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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

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.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

*New Feature* Client Message

Last week we added a new feature that allows clients to leave a quick note for you when they schedule online. This is great if a client has a gift certificate they are redeeming, they need to tell you something that pertains to their appointment, etc.

It's completely optional, so clients don't need to leave a message in order to schedule.

When a client does leave a message, a speech bubble icon will show up next to their name for today's schedule on the dashboard as well as in the calendar. You can click on the bubble or hover over it to read the message.

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.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

6 Problems Massage Therapists Solve Using Bodywork Buddy

  1. Phone tag with clients

    If using the online scheduling aspect of Bodywork Buddy, massage therapists can greatly cut down on phone tag with clients and the back and forth of trying to get an appointment time that works for both client and therapist.

    The online scheduler will show open appointments in real time to clients looking to schedule while still allowing the therapist to keep control over their schedule.

    Clients want the convenience of online scheduling, so not only does it eliminate phone tag but it gives your clients what they want!

  2. Being unprepared for tax time
    Have you ever waited until the end of the year or even April to go through your entire book and add up your income? Uh... me neither....

    BWB actually makes it really easy to make recording your income a daily habit. And if you don't do it for every session? Those sessions will stay on your dashboard as overdue appointments so you'll remember that you still need to complete those and add payment info.

  3. Setting boundaries and enforcing policies
    Policies are included on the email reminders sent to clients, and you can also add them to your online intake forms for clients to agree to.

    It's important to have clear boundaries and policies, and BWB helps you enforce those.

  4. Tracking growth of business
    Do you know where your business is for this quarter? This month? How have you grown since this month last year? BWB makes it easy to find out with just a few clicks.

  5. Tracking gift certificates and packages
    "Oh you have a gift certificate but you didn't bring it with you or you don't know the number? No problem! I have it on file."

  6. Having a professional online presenceThe BWB microsite design has been made specifically for massage and to help you have a professional online presence. With massage specific images and videos, our online scheduler helps show clients what you do and how you can help them. You can also add your own images and text to completely personalize your microsite.

It's important to have clear boundaries and policies 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Is Your Lack of Company Policies Leading To More No-Shows and Last-Minute Cancels?

Check out what Marie Forleo has to say on setting boundaries for your business:

*Disclaimer: Before someone accuses me of calling clients fat and body shaming them, just because I'm sharing this video doesn't mean I tell my clients being late makes them fat. I'm just making a point about boundaries using Marie's help with her video.

How do you enforce policies in your massage business? 

Bodywork Buddy can help with online intake forms where clients have to agree to your policies, plus your policies are included in every email reminder. (You can update or change these anytime from Dashboard > account > account settings > company policies.) They're also linked to your microsite. :)

Want to give it a try? We have a free 15 day trial (no credit card required). Check it out!

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.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

*NEW FEATURE* Online Client Intake Forms

Start 2016 out right with a paperless practice!

We've recently launched the new feature of online client intake forms in Bodywork Buddy. You can now email clients their form to fill out securely online and already have it attached within their client file in BWB.

There is a default form you can use, but you can also edit and create your own custom forms from within your account. (dashboard > clients > client intake forms > edit.)

Add, delete, or edit any fields you want and click save. Hover or click over the blue "actions" button to open a preview of what your client will see.

Clients can fill out their form (securely!) from any device with an internet connection: desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Their info will then be connected with their client file in your BWB account under the medical history tab, and also at dashboard > clients > intake form > main.

When a new client is scheduled with you, you'll have the option to send them an intake form. You can also send an intake form to existing clients anytime from within the client's file > actions > send client intake form.

This feature is still in Beta which means we're doing some fine-tuning and there will be more cool aspects to this feature to come.

We would love to hear what you think!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

How To Tell if Your Client Received Their Email Reminder

Like most online schedulers, Bodywork Buddy sends automated email reminders to your clients for their upcoming appointments.

Unlike most online schedulers, Bodywork Buddy includes an email log so you can see when emails were sent and even when they were opened by each client.

To see if your client received their email reminder, go to dashboard > account > email services > scroll to bottom "sent email history". Here you will see the most recent emails sent from the system in your account.

If an email is labeled "sent", it hasn't been opened yet and the date/time stamp indicates the time it was sent. Once an email is opened, the status changes to "opened" and the date/time stamp indicates the time the client opened it. It also lists the type of email sent (appointment confirmation, appointment reminder, testimonial request, etc).

You can find the email logs for each client from within the client file as well.

This is handy if you've ever wondered if your client received their email reminder, or to find out when the email address you have for a client is not valid or undeliverable.

Email reminders cut down on no-shows and help enforce your policies. (Not to mention that they make you look like a rock star with their professionalism.) Bodywork Buddy emails include an area to add your own text as well as lists your cancellation policies.

Want to try it out yourself and eliminate no-shows and last minute cancellations? Sign up now for the free trial of Bodywork Buddy and we'll import your existing client list for you for free, so you can get started right away without needing to do a bunch of data entry!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

*NEW FEATURE* New Client Star

Over the weekend, we added a new feature that has been requested by our members. Now when there is a new client / client's first visit in your schedule, a star will appear next to their appointment in the calendar and on the dashboard in Today's Schedule.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Product Review: The Nirvana Mate 2

Order online
I've been trying out the Nirvana Mate 2 cushioning system from Got Your Back. What I like about using this instead of a breast pillow is that there is no need to remove it when flipping the client to supine. You can actually use the recess for better access to the neck (check out the video below at 1:00 to see what I mean!), or you can put the cut out back in if you prefer.

The gradual slope of the second half of the cushion makes it less noticeable than a breast pillow from the client's perspective. Place it under the sheets or your table warmer and it feels like it's just part of the table. You can also easily add in the cut out at any time for clients who don't need it while prone on the table.

Folds in half and is lightweight for easy travel or storage.

Got Your Back also has a helpful online class on Peak Positioning using different bolstering techniques that you may be interested in. 
It's FREE by the way, so check it out!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Massage Chains Versus YOU

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Let Clients Schedule From Your Facebook Page

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

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

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

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

What does it look like on your Facebook page?

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

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

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

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.

Friday, April 10, 2015

My single most effective marketing tool…and it’s FREE

by Hillary Arrieta LMT, Richardson Texas

This weekend I was working as a vendor at the AMTA Texas chapter convention. I was approached by many of my fellow local massage therapists about marketing.

"How do you market your practice?" They asked.
“What's working for you?”

This is a topic that I have come to love. When I first started out, I would say that marketing made me a little bit crazy. When I thought of it, I had the impression that I would have to spend a ton of money on print, radio, or TV ads. I didn’t want to become a sales person. Now I know that marketing is so much more than sales and I find it fun and challenging!

As I discussed my current marketing process, many therapists were surprised to learn that one of my top marketing tools was my email list.
Maybe you’ve heard that saying  “email is dead.” Well my friends, It’s very much alive and well.
My email list is one of the most successful marketing tools I’ve encountered, if not THE most successful.

My clients love my weekly emails. Yep, that’s right, I email my clients at least once a week. When I was trying to come up with my email marketing plan, I thought weekly emails were a bit much and that maybe it was going to come off too pushy. I didn’t want to annoy my clients.

Funny enough, I began receiving great feed back about them.
My clients LOVED that I sent out my availability so that they could hop on to my online booking site (thank you Bodywork Buddy!) and schedule right then and there. Everyone is so busy these days and having my openings delivered to their inbox every Monday morning was just another way to support my clients in keeping up with their self care.

Many of them told me to keep it coming! That they actually looked forward to my Monday email.
I also have a handy sign up form on my website that allows prospective clients to sign up if they are interested in hearing from me.

In addition to my weekly availability email, I’ve used my list to run successful semi annual massage package sales ( take that, Groupon!!) as well as sending out important information about changes in my practice. I love emailing reminders for my meditation class, and adding a link to my blog so that my clients can read about self care suggestions and current events within my practice.

I always keep the information valuable and relevant to my clients, because who is going to read boring newsletters?

If you don’t have an email list, here are some resources to get you started!
And they are free!

How do you use your email list?