Get posts like this in your inbox. And also sometimes cute dog pics.
X
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 professional image. Show all posts
Showing posts with label professional image. 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, September 19, 2017

Master Your Screening Process for Creeper Clients




Did you see this post last week on Bored Panda directly addressing Mr. Massage Creeper? (Or could be Ms. too, I suppose!)


We’ve all been there, unfortunately. Unlike most professions, licensed massage therapists have to hone their skills of gut instincts, intuition, screening, and noticing red flags of creeps. I remember early on in my massage career, I once had 3 creeps in 1 week.

I contemplated quitting massage, even though I loved the work. I wondered what was I doing to attract these weirdos, and what could I do to make it stop?

I couldn’t believe that someone would think that I was offering illegal services, didn’t they know how awesome massage therapy is and how disrespectful it was to do this?! I laugh to think now that I thought that way, but the truth is that massage school did not prepare me at all for how the average joe thought about massage, much less the creepy joe. No skills or tactics were taught to us newbies on how to deal with creeps…. I don’t recall it even being mentioned to us that we would encounter them.

Looking back, I think of some ways my working environment could’ve been improved for a more professional image. I was working for other companies, and didn’t really have any control over the building, decor, etc. I didn’t think at the time that it really mattered. After all, these people had successful businesses, they must know what they’re doing, right?


And this was before email was commonplace. Smartphones and texting were non-existent. Online booking? Ha! So all screening had to be done on the phone, and more often than not, nothing unusual would happen until the creep was there in person. Thankfully, we now have the awesome conveniences of today’s technology that can help us screen out any unwanted clients and hopefully save us from some face-to-face encounters with scoundrels.

Here’s a few ways some Bodywork Buddy members have screened out creepers:


Customize the Bodywork Buddy online intake form with distinct questions.

Asking specific questions like these can help you notice any red flags:



  • “What are your goals for your session?”
  • “What inspired you to seek out a therapeutic massage session today?”
  • “How long ago was your last massage?”
  • “How did you hear about me?”



Only accepting new male clients by referral from existing clients.

Let your clients do the screening for you! Only accepting new male clients (or female for that matter, if you have problems with female creepers) from existing clients will significantly reduce the number of people looking for “other” services.




Use online scheduling software that has option to decline an appointment request.

Bodywork Buddy has the option to accept or decline an appointment request. This can really come in handy to screen out creeps rather than having all appointments be automatically scheduled.

There’s also the option to include a message area for the client when scheduling. This can be a great tool to see red flags right away. Did they ask creepy questions or make a weird comment when requesting an appointment? APPOINTMENT REQUEST DECLINED.




Don’t accept same day appointments for new clients.

Many LMT’s have noticed that creepers are typically looking for an appointment that day. Help filter them out by using the “max days out for scheduling” feature in Bodywork Buddy. This will only allow clients to see openings as soon as the next day or as far out as 4 days (instead of immediate openings/same day openings) when scheduling online.





Require clients to agree to your policies online before they can schedule an appointment.

An optional feature in Bodywork Buddy can require clients to agree to your policies when they schedule an appointment online. The policies are completely customizable and written by you.




What screening techniques have you found helpful in your own massage practice?




Cindy Iwlew is a licensed massage therapist who has had a private practice since 1999 and cofounder of Bodywork Buddy massage software.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Marketing Your Massage Business in Just a Few Hours a Week {Guest Post by Gael Wood}



We all know that marketing a massage business takes time, money and creativity, and most of us would like to save on the first two. You CAN market your massage business in just a few hours a week, with some planning and focus.


Taking a day every quarter or so, to plan your promotions and marketing themes can save you HOURS in the long run. Knowing what you want to do is the hard part, and it’s easy to hop online because you need ideas and end up completely distracted and confused!

Figure out an overall marketing strategy and go from there. I recommend using printed marketing materials (rack cards, brochures, business cards or flyers), having a clear basic website with online booking, regular social media posts and networking in your local community. That may sound like a lot, but with a good plan it’s very doable in just a few hours a week.

Organize your printed marketing materials and keep them with you in your car. This way you can put them out while you are running your normal errands, and you’ll never inconveniently run out of business cards. Keep some thumb tacks and business card and brochure holders on hand too. You’ll be surprised how many places you can leave your advertising when you start looking for it. It’s a great way to reach people who need a massage but aren’t actively looking for one online.


I’m always surprised at how many massage therapists don’t have a website! Think about it, if you pick up a brochure and want more information, where do you go?






There are some great choices for building your own website, like weebly and wix. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but very doable for most people. Another option would be to pay someone to set it up for you or trade for a few massages. You will probably want to know how to do basic updates for specials and new blog posts. If you don’t have time or don’t want to update your site often, just have basic info, so that it doesn’t get outdated. I know I’m not impressed when I visit someone’s site and the Christmas specials are still up in May!

Social media is probably the most time-consuming marketing activity for most of us. On top of figuring out what to post, creating images and content, and searching for great content, it’s a very distracting place to be! Did you know that Facebook uses some of the same technology that casinos use to keep people at the slot machines? This is why I recommend a post scheduler, like eclincher, sprout social or viral tag to help you to preschedule, and even automatically recycle you content. 

Plan an hour or two a week to sit down and schedule out a few posts a day. 

Be sure to post a variety of content that you think will appeal to your ideal clients. If you don’t have time to create images, blog articles, and look for great content to share, check out the Massage Marketing Content Club by downloading your free samples HERE.

Last on the list is networking! If you are in a formal networking group, like the chamber of commerce, be sure to get events like business after hours on your schedule. It’s easy for these events to sneak up on us, and we end up missing out. If you aren’t in a formal group, check a few out or check your local paper, and even your kids school or your church for volunteer, donating and opportunities to help out and get involved.


Once you get in the habit of marketing your business, you will see opportunities everywhere!



Gael Wood has over 20 years of experience in the massage and spa industry. including day spas, resorts, and office settings, owning a therapeutic massage office, full day spa and currently an out call practice. She has amassed an immeasurable amount of knowledge and expertise in the art of growing and maintaining a thriving massage & spa business.
She now concentrates on educating and training massage and spa therapists in the areas of marketing, business start up, customer service and spa services. She is a NCBTMB approved CEU provider, licensed massage therapist and esthetician. Gael has over 20,000 massage therapists on her social media pages and email list.

Monday, August 28, 2017

What You May Not Know About Facebook Check-ins



You have a Facebook page for your massage business, right? 

Not only is a great way to get keep in touch with clients and reach prospective new clients on Facebook, it's a helpful tool for reviews.

Clients can leave reviews on your Facebook page which can then help sway new clients thinking about schedule a session with you.

But how do you get clients to leave a review on your Facebook business page? One easy tip is to have clients check-in at your business.




Facebook will automatically
ask them the next day to leave 
a review of their experience.   
It doesn't get any easier than that!

First, you'll want to make sure that the ability to check-in at your business is enabled in your Facebook. Then start working to get clients to check-in.

Ways to encourage clients to check-in on Facebook:


  • Have some signs posted at your massage business with a reminder to check-in

  • Offer an incentive like an upgrade to a service or being entered in a drawing for an upgrade or special service or gift when they check-in

  • Partner with a charity

Check-ins increase brand awareness and recognition with your clients and their social circles, but did you know that it also helps your SEO (Search Engine Optimization)? 



Google values and accordingly rates businesses that are seen as trusted providers with a high number of check-ins. It helps to increase the legitimacy of that business and therefore Google will trust it more, which in turn will help your massage business be more visible in search engine results.




Cindy Iwlew is a licensed massage therapist who has had a private practice since 1999 and cofounder of Bodywork Buddy massage software.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

How Wording Can Improve Your Confirmation and Reminder Emails




Struggling with how to phrase your confirmation and reminder emails to clients? While Bodywork Buddy online scheduling has some basic text with info about their appointment details, we also include an area where you can add your own additional information. (Keep in mind that the system allows for 1024 characters in this area.)

I like to mention details like parking at my studio, etc in my email. But you could also use this space for more specific wording about their appointment or your policies.

“Hi Cindy, your time with us is reserved only for you. It is considered confirmed. We will be emailing two* days prior to your appointment as a courtesy reminder only. If you are unable to make your appointment, please notify us more than 24 hours before your appointment time to avoid a cancellation fee.”
*Depending on what you have your reminder settings set to.




You could use this area to re-iterate your cancellation policy. (In addition to having your policies on your scheduling page and requiring that clients agree to them before scheduling, if you want.)

Here’s a write up that I’ve used in my own massage practice for a cancellation policy. I tried to find where I originally came across this wording, but haven’t been able to find it - I think it was from a massage therapy forum years ago. Anyway, I think it’s perfectly worded to help express to clients why we need to have cancellation policies:

“Please remember that appointments are commitments made by both therapist and client.  We have both committed our valuable time to each other.  I will honor your time by providing you with a high-quality massage and my undivided attention to your therapeutic needs; please honor mine by arriving on time for your appointment.  If this becomes impossible, please honor the time I have committed to you by only cancelling more than 24 hours before your appointment time, or paying for the time I have set aside for YOU.  Thank you.”


I asked Gael Wood of Massage and Spa Success how she likes to communicate reminders to her clients. Her suggestion was this:

‘Hi Susan, this is Gael from ________ day spa and I am calling with your appointment reminder. We have you down for 3pm on Thursday the 21st with Jill. We look forward to seeing you then!’ I also might offer an upgrade or more time if it's available. I don't normally mention cancelling, don't like to plant that seed! “


While this wording is more for a phone call, I love the idea of offering an upgrade at the time of a reminder! You could easily adjust this wording for your email reminders and mention your upgrade services as an option. I’ve recently added the doTERRA Aromatouch technique to my services and plan to use this suggestion to offer that as an upgrade to clients in their reminders.

(BTW, Gael has a new content marketing sample pack for free. Need some help in the marketing department? Check out her free sample - she makes it so easy for you!)

Gael also wrote an article for Massage Magazine last year about using scripts to improve sales.

Do you offer email or phone reminders to your clients? What wording has worked well for you?
If you don’t already have automated email reminders, check out what Bodywork Buddy can do for you!


Cindy Iwlew is a licensed massage therapist who has had a private practice since 1999 and cofounder of Bodywork Buddy massage software.