Where to Get Free Images for Your Blog

Where can you get great looking images for your blog for free? Getty Images has just made available about 35 million images in its collection for use on blogs.

Getty Images is known for super high quality images, but the cost of these are through the roof. You’d be hard pressed to find an image you can license from them for less than $1000 bucks. It also has an extensive collection of celebrity images, which are typically hard to find to post legally.

How to get these Getty images?

1. Go to www.gettyimages.com/Creative/Frontdoor/embed

2. Type words related to the type of picture you’d like in the search box.

3. Find an image you like and hoover over it.

4. If the image is available to embed on your blog you’ll see a little embed icon. Click on that icon.

free-getty-images

5. Select the code (ctrl + a) and copy it (ctrl + c).

3-7-2014 12-58-25 AM6. Paste the embed code into your blog (ctrl + v). Different blogs have different ways of doing this. In WordPress, you can simply choose the “Text” tab and paste the image where you want it to appear.

free-getty-images-for-blogAnd that’s it! You have a beautiful free image in your blog.

There are some drawbacks to using these images rather than using original images or purchasing royalty free images.

You’ll see that the image has attribution to Getty Images and may have some links to share or embed the image, just like the Getty Image at the top of this page. And if the image is clicked, it goes to the Getty Images site. As well, even though there are currently no ads on these images, but the terms and conditions say that they do have the right to post ads under the images and that may or may not happen in the future.

If you can live with those conditions, then you have a great looking image in your post. If not, then it’s better to purchase an image you need from a stock photo site like iStockPhotos or use Creative Commons images with attribution.

Where else could you get a free image like this? (From the Hulton Archive)

I Can’t Put an Expiry Date on My Gift Certificates

Massage Gift Certificates and Gift CardsOne of my favorite ways to build a practice is through gift certificates. Gift certificates are referrals… that are paid! It was the number one way I’ve used to bring new clients through the door.

If you want some fantastic ideas for selling gift certificates through the holiday season (or anytime really), you can read a recent article I wrote for Massage & Bodywork Magazine here:

My $18,000 Mistake: How I Learned to Love Gift Certificates

Every time I write about gift certificates I invariably get a number of emails from therapists who inform me that I should have told my readers that you can’t put an expiry date on them. What I normally say is be aware of regulations around the sale of gift certificates because regulations are not consistent from country to country or State to State.

In some places an expiry date is okay and some places not. And then there are all sort of other rules that exist in various places around the sale of gift certificates.

I don’t have the time to outline the current laws for all 50 states in the USA or the 13 provinces and territories in Canada, but my friend Laura Allen has written an excellent article on the topic a couple of years ago and I’ll defer to her expertise:

Gift Certificates and Gift Cards By Laura Allen

For more specific details, here is a table showing regulations by state for the USA for gift certificates and gift cards. Use as a reference to determine the statutes around gift certificate expiration in your jurisdiction:

Massage Gift Certificate Laws by State

And if this information is helpful to you, please share this post on one of your social media sites. I’m sure others will find it helpful too. Just use one of the buttons on the right hand side of this page.

As well, if you are looking for some great looking gift certificates to have on hand for customers this Christmas, check out what’s available at BodyworkBiz:

http://bodyworkbiz.com/giftcerts.php

massage-gift-certificates

Click here for details or to order now

Note: Because we’re getting very close to the holiday season, for fastest delivery I’d suggest that you go with the default template instead of using custom printing. We will likely be able to get them to your doorstep in a week, but at this busy holiday time we can’t guarantee delivery times.

Do You Have the Right Kind of Facebook Page?

Some massage therapists have set up a Page for their business on Facebook, but have chosen the wrong type of Page. Ideally, if you have a physical location you want your Page to be a “Local Business” Page. This gives you special functionality on your Page that is specific to a “brick and mortar” business (as opposed to a Brands or Products).

You can see what kind of Page you have by going to your business Page and clicking the Edit Page link at the top of the page and then clicking Edit Settings.

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Then go to the Page Info tab and look at the Category. It should say “Local Business”. BodyworkBiz is not a local business because there is no physical location, so you won’t see that label on my BodyworkBiz Facebook Page:

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If your category is not “Local Business”, simply click the Edit link to the right and choose the proper Page Category from the drop down menu and save your changes.

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Then be sure to fill out all the possible fields that Facebook gives you for your local business page. This will help visitors find the information they are looking for when they go to the About tab on your Page: Things like prices, parking, hours, directions, etc.

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If you’ve found this useful, please share with your Friends.

The Sales Funnel Unicorn

If you read about marketing at all you’ve no doubt heard about the “sales funnel”. The concept is basically this: You move people through a sales process. You create lots of awareness by spending money and time in advertising and PR. A certain number of people become interested, some of those people make an effort to explore their options, and eventually a few will become clients. So as people go through the funnel the numbers narrow until a few customers drip out the end.

sales-funnelThe dream of social media is that you don’t have to blast your message to get the word out. You tell a few people and they tell a few people and so on and so on until you have this huge number of engaged interested buyers. This doesn’t require a lot of money, but it’s extremely time consuming. This social media funnel is supposed to look like this:

dream-sales-funnelIt all good in theory, but the reality is that this is a bit of a social media unicorn. There is as much noise in social media as there is in advertising, so your message largely gets lost. And people don’t engage in social media with an eye to buying stuff. That’s not their intent. They are engaged in SOCIAL media to be social. They are not going to “advertise” for you. So the real social media sales funnel looks like this:

reality-social-media-sales-funnel

Yes, there will be people who “engage” with you: people who comment, share and like. But those actions have a very limited lifespan and the effect quickly peters out. What typically happens, and you have probably experienced this yourself, is that you do a lot of work encouraging interaction and don’t get many (if any) clients for your efforts.

I’m not saying that social media is useless. There are ways to maximize your use of social media, but you really need to be committed to doing it and doing it right. And you need to invest more than a little time in the process. Facebook is slowly removing the free benefits and pushing toward paid models for businesses, so you do need to make some financial investment as well.

Having a presence in social media is important, but it’s not all important. If you are not interested in going all out, my suggestion is to establish a presence and spend just a little time each week (20 minutes) and a little money to stay active in people’s minds.

Here’s a free guide to help you figure out the most essential things you can do on Facebook:

Facebook Marketing In Just 20 Minutes Per Week

Use the 80/20 rule and have the most impact possible for the least amount of time. The guide is free and I’ll host a webinar soon to further expand on these concepts. Be sure to sign up for the BodyworkBiz Massage Marketing Tips newsletter to get the announcement of this upcoming webinar.

 

My $18,000 Mistake

LoveGiftCertificatesMy latest article was just released in Massage & Bodywork Magazine. I originally titled the article “How to Sell 300 Gift Certificates”, but the editor changed it to the much better title of “How I Learned to Love Gift Certificates: My $18,000 Mistake.”

It’s not that I enjoy making $18,000 mistakes, but it does speak to a certain truth:

Experience is the best teacher, but the tuition is outrageously expensive!

I’ve learned that lesson long ago, which is why I make considerable investments in my education now. For example, I just invested $800 on an online course about doing webinars. I’ve done dozens of my own webinars and have produced hundreds through World Massage Conference. I believe I even hold the record for the most registrants for a massage webinar.  So why would I spend (some may say waste) $800 on a course about something I’m probably more knowledgeable about than anyone in the profession?

It’s because I’m done with making $18,000 mistakes. (And by the way, that’s not my most costly mistake; it’s just one of many.) I’d rather have that money in my pocket than see it go down the toilet as a lost opportunity. If I take just one idea from this webinar course and increase my sales by 1%, 3%, 5% or 10%, I’ve made my money back many times over with a lot less wasted time, energy and money, not to mention a lot less stress.

Taking a course that is going to help increase my sales is not an expense. It’s an investment. That’s the bottom line.

Having learned that lesson, I’m a little shocked and baffled when therapists tell me they’d rather learn how to market their practice on their own rather than spend $99 on a course that lays out the blueprint for you. It just doesn’t make sense.

As a recommendation for you, here are some of the most useful/popular courses at BodyworkBiz:

60 Clients in 60 Days

I see a lot of copycats of this program (“Five clients in 10 days”, “10 Clients in 30 Days”, etc.) online right now, so it must be good. This has got to be the easiest way to build your practice fast, but it has to be done right. Do it wrong and you’ll find yourself in one of those costly mistake situations. This strategy is perfect for therapists who have little money, but lots of open slots in their appointment book. It’s all laid out for you step-by-step and week by week. You can do the whole thing and move your practice to a whole new level in just 60 days. Get it here: http://bodyworkbiz.com/60days.php

Fill Your Practice 101

This gives you a broader strategic approach to building your practice. Perfect for someone who has a relatively healthy practice and who wants to solidify their position and be more effective than they already are. It’s a complete marketing education in one course. Every therapist should take this course early on in their career. Information here: http://bodyworkbiz.com/fill.php

Chair Massage Marketing 101

If you are interested in the least bit in doing chair massage, either as a business or to generate more clients for your practice, you must get this course. I pioneered chair massage in Canada and have done chair massage for the biggest corporations in Canada, including IBM, Dell, Kellloggs, Levi Strauss, every major bank, hospitals, most major law firms and hundreds more. This is the most comprehensive course on the topic you’ll find anywhere on earth: http://bodyworkbiz.com/101day.php

Over 20 years ago I didn’t have anyone to guide me when I started my practice. You get to benefit from the expensive “learning experiences” I’ve had. Instead of making $18,000 mistakes, invest in learning how to do it right from the start.

“Experience is the best teacher, but a fool will learn from no other.” ~Benjamin Franklin

Please share this post with your friends.

A Fun and Marginally Useful Title Tool

7-16-2013 8-42-14 AMI think headlines or titles are important. They draw people in to read more. They are the ad for your article or blog post or ad or video or whatever you happen to be creating. If you can’t catch the reader at hello, then you are in trouble. As I glance quickly through my blog I see a few that catch my eye:

So I was pleased to stumble across this little tool to help you create titles for whatever you happen to be doing:

Portant’s Title Generator

Just type your subject in the box and see what it comes up with. Keep clicking the refresh button to get different and new ideas. You may not use exactly what comes up, but read the tips that accompany each suggestion to spark your thinking as to what makes a title appealing and have some fun!

*Please do me a little favor and share this post with your Friends.

[Case Study] Twenty New Clients in May…

60 Clients in 60 Days is one of the top two selling online courses on BodyworkBiz. Personally it’s my favorite because the strategy I outline is just so simple to do that anyone can do it. And it’s so extremely effective at getting you lots of clients quickly. It’s kind of like Groupon, but better. You can target the people that you want as clients and give them a feel for your services without devaluing your worth.

I have hundreds of testimonials from people who have done the 60 Clients in 60 Days program and many of these are on the BodyworkBiz website. But here’s one that just came in today that I thought I’d share. The results Lori got may not be as dramatic as with other participants, but as Lori mentions, she did not really roll out the strategy to the extent that I suggest. She has a home-based practice and worked the program to the extent that was comfortable for her. You can see from her results below that, even if she stops using the strategy altogether, she will add at least $10,000 to her sales this year from  ”the little bit” that she has done over the past month.

Here’s Lori’s email:

I have gotten wonderful results from following the program, the little bit that I have. I’ll be honest, I haven’t been on track, but have seen my business BOOM just since the beginning of May with the little bit that I have been following. Here’s my story……

I have been a massage therapist for two years. I have always taken clients from home, but usually worked at a clinic or a spa too. My goal was to be able to have enough clients from home that I didn’t need a real job. After enrolling in the 60 Clients program, I decided I was going to jump from the frying pan into the fire and quit my job. When I started on May 1st, I had 55 clients in my database. I now have 75!! That’s 20 new clients in the month of May! 

  • 20 new clients in May
  • All but two rescheduled immediately
  • All but one upgraded their treatment length
  • Three of them have become regular weekly clients and the others schedule bi-weekly or monthly
  • Three referred friends/family to me
  • One of the new clients is referring her husband for a father’s day gift and also rescheduled herself
  •  My weekly income has exceeded what my home monthly income was before I started the program!!

What I found interesting about Lori’s story is this:

Also since getting the ball rolling, I noticed that my regular clients have been either increasing their visits or time, and have been referring me more often. I even have a massage therapist as a client that referred one of her clients to me for two sessions in one week.

You know the adage: “Success breeds success”? This is one of the magical side effects of getting busy. We are often unsure about the value of our work. We tell ourselves it benefits our clients, but we don’t always believe it with our whole heart and soul. But once you get an influx of clients like this, you start to see the effects of your work firsthand on a whole new group of people. With all that additional experience, your skills improve and you feel more confident. And that spills into both your practice with your existing clients and even into your life in general. You become more “attractive” as a professional and people naturally want to see you.

Good work Lori! And congratulations on making the leap to develop the business that you always wanted.

UPDATE: Here’s an update from Lori. She is generously sharing her sales numbers with us and I think you’ll agree the results are outstanding…

I’ve gone through my May numbers and here are the exciting, detailed statistics:

  • January 2013; 18 massages, $745
  • February 2013; 17 massages, $845
  • March 2013; 21 massages, $930 (sold 1 $800 package for a total income of $1,730)
  • April 2013; 37 massage; $1,660

READY FOR THIS???

  • May 2013; 58 massages; $2,765 (sold 1 $800 package for a total monthly income of $3,565)

You can use these numbers as examples if you’d like. Looking to break May’s record this month!! I’ll keep you posted.
Lori

ANOTHER UPDATE…

Lori just sent me another email and seemed pretty excited. June is far from over, but given her schedule so far, she’s anticipating doing over 70 massages this month! That’s a far cry from the average of 20 massages she was doing per month in the first quarter of this year. In Lori’s words…

My initial goal before I started the program was to do 60 massages per month. I thought it would take several months to build, but as you can tell from my numbers just from the past few months, it only takes a little time and effort to build!! I am going to go back and review Week 6 of the program, Client Appreciation, and see if I can spice things up a little! If you’re a daddy, Happy Father’s Day to you!!! :)

 

Google Launches New Evernote-Type Service

Google has quietly launched a service that is similar to Evernote called Google Keep (https://drive.google.com/keep/). The service is essentially a capturing service for collecting research and personal notes including text, images, and lists. And of course, being Google, there is a search function.

The service is pretty pared down right now, but I’m sure we’ll see it developed further as it rolls out publicly.

Simple Tips You Can Use Now for Getting the Most Out of Social Media

You may be the kind of person that uses social media in a very quiet way. You’re content to use one or two networks to keep in contact with your friends and family.

However, it’s important to establish a professional presence on social networks as well. People live on these networks. Not only do they socialize, but they use these networks to research products and services, to solicit opinions and reviews and to buy stuff.

If you’re not using social media for your massage business then you are missing out on a terrific opportunity to connect with people and get more clients under your hands.

I don’t believe you have to spend a lot of time on social media sites like Facebook to be effective and over the next couple weeks I’ll share some simple, quick, easy to implement social media tips with you in this blog, on the BodyworkBiz Facebook Page and in the BodyworkBiz newsletter.

Let’s get started with tip number one…

Tip 1: Create Profiles on Major Social Media Sites

Even if you are not active on social media sites, it’s extremely valuable to have a complete profile set up. Why? Because people will be looking for you and your business on these sites and they expect to find you. If they can’t find you easily, then they’ll look for someone else.

I would suggest at the very minimum setting up complete profiles on each of the following social media sites:

Through the month of April I’ll be providing BodyworkBiz fans a range of simple tips that are easy to implement and that take very little time to do. Be sure to Like BodyworkBiz on Facebook and subscribe to the Marketing Tips Newsletter to get these tips.

Does Facebook Marketing Really Work?

Social media is about building relationships. It’s not a direct sales tool and anyone expecting quick and immediate results will be disappointed.

I’ve talked in a general way about the role of social media as a marketing tool in other posts, but decided to write a short blurb around the value of social media after being asked by a therapist if it’s really possible to get clients from Facebook.

Those who use Facebook for business tend to focus on conversation to develop relationships with their Fans. That’s what you’re supposed to do right? Yes and no. Businesses tend to communicate about what people usually want talk about: pets, restaurants, movies, life, etc. People who focus on this kind of approach get Fans and develop relationships with people who like those topics.

The problem is that those Fans aren’t interested in what they have to sell. So when the conversation moves to business, their Fans are largely non-responsive. This makes social media seem like a waste of time. The feeling is, “I’ve spent a lot of time posting and it just doesn’t work. I’m not seeing any clients as a result of this.”

Those who make money on social media focus on providing their audience with info they need or want to know about around the subject of their expertise. There is still conversation, but it revolves around this expertise.

If you focus purely on creating conversation to build relationships, you turn your followers into friends who like you but who don’t buy from you. If you focus on content and the conversations that arise from that you develop trust and become an expert. This turns into a business relationship that will result in sales.

Let’s face it: Ultimately, you hire a mechanic because they can fix your car, not because they are your friend. So stop trying to make friends and instead start building business relationships. Don’t be a peer to your Facebook audience; Be their leader, the person they turn to for advice.

So does Facebook marketing really work? It can if it’s done in the right way. A couple of weeks ago I attended a webinar by Amy Porter and I can tell you with a certainty that I’ve made money as a direct result of implementing a couple of suggestions that were easy to do.

I’ve purchased her Facebook Influence course  (it’s less than $100 bucks) and will be implementing many of the strategies she outlines in a systematic way in the new year. I’ll post some of my results here on the blog. I can say confidently that if I take the approach I’ve outlined above as I implement her tactics I’ll definitely be able to increase my sales.