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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.

Friday, September 23, 2016

2016 Massage Therapy Resource Bundle *ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT*




I'm excited to tell you about this great resource bundle that I've had the pleasure of being a part of! There's only two days left to get the 2016 Massage Resource Bundle.



It’s a small investment that will deliver tremendous value and new ideas to help you advance in your massage career. I don't want you to miss out.
Right now you can get over $800 worth of CEU classes, business classes, Ebooks and bonus offers for only $39.95. I think you’ll agree that is one amazing bundle!

I love that this kind of support is available now. When I started doing massage, there was little to no online support. New and seasoned therapists alike were left just floundering on our own.

Included in this bundle is my own ebook on growing your massage business with referrals, as well as a discount when joining Bodywork Buddy for your online scheduling and business management needs. (Plus LOTS of other great courses, ebooks, and bonuses from leaders in the massage profession!)


Check out just a few highlights included in the bundle:












Ok so... the countdown is on - jump on this now!


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

4 Ways to Make Your Policies More Effective


Sure, we all know that boundaries are important in a massage practice and that having policies will help cut down on no-shows and make your business run smoother. 

But how do you make sure that your clients are aware of your policies? Many intake forms have some fine print at the bottom that they are agreeing to when they sign, but does anyone actually read that?

Here's a few things you can do to ensure that clients are aware of your policies - thus making it easier to enforce them:

  • Have them printed, framed, and displayed in the client changing area in your massage room and check out area.
  • Have them posted on your website.
  • Occasionally include them in your email newsletter as a reminder.
And Bodywork Buddy just added a new feature that can help. You can have the option to require clients agree to your policies when they schedule online!

From within your BWB account, you can add a general service policy, a reservation policy, a cancellation policy, and a payment policy. You can choose to have any or all required for clients to agree to when scheduling.

Here's what it looks like in action:




Pretty cool, right? Clients can't claim ignorance to your policies.

I've posted this helpful video from Marie Forleo before, but it fits so well with today's topic that I thought it was worthy of a repost.










Cindy Iwlew, LMT is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software, a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online scheduling

She continues to operate her own private massage practice since 1999, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Deep Feet Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com



Thursday, August 25, 2016

Bodywork Buddy Member Spotlight: Melanie Hampton



Being an animal lover, I'm thrilled to announce today's Bodywork Buddy member spotlight is Melanie Hampton in Raleigh, North Carolina. Melanie owns Serenity Pet Massage.


Q: What inspired you to be a massage therapist?
A: I am a Certified Canine and Equine Massage Therapist. I’ve known since I was 12 years old that I wanted to work with animals. I went to college upon graduation from high school and got my degree in Veterinary Medical Technology and spent 30+ years as a Registered Veterinary Technician. It was my battle with cancer and the benefits I received from massage therapy sessions throughout my treatment that got me looking into certification as an animal massage therapist so I could bring those same benefits to our 4 legged companions.


Q: How long have you been doing massage?
A: I’ve been a Canine Massage Therapist for 3 years and an Equine Massage Therapist for 1 year.


Q: What is your favorite thing about being an MT?
A: Giving pet parent’s options for managing pain. I’ve also had great success using massage for unwanted behavior issues.



Q: What do you feel is the most challenging issue for massage therapists?
A: My biggest challenge has been convincing people that massage therapy is not just a luxury and it can help make a difference for their animals. It has so many emotional and physical benefits.


Q: What advice would you give to other MT’s to help build their business?
A: If you’re considering becoming an animal therapist, look into the laws established by your Veterinary Medical Board specific for your state. Some states require you to be a Veterinarian to perform massage on an animal! I attend as many “pet-friendly” events that I can so I can actually meet people and speak with them personally. It’s been the most successful thing I’ve done to build my business.





Tuesday, August 16, 2016

How to Get the Most Out of Bodywork Buddy On Your Phone



I often get asked if Bodywork Buddy has a downloadable app for phones and tablets. When we built BWB, we decided to go with a mobile responsive design for the entire system to be accessible on any mobile device via a browser. So while there isn't an app to download, the system works great on your phone through a browser by automatically adjusting the size of the site to your screen.

Here's a few reasons we went this route instead of a downloadable app:


  • Bodywork Buddy is a pretty large and complex system, and in order to make it as a downloadable app we would have to make it more bare bones and the entire system wouldn't be accessible through an app.
  • The app stores typically require companies to submit their apps (and any updates) for approval before being available for download. We make frequent updates and changes to BWB on the backend, and we're able to do this as often as needed without waiting for any approval from a 3rd party because we have our mobile responsive design instead of a downloadable app. This also means that when we have updates or changes, you automatically get those without having to install any updates on your phone or tablet.
  • Having a downloadable app would also technically mean having 2 separate systems for our company to maintain: the main system and the downloadable app. As you can imagine, this would double our team's work load and take us longer to make updates and changes. Actually, it would triple our team's work because we would need one system for Apple, another for Android, as well as our desktop version.
In order to provide the best experience for our members and the best customer service, we feel that the mobile responsive design is the way to go!

In talking with some of our members, I've realized that what many therapists are wanting in an app is simply the ability to have an icon on their homescreen to click and be taken immediately to their BWB account. The good news is: an app isn't needed to do this! You can create your own clickable icon for your homescreen.

The good news is: an app isn't needed to do this!



This article details how to do this for different types of devices. Check it out and follow the steps according to what kind of phone or tablet you have!


Here's some other tips on how to get the most out of using BWB on your mobile device:


  • Try turning your phone to landscape when scheduling from the calendar or from different parts of the system. This will allow you to see more information all at once on the screen.
  • When you're trying to click within the calendar next to an existing event (say something in your google calendar that is synced to your BWB), zoom in on that day so you're able to click into the blank space next to the event to create your new appointment or event.
  • Need to call a client? Do a quick search from the main clients page, find the client in the results, click right on their phone number next to their name to call immediately.
  • You can email clients the same way from your phone, click their email address next to their name in the client search results to open your email program on your phone and compose a message.
  • Stay signed in to BWB on your phone by checking the "remember me" box so that when you click on your icon on your homescreen, you're taken right to the inside of your account.

Did you find these tips helpful? Let me know in the comments if there is something in particular you're struggling with, I'd love to help if I can.


Cindy Iwlew, LMT is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software, a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online scheduling

She continues to operate her own private massage practice since 1999, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Deep Feet Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Looking For A Few Good Blog Topics? {Guest Post by Michelle Doetsch}



Looking For A Few Good Blog Topics? 


Guest Post by Michelle Doetsch


A friend of mine, who has a small complementary healthcare business, recently posted a plea for help on her personal Facebook account. She said she had lost the list of topics she was planning to blog about and wanted help coming up with ideas so she could create a new list. 

I admit to rolling my eyes a bit. I may not like coming up with a new list of blog topics but I don’t generally have any trouble doing so. So like a bad friend, I kept scrolling, figuring that she’d get lots of suggestions. 

Several hours later, Facebook reorganized my newsfeed and that post showed up again and I noticed that she had 2 comments; both of them saying they had no ideas, but wishing her luck. So I finally put on my good friend hat and gave her some suggestions.

That made me realize that she’s not the only one who has trouble coming up with ideas for what to blog about. It’s apparently a lot more common than I realized. Maybe I’ve read too many marketing blogs, or maybe I just have a knack for coming up with topics. I really don’t know. What I do know is that, 2 days later, when the opportunity to write a post about blog topics came my way, I jumped at it. 


What Do I say? 

So… When you’re stuck and can’t figure out what to blog about, here are a few simple places to start:


Prospective Clients
  • Frequently Asked Questions: Even if you have an FAQ page on your website, this is a good place to start. Use your blog post to answer these questions in a more in-depth way than you can on the FAQ page. Stick to one question per post.
  • Misconceptions: Your blog is a good place to dispel misconceptions that your prospective clients may have about the techniques you use, the conditions you specialize in, or just massage in general. Like before, you’ll want to cover only one misconception per post. You can also do a listicle type post and list a bunch, but you’ll need to be brief in your explanations.
  • Client Bill of Rights: Presumably your blog is on your website and your prospective clients will likely be checking out your site before booking with you. Let them know that not only do they have rights, let them know what those rights are.
  • Choosing the Right Therapist: Give a list of traits to look for in a therapist. List ways to find a good LMT. Give your readers a list of questions to get answers to. Make sure to tell them that not every therapist (including you) is going to be a good fit and to keep looking until they find one that is. 


Current Clients
  • Suggestions: Many of my clients tell me what they’d like me to write about. Sometimes I write about it, sometimes I don’t. If I don’t, I have a very good reason, such as the topic being outside my scope of practice or I very recently wrote about it.
  • Questions: Your current clients are going to ask you different questions than prospective clients do. Use each question on your blog as a separate topic. Remember, they say that for every ten people who have a question only one will actually ask you.

  • Statements: Your clients will say the darnedest things. Sometimes they’ll be truly profound statements. Sometimes they’ll give you a kick*ss analogy that you can use to explain things to future clients. Sometimes the things they say will make you want to hit your head against the wall. You can use all of these as blog topics when they’re relevant to the work you do. This can sometimes require you to walk a very fine line in regards to maintaining client confidentiality. In many cases, you don’t even need to mention that a client said anything. As an example, a simple, “Lately, I’ve heard several people say _____, but nothing could be further from the truth” will suffice.
  • Good Client Traits - This can be a listicle or it can be a post dedicated to just one aspect of being a good client like not coming in when you’re contagious, or making sure to give 24 hours cancellation notice when possible. We (that is… I) often tend to write these type posts when one, or several, clients have just exhibited poor behavior, so be careful that your post doesn’t come off as whiney or unprofessional. 


Your Work
  • Your specialties: This category can supply a lot of posts. Write about how the techniques you specialize in can benefit this, that, or the other population. (One population per post, please)
  • Specialties, take two: Write about how the conditions you specialize in can benefit from massage and bodywork. Again, one condition per post.
  • Resources: Write about how chiropractic, acupuncture, aromatherapy, yoga, personal training, or any other field can be a great complement to massage. List some providers that you’d recommend. Write about other resources that your clients might find useful - list your favorite stress relieving music and where to find it (does a local store sell it? do you download it from a specific website?). Give them a list of the best resources to help them relieve stress - local yoga studios, books, music, meditation or mindfulness training, etc.
  • Your Life: Chances are, you’re a lot like your clients - you have stress, you have short comings, you’re doing the best you can, and you don’t know everything. When something happens in your life that’s relevant to your practice don’t be afraid to use it. For instance, as a certified aromatherapist, I used my father’s death as a chance to write about essential oils for grief from a firsthand perspective. This type of post can make you seem much more relatable.
  • Reviews:  Write reviews of books, DVDs, or websites that you think your clients will find useful.
  • Self-care: Write about all the ways your readers can take care of themselves between massage sessions.


I’ve only scratched the surface here. You can literally find fodder for blog posts just about anywhere. The most important thing to keep in mind when coming up with blog topics is who you’re writing the post for. Are you writing for other healthcare professionals? Athletes? People with chronic pain? or Joe Schmoe who just wants to feel better without having to learn a bunch of medical terms to do so? 



The most important thing to keep in mind when coming up with blog topics is who you’re writing the post for.



One more tip before I rap up this novella… keep paper handy, or create a note on your phone, so you always have somewhere to record your brilliant ideas when inspiration strikes. 




Michelle Doetsch
New Yew Healing
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, July 27, 2016

3 Ways to Share Client Testimonials on Social Media


Testimonials and reviews are a great marketing tool for your massage business. They are social proof of the work you do and build trust with prospective clients. As we MT's know, building that trust is especially important in a field like massage and bodywork.

85% of consumers said they read up to 10 reviews before feeling they can trust a business. (Search Engine Land)

While it's great to share glowing reviews on social media, plain text might get lost in the noise. Make it fun with images* and designs that get noticed.
*Make sure you're using images you have permission to use.



47% of Americans say Facebook is their #1 influencer of 
purchases. (Jeff Bullas




Here's a few tools to help you do that:

Canva

Canva.com is super easy and they have the dimensions for social media images all laid out for you. Simply click the first choice of "social media" to get started on your design. 




They have tons of images for you to choose from that are free and you're allowed to use. (Also an option to upgrade for more options, or choose from images with a price-per-image.) I searched "massage" and "spa" and got tons of images at $1/piece. But you could also just use one of their free graphic images.

Here's one that I created using one of their free designs:

Canva Testimonial
www.canva.com

You can download it to your computer after you've created it, and they even give you an option to post to social media right from there.






Screenshot

If a client posts a nice testimonial publicly on FB or Twitter, you could simply take a screenshot. Here's a handy site that guides you through how to do that from specific devices.

Below is a screenshot of some kind words about BWB from one of our members that was posted on our FB page. (Thanks, Mary!)

I just took a partial screenshot, highlighting only the comment that I wanted to take a pic of. (On my mac, it's command + shift + 4.) The image saves to your computer, which you can then upload to share to social media. Or if they've posted it right on your page, you can share right from within the comment itself, too.


Screenshot Testimonial





Bodywork Buddy

BWB has a new feature that allows you to easily share published testimonials from within your BWB account right to your FB page. (It also makes it super easy to collect testimonials by automatically emailing clients after their massage asking them for a review. You'll be amazed how the testimonials just roll right in!)

From within your account, from dashboard > account > client testimonials > click the "share" button next to the published testimonial you want to post > select which page you want to post it to > don't forget to add a personal note to encourage clients to schedule with you online and include your microsite link to make it as easy as possible for them!

Bodywork Buddy
Free trial www.bodyworkbuddy.com


It includes the image that you have on your microsite as your main image, and you have permission to use this image posted from BWB to your FB page. Clients can also click right into the image to be taken to your microsite to schedule or read all of your testimonials.




Cindy Iwlew is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software, a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online scheduling

She continues to operate her own private massage practice since 1999, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Deep Feet Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Better You, Better Massages- Good Self-Care Practices for Massage Therapists {Guest Post by M. Simpson, LMT}



Better You, Better Massages- Good Self-Care Practices for Massage Therapists
By M. Simpson, LMT



I didn’t understand it at the time, but I started massage training right when my undiagnosed, chronic inflammatory disorder was worsening. Learning self-care was a trial by fire. Poor mechanics that my instructors warned would hurt after a few years would be hurting me within hours. I was a human crystal ball, reflecting the eventual reality of what repetitive strain would do to a body. This guide will help you build a self-care plan to avoid that fate, instead staying relaxed, strong and pain-free for yourself and your clients through years of practice.

Self-care isn’t an indulgence. It’s a necessity. As human tools, our bodies are the single most valuable asset to our practices. We need as much or more care than we give our clients. Even in the short-term, aching hands and a scattered mind will deprive your clients of the deep, attentive massages they need for
quality care. Whether you’re fresh out of school or experienced and already aching, it’s never too late to do right by your body.




Tweet: Self-care isn’t an indulgence. It’s a necessity.  http://ctt.ec/1C_R4+
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Self-care isn’t an indulgence. It’s a necessity. 







What Counts As Poor Self-Care
To start fixing your routine, you first have to know what's broken. Poor self-care is anything that needlessly strains or neglects your physical or mental wellbeing. Make a list of any aspect of your routine that you think could use work. Scrutinize and be brutally honest. Most MTs I meet are loathe to admit their self-care pitfalls, but remember that imperfections are just opportunities to be greater than you are now.

A few common issues include:
  • Poor body mechanics
  • Brushing off acute and chronic pain
  • Never stretching or addressing your own stiff muscles
  • Neglecting supportive equipment
  • Dismissing overworking and stress

Building a Self-Care Routine
Go down your list of concerns and ask yourself why each issue exists, what you're going to do about it and what you can do to keep it from becoming a problem again. From little things like replacing your work shoes regularly to big goals like going on vacation, start developing a
regular routine.

If you’re motivated by specific goals, ask yourself what the goal of your self-care plan is. Make it simple and achievable. If it’s something you feel like you’ve achieved every time you complete your routine, you’re more likely to make a habit of it.

Key Elements of a Self-Care Routine
  • Correcting and Adapting Body Mechanics
  • Self-Care Exercises
  • Addressing Pain and Injury
  • Stress Management
  • Self-Assessment and Reminders

Correcting and Adapting Body Mechanics All massage therapists know the basics of solid body mechanics, though a
refresher course never hurts. The trick is to regularly assess your mechanics and see if you could be doing anything differently.

This is especially important if you’re noticing strain on certain areas of your body. If you suffer chronic pain in your thumbs, for instance, it might be time to explore more forearm and elbow techniques or invest in tools to help your hands. Think outside the box if you’re having trouble finding solutions. When chronic pain battered my hips, I started following strain reduction tips for pregnant MTs.




Self-Care Exercises Stretching, yoga, strengthening exercises, continuing education classes, self-massage, getting a massage… The list of self-care exercise options goes on. Trying different methods is a blast, so make it your goal to experiment.

Online resources like YouTube and Pinterest can be exceptionally useful as long as you're smart about checking the source. Just punch "massage self-care" into the search bar and go. Self-care tools can be invaluable as well. Tools like foam rollers help stretch and relax broad areas while focused tools like
massage balls are great for deep tissue work.



Addressing Pain and Injury Over the years, most MTs will end up with some sort of
tendinosis or repetitive strain injury. When you start feeling chronic pain in a specific area, do something about it now, not later. Fix your body mechanics, adapt your techniques, work in new tools and see a specialist you know you can trust. Repeated injury can lead lasting damage, and lasting damage can end careers.

Stress Management
Like it or not, mental stress is just as damaging as physical stress. It's
physically damaging in and of itself and can slow healing if you're already injured. Burnout is a very real threat as well, but it's avoidable if you admit that you're not invincible. Make an uncompromising commitment to put time for yourself in your schedule. It's not selfish. It's what you need to stay healthy.

Ask yourself if your work load is reasonable, both physically and mentally. MTs that feel swallowed by financial or business matters can find plenty of help from continuing education courses, local small business resources and online communities. Think about trying stress management techniques. Mindfulness meditation is one of the most well-researched and easy to learn, but just going for a walk in an area with trees every day has been shown to reduce stress.







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Like it or not, mental stress is just as damaging as physical stress. 




Self-Assessment and Reminders Unless you take the time to stop and assess how you’re doing on a regular basis, the effects of physical and mental stress can sneak up on you. As MTs, we’re experts at meticulously addressing our client’s stresses and pains, but many of us equally good at ignoring our own concerns.

Put breaks and self-assessments on your schedule. Put them in your calendar and appointment books if you have to. Use that time to breathe, focus on your body to see how you're doing physically and see if you're feeling overwhelmed. Use tools to help keep you on-track in other areas. Download apps to track how much water you’re drinking or that monitor your sleep at night. Set a reminder to check your shoes to see if they need to be replaced. All of these little details will add up to a healthier, happier and more productive you.