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

Monday, May 14, 2018

Veteran MT Advice: The Art of Stubbornness



Recently in my massage therapy business, I had to make the very difficult decision to stop accepting new clients. This was difficult because for the last 14 years I’ve been doing everything I could to attract these new clients!

When Cindy asked me to talk about how I got to this point in my career as a business owner and MT, I had to think about what exactly I did to reach this stage in my business. At first I couldn’t think of what I did to suddenly be so booked I couldn’t fit anyone in for 4 months. Then it occurred to me... it wasn’t sudden, it was all the hard work of running a business starting to pay it’s returns.

When you go to massage school, they teach you how to be a Massage Therapist, not how to run a business. These are two separate things that need separate training. When I graduated from massage school, I decided to work for someone else because I thought it would be easier. Their business model was for me to give free chair massages until someone decided to pay for a full massage, of which I received a commission of 50%. I gave a lot of free massages and starved. I had to move back home to my parent’s house. 

This is where the big lessons began for me. I’m sure many of you have similar stories or are at the beginning of your career convinced you are about to fail. Being of the Stubborn Persuasion, I wasn’t about to let this living with my parents situation define my career. However, humility was also on my Life Lessons Syllabus, so I had to have “The Talk” with myself on how I was going to make this career work. If I wanted it to work, I had to do the work. No Excuses.

I took a part time job at a chiropractor’s office and I learned from her how she ran her business. She became a great mentor and I learned that there are lessons in mistakes; that picking up and working with what is in front of you will go a long way. I also used the security of that job to help me build my own business. I could take a few more risks, in case I did make a mistake. 

Since I had moved back to my parent’s home two states away from where I was living, to a town I didn’t grow up in, I was in desperate need of colleagues... So I went to my AMTA state chapter conferences and hands on CEU classes so that I could talk to people. I joined Live Journal groups (I’m old) and read Massage Therapy Journal and Massage Magazine (the print versions!) to give me insights into the industry. I was stubborn, but I knew that I didn’t know squat!

I was told that the first 5 years were the hardest, so I just kept reminding myself of that when it got hard, and you know what... it turned out to be true (so hang in there!). I was told that MTs careers average 3- 5 years; I made a goal to be in practice for 10. My stubbornness wouldn’t let me quit and then when it started to get a little easier I didn’t want to quit.  

I tried new things: Online scheduling in 2010 was scary for my clients. Some even asked me to go back to paper. It was months and months before the first person actually booked online without me talking them into it. It was a couple years before a new client I had never heard of scheduled. I stubbornly stuck it out because I wanted online scheduling to work. Now I don’t have to answer the phone anymore. I maybe lost a potential client who didn’t want to schedule online, but I gained ones who did. 


Some things did not work: Buy 4 get 1 Free cost me a lot of money I desperately needed. I changed my package policy to be a significantly smaller discount; I could still pay the bills, but my clients still got a deal. I was able to buy groceries AND pay rent! When clients pine for the good old discount days (aka whine) I stubbornly refuse to give in, “$5 off is more than $0 off,” I remind myself. They are welcome to pay full price. 

The take-a-way here folks is this: There are a million little lessons that you are learning everyday. The beginning of your career is hard because you are bombarded by them. Some of those lessons hurt and some are exhausting. It seems impossible because everything is new and fresh and you just want to be amazing everyday. As you make it through the days, weeks, and years those lessons will feel familiar, and doable, and sometimes even an exciting challenge. Be patient, and maybe a little bit stubborn. 



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Erin Howk Bennett, BCTMB
Therapeutic & Stress Reduction Massage





Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Truth in Your Marketing {Guest Post by Erin Howk}

We're all marketing ourselves every day, whether we think we are or not.




It seems there are some conflicting arguments out there over which is the correct, honest, or better way to use marketing terms to sell our services. No matter what setting you are in, you are selling your massage services to someone and need to have specific language to attract the kind of clients you want to sell to. The fallacy here, is that one way is more 'honest' than another way (assuming you are not lying about the services that you provide and committing fraud, but that's a different problem). Some feel using flowery, emotional words that do not describe accurately how massage techniques are performed are a disservice to the industry, instead a technical approach would be more desirable.  However, you are not being more honest by using technical terms, you are being specific to a different target market; those who value a clinical approach and gravitate toward that language.



The purpose of marketing is to find specific people who want what you sell
and convince them to
buy it from you.





The key here is the finding the people you want to sell to, and to do that you manipulate your words and descriptions of your product to appeal to that group.  One of the arguments in the massage community is over the term “Deep Tissue Massage” used as modality.  This term is a vague descriptor and not a specific protocol, and some feel that it should not be used to describe massage or that it “is just a marketing term”.  It's been suggested therapists should use the term Deep Pressure instead because it is a more honest description of what you're selling… but this is not true. Deep Pressure is also ‘just a marketing term’ and is no more honest or accurate description of massage.


It is equally misleading to describe something as Deep Pressure Massage to refer to pressing really hard to achieve therapeutic effect on tissues closer to the skeleton. In massage, deep refers to the location of tissue, and not the strength at which you are pressing. It isn't exactly accurate to describe a unit of force as ‘deep' either. It's much more accurate to describe this type massage as Deep Tissue Massage, because you are targeting the deep tissues of the body.  However, the public thinks you must use heavy or maximum pressure to reach the deep tissue, which is where this description becomes problematic. There are several protocols out there that achieve therapeutic effect on deep tissue without using maximum pressure. You can see that the description of Deep Tissue Massage has an inaccurate association with the amount of force, but that the public wants what you are trying to describe when you say it, so some find useful to use that term in marketing.




Photography's main
purpose in marketing
is to sell a feeling.










A “real picture” of a massage may not be what your clients want to see.


Some take issue with the photography used to market massage as being inaccurate and overly fake. Photography's main purpose in marketing is to sell a feeling. They are an impressionistic representation of your services, as opposed to a literal one. Their purpose is to tell your client "This could be you, you could feel as relaxed as this person, here in this picture". The photo does not have to look exactly what your massage space looks like, it does not have to depict what a massage session looks like in real life, and last of all it can look pretty. Pretty sells.



If you want to increase business,
the right words can make a difference.


Sounds like everything is just a big pack of lies, doesn't it? Until there is a universal definition of massage modalities that cannot be disputed, all types of massage are "just marketing". And really, marketing terms and photos can be pretty powerful. If you want to increase business, the right words can make a difference. Marketing is less about pristine truth, and more about a quick glimpse of what awaits them when they walk through the door. It's true, there is terrible photography out there. The lighting is terrible, the aperture is off, they didn't even consider the rule of thirds... There are people who use marketing to mislead, but you are not that person. There is something to be said for truth in advertising, but that doesn't preclude you from conveying a feeling.  If you have access to a good photographer and want pictures of your space, go for it… but don’t expect it to be free. As a photographer, their business is just as hard as ours to get people to pay for their hard work. However, if you need to use a free photograph, or inexpensive one and it has candles and flowers in it, that’s okay. If it gets your client in the door asking to feel like that picture made her imagine she would feel underneath your talented hands, and you can provide that, then you've reached your ideal client. She's not going to care if there aren't any flowers by her face.





There is something to be said for truth in advertising, but that doesn't preclude you from conveying a feeling.





Erin Howk BS, BCTMB
Thank you to my photography instructors for teaching me to edit in frame.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

How to Harness the Power of Your Hours Report




I’ve been a fan of Bodywork Buddy (BWB) for a long time. Because I knew of many of the features they offered, I hopped on board on December 31, 2012. This gave me the opportunity to start fresh in 2013, enabling me to view current up-to-date reports right from the beginning of the year.

While there are a ton of features to list, one of the things I’m most impressed about is owner Cindy and Berin Iwlew’s willingness to not only listen to what their users suggest, but to thoughtfully respond with positive action.

Cindy and I have both been massage industry for a long time, about 20 years for each of us. In fact, she’s the one who originally turned me on to online scheduling, long before Bodywork Buddy began.

There were many limitations of that option and virtually no reports you could run. Many companies at that time also had programs you could purchase and download onto your computer, but you’d have to have that computer with you to schedule or add in any comments or SOAP notes.

Finding the same limitations that I did but with Berin’s prowess in programming, the Iwlews set out to give massage therapists an online solution. Not only would it have the same features as other programs, but they added in everything Cindy had on her wish list.

I loved the idea from the get-go. The only reason I didn’t hop on board sooner was that BWB required internet, which I didn’t have at my office at the time.

Today I’ll just talk about my favorite new cool feature, the Hours Report.


One feature they’ve added recently is super cool-reporting of how many hours you’ve completed in each style and session length of massage you offer. I think I was the first one who promptly ran a report and posted it on Facebook!


You can run in for the current year, any year you’ve been using BWB or a total of all years. Your most popular sessions will begin at the top and work your way down. In my case, I had a price / name change, which is why it shows 2 different items that appear to be almost identical.

When you go into your BWB back it, it looks something like this:

I had never kept track of my massage sessions before. Because I specialize in Ashiatsu and heavily promote that, I knew that my 90 minute session would be at the top of the list. Interestingly, I had no idea that my 2 hour sessions outweighed my 60 minute massages.

Knowing how many hours you’ve performed a massage can show proof of expertise to anyone else that you have plenty of experience in your field. When people ask what kind of experience I have with barefoot massage, I can say, “In the last 4.5 years, I’ve actually spent 2074 hours getting paid to do ashiatsu on my clients!”

If you have a modality that you love doing but isn’t near the top of what you actually have been doing, it’s a fantastic way to come up with a promotion so you get that service up at the top of the “hours you’ve massaged list”.

Another thing you can discover is your number of hours you average per week. Simply take the total number listed at the top of that year’s report and divide by the number of weeks so far in the current year. *Update: this is now a feature that automatically shows the average at the bottom of the dashboard. Yah, no math required!

If you’ve been with them for a calendar year, just run the report and divide by 52.  You can see trends from year to year as to how your business is growing. Or perhaps it stays steady because you have a lot of regular clients.
Whether you view this report as just a fun “thing” or you use it to detect patterns and trends in your business, this feature is a hit in my book.


 
About the author:

Mary-Claire Fredette has been practicing the art of ashiatsu for 15 years and is a Co-Creative Force at the Center for Barefoot Massage, where they offer continuing education to LMTs who want to learn the skill of barefoot massage.

She lives in Cincinnati and co-owns Affinity Massage Studio with her husband, Paul. They have 8 children, 1 turtle, 1 outdoor cat, and 2 rescue German Shepherds.




Sunday, May 21, 2017

Early Bird Pricing for New Massage Client Attraction Boot Camp with Gael Wood

June 1-30, 2017 New Massage Client Attraction Boot Camp

Hey there!

I wanted to let you know about a great deal for early birds registering for this massage marketing program. Today is the last day to get this deal, so if you're in need of some help with your massage business, check it out!

Last day of early bird pricing!

Sign up for Gael Wood's New Massage Client Attraction Boot Camp June 1-30, 2017 to develop your massage marketing foundation, put your business on the map, get new clients on your table, and BUILD YOUR MASSAGE BUSINESS! Tons of bonuses and live Facebook group support only available June 1-30.


SIGNUP NOW!



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!)

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!


Monday, December 28, 2015

*NEW FEATURE* Show All Testimonials On Microsite


We've had many members ask us to add the ability to show all testimonials in addition to the 3 random reviews shown on the microsite... so we've added it!

Now you will see a link "read all reviews" under the 3 random reviews on the microsite. The link will open up to a full page of all testimonials that have been left for you by clients.





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.


Questions:
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.