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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 internet marketing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label internet marketing. Show all posts

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 

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.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Just Be Yourself

Just a short and sweet post today.

I recently got some advice from my Dad that I thought was pretty valuable:  Be yourself.
(And this is coming from someone with an old-school handlebar mustache.  As you can see, my Dad is awesome!)

For one, if you are anything but authentic, the people you are trying to impress will see right through you ... eventually.  And for two, if it isn't the real you they are impressed with, what's the point?

If your clients know you as bubbly and super sweet, then why would you try and be snarky with your marketing just because it's working for someone else?  Is that really who YOU are?  Your marketing is an opportunity to share a glimpse of your personality with clients and potential clients.  Of course, it should portray professionalism.  But it should also feel real.  Especially in such a personal service such as massage.  If you have to try and be something or someone you're not, you're doing it wrong.

How do you put your personality into your marketing efforts?

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.

                                                           authentic photo:

Friday, September 7, 2012

4 Ways to Keep Control of Your Website

There's a few important things you need to do when you are creating a website for your massage business.  

Here's some great tips from a freelance web designer.  I've personally seen the "website hostage" situation many times...
Make sure this doesn't happen to 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, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007.

Online Business: 4 Ways to Keep Control of Your Website

By Nicolette Tallmadge

I get an email from a prospective client as least every month where something went wrong with a past designer and client ended up losing control of their website. Either designer locks the client out from the website, or they threaten to erase the entire website, or they actually follow through and delete the website.
How could something like this happen? Most web designers are trustworthy and ethical, but there are some bad ones out there. If you have someone that's helping you to design or maintain your website, you have to be careful not to give them absolute control over your web presence. Here are some tips on how to keep control of your website:
1. Always purchase your own domain names- Never, ever allow anyone except yourself to purchase the domain name(s) for your website. Some designers will offer to buy the domain for you as a "convenience". Don't let them! It's a simple matter for them to name themselves as the owner of the domain name which will make it impossible for you to do anything with it without going through your designer. That means that if you get into a dispute, then the designer can keep your domain name or refuse to allow you to transfer it over to another web host. You web designer can easily hold your entire website "hostage" this way.
Buying a domain name is not difficult. You can get one in five minutes as long as you have a credit card and can click on some buttons Don't delegate something this important to someone else.
2. Keep track of all your important account information- In most cases, your web designer will need to have access to your web hosting account information that you might need to allow them access to do their jobs. Just like your domain name account, you need to be the primary contact for all of your online accounts. That means if anything goes wrong, the first person these companies will contact will be you...not your designer.
You also need to keep track of passwords, usernames, account numbers and you need to log on to these accounts on a regular basis to make sure that you still have access to them. This will keep your web designer from locking you out of your important accounts in the case of a dispute.
3. Always keep a copy of your website in your possession- Even if you've hired a professional to maintain your website for you, you should always have an up-to-date copy of your website in a place were you can grab it in an emergency like your computer hard drive, a CD, or a thumb drive. This is a good idea in general, but it's also a good way to keep an unscrupulous web designer from blackmailing you by threatening to shut down your website.
Also, if your website also uses a database of any kind...say you're running a Wordpress blog, make sure that you also have recent backups of those as well...especially if these databases contains customer or financial information of any kind.
Ask your hosting tech support to show you how to backup your website and/or databases you might be running on your website and start downloading weekly backups.
4. Don't allow your lack of knowledge get in the way- As a rule, I never register domain names or open hosting accounts for my clients, even if they ask me to. Some of the less technically savvy ones try to get me to do stuff like this for them because they don't want to have to deal with the "technical stuff". But I always warn them that their lack of technical knowledge is the thing that makes them vulnerable to getting ripped-off by someone less than honest.
The bottom line is that if you're going to have a website, there's going to be a certain amount of "technical stuff" that you're going to have to deal with. It comes with the territory. The more knowledgeable you are, the less likely you're going to be taken by an unscrupulous web designer. Every small business owner who owns a website should know how to buy their own domain names, open up a web hosting account, open up accounts at YouTube, Facebook, etc, and how to make regular backups of their website. If you know how to do these won't find yourself in the position of the poor souls I talked to every month.

Need more information on websites, web design, and how to avoid the pitfalls in building and managing your own website? Download a FREE report, "10 Website Mistakes to Avoid" to learn what you need to know to build and run a successful website. Visit Nikolena Designs to get more information.

Article Source:


Friday, July 27, 2012

4 Free Facebook Timeline Pictures

Our latest poll revealed that many of you would like more Facebook timeline pictures for your massage business page.  So... Here you go!  These are the exact size you will need for your timeline picture.   Here's a review of How to Install a Facebook Timeline pic in case you need it.  

If you like these timeline pictures and use them, we'd sure love it if you would 'like' us or share some of our posts on Facebook, or share this blog with your massage friends, retweet us, etc.  (Easy ways to share on the right column of this blog.)  Thanks!


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, June 27, 2012

Watermarking Photos

Using your own photos for your massage website is a great idea.  (Remember When Good Websites Go Bad?)
But when you're putting your own pictures out there, it's a good idea to watermark them so that others can't use and claim them as their own.
What is a watermark?  It's a recognizable image or pattern used to identify authenticity.
While you can create your own watermarks in Photoshop or (I sense a video tutorial on this coming soon!), there's also several sites where you can watermark your images for free.  Below are two I use often.
Cindy teaching Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy.

  1. Select the file you want to watermark from your computer.
  2. Upload to the watermarking site and follow directions to enter text for watermark.
  3. Download watermarked image to your computer.
Quick & easy!  
Here's a photo that I have watermarked as an example.
Have you already been watermarking your images?  What are your favorite tools to do so?

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.

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.

Friday, June 15, 2012

How To Install a Facebook Timeline Cover Pic

Have you not added a timeline cover pic to your Facebook page yet simply because you haven't had the time to figure out how?  Here's a simple tutorial on how to add or change your cover pic.

Go to your Facebook business page.  (Or personal page, for that matter).
Click on the "Add a Cover" button.

Click on "Upload Photo".  Then choose a photo from a file on your computer and click "open".  (Massage pictures and directions on how to save them to your computer are in this post: 6 Free Marketing Posters).

The photo will then appear as your timeline cover pic.  You can left click on the pic and drag it into position. Once you have it where you want it, click "Save Changes".

And there you have it.  A nice new timeline cover pic for your massage business Facebook page.
I know many of you have already figured this out, but I have seen several pages without cover pics lately, so I thought this little tutorial might come in handy.

Are there other tutorials you would be interested in?  I'd love to hear your feedback and ideas for other how-to posts in the comments below.

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.