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:

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:

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:

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

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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


  • 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 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 ( 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.

My Facebook Page Sucks

Well, this is embarrassing!

I’m supposed to be the king (actually the Grand Massage Poobah) of massage marketing and an expert on social media. I hold the record for the most registrants for a massage webinar, which just happened to be about Facebook marketing.

But.. I’ve let things slide.

With all the changes that happened on Facebook this year, I stopped trying to keep up. And now… there’s no other way to say this… my Facebook Page sucks!

So the teacher is going to become the student. I’ve purchased Amy Porter’s Facebook Influence course and I’m going to go through it step-by-step in the new year. Why not pick up this course for yourself and go through it with me? It may be the best purchase you make this year: (affiliate link)

Why take this course?

Let me show you why. I attended Amy’s free webinar a couple weeks ago. Look at this report on activity on my Facebook Page. Can you tell when I attended the webinar?

This was from just one simple idea that I implemented from her free webinar and it probably took me easily less than 30 minutes. (By the way, she probably has a replay of the webinar available if you want to check it out.)

This is why I’ve been sending emails to the BodyworkBiz subscribers about the course and why I think you should buy it. It’s only $99 bucks and if you have a Facebook Page it may be the best investment you make all year.

Pick it up and join me in stepping up your Facebook game in the new year.

Eric Brown Featured in Massage & Bodywork Magazine

This is not the first time I’ve had a article featured on the front cover of a national magazine, but I’m always proud and excited when it happens.

The article has just been published by Massage & Bodywork Magazine, the flagship publication of ABMP. It’s called “Your Best Year Ever: Your 2013 Marketing Road Map” and provides a month-by-month plan to creating a successful practice in 2013.

You can read the magazine for free here (just click the article title in the Table of Contents to go straight to the article):

I’d suggest you print up the article and post it next to your work desk for reference over the coming year. For direct links to resources listed in the article go to:


Eric Brown, Grand Massage Poobah

The New Facebook Marketing

Special announcement: Free Facebook Marketing webinar with expert Amy Porter.

To register for free, go to:

Please share with your friends –>

If you want to grow your business, you have to be visible. You need to go where the crowds are. Even the biggest billboard in the desert is not going to bring clients into your practice. You need to get in front of people and right now there is no bigger gathering place than on Facebook.

Facebook is a powerhouse. Facebook has almost one billion users. Everyone has an account. Not only do they have accounts, but most users log in on a regular basis to connect with friends, family, colleagues and businesses they love.

So after having a website and email list, Facebook is the next logical place to focus your marketing efforts.

But how do you do it?

If you are like most therapists you are probably finding that the results you are getting from the time you spend on Facebook are not quite what you’d like them to be. Things were different four years ago and it didn’t take much knowledge or time to get found in Facebook and to communicate with clients and prospective clients.

It’s not that Facebook has become ineffective. It’s just that things have changed. To avoid wasting your time, you need focus your time and energy in the Facebook activities that are most effective.

So how do you use Facebook effectively to get clients? What works and what doesn’t?

I have a hard time keeping up with the changes, so there are two experts who I turn to when I need Facebook answers: Mari Smith and Amy Porter. I recognized that I needed to update my Facebook marketing activities personally, so I attended a webinar by one of those women, Amy Porter, last week to get up to speed.

As always, I’m blown away with Amy’s knowledge. She eats and breathes Facebook and knows it like nobody else. And more importantly, she knows how to promote your business on Facebook in the most effective, lowest cost way possible.

So I arranged for you to get access to the same webinar I attended for free. It is more than worth an hour out of your day to learn about using Facebook in a powerful and effective way.

The webinar is free and you can register here:

This webinar coincides with the release of a new course she’s offering: Facebook Influence 2.0. I’ve purchased the course myself and am going to go through it systematically in the New Year. I’d suggest you get your hands on it too. Right now through this launch period it’s only $99.

Here’s the link to the Facebook Influence 2.0 course:

That’s an affiliate link, so if you purchase the course I’ll get a commission on the sale which I’ll use to buy a big yacht and sail around the world (right after I learn how to swim).

I hope you’ll take advantage of Amy’s course so you can maximize your own results from Facebook, but even if you decide not to get the course, at the very least attend the free webinar. She does her webinars like I do: They are not sales pitches; they are packed with information that you can use immediately to build your practice.

Save your spot in this free Facebook webinar now:

See you there,

Eric Brown, Grand MassagePoobah

PS As I begin implementing the strategies in the course starting in January, I’ll report back to you with my results. Why not do the course with me and we’ll compare notes.

More Ways for Promoting Your Massage Blog

Yesterday we looked at some simple ways to promote your massage blog. Here are a few more ideas to help you blog get noticed…

Add a sharing widget to each post

Put your sharing widget at the bottom of each post.There are lots of these available and if you have set up a WordPress blog, there are plugins available for this purpose.

Imagine that your reader has just finished looking over your post and is at the bottom of the post. If a sharing or Like button is right there, they are more likely to take some action.

Here is one sharing service you can use on your massage blog: SexyBookmarks

Make sure they can subscribe to your blog

You can have readers subscribe to receive notifications of your blog posts, either through an RSS feeder or through email. One popular service that will allow you to do this is Feedburner. Once you set up it you’ll have something that looks like this…

You’ll see how this is set up on the BodyworkBiz blog. In fact, why not sign up for email notifications so you can see how this works. Sign up to the BodyworkBiz Blog.

Notify your peeps

If you’ve developed an email list, now is the time to drop your subscribers a note to let them know about your blog. Encourage them to sign up for notifications. Use any other social networking sites to which you belong to post a notice of your new blog. Also be sure to post a link on each of your social networking sites every time a post is published. We’ll look at automating this process in a future blog post.

Put a link to your blog in your email signature

Every email you send out is a chance to promote your website, your blog and your social media channels. So create a signature file that gets automatically affixed to the end of every email you send. Look for instructions on doing this in your email application. If you use webmail, like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo, instead of a desktop email program like Outlook, then consider using WiseStamp. It will add links to your social media channels as well as a link to your latest blog post in every email you send. Mine looks something like this:

We’ll look at other ways to promote your blog in future posts, but this will get you started for now.