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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.

Showing posts with label client education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label client education. Show all posts

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

Friday, April 21, 2017

Staying Healthy and Motivated Throughout the Year

Staying Healthy and Motivated Throughout the Year


Photo Credit: Pexels, Pixabay


January has come and gone, and maybe your resolution to lead a healthier lifestyle has gone with it. Whether you’re just hitting a roadblock or if you completely fell off the train, you can still get back into gear. It’s important to implement a plan you can upkeep throughout the year. It’s all about finding the right balance of exercise routines, resting and recovering, and listening to your body.


Caring for Your Body

Instead of setting monthly goals, set goals for two or three month at a time. You can still set small target goals to reach so you’re motivated by seeing progression. Taking small steps is important because trying to take steps that are too big can be overwhelming, demotivating, and keep you from reaching your goals. Once you’ve reached your two or three month goal, do it all over again. If you don’t succeed, try setting even smaller target goals, like every week.

Many people search for a certain diet trend to try to achieve their weight loss goals, but those trends sometimes eliminate things our body really needs, such as carbs or fats. Instead, aim to eat as clean and balanced as possible. Consume non-processed foods, low amounts of sugar, foods that are naturally low in fat, and small amounts of good carbs. Carry these choices over when you eat at restaurants too. Also, be sure to eat in moderation and don’t overeat at meals.

When planning your daily meals, include plenty of fruits and vegetables and high-fiber foods. Eat a variety of foods to ensure your body gets all of the nutrients it needs. Don’t forget to stay hydrated. This doesn’t just apply to working out; it’s important to drink water throughout the day. Lastly, getting an adequate amount of sleep is crucial. A lack of sleep can reduce your energy levels and affect the way your body grows and repairs.


Switch It Up and Cool Off

Regardless of how long you workout, exercising three to five days a week is enough for a healthy lifestyle. Remember to keep your exercises balanced by switching up the type of exercise, as well as the volume and intensity. This is to prevent over reaching and causing injury, and it’s especially important if you decide to workout more than five days a week.

For example, walk your dog (or if you don’t have one, take on some dog walking clients) on the weekend, lift weights on Tuesday and Friday, and go for a swim on Thursday. These different exercises work a variety of muscle groups and change up the intensity. Yet, they all offer you healthy training to help you reach your goal. Remember that participating in outdoor activities is great but depends heavily upon the weather, so have a plan for indoor activities in the summer when it’s too hot or in the winter when it’s too cold. You don’t want rain or snow sabotaging your exercise regime.



When you’re working out, be sure to listen to your body. If you need to rest, take a break. This also means taking a day off if you need it. Taking a day off doesn’t mean sitting on the couch and watching TV. Instead, practice yoga or get a personal massage. Personal trainer Tyrone Brennand says yoga has provided him with unbelievable improvements, mentally and physically. It’s also helped him improve other aspects of his training.


Worth It

Sticking to an exercise routine and practicing clean eating aren’t always easy, but the rewards are definitely worth it. To avoid getting bored or burnt out, challenge yourself with different routines. After a few months, you’ll be surprised and inspired by what you’re capable of achieving, which is the real beauty in becoming a healthier you. Enjoy your new healthy lifestyle and feel good about healing your mind, body, and soul.






Author: Paige Johnson



Saturday, April 1, 2017

Inspiration to Blog for Your Massage Business



I admit, it took me a while to realize the benefits of blogging for business. I had always heard that we should be blogging, but I didn't really grasp the "why" until after I had started.

Have you been thinking about blogging, or maybe just wondering why it's a good idea?

Let's break it down.


Why Blog?


  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
    Blogging helps your site get found by Google and other search engines. Every time you write a blog post, it's another indexed page on your site. More indexed pages means more chances of showing up in search engines and driving traffic to your site. New content on your site signals to the search engines that your site is active and worth checking in frequently.

  • Educates
    Blogging is a great opportunity to educate clients (and potential clients) on the benefits of massage, any special services or offerings that you have, and overall wellness information.

  • Establishes Authority
    Your current clients probably already see you as an expert in the field, but that fact will really be driven home when you regularly blog about wellness and massage. New clients will be put more at ease seeing your expertise from your blog posts. It's easy to forget that some of the information we know after being a massage therapist for X amount of years isn't necessarily common knowledge to clients and potential clients.

  • Fosters Relationships
    Creates a two-way conversation with your clients, helping to build a relationship with them before they even step foot in your massage studio.



What To Blog?

  • Think over your past week in working with clients. What are some questions you were asked? This is a great source of blog topics and material.

  • Wellness tips and/or products.

  • Spotlight different services you offer and explain the benefits of each one. (1 service = 1 blog post.)

  • Youtube videos showing self-care tips - just add your own commentary and there's a great, informational post! Here's one that I used recently during cold & flu season, and several clients thanked me for it:



My Results From Blogging



  • After writing and publishing a post to my website, I create an email campaign to my client list and paste in the entire blog post. (My main goal is for clients to read it, but if my main goal was traffic to my site, I might only put the first paragraph of the post and then link back to my blog. Or, you could still drive traffic to your site by including the entire post and then asking them to comment on your blog.) I end the email with any openings in my schedule coming up soon, and a link to my online scheduler. These openings always get filled after my email goes out.

  • Many clients have mentioned that they love my emails about the benefits of massage and thank me often for them. Just this morning at yoga class, I saw a client and she thanked me (for about the 4th time) for sending these emails.

  • I've sold more product and have been able to educate my clients on how the products I carry can help them.



How To Get Started



  • You don't have to have some fancy blogging software to get started with reaping the benefits of blogging right away. Many website services include a blog option (Weebly, ABMP's free website, etc.) Or you can use a free service like Blogger.

  • If you have trouble thinking of topics, start with the first month's posts before you publish any of them so that you get the ball rolling.

  • Choose how often to post and stick with being consistent.

  • Email your clients / mailing list your blog post. Encourage them to comment on the post and link back to the blog.

  • If you have openings you need to fill, include those in the bottom of the emailed posts to clients.

  • Add an image! Canva is a great option to create an image for your blog posts. It's a free service and you can legally use those images on your site.

  • Have a friend proofread it if spelling and writing are not your strong suit.

Do you have a blog for your massage business? Share it in the comments, you may just inspire another massage therapist to start their own blog!





Cindy Iwlew is a licensed massage therapist and cofounder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

FREE Massage Marketing Videos for You


According to Hubspot, having a video on your landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more. EIGHTY PERCENT!! 

So what does this mean? Having a high quality video on your website can greatly increase the chances that visitors to your site will become clients. Combine a high quality video with online scheduling, and you've got a recipe for success.

Here at Bodywork Buddy, we've created some custom made massage videos just for you. 
If you're a member of BWB, you may have noticed the new videos we added to the options for your microsite a few months ago.

Now we're extending these videos to you for download to use on your website and social media. (Whether you're a member of BWB or not.)

Did you know that social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined?


Preview of 4 videos available. Each video includes music.


We have 4 beautiful videos available for your use. 

Sign up here to download these videos now! 

Free Massage Marketing Videos









Thank you! You will receive an email shortly with your link and password to download the videos. (Be sure to check all of your folders/spam, if you don't receive the email please contact Cindy!)

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 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

Friday, August 10, 2012

Entrepreneurs: How To Beat Stress [Infographic]


Here's a good infographic on beating stress at the office, specifically for entrepreneurs.  It's a great thing to share with your clients on your fanpage or your website (easy ways to share at the bottom) - adding in, of course, that MASSAGE is a great way to beat stress!


How to beat stress at the office


What are some other tips that you would add in to help beat stress?





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 of 13 years.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com



Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Create Free Massage Brochures With ABMP


Are you a member of Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals? Did you know your membership includes an awesome ability to create beautiful brochures for your massage business?

After logging in to your account on ABMP.com, hover over the Marketing Center tab, then click Client Brochures (customized).  You can then add your own contact info in the lines provided, and upload your own logo.

There are 23 different types of brochures to choose from!  Everything from sports massage to maternity massage.

Once you choose the brochure type, click Generate.  You will then be presented with a link to click, which will download the brochure in a PDF onto your computer.

You can take this file in to your local print shop and have them professionally printed.  Or, you can even upload them to sites like Vista Print for printing.

To upload to Vista Print, save your PDF brochure in Adobe as a jpeg file.  This will create a file for each of the 2 pages of your brochure.  You can then upload the 2 pages separately to Vista Print.  (There will be a video tutorial on how to do this coming soon - so no worries if you need clarification).

Make your own brochure at www.abmp.com


Pretty awesome, right?  So easy, and it's a free benefit of your ABMP membership!
Have you made your own brochures with the ABMP generator?



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 of 13 years, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com