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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 online scheduling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label online scheduling. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Give Your Online Scheduler Some Personality!

Did you know you can customize the look of your online scheduler (microsite) with Bodywork Buddy? Add your own text, choose massage images from our library, or even add your own images!

Signup for the free 15 day trial, no credit card required :)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

How To Tell if Your Client Received Their Email Reminder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

*NEW FEATURE* New Client Star

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

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How To Block Off Time In Your Calendar

In Bodywork Buddy, your open business hours are highlighted in green in the calendar day and week view.

Click into the day you want to block off time. A popup window will appear with options of General Event, Confirmed Appointment, or Completed Appointment (Session).

Click the General Event button. Fill in info with any details needed, including length of time if you're not choosing an all day event. (You'll also have the option to drag the event longer or to a different timeframe in the day once it's created.)
Be sure to have "busy" selected.
Click the green "save appointment" button.

The event will now show in the calendar in light gray with the title you gave it. (Shown here with title of "closed".)

You can click on the event and drag it to different days or times in the calendar, or you can grab the lines at the bottom of the event to drag it to last shorter or longer in the day.

You can still schedule appointments in this timeframe if you want by clicking into the green area to the sides of the gray general event. (But clients will not see these times available online if you've chosen "busy" for the event.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

How To Sync Your Google or iCal Calendar

Did you know you can sync your Google and/or iCal calendars to your Bodywork Buddy calendar? Enabling your sync and feed settings will allow your BWB massage appointments to show in your Google and iCal calendars and vice versa. Many massage therapists love this feature that allows them to see all of their calendars from any location.

From within your Bodywork Buddy account, go to Dashboard > Calendar > Google Calendars > click green "enable Google calendar sync" button.

Oh look! That's me on live chat, available to help if you need it :)

Google will ask you to select which account you want to sync to.

After clicking on the appropriate account, you will have to click "accept" to grant Bodywork Buddy access to your Google calendar. 

Check the box next to the calendar(s) you want to sync with. Click the green "enable selected google calendar(s)" button.

Next, go to Dashboard > Calendar > Feed Settings > click green "enable feed" button.

After the feed is enabled, there will be a box in the lower left of this screen with a button to add to your Google calendar and/or Microsoft Outlook, and a link to add to any software that supports the iCal format.

Simply click on the buttons to add to google or microsoft outlook. If adding to iCal, highlight and copy the link > open your iCal > click File > New Calendar Subscription.

Paste the link into the text field and click "subscribe".

And that's it! Follow these steps and your calendars will be synced, allowing you to see events/appointments on both calendars from both places.

Have questions? Need help? Contact us, we'd love to help!

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. 

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.

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.

Friday, April 10, 2015

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

by Hillary Arrieta LMT, Richardson Texas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do you use your email list?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Is Bodywork Buddy Right For Me?

Extensive reports available with Bodywork Buddy
There's a lot of different choices when it comes to online scheduling and practice management software. It's important to first consider what features are crucial for your needs. Not every system is going to be the right fit for you. (Much like with massage therapy where clients need to try out different therapists to find the right one for them.) Most online scheduling systems offer a free trial so you can do just this without any risk or commitment.

We find that most therapists can get a good feel for the system and if it's the right fit for them by signing up for the Bodywork Buddy free 15 day trial. But here's a list of some key features to see if it might be a good fit for your needs.

If you answer "Yes" to any of these, Bodywork Buddy may be right for you:

  • I am a solo therapist with my own business 
  • I only have 1 location
  • I want clients to be able to schedule online from my website or Facebook page
  • I want to track my income and expenses
  • I want to automatically send email and text reminders to clients
  • I want to automatically collect testimonials from clients
  • I want to track sales and redemptions of gift certificates and packages
  • I want to keep client files and notes including SOAP notes
  • I want to sync my Bodywork Buddy calendar with my iCal and/or Google Calendar or other calendar
  • I want to access my account from my smartphone or tablet as well as a desktop computer
  • I want to easily see upcoming client birthdays, or what clients haven't been to me in X amount of time
  • I want to have full customer support via live chat, email, 24/7 online help center, and phone at no extra charge

If you answer "Yes" to any of these, Bodywork Buddy is probably NOT the right fit for you:
  • I want to process credit cards within my account, or require a credit card to make an appointment online
  • I have multiple therapists
  • I have multiple locations
  • I want to schedule classes online with my scheduler
  • I want to track sales and inventory of retail products
  • I want a downloadable app on my mobile device to access when I don't have internet access

These are certainly not all of the features of Bodywork Buddy, but a few key things to think about when you're looking for an online scheduler and practice management system.

We strongly encourage you to signup for the free trial if you're interested in Bodywork Buddy to see if it's a good fit for your needs. There is no credit card required to signup, your 15 day trial will automatically expire if you choose not to continue with it. So there's no need to worry about remembering to cancel it, or worry that your card will get charged. 

While signing up for our trial will put you on our email list, you can unsubscribe from that at any time if you choose. 
We won't constantly call and harass you if you decide that Bodywork Buddy isn't right for you. 
We promise. ❤ 

And that's what we mean by risk-free. Your card won't get charged. We won't inundate you with unwanted phone calls and emails. 

We will, however, always be here if you have any questions or need any help.

Monday, July 21, 2014

*NEW* Mobile-Friendly Bodywork Buddy

Last month, we implemented our new completely mobile-friendly user interface for Bodywork Buddy. The upgrade made it possible for our members to run their practice smoothly from a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. Registration is now open, signup and try it for free!

This upgrade includes many improvements from the previous mobile versions and is optimized and built specifically to run smoothly across all devices. The system is fully functional on mobile devices, allowing members to access all areas of their account - not just certain areas optimized for mobile - but the entire system.

Our member microsites underwent a mobile upgrade last Fall which enabled clients to be able to schedule with Bodywork Buddy members from their phones or tablets. Now with this latest upgrade to the member area, the system is fully functional on mobile devices.

No apps to download, Bodywork Buddy is accessible on your mobile device by opening your internet browser and going directly to Simple and quick!

We were thrilled to release it to our members and even more thrilled with their feedback!

According to studies, mobile use has now surpassed desktop use for internet access. Here at Bodywork Buddy, we're excited to be able to offer this awesome mobile functionality to our members.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Add Your "Schedule Online" Button To Your Email Signature

Adding your schedule button to your email signature can make it even easier for clients corresponding with you to schedule online.

How to add your "schedule online" button to your signature in your emails (this example shown for gmail).

From your dashboard in Bodywork Buddy, hover over Account > click Micro Site Info.

Left-click your mouse and scroll over the button image. (located under "extra stuff" at the bottom of the Microsite Info page).
Hold the "control" and "C" keys on a pc, or the "command" and "C" keys on a mac to copy the button and link.

Go to your email > click on the settings gear in the upper right corner of gmail > click on Settings.

From within settings > General > scroll down to Signature. Click within the text box, and then right-click your mouse. Click "paste". (Or click "control" and "v" on pc, or "command" and "v" on a mac.)

Click on the schedule button, and your microsite URL will pop up. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

3 Easy Tips For Starting Your Email Marketing

Are you collecting email addresses from clients? Have you been wanting to, but not sure where to start? Or not even sure there's much benefit to having client email addresses on file? 

A while back, Hillary wrote this guest blog post about how she made $10,000 in one day. A huge part of her success was that she regularly emails her clients. And like I pointed out in this post, email marketing is a more personal way to connect with clients than social media.

So here's a few ways you can start to collect the email addresses from your clients:

  1. Online Scheduling.
    Bodywork Buddy requires the client to enter their email address to schedule an appointment online. (I would imagine most online schedulers require this - as it's kind of a cornerstone to the concept of online scheduling!)  Bodywork Buddy also automatically sends email reminders to your clients of their upcoming appointments which helps to cut down on no-shows.
  2. Health Intake Form.
    Make sure your health history form asks for their email address and states that they are approving you to send them emails.
  3. Opt-in Form on your website.
    Include a newsletter signup or a "special offers" signup on your website.  (Mailchimp offers a great free program up to 2,000 contacts and lets you easily create a signup for your website.) Often times, prospective clients may be visiting your website but not committing to making an appointment yet. This is a great opportunity to get their contact information so you can continue to keep in touch with them and stay on the top of their mind.
Once you have gotten started on your list, you can start working to create email campaigns.  More on this in an upcoming blog post - stay tuned!  

If you're on Networked Blogs, be sure to add this blog to your list of follows (click follow in the Networked Blogs box to the right). Or you can signup to the right to receive each new post in your inbox so you're sure to get upcoming posts.

Do you have other tips for collecting email addresses that I haven't included here? Leave them in the comments below, I'd love to hear what has worked 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 14 years.