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Bodywork Buddy Blog

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

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Biggest Facebook Setting Mistake You Don't Want to Make

This past week, I kept trying to tag a local business Facebook page in a post about how awesome they are. Facebook wasn't showing the tag once the status was posted. Then I realized there is a setting in the business page that will not allow others to tag your page.

Just wanted to pass this along in case you didn't know this was an option. You may want to make sure you have this setting set to allow people to tag your business, so when your clients brag about you on FB, they can easily send others to your business page!

Without this setting enabled, when someone tries to tag your business page on Facebook, it will only show the text and not be a clickable link to your business page. Which would be absolutely zero help to getting the word out about your business. You'll especially want this setting enabled if you offer online scheduling right from within your Facebook page. ( *Shameless Plug * Our online scheduling for massage therapists has the ability to embed the scheduler right into your FB biz page, so clients don't even have to leave FB to schedule a relaxing massage with you!)

Check out Hillary Arrieta's massage business, Gaia Bodywork, on Facebook and how her scheduler is embedded right into her business page:

Here's another helpful tip when using FB for your massage business:
When you post graphics or articles from your biz page, be sure to add a little comment in the main post encouraging clients to schedule and include the link to your scheduler. 
Keep in mind that when clients see your posts, it will most likely be from within their feed rather than directly from your page. Make it as easy as possible for them to schedule by including a link they can click to schedule. Otherwise, they would have to see your post, click onto your page, click onto schedule online, etc. Instead, just make it stupid easy with one click! :D

Amanda's business, Soothing Palms Massage, does a great job of this on FB. She shared an image from Massage Magazine, and added her own comment including her link to her online scheduler:

Speaking of Facebook, did you now we have an awesome active group for Bodywork Buddy members? If you're a massage therapist using our online scheduling, we would love to have you join us on FB!

Cindy Iwlew is a licensed massage therapist who has had a private practice since 1999 and cofounder of Bodywork Buddy massage software.

Iggy is the branch manager and helps keep Cindy on track with balancing out computer time with playing outdoors.

Today's post was created while listening to Amazon's Playlist '90s Hip-Hop BBQ. (We all need a break from massage music, right?!)
Happy Summer!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Seven Keys to Creating Predictable Cash Flow

Seven Keys to Creating Predictable Cash Flow

Seven Keys to Creating Predictable Cash Flow

By Lynn McKenzie

As a soul-inspired entrepreneur (yes that's you!) is your income flow predictable, or is it left more to luck or happenstance? Must the planets align in auspicious design for you to: make the mortgage, pay your bills, and have a little left over for emergencies, never mind socking some away in savings.

This doesn't have to be so. One of the biggest mistakes I see spirit-led entrepreneurs make is failing to create predictable, repeatable cash flow for themselves. I'm not sure if they figure that "left to chance it will all work out somehow", or that they will "have to scrimp and suffer for a while until their business magically gets going", or what! What I do know is that using this business model involves giving away your power with money, AND it doesn't work.

It is completely possible (and VERY probable) to adopt a system that sets you up for consistent and predictable income, even if you're self-employed. There are seven keys that are the back bone of that system. In this article, we'll cover the first three:

1. Clearly and concisely identify your ideal clients - there are specific clients that you were meant to serve, they are the ones who benefit most from the deep transformative work you do, and the ones that you love, more than anything, to serve. When you really narrow your focus down to this particular group, your business will flourish exponentially compared to when you were trying to serve everybody (with a really broad offering). Better yet, your ideal clients will be able to easily self-identify with your work and will be more apt to flock to you.

2. Figure out how your particular brand of magic serves your ideal clients - your ideal clients have specific problems they want solved and it's imperative that you determine what they are. I'm talking about problems so big that are keeping them up at night worrying. In my own business, I can clearly hear my ideal clients saying to themselves: "I need to make more money", or "I need to grow my business fast". Once you've figured out the problem (or pain) your clients have, determine how what you do solves it and then market it to them in a "benefits" oriented way.

3. Create a kick-ass free offer - in order to get people to interact with you on the web in this day and age you must have a compelling free offer. It HAS to be hot, and something that makes your ideal clients think to themselves "I have to have this; it will help me to ______". Spend time and energy on this, at least equal to what you would spend on something you're going to sell, remember these are the people you're going to be selling to so you want LOTS of them, and to get lots of them it's got to be, well kick-ass. Once you've created it, assign a value to it, and be sure to mention the value on your website.

4. Build a database - once you've got your free offer in place you will need to have a way to collect the names of those who sign up for it. A database of sorts, my preference is 1 Shopping Cart. I like it because it's not only a database but has many functions including a shopping cart, auto-responder, and way to send out newsletters (yes, you need one of them too). To make the most of your database, the people on it need to hear from you at least every 2 weeks. If you think that's too much, trust me it isn't.

5. Create products and programs that are the answer the problems your ideal clients have - here's where you can bring in your spiritual guidance and channel some fabulous information. Information related to your expertise that will help your ideal clients solve the pains and problems I mentioned earlier (the ones keeping them up at night). You can create these products very simply as eBooks, audios, videos etc., just don't think too hard about it, just get going and create them! My motto is "done is better than perfect". If you find yourself stalling because you feel like you haven't got it perfected yet, know that is just your ego trying to keep you small. Remember, the world needs your special variety of magic and expertise, otherwise you wouldn't have been gifted with it.

6. Always be launching - I hate to be the one to tell you this but once you have your product or program ready to sell, people won't be banging your door down to get it, in fact they won't even know you have it unless you let them know about it in a BIG way. That big way is called a launch. A launch normally consists of sending out a series of emails or videos (and blog posts etc.) leading up to a free "preview call" that you design to introduce and sell your product or program. On this call you offer some great content but also offer your product or program at a reduced investment, for a limited period of time, usually with a number of juicy bonuses to entice buyers. This is pretty much how most online sales work. You can see why it's good to "always be launching" as this is where you make your money.

7. Follow a Mentor - the best investment I've ever made in myself, and my business, was to hire an impartial mentor. Someone who would challenge me to leap to places I didn't know possible, someone who had gone where I wanted to go and done what I wanted to do and could offer me first hand advice along with some tough love when needed. Looking back on the times in my life when I didn't have a mentor my business (and income) just flowed along at the status quo and more often than not that was struggle mode. When I compare those times to the times when I have had a mentor (like now and in the foreseeable future) my business is growing in leaps and bounds and I am thriving. I stretch myself daily and create awesome results for my clients and myself.

These keys are the backbone of a business system that works for soul inspired entrepreneurs. Of course you will want to use your spiritual guidance in your business but you want to be sure you're applying it to the areas of a business system that's proven to work. My coaching request for you is to use the keys above to map out your success plan for creating your predictable cash flow.

Expert Author Lynn McKenzie

Lynn McKenzie Lynn is a certified Money Marketing and Soul Coach, Niche Breakthrough Secrets Coach, and is a member of the International Association of Women in Business Coaching. She is also a certified graduate of Coach Training Alliance. Visit to receive your free audio: 3 Simple Steps to Making & Keeping Way More Money, Doing Work You Love While Delivering Awesome, Life-Changing Results for Your Clients.

Article Source:

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A Few New Updates! {Clear Your Browser Cache}

We published some updates this weekend that include:

-Select a default view for your calendar (day/week/month)
-Track your CEUs with the CEU Tracker (under Reports)
-Average Sessions per Week (Dashboard)
-Option to embed your Menu of Services in to your site (Not the whole microsite)
-Sessions search show all dates by default
-There is now a calendar/date picker on the Calendar page
-Service Sessions Report
-Bug fixes and Performance Improvements

You will likely need to clear your browser cache to access these new features!

This video shows a quick overview of all updates/features:

Saturday, July 8, 2017

When It Pays to Track Referrals

Do you have a referral program? I used to offer a "refer 3 friends, get a free massage" in my bodywork business and it was a huge success. I got most of my clients from that, and I ended up so busy that I had to discontinue it. (And the surprising thing was, I didn't have to give away very many massages because while it created a ton of new clients, very seldom did 3 people come from the same referring client.)

When I ran my referral program, I used paper to track it because technology hadn't gotten caught up with us yet. This was before smartphones, Bodywork Buddy, etc. i.e. all of the tools that make running our practice so much easier these days!

BWB has always had the ability to track referrals from within each client file so you could see who they referred and who originally referred them. But now we've added a referral tree which is a great visual to quickly see all of your clients and who they've referred at a glance.

So far, it's been a big hit with our members!

What kind of referral program do you offer clients? How many new clients have you gotten from it?
I'd love to hear about your own experience with referral programs in your massage business - comment here and let me know. 🐶 Iggy wants to know, too.

Cindy Iwlew is a licensed massage therapist who has had a private practice since 1999 and cofounder of Bodywork Buddy massage software.

Iggy is the branch manager and helps keep Cindy on track with balancing out computer time with playing outdoors.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

How to Harness the Power of Your Hours Report

I’ve been a fan of Bodywork Buddy (BWB) for a long time. Because I knew of many of the features they offered, I hopped on board on December 31, 2012. This gave me the opportunity to start fresh in 2013, enabling me to view current up-to-date reports right from the beginning of the year.

While there are a ton of features to list, one of the things I’m most impressed about is owner Cindy and Berin Iwlew’s willingness to not only listen to what their users suggest, but to thoughtfully respond with positive action.

Cindy and I have both been massage industry for a long time, about 20 years for each of us. In fact, she’s the one who originally turned me on to online scheduling, long before Bodywork Buddy began.

There were many limitations of that option and virtually no reports you could run. Many companies at that time also had programs you could purchase and download onto your computer, but you’d have to have that computer with you to schedule or add in any comments or SOAP notes.

Finding the same limitations that I did but with Berin’s prowess in programming, the Iwlews set out to give massage therapists an online solution. Not only would it have the same features as other programs, but they added in everything Cindy had on her wish list.

I loved the idea from the get-go. The only reason I didn’t hop on board sooner was that BWB required internet, which I didn’t have at my office at the time.

Today I’ll just talk about my favorite new cool feature, the Hours Report.

One feature they’ve added recently is super cool-reporting of how many hours you’ve completed in each style and session length of massage you offer. I think I was the first one who promptly ran a report and posted it on Facebook!

You can run in for the current year, any year you’ve been using BWB or a total of all years. Your most popular sessions will begin at the top and work your way down. In my case, I had a price / name change, which is why it shows 2 different items that appear to be almost identical.

When you go into your BWB back it, it looks something like this:

I had never kept track of my massage sessions before. Because I specialize in Ashiatsu and heavily promote that, I knew that my 90 minute session would be at the top of the list. Interestingly, I had no idea that my 2 hour sessions outweighed my 60 minute massages.

Knowing how many hours you’ve performed a massage can show proof of expertise to anyone else that you have plenty of experience in your field. When people ask what kind of experience I have with barefoot massage, I can say, “In the last 4.5 years, I’ve actually spent 2074 hours getting paid to do ashiatsu on my clients!”

If you have a modality that you love doing but isn’t near the top of what you actually have been doing, it’s a fantastic way to come up with a promotion so you get that service up at the top of the “hours you’ve massaged list”.

Another thing you can discover is your number of hours you average per week. Simply take the total number listed at the top of that year’s report and divide by the number of weeks so far in the current year. *Update: this is now a feature that automatically shows the average at the bottom of the dashboard. Yah, no math required!

If you’ve been with them for a calendar year, just run the report and divide by 52.  You can see trends from year to year as to how your business is growing. Or perhaps it stays steady because you have a lot of regular clients.
Whether you view this report as just a fun “thing” or you use it to detect patterns and trends in your business, this feature is a hit in my book.

About the author:

Mary-Claire Fredette has been practicing the art of ashiatsu for 15 years and is a Co-Creative Force at the Center for Barefoot Massage, where they offer continuing education to LMTs who want to learn the skill of barefoot massage.

She lives in Cincinnati and co-owns Affinity Massage Studio with her husband, Paul. They have 8 children, 1 turtle, 1 outdoor cat, and 2 rescue German Shepherds.

Monday, June 26, 2017

A New Way to Think About Setting Policies {Guest Post by Michelle Doetsch, LMT, BS}

A New Way to Think About Setting Policies

There are probably a thousand articles out there telling us how important it is to have policies, and they’re absolutely correct; it IS important to have policies. Those same articles will tell us how to formulate our policies and give us several examples of the type of policy the author favors. That’s good info to have, especially if you’re new to the whole creating policies thing and need some concrete examples to get your own policy juices flowing. Or maybe you just need some policies to copy verbatim so you can be done with the unhappy job of writing your own.

Two of the most common ways we’re counseled to create policies are: 1) Create policies that treat your clients the way you would want to be treated if you were a client, and 2) Create strong policies with clear penalties for violating those policies, then make sure to enforce those policies every. single. time. Failing to enforce them shows weakness and clients will take advantage of you if you let them.

Seriously sound advice. The only problem is that neither way felt right to me. The first one felt more right, but I had a hard time with it. If you feel the same way or are just looking to tweak your current policies, here’s another way to think about them. Write them with a view to treating your clients the way you expect them to behave.

This is the guidance I use to set most of my policies, but it’s not for everyone. I know that. I also know, that I’m not the only one who favors this style of policy writing. Earlier today I was investigating a local delivery service that brings organic produce direct from the farm to your door, and found that they have a cancellation policy very similar to mine. That got me thinking that perhaps some of my fellow massage therapists might resonate with this way of setting policies also.

Where The Idea Came From

I’ve worked a lot of jobs in my almost 50 years of life, and I’ve had good bosses and bad bosses. The way they treated their employees was reflected in the ways the employees behaved… Not the other way around.

The bad bosses always assumed the worst, refused to listen to employee concerns, ignored problems, or blamed them on the employees. They required doctor’s notes to prove you were sick if you called in. They wouldn’t allow you to take lunches or breaks away from your desk for fear you might be a minute late getting back. They wouldn’t give out paychecks until 5pm on Friday to make sure you didn’t skip out early. They scheduled every staff meeting at 8am to “make sure everyone’s on time to work, for a change.” These bosses treated every employee as a misbehaving school kid, and the employees responded by acting like misbehaving school kids. These jobs, not surprisingly, were plagued with poor morale and high staff turnover.

The good bosses, on the other hand, took employees at their word, were accessible, and made employees feel comfortable bringing problems to them. If you called in sick, they gave you your paid sick day without grilling you. If you were late because of something beyond your control they understood. They scheduled staff meetings at times when everyone was available and best prepared to make a real contribution to the proceedings. These bosses treated their employees like professional adults, and the employees responded by acting like professional adults. These employers enjoyed a staff with high morale and low turnover. *
*Note: There was no correlation in type of employer vs type of employment. Some of the jobs which required advanced college degrees had the worst bosses, and some of my retail jobs were the absolute best about treating employees with respect and dignity.

A Few Policies

While most of my policies are pretty standard, they still aim to treat my clients how I expect them  (and myself for that matter) to act. For instance, my tardiness policy reads, “Sessions begin and end on time. If the client is late the session will still end at the originally agreed upon time and there will be no pro-rating of cost. If the therapist is late the session will continue for the originally agreed upon length of time or be pro-rated, whichever the client chooses.” 

However, my cancellation policy is very different from the standard ones. It reads: “24 hr notice is respectfully requested when canceling or rescheduling an appointment.” That’s it. 

I’ve had more than a few people tell me that it’s a terrible policy and that clients are going to take advantage of me left and right. They’ve told me that it’s not “business-like” enough. Frankly, they’ve told me in about every way possible how it’s a horrible, no-good, very bad policy but they haven’t convinced me of that.

You see, my policy works for me and that’s all that matters. There are two things I let slide: illness and family emergency. Both often strike without warning and often within the timeframe of a more traditional cancellation policy. Almost everyone alive has had the experience of going to bed feeling great and waking up sicker than a dog. It’s happened to me both as a client and a as practitioner, and I’ve cancelled appointments in both situations. Besides, I ask them to NOT come into my office when they’re contagious, and I deeply appreciate them honoring that request. I would feel like a hypocrite asking them to stay home when they’re sick and then charging them a missed appointment fee if they stay home when they’re sick. I also can’t bring myself to give x number of sick days to a client, after which I terminate them. That works for some people, but not for me.

For as much “leeway” as I give my clients, I have very few late cancellations. By the way, I don’t consider it “leeway,” I consider it treating them like adults who know when they’re too sick to be leaving the house. Yes, having an appointment open up the same day affects my bottom line, but not as much as a sick client passing their contagion on to me would cost me when I have to cancel an entire day (or several days) worth of clients. It’s definitely a strategy/policy that takes a long-view approach. 

I’m not saying that you need to adopt my style of cancellation policy. Good heavens, no. What I am saying is that there’s more than one way to set the same policy. Use the one that works for you, no matter what anyone else says about it. You’re the one who has to enforce it, and you’re the one who has to live with the consequences of enforcing it. Therefore, it should fit who you are as a business person, not who anyone else says you should be.

Michelle Doetsch

I am a Licensed Massage Therapist in Michigan and I’m Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (BCTMB). I have been a massage therapist and Reiki practitioner since 2002. My specialty is treating clients with headaches, high stress, neck and shoulder pain, sciatica, and fibromyalgia, as well as other types of chronic pain. My training in energy work is extensive; over 200 in-class hours in a variety of energy work techniques including Reiki, Spiritual Healing (long standing and respected form of energy work in England), and Kundalini Energy Healing. I am a certified member of Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP). My education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Grand Valley State University.

New Yew Healing

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Massage Therapy: Independent Contractor or Employee? Weighing the Pros and Cons

You have your license and you are ready to start your career as a massage therapist. That’s great! You still have some tough choices to make though. You probably know that some massage therapists work as independent contractors while others work as employees for a spa or other established business. How should you choose?

First, you need to understand the basic differences between the two types of work. In general, an independent contractor either works on her own or leases out space within an establishment. The individual is responsible for her own expenses and drumming up her own clients. An employee may have set hours and established rules to follow based on the employer. In fact, the Department of Labor has a set of guidelines that distinguishes if a worker is an independent contractor or employee.

Once you are sure you understand the difference between the two, it’s time to weigh your pros and cons for each.

Independent Contractor

Think being your own boss is the way to go? Here are a few things to consider.

      Flexibility – You can set your own hours and work as much (or as little) as you like. This opens up a world of opportunity!
      No income limitations – You choose how much to charge your clients and how many clients you see each week. You don’t have to split that money with an employer.
      Taxes - You don’t have taxes taken out of each paycheck.
      No Non-compete - You won’t have to sign those pesky non-compete agreements if you want to move on to a new location.
      Full Cut – If you charge $60 for an hour-long massage, that’s how much you get to keep (for now).

      Less security – If you can’t find enough clients, you won’t make a lot of money. It’s all up to you.
      No benefits – If you want a 401K retirement plan or health insurance, you have to find it on your own and you won’t get the perks of employer matching. Paid time off or worker’s compensation? Forget about it.
      Equipment and supplies cost – You’re responsible for buying all of your own equipment and supplies from oils, candles, and music, to the right massage table.
      No training – You’re licensed, so you have the skills, but you won’t get any extra training that an experienced employer could provide.
      Taxes – While they don’t come out of each check, you will have to pay income tax as well as self-employment tax. Be ready for that.


Perhaps you’re looking into a job at an established spa. There are things to consider there, too.

      Set Hours – You won’t have to feel guilty for not working all of the time. You can get on a set schedule that works for you and your employer.
      No Client Hunting – Your employer is responsible for finding new clients, not you. For some massage therapists, that’s worth everything.
      Benefits – As an employee, you may get the perks of paid time off, 401K (with a matching percent), and health insurance.
      No Supply Costs – Your employer is responsible for purchasing all massage supplies and equipment.

      Schedule – As an employee, you may have a schedule that isn’t ideal for you. While you may have some paid leave, you won’t have the freedom to take off on a whim.
      You’ll Have a Boss – As an employee, you’ll have a boss and sometimes they’ll make you do things you’d rather not like work overtime.
      A Small Cut of the Massage Price – While the client may pay $60 or more for that hour-long massage, your cut of that may be less than half. The employer needs to pay for those supplies, the electric bill, and insurance, etc.

So what’s the verdict? There really is no right or wrong answer. It all depends on what you want out of your career. As an independent contractor, you may have to work a little harder to make it, but the sky's the limit. On the other hand, working as an employee offers consistency and stability that may appeal to you. Just because you choose one today, doesn’t mean you can’t make a change somewhere down the road.

Regardless of your choice, you are ready to enjoy a rewarding career in the field of massage therapy. Embrace it and enjoy all it has to offer!

About the Author
Robert Ellis is the owner of Massage Tables Now, an e-commerce store that offers massage tables and accessories for massage therapists.