How Do You Respond to Praise?

praise2This has been an interesting month as I’ve announced the closing of BodyworkBiz. I have a following of detractors, but I also have a following of people who appreciate the work I do. And many of the later have been contacting me or posting here in the blog or Facebook thanking me for my contributions to their practice and the profession.

It feels a little uncomfortable for me and not just because the sentiments sound a little like a eulogy. (I’m not quite dead yet.) I’m just not sure how to respond.

Here in Canada when someone says “thanks” we usually respond with “you’re welcome”. In the States, as I’ve discovered in my travels over these past few years, people usually respond with “of course” or simply “uh huh”.

I don’t know if anyone knows exactly how to respond to praise. We use deflecting phrases like:

  • “No problem.”
  • “I would have done it for anyone.”
  • “Just doing my job.”

By responding this way, you’ve really disregarded the effort the compliment-giver has made in bestowing praise on you and you’ve really discounted the value of your work.

I recently came across a blog post that gave some suggestions for responding in a way that makes the person feel special and valued and makes them feel good about doing business with you. What do you think about responding in this way?

  • “You’re one of my most important clients, so I was happy to do this for you.”
  • “That’s what long-term partners do for one another. Thank you for trusting us.”
  • “That’s part of the great service you can expect when you deal with me. I appreciate you and your business.”
  • “I was happy to do it. I appreciate you (or your business).”
  • “It would have killed an ordinary person but I was glad to extend myself for you.” (for a little humor)

So for all of you who have thanked me over these past weeks I’d like to say,

“I love to see you be successful and I’m delighted I could play a role in helping you in your business over these past 15 years.”

Important reminder: The BodyworkBiz Retirement sale ends really soon and the site closes down on December 31st. For the next 16 days you can get everything I’ve ever produced on the site – every course and resource – in one package for a very special price. Check out everything you get in the package here:

Why I’m Quitting Massage…

As BodyworkBiz is winding down and coming to a close I’ve been reflecting a lot on the process of change.

I’ve gotten to know a lot of the “big names” in massage over the years. Some as acquaintances, some as clients, and many as friends. And when I announced the closing of BodyworkBiz they were a little shocked and concerned. This week I received calls from about a half dozen people wondering what exactly was going on: “What happened? Are you okay? Are you dying? Are you nuts?”

The news is this: I’m fine! I’m healthy. I’m successful. I’m happy.

I’m just ready for a change.

I’ve never felt comfortable with feeling comfortable. I deeply value growth, lifelong learning, self-development, personal awareness. None of this ever happens when you’re comfortable. So I needed to stir the pot.

In my mind there are two ways to make a change.

3766_35221) The Tarzan Change: Think of the way Tarzan swings through the jungle on vines. As dangerous as it seems, he plays it safe. As he’s moving from one vine to the other he makes sure he has the second vine firmly in place before he lets go of the first one. He moves hand over hand through the jungle: One hand, two hands, one hand two hands. He always has the security of one vine.

294724_f2602) The “Dyno” Change: In rock climbing there is a move called a “dyno”. This is a move that you’d make when you’re stuck because you can’t get to the next hold on the rock face by simply reaching safely upwards. You actually jump off the rock face to move forward. (If that’s hard to visualize, check out the video of my son doing a dyno below. It happens fast, so don’t miss it.)  It requires a certain level of faith and a great level of commitment.

I’ve been contemplating making a change for a couple years now, but I’ve felt stuck. I’ve been swinging back and forth on the same vine and have felt unable to move forward. In my mind I have to dyno!

That just seems to be my personal modus operandi for making changes. So many of us, me included, have a tendency to hang onto the familiar and the comfortable. Whether it’s hanging on to a belief, a relationship, a job, a goal, a business. But we hang on to the point where it doesn’t serve us any more. We’re stuck.

In the process of making changes, I’ve already given up my on-site massage business, my school, and my clinics. Now I’ve decided to give up my massage license and BodyworkBiz at the end of the year. Apparently the word “decide” comes from a latin word that means “cut off”. By cutting off that vine I’ve been hanging onto I have no choice but to move to the next, even if I’m not exactly sure where that next vine or next handhold is.

So my big dyno happens on December 31st. Although I could see it as “terrifying”, I’ll just call it an an “exciting” move.

Although my personal dyno happens at the end of the year, I recognize the responsibility I have to the many people in my life, so you’ll still see me around for the next year. Even though I’m moving on, I won’t disappear. I will make sure all my BodyworkBiz customers are taken care of over this next year; Thermal Palms will continue to live on; and I have an obligation to my business partners and the thousands of therapists at World Massage Conference, so I’ll make sure that you continue to have a phenomenal experience there as well.

PS My son has always done dynos particularly well. He started doing them as soon as he started climbing. As a parent I was terrified and would always say, “Be careful!” until I realized that was the most useless advice ever. Although I’m still terrified I’m now more inclined to say, “Commit! Make the move or take the fall.”

PPS Make sure you check out the “Retirement Sale” at BodyworkBiz. You can get pretty much everything I’ve ever produced for next to nothing, but only until December 31st. (Your access continues for a year after the sales pages close on January 1st.)


Get More Clients from the Web

This video is one in a series outlining some of the resources available in the BodyworkBiz Retirement sale where you can get pretty much everything I’ve ever produced for a small one time fee of only $199.

Check it out now before it’s gone:

The web is pervasive. It has permeated every facet of our lives. Everyone is online and they are communicating, socializing, researching, planning, sharing, buying, recommending, creating, working, searching, scheduling, etc.

If you want to connect with all these people and help them become your clients, then you need to seriously rethink the way you promote your business. The old ways of advertising your practice and getting clients that worked fine even five years ago, just don’t work in 2014!

There’s one thing you need to do if you want your practice to survive in the coming years: Get online where your future clients are.

To thrive in your practice, this has to become your new business card…

It’s vitally important for you to start harnessing the power of the web to grow your practice. Ignore this and you will find yourself left in the dust.

It’s not easy though. The world of online marketing is a confusing one. The Internet is evolving at warp speed and it’s hard to know exactly what to do online to help your business. In fact, because of getting poor and inaccurate information, many therapists (maybe even you) haven’t seen any results from their web activities.

In the BodyworkBiz big retirement package you’ll get two extensive courses where you’ll discover how to make web marketing work for you.

The Web Marketing MBA course is a video course that takes you through ten important web marketing strategies. What’s unique about this course is the “watch and do” approach. Simply watch me implement the strategies and follow along. Go to the sites I’m on, click the buttons I refer to and follow my step-by-step instructions. Pause the video at any point to complete the task and then move on.

The Web Marketing MBA course was selling for $500 and it’s just one of the courses included in the the BodyworkBiz Retirement Sale package that you can get for just $199 until December 31st, 2014.

Check it out:

The other resource that you’ll find invaluable in this big package is the e-Marketing 101 e-course. It’s a great reference guide that consists of 101 short, super-specific lessons on various facets of using the web to build your practice. If you ever have any question on any facet of using the web to market your practice, just log in and you’ll likely find your answer. You have instant access to all these lessons (I know it’s a ridiculously long list) when you purchase the BodyworkBiz Retirement Package:

1. Why the Web?
2. The Big Picture
3. Your Website: The Foundation
4. What To Do If You Don’t Have a Website
5. Getting a Date with Google: Search Engine Optimization
6. Google Checks You Out
7. Keywords are Key
8. A Domain of Your Own
9. If a Domain Falls in the Forest
10. Facebook
11. Editing your Facebook Profile
12. Protecting Your Privacy
13. Nobody Likes Lists (Except Smart Facebook Users)
14. The Writing on the Wall
15. Adding Friends
16. Back to Our Date with Google
17. Create Sexy URLs
18. Catching Google’s eye: Beautiful Page Titles
19. Getting to Know You: A Compelling Description
20. Writing for the Search Engines
21. Off page optimization: The Power of Links
22. Dress Up Naked Links: Anchor text
23. More Back Linking Basics
24. Make Your Site Shareable
25. Your First Directory
26. Review Sites
27. Bing Business Listing
28. Google Places
29. Yahoo Business Listing
30. Yelping for Clients
31. Analyzing Your Results
32. Other Review Sites of Note
33. Universal Business Listing
34. How To Find Local Review Sites
35. How to Get Reviews
36. Email: The Killer App
37. What’s an E-Zine
38. More EZine Tips
39. Maximizing Sign Ups, Opens and Click-Thrus
40. Social Bookmarking
41. Video Marketing
42. Create Your Script (Or Not)…
43. Create Your Video
44. Optimizing and Uploading Your Video to YouTube
45. “Rinse and Repeat” Your Video
46. Article Marketing Basics
47. How to Write and Article in 10 Minutes
48. Create Your Resource Box
49. Finding the Top Article Directories
50. Submitting Your Articles Online
Git ‘er Done week…
51. Social Bookmarking Continued.
52. OMG! I got a BAD Review
53. Twitter and Tweets
54. Get Linked In
55. Any Place for MySpace?
56. Facebook Pages: Fans and Groups
57. How to create your Facebook Fan Page
58. Growing Your Fan Base
59. Engaging Your Fans
60. Three Easy Ways to Promote Your Fan Page
61. What’s a blog and do you need one
62. Setting up your blog
63. Content for your Blog
64. Promoting Your blog
65. Blog commenting
66. Getting Listed in Directories
67. Business Directories
68. Local Directories
69. Massage directories
70. Blog directories
71. Why press releases?
72. Writing your press release
73. Optimize Your Press Release
74. PR Distribution
75. Take it offline
76. Pay Per Click Advertising
77. Google Adwords
78. Setting Up Your Adwords Ads
79. Facebook Ads
80. How to set up your Facebook ad
81. Microsoft adCenter and other PPCs
82. Forums / discussion lists
83. What is Web 2.0?
84. Squidoo
85. Google Knol
86. Accepting electronic payments
87. The Power of Offline Promotion
88. Reciprocal Linking
89. Groupon and Social Discount Sites
90. Groupon continued…
91. Advanced Video Marketing Tactics 1
92. YouTube Subscriptions Directly from Your Site
93. Put Facebook and Twitter updates on auto pilot
94. Advanced Email Strategies
95. Automating posts to social media sites
96. Cross links and deep links
97. Facebook’s Secret Sauce
98. Advanced LinkedIn Strategies
99. Four Little Known Facebook Marketing Secrets
100. More Advanced Facebook Strategies

Not Your Average Client Education Newsletters…

The Client Education Newsletters sell for $19 each on the BodyworkBiz site ($228 total), but they are included at no extra cost in the incredible package of courses and resources you’ll get as part of the BodyworkBiz retirement sale.

Check out everything you get in this package here:

I’m closing up shop by the end of the month, so you only have days to take action on this.

Everybody agrees: Education is key in developing your massage practice and growing the profession. And nothing is more effective than these small, but mighty handouts.

Watch the video above to get a tour of this great resource. At the two minute mark you’ll see me create a full customized newsletter in about a minute.

But here’s something that not enough people know about: You have “private label rights” to the contents of these newsletters. (Watch at about the four minute mark in the video to learn more.) What this means is that you can use any of the content and claim it as being yours. That opens up a world of options for this material…

You can use the newsletter content for

  • articles,
  • blog posts,
  • email newsletters,
  • educational handouts
  • and more

You could approach your local community newspaper for example and offer to do an article on any of the newsletter topics. They are always on the lookout for well written content. Just send them the text and the illustrations from any newsletter for the article. Include your “byline” with your name and contact information that gets published with the article. Voila! You’ve got instant credibility. More than just free visibility, you are highlighted in a way that establishes you as an expert in the profession and the go to massage guy or girl in your community.

You can also use the content in a cut and paste way for your email newsletters or for your blog posts. In the video, you’ll see how I create a blog post for my website in less than a minute by simply copying content and uploading the included images.

Yes, the images are included. There are dozens of images that I commissioned medical illustrator, Beverly Ransom, to create. You’ve probably seem some of her illustrations in the textbooks you’ve used in massage school.

Click here to get the special BodyworkBiz retirement package with client education newsletters:




The BIG BodyworkBiz Retirement Sale – Time Sensitive

BodyworkBiz will be closing its doors as of December 31, 2014. I want to give all my loyal subscribers and customers a chance to get anything they’ve always wanted to get before it all goes away.

Better yet, you can have pretty much everything that I’ve ever published for just $199. Yes, I mean everything: e-courses, videos, webinars, e-books, presentation kit, newsletters, etc. for just one payment of $199. You get everything you see on this page, which if bought individually would cost you over a couple thousand dollars.

You’ll have online access to all these resources for at least one full year (and I may extend that even further). Much of the material can be downloaded and you can get email delivery of many of the e-courses.

Just a caveat: I’m resurrecting a few courses that I’ve taken off the site previously and I haven’t updated them. So you’re getting them as is. You may come across some broken links, missing images, etc. that I won’t be fixing at this point. Also with a 90%+ discount, I won’t be offering my usual money back guarantees.

So scroll through the page and check out everything you’ll get for just $199. And take action quickly. This offer expires December 31, 2014. We’re all savvy enough to know that leaving it ’til later usually means never. And you don’t want to be kicking yourself for missing this opportunity. Enjoy!

Fill Your Massage Practice 101 (ecourse)

Filling a massage practice is the number one priority among new and veteran professionals alike. It doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful. We guarantee that you’ll fill your practice with these uncomplicated, simple to understand, easy to implement ideas that tell you exactly what you need to do to develop a flourishing practice.

More Information…

Registration Fee: Only $99.00

60 Clients in 60 Days (ECOURSE)

How long does it take to fill your massage practice? You’re about to find out in this groundbreaking program. This group consulting program is designed for massage therapists who want to see dramatic growth in their practice – we’re aiming for 60 new clients in 60 days! It’s specifically for therapists with time on their hands, but little money for marketing.

More Information…

Live Version: $299.00 (Not available)

Web Version: ONLY $99.50

Chair Massage Marketing 101 (ECOURSE)

A comprehensive step-by-step guide to building a successful chair massage business. Learn everything there is to know about chair massage, from choosing a chair and getting training, to getting into the boardrooms and moving clients into your clinic. When it comes to marketing chair massage, this is the most comprehensive course on the planet.

More Information…

Registration Fee: Only $99.00

5-Day Chair Massage Business (ECOURSE)

This is for you if you are interested in chair massage, but don’t want to take the time to do the 101 Day Chair Massage Marketing course. It will give you the mile high view of entering this market along with lots of great “just tell me what to do” information.

More Information…

Registration Fee: $49

Teach Massage Workshops (ECOURSE)

Follow the 25-steps and within a week, you’ll have a solid action plan in place to design, market, organize, teach and profit from your own massage workshops.

More Information…

Registration Fee: Only $49.00

Massage Class in a Box (Presentation Kit)

In this comprehensive presentation kit, you’ll find everything you need to market and teach a practical massage class that everybody can enjoy. You’ll get valuable marketing information and advertisements, class outlines, teaching strategies, teaching notes for techniques, illustrated class handouts that you can copy for the participants and more. The only thing we couldn’t fit in this package was the classroom.

More Information…

Registration Fee: Only $99.00

260 Extremely Practical Ways to Fill Your Massage Practice

Need more clients? How would you like to have the most practical and most effective techniques for filling your massage or bodywork practice instantly at your fingertips? You’ll find it here. 260 of the best marketing and practice-building ideas compiled from successful massage professionals across the world. Use just a couple of these proven “secrets” and watch your practice grow.

More Information…

Registration Fee: Only $99.00

Another 260 Practical Ways to Fill Your Massage Practice

Here’s the follow up to the “260 Tip” program: A massive encyclopedic reference of the most effective marketing and business building resources that has ever existed on planet earth. 260 lessons compiled from tips and suggestions from the over 10,000 BodyworkBiz Marketing Tips subscribers.

More Information...

Registration Fee: Only $99.00

Press Release Profits (ECOURSE)

Discover how to get powerful free publicity for your massage practice that’s more believable and profitable than any advertising you can buy at any price. Use the power of the press to increase your visibility, establish yourself as the expert in your community and get new customers knocking on your door.

More information…

Registration fee: $49

Non-Stop Referral Marketing: Word Of Mouth Marketing On Steroids (ECOURSE)

How would you like to have 100 of the best business professionals in your community telling everyone and their uncle about your wonderful massage skills and suggesting that they book an appointment with you now? Then you must try Non-Stop Referral Marketing.

More Information…

Registration Fee: Only $49.00

Article Marketing (ECOURSE)

Writing is one of the most effective marketing strategies for massage professionals, but is little understood and seldom used. Get a jump on the competition by writing articles to market and grow your practice. This package includes a comprehensive e-course on article marketing, “Article Marketing for Massage Professionals” e-book, online article submission software (which sells for as much as $99 on other websites), as well as a bonus Teleclass recording and transcript.

More Information…

Registration Fee: ONLY $99.00

Sell Massage Gift Certificates (ECOURSE)

This comprehensive course will teach you the secrets to selling hundreds of gift certificates each year. Learn how to get your clients and other business to give you money for the privilege of sending people to you and literally add thousands of dollars to your income each year.

More Information…

Registration Fee: Only $39.00

E-Marketing Made Easy 101 (ECOURSE)

Welcome to the new millennium – a decade late! Get on board the Internet and use one of the most potentially effective and most highly underutilized tools for building your massage business. It’s all made ridiculously simple in this plain English, “just tell me what to do” program.

More Information…

Special limited time sales price ONLY $99.00

Web Marketing MBA (ECOURSE)

Your potential customers are now online and about 80% of them are looking for local services like massage therapy online. It is absolutely vital that you learn to leverage the web to get new clients or you may find your practice struggling in the years ahead. The Web Marketing MBA program is presented in a super simple “view it and do it” format and is designed to get you into the 21st century. This course consists of ten live interactive sessions where you’ll literally look over my shoulder as I lead you through implementing the most effective strategies for getting new clients online.

More Information…

Registration Fee: $500

Complete Common Cents (ECOURSE)

Heading For Financial Disaster? Don’t Get Mad, Get Smart! If you are ready to take control of your finances, follow along through this comprehensive personal financial management program. Includes checklists and worksheets. This course has never been publicly released at BodyworkBiz.

Registration Fee: ONLY $99.00

Client Educational Newsletters for Your Massage Business

A client education newsletter is a powerful practice-building tool. Now you can have high quality newsletters customized with your personal information within seconds at just a small fraction of the cost of producing it yourself. You have “private label rights” to the content and the illustrations which means you can use the newsletter content for articles, blog posts, email newsletters, educational handouts and more.

More Information…

Priced at $228

Special limited time sales price ONLY $99.00

LinkedIn for Business (ECOURSE)

LinkedIn can be the perfect marketing tool for massage professionals – if you know what you’re doing. Most people just waste time on LinkedIn – browsing randomly and sending out odd connection requests. You can do so much more, and in this course by my friend Matt Bush you’ll get a solid grounding in how to make LinkedIn work for you. This course has never been publicly released at BodyworkBiz.

Registration Fee: ONLY $99.00

Relax To the Max Guide To Chair Massage Techniques DVD Set: Vol 1 And Vol 2

In these chair massage technique videos, you’ll discover that chair massage does not need to be hard on your body. You’ll find out how to use your body in an efficient way, maximizing leverage and your body weight, while minimizing stress to your back and your thumbs. Learn dozens of techniques in what is arguably, the most comprehensive instructional videos you’ll find anywhere.

You’ll lean:

  • The 8 essential principles of effective body use
  • A variety of effective, easy-to-perform techniques for the back, neck, shoulders and arms
  • A 15-minute market-tested routine for use in corporate environments
  • Detailed instructions on setting up your massage chair for maximum comfort
  • The “fainting phenomenon” that is unique to chair massage and how to prevent it from happening to your customers
  • How to use your body for maximum effectiveness without stress to your hands or back
  • Dozens of effective easy to perform techniques for the back, neck, shoulders and arms
  • A complete series of lower body techniques performed right in the chair
  • How to perform stretches for tight muscles with your customer seated in the chair
  • Guidelines for customizing your chair massage, whether you are doing a two-minute sample or a one-hour full body massage


More Information…

Two disc DVD set: ONLY $89.97 – Save $10 over buying the DVDs separately. Note: This Retirement Sale includes online streaming videos and not DVDs.

Massage Anytime Anywhere DVD

Learn 42 incredibly practical techniques that can literally be done anytime, anywhere. All techniques are done over the clothing and the only equipment required is a standard chair and your hands. They are easy to learn and very relaxing. After going through this DVD you’ll be able to do anything from a three-minute neck rub to a one-hour full body massage.

More Information…

Price: ONLY $29.97. Note: This Retirement Sale includes online streaming videos and not DVDs.

International Chair Massage Conference (Videos)

This four DVD set of the two-day International Chair Massge Conference 2005 gives you the feeling of being there. This visual reference will also give you a better sense of what the presenters are talking about in sessions on body mechanics, stone massage and handling fainting episodes.

More Information…

DVD Set of 4: ONLY $199.00. Note: This Retirement Sale includes online streaming videos and not DVDs.

Facebook: Friends with Benefits (webinar)

It seems like almost everyone is on Facebook. The media is touting it as the greatest way to promote your business ever. But how do you do that, especially as a massage professional? Eric Brown will cut through the hype and give you simple truth behind using Facebook to grow your practice: From managing your privacy to turning your Facebook Friends into paying clients. Whether you are just thinking of setting up your account or are an experienced Facebook junkie, youll come away with valuable tips you can put into action today.

Price: ONLY $20

60 Clients In 60 Days (webinar)

How long does it take to build a successful practice? One year? Three years? Forget the myth that it takes a long time to build a practice and follow this proven step-by-step strategy to get 60 Clients in 60 Days. If you find yourself struggling in your practice, with little money to invest, and with more time on your hands than clients under your hands, then you must take the time to attend this eye opening presentation. It’s a perfect practice-building solution for practitioners who hate marketing and maybe even lack confidence in their skills, but who aren’t afraid to work hard.

Price: ONLY $20

Three Rs for Increasing Your Practice Income (webinar)

Discover specific and actionable strategies to ensure that your practice stays busy and prosperous in this engaging round table discussion. Just like the three Rs you learned in school, there are three Rs for successfully increasing your practice income: Maximizing recruitment, maximizing return visits, and maximizing revenue from each treatment. These are applicable whether you have your own practice or are working for someone else. Find out how you can master these skills and dramatically improve your income. This round table discussion will feature, oddly enough, four Bs; Four renowned massage marketing experts, all unrelated, who just coincidentally all have Brown as a last name: Eric Brown, Todd Brown, Felicia Brown and Elizabeth Fletcher-Brown. [Eric’s note: This one of my favorite panel discussions ever.]

Price: ONLY $20

Good Ethics Is Good Business (webinar)

Of course you’re a model of ethical behavior! Or are you? Because we generally view ourselves as good people, we don’t always take the time to view our behaviors through the critical lens of ethical behavior. As a result we may not recognize the small things we do that cause our clients to feel discomfort or mistrust. And these little things affect not only our own business, but also those of other therapists. Engage in a little personal exploration in this interactive presentation which focuses on creating positive therapeutic relationships so that you can create higher levels of client trust and loyalty, better treatment outcomes, and more referrals.

Price: ONLY $20


Magnetic Marketing (ebook)

Discover the how a humble little magnet can be a marketing powerhouse.

Using Client Education Newsletters to Grow Your Practice (ebook)

Everyone says that education is vitally important in growing a practice, but how do you do it. Find out in this information packed ebook.

Pregnancy Massage (illustrated ebook)

The BodyworkBiz Guide to Pregnancy Massage is a concise, but comprehensive reference guide for any massage professional who plans to work with pregnant clients whether it’s during pregnancy, labor or in the immediate postpartum period.

More info…

Endless Referrals (ebook)

I’ve contributed to this book by Mickey Wong and got distribution rights to share. Mickey’s an entertaining writer and offers a great guide to getting referrals through joint ventures. Sold on Mickey’s site for about US$29.

More info…

Press Release Power Guide (ebook)

It’s a solid little guidebook that covers all the basics around press releases and is written by someone that actually knows what they are talking about. Sold on Amazon for $18.99

More info…

Are You a Referral Wimp?

referral-wimpThere is no doubt about it. Referrals are one of the cheapest, easiest and most effective ways to build your practice.

However, some practices are thriving with a torrent of referrals whereas others seem to sputter along with just the odd referral here and there. Why the difference?

The sputtering referrals practice assumes that referrals come naturally from doing a good job. Give a great massage and your client will tell two friends and they’ll tell two friends and so on and so on.

But the truth is that while giving a great massage is important, this alone won’t ensure that you get referrals.

Three Steps to Getting Referrals…

The practitioner who gets lots of referrals understands that the process of getting referrals isn’t a passive one. Referrals don’t happen by accident. Massage professionals in successful referral-based practices know that you have to:

  1. Earn referrals
  2. Ask for referrals
  3. Reward referrals

Building a practice through word of mouth requires a systematic approach in all three of these areas.

I can’t cover each of these in detail in this newsletter. So I’ll focus on one area right now. That’s the ASKING part of the process. This is one of the quickest and easiest things you can do to generate increases in referrals. After all, clients don’t even know you want referrals until you let them know. And the simplest way to let them know is to ask them.

But when it comes to asking for a referral, too many therapists are simply too wimpy. They just don’t do it.

If you are not asking for referrals as often as you should, it could be because of some false assumptions on your part. Take the quiz below to uncover some of the things that may be hindering you. (Don’t worry. Spelling doesn’t count.)

Are you a referral wimp?

I don’t ask for referrals as often as I could because…

T / F I’m not sure that my clients are getting enough value

T / F I feel rushed at the end of each visit and I always forget to ask

T / F I don’t know how to ask for referrals in a way that’s comfortable for me

T / F I don’t want to ask for their help because it makes me look needy

T / F I don’t want to appear to be too aggressive

T / F Most clients feel uncomfortable when I ask

T / F I hate getting a “no” or getting other negative response

That quiz was painless, wasn’t it?


Now how many “true” answers did you choose? If you have none, good for you!

If you got only one, not bad. But even that one belief is going to stop you from being as effective as possible in getting referrals.

If you got two or more T’s, you are likely a true referral wimp. Your confidence level in handling referral requests is low. You are making assumptions that are stopping you from taking action and being successful in getting the referrals you deserve.

Now let’s take a quick look at each of these excuses. (Oops! Did I say “excuses”? I meant assumptions, of course.)

I’m not sure that my clients are getting enough value
This is what I hear from professionals who are new in the field and who are just starting their practices. Don’t make assumptions about the value that your clients get. Ask them. At the end of each session ask your client, “How does your body feel now compared to when you walked in here? What feels particularly good? Or what did you like most about the massage?” They’ll tell you how they benefited. It brings the benefits they’ve received to their attention. They’ll be more conscious of how the massage has impacted them. Most importantly, you don’t have to assume that they didn’t get value.

I feel rushed at the end of each visit and I always forget to ask
You “forgot”? Puh-lease! That’s as lame as “the dog ate my homework.” Plan ahead. Leave some time to debrief your client. Put a sticky note in your appointment book over their name. Tattoo the word referral to the inside of your wrist as a reminder.

I don’t know how to ask for referrals in a way that’s comfortable for me
There are a thousand ways to ask. I touch on many of these in the various BodyworkBiz courses. Check out this approach for starters. Assume that you are in the middle of your massage. Here’s how you can approach the subject…

Susan: “This feels amazing. I don’t know how I’d get through the week without your massage?”
You: “I’m really glad this is helping you. (casually) Susan, if there was one person you like to see come in here for massage, who would it be?
Susan: “My sister-in-law. She’s a mess!”
You: “Really?”
Susan: “She works at that big law firm on the corner of Main and Wilson. You know the one? They work her to death and she gets these awful headaches.”
You: “They’re pretty bad, are they?”
Susan: “Gosh, yes! They knock her out. She can’t function. She ends up in bed for a day or two at a time.”
You: “That’s horrible. You’re right. She really could use massage.”

Leave it at that. Then at the end of the session, say,

“You know, I’ve been thinking about your sister-in-law. I see a lot of people with bad headaches and I really think I could help her out. Would you be interested in giving her a free half hour gift certificate to get her in here so I can do an assessment and see if she could benefit from some regular massage?”

Then give Susan a half hour gift certificate with a two-week expiry date so that she can send her sister-in-law in to see you. Simple enough?

Sidenote: This is a strategy that is discussed in the 60 Clients in 60 Days program. If you are having trouble building a busy, successful practice, then check it out at It will it help you build your practice quickly and will give you the confidence and methods you need to develop a solid referral-only practice. To hear about the results people have had in their own words, go to: These audio reports from participants are quite fascinating.

I don’t want to ask for their help because it makes me look needy
First, asking for help is a sure sign of high self-esteem. Second, you are not asking your clients to help sell your services for you. You are asking them to help their friends, family and colleagues who are suffering needlessly. It’s not about you. It’s about them.

I don’t want to appear to be too aggressive
You don’t have to be aggressive. You don’t have to be a bully and you don’t have to compromise your relationship with your client. You ask for referrals when it’s appropriate and you’ll never be perceived as aggressive.

Most clients feel uncomfortable when I ask
Are you familiar with the term “projecting”? You are uncomfortable and you are projecting your feelings on the client. The truth is that a few clients may feel uncomfortable, but MOST feel absolutely fine with it.

I hate getting a no or getting other negative responses
Some people may decline a request to refer someone into your practice. That’s okay. Don’t sweat it. Focus on the 99% of the clients that respond in a positive way rather than focusing on the rare negative response. Simply, consider negative responses as useful feedback. If you get frequent no’s, then it’s a sign that you have to work at making yourself more referable.

Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. And what holds us back is not know-how, but rather our self-limiting beliefs. Take a look at what negative thoughts stop you from asking for referrals. Ask yourself if your thinking is really grounded in reality.

What would happen if you were wrong and asked for referrals anyway? You’d get more clients of course! So start asking today.

You may also be interested in: The Secret to Getting Referrals

They Are Buying the Destination, Not the Plane

dream-destination-39676I’m listening to a webinar by Lisa Sasevich on making Irresistible Offers. The message is a simple one, but really isn’t understood by 99% of small businesses. In simple, terms the message is: Focus on benefits.

For years I thought I understood this concept. I considered myself pretty good at writing sales materials until I read a book called Make Your Words Sell about 14 years ago. That’s when I had a light bulb moment and finally got it.

As massage therapists our primary interest is in our craft, in our technique, in the processes we use to get a result. That’s reflected in the sales copy that most therapists have in their brochures and on their website as they talk about the training they have and the techniques or modalities they use.

On the other hand, the client’s primary interest is the outcome they are going to get. They are interested the benefit they are going to get; how they are going to be transformed by your hands.

So instead of spending 90% of your time talking about what you do, change your focus and spend 90% of your time talking about to what’s important to the client, which is the outcome they’ll get.

In explaining this concept in workshops, I always said that people don’t buy a drill because they want a tool; they buy a drill because they need a hole.

Lisa’s phrase was: Remember, they are buying the destination, not the plane.

The approach works and I’ve seen it in my own businesses over and over again. The first sales piece I wrote after reading Make Your Words Sell was a sales letter for a chair massage workshop. I was getting something like an 8% conversion rate with my original sales letter. That means that out of every 100 people who requested information, 8 signed up for the workshop.

After re-writing the letter to focus on benefits, my conversion rate shot up to about 13%. That means I got close to twice the sales with no additional expense. (75% more to be precise, but it’s still a big number.) I was charging $1,600 for the workshop so that translated into a lot more sales.

The only thing that changed was that the focus on my sales pitch now focused entirely on the benefit of taking the course rather than the process.

In fact, many months later my assistant said, “Someone’s wondering what we teach.”

“Haven’t they read the sales letter?” I asked.

“I looked at the sales letter,” he informed me. “It doesn’t say anything about what you teach in the classes.”

He was right. The sales material didn’t say a word about what they were going to learn. In focusing on benefits I had completely forgot to include an outline of the curriculum. But the crazy thing was that people been responding and signing up for months based on that information and they really didn’t care what was taught in class. This is the first time in months that anybody actually asked about what was taught. Most people obviously didn’t care about the learning process. They only cared about the freedom, the excitement, the flexibility and the money they would get by learning chair massage. They were sold on the outcome.

So the next time you write any communication, put yourself in your clients’ shoes and ask yourself, “What outcome do my clients really want?” and focus 90% of your attention to making that benefit come alive for them. Remember, they are buying the destination, not the plane.

Painless Price Increases


In today’s Massage Marketing Tips newsletter, I’d like to give you access to part of a lesson from the Fill Your Practice 101 e-course. More therapists have bought this program than any other on the BodyworkBiz website.

I was recently doing a workshop at a conference and was discussing ways to increase your income fast. This strategy was one of the first to come to mind. It has the potential to increase your income dramatically and it costs absolutely nothing to do.

To view and download an expanded version of this article go to:


Announcing a Price Increase

What’s the best way to introduce a price increase to clients while having a minimum impact on your practice? Linda Gray asked me that question and sent me a notice of fee increase letter that she was about to send her clients. It’s a pretty standard notice that I’ve seen before. Take a look at it and then take a look at the suggestions I’ve sent to Linda.Announcing a price increase

Linda took my suggestions and created a powerful piece that will serve the purpose of notifying clients of the increase, but more importantly reinforces the benefits they derive from seeing her in such a powerful way that the price increase becomes inconsequential.

Here’s the original price increase notice. It’s pretty standard and it’s what most practitioners do when their prices are raised. Its not formatted here, but you can get a sense for it.

NOTICE OF FEE CHANGEDear Client,Effective January 1, 2002 My fee rates will be changing to the following:

  •  60 min……$45.00 (one of) Reiki, Tibetan Energy, Foot or Hand Reflexology
  • 90 min……$50.00 (one of) the above or Touch For Health. Each session includes goal/ emotion balance
  • 2 hr………$55.00 Modalities are blended for each person’s needs, giving a uniquely interactive and personally tailored session every time
  • Portable Service: In-town – $5.00 extra
  • Out-of-town single booking – $10.00 extra. Groups of 3 or more clients – additional fees waived

I am available for appointment on Weekdays:

The Touch of Gray: 9:00am – 4:30 pm
Monday, Wednesday & Friday; 9:00am – 7:00 pm
Tuesday Apples & Dandelions*: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm

I am available for appointment on Weekends:
Occasional evening and weekend appointments are accommodated upon request and availability. One weekend per month I work in the Barrhead vicinity for local clients. Dates available upon request.

Special Offer to Clients of 2001: Old Year (2001) rates will be given to all appointments booked before January 1, 2002 and sessions received by March 31, 2002. This offer also includes all gift certificates purchased in the same time period.

Remember — Book 9 Sessions, Receive 10th One Free

Here are my suggestions to Linda:

Hi Linda!

Here’s some feedback for you on the fee change letter.

There are really two schools of thought on this. The first is don’t bother making a big deal of a fee increase. Clients don’t really care. They don’t like it when fees go up, but it is expected and tolerated. Your fees are certainly not excessive so it won’t be a big deal.

This is what we did at our Ryerson University clinic this fall. We decided to raise fees (by about 10% – not a small increase) and implemented the increase three weeks after the decision. No written notice was sent. Clients with bookings were informed by phone and anyone making new appointments was informed of the price. We really had no complaints and volume was not affected in the least bit.

In most other industries, prices tend to be quite plastic, that is to say, they move up and down with no big fanfare. Have you ever gotten a letter from your dentist, podiatrist or even hairstylist announcing a fee increase? It’s almost never done.

The other school of thought is making sure everyone is notified. Give clients lots of notice and heavily publicize the increase via direct mail and in clinic signage. This is done to ensure that everyone knows and there are no surprises.

That’s what I used to do, but now my personal feeling is that it makes too big of a deal of the issue of price. In most cases, we care more about our clients’ wallets than they do. It draws too much attention to what we charge and not enough attention to how they benefit from seeing us. It’s about us…it’s not about them and frankly speaking, they don’t care about us.

The one time that I think a focus on price would be beneficial is when you are tying it into a promotion i.e. “Our fees are going up next month, but here’s a way you can continue to receive massage at our old 1998 prices for another year!”

So here is what I would suggest. Instead of a standard price list/menu like the one you’ve sent, write up a letter – just one or two pages. I like the letter format because it’s more personal. You are speaking one-to-one with them. It’s not like you are sending them a sign or poster that everybody gets.

Make the focus the benefits they’ve received from seeing you specifically. Because you practice modalities that most people are not familiar with, educate them about how they can benefit from those approaches that you use.

Briefly, mention your new fees. I like the way that you focus on their individual needs i.e. “Modalities are blended for each person’s needs, giving a uniquely interactive and personally tailored session every time.”

Just take it a step further to emphasize the benefits to them: “You’ll receive a uniquely interactive and personally tailored session each and every time. You’ll get the perfect mix of techniques to best meet your individual needs…so that you get exactly the results you’re looking for.”

Just as an aside, notice that I’ve created sentences that use an active tense. I also use contractions liberally (can not = can’t). It’s much more conversational, isn’t it? (Not making use of contractions seems too formal, does it not? See what I mean.)

Convenience is the currency of the century. If you don’t mind traveling, increase your travel fee and promote the benefits of home visits (for example, convenient, takes less time traveling, don’t have to go out in the cold, no hassles of driving after you are relaxed, you’ll never find yourself pushing your car out of a snow bank after a session, etc.)

Instead of saying, “I do occasional weekends,” focus on how you go out of your way to accommodate them. For example you could say, “I know that you’re busy and that it’s not always possible to get into the clinic during my usual hours. If you have special needs, please let me know and we can possibly set up an evening or weekend appointment. My evenings and weekends can get a little hectic, but you have my promise that I will do my absolute best to try to accommodate you. It’s so important that you get the care you need and I don’t want you to suffer simply because you can’t get away to see me during the day.”

Can you see above how you are giving out the same information, but at the same time communicating your exceptional commitment that you make to your clients?

Make a big deal out of the promotion! Sell prepaid packages at the “old price” – maybe 10 massages for the price of 9 as you are already doing. Let them know that these treatments are fully transferable to their friends, family or colleagues (to encourage referrals) and that they can be used over the next year. That’s a whole year of savings!

Make the most out of every contact you make with your clients. Use this price increase notice to reinforce the benefits they get from using your services and remind them of the value they get from seeing you specifically. Also look for the opportunity to promote further appointments or purchases.

Here’s the new and improved version

Here’s what Linda created. Notice how the focus in now almost entirely on the client. Also notice how the letter is chock-full of benefits. Every paragraph communicates a strong benefit. There is so much benefit in seeing Linda that it makes the price increase irrelevant. In addition, her clients are reading about something they find really interesting – themselves!

Good work Linda!

Dear Client,I want you to be among the first to receive the 2002 schedule for The Touch of Gray so you can make plans for your body’s care in the coming year.To meet your individual needs and busy schedule I am offering an interesting variety of times, sessions and travel conveniences. My specialties, as outlined on the enclosed brochure, are blended for your individual needs and you will have a uniquely interactive and personally tailored session each and every time so you receive the results you’re looking for.

I know you’re busy and that its not always possible for you to arrange an appointment during usual hours so I have varied both hours and place of work, thus allowing you to choose one that works best for you.

The new location, Apples & Dandelions, gives some extras such as access to Mastercard, Visa and Interac machines, and a central location with lots of free parking…all included in the same fee rate.

When you choose in-your-home or out-of-town appointments you are allowing yourself convenience and relaxation while eliminating travel and weather hassles such as waiting for a cold car to warm up after the session.If none of these choices suit you please let me know and we can possibly set up an evening or weekend appointment. My evenings and weekends get a little hectic but you have my promise that I will do my absolute best to try to accommodate you. Its important that you get the care you need and I don’t want you to be in pain or discomfort simply because you can’t get away to see me during the day.

I encourage you to utilize the old fee scale to its maximum. Packages of 10 sessions at the old price are offered for one full year (’til December 31st). Assure yourself of low-cost pampering for 365 days – or give them as gifts for your family, friends or colleagues to use. You’ll enjoy their thanks for your thoughtfulness.

Remember too, the Year End Special – the old price applies to single appointments and gift certificates which are prepaid before January 1, 2002 and their sessions received before Mar 31, 2002.

To further entice you to The Touch of Gray let me tell you about three workshops I attended this past year. In May I participated in Level I of the Skywalker Synergy method; in June I attended a workshop on the Rubenfeld Synergy Method; and in October one on Traditional Thai Massage. Each technique is unique and accesses the body’s energy, muscles and mind in a different way. At the same time, because we are all working on the human body, there are similarities that blend well with the specialties I already use. All of the weekends were very exciting and beneficial, and I was surprised at how easily I was able to incorporate aspects of them into the sessions. The feedback from clients continues to be enthusiastic and, in some cases, tells of remarkable results. Great fun!

To ensure I am continually improving my session style and the techniques of all modalities, every week I either personally have a session or perform a session on a colleague. This routine, along with Tai Chi, visualization and meditation allows me to be in a consistently balanced state of mind and body to give you the best sessions possible.

My commitment for 2012 is to continue advancing and learning about all of these techniques, to remain open and interested in any others that are made available to me, and to keep networking with colleagues of holistic health and massage. In doing so I continually heighten the level of improvement you achieve during your Touch of Gray session.

Wishing you health and happiness this holiday season and in the new year.

Linda Gray

And the winner is…

Will writing a letter like this really make any difference? Both letters are essentially announcements of price increases, so is it really going to matter how you break the bad news?

While you might not think so, I’d like to share with you the results. Linda called me a short time after the “updated” letter had been sent to her clients. She sent 95 letters in total. She was incredibly excited by the results.

She sold 15 gift certificates in three weeks! On top of that, she sold five prepaid packages of ten sessions. That’s about $2,700 in sales.

And that’s not all. Linda also reported that the letter simply reminded her clients that she was there for them. She has received a number of return visits from previous customers and has also gotten several new clients from referrals as a result of the letter.

All these new and returning clients will continue to purchase at a higher rate and that means more money in Linda’s pocket. If she was making $30,000 and increased her price 10%, for example, she’d end up at the end of the year with an extra $3,000 in her pocket – with no added expense and no extra work.

And to top it all off Linda said she had a lot of fun in the process.

If we use our Return on Investment yardstick to measure the results we can see that the investment was about $70 to send the letters and the financial return that can be attributed to this letter will likely be a bare minimum of $4,000 over the next year, but probably much more. Wow! You can’t beat an ROI like that.

A fee increase can have a dramatic effect on your bottom line; especially when you use it as another opportunity to convey benefits your service holds for your clients. So if you’ve been thinking about raising your prices, maybe it’s time to stop the thinking and start the raising.

You can see from Linda’s example that increasing your prices can be one of the best things you can do to boost your income. It’s just one of the many strategies that I cover in the Fill Your Practice 101 program available at BodyworkBiz.

As you can see, the ideas are not just theoretical mumbo-jumbo, but practical, easy to implement ideas with specific examples for you to model. To see the table of contents for the course, go here:

You can get a copy of this invaluable e-course for yourself at:

Using Email Newsletters to Grow Your Massage Practice Part 3

bigstock-E-mail-Concept-43286056If you haven’t read them already, check out Part 1 where we discuss the relevance of email in a social media world and Part 2 where you’ll see how one therapist makes $28.60 from every subscriber on his list every year. Now, let’s move along in our exploration of how to use email to build your massage practice…

You must keep in contact with your clients!

People have other things on their minds besides you. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

If you don’t remind your clients of the benefits of massage and the unique advantages, solutions and results that you offer, they’ll forget. As a result, they won’t benefit from your work.

In other BodyworkBiz courses, I discuss a whole variety of strategies for keeping in touch with clients through good ol’ fashioned postal mail (a.k.a. snail mail). In particular, I’m a big fan of client education newsletters, like the BodyworkBiz First Hand News newsletters.

A client education newsletter will help you:

  • Educate your clients about the scope of your practice
  • Increase usage of massage by existing clients
  • Keep you at the top of your client’s mind
  • Improve client retention
  • Boost referrals from existing clients
  • Establish your expertise and reinforce your professionalism
  • Educate key referral sources such as chiropractors, doctors and physical therapists
  • Provide handouts with exercises, stretches and other great self-care advice
  • Promote your practice at seminars, workshops, shows and networking events

A great alternative to traditional newsletters is email newsletters! Also referred to as ezines.

Compared to printed client education newsletters, ezines cost almost nothing to produce and can be sent much more frequently. You’ll always stay at the top of your client’s mind and will be the first one they think of when it’s time for a massage.

In fact, you can get clients to book appointments on demand. Check out how you can get Instant Appointments.

Date, Don’t Marry…

The other thing an ezine will do for you is help turn website visitors into paying clients. You may be able to get thousands of visitors on your site each year, but most of those will never book an appointment immediately after visiting your site.


Because booking an appointment with you, taking time away from the things they love, going into your office and getting naked, and paying you lots of money is a big commitment.

They don’t even know you yet. You’re just just bits and bytes in a browser window.

Most visitors will have to get to know you before they make  a commitment.

How can they get to know you?

Through a newsletter.

It’s the online business equivalent to dating. And most clients will want to date a bit before they get serious and make a commitment to you.

Whereas few clients will book an appointment when visiting your site, a significant number – anywhere from 5% to 30% of your visitors will subscribe to your newsletter with the proper encouragement.

It’s a low risk action. They have nothing to lose. In fact, instead of having to give you money, they are getting something for free.

You’re getting them to identify themselves as people who are interested in what you’re offering. Now you have a chance to hang out with them on a regular basis, to tell them how they can benefit by seeing you, to explain the unique advantages and benefits of seeing you specifically and to answer their most frequently asked questions. With repeated contacts like this, they begin to feel more trusting and they begin to appreciate your expertise as a massage professional.

Keep dating like like this and before long they’ll be ready to move the relationship to the next level.

If you make a special offer, it provides added incentive for them to step away from their computer screen, walk over to the phone and call you now, before the offer expires. Your ezine becomes a conversion machine, converting casual surfers into regular clients.

By now, you should be excited – very excited – to get started in creating an ezine and getting subscribers. If not, then check your pulse. You may be dead.

So how do you do it? Over the remaining emails in this series I’ll give you practical tips for setting this all up, getting subscribers, writing content and maximizing your results. I’ll even introduce you to some great email services that you can use for free (like the one you are getting this BodyworkBiz email through). Keep you eye on your inbox for those emails.

And if you want to be absolutely sure you don’t miss these, then here’s some other ways you can get notifications for these “lessons”:

Like the BodyworkBiz Facebook Page: This is all official stuff with notifications of new blog posts and occasional updates.

Join the BodyworkBiz Facebook discussion group: After joining this Group, click the notifications button on the top right and choose “All Posts” so you get these notifications in your News Feed. This is a tightly moderated spam free group with a focus on growing your practice.

Follow me on Twitter: I Tweet lots of stuff that I don’t always share in other places, both personal and professional.

Be my Friend: If you want to connect more personally you can become my Friend on Facebook. I need to know you are a fellow massage colleague before I’ll accept the request though, so if it’s not obvious from your Profile, send me a message. And as an alternative you can follow me personally by clicking the “Follow” button on my personal Profile or by using the button here…

LinkedIn: I’ll post notifications of blog posts and BodyworkBiz newsletters on LinkedIn as well.

A Little Mother’s Day Gift (even if you’re not a mother)…

A little gift for you to use in your practice…

Mother’s Day is just around the corner – May 11th to be exact. If you haven’t already launched your Mother’s Day campaign, it’s still not too late to pick up some sales through gift certificate sales. This could be the biggest gift certificate sales day for you this year, second only to Christmas perhaps.

There are lots of ways to leverage holidays like this. Because it’s a little last minute, I’d suggest that you use the following strategy to benefit from some last minute certificate sales.

Below you’ll find a download link to a free poster you can print up. This is one of the many seasonal posters included in the Sell Gift Certificates e-course.

Make copies and post this poster in two places in particular:

1)      Just inside your treatment room, either on or beside the door

2)      Prominently displayed on your reception desk

I’d also suggest that you display some samples of your actual gift certificates for them to see as well. The better the gift certificates look, the more you’ll sell. So don’t cheap out! Buy large full color certificates.

This poster is the last thing that they will see as they leave your treatment room. They feel fantastic after their massage and are in a hyper-appreciative state. Seeing the poster reminds them that they should be doing something nice for their mothers. As they are pulling out their wallet at the reception desk, they are reminded again by the second poster to buy massage as a gift. When surrounded by these triggers, the chances are that a significant number of your clients will purchase one.

You’ll bump up your sales even more if you are active in reminding them. Just ask, “Mother’s Day is coming up May 11th. Would you like to get a gift certificate for a special mom in your life?”

That’s all there is to it. So…

What are you waiting for? Download the poster now and post it up in your treatment room.

If you’ve purchased the Sell Gift Certificates e-course, you’ll find this poster available for download in the course area along with many other seasonal posters that you can use throughout the year. Check it out.

All the best,

Eric Brown, Director