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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.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

How to Take Control of Your Passwords



In today's tech world, we all have a million passwords for a million different accounts. Your bank account, your online scheduling account, your business Facebook page... and these are just a handful that are only for your massage therapy business. How do you remember or keep track of them all?! Especially when they are cryptic words with special characters, a specific amount of numbers, some lowercase letters mixed with some uppercase letters.... 
Well, good news. There's a new school of thought on what makes a strong password.


Previously, security experts recommended the use of password manager apps to ensure users' accounts were protected.



"The old wisdom... we found that it does everything negative for usability and really, not a whole heck of a lot for security." - Paul Grassi on All Tech Considered

The new suggestions for what makes a strong password are:

  • Long passwords
  • phrases
  • spaces
  • lowercase typical words, no need for uppercase letters mixed in
  • no need for special characters
  • no expiration


It's suggested to have a password manager. There are lots of useful apps available to store your passwords and make your life easier. That combined with the new rules for what makes a strong password, I think we can all breathe a little easier and stop putting so much energy into creating and remembering our keys to all of our accounts!




Monday, August 14, 2017

3 Ted Talks About the Power of Touch






Published on Apr 19, 2016
Throughout your day today, how often and for how long have you been touched by someone? How often have you touched someone else? Massage therapist Jane Anderson explores the powerful effects that touch can have on our lives.

Jane Anderson is a professional, multi-disciplined massage therapist for chronic pain relief and medically complex clients. Jane has founded multiple massage therapy schools and taught learning outcomes on par with the highest national level. Her work has affected the lives of all kinds of clients, including end of life and post surgical patients, athletes, animals, and children.







Published on Apr 8, 2016
In this talk, David Linden explores the science and complexities of touch on human health.

David J. Linden, Ph.D., is a Professor of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His laboratory has worked for many years on the cellular substrates of memory storage, and recovery of function after brain injury, among other topics. He has a longstanding interest in scientific communication, and served for many years as the Chief Editor of the Journal of Neurophysiology. He is the author of three best-selling books on the biology of behavior for a general audience, The Accidental Mind (2007) and The Compass of Pleasure (2011) which, to date, have been translated into 19 languages. His most recent book, Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart and Mind (2015) was recently published by Viking Press (USA/Canada).






Published on Dec 30, 2014
This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. As children we need touch to be able to handle stress and develop normally. Loneliness happens to be one of the greatest life hazards of our times and touching is a key element in connecting with people and forming relationships. Touch seems to benefit us in so many ways.
http://www.tedxgoteborg.com/videos/

Helena Backlund Wasling and her team or researchers has mapped how a soft touch activates the parts of the brain that controls our emotions. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Best Spa Hotels in the World {Guest Post by Jay Williams}


The Best Spa Hotels in the World

A definitive list of the best spa hotels is always going to be subjective and open to individual’s expectations, but a great hotel spa should leave you feeling relaxed, re-energized and ready to take on the world. The setting, the treatments and the customer service are all major factors that should be taken in to consideration when searching for the perfect spa, and some of the following spas excel in all three of these areas.
So while each of these spas may not suit everyone, we tried to pick unique spas that not only offer a range of relaxing treatments but also offer something a little bit special, have proven themselves over many years and have great, consistent feedback. Read on to discover some of the best spa hotels in the world.


Thallassa Spa, Anassa Hotel, Cyprus

A regular in the top spa lists and for very good reason, this visually stunning spa with its Roman-style swimming pool and 18 treatments rooms offers a huge range of treatments whether you are looking to detox, improve your fitness or indulge in its beauty services. For those looking to make their spa experience a bit more active they also have a fitness room and squash court.

Aman Spa, Tokyo

Another regular award-winning spa, Aman spa is situated in one of Tokyo’s most stunning hotels, matching a traditional Japanese look and feel with a modern style. Located on the 33rd floor you’ll feel like you’re floating amongst the clouds as you relax and unwind with the unique and soothing treatments on offer.

Nihiwatu, Indonesia

If you want something a bit different and some isolation then this private resort around an hour’s flight away from Bali is ideal. Running along a beach and integrated seamlessly with the local culture, the spa does not compromise on luxury with skilled therapists, treatments and adventures on offer. The sound of the waves, the beach sunset views and the seclusion offered at this great spa make it worthy of a place on any best of spa lists.

Rancho La Puerta, Mexico

This destination spa is a perfect hideaway retreat, its rustic styles, local traditions and modern influences mean that you can relax in absolute comfort and bliss. Unlike some spas, this one puts an emphasis on fitness as part of their overall well-being offering, so whether you fancy getting fit with judo, dancing or soccer then you’re in luck here with a selection of special events.

Mandarin Oriental, Thailand

If you’re looking for iconic then the Mandarin Oriental fits the bill perfectly, recently celebrating its 140th birthday it’s safe to say they know what they’re doing. With a huge range of treatments across its garden wing, you can indulge yourself with your favourite treatments or try some new ones. If treatments are not your thing then there is other activities on offer such as yoga classes, rituals and detoxes that are sure to peak your interest.
If you’re UK bound and looking for a great spa, then it’s worth checking out this great selection of Spas from The Principal Hotel Company who have range of award winning spas spread out all over the UK.
  
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Jay is part of the community team at De Vere Hotels, responsible for engaging with their community and beyond. As well as having an obsession with all things travel, Jay is a family man, and lover of self-improvement and life hacks.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Truth in Your Marketing {Guest Post by Erin Howk}

We're all marketing ourselves every day, whether we think we are or not.




It seems there are some conflicting arguments out there over which is the correct, honest, or better way to use marketing terms to sell our services. No matter what setting you are in, you are selling your massage services to someone and need to have specific language to attract the kind of clients you want to sell to. The fallacy here, is that one way is more 'honest' than another way (assuming you are not lying about the services that you provide and committing fraud, but that's a different problem). Some feel using flowery, emotional words that do not describe accurately how massage techniques are performed are a disservice to the industry, instead a technical approach would be more desirable.  However, you are not being more honest by using technical terms, you are being specific to a different target market; those who value a clinical approach and gravitate toward that language.



The purpose of marketing is to find specific people who want what you sell
and convince them to
buy it from you.





The key here is the finding the people you want to sell to, and to do that you manipulate your words and descriptions of your product to appeal to that group.  One of the arguments in the massage community is over the term “Deep Tissue Massage” used as modality.  This term is a vague descriptor and not a specific protocol, and some feel that it should not be used to describe massage or that it “is just a marketing term”.  It's been suggested therapists should use the term Deep Pressure instead because it is a more honest description of what you're selling… but this is not true. Deep Pressure is also ‘just a marketing term’ and is no more honest or accurate description of massage.


It is equally misleading to describe something as Deep Pressure Massage to refer to pressing really hard to achieve therapeutic effect on tissues closer to the skeleton. In massage, deep refers to the location of tissue, and not the strength at which you are pressing. It isn't exactly accurate to describe a unit of force as ‘deep' either. It's much more accurate to describe this type massage as Deep Tissue Massage, because you are targeting the deep tissues of the body.  However, the public thinks you must use heavy or maximum pressure to reach the deep tissue, which is where this description becomes problematic. There are several protocols out there that achieve therapeutic effect on deep tissue without using maximum pressure. You can see that the description of Deep Tissue Massage has an inaccurate association with the amount of force, but that the public wants what you are trying to describe when you say it, so some find useful to use that term in marketing.




Photography's main
purpose in marketing
is to sell a feeling.










A “real picture” of a massage may not be what your clients want to see.


Some take issue with the photography used to market massage as being inaccurate and overly fake. Photography's main purpose in marketing is to sell a feeling. They are an impressionistic representation of your services, as opposed to a literal one. Their purpose is to tell your client "This could be you, you could feel as relaxed as this person, here in this picture". The photo does not have to look exactly what your massage space looks like, it does not have to depict what a massage session looks like in real life, and last of all it can look pretty. Pretty sells.



If you want to increase business,
the right words can make a difference.


Sounds like everything is just a big pack of lies, doesn't it? Until there is a universal definition of massage modalities that cannot be disputed, all types of massage are "just marketing". And really, marketing terms and photos can be pretty powerful. If you want to increase business, the right words can make a difference. Marketing is less about pristine truth, and more about a quick glimpse of what awaits them when they walk through the door. It's true, there is terrible photography out there. The lighting is terrible, the aperture is off, they didn't even consider the rule of thirds... There are people who use marketing to mislead, but you are not that person. There is something to be said for truth in advertising, but that doesn't preclude you from conveying a feeling.  If you have access to a good photographer and want pictures of your space, go for it… but don’t expect it to be free. As a photographer, their business is just as hard as ours to get people to pay for their hard work. However, if you need to use a free photograph, or inexpensive one and it has candles and flowers in it, that’s okay. If it gets your client in the door asking to feel like that picture made her imagine she would feel underneath your talented hands, and you can provide that, then you've reached your ideal client. She's not going to care if there aren't any flowers by her face.





There is something to be said for truth in advertising, but that doesn't preclude you from conveying a feeling.





Erin Howk BS, BCTMB
Thank you to my photography instructors for teaching me to edit in frame.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

One Simple Trick to Get More Massage Clients Online




Testimonials and reviews help build trust with potential clients, resulting in them being more likely to schedule a massage appointment with you.

Research from Nielson reports that 88% of people will trust online reviews. In fact, many prospective clients will automatically search for reviews and testimonials about your services. Make it easy for them by displaying raving reviews right on your massage website and online scheduler!

Bodywork Buddy makes it painless to collect reviews. Once a session record is created (within 24 hours of the appointment time), our massage software automatically emails a request to the client to leave a testimonial. You can then choose to publish it to your online scheduling microsite.

Ready to give it a try? Signup for our free 15 day trial.









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

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Using Video Marketing to Boost Your Online Bookings {Guest Post by Sachiyo Langlois}



If you are an Ashiatsu Therapist, I am sure that you get a lot of - " So.... what do you? " or " A~shi what?" questions.

After losing a contract with a company which used to offer an alternative medicine program to their employee, I lost about 1/3 of clients. So I had all the time in the world to do something about it. 

I saw a silly family short movie that was made and posted by my friend on the Facebook. And literally I had the light bulb moment; I decided to make my own commercial video for my business.
   
First, I asked general questions to the Ashiatsu Therapists for tips and suggestions for creating a commercial video. I wanted the video to look professional (non-sexual), informative and somewhat entertaining.





I placed my dear friend (who also made the family movie) behind GoPro camera. I showed her a few examples of how other Ashi videos look and I directed how exactly I want her to capture the strokes. I brought 2 desk lamps to brighten up the room, chose a female model client who is fit and has nice skin tone without any tan marks, chose red wine colored sheets so that will pop out against powder blue walls, I wore black or green t-shirts with black capri pants so that I look professional rather than Asian prostitute look. I also included a foot washing scene, which I was so happy with avoiding dirty foot image, etc...etc...  

We spent about 1 hour for this video shooting and the toughest part was choosing only a very few good scenes so that the total length of my video would be around 1-minute. I added caption throughout the video to explain what it is, and contact information at the end. I spent a lot of time searching for how to, but I managed to create an pretty darn good video without spending any money.

3 months later, I have also decided to make a second video doing Ashi-Thai Bodywork outdoors. This one came out even better than the first and includes the water mark / my biz logo in it. If I ever get hurt and not being able to do Ashi, I may get into this.

I have released these videos on Facebook ads with a Holiday Sale and I got a great result. Also, even people from far away (like an hour away!)
came to receive a one hour massage. I think that now, most mysteries are solved... let's make an appointment. Kind of.

My Ashi video's are posted on my "Kooma Massage Therapy" Facebook page and YouTube. Youtube share can include related but inappropriate videos so I would suggest sharing them from my FB page. Please make your contact info visible in your post and don't forget to " Like" my page. :)



Ashiastu Barefoot Massage - Go Pro camera and its video editing software  
Music by Nathan Mark ( Lindsay camera girl, her husband )
Ashi-Thai Bodywork  -  GoPro camera and iMovie software. 
I used the music from the iMovie software.








Friday, August 4, 2017

Before You Email Clients, Do These 6 Things



A question came up in the Bodywork Buddies Facebook group the other day about promotional emails not making it to client's main inbox. (Never heard of our FB group? If you've had a trial account or been a BWB member, you can join and get in on some awesome convos yourself! Drama-free quality conversations about massage biz.)

If your clients are using gmail as their email provider, your emails may be ending up in their promotions tab... or worse yet, being recognized as spam and not making it to them at all.
What are some ways we can ensure our massage clients are getting our emails?

Permission

First off, make sure they actually want them. Did you ask their permission or have them opt-in for your email in some way? If you've personally emailed with them before and are just taking your contact list from your email account and creating a mass emailing, you're not technically following anti-spamming laws. If your contacts report your emails as spam, it can hurt your chances of getting to their inbox even more.

How to fix this:

  • Add an opt-in to your website and social media
  • Ask clients when they are in for their appointment 
  • Clients are agreeing to be on mailing list when they schedule online

Template Style

Another suggestion is to use the plain text option for your email template. While email campaigns offer lots of cool design templates and styles, the most proven is the plain text email. (Not only for making it into the main inbox, but for actually getting read.) Clients don't want a newsletter-style email, they actually want personal communications.

Spam filters are ore apt to catch HTML emails with a fancy design, so instead use the plain text option and make it more like you're writing a letter to a friend.

The plain text option is usually the boring one at the very bottom of the choices for cool templates. 






Links, Images, and Exclamation Points

Having lots of links and images in your email will make it look more spammy to the email gods.
Instead of loading up your email with lots of both, stick to only one link, and maybe one image.
Resist the urge to use lots of exclamation points in your title and text.


Personalize

Add merge tags to add client's name in subject line of your email.




Add merge tags to include the client's name in the body of your email.





Realistic Expectations

Keep in mind that even if your emails are getting to clients, they may not open/read them. Email campaign services like Mailchimp show the industry average so that you can get a good idea of how your emails are stacking up against others in the industry. According to this, email campaigns in the massage therapy field have about a 13% open rate. By that standard, my open rates of 30% and up are pretty great! 






Address Book

Before starting your email campaigns, send out a personal email to your clients asking them to make sure they have your address in their contacts so they are sure to get the latest news from you. Post a notice in your massage studio, mention it at their appointments when you ask for permission to email them, etc.


Quick Tip

If they have received your email in the promotions tab (or another tab), they can drag it over to their main inbox to ensure future emails are delivered there.


I've used examples from Mailchimp here, but these can be applied to all email campaign service companies. I like Mailchimp because you can have a free account with up to 2K contacts and it's easy to import your client list from Bodywork Buddy.

We're actually working to add email marketing into our online scheduling for massage therapists here at Bodywork Buddy. This is the next big feature we've been working on. It's taking some time, because if you know our system and how we operate - we're passionate about quality. With software, the end product that you see seems simple - but there's a lot of work that goes into getting it to that stage. So in the meantime, we recommend using Mailchimp. And we'll be sure to let you know when we have email marketing integrated into our system for some seamless marketing campaigns to your clients. 😀





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







Today's blog post was written to the beautiful sounds of