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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 professional image. Show all posts
Showing posts with label professional image. Show all posts

Thursday, August 10, 2017

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

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




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



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





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


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




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










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


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



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


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





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





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

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

One Simple Trick to Get More Massage Clients Online




Testimonials and reviews help build trust with potential clients, resulting in them being more likely to schedule a massage appointment with you.

Research from Nielson reports that 88% of people will trust online reviews. In fact, many prospective clients will automatically search for reviews and testimonials about your services. Make it easy for them by displaying raving reviews right on your massage website and online scheduler!

Bodywork Buddy makes it painless to collect reviews. Once a session record is created (within 24 hours of the appointment time), our massage software automatically emails a request to the client to leave a testimonial. You can then choose to publish it to your online scheduling microsite.

Ready to give it a try? Signup for our free 15 day trial.









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

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Using Video Marketing to Boost Your Online Bookings {Guest Post by Sachiyo Langlois}



If you are an Ashiatsu Therapist, I am sure that you get a lot of - " So.... what do you? " or " A~shi what?" questions.

After losing a contract with a company which used to offer an alternative medicine program to their employee, I lost about 1/3 of clients. So I had all the time in the world to do something about it. 

I saw a silly family short movie that was made and posted by my friend on the Facebook. And literally I had the light bulb moment; I decided to make my own commercial video for my business.
   
First, I asked general questions to the Ashiatsu Therapists for tips and suggestions for creating a commercial video. I wanted the video to look professional (non-sexual), informative and somewhat entertaining.





I placed my dear friend (who also made the family movie) behind GoPro camera. I showed her a few examples of how other Ashi videos look and I directed how exactly I want her to capture the strokes. I brought 2 desk lamps to brighten up the room, chose a female model client who is fit and has nice skin tone without any tan marks, chose red wine colored sheets so that will pop out against powder blue walls, I wore black or green t-shirts with black capri pants so that I look professional rather than Asian prostitute look. I also included a foot washing scene, which I was so happy with avoiding dirty foot image, etc...etc...  

We spent about 1 hour for this video shooting and the toughest part was choosing only a very few good scenes so that the total length of my video would be around 1-minute. I added caption throughout the video to explain what it is, and contact information at the end. I spent a lot of time searching for how to, but I managed to create an pretty darn good video without spending any money.

3 months later, I have also decided to make a second video doing Ashi-Thai Bodywork outdoors. This one came out even better than the first and includes the water mark / my biz logo in it. If I ever get hurt and not being able to do Ashi, I may get into this.

I have released these videos on Facebook ads with a Holiday Sale and I got a great result. Also, even people from far away (like an hour away!)
came to receive a one hour massage. I think that now, most mysteries are solved... let's make an appointment. Kind of.

My Ashi video's are posted on my "Kooma Massage Therapy" Facebook page and YouTube. Youtube share can include related but inappropriate videos so I would suggest sharing them from my FB page. Please make your contact info visible in your post and don't forget to " Like" my page. :)



Ashiastu Barefoot Massage - Go Pro camera and its video editing software  
Music by Nathan Mark ( Lindsay camera girl, her husband )
Ashi-Thai Bodywork  -  GoPro camera and iMovie software. 
I used the music from the iMovie software.








Monday, July 24, 2017

The Biggest Facebook Setting Mistake You Don't Want to Make




This past week, I kept trying to tag a local business Facebook page in a post about how awesome they are. Facebook wasn't showing the tag once the status was posted. Then I realized there is a setting in the business page that will not allow others to tag your page.

Just wanted to pass this along in case you didn't know this was an option. You may want to make sure you have this setting set to allow people to tag your business, so when your clients brag about you on FB, they can easily send others to your business page!



Without this setting enabled, when someone tries to tag your business page on Facebook, it will only show the text and not be a clickable link to your business page. Which would be absolutely zero help to getting the word out about your business. You'll especially want this setting enabled if you offer online scheduling right from within your Facebook page. ( *Shameless Plug * Our online scheduling for massage therapists has the ability to embed the scheduler right into your FB biz page, so clients don't even have to leave FB to schedule a relaxing massage with you!)

Check out Hillary Arrieta's massage business, Gaia Bodywork, on Facebook and how her scheduler is embedded right into her business page:




Here's another helpful tip when using FB for your massage business:
When you post graphics or articles from your biz page, be sure to add a little comment in the main post encouraging clients to schedule and include the link to your scheduler. 
Keep in mind that when clients see your posts, it will most likely be from within their feed rather than directly from your page. Make it as easy as possible for them to schedule by including a link they can click to schedule. Otherwise, they would have to see your post, click onto your page, click onto schedule online, etc. Instead, just make it stupid easy with one click! :D

Amanda's business, Soothing Palms Massage, does a great job of this on FB. She shared an image from Massage Magazine, and added her own comment including her link to her online scheduler:



Speaking of Facebook, did you now we have an awesome active group for Bodywork Buddy members? If you're a massage therapist using our online scheduling, we would love to have you join us on FB!


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

Iggy is the branch manager and helps keep Cindy on track with balancing out computer time with playing outdoors.









Today's post was created while listening to Amazon's Playlist '90s Hip-Hop BBQ. (We all need a break from massage music, right?!)
Happy Summer!


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

How to Harness the Power of Your Hours Report




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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 
About the author:

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

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




Monday, June 26, 2017

A New Way to Think About Setting Policies {Guest Post by Michelle Doetsch, LMT, BS}



A New Way to Think About Setting Policies




There are probably a thousand articles out there telling us how important it is to have policies, and they’re absolutely correct; it IS important to have policies. Those same articles will tell us how to formulate our policies and give us several examples of the type of policy the author favors. That’s good info to have, especially if you’re new to the whole creating policies thing and need some concrete examples to get your own policy juices flowing. Or maybe you just need some policies to copy verbatim so you can be done with the unhappy job of writing your own.

Two of the most common ways we’re counseled to create policies are: 1) Create policies that treat your clients the way you would want to be treated if you were a client, and 2) Create strong policies with clear penalties for violating those policies, then make sure to enforce those policies every. single. time. Failing to enforce them shows weakness and clients will take advantage of you if you let them.

Seriously sound advice. The only problem is that neither way felt right to me. The first one felt more right, but I had a hard time with it. If you feel the same way or are just looking to tweak your current policies, here’s another way to think about them. Write them with a view to treating your clients the way you expect them to behave.

This is the guidance I use to set most of my policies, but it’s not for everyone. I know that. I also know, that I’m not the only one who favors this style of policy writing. Earlier today I was investigating a local delivery service that brings organic produce direct from the farm to your door, and found that they have a cancellation policy very similar to mine. That got me thinking that perhaps some of my fellow massage therapists might resonate with this way of setting policies also.

Where The Idea Came From


I’ve worked a lot of jobs in my almost 50 years of life, and I’ve had good bosses and bad bosses. The way they treated their employees was reflected in the ways the employees behaved… Not the other way around.

The bad bosses always assumed the worst, refused to listen to employee concerns, ignored problems, or blamed them on the employees. They required doctor’s notes to prove you were sick if you called in. They wouldn’t allow you to take lunches or breaks away from your desk for fear you might be a minute late getting back. They wouldn’t give out paychecks until 5pm on Friday to make sure you didn’t skip out early. They scheduled every staff meeting at 8am to “make sure everyone’s on time to work, for a change.” These bosses treated every employee as a misbehaving school kid, and the employees responded by acting like misbehaving school kids. These jobs, not surprisingly, were plagued with poor morale and high staff turnover.

The good bosses, on the other hand, took employees at their word, were accessible, and made employees feel comfortable bringing problems to them. If you called in sick, they gave you your paid sick day without grilling you. If you were late because of something beyond your control they understood. They scheduled staff meetings at times when everyone was available and best prepared to make a real contribution to the proceedings. These bosses treated their employees like professional adults, and the employees responded by acting like professional adults. These employers enjoyed a staff with high morale and low turnover. *
*Note: There was no correlation in type of employer vs type of employment. Some of the jobs which required advanced college degrees had the worst bosses, and some of my retail jobs were the absolute best about treating employees with respect and dignity.

A Few Policies

While most of my policies are pretty standard, they still aim to treat my clients how I expect them  (and myself for that matter) to act. For instance, my tardiness policy reads, “Sessions begin and end on time. If the client is late the session will still end at the originally agreed upon time and there will be no pro-rating of cost. If the therapist is late the session will continue for the originally agreed upon length of time or be pro-rated, whichever the client chooses.” 

However, my cancellation policy is very different from the standard ones. It reads: “24 hr notice is respectfully requested when canceling or rescheduling an appointment.” That’s it. 

I’ve had more than a few people tell me that it’s a terrible policy and that clients are going to take advantage of me left and right. They’ve told me that it’s not “business-like” enough. Frankly, they’ve told me in about every way possible how it’s a horrible, no-good, very bad policy but they haven’t convinced me of that.

You see, my policy works for me and that’s all that matters. There are two things I let slide: illness and family emergency. Both often strike without warning and often within the timeframe of a more traditional cancellation policy. Almost everyone alive has had the experience of going to bed feeling great and waking up sicker than a dog. It’s happened to me both as a client and a as practitioner, and I’ve cancelled appointments in both situations. Besides, I ask them to NOT come into my office when they’re contagious, and I deeply appreciate them honoring that request. I would feel like a hypocrite asking them to stay home when they’re sick and then charging them a missed appointment fee if they stay home when they’re sick. I also can’t bring myself to give x number of sick days to a client, after which I terminate them. That works for some people, but not for me.

For as much “leeway” as I give my clients, I have very few late cancellations. By the way, I don’t consider it “leeway,” I consider it treating them like adults who know when they’re too sick to be leaving the house. Yes, having an appointment open up the same day affects my bottom line, but not as much as a sick client passing their contagion on to me would cost me when I have to cancel an entire day (or several days) worth of clients. It’s definitely a strategy/policy that takes a long-view approach. 

I’m not saying that you need to adopt my style of cancellation policy. Good heavens, no. What I am saying is that there’s more than one way to set the same policy. Use the one that works for you, no matter what anyone else says about it. You’re the one who has to enforce it, and you’re the one who has to live with the consequences of enforcing it. Therefore, it should fit who you are as a business person, not who anyone else says you should be.



Michelle Doetsch


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

Sunday, May 21, 2017

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

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

Hey there!

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

Last day of early bird pricing!

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


SIGNUP NOW!



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

New Microsite Themes, An Editor, and Bears, Oh My!



We're excited to announce some new designs available for our online scheduling microsites as well as some other cool features and updates to the microsite area!

There are now 11 color/theme choices for your microsite. We've also added an editor to the main text area of the microsite - this means you can now add your own links, images, bold or italic text, etc in your main text.

This makes our online scheduling microsite more customizable than ever! Combined with the ability to choose a video, upload your own images or use images from our library, and add your own text, you can truly make your Bodywork Buddy online scheduler reflect your personality and your business.

Interested in creating your microsite to match the design of your website completely? We do offer individual designs as well. Contact us for pricing and details.

Not sure if Bodywork Buddy is right for you? We have a risk-free 15 day trial. I'm a licensed massage therapist myself (still in practice, btw). I get it. It's hard to switch over to a new system, or to take the plunge away from your paper book. That's why we offer the trial and will also import your client list for you. We also have amazing customer service, if I do say so myself! ;) I'll be here along side you every step of the way if you need me.

Try it free.

Oh, and I was just kidding about the bears. Don't worry, there are no bears.



Saturday, April 1, 2017

Inspiration to Blog for Your Massage Business



I admit, it took me a while to realize the benefits of blogging for business. I had always heard that we should be blogging, but I didn't really grasp the "why" until after I had started.

Have you been thinking about blogging, or maybe just wondering why it's a good idea?

Let's break it down.


Why Blog?


  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
    Blogging helps your site get found by Google and other search engines. Every time you write a blog post, it's another indexed page on your site. More indexed pages means more chances of showing up in search engines and driving traffic to your site. New content on your site signals to the search engines that your site is active and worth checking in frequently.

  • Educates
    Blogging is a great opportunity to educate clients (and potential clients) on the benefits of massage, any special services or offerings that you have, and overall wellness information.

  • Establishes Authority
    Your current clients probably already see you as an expert in the field, but that fact will really be driven home when you regularly blog about wellness and massage. New clients will be put more at ease seeing your expertise from your blog posts. It's easy to forget that some of the information we know after being a massage therapist for X amount of years isn't necessarily common knowledge to clients and potential clients.

  • Fosters Relationships
    Creates a two-way conversation with your clients, helping to build a relationship with them before they even step foot in your massage studio.



What To Blog?

  • Think over your past week in working with clients. What are some questions you were asked? This is a great source of blog topics and material.

  • Wellness tips and/or products.

  • Spotlight different services you offer and explain the benefits of each one. (1 service = 1 blog post.)

  • Youtube videos showing self-care tips - just add your own commentary and there's a great, informational post! Here's one that I used recently during cold & flu season, and several clients thanked me for it:



My Results From Blogging



  • After writing and publishing a post to my website, I create an email campaign to my client list and paste in the entire blog post. (My main goal is for clients to read it, but if my main goal was traffic to my site, I might only put the first paragraph of the post and then link back to my blog. Or, you could still drive traffic to your site by including the entire post and then asking them to comment on your blog.) I end the email with any openings in my schedule coming up soon, and a link to my online scheduler. These openings always get filled after my email goes out.

  • Many clients have mentioned that they love my emails about the benefits of massage and thank me often for them. Just this morning at yoga class, I saw a client and she thanked me (for about the 4th time) for sending these emails.

  • I've sold more product and have been able to educate my clients on how the products I carry can help them.



How To Get Started



  • You don't have to have some fancy blogging software to get started with reaping the benefits of blogging right away. Many website services include a blog option (Weebly, ABMP's free website, etc.) Or you can use a free service like Blogger.

  • If you have trouble thinking of topics, start with the first month's posts before you publish any of them so that you get the ball rolling.

  • Choose how often to post and stick with being consistent.

  • Email your clients / mailing list your blog post. Encourage them to comment on the post and link back to the blog.

  • If you have openings you need to fill, include those in the bottom of the emailed posts to clients.

  • Add an image! Canva is a great option to create an image for your blog posts. It's a free service and you can legally use those images on your site.

  • Have a friend proofread it if spelling and writing are not your strong suit.

Do you have a blog for your massage business? Share it in the comments, you may just inspire another massage therapist to start their own blog!





Cindy Iwlew is a licensed massage therapist and cofounder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software.