Bodywork Buddy Blog

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

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Member Spotlight: Patty Moore

Today's Bodywork Buddy member spotlight is Patty Moore of Mercer, Pennsylvania. Patty owns Greenfield Massage Studio.



Q: What inspired you to be a massage therapist?

A: As an athlete growing up, I received a lot of training in swimming, running, and jumping; what I didn't receive was good treatment to my muscles. I weight trained, and had some chiropractic care. When I watched the Olympics, some were helped by the trainers and some were getting Massage treatments. I knew then! What a fully focused treatment. Of course, these were world class athletes, not just the regular public or weekend warriors. They were getting a piece of the missing puzzle. Well rounded care. I knew some day I would be working in the Massage field.




Q: How long have you been doing massage?

A: Well since 1999! Sixteen years this September. 10 years I worked in the back of a nice salon. Then, my children went to college. We have a pretty big home, with 2 driveways, and a perfect area for clients. So, I have worked out of my house now for 6 years. I love it. I am in charge. I do not think I could work for anyone else again. It's perfect!




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

A: I love people, and I love helping people feel better. The best is when a "Newbie" comes in, and I get to educate them, show them some self care, and also give them great information on how and why to keep regular with their treatments. That is a Win-Win!!!




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

A: Educating clients and the public about professional Massage Therapy. Massage is extremely beneficial for almost 99% of the population. That means we have so much work to do. Some of our work is not just about a yearly spa visit, but about great, therapeutic massage treatment. We strive so hard to be living a healthy lifestyle, but most of the public neglects the muscular system. We have to compete with the monthly budget for hair, nails, tanning, and etc., however,  teaching our clients, and the public, about treating their bodies to massage is every bit as important as their hair and nails. So, I explain the benefits of sleep, healthy food, exercise and massage to every client that comes to me. Yes, I preach it to all those I encounter outside my studio too! It's our elevator/business speech. Such an important speech to have as well!




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

A: Be patient. Sell yourself, talk about your skills, demonstrate when you can. Give some stuff away free when you can or need. I did when I started out. I massaged every hand and shoulder than came into that beauty salon. The client's came. I donated to a few charity events, relay for life, and a few raffles. Be very choosey of your donations. When my schedule was filling up, I cut back on freebies. Find another massage therapist to trade with and be your buddy. Be confident and positive. Be friends with other massage therapists. Other business types don't always get you. We are unique! Take continuing education as much as you can. It's great to get away and renew yourself. Change up your routine at times, clients get sick of the same old thing. Separate yourself from other massage therapists in the community with your skills.  Upgrade as you can with your studio and tools. You will progress towards bigger and better things as your skills do. Keep you chin up!!! Always, always. always make time for your family and dog!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Massage Chains Versus YOU



As a solo massage therapist, it may seem daunting to try and compete with the franchises. The key is to set yourself apart from the big chains, not to try and compete with them on prices or try to run deeply discounted groupon deals or membership specials. Remember that they have a huge staff to implement those deals… you only have YOU! If you try and compete on price, you will only burn yourself out and not make any money in the process. (Not to say that you shouldn’t run group deals, but if you do, know how to run them to work for you! Don’t expect to run them the same that the franchises do and be successful. Check out Hillary’s blog posts on running a successful deal campaign: Part 1 & Part 2. We also have a special offer just for the Bodywork Buddy readers of 50% off Tiger Lily Studios audio book on using social buying sites. Enter code BWB50 when ordering. Valid through July 31st only, so go get it now!)


It’s important to create a niche to set yourself apart from the big massage chains. Identifying or creating a niche means digging deeper into what sets your business or service apart from the competition. The typical marketing question is "Why would I schedule an appointment with you instead of <insert massage franchise>?" Identify what makes your independent massage practice different, and then play up those features.


In addition to having a niche, it’s important to have systems in place to keep your business organized and to have a professional online image. Take a look at your local massage chain’s website. Now view that side-by-side with yours.


  • Where is there room for improvement to appear more professional?
  • Is it obvious to clients viewing both sites how your independent massage practice is different?
  • Do you offer unique services or techniques and is that prominently displayed on your website? (Professional images will really help here.)
  • Do you offer the convenience of online scheduling? (Remember that a lot of clients are now doing most browsing and scheduling from their phone… is your scheduler mobile friendly?)
  • Do you have client testimonials or raving reviews on your site?

These things can boost your professional image online and help further set you apart from the chains. (If you’re looking for a solution that offers all of these, we’ve made it super simple for you! Check out the free trial with Bodywork Buddy.)


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Let Clients Schedule From Your Facebook Page


Wouldn't it be cool if your clients could schedule an appointment with you right from your Facebook business page without ever leaving Facebook? Oh that's right, they can!

From within your Bodywork Buddy account, go to dashboard > account > microsite info.  (Hopefully you've already enabled your microsite and have already been using the online scheduling feature. But if not, check out this video to help you set that up!)

Once your microsite is activated, you can embed it right into your Facebook business page by scrolling to the bottom of the microsite info page. Under "Extra Stuff" is a link to click to integrate with your Facebook page.


This will open a window in Facebook and you can select your business page from the dropdown box. Then click "add page tab", and it's done!

What does it look like on your Facebook page?

A "Schedule online" tab will be added to the navigation on your page. If you want to move where this is displayed, click on "more" and you'll have the option to reorder your tabs.



When you click on "schedule online", you'll see the microsite scheduler embedded right into your Facebook page. Clients can schedule without ever being taken away from Facebook.




Are you thinking it's time you tried Bodywork Buddy? Try it for free, no credit card required. 





Sunday, July 12, 2015

*New Feature* Display "By Appointment Only" Option On Microsite


Many of our members have requested this option to be available, so we're excited to announce that you now have additional options in how to display your open business hours on your scheduling microsite with Bodywork Buddy.


You can now choose to display the following on your microsite:

  • your open business hours
  • by appointment only
  • both


To change this setting, go to Dashboard > Account > Microsite Info > scroll to bottom of microsite info settings > select one of the three options > save settings.

Display open business hours
Display by appointment only
Display both by appointment only and open business hours




Interested in trying Bodywork Buddy for your online scheduling and massage business management needs? We're specifically designed to help the solo massage therapist get organized and streamline their business. 

Check out our free 15 day trial to see how Bodywork Buddy can make your business run smoother.




Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Member Spotlight: Michelle Doetsch



Our member spotlight today is fellow Michigander Michelle Doetsch of Grand Rapids, Michigan. 
Q: What inspired you to be a massage therapist? 

A: Like many others, it was as much about my own healing journey as it was helping others. Id wanted to work in healthcare for as long as I can remember, but for many reasons I didnt get the physical therapy degree Id went to college for. I graduated with a biology degree instead and then worked for 10 very stressful years as a chemist before making a mid-life career change. When I began massage school I was a stressed out mess with a whole host of chronic pain conditions and autoimmune diseases. I began researching complementary medical careers because allopathic medicine had lost it’s appeal to me. Massage therapy seemed the most promising career choice in which I’d be able to not only help myself but help others as well. Now, as a result of all the stress management and self-care techniques I’ve studied and put into practice, all of those pain conditions and autoimmune diseases are resolved and I deal with stress more effectively than I ever have. 


Q: How long have you been doing massage? 
A: 13 years


Q: What is your favorite thing about being an MT? 
A: Watching each clients healing journey unfold. I love that "a-ha moment" when they finally make the connection between their high stress level and the amount of pain they have and actively begin making new choices regarding stress management, pain management, and self-care.


Q: What do you feel is the most challenging issue for massage therapists? 
A: I think our biggest challenge is walking the fine line between maintaining our professionalism and being authentic and honest enough with our clients to build trust. We need to be “the experts” but also reveal some of our weaknesses and struggles so that our clients can relate to us. It’s only when they can relate to us as someone who’s been where they are, or who still has occasional struggles with some of the things they struggle with, that they will fully trust us.



Q: What advice would you give to other MT’s to help build their business? 
A: Make friends with people whove started and run successful businesses and make sure that at least one (but not all) of them has run a successful service based business - it doesnt necessarily have to be massage based. Meet on some sort of a regular basis to talk about your current business goals and any problems youre currently having. The perspective youll get from those outside of massage or complementary medicine is invaluable; theyll help you think outside the box, and that will help set you apart from all the other massage therapists in your area.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

How To Run a Successful Deal Campaign: Part Two



Now let's dive in to the actual process of working the deal.
Remember, it's going to be hard work but I think you're up to the challenge!

Here are my nine steps to a successful deal campaign.

1. Get ready!
First, decide what your offer will be.
Will you do a Swedish massage or a completely new service?
For example, I might want to get creative and create a 30 min. foot massage / peppermint foot scrub followed by a 45 min. focused massage, this way I can add some value to the offer and raise the price a bit on this service.

Next decide on a price point and add it to your services and website. Do this before you sign up with a deal site.

Don't forget to buy any new equipment or supplies ( like towels, new sheets, sugar, peppermint oil...)
Remember to think about making a good impression. If your sheets are funky, think about replacing them. You are aiming to retain these clients so first impressions matter!


2. Put processes in place or sharpen your existing ones.
What is your booking process?
What is your communication process?
Really think about this. You're going to be working with more people than usual so you'll need to have these processes streamlined. They need to be CRYSTAL clear. Don’t make things complicated and make sure your website is easy to navigate.


3. Get online booking, like now!

Requiring that people who buy the deals book online is a great way to manage the influx of new business. Make your tools work for you. Automate as much of the booking and communication as possible through email. After all, That's how they found out about you in the first place so it's a great tool to use in order to communicate.

For example, when someone books with me, I send them my welcome email. Every client gets the same one. I introduce myself, important information about my practice, directions with a map and a picture, and attached links to my intake and policy paperwork so they can fill out everything before they get here if they want to.

Then my booking system takes care of the rest with email confirmations/reminders as well as text reminders.



4. Clean and organize your office and get all your paperwork ready.
Is your treatment room appropriate and comfortable for new clients?
Is your intake form professional?
Do you have a policy agreement ready for new clients to sign?
Do you have a place for them to fill in their email and a check box if they'd like to be added to your list for future contact?

Make sure you outline your policies on no shows, last minute cancellations, and expirations on packages and promotions. Lay it all out there for them and have them sign the agreement. You can even have a copy to put in your welcome bag. (More on that later)

Remember that your main goal is to retain them as long term clients so you'll want to let them know about your policies.


5. Give a stellar treatment.
This is your time to shine, knock their socks off! Be friendly and focused on doing your best work. Listen to them and find out their bodywork goals. Anticipate their needs and give five star customer service.


6. Create a rebook incentive.
You just gave them an outstanding massage, so they are totally relaxed and amazed at your awesome skills! Great Job!!
Now, you want to retain these wonderful clients so give them even more incentive to come back.

I decided that I would offer a package with special pricing so that I could show that my work was consistently great and to get them in the habit of seeing me regularly. That might not work for your practice so think about your goals and get creative. Also, make sure to put appropriate restrictions on your incentive.


7. Give them a welcome bag.
Some ideas for things to add to your gift bag: a heartfelt welcome letter, your brochure, your business card, samples of pain relieving gel, mints, coupons for other like-minded businesses.

You could even put some gift certificates in there for their friends (first time clients only) if you’re doing Eric Brown’s 60 clients in 60 Days program. Another great way to boost your clientele!


8. Add them to your email list.
DO THIS. Once you’ve grown your list, you can start running your own deals, NO profit sharing. Remember, scarcity is really important so don’t run too many specials or deals. I only run two specials a year and it’s an extremely successful campaign for me because people anticipate it.

This is how you retain the value of your work. People feel like they are getting something truly SPECIAL, because they are! Running specials all the time is not...well, special. It becomes expected.
My email list is one of my most valuable marketing tools.


9. Follow up with a handwritten "thank you" note.
Handwritten is KEY. Don’t let bad handwriting be an excuse to skip this step. Take your time and do this. I promise you’ll make a huge impression.
Include a few business cards for their friends and offer a referral bonus. Something catchy like, "Send three, get one free". This is just an example. Be creative and make it juicy so they will want to refer.


Questions:
Have you had success running “deals”? What are your tips for success?
Share your experiences!




Hi! I’m Hillary Arrieta and I help people improve their lives by offering holistic solutions to eliminate stress. 
I own Gaia Bodywork in Richardson, TX. and specialize in unique and effective massage and meditation techniques such as Barefoot Bar Therapy and iRest® Yoga Nidra.

Monday, June 22, 2015

How to Run a Successful Deal Campaign: Part One




Crowd deals like Groupon seem to be a great way to introduce your massage to a whole bunch of new, prospective clients, but are you prepared? This blog will explore the positive aspects of running a deal and also the pitfalls.

Read on to find out if group deals are for you.


To Groupon, or not to Groupon…
Here’s the deal, if you are not on board with deeply discounting your services, possibly running in to some unpleasant clients, or working your tail off for very little money in the short term, daily deals are not for you.

The main idea behind running a deal is to retain the clients that come in with vouchers.
It’s a marathon, not a race.

What you make money wise from doing the initial deal is not the focus of a successful campaign. The real focus is retention.

You can't retain clients if you have a bad attitude. You must offer the BEST you have in order to keep the clientele, so giving a bad service because you're in a mood about "working for free" won't make this deal a success. Don't even go there because it will do more harm than good to your practice.
Clients can pick up on this very easily and your ratings online will reflect this.

So why SHOULD you do deals? 
I can’t tell you why you should but personally, I chose to run a few deals to start up my private practice because of a few reasons:

1. I had no clients (zero) and needed to build up my clientele FAST.
2. I had no advertising budget. I needed something that would get me a bunch of clients as quickly as possible and I only had to pay for results.
3. I needed to stay busy. Taking the leap into self employment was scary for me and I knew that if I sat around, I would run out and get another job, which would take me away from focusing on my practice.

If you’re like me, running a deal might make sense. The best thing that I can suggest is to look in to all your options and assess your unique goals and needs as a business owner.

Something else to consider:
Did you know that there are several deal platforms out there?
Research and see what options you have in your city. I was lucky to find a smaller, higher end deal site that was perfect for my private practice. I really enjoyed working on their more exclusive clientele.
Search for local sites like amazon local or guilt city (my favorite). Avoid sites that highlight the “savings”. I typically steer clear of sites with “deal” or “save” in the name.

Don’ts:
Do NOT get into a long term deal contract where they can run your deal over and over. Scarcity is the key.
Do NOT run massage packages as deals.
Do NOT run offers for services that use expensive product.
Do NOT give up control or be bullied by overbearing salespeople.
Do NOT run a deal without a plan of action.
Do NOT run a deal if you are not ready to WORK IT.


Do’s:
Do work with a company that will give you control over your deal.
Do only run your deal ONCE. Consider using another company if you decide that you want to run another deal.
Do work with a company that will negotiate terms with you.
Do read your contract!
Do create unique services that would appeal to higher end clients.
Do make a detailed plan for retention and prepare for your deal BEFORE running one.

Hopefully I’ve helped you decide if group deals are a good fit for your practice. Part two will help you develop your plan of action to run a successful deal.


Questions:
Do you run deals?
What has been your personal experience?





Hi! I’m Hillary Arrieta and I help people improve their lives by offering holistic solutions to eliminate stress. I own Gaia Bodywork in Richardson, TX. and specialize in unique and effective massage and meditation techniques such as Barefoot Bar Therapy and iRest® Yoga Nidra.