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

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

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!

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, July 30, 2012

Why Aren't Clients Re-Booking?

Are you having problems building return clientele?  Clients not re-booking as much as they used to?  Clients often times will have simply gotten out of the habit of getting massage.  But if most of your clients aren't returning or re-booking, something is not right.

Here's a few suggestions to get you thinking outside the box and getting a different view of some possible reasons.

Receive a massage on your table.  Is your room comfortable?  Did you feel comfortable getting undressed and on the table?  Is your table comfy & cozy?  Does it have enough cushion?   Is there a big ugly water stain on the ceiling right above the table?  (This is how I discovered my ugly ceiling & a creative fix.)  Is the room too cold or too hot?  Is the massage cream frigid on your skin?  Are you staring at dust bunnies and lint balls on the floor under the face cradle?

Receive a massage from a business similar to yours.  (For example, if you work in a chiropractor's office, go to another chiropractor's office.)  What are other's doing that is different from you?  What do you like or dislike about other places?  Visiting other businesses can be as much a lesson in what not to do as it is what to do.

Receive a session from a business that is very different from yours.
(If you work in a private practice, get a session from a spa).  This can be a great way to think outside the box and open yourself up to other possibilities in your own practice.

Survey clients (with an online, anonymous survey) and ask for their honest feedback.
Often times, clients will feel more comfortable giving feedback anonymously and are more likely to be honest.  You might be surprised what you learn.

Take some continuing education classes to get your creative juices flowing.
Don't just signup for any old class because you need some CEU's... find a class that looks inspiring and that will add value to your practice.  I've had many clients comment that they love the fact that I am always learning something new.  Clients who have been coming to me for years are still surprised when I add fresh techniques to their session - they thought they knew all my tricks!

Here's some of the most common reasons clients don't return (in my opinion):

  • The therapist talks too much.
    Be mindful of your client's body language and non-verbal clues.  Are they keeping their answers short... but you keep talking?
    Have you communicated (verbally or non-verbally) to your clients that it's OK for them to be silent during their massage?  Sometimes, clients just need permission.  They might think it's rude to not talk during their massage.  Once given permission, they will often be silent and sink into a deeper state of relaxation they didn't know was possible.
  • The massage room is too cold.
    It's a delicate balance to keep the room cool enough for the therapist, but warm enough for the client. I've received a massage before from a therapist who keeps her room very cool.  She keeps a heavy blanket on the client, but the problem is that the body part she is working on is exposed to that cold air, and it's difficult to relax.  I haven't gone back.
    There are some other ways to ensure the client stays warm enough without making it uncomfortably warm for you.  (We'll explore those ideas in a wintertime post.)
  • The therapist doesn't deliver the type of massage the client requests.
    If your clients are asking for deep tissue, but you have a passion for reiki and therefore "talk them into reiki" or... just perform reiki when they've asked for deep tissue - don't expect them to come back.  If this kind of thing is happening a lot, it's a good time to re-evaluate your marketing and make sure you've got a clear target market of clients who are interested in your particular services.
If you've examined the above and don't recognize yourself, yet you're still not getting clients re-booking, there is one last thing to consider as a reason why clients didn't rebook:
Nobody ASKED them to!

What are your thoughts?  What do you think are common reasons clients don't return?

*Thanks to fellow therapist Ginger for the idea on this blog topic!

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.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tips To Focus Your Marketing

After my recent post on The Worst Thing I Ever Did For My Massage Business, a fellow therapist asked me to elaborate on how I got my "in" with the large corporation in my town.

For starters, I didn't approach the company itself.  In fact, they already have a massage therapist on contract in their fitness center (offering chair massage only).  But I happen to know that a lot of their employees never use the fitness center, and therefore might not even be aware chair massage is available there.  

Here are some tips that I would recommend for building your clientele within a certain company.  This is assuming that you already have a few clients within this company.  Which is pretty likely if they are a large employer in your area. 

Marketing for massage therapists
  • Focus on a referral program and getting the word out to your existing clients who work at the company you want to build within.  
    Have signs up in your office and send out postcards promoting your referral program.  A monthly e-newsletter that includes info on your referral program and an easy way to forward or share that info is also a great idea.
  • Word your referral program to accentuate what is in it for the client.  
    "Want a FREE massage? Ask me about my referral program!"
    Whatever your referral program, make sure you are thanking your clients for any referrals they send your way.
  • Project positivity.
    Whenever a client asks how business is going, respond with:
    "Great! But I can always take more clients, do you have any friends who would be interested in my services?"
    You don't want to come off sounding desperate or hurting for business.  No matter how slow business is, never let that on to clients.  But also be careful to not give the impression that you're so busy that you can't take on new clients.
  • Make sure your clients know you're available for on-site chair massage in their office and for personal parties.  
    (Signs in your office, list it on your menu, promote it on your website.)
    Even though the company I'm referencing has their own MT in the fitness center, I regularly had clients want me to bring my chair to their department for special events.  This is a great way to get your hands on all of their colleagues who would be great potential clients!  They are also more likely to become a client knowing that Anne from Accounting gets a massage from you once a month.  (I'm not suggesting you tell them this, of course, but Anne will likely tell them when you're there).  So unlike regular chair massage events, this scenario is more likely to turn chair clients into table clients.
    Remember that your clients probably socialize with their work colleagues as well, so being available to do chair massage at personal parties is another great way to meet more potential clients within a certain company.  I did chair massage for about 3 hours at a party several years ago for a good client.  I gained 5 awesome, long-term clients from that party... clients who are still coming to me today.  (this was a paid event, by the way... I'm not suggesting that you give chair massage away).  It's all about what events you're working and who you're likely to meet at those events.
  • Reach out to them in their world.
    Many companies in the corporate world have an intranet that includes an e-bulletin board where employees can post things.  You can have a client (whom you trust) post an ad on the bulletin board.  A great way to do this is if you have an email newsletter, or an email special, and they can simply post that info and link back to your website and encourage people to schedule online (if you offer that service).  Or create a specific digital graphic ad to be posted - don't just make it text.  Keep in mind the clientele you're targeting and make sure it will be appealing to them.  For example, make sure it's more classy and less cutesy for an upscale clientele.  Maybe offer some kind of promotion specifically for employees of that company.
  • Use testimonials.
    Collect testimonials from your current clients within the company in question.  Ask for their permission to post their testimonials on your website and in your brochures - including their name and profession.  Having a testimonial from the VP of their company can give you tremendous credibility.
  • Know the company culture of the corporation you're marketing to.
    This will help you customize your marketing to them, and also tailor your services to them.
  • Have a privacy policy in place
    Post it on your website, in your massage room, etc. to assure your clients that their visits and anything said during them are confidential and will not be shared. (You should adhere to this regardless).  Some clients will be hesitant to refer colleagues if they think any information about their visits will be shared.  Keep in mind that the corporate world is very different from the massage world.  It can be competitive and cut-throat.  Something that might be totally normal for us could be perceived as vulnerability within their company culture.  Your clients will appreciate knowing their visits are confidential.  

If you try any of the above, I would love for you to check back and let me know how it works out for your massage business.

Have you built a clientele from a specific company?  What worked well for you?

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.

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, 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

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.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Powerful Ways to Show Appreciation to Your Clients

This recent blog post from Massage Table Outlet about the value of connections got me thinking how important it is to connect with our clients.  A great way to do this is to show appreciation to them.  After all, if it weren't for our clients, where would we be?

Here's a few simple ways to make your clients feel appreciated - which will also help to deepen the connection between you:
  • Send them a thank you card after their first visit.
  • Reward them for referrals.
  • Offer them $10 off the month of their birthday, or an add-on for their birthday, etc.  Or simply send them a birthday card.
  • Listen to them and remember (or take notes on) the important things in their life.
  • Ask for their opinion and feedback.  Create a client feedback program and make them feel special to be selected to take part in it.  This is easy to do with services like Survey Monkey which allow you to create free surveys for clients to take anonymously.  (Anonymously is the best way to get honest feedback!)
  • Rapid response to complaints - an unhappy client is an opportunity for excellent customer service!
  • Create a client loyalty program.  (buy 5 massages, get the 6th free is one example).
  • Support your client's businesses.  (This doesn't necessarily mean buying what they are selling). Give referrals and recommendations to their businesses.  Tastefully display their business cards at your massage studio.
  • Send out newsletters to regularly communicate with your clients.  Clients want to learn information you have to share.  This is also a great way to educate your clients on the benefits of massage and position yourself as an expert - which is something I recommend to set yourself apart from your competition.

What are some ways you like to show your clients how much you appreciate them?

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.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Set Yourself Apart From the Competition

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If you're in an area that is saturated with massage therapists, it's important to set yourself apart from your competition.  There's a few simple ways you can do this.

  • Offer a unique technique.  
    Rather than market it as the modality, present it as a solution to your client's problem.
    There are so many different techniques out there - find something that intrigues you that no one else is doing in your area.
  • Position yourself as an expert.  
    A great way to do this is to write articles on massage / holistic health / etc for your local paper.  Create a blog to educate clients on the benefits of massage.
    Send out newsletters or e-newsletters to clients.  (Writing not your forte? ABMP has a great newsletter generator for you to send to clients.)
    Speak at events, conventions, etc. that are related to health and introduce the benefits of massage therapy.
  • Take customer service to the next level.
    Offer your clients more value with exceptional service.
    Promote extras or add-ons like paraffin dip, hot towels, aromatherapy, etc.
    (More ideas in this post on 10 Simple Ways to Wow Your Clients.)
  • Offer unique business hours.Is your competition offering evening or Sunday appointments?  Set yourself apart by offering convenient times that others don't.
  • Make it easy for clients to schedule with you.
    Offer online scheduling, phone, email, text as ways to contact you.
  • Have a web presence.
    A website is a necessity, in my opinion.  Stand out from the crowd by making yours awesome. (Beautiful design, interesting content, search engine optimization, online scheduling, blog.)
    Make sure you're not making any of these common mistakes.
  • Provide a unique specialty.
    Fill a need by offering same-day emergency appointments, or longer-than-usual sessions, or short, effective sessions.
  • Create a "Signature Treatment".
    Combine your two most popular services into one beautiful treatment that no one else offers.
  • Create a niche market.
    Focus on a certain clientele.  Prenatal for pregnant women, Stress-relieving treatments for agonized executives, recovery massage for athletes, etc.

What ways have you set yourself apart from the competition?  How has it helped your business?

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.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

10 Minute Tasks to Drive Your Massage Business Forward

You're busy.  I get that.

You may think you don't have time to do marketing or other things to help your business.  But here's a list of things you can do to help your business - and can each be done in less than 10 minutes.

Do you have 10 minutes today to work on building your massage business?  Let's get started!

  • Send out a postcard to clients you haven't seen in more than 3 months.
  • Email this week's openings to clients and offer a
    discount if they schedule an appointment now.
    (or don't offer a discount... but DO contact your clients with openings!)
  • Write a quick article on self-care or benefits of massage for your clients.  Post to your blog or website, or include it in your next newsletter.
  • Send a postcard with a special offer to clients with birthdays this month, or just a card wishing them a happy birthday.
  • Send hand written cards thanking clients who have referred people to you.
  • Call a local chiropractor or other complimentary business and schedule a meeting to discuss how you can help each other.
  • Choose one of the business or marketing articles in massage magazines or blogs and decide to implement one idea from the article.
  • Change your voicemail and content on your website to reflect the season so it has a fresh feel to it.

Take 10 minutes a day and work your way through this list.  In just over a week, you will have done a lot to move your massage business forward.
Do you have other 10-minute suggestions to help your massage business?  Add them to the list by commenting below.

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

Monday, April 30, 2012

Benefits of Online Scheduling

online scheduling
Visit Bodywork Buddy for a free trial of online scheduling.

As a follow up to this article I wrote for about online scheduling, I'd like to hear about your experiences with this technology.

  • How has it helped your massage business?
  • What other benefits have you noticed with offering this convenience to your clients?
  • What creative ways have you used your online scheduling to generate referrals or gain new clients?
  • What would you tell other therapists who are hesitant to offer their clients online scheduling?
If you don't yet offer online scheduling, I'd love to hear why not and we can discuss those concerns in another post.

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.

Monday, April 23, 2012

How to Lose Clients and Alienate People

online scheduling
Massage software with online scheduling

Don't you just hate it when your schedule is full of clients and you're in demand?

Here's a quick tutorial on how to thin out your schedule so those pesky clients will leave you alone.

  1. When a client asks for deep tissue. give them reiki.  Or, when they ask for a relaxing Swedish massage, try for "death by effleurage".
  2. Keep your massage room at a refreshing 64 degrees.  (this will feel especially great on bare skin with some cold massage cream.)
  3. Talk non-stop through their massage.  Especially if your client seems to keep their answers short and doesn't engage in conversation - take this as a que to talk more about your life.  Throw in as much drama as you can for entertainment's sake.
  4. Talk about hot-button topics like religion and politics.  (First, feel out the situation and make sure your client has strongly opposing views to your own.)
  5. Notice the non-verbal clues that you are using too much pressure.  Do not adjust your technique.
  6. Gossip about your other clients.
  7. Call up clients and tell them in detail that it's an emergency they make an appointment, because you need some quick cash to bail your boyfriend out of jail.
  8. Constantly reschedule their appointments on a whim.
  9. Take about 3 days to return phone calls and emails.
  10. Enjoy an aromatic lunch right before your client shows up for their massage.  (Think tuna fish, popcorn, fried chicken, etc.)

Hard to believe?  I've actually had all of these things happen to me as a client.  Some were experiences with other personal businesses, not massage - but they did all happen, nonetheless.  

OK, so... *disclaimer alert : I don't actually want you to do these things.  

Oh, and?  Dump that boyfriend.  You deserve better.  Trust me on this one.

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.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Accepting Credit Cards to Increase Your Massage Business

Are you accepting credit cards in your massage practice yet?  If not, you should be.

There are many benefits to accepting credit cards.  It’s a known fact that people will spend more when they can use credit cards.  There are also several other advantages for your massage business.

I’ve heard many therapists express concern over the fees associated with processing credit cards.  The pros far outweigh the cons, in my opinion.  The processing fees are simply a cost of doing business.  You’re offering your clients a convenience.  Don’t look at the fees as money you’re losing, because you’ll likely reap many other benefits of accepting credit cards - including making more money. 

Consider the gains:

      Improved professional appearance. Accepting credit cards legitimizes you as a professional and helps to build trust.

      Convenience to your clients. It’s important to make it as easy as possible for clients to pay you. They will love the flexibility of being able to pay with credit cards.

      Lower risk (checks can take days to clear - or NOT clear - and the risk is on you.   Credit cards get accepted or declined immediately).

      Higher sales.  Not only will clients get massages more often and likely tip more, but also buy gift certificates, packages, and products.  Credit cards increase impulse purchases.

Also keep in mind that many clients use debit cards for everything.  Just because someone is using a card doesn’t mean they are using credit or spending money they don’t actually have.  (In case this is a concern for some therapists.)

According to Visa, over the past 10 years, people's use of electronic payments like credit cards and debit cards has increased by 400%.

A lot of credit card programs offer cash-back or other incentives for every dollar that a consumer charges to their card.  People who are enrolled in rewards programs will go out of their way to pay by credit card in order to accumulate rewards.

It’s easier than ever to accept credit cards.  With companies like Square and Intuit, you can get setup for free and be ready to swipe cards within a couple of days with nothing more than a smartphone or tablet.

Do you have a concern about accepting credit cards that I didn’t address here?  Leave a comment and we can discuss your concerns in another blog post.

Do you already accept credit cards?  What are other benefits that you’ve noticed in your own massage business?

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.