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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 massage therapist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label massage therapist. 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.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

My Favorite Shoes To Wear For Massage





I used to work barefoot (for hands-on massage, not to be confused with doing barefoot massage), and while I loved it, my body did not love standing on a hard floor all day with no arch support.

Because I also do ashiatsu, I needed shoes that could easily be slipped on or off as well as easily cleaned and sanitized throughout the day if needed.

One of my clients told me about Oofos* sandals. I LOVE THESE SANDALS. They are perfect for working in. I just keep them at my office as my work shoes. My back and knees are so much happier since I've been wearing these!

Have you found an awesome pair of shoes to work in? Let us know in the comments.


best shoes for massage therapists to wear



*Thank you for supporting our small business. Profits made from retail sales / affiliate links are reinvested in caffeine for our developers for Bodywork Buddy so we can continue to provide you with the best services possible.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Looking For A Few Good Blog Topics? {Guest Post by Michelle Doetsch}



Looking For A Few Good Blog Topics? 


Guest Post by Michelle Doetsch


A friend of mine, who has a small complementary healthcare business, recently posted a plea for help on her personal Facebook account. She said she had lost the list of topics she was planning to blog about and wanted help coming up with ideas so she could create a new list. 

I admit to rolling my eyes a bit. I may not like coming up with a new list of blog topics but I don’t generally have any trouble doing so. So like a bad friend, I kept scrolling, figuring that she’d get lots of suggestions. 

Several hours later, Facebook reorganized my newsfeed and that post showed up again and I noticed that she had 2 comments; both of them saying they had no ideas, but wishing her luck. So I finally put on my good friend hat and gave her some suggestions.

That made me realize that she’s not the only one who has trouble coming up with ideas for what to blog about. It’s apparently a lot more common than I realized. Maybe I’ve read too many marketing blogs, or maybe I just have a knack for coming up with topics. I really don’t know. What I do know is that, 2 days later, when the opportunity to write a post about blog topics came my way, I jumped at it. 


What Do I say? 

So… When you’re stuck and can’t figure out what to blog about, here are a few simple places to start:


Prospective Clients
  • Frequently Asked Questions: Even if you have an FAQ page on your website, this is a good place to start. Use your blog post to answer these questions in a more in-depth way than you can on the FAQ page. Stick to one question per post.
  • Misconceptions: Your blog is a good place to dispel misconceptions that your prospective clients may have about the techniques you use, the conditions you specialize in, or just massage in general. Like before, you’ll want to cover only one misconception per post. You can also do a listicle type post and list a bunch, but you’ll need to be brief in your explanations.
  • Client Bill of Rights: Presumably your blog is on your website and your prospective clients will likely be checking out your site before booking with you. Let them know that not only do they have rights, let them know what those rights are.
  • Choosing the Right Therapist: Give a list of traits to look for in a therapist. List ways to find a good LMT. Give your readers a list of questions to get answers to. Make sure to tell them that not every therapist (including you) is going to be a good fit and to keep looking until they find one that is. 


Current Clients
  • Suggestions: Many of my clients tell me what they’d like me to write about. Sometimes I write about it, sometimes I don’t. If I don’t, I have a very good reason, such as the topic being outside my scope of practice or I very recently wrote about it.
  • Questions: Your current clients are going to ask you different questions than prospective clients do. Use each question on your blog as a separate topic. Remember, they say that for every ten people who have a question only one will actually ask you.

  • Statements: Your clients will say the darnedest things. Sometimes they’ll be truly profound statements. Sometimes they’ll give you a kick*ss analogy that you can use to explain things to future clients. Sometimes the things they say will make you want to hit your head against the wall. You can use all of these as blog topics when they’re relevant to the work you do. This can sometimes require you to walk a very fine line in regards to maintaining client confidentiality. In many cases, you don’t even need to mention that a client said anything. As an example, a simple, “Lately, I’ve heard several people say _____, but nothing could be further from the truth” will suffice.
  • Good Client Traits - This can be a listicle or it can be a post dedicated to just one aspect of being a good client like not coming in when you’re contagious, or making sure to give 24 hours cancellation notice when possible. We (that is… I) often tend to write these type posts when one, or several, clients have just exhibited poor behavior, so be careful that your post doesn’t come off as whiney or unprofessional. 


Your Work
  • Your specialties: This category can supply a lot of posts. Write about how the techniques you specialize in can benefit this, that, or the other population. (One population per post, please)
  • Specialties, take two: Write about how the conditions you specialize in can benefit from massage and bodywork. Again, one condition per post.
  • Resources: Write about how chiropractic, acupuncture, aromatherapy, yoga, personal training, or any other field can be a great complement to massage. List some providers that you’d recommend. Write about other resources that your clients might find useful - list your favorite stress relieving music and where to find it (does a local store sell it? do you download it from a specific website?). Give them a list of the best resources to help them relieve stress - local yoga studios, books, music, meditation or mindfulness training, etc.
  • Your Life: Chances are, you’re a lot like your clients - you have stress, you have short comings, you’re doing the best you can, and you don’t know everything. When something happens in your life that’s relevant to your practice don’t be afraid to use it. For instance, as a certified aromatherapist, I used my father’s death as a chance to write about essential oils for grief from a firsthand perspective. This type of post can make you seem much more relatable.
  • Reviews:  Write reviews of books, DVDs, or websites that you think your clients will find useful.
  • Self-care: Write about all the ways your readers can take care of themselves between massage sessions.


I’ve only scratched the surface here. You can literally find fodder for blog posts just about anywhere. The most important thing to keep in mind when coming up with blog topics is who you’re writing the post for. Are you writing for other healthcare professionals? Athletes? People with chronic pain? or Joe Schmoe who just wants to feel better without having to learn a bunch of medical terms to do so? 



The most important thing to keep in mind when coming up with blog topics is who you’re writing the post for.



One more tip before I rap up this novella… keep paper handy, or create a note on your phone, so you always have somewhere to record your brilliant ideas when inspiration strikes. 




Michelle Doetsch
New Yew Healing
I am a Licensed Massage Therapist in Michigan and I’m Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (BCTMB). I have been a massage therapist and Reiki practitioner since 2002. My specialty is treating clients with headaches, high stress, neck and shoulder pain, sciatica, and fibromyalgia, as well as other types of chronic pain. My training in energy work is extensive; over 200 in-class hours in a variety of energy work techniques including Reiki, Spiritual Healing (long standing and respected form of energy work in England), and Kundalini Energy Healing. I am a certified member of Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP). My education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Grand Valley State University.


New Yew Healing

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 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

It's Time To Kill These 4 Online Scheduling Myths





1. "I won't have control over my schedule."

A lot of therapists have this fear that they will lose control of their schedule, clients will suddenly dictate their life with too much access to their book, there will be too many appointments, too close together, and chaos will ensue!

Mary-Claire Fredette of Affinity Massage Studio in Cincinnati, Ohio says before she started using Bodywork Buddy, she was afraid that she would be at the grocery store buying ice cream when someone would schedule a massage. Her life would be ruined as the ice cream would melt info puddles as she massaged someone. It makes me laugh, but as a therapist myself, I can understand this concern!

Luckily Bodywork Buddy has some key features that would prevent this from being an issue.
  • Your clients request an appointment online from the openings shown, and you can then accept or decline the appointment request. (So it's not an automatic confirmed appointment until you accept it.) You're sent an email to notify you of the request, and it will also show within your BWB account on the dashboard and the calendar.
  • Stacked time slots versus interval time slots: BWB lets you choose how your openings are shown to clients. Do you want to show intervals of 10 minutes like 10:00, 10:10, 10:20 giving the client the most flexible options? (Interval options vary from 10-60 minutes.) Or only show them blocks of times like 10:00, 11:30, 1:00 giving YOU more control? It's up to you.
  • In your settings, you can choose to show openings to clients online ranging from immediately to 4 days out. So if today is Monday and you have 4 days set in your settings, clients will not see any openings in your calendar until Friday.
  • BWB's "optimized scheduling" feature is an optional setting to only allow clients to schedule appointments before or after an existing appointment, which helps to eliminate large gaps in your day. So if you have this setting selected, and you only have 1 client today at 5pm with the rest of the day open, any other clients looking to schedule online will only be able to select today at 3:30pm or 6:30pm (times may vary depending on your settings).  So at 10am you can buy your ice cream with no worries of it melting :)


2. "It will become a double-booking nightmare."

Do you worry that a client will schedule online at the same time that you're scheduling a client in the office?

Once a client requests an appointment online, it will show in your calendar in orange so you know it's been requested. That time slot will not show as open to other clients unless you decline that request.
When you're manually scheduling a client who is in your office or on the phone with you, it will instantly no longer be shown as an opening online.

Tristin Resinger of Akua Esthetics and Bodywork in Ann Arbor, Michigan says the owner at her previous job refused to get online scheduling out of fear of these kinds of mistakes happening, but Tristin points out that those mistakes seemed to happen a lot with a paper book. Having an electronic trail of each appointment can actually cut down on misunderstandings and human error. Within BWB, you can see a log of all emails sent to clients and 
even see if/when they've opened them.



3. "The online scheduler won't work."
Erin Howk of Therapeutic & Stress Reduction Massage in Fairmont, Minnesota says she had a fear that online scheduling wouldn't work and she'd have clients showing up that she didn't know were supposed to be there.

There's a few things within BWB that prevent this from happening. When a client requests an appointment online and you accept it, it turns into a confirmed appointment (in green) in the calendar and the client gets an email letting them know the appointment has been confirmed / accepted. 

The client will then get an email reminder shortly before their appointment (you can customize the how many hours before their appointment this is sent out in your settings.) If you have SMS services enabled and the client has opted in, they will also receive a text reminder.

If they don't have an appointment in the calendar, they will not get these confirmations and reminders.




4. "Nobody will use online scheduling and I'll still have to answer the phone and pay for a useless service."

While some clients might take some time getting used to scheduling online, the majority of clients today want the convenience of online scheduling. Not only scheduling online, but from their phones and tablets! Studies have shown that mobile use has skyrocketed in recent years. Offering online scheduling that is mobile friendly will cut down on phone tag and make scheduling an appointment with you a breeze.

I can't promise that you'll never have to answer the phone again, but it can make your life easier and save you time.




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


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Product Review: Nirvana 2in1 Massage Table





I've been using the Nirvana 2in1 Massage Table from Got Your Back in my massage practice lately and am loving it.

I'm pretty spoiled with having a lot of different tables at my massage studio because I use many for teaching Ashiatsu DeepFeet Bar Therapy classes. I like to switch up the table I use in my everyday practice and here's what I like about the Nirvana 2in1 table:

  • The removable breast recess, which can then be put back in place for supine work. Or you can leave it out for different access to neck area while working supine.
  • There's a nice little dip for the neck area when laying prone.
  • Arm sling that is easier to add or remove than some others I've tried.
  • The table top is cushy and the black color looks super sleek.
  • Weight capacity of 550 pounds makes this table a good choice for ashiatsu work as well. (Static capacity is 2750 pounds.)
The only thing I've been having issues with so far is removing the face cradle, but I think it's just because it is still new and hasn't been removed a lot. (And really, there's no need to remove it often, I can simply drop the face cradle down when working supine.)














Overall, this is a great table - especially for the price! 
$339.00-$369.00 gets you:
  • Table with breast recess cutout and neck contour
  • Adjustable face cradle
  • Arm sling
  • Carrying case
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Shiatsu release

Are you in the market for a new table and have a limited budget? You can get a lot of bang for your buck with this table from Got Your Back.



Sunday, July 12, 2015

*New Feature* Display "By Appointment Only" Option On Microsite


Many of our members have requested this option to be available, so we're excited to announce that you now have additional options in how to display your open business hours on your scheduling microsite with Bodywork Buddy.


You can now choose to display the following on your microsite:

  • your open business hours
  • by appointment only
  • both


To change this setting, go to Dashboard > Account > Microsite Info > scroll to bottom of microsite info settings > select one of the three options > save settings.

Display open business hours
Display by appointment only
Display both by appointment only and open business hours




Interested in trying Bodywork Buddy for your online scheduling and massage business management needs? We're specifically designed to help the solo massage therapist get organized and streamline their business. 

Check out our free 15 day trial to see how Bodywork Buddy can make your business run smoother.




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.