sure.

Our image has been degraded because we let these kind of websites degrade our industry. Its a shame that they laugh on our faces and don't care doing it. That's why I opened this discussion, so in case there is something that we can do. That's it.


Yolanda Lee Mobley said:
I did an audible gasp when I read:

"Lisa, I know. But like it or not, craigslist its a good source for getting clients"

I may not remember all the details of the "craigslist killer" events, but it made me realize that some money just shouldn't be made. Personally, I've decided that to maintain my professional credibility (and maybe my life), I need to stay clear from even the very appearance of impropriety. And nothing says "let's just CALL it massage" like craigslist....I don't care how many letters (CMT, LMT, ABCXYZ) you put after your name in the ad. It's tainted.

Even before I was a therapist, if I were looking to BE massaged I wouldn't go to craigslist! So I'm weary of folks that go there to request that service. Even if you have consistent clientele that originated from there, don't let them easily (maybe ever) earn your trust.

But to answer the question I say NO. I'm a firm believer that whatever happens, it's always for my good. They may have saved you from a wacko by refusing your post. Just say thank you and move on.

Angela Lind said:
Laura, wow.. I didn't know that. So that means they can do whatever they want, degrade our image freely? so unfair!

Lisa, I know. But like it or not, craigslist its a good source for getting clients. Many of my regulars they found me first on craigslist (years ago). It's been months I haven't posted anything there and I tried yesterday to post again, and I found out I was banned without reason. So what other websites are good to advertise then?


Lisa said:
i think you should leave Craigslist to the exotic and find other ways to advertise. find your target market and then go after THEM. Craigslist is dangerous and a free for all. i would NEVER advertise there.
Angela,
Not to open another case, but you are right, the massage profession has had a different kind of should I say background with Places like Craigs list, AND NOW GODADDY ! Now if more and more different companys decide hey look at the Godaddy ad Man I bet that ad will go over well with Massage and Bodywork Professionals, now to me no it does set well, because as a male (ethically speaking:non dysfunctional) I feel like as a male therapist I AM not going to rip off my clothes while a perfectly good session is going on. My point is if the professionals sit back and let things just happen, such as ads like Godaddy and others treat our profession like this others will do the same and I think we need to stand up for it so that it does not snowball into a bigger one. Peace !

Angela Lind said:
I don't know on your case, but for me, 4 years ago, Craigslist helped me a lot to get clients and RESPECTFUL clients, mostly WOMEN, married, with children. So please, stop generalizing because in my case, years ago it wasn't that bad. I agree that right now the site is completely degraded and nasty. I won't be posting any ads there any more for sure.

Our image has been degraded because we let these kind of websites degrade our industry. Its a shame that they laugh on our faces and don't care doing it. That's why I opened this discussion, so in case there is something that we can do. That's it.


Yolanda Lee Mobley said:
I did an audible gasp when I read:

"Lisa, I know. But like it or not, craigslist its a good source for getting clients"

I may not remember all the details of the "craigslist killer" events, but it made me realize that some money just shouldn't be made. Personally, I've decided that to maintain my professional credibility (and maybe my life), I need to stay clear from even the very appearance of impropriety. And nothing says "let's just CALL it massage" like craigslist....I don't care how many letters (CMT, LMT, ABCXYZ) you put after your name in the ad. It's tainted.

Even before I was a therapist, if I were looking to BE massaged I wouldn't go to craigslist! So I'm weary of folks that go there to request that service. Even if you have consistent clientele that originated from there, don't let them easily (maybe ever) earn your trust.

But to answer the question I say NO. I'm a firm believer that whatever happens, it's always for my good. They may have saved you from a wacko by refusing your post. Just say thank you and move on.

Angela Lind said:
Laura, wow.. I didn't know that. So that means they can do whatever they want, degrade our image freely? so unfair!

Lisa, I know. But like it or not, craigslist its a good source for getting clients. Many of my regulars they found me first on craigslist (years ago). It's been months I haven't posted anything there and I tried yesterday to post again, and I found out I was banned without reason. So what other websites are good to advertise then?


Lisa said:
i think you should leave Craigslist to the exotic and find other ways to advertise. find your target market and then go after THEM. Craigslist is dangerous and a free for all. i would NEVER advertise there.
Understand that people are concerned about Craigslist and GoDaddy ads, but, as Laura says, it's freedom of speech. It's also (in GoDaddy) a results oriented era. However, as in GoDaddy, the Superbowl commercials are no longer being talked about (what have you done for me today kind of thought). In Craigslist, everyone and their dog knows what kind of ads are usually posted. You can spend all sorts of time and energy and maybe even money to try and turn it all around. OR, you could spend the same time, energy and maybe even money making your practice as professional and successful as it can be. That alone can serve up your message to your own little niche, region, etc. that THIS is what massage is really all about. Work with the media and fellow businessmen(women) in your area to educate what legitimate massage is and isn't.

I personally don't have the time,energy or even money to pursue it any other way.
Travis, I disagree. The perception of some about the massage industry has always been and will always be there. It's come a long way since the days of "masseuse and parlor." But you're always going to have those that think that way, just like you're always going to have prostitution. It's a fact. I personally don't worry about it. I don't feel like butting my head against a brick wall. I don't believe it's going to snowball. Just like I don't believe the sky is going to fall. I think legit therapists should step back, take a deep breath, pull the rein in a little bit.....and then change the perception by doing legit massage....one legit massage at a time.
once again I agree. Stop it already!!! :)

this continues to remind me of a conversation I had with a new client not too long ago.

he came to me through a directory massageanywhere. not sure how many of you are on there. but it's been my take that you can get all sorts of therapists on there. just take a look at people's profile pictures. there are ladies on there who's photos are taken from above, showing cleavage, or from the side with their boobs jutted out...to the guy who has a "private" photo that is labeled with some sort of "warning" and when you view it (cause you know i had to) was a shot of some chic lying prone on a table all oiled up, completely nude with a hand lookin like it's right up her ass.

but when i would do google searches for legit massages this would be one that ranked high. so i registered. well the first client I got not only worked for the city where i lived, but wanted me to come to his office for a massage. i was nervous. wasn't sure if this was a set up or if he was wanting something more. but my instincts said to go with it so i listened. he ends up being a great client and i'm confident he'll be a repeat client. he left me a wonderful review on massageanywhere.

so while we were chatting on and off through the session, we talked about the directory. i expressed to him my concerns of what type of clientele i would get from this site considering what i had seen. he said that he didn't think i had anything to worry about because it was clear to him as a visitor looking for someone, who was and wasn't legit. and he agreed that the clients that are looking for the "extra" services will go to the ones that "look" like they give it. my photo is straightforward (it's the one I use on here).

so i share that story because this was the thought process coming from a client. and btw...an ex chief of police for my town. i also share it to remind you to 1. listen to your intuition and 2. make sure any visual representations of yourself (albeit profile photo, youtube video, etc.) is professional and free of anything that can be sensually misleading and i think you'll be just fine.

Choice Kinchen said:
Travis, I disagree. The perception of some about the massage industry has always been and will always be there. It's come a long way since the days of "masseuse and parlor." But you're always going to have those that think that way, just like you're always going to have prostitution. It's a fact. I personally don't worry about it. I don't feel like butting my head against a brick wall. I don't believe it's going to snowball. Just like I don't believe the sky is going to fall. I think legit therapists should step back, take a deep breath, pull the rein in a little bit.....and then change the perception by doing legit massage....one legit massage at a time.
Hi Lisa, and Choice,
I will knock out 2 birds w/1 stone, my intention for my comment was to stimulate just a tiny little more interest in the petition for the ad, I know what your feelings are about the GoDaddy Ad ,and if you read my 1st comment then you know how I feel. It just seems to me that a great conversation peice is not being responded to in numbers Therapist vs. Bad Publicity in the survey.
I for 1 feel like I have wonderful clientel, no one has brought the commercial to my attention except for here in our community, which should be expected. And if there is a number of therapist responding to the survey that is our way of saying "do not pick on this group of people". Just trying to protect what is YOURS AND MINE ! Peace

Angela, I completely agree with you. Craigslist has been my top source for clients when I started out 6 years ago. I always ran different ads with a detailed description about the particular massage I was offering in the ad and made it clear that these were therapeutic massages. Still, about 40% of the calls from these craigslist ads were from men who were openly asking for more, and I refused them by explaining the difference between a licensed massage professional and "masseuse" or "body rub girl". About half of these men - and yes, women - still made an appointment which I accepted - after a basic background check came out ok  - when they assured me that they would behave.  And they did!

Maybe because of my accent and friendliness (I'm Russian), or because this is South Florida, about one third of new clients from any of the sources I use, are still hoping, more or less obvious, for a Happy Ending, so this is not limited to craigslist clients.

As a matter of fact, my craigslist ads initially provided me with my now repeat customers, and even repeat "celebrity" clients from the business, TV and legal communities who now promote me with their friends.

I've worked as a massage therapist in Europe before I married and moved to the USA, and in Europe I've hardly ever encountered the disrespect for our profession that I do here in South Florida on a regular basis. 

Over the past few days I have received several calls from panicking therapists who had advertised mainly on craigslist and now see their livelihood in danger. This has prompted me and my husband - who is a global brand and internet marketing specialist - to start working with a group of application programmers on a software application that would not only replace what craigslist was providing us with, but considerably enhance on it based on my input. We should be able to release a beta version very quickly. If you are interested to be updated and/or add your suggestions how to make the application become a really great marketing tool for us licensed therapists, please click here: MassageAdsBanned   

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