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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 tools. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tools. Show all posts

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.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

How To Customize Your Online Client Intake Form


Need help with customizing the default intake form in your Bodywork Buddy account? This video walks you through the basics of changing your form.

Let me know if you have any questions!





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

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

How to Take Control of Your Passwords



In today's tech world, we all have a million passwords for a million different accounts. Your bank account, your online scheduling account, your business Facebook page... and these are just a handful that are only for your massage therapy business. How do you remember or keep track of them all?! Especially when they are cryptic words with special characters, a specific amount of numbers, some lowercase letters mixed with some uppercase letters.... 
Well, good news. There's a new school of thought on what makes a strong password.


Previously, security experts recommended the use of password manager apps to ensure users' accounts were protected.



"The old wisdom... we found that it does everything negative for usability and really, not a whole heck of a lot for security." - Paul Grassi on All Tech Considered

The new suggestions for what makes a strong password are:

  • Long passwords
  • phrases
  • spaces
  • lowercase typical words, no need for uppercase letters mixed in
  • no need for special characters
  • no expiration


It's suggested to have a password manager. There are lots of useful apps available to store your passwords and make your life easier. That combined with the new rules for what makes a strong password, I think we can all breathe a little easier and stop putting so much energy into creating and remembering our keys to all of our accounts!




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.








Friday, August 4, 2017

Before You Email Clients, Do These 6 Things



A question came up in the Bodywork Buddies Facebook group the other day about promotional emails not making it to client's main inbox. (Never heard of our FB group? If you've had a trial account or been a BWB member, you can join and get in on some awesome convos yourself! Drama-free quality conversations about massage biz.)

If your clients are using gmail as their email provider, your emails may be ending up in their promotions tab... or worse yet, being recognized as spam and not making it to them at all.
What are some ways we can ensure our massage clients are getting our emails?

Permission

First off, make sure they actually want them. Did you ask their permission or have them opt-in for your email in some way? If you've personally emailed with them before and are just taking your contact list from your email account and creating a mass emailing, you're not technically following anti-spamming laws. If your contacts report your emails as spam, it can hurt your chances of getting to their inbox even more.

How to fix this:

  • Add an opt-in to your website and social media
  • Ask clients when they are in for their appointment 
  • Clients are agreeing to be on mailing list when they schedule online

Template Style

Another suggestion is to use the plain text option for your email template. While email campaigns offer lots of cool design templates and styles, the most proven is the plain text email. (Not only for making it into the main inbox, but for actually getting read.) Clients don't want a newsletter-style email, they actually want personal communications.

Spam filters are ore apt to catch HTML emails with a fancy design, so instead use the plain text option and make it more like you're writing a letter to a friend.

The plain text option is usually the boring one at the very bottom of the choices for cool templates. 






Links, Images, and Exclamation Points

Having lots of links and images in your email will make it look more spammy to the email gods.
Instead of loading up your email with lots of both, stick to only one link, and maybe one image.
Resist the urge to use lots of exclamation points in your title and text.


Personalize

Add merge tags to add client's name in subject line of your email.




Add merge tags to include the client's name in the body of your email.





Realistic Expectations

Keep in mind that even if your emails are getting to clients, they may not open/read them. Email campaign services like Mailchimp show the industry average so that you can get a good idea of how your emails are stacking up against others in the industry. According to this, email campaigns in the massage therapy field have about a 13% open rate. By that standard, my open rates of 30% and up are pretty great! 






Address Book

Before starting your email campaigns, send out a personal email to your clients asking them to make sure they have your address in their contacts so they are sure to get the latest news from you. Post a notice in your massage studio, mention it at their appointments when you ask for permission to email them, etc.


Quick Tip

If they have received your email in the promotions tab (or another tab), they can drag it over to their main inbox to ensure future emails are delivered there.


I've used examples from Mailchimp here, but these can be applied to all email campaign service companies. I like Mailchimp because you can have a free account with up to 2K contacts and it's easy to import your client list from Bodywork Buddy.

We're actually working to add email marketing into our online scheduling for massage therapists here at Bodywork Buddy. This is the next big feature we've been working on. It's taking some time, because if you know our system and how we operate - we're passionate about quality. With software, the end product that you see seems simple - but there's a lot of work that goes into getting it to that stage. So in the meantime, we recommend using Mailchimp. And we'll be sure to let you know when we have email marketing integrated into our system for some seamless marketing campaigns to your clients. 😀





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







Today's blog post was written to the beautiful sounds of 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Retooling Your Barefoot Massage



I had the good fortune to be a guest client for Mary-Claire and Abigail’s FasciAshi FUNdamentals class in Battle Creek, Michigan this past weekend. Even after having taught barefoot massage for 10 years and practicing it for longer, I had some “ah-ha” moments when receiving FasciAshi. (YOU GUYS, the anterior neck work is amaaazing.)

I received some of the work in the afternoon on the first day. I felt like what I received on the first day was better-than-average first-day-of-class work. It seemed to me that the way this class is structured had the students starting with full body strokes with their feet that make it easier to delve in with working with the feet for the first time, and easier to receive for the client… then working their way up to more specific strokes.

The definition of FasciAshi:
Ashiatsu barefoot massage focusing on exploration of how to engage tissue with each stroke using myofascial release, trigger point, deep tissue and ROM techniques applied by your feet.


I’m here to tell you, if you think you know all there is to know about ashiatsu and working with your feet, I can guarantee you will find some awesome value in the FaschiAshi classes. This is NOT your grandmother’s barefoot massage.
Mary-Claire Fredette
teaching how to install
bars in ashiatsu class

The guest clients on the last day of class were people I have had as guest clients for classes throughout the years, and one even said that this was the “best yet” massage from a class he’d received. And I really feel it’s not only the type of work, but in the way that it was taught - with the goal to help the therapists in class start thinking with their feet and working with intention rather than just following a routine.

Interested in learning more about these ashiatsu classes? Check them out at Center for Barefoot Massage. I’m planning to take some of their classes in 2018 myself.

What great continuing ed classes have you taken recently? Give them a shout-out in the comments, I'd love to hear what your favorites have been.




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

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!