Bodywork Buddy Blog

Bodywork Buddy: business management software that keeps you organized and makes tax time a breeze.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Is YOUR Site Ready for #MobileGeddon?

Not to sound too dramatic, but Google is changing the game beginning April 21st, 2015 and is going to start ranking search results by their mobile-friendliness. The internet has dubbed this #MobileGeddon. (I can't help but hear that phrase in my head with some big, scary voiceover similar to a thriller movie trailer with an ominous "DUNDUNDUN" at the end.) But despite the overuse of hashtags and armageddon references, this is actually serious and could affect your site's google search result rankings.

Here's an article that explains what this all could mean for your small business in more detail:

Not only is your website going to be affected, but also your online scheduler site. Even if your online scheduler is optimized for SEO, this new change could impact it's google rankings if it isn't mobile-friendly. Your site working on mobile devices isn't enough, it needs to pass the test by Google's standards of what they consider "mobile-friendly".

Here's a great tool to test your site's mobile-friendly rating by Google.

If you use Bodywork Buddy for your practice management software, your online scheduling microsite has an "awesome" rating, so no worries!

If your regular website doesn't pass the test, here's a few options to get ready for the change.

  • Weebly, Wix, GoDaddy, and Squarespace all have inexpensive and easy website builders and their sites are mobile-friendly.
  • You can easily use your Bodywork Buddy microsite as your entire website, as it includes customizations to allow you to add your own images (or choices from our extensive image library of professional bodywork-related images), client reviews, map, etc as well as your online scheduler.

    Wondering what the Bodywork Buddy scheduler looks like? Check out Affinity Massage Studio in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    We can even help you point your domain name to your microsite, just contact us and we'd be happy to help! 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Member Spotlight: Mary Hardin

Today's member spotlight is Mary Hardin, advanced craniosacral practitioner and board certified polarity therapist. Mary's business is Ultrasonic Core Body Therapy in Culver City, California.

Q: What inspired you to be a bodyworker?
A: There's a concept in polarity therapy about "holding space." It's creating a space for you and the client that's in alignment for the highest good of both. It's like that feeling you get when everything is right in the world and you feel like your true self. It's something I loved about receiving the work and so I thought by doing the work I'd have an opportunity to be in that space more often.
Q: How long have you been doing bodywork?
A: I started studying Polarity and Craniosacral work 17 years ago and worked part-time at first and then started to this work full-time in 2010.
A; What is your favorite thing about being a bodyworker?
Q: My favorite thing about my work is seeing how the lives of the people I work with change for the better. Sometimes that's not something I see right away but months or years later they'll tell me what a profound effect a session had on their life.
Q: What do you feel is the most challenging issue for bodyworkers?
A: The most challenging issues is getting people to put their health and well-being at the top of their to-do list and to understand that bodywork will help improve the quality of their lives.
Try to imagine things from your client's perspective and offer what they're needing. I think it's important to make the whole experience as easy as possible for the client. Make it easy for them to find you, easy for them to schedule with you, easy for them to pay you.

Friday, April 10, 2015

My single most effective marketing tool…and it’s FREE

by Hillary Arrieta LMT, Richardson Texas

This weekend I was working as a vendor at the AMTA Texas chapter convention. I was approached by many of my fellow local massage therapists about marketing.

"How do you market your practice?" They asked.
“What's working for you?”

This is a topic that I have come to love. When I first started out, I would say that marketing made me a little bit crazy. When I thought of it, I had the impression that I would have to spend a ton of money on print, radio, or TV ads. I didn’t want to become a sales person. Now I know that marketing is so much more than sales and I find it fun and challenging!

As I discussed my current marketing process, many therapists were surprised to learn that one of my top marketing tools was my email list.
Maybe you’ve heard that saying  “email is dead.” Well my friends, It’s very much alive and well.
My email list is one of the most successful marketing tools I’ve encountered, if not THE most successful.

My clients love my weekly emails. Yep, that’s right, I email my clients at least once a week. When I was trying to come up with my email marketing plan, I thought weekly emails were a bit much and that maybe it was going to come off too pushy. I didn’t want to annoy my clients.

Funny enough, I began receiving great feed back about them.
My clients LOVED that I sent out my availability so that they could hop on to my online booking site (thank you Bodywork Buddy!) and schedule right then and there. Everyone is so busy these days and having my openings delivered to their inbox every Monday morning was just another way to support my clients in keeping up with their self care.

Many of them told me to keep it coming! That they actually looked forward to my Monday email.
I also have a handy sign up form on my website that allows prospective clients to sign up if they are interested in hearing from me.

In addition to my weekly availability email, I’ve used my list to run successful semi annual massage package sales ( take that, Groupon!!) as well as sending out important information about changes in my practice. I love emailing reminders for my meditation class, and adding a link to my blog so that my clients can read about self care suggestions and current events within my practice.

I always keep the information valuable and relevant to my clients, because who is going to read boring newsletters?

If you don’t have an email list, here are some resources to get you started!
And they are free!

How do you use your email list?

Monday, March 30, 2015

*NEW FEATURE* Print/Email All Sessions on One Receipt

We've just implemented a new feature that many of our members have asked for: the ability to print or email all sessions from a specific client onto one receipt.

You can choose to do this from within each session record in the upper right next to the usual "print receipt" and "email receipt" buttons.

You can also do this from within each client's file in the upper right corner.

Now you can not only do that, but you can also choose a specific timeline of sessions you want to include if you don't want to do ALL sessions.

Thank you to our members for the suggestions and feedback. Your ideas help to make Bodywork Buddy even more awesome and we value your business!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Member Spotlight: Tanya Knicely

Today's member spotlight is Tanya Knicely of Trust Your Journey Therapeutic Massage in Elizabeth, West Virginia.

Q:What inspired you to be a massage therapist?

A: My inspiration to become a massage therapist was two-fold. The first being my oldest daughter was attending a massage therapy program and would come home everyday with new techniques and amazing information about how massage works with the body's natural healing processes. Her excitement was contagious. Secondly, being a nurse at the time, I saw the benefits touch had with my patients and their healing. I saw these benefits from caring for ill newborns and their distraught parents all the way through the final stages of the dying patient who can peacefully transition into death with just the slightest touch on their arm, back or brow as they are passing. The comfort massage and touch in general allows is astounding.

Q:How long have you been doing massage?

A: I have been a massage therapist for almost two years.

Q: What is your favorite thing about being an MT?

A: The thing I like most about being a massage therapist is passing on the knowledge I have with my clients and why they are feeling the way they are. Whether it is through education about the muscles that are giving them discomfort and how muscles somewhere else on their body could be the actual problem or the benefit massage is to their body, even something as simple as the need for drinking an adequate amount of water to keep their bodies hydrated and systems flushed. Education is so important to me and giving my clients the information they need to help their body heal itself through massage with no side effect is wonderful.

Q: What do you feel is the most challenging issue for massage therapists?

A: I feel there are several challenges for massage therapists. One of them is educating people so they will include massage as an important part of their weekly or monthly health program. Another is educating insurance companies so they include massage as a necessary addition to preventative care and adding it as a covered benefit to more insurance plans. Education on massage as more than just a luxury is important for individuals and insurance companies.

Q: What advice would you give to other MT’s to help build their business?

A: I feel the best advice I could give another MT is to never stop learning, never stop trying new techniques that can give their practice and their studio that special advantage. Always work for the clients best interest and treat their clients as if it were themselves getting the massage. Because when you do that you will be more in tune with what your clients are in need of and how you can help them achieve their goals for their body, health and healing. And most importantly know where you want your business to go and never give up on getting it there. When your clients feel your passion for what you do, your advertising is taken care of...word of mouth is your businesses' best advertisement.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

*New Feature* Recurring Appointments

Bodywork Buddy has always had recurring/repeating general events, but now we also have the ability to create recurring confirmed appointments!

When creating a confirmed appointment via clicking within the calendar (dashboard > calendar > main > click into date on calendar > confirmed appointment), there is now the option to make the appointment recurring/repeating.

Fill in the client, service, and time details like when normally creating a confirmed appointment, and then select the repeating type from the dropdown box.

Once choosing the type of repeat, you'll have options to customize it more with how often it repeats, and until forever or a set date, certain days of the week, etc. 
Click Schedule Appointment.

Clients will receive a confirmation email with the first date in the series for the repeating appointment, and then receive their email reminders prior to their appointment as specified in your settings.

This latest update also includes the ability to delete just one in a series or the entire series of a recurring general event. (Up until now there was only the option to delete the entire series).

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Power of Real Reviews

Displaying testimonials or reviews on your website or in other marketing can be very persuasive to prospective clients looking to schedule an appointment with you. They build trust, aren't "sales-y", and help clients overcome skepticism.
When a potential client sees a whole page full of quotes and testimonials from existing clients, it
further cements the idea that you’re someone they want to do business with.

So, how do you go about collecting reviews for your business? While there are many review sites available to list our businesses on, there's also great testimonials all around us if we are listening. When a client comments about how great they feel after their treatment, ask them if you can quote them on that.

Many online scheduling softwares include automated emails that ask your clients to leave a testimonial or review. This is not only a great way to collect testimonials for your marketing, but a wonderful source of feedback to improve where needed. 

Some tips for collecting testimonials:
  • Ask for a review within a day or two of your service when it's still fresh in your client's mind.
  • Ask for their permission to use it and their name in your marketing.
  • Have an easy form for clients to fill out that simply asks them questions like "How do you feel before your massage? How do you feel after your massage? What do you like most about our services?".
  • Use an online system that automates the process for you.
  • LinkedIn can be another easy source for testimonials. If you're connected with clients on LinkedIn, you can easily send a request for them to leave you recommendations. 
  • Facebook business pages includes the option to rate and review.

When using testimonials in your marketing, choose testimonials that are:
  • Filled with benefits.
  • Substantiates your claims.
  • From someone your clients can relate to.
  • Compares your services to others.
  • Credible - use real words from real people. Don't create fake reviews.
Keep mediocre reviews. This is your opportunity to make your business shine with great customer service. It also makes your testimonials more believable if there are some 3 and 4 star reviews in with your 5 star ratings.