I’ve created a short report with research and case studies to help you make your decision. Download it free here:
I’ve created a short report with research and case studies to help you make your decision. Download it free here:
I’ve done well over 100 web development projects with people often calling me to help revamp their websites so that they work to bring them traffic and customers. My latest makeover is for a comedy duo, Melissa Story and Precious Chong at http://sexandthesingleparent.com. Here’s a little glimpse into the thought process behind the changes.
Blogs by default show the latest posts on the homepage. But as you can see this doesn’t make for a visually interesting experience and doesn’t give the visitor who has just landed on the site a sense for the scope of the site and doesn’t give them reason to explore.
The new site is still a WordPress blog and still displays the most recent posts, but does it in a visually engaging way with custom images. I’ve set a featured post at the top to showcase their work. The primary goal or my most wanted response when someone lands on this site is to simply have them explore. This invites the visitor to scroll down and engage with the site. Although it’s not visible from this screenshot, each type of post (text, video, podcast) is represented by a symbol to indicate what they’ll find when they click through.
Visually, the content takes a more prominent place with the redesign. And now that the visitor has expressed some interest in the content we want to invite a response from the viewer. If the viewer scrolls down the page, the large header disappears, but the top navigation remains (blue bar).
In the old site there were some social sharing buttons under the content. In the new site, the social sharing buttons are still there, but are more interesting visually. They are also dynamic and are always visible on the page if the visitor scrolls up or down.
Our new goal, once someone has expressed an interest in the content, is to get them to identify themselves so that they can be contacted either through email or social media (whatever they prefer). So once they click on any piece of content, they’ll see prominent green and blue buttons on each page. If you glance at the page quickly you’ll see that your eyes will naturally fall on one of these those two buttons.
The green one under the post says, “Never miss a post. Click for updates.” And the blue one says, “Behind the Scenes”. Both of these are designed to capture email addresses. The thank you pages and future emails will encourage them to connect through other social media channels like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Melissa and Precious are in the process of building an audience and need a way to reach them, so they can get them coming back to the site again and again and so they can encourage their audience to spread the word by sharing with their friends.
The email signup has some unique functionality and you can check out the site to see how it works.
In the old site, it was difficult to get any sense for the range of content that was available. It involved a lot of scrolling on the homepage until you reached some obscure navigation at the bottom.
In the new site there are several navigation items that always appear in a blue bar at the top of the screen to take people to the type of content they most enjoy: videos, podcasts or blog posts. And when they are on a category page the posts are nicely arranged for scanning eyes.
As well, every page, except the home page, has a clean navigation bar that opens to the right side of the page. The categories are listed near the top. But there’s also a clean tab system so that visitors can explore the site in a way that they want: By recent posts, popular posts, comments or a tag cloud.
Of course, the site is SEO optimized so that it shows up in Google search results. Google cannot read videos or audio files (podcasts) to understand the content, so besides the hidden SEO that you can’t see (i.e. metatags, authourship markup, etc.), I had the girls write a description for each video and podcast.
It’s difficult to convey the site’s functionality with these screenshots and you can get a better sense for how it all works by visiting the site:
I seldom do small web projects like this one, but if you have a large project or an interesting challenge you need help with feel free to drop me a note.
Did you like this before and after post? If so, check out my makeover of Laura Allen’s Educated Hearts website.
I’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 and completely forgot to include an outline of the classes. 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.
“Nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.”
~ Calvin Coolidge
Any business needs to perform well in these three area to be successful:
So if your business is not successful, there is a failure in one of those areas of your practice.
So ask yourself:
Do I give a great or even decent massage? If yes, then the product is not the issue.
Do I provide great or even decent customer service? If yes, then you are good in that area.
That means if you are not as successful as you want to be then the only thing left that could possibly be a problem is your marketing. Your marketing sucks!
I hear a lot of therapists blaming the economy or market saturation or price cutting or a myriad of other factors for their inability to earn the level of income they desire. But the fact is that there are clear winners in every competitive, saturated, and price sensitive industry. These are the companies that know how to market their products and services.
I didn’t get into providing marketing education to make a fortune. I’ve made my money in other ventures because I’m a good at marketing. I’ve made my money with corporate chair massage, massage clinics and education. BodyworkBiz has always been a bit of a hobby business and a way for me to contribute to a profession that I love.
For the record, my marketing skills are not a natural talent. I have spent and continue to spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours every year on my own marketing education, through live workshops, online training, books and business consultations with people who have expertise in areas that I’m lacking.
I know the disenfranchised and cynical people reading this will doubt my motives, but my sincere wish is for therapists in this profession to focus on their marketing skills so that they can literally touch more lives. Invest as much in your business education as you have in your massage education because it is just that important.
That’s a major paradigm shift for most therapists. And no doubt most people who have read this far are already brushing this off as hyperbole or fear mongering of a business sort.
When you get tired of struggling however, remember the words of Calvin Coolidge and get the marketing help you need. If not from me, then get help from other marketing experts. Beware though: Nothing is worse than the advice of someone who struggles themselves and who has not developed mastery of their own marketing. Don’t listen to them. Just don’t. They will take you down.
Make sure you only follow people are models for what they preach and are highly successful themselves. The shortest path to success is to model those who have already been there.
My rant is done. I’m off my soapbox now.
Need help writing a press release? Use the template that will take you through the process in a simple step-by-step way: http://bit.ly/1yUuPYc
The number one secret to getting referrals from your massage clients is not a secret. How do you do it?
You ask for them.
Over the past 25 years in business I’ve seen a number of studies looking at the willingness of customers to give referrals and the results are always similar.
A Dale Carnegie study several years ago found that 91% of customers would be happy to give referrals, but only 11% of sales reps ask.
A more recent study by Bain & Co. found that that while 87% of satisfied customers are happy to pass leads to sales reps, only 7% of sales reps actually ask.
Do you need more clients? Do you ask every client to refer their friends and family? Are you ready to start?
Facebook is rolling out changes to Facebook Pages. The layout of your business page will change automatically on June 17th. If you log in now you should be able to preview the new layout and make any changes you want to make before the update happens.
See the image below for the most significant changes or click the image to view these changes on the BodyworkBiz Page…
Also see this post for more info: http://eric.bodyworkbiz.com/2014/03/facebook-business-page-changes-you-should-know-about/
If 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:
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.
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.
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
Last week in talking about the importance of email I said that you could make $28.60 per subscriber year after year! See the blog post here to review.
I was talking to a massage therapist who generous enough to share some information with me. We worked through the numbers together and that’s how much we calculated he made from each person on the email list – $28.60! At least, that’s the direct benefit. The actual value may be much higher. Let’s look at where those numbers comes from…
This therapist has a clinic with multiple therapists. Collecting emails is an important function of the clinic website. On the top of each page is a request for their email. There is a line that simply says, “For online discounts, join our mailing list.” Then there is a little box where people can place their email address.
There are now about 1500 people on the email list. Each week they get a coupon.
I signed up and the coupon that I got yesterday offered $10 off a massage of one hour or longer on certain days and times – these are the slow times in the clinic when therapists would otherwise be waiting around for clients.
Amazingly, 15 to 20 coupons are redeemed each week. Now if I’m conservative and assume that only 15 are redeemed and then do some calculations based on current fees, I estimate that the revenue from people that redeem coupons adds about $42,900 to yearly sales. Given that there are about 1500 subscribers to the list, that means $28.60 in sales per subscriber.
Yes, it’s true that the clinic loses $10 for each of these treatments, but they more than make up for that in pure volume. (Think McDonald’s “would you like fries with that” Value Meals: The package of items is cheaper than if they were sold individually, but the increased volume of sales for McDonald’s increases dramatically.)
That’s the direct benefit, but there’s more to the story…
This particular approach moves people from the busy times of the week to the slower times. This helps ensure that the sales aren’t lost simply because the favorite treatment times are all filled up and ensures a steady client flow throughout the entire day, including what are typically slow times.
These people may not have otherwise come in and they are likely to book additional appointments at full fee, buy gift certificates or refer people they know. All of this means more sales.
And the benefit doesn’t stop there. The email is a reminder to the other 1480 on the list who don’t use the coupon. Many of these people may come in at other times of the week as a result of the reminder, even if they never open the email. Simply looking at the subject header jogs their memory and reminds them that it’s time to come in. Seeing your name may even prompt them to refer others.
Are you starting to see the value?
Let’s translate these results to a more modest practice so that you can see the possible benefit for yourself. We’ll assume that you have a humble list of only 100 subscribers. At $28.60 per subscriber, that means an additional $2,860 in sales for you each year. You could probably take a nice little vacation with that money, couldn’t you?
However, the average full time massage therapist typically has about 200 to 300 active client files. Get those people on your email list and you could be looking at $5,000 to $7,500 in additional sales over the year.
“An average therapists working full time could expect to increase sales by over $5,000 per year by using email effectively.”
Let’s also look at this marketing tool from a Return On Investment (ROI) perspective for a small list of 100 subscribers. (If you’ve taken any BodyworkBiz course, you know by now that ROI is always the key criteria in determining any marketing we do. You are measuring your ROI for your various marketing efforts, aren’t you?)
At a maximum cost of $25 per month for an email service (and with a small list like this, it can really be done at no cost) you’re making $9.53 for every dollar you spend on email marketing. That’s a ROI of almost 1,000%. Try to get that kind of return on the stock market!
My message to you: Don’t underestimate the power of the humble little email.
I’ll be back next week to continue this series and to give you some specific how to’s and recommendations for creating an email list and getting subscribers. And I’ll point you to some great email services that are absolutely free! Stay tuned and keep your eye on your inbox for an email from “Eric Brown, BodyworkBiz”
And if you are not subscribed to the BodyworkBiz Marketing Tips Newsletter, make sure to sign up now at http://bodyworkbiz.com/newsletter.php