Bodywork Buddy Blog

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

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Overcoming Trolls

I have my fair share of stories to tell of dealing with trolls on social media. I think what made it difficult for me was to have it coming from people I considered to be colleagues - other massage therapists. While this blog and our social media accounts are for the massage software company I co-own with my husband, I am a massage therapist and felt that this was my tribe.

Unfortunately, I don't think there really is a "right" way to deal with trolls. But Michelle of New Yew has some great tips on how to step back, breathe, and simply put: don't feed the trolls. Thanks for the post, Michelle! I love that you shared and walked us through all the emotions you felt in dealing with this.

I did a quick google search on this topic to get some varying opinions on how to best deal with trolls. I love this excerpt from a blog post written by quoting James Altucher. (I happen to adore James Altucher!)

An interesting thing to consider: that 30% will love it, 30% will hate it, and 30% won't care.

The 30 percent rule 
In James Altucher’s book, Choose Yourself, he shares a story about responding to critics that wondered why he always used half-naked women for his blog post photos. The woman in the picture responded to the post, sharing her story and insight. Altucher said, “I’ve seen it in action repeatedly: no matter who you are, no matter what you do, no matter who your audience is: 30 percent will love it, 30 percent will hate it, and 30 percent won’t care. Stick with the people who love you and don’t spend a single second on the rest. Life will be better that way.” File those trolls under the proper 30 percent and move on.  
Read the full article here

In internet trolls and all things in life, I think this sums it up:
Stick with the people who love you and don’t spend a single second on the rest. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Bodywork Buddy Spotlight: Hillary Arrieta

Today's member spotlight is Hillary Arrieta. You may recognize her name as our frequent guest blogger here at Bodywork Buddy! Hillary owns Gaia Bodywork in Richardson, Texas.

Q: What inspired you to be a massage therapist?

A: Massage therapy came to me in at a time where I really needed some nurturing care myself. It was perfect timing, really. I was just out of high school, stressed, anxious, and searching for my "thing".
I got a job at the front desk of a spa and was introduced to massage. I loved the holistic approach and knew it would be a perfect fit.

Q: How long have you been doing massage? 

A: I am working in to my 11th year as a massage therapist.

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

A: My favorite thing about being a massage therapist is always learning new things to improve. Learning new techniques and also how to build my practice.
There's always more to know.

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

A: The most challenging issue in my opinion is getting in to private practice. 
It's a leap that I would encourage everyone to take but it's challenging because there is additional learning that needs to happen in order to be a success. 
You can be the best massage therapist technique wise, but if you don't learn to be a business person as well, things can be overwhelming.

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

A: I would advise therapists to invest in their business training just like they invested in their massage therapy training.
There are lots of good online programs as well as in person programs out there. Check out free resources for small businesses and read books on ethics. Find a mentor and be open to receiving help.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Announcing Bodywork Buddy Referral Rewards


Earn sweet discounts for referring new members to Bodywork Buddy! Here’s the scoop.
Bodywork Buddy members have consistently been the best source for finding fantastic new members for the community. We want to continue encouraging you to make more referrals, and now we’re going to reward you for it.


Each time you refer a new member to Bodywork Buddy, you’ll earn 10% off your Bodywork Buddy membership, for life!

Refer 1 new member and get a 10% discount. Refer 5 members and get a 50% discount. Refer 10 members and get free Bodywork Buddy for life!

Note: each referral must reach at least $35 in billings before your discount will be applied.
See full program details.

You have a referral details section within your Bodywork Buddy account. From there, you’ll find your unique referral link and reporting on your referrals and commissions.
Participation is simple. Just copy your referral link from your referral reporting page, and share it with people you think would love to simplify their massage business with Bodywork Buddy. We've made it easy with invitations you can email to your friends, and even Bodywork Buddy badges you can add to your website that connect right to your referral link for easy tracking.


At the bottom of your referrals page within Bodywork Buddy, you can generate a report by the month to see how many friends have signed up through your link and how many BWB rewards you're earning toward a free subscription!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What Makes a Successful Massage Therapist?

Guest Blog Post by Hillary Arrieta LMT

What makes a successful massage therapist? What does success mean to you in regards to your professional life? I asked myself these questions when I began building my practice. It took me a while to come up with a good formula but I think I'm getting closer to nailing it down.

For me, success meant that I was giving the best service I could give, every time I touched a client. It also meant that I was as busy as I wanted to be and that I was also making a living wage.
All of these things have come true for me over the last four years since I started out on my self employment journey!

When I looked around at other successful massage therapists and heart-centered business owners, I saw certain characteristics that they had in common. Here's my short list of a few traits that help make a massage therapist successful in my eyes.

1. They have a positive attitude.
Above all else, staying positive and centered is one of the key ways to become successful. Being in business is hard. There will be days that will test you so having a positive attitude is important. Knowing when to go with the flow and when/how to make changes for the better can help you evolve as a therapist.

2. They give five star customer service.
Your clients deserve the best customer service. This right here can make or break your practice.  I was just reading an article about how more and more Americans are feeling disenfranchised by large corporations who don't care about their customers. When you take the time to care about your clients, they really notice.

Most people need to feel heard and valued. Making a policy agreement is a really smart way to serve your clients. When you lay out a specific process on how your business is managed and you share it with your clients, it establishes clear boundaries. No one feels unsure of things because everything has been presented and agreed upon. You become more confident in following through on business matters, as well.  Also, being organized can help establish trust and allow clients to really relax into their massage, getting the full benefits for your work.

3. They add value to their services.
Just giving someone a bare bones massage is not going to cut it these days. What else can you add to your sessions that adds value? You want to make your clients feel like they are getting a one of a kind service that they can't get anywhere else.

What can you add to put a special mark on your sessions? Hot towels, a unique modality,  a cozy table - these are all suggestions but be creative. Massage is a sensory experience. Even if you're doing a clinical style, you will need to make sure your clients enjoy their time working with you. Take time to assess the environment that you work in and make some changes that are more conducive to your clients ideal experience.

4. They stay aware of the trends and changes in the profession.
The massage industry is always changing. Staying active and up to date on research and changes in the state laws as well as changes in licensing requirements helps you stay relevant. If you're still repeating the same things that you were taught 20 years ago in massage school, chances are that those things are no longer true.

5. They promote and market their practice.
Learning marketing skills is very important for any business to thrive.  Knowing who you serve, attaining new clients that fit in that demographic, and cultivating loyalty from current clients should be a top priority. In the age of information and technology, we have so much right at our fingertips!

There are online business schools and programs geared towards people who have special skills, but may not be business oriented. Pencil in time each week to look at the health of your business and make a list of things you need to do or learn in order to get your practice to where you want it to be. Then seek out that information and implement it ASAP.

6. They keep track of time, money, and set goals.
This is a big part of a successful massage practice. One of my business mentors says that if you're not getting paid, you have a hobby not a business. This is very true. Time is money for us. Don't give away your time. It sends the message that your time isn't valuable and that you also think that your clients time isn't valuable either. Going over on an appointment can make them late for other obligations, which creates more feelings of stress instead of relaxation and well-being.

Also, Knowing where the money is coming from will help you identify what works in your practice. On the flip side, seeing where money is not flowing in to your practice can help you make strategic decisions on what needs to change or be cut out. This can ultimately help you make goals that keep your practice evolving and moving forward for years to come.

What traits make a successful massage therapist in your eyes?
Share in the comments!

Hi! I’m Hillary Arrieta and I help people improve their lives by offering holistic solutions to ease stress, eliminate pain, and inspire self care practices.

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.

Gaia Bodywork PLLC offers the Best Massage in Richardson, Texas for pain and stress management.


Ready to get organized? Join Bodywork Buddy now - Free trial!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

*NEW FEATURE* Add Custom Text to Client Emails

We've just added a new feature to Bodywork Buddy this weekend. Based on some feedback from our members in a recent survey, one of the top rated feature requests was the ability to customize the email reminders. While we have more customizations planned in the future, we have now implemented the ability to add your own text to both the confirmation and reminder emails to clients. (It's already possible to add your own text in decline and cancel appointment emails.)

Now you can include any notes or special instructions to your clients in your emails.

To add custom text to your emails, from your Bodywork Buddy dashboard > account > email services > scroll to the bottom of the "email settings" section > enter text and save.

Here's how it will look in your emails to clients (colors and images will vary depending on which email template you have chosen in your settings).