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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 practice management. Show all posts
Showing posts with label practice management. 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.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

How Do You Know If Your Client Got Their Email Reminder?


Bodywork Buddy has always had an email log so you can see when your clients received/opened their reminder emails. (Accessible from dashboard > account > email services > scroll down to email log.) Last I knew, no other online scheduling service offered this.

While it's a handy feature, we've had some members request a quicker, more "at-a-glance" way to see if clients haven't received or opened their email reminders. So we've implemented a new envelope icon in the calendar next to the client's name. An envelope outlined in white shows that the reminder has been sent, and the envelope will turn to solid white once it's been opened by your client. Pretty cool, right? Our members have been enjoying this feature for a few weeks now and the feedback has been pretty great.



Other ways to cut down on no-shows in your massage practice:
  • Send text reminders.
    Easy to do within BWB. Enable SMS services, have clients opt-in by texting the word "START" to 269-509-4288, make sure client's mobile number is on file.

  • Have a cancellation / no-show policy and make sure clients know about it.
    You can have your policies show within your email reminders, and you can also choose to have clients agree to your policies when they schedule online from your microsite.

  • Train clients from the beginning that you might not be able to get them back on the schedule immediately if they miss or cancel their appointment. You might be surprised how clients will be able to make it work once they realize they won't be able to get back in for several weeks. I discovered this by accident when I was so busy that I really was booked out for a month in advance. Clients started saying that they didn't dare cancel, because they knew they wouldn't be able to get in until next month.

    Even if you're not booked out for weeks in advance, you can show less openings in your schedule using Bodywork Buddy's "optimized time slots" feature. It only shows openings immediately before or after existing appointments, not only cutting down on large gaps in your day - but also creating a scarcity of available appointment times.


Do you have some useful tips to help cut down on cancellations and no-shows? Share here in the comments, I'd love to hear what has worked for you! 


Monday, January 25, 2016

Is Your Lack of Company Policies Leading To More No-Shows and Last-Minute Cancels?



Check out what Marie Forleo has to say on setting boundaries for your business:




*Disclaimer: Before someone accuses me of calling clients fat and body shaming them, just because I'm sharing this video doesn't mean I tell my clients being late makes them fat. I'm just making a point about boundaries using Marie's help with her video.



How do you enforce policies in your massage business? 

Bodywork Buddy can help with online intake forms where clients have to agree to your policies, plus your policies are included in every email reminder. (You can update or change these anytime from Dashboard > account > account settings > company policies.) They're also linked to your microsite. :)

Want to give it a try? We have a free 15 day trial (no credit card required). Check it out!




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

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.




Friday, July 6, 2012

Summertime = Opportunities To Promote Yourself


This recent blog post from Earthlite - Spreading the Love - got me thinking...

Summer time can sometimes mean a slow down in business for MT's.  What a perfect opportunity to get out there with your chair and market yourself at some events!

Donating your time can really help your business.  Even if you don't immediately see results from it, you will meet new people and get your hands out there.  Also, don't discount the importance of the practice of speaking to people and promoting yourself.  Each event you are at - you're meeting new people and telling them what you do.  If you have any reservations about talking yourself up - I'd definitely suggest doing as many of these events as you can.  Nothing makes public speaking and networking easier than practice, practice, practice!

freedigitalphotos.net
I look back on some of the events that I have done in the past, and I would have to say that is the #1 benefit I got from doing them - it made me better at speaking and promoting myself.  I got more comfortable and gained more confidence with each event I worked.

Did I immediately see more clients on my schedule the next week?  Not necessarily... but I look at it this way: marketing yourself is a marathon, not a sprint.  (Don't panic, no actual running is required!)
But the things do you today can have an impact far down the line in your massage business.

What events are you planning to attend this summer to promote your business?






Cindy Iwlew is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software, a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online scheduling

She continues to operate her own private massage practice of 13 years.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

10 Gift Ideas For the Massage Therapist In Your Life


If you're reading this blog, you're probably a massage therapist yourself.  So, this list is likely no surprise to you... but hey, maybe this list will make it's way into the viewing eyes of a loved one who needs some ideas. <wink, wink, nudge, nudge>
(easy ways to share this post in the right hand column.)

Image(s): FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  1. Massage / Spa magazines
  2. Table warmer
  3. Mother earth pillow
  4. holster
  5. Bolster
  6. linens
  7. Earthlite cream & oil sampler pack
  8. essential oil sampler pack
  9. candles
  10. a MASSAGE!

What other items would be on your wish list?

*These are not affiliate links, these are just products I truly love!



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.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Create Free Massage Brochures With ABMP


Are you a member of Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals? Did you know your membership includes an awesome ability to create beautiful brochures for your massage business?

After logging in to your account on ABMP.com, hover over the Marketing Center tab, then click Client Brochures (customized).  You can then add your own contact info in the lines provided, and upload your own logo.

There are 23 different types of brochures to choose from!  Everything from sports massage to maternity massage.

Once you choose the brochure type, click Generate.  You will then be presented with a link to click, which will download the brochure in a PDF onto your computer.

You can take this file in to your local print shop and have them professionally printed.  Or, you can even upload them to sites like Vista Print for printing.

To upload to Vista Print, save your PDF brochure in Adobe as a jpeg file.  This will create a file for each of the 2 pages of your brochure.  You can then upload the 2 pages separately to Vista Print.  (There will be a video tutorial on how to do this coming soon - so no worries if you need clarification).

Make your own brochure at www.abmp.com


Pretty awesome, right?  So easy, and it's a free benefit of your ABMP membership!
Have you made your own brochures with the ABMP generator?



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.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com




Friday, May 18, 2012

I Find Your Lack of Massage Music Disturbing


I'm one of those people who needs to constantly be changing my massage music.  It keeps me from going crazy.  Well... for the most part.

One of my favorite tools is Free Nature Sounds.  I can add rain and thunder, crashing ocean waves, bubbling brook or any other imaginable sound to my current massage music.

Mix & match, create your own relaxation mixes, save them as links, export them as files, or just stream them right from your computer.  Add one of these mixes to some old massage music and experience a whole new sound!

I have a laptop and internet at my studio, so it's easy to just stream it along with my massage music.  I use wireless speakers (similar to these) plugged in to my laptop, so I don't need to have my computer in the massage room with me.  (and they require no wiring to hook up).

While the rain and thunder are my favorite, there are also more adventurous choices like Darth Vader and fireworks.  While I'm not sure I'd like those added to massage music... I'm not here to judge. ;-)  So for those of you that like that kind of thing, I've made a mix just for you: Darth Vader Massage.
You're welcome.

Create your own awesome mix?  Share the link in the comments below so we can all have a listen.




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.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com

Monday, May 14, 2012

Set Yourself Apart From the Competition

jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you're in an area that is saturated with massage therapists, it's important to set yourself apart from your competition.  There's a few simple ways you can do this.


  • Offer a unique technique.  
    Rather than market it as the modality, present it as a solution to your client's problem.
    There are so many different techniques out there - find something that intrigues you that no one else is doing in your area.
  • Position yourself as an expert.  
    A great way to do this is to write articles on massage / holistic health / etc for your local paper.  Create a blog to educate clients on the benefits of massage.
    Send out newsletters or e-newsletters to clients.  (Writing not your forte? ABMP has a great newsletter generator for you to send to clients.)
    Speak at events, conventions, etc. that are related to health and introduce the benefits of massage therapy.
  • Take customer service to the next level.
    Offer your clients more value with exceptional service.
    Promote extras or add-ons like paraffin dip, hot towels, aromatherapy, etc.
    (More ideas in this post on 10 Simple Ways to Wow Your Clients.)
  • Offer unique business hours.Is your competition offering evening or Sunday appointments?  Set yourself apart by offering convenient times that others don't.
  • Make it easy for clients to schedule with you.
    Offer online scheduling, phone, email, text as ways to contact you.
  • Have a web presence.
    A website is a necessity, in my opinion.  Stand out from the crowd by making yours awesome. (Beautiful design, interesting content, search engine optimization, online scheduling, blog.)
    Make sure you're not making any of these common mistakes.
  • Provide a unique specialty.
    Fill a need by offering same-day emergency appointments, or longer-than-usual sessions, or short, effective sessions.
  • Create a "Signature Treatment".
    Combine your two most popular services into one beautiful treatment that no one else offers.
  • Create a niche market.
    Focus on a certain clientele.  Prenatal for pregnant women, Stress-relieving treatments for agonized executives, recovery massage for athletes, etc.

What ways have you set yourself apart from the competition?  How has it helped your business?


Cindy Iwlew is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software, a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online scheduling

She continues to operate her own private massage practice of 13 years, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com







Friday, May 11, 2012

10 Secret Weapons Every Massage Room Needs


If you're a seasoned MT, you've probably already realized the importance of these things... and I'm willing to bet 90% of this list is in your massage room.
That realization no doubt came from experience of not having these things and NEEDING them!

10 secret weapons every massage room needs

So, here's a little list for newer massage therapists.  These secret essentials will really come in handy.

Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  1. Cough drops or water.
    If ever you get a tickle in your throat and have a coughing fit...know it will happen in the middle of a massage.  Probably with a new client.
    (Plus, your client may need a cough drop at some point as well.)
  2. Aromatic essential oils.
    Particularly helpful if you get cases of stinky feet.  Hey, it's an occupation hazard - it happens!
    Eucalyptus & Peppermint are favorites for sinuses as well.
  3. Aromatic essential oils in a spray bottle.  Or air freshener spray bottles.
    For other cases of unpleasant odors...
  4. Hand sanitizer.
    Great to use after you've massage the feet before moving to other body parts, or throughout the massage.  Also, handy to share with your client if they need to blow their nose while on the table.  Seriously, you just never know when you will need this - so have it!
  5. Kleenex.
    This is just as much for you as it is for your clients.
  6. Hot towels or saniwipes.
    See #2.  I've also had clients come in sweaty from the heat outside or from rushing - and they requested a hot towel to wipe off their face, etc. before their massage. So these are nice to have available if needed.
  7. A fan.
    Working in a massage room that is like an oven is no fun.  Have a fan aimed up high so it blows on you but not your client.
  8. Hair ties.
    For you and your clients.
  9. Hand towels or washcloths for your use.
  10. High protein snacks to refuel during your work day.
What other secret weapons do you have in your massage room?






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.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How To Burn Out in 7 Years ... or Less!


A post last week from Massage Table Outlet about the importance of self-care for massage therapists has inspired me to write this post.  Unfortunately, it's a topic that I feel doesn't get enough emphasis in our field.

- Massage Table Outlet


Therapists often don't realize the importance until it's too late!  So while my list here is playful, please take care of yourself and take this information to 

How to Burn Out in 7 Years... or Less!

Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  • Do as many massages a day as humanly possible.
  • Only schedule enough time in between clients to change the linens on the table.
  • Fuel up on gummi bears and Mt. Dew during your work day.
  • Forget everything you ever learned about proper body mechanics.
  • Use your thumbs AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE in your work.
  • Consider doing massage as your daily requirement for "exercise" and never do anything additional for your body.
  • Try to work 7 or 8 days a week.
  • Don't stretch - this is for sissies.
  • Say YES to everything and everyone - especially clients.
  • Never learn any new techniques. Stick to the exact same work you've been doing since massage school so you're sure to be bored out of your mind.
  • Play the same massage music every day... for years.
  • Charge just enough to feed yourself and possible not make your mortgage or rent payment each month.
  • Take on all of your client's emotional and physical baggage yourself - make yourself a martyr.
  • Give all of yourself all the time to every one....except yourself.
  • Don't learn to work with any kind of tools.
  • Spend your off time doing hands-heavy hobbies like playing piano, gardening, kneading dough, etc.
  • And last but not least:
    Never receive any bodywork yourself!

Do you have other tips to add on how to quickly burnout as an MT?  Comment below - I'd love to hear your thoughts!




Cindy Iwlew is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software, a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online schedulingShe continues to operate her own private massage practice of 13 years, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com

Monday, May 7, 2012

How to Create a Free Commercial for Your Massage Website


Have you ever heard of Animoto?   It's a cool little site where you can take video clips and pictures - add text & music - to create a free 30 second video.

It's a great tool to create a commercial about your massage practice to add to your website.  It's fairly simple - after creating an account and logging in, you can choose your pictures from several different sources including your Facebook account.  Add any text you want and choose music to go with your video... and Animoto then does the rest.

Here are some tips to create an awesome commercial:

  • Keep it short.  You can purchase a longer video, but 30 second videos are free... and really, 30 seconds is the perfect length for a commercial.  You want to entice people, not bore them with a long video.
  • Animoto has a very large library of music to choose from... however, in my opinion, not much of it goes nicely with massage therapy.  I'd recommend uploading your own music.  Keep in mind that there may be some legalities to uploading just any music... To be on the safe side, I recommend using music from ASOMAssage*.  (ASOMAssage is a music membership site with royalty free massage music - only $9.95/month membership gets you 6 hours of downloadable music each month! It's a great service, despite their use of that talking popup that I just advised against in last week's post...forum smileys)
    The music in the video below is a sampling of the beautiful massage music you get with a membership.  If you're a member of ASOMAssage and would like to use some of their music for your videos, please contact them for details.
  • Use pictures of yourself - not other therapists.  Trade with a photographer to get some nice, professional photos.
  • Remember to put your website address and phone number in the video. Direct clients to schedule online if you offer that service.
  • Post your video on your website and Facebook page.
Here's a little example of what you can do -




Have you made your own commercial with Animoto?  Post a link here so we can check it out!

*I am an affiliate with Asomassage, which means I will receive a referral commission if you signup for this service.  However, this commission does not influence the information I provide in this blog nor does it mean that you will pay more if you buy through my links.  I always provide honest opinions and reviews to share my findings, beliefs and experiences.






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.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com