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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 clients. Show all posts
Showing posts with label clients. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Are Draining Clients Holding You Back?



You know those clients that seem to suck your energy and leave you feeling drained after working with or dealing with them in any way? It may be difficult to pin down why exactly they drain your energy, or what to do about it.


I’ve found a couple of interesting articles that tackle this topic. While these aren’t specific to the massage and bodywork industry, it’s easy to see how they apply.



Nailing down your ideal client

Marie Forleo suggests preventing draining clients by knowing who your ideal client is.
Make a top ten list of attributes your ideal client would have, and use this as a filter before you take on new clients.






Consider this list when you start any new marketing - is the advertising you’re doing going to get you more of these kinds of clients?

Here’s what I would put on my top ten list:  
  1. They respect my time as much as theirs.
    Meaning: they show up on time and expect to end on time.
  2. They schedule their appointments out in advance and don’t expect last minute appointments.
  3. They’ve made massage therapy a consistent part of their self care regimen.
  4. They do not consistently cancel and reschedule.
  5. They can afford my services.
  6. They are not deal-seekers.
  7. They don’t expect me to “fix” them.
  8. They schedule online or in person at their appointment.
  9. If they cancel with less than 24 hours notice or no show, they happily pay the cancellation fee.
  10. They do not try and direct my work or the session.



What attributes do you want most in your ideal client? Think of your favorite clients who you love working with. What qualities stand out the most to you? Now think of those draining clients… What about them gets under your skin?


At first, it seemed hard to come up with ten, but after thinking about that a little bit the ball starting rolling and I felt like I could go on!


6 types of clients who aren't worth the money

Christine Kane cuts right to the chase with some tough love: “You get what you tolerate.”


If you allow a client’s bad behavior, it’s only going to continue. Maybe until you get to your breaking point, and then it may be too late to salvage the therapeutic relationship.


I once allowed a client’s chronic lateness without putting my foot down because I liked her as a person. By the time I did something about it, I was so irritated that I didn’t want to continue to work with her even if she corrected the behavior.


Christine lists 6 types of clients who aren’t worth the money:
  1. The one who needs convincing.
  2. The one who collapses. the one who constantly collapses is committed to a pattern of helplessness.  She begins to reveal that she has no interest in turning this pattern around. She is a damsel – and she wants you to be her knight in shining armor.   Fix me, I am helpless.” Wow, I know I’ve had a few of those clients!
  3. The one who doesn’t want what you offer.
  4. The one who argues your pricing.
  5. The one who forgets you have a life. Boundary pushers, oy. Remember:  You teach people how to treat you.  It’s not their responsibility. It’s yours.” ^ So much yes, Christine!
  6. The one who doesn’t do the work.


An ounce of prevention

Coaches Getting Clients starts right out with what should now be a familiar theme here: Work with ideal clients!
But some other gems this article offers are:
2) Be clear on your boundaries
3) Improve your awareness.
4) Show up energized & healthy
5) Change Your Business Model
(are packages draining because you know you’re not getting paid at the time of service or you’re thinking about the discount they’re receiving on your awesome service? Maybe it’s time to retire those packages if they aren’t bringing you joy at every step of the way.)


Let go of clients who drain you



Thrive Academy lists these 3:
  1. Overgiving. “Charging too little or giving too much of your time, almost always leads to feelings of being drained.”
  2. Not speaking your truth.  “Those things that you wish you could say to your client (but it might be rude or disrespectful, and after all, they're paying you lots of money...) Those are the things you need to say!!! Just begin your bold statement with a large dose of acknowledgment, compassion and gentleness. It's nearly impossible to boldly speak your truth and get drained at the same time.” I think this especially applies to enforcing our policies and establishing boundaries with draining clients. We’re sometimes afraid to speak our truth because this client is giving us money! We tolerate their bad behavior because we don’t want to lose their business… but how much time, energy, joy, and space for good clients will we free up by speaking our truth, even if it means losing this draining client?
  3. Getting attached to your clients getting results. “Your clients' results do NOT determine your goodness or worthiness. You can be amazing, even if your client didn't get results. And you can be terrible and still have clients get results.”


Wow, I can definitely see a lot of us LMT’s having a tendency to these three. (Myself included.)



Sometimes it can be hard to correct course after you’ve been tolerating these behaviors from clients, but it’ll be so worth it. (More posts to come with some suggestions on how to do just that.)

So, do you have some things in mind for your top ten ideal client qualities? Comment your list here or hop on over to the Bodywork Buddies Facebook Group and join the discussion! *Not in our group yet? You can join after you’ve registered for the free trial within Bodywork Buddy. Paying subscription not required, just as long as you’ve registered for the trial.*



Cindy Iwlew is a licensed massage therapist who has had a private practice since 1999 and cofounder of Bodywork Buddy massage software.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Master Your Screening Process for Creeper Clients




Did you see this post last week on Bored Panda directly addressing Mr. Massage Creeper? (Or could be Ms. too, I suppose!)


We’ve all been there, unfortunately. Unlike most professions, licensed massage therapists have to hone their skills of gut instincts, intuition, screening, and noticing red flags of creeps. I remember early on in my massage career, I once had 3 creeps in 1 week.

I contemplated quitting massage, even though I loved the work. I wondered what was I doing to attract these weirdos, and what could I do to make it stop?

I couldn’t believe that someone would think that I was offering illegal services, didn’t they know how awesome massage therapy is and how disrespectful it was to do this?! I laugh to think now that I thought that way, but the truth is that massage school did not prepare me at all for how the average joe thought about massage, much less the creepy joe. No skills or tactics were taught to us newbies on how to deal with creeps…. I don’t recall it even being mentioned to us that we would encounter them.

Looking back, I think of some ways my working environment could’ve been improved for a more professional image. I was working for other companies, and didn’t really have any control over the building, decor, etc. I didn’t think at the time that it really mattered. After all, these people had successful businesses, they must know what they’re doing, right?


And this was before email was commonplace. Smartphones and texting were non-existent. Online booking? Ha! So all screening had to be done on the phone, and more often than not, nothing unusual would happen until the creep was there in person. Thankfully, we now have the awesome conveniences of today’s technology that can help us screen out any unwanted clients and hopefully save us from some face-to-face encounters with scoundrels.

Here’s a few ways some Bodywork Buddy members have screened out creepers:


Customize the Bodywork Buddy online intake form with distinct questions.

Asking specific questions like these can help you notice any red flags:



  • “What are your goals for your session?”
  • “What inspired you to seek out a therapeutic massage session today?”
  • “How long ago was your last massage?”
  • “How did you hear about me?”



Only accepting new male clients by referral from existing clients.

Let your clients do the screening for you! Only accepting new male clients (or female for that matter, if you have problems with female creepers) from existing clients will significantly reduce the number of people looking for “other” services.




Use online scheduling software that has option to decline an appointment request.

Bodywork Buddy has the option to accept or decline an appointment request. This can really come in handy to screen out creeps rather than having all appointments be automatically scheduled.

There’s also the option to include a message area for the client when scheduling. This can be a great tool to see red flags right away. Did they ask creepy questions or make a weird comment when requesting an appointment? APPOINTMENT REQUEST DECLINED.




Don’t accept same day appointments for new clients.

Many LMT’s have noticed that creepers are typically looking for an appointment that day. Help filter them out by using the “max days out for scheduling” feature in Bodywork Buddy. This will only allow clients to see openings as soon as the next day or as far out as 4 days (instead of immediate openings/same day openings) when scheduling online.





Require clients to agree to your policies online before they can schedule an appointment.

An optional feature in Bodywork Buddy can require clients to agree to your policies when they schedule an appointment online. The policies are completely customizable and written by you.




What screening techniques have you found helpful in your own massage practice?




Cindy Iwlew is a licensed massage therapist who has had a private practice since 1999 and cofounder of Bodywork Buddy massage software.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

How To Customize Your Online Client Intake Form


Need help with customizing the default intake form in your Bodywork Buddy account? This video walks you through the basics of changing your form.

Let me know if you have any questions!





Cindy Iwlew is a licensed massage therapist who has had a private practice since 1999 and cofounder of Bodywork Buddy massage software.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Before You Email Clients, Do These 6 Things



A question came up in the Bodywork Buddies Facebook group the other day about promotional emails not making it to client's main inbox. (Never heard of our FB group? If you've had a trial account or been a BWB member, you can join and get in on some awesome convos yourself! Drama-free quality conversations about massage biz.)

If your clients are using gmail as their email provider, your emails may be ending up in their promotions tab... or worse yet, being recognized as spam and not making it to them at all.
What are some ways we can ensure our massage clients are getting our emails?

Permission

First off, make sure they actually want them. Did you ask their permission or have them opt-in for your email in some way? If you've personally emailed with them before and are just taking your contact list from your email account and creating a mass emailing, you're not technically following anti-spamming laws. If your contacts report your emails as spam, it can hurt your chances of getting to their inbox even more.

How to fix this:

  • Add an opt-in to your website and social media
  • Ask clients when they are in for their appointment 
  • Clients are agreeing to be on mailing list when they schedule online

Template Style

Another suggestion is to use the plain text option for your email template. While email campaigns offer lots of cool design templates and styles, the most proven is the plain text email. (Not only for making it into the main inbox, but for actually getting read.) Clients don't want a newsletter-style email, they actually want personal communications.

Spam filters are ore apt to catch HTML emails with a fancy design, so instead use the plain text option and make it more like you're writing a letter to a friend.

The plain text option is usually the boring one at the very bottom of the choices for cool templates. 






Links, Images, and Exclamation Points

Having lots of links and images in your email will make it look more spammy to the email gods.
Instead of loading up your email with lots of both, stick to only one link, and maybe one image.
Resist the urge to use lots of exclamation points in your title and text.


Personalize

Add merge tags to add client's name in subject line of your email.




Add merge tags to include the client's name in the body of your email.





Realistic Expectations

Keep in mind that even if your emails are getting to clients, they may not open/read them. Email campaign services like Mailchimp show the industry average so that you can get a good idea of how your emails are stacking up against others in the industry. According to this, email campaigns in the massage therapy field have about a 13% open rate. By that standard, my open rates of 30% and up are pretty great! 






Address Book

Before starting your email campaigns, send out a personal email to your clients asking them to make sure they have your address in their contacts so they are sure to get the latest news from you. Post a notice in your massage studio, mention it at their appointments when you ask for permission to email them, etc.


Quick Tip

If they have received your email in the promotions tab (or another tab), they can drag it over to their main inbox to ensure future emails are delivered there.


I've used examples from Mailchimp here, but these can be applied to all email campaign service companies. I like Mailchimp because you can have a free account with up to 2K contacts and it's easy to import your client list from Bodywork Buddy.

We're actually working to add email marketing into our online scheduling for massage therapists here at Bodywork Buddy. This is the next big feature we've been working on. It's taking some time, because if you know our system and how we operate - we're passionate about quality. With software, the end product that you see seems simple - but there's a lot of work that goes into getting it to that stage. So in the meantime, we recommend using Mailchimp. And we'll be sure to let you know when we have email marketing integrated into our system for some seamless marketing campaigns to your clients. 😀





Cindy Iwlew is a licensed massage therapist who has had a private practice since 1999 and cofounder of Bodywork Buddy massage software.







Today's blog post was written to the beautiful sounds of 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

When It Pays to Track Referrals


Do you have a referral program? I used to offer a "refer 3 friends, get a free massage" in my bodywork business and it was a huge success. I got most of my clients from that, and I ended up so busy that I had to discontinue it. (And the surprising thing was, I didn't have to give away very many massages because while it created a ton of new clients, very seldom did 3 people come from the same referring client.)

When I ran my referral program, I used paper to track it because technology hadn't gotten caught up with us yet. This was before smartphones, Bodywork Buddy, etc. i.e. all of the tools that make running our practice so much easier these days!

BWB has always had the ability to track referrals from within each client file so you could see who they referred and who originally referred them. But now we've added a referral tree which is a great visual to quickly see all of your clients and who they've referred at a glance.

So far, it's been a big hit with our members!







What kind of referral program do you offer clients? How many new clients have you gotten from it?
I'd love to hear about your own experience with referral programs in your massage business - comment here and let me know. 🐶 Iggy wants to know, too.



Cindy Iwlew is a licensed massage therapist who has had a private practice since 1999 and cofounder of Bodywork Buddy massage software.
www.bodyworkbuddy.com

Iggy is the branch manager and helps keep Cindy on track with balancing out computer time with playing outdoors.




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!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

How Do You Know If Your Client Got Their Email Reminder?


Bodywork Buddy has always had an email log so you can see when your clients received/opened their reminder emails. (Accessible from dashboard > account > email services > scroll down to email log.) Last I knew, no other online scheduling service offered this.

While it's a handy feature, we've had some members request a quicker, more "at-a-glance" way to see if clients haven't received or opened their email reminders. So we've implemented a new envelope icon in the calendar next to the client's name. An envelope outlined in white shows that the reminder has been sent, and the envelope will turn to solid white once it's been opened by your client. Pretty cool, right? Our members have been enjoying this feature for a few weeks now and the feedback has been pretty great.



Other ways to cut down on no-shows in your massage practice:
  • Send text reminders.
    Easy to do within BWB. Enable SMS services, have clients opt-in by texting the word "START" to 269-509-4288, make sure client's mobile number is on file.

  • Have a cancellation / no-show policy and make sure clients know about it.
    You can have your policies show within your email reminders, and you can also choose to have clients agree to your policies when they schedule online from your microsite.

  • Train clients from the beginning that you might not be able to get them back on the schedule immediately if they miss or cancel their appointment. You might be surprised how clients will be able to make it work once they realize they won't be able to get back in for several weeks. I discovered this by accident when I was so busy that I really was booked out for a month in advance. Clients started saying that they didn't dare cancel, because they knew they wouldn't be able to get in until next month.

    Even if you're not booked out for weeks in advance, you can show less openings in your schedule using Bodywork Buddy's "optimized time slots" feature. It only shows openings immediately before or after existing appointments, not only cutting down on large gaps in your day - but also creating a scarcity of available appointment times.


Do you have some useful tips to help cut down on cancellations and no-shows? Share here in the comments, I'd love to hear what has worked for you! 


Friday, September 23, 2016

2016 Massage Therapy Resource Bundle *ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT*




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



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

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

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


Check out just a few highlights included in the bundle:












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


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

4 Ways to Make Your Policies More Effective


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

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

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

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

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

Here's what it looks like in action:




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

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










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

She continues to operate her own private massage practice since 1999.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com



Thursday, June 16, 2016

Steamy Wonder Update


BlushingWow, it's been a few years since I added the Steamy Wonder to my services and I still haven't posted my promised update of how it's worked out in my practice...oops!




I started out with adding a complimentary 20 minute steam with each session for them to experience it for the first time. After that, it was a $30 add-on. (Without really adding on any time to the session.) About 2 out of every 3 clients seems to love it, and many have added it to their regular routine. After having worked with the steam for a while, there's a few things I have changed:

  • I only steam for about 15 minutes now instead of 20. This includes the cool-down time at the end of the steam, so really more like 10 minutes of solid heat.
  • I've moved into a new space and don't have a good area to hang the tent with the pulley system. I realized my previous post didn't make it clear that the pulley system is optional, totally not required. I liked the pulley system, but some clients did mention that it looked like a huge casket hanging from the ceiling... (yikes?!). Now I stand it on it's end and partially tuck it behind my armoire. It doesn't take up much space and is still easily accessible.
  • I used to use a sheet as a drape, and would slide it out after putting the tent over the table - leaving the client uncovered under the tent. I have recently switched to a bath towel for a drape, and leave it on the client during the steam. They can choose to slide the towel off to the side if they want, but most leave it on during the steam. It's comfortable and leaves the client feeling less exposed. It also helps to soak up some of the sweat, and then after wiping the client off with hot towels, I switch out the drape to a clean sheet and remove the bath towel.


About 2 out of every 3 clients seems to love it




Bodywork Buddy online scheduler


I offer it as a combined service in my Bodywork Buddy online scheduler. So, for example, under my "deep tissue massage" service group, I have these choices:
  • 90 minute deep tissue massage plus steam
  • 90 minute deep tissue massage
  • 60 minute deep tissue massage plus steam
  • 60 minute deep tissue massage
  • 30 minute deep tissue massage plus steam
  • 30 minute deep tissue massage








massage business management software

I can run a report on specific services within Bodywork Buddy to show how much of my income each year has been from what service. Handy, right?

The small investment of adding the steam service has definitely been worth it. *Pro-tip: Be on the lookout for a used Steamy Wonder in good condition to save money.



So, there's the scoop! Do you have any specific questions on how I use the steam in my practice? Let me know and I can answer them in another post.

BTW, if you're interested in checking out Bodywork Buddy for your business needs, there is a 
free trial to see if it's a good fit for you. *Special discounts for Board Certified therapists and members of ABMP!*





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

She continues to operate her own private massage practice since 1999.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com