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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 competition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label competition. Show all posts

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. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Create a Mobile Friendly Website

Notice how everyone is doing everything from their phones?  This includes visiting your massage website.  Is your website mobile friendly?

Here's a video tutorial on how to create a mobile version of your website for FREE.  (There's also a paid version - very reasonably priced - if you prefer some of the extras like click-to-call and ad-free.)  Sure beats hiring a professional for $500+ to create a mobile site for you!

Once you've created your mobile site, remember to follow the directions on the site to setup a redirect so your clients will auto-magically be taken to your mobile site when visiting from a phone.

Did you find this post helpful?  What other technology tutorials would you like to see?

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.

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.