You Only Need 139 True Fans

139 fansHere’s an interesting thought…

If you get only three new clients per week, your income would be over $50,000 per year!

I find that therapists, who don’t know a lot about marketing, get overwhelmed by the prospect of growing their practices. There are so many options, so much to do, and so much work involved that they just want to lie down and have a nap.

But when you break things down, you’ll find it’s not that difficult to have a successful practice. All you need is to do is develop 139 true fans this year to cross that $50k sales mark. That’s only 2.76 new fans per week (and that’s taking into consideration time for your vacation each year).

By true fan I mean someone who will come to see you at least every two months and pay you $60 per visit. That’s not asking for much. That’s not a fanatical fan by any means, just a true loyal fan that loves your work enough to come in on a somewhat regular schedule (if you consider a massage every two months regular). Of course, in developing diehard fans who will supply you with a comfortable living, you’ll also be attracting and surrounding yourself with lesser fans who will get massage from you on an occasional basis.

So can you do that? Can you get three new clients a week?

For sure you’d have time. At the $50,000 sales mark you’re doing less than 17 hours of massage per week, so you have at least 20 hour per week to both engage with potential fans through your various marketing efforts and to turn them into true fans by building your relationship with them. So lack of time is not an issue.

Is money holding you back? There are lots of ways to attract new clients that require no money outlay whatsoever. These strategies may take some time to implement, but we’ve already established that you have 20 hours of free time for this kind of thing.

If you are not getting your three new clients a week, what’s standing in your way?

It’s not time. It’s not money. So it’s got to be know how. You need to learn some simple, effective, low or no-cost ways of creating and nurturing fans.

At BodyworkBiz, I’ve provided thousands of massage therapists and bodyworkers just like you the tools you need to bring in clients and develop a successful business. And as a result, therapists who have been barely surviving are now thriving. Check out this recent case study on my blog.

I want to invite you to check out two programs available on the BodyworkBiz site and use the coupon code “FANS” to get 20% off either of them (or both if you like). Just enter FANS in the coupon code box when you check out.

60 Clients in 60 Days: If you need a quick infusion of clients into your business, then try this program. This course outlines one technique that is guaranteed to work. (And if it doesn’t, I’ll refund everything you’ve paid.) It couldn’t get any simpler. All you have to do is follow the exact steps I outline for you week by week. See what others have to say and get complete info here:

http://bodyworkbiz.com/60days.php

Fill Your Practice 101 is a e-course that gives a long term strategic approach to building a thriving business. It contains dozens of simple techniques for getting new clients, getting clients to visit more often and getting clients to spend more on each visit. Get all the details here:

http://bodyworkbiz.com/fill.php

Massage is soul-satisfying work and I know you can make more than a comfortable living doing the work you love.

Enter FANS in the coupon code box when you check out to get 20% off when you order one or both of these programs. This offer will expire on November 18th. Take advantage of this offer now and start finding your 139 true fans.

 Picture courtesy of tanakamusic.com

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.

[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!!! 🙂

 

Time for Your Massage Gift Certificate Promotion

I’d highly suggest you do a special gift certificate promotion at least once a year. Here is one that I used every December to sell hundreds of gift certificates. I’ve heard of a number of therapists using a similar type of strategy technique with some phenomenal results.

Around holiday time I send each client a number of gift certificates with a covering letter. The letter explains that I am going to make holiday gift shopping extremely easy. For their convenience, I’ve enclosed a number of gift certificates.

To purchase them, all they need to do is call the office for an authorization number that they must print on the certificate.

If you want a surge of new clients into your office, then offer these certificates at a significant discount on the condition that they are given to people that have not seen you before. If you decide to do this I’d suggest your print the terms and conditions right on the gift certificates: “For first time clients only. Limit of one gift certificate per client.”

In exchange for a deeply discounted price, the expiry date is shortened to the end of February. Why? I would explain to clients that as with most businesses, January and February are typically slower months and normally we would need to put money into advertising to fill our appointment books. We would prefer to spend the money we would normally use for advertising on our clients and this is a way for us to do that.

If our clients purchased the certificates on their next visit instead of calling in for an authorization code, we would also give them our deluxe certificates instead of the low quality ones that went out with the letter.

If they wanted to purchase certificates for existing clients or without conditions, we offered them a 10% discount and extended the expiry date.

I first heard of a similar type of promotion being done by a renowned clinic in Los Angeles. At the time, the clinic had a base of 5,000 clients (largely upscale) and reportedly sold 5,000 certificates in the six weeks around Christmas.

Their offer was a little simpler than mine. And that really is preferable. It seems as though you can never make things simple enough.

As a cost savings measure, when you are mailing out large numbers of gift certificates in this kind of promotion, it is best to have some cheaply printed instead of using the more expensive ones. That way you can also custom print your conditions or authorization number space right on the certificate. One year I printed up about 3,000 two-color gift certificates on glossy card stock for about ten cents per piece at my local printer.

My suggestion when doing gift certificate promotions is to sell a smaller time frame (i.e. offer a half hour massage gift instead of an hour) simply because it’s less expensive. There’s much less resistance to spending $30 compared to $60, for example. So you’ll find that you sell more. If your client wants to buy a longer massage, that’s great, but you can always upsell to a larger time frame to the user when it’s redeemed.

Put an upgrade offer right on the certificate. For example, offer to upgrade from 30 minutes to an hour for only $30 more. Print this right on the bottom of the gift certificate: “This massage can be upgraded to a full hour for only $30.”

Consistently we found that 80% of people paid for the upgrade! Why did so many upgrade? From the recipient’s perspective, they were paying only $30 for a $70 massage. What a deal!

So think about what gift certificate promotion you can do as the holidays approach. Christmas season will be your highest gift sale period, so that would be the one to focus on. However, it’s getting down to crunch time, so you may not have time to initiate this type of promotion.

At the very least, take your gift certificates out of your drawer, dust them off, display them on your reception desk and ask clients if they’d like to purchase a massage for anyone for Christmas. It’s super simple and… clients will buy them!

Take care,

Eric Brown, Grand Massage Poobah

www.bodyworkbiz.com

Need more gift certificate ideas?

Then pick up the “Sell Gift Certificates” guide at BodyworkBiz. It’s only $39 and will give you tips for selling hundreds of gift certificates each year. I’ll send the first ten people who buy the course a mixed pack of 20 beautiful full color gift certificates from BodyworkBiz (normally $45) for free. I’ll pick out a variety of certificates that are available on the site, so you can check them out firsthand.

Pick up the “Sell Gift Certificates” guide now and I’ll get your little bonus package of gift certificates in the mail right away.

http://bodyworkbiz.com/massage-gift-certificates.php

Note: Offer available for residents of USA and Canada only.

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.

Turn Your Massage Blog Into a Website

Here’s an example of a massage blog that also serves as a website: http://stellarmassageseattle.com

In this case, the entire website is a blog.

How is this possible?

Most blog platforms, like WordPress, allow you to write two kinds of pages: “Posts” and “Pages”.

The blog “posts” are dynamic in the way that they move down the timeline as you add new content. The blog “pages” on the other hand are static; they don’t change. So you can put the pages into a navigation menu and your blog will look and function like a website.

Rebecca uses some static pages, but also writes blog posts on a regular basis. Some of the posts are educational and some highlight updates in her massage practice. Rebecca simply writes as she talks, so her personality shines and as a result her posts are very engaging.

Although I don’t see them now, I know that she has also done some videos for her site/blog. This is something I highly recommend because it’s a fast way to add content and people get to know you in a very personal way. At the end of her blog posts and videos, note how she solicits comments from readers/viewers. Learn from that example and ask readers to take some action, whether it’s commenting, sharing, liking or even encouragement to pick up the phone to book an appointment.

We’ll look at another therapist’s blog tomorrow.

Note: Only 220 words and post number 13 or 31.

Your Free Massage Blog Guide

Massage Blog GuideI’ve taken up a challenge by Kelli Wise to write 31 blog posts in 31 days and I’d love for you to join me in the process. I’ll even up the ante by sending anyone who completes the challenge a “Blogging Bad Ass” trophy that you can put on your mantle.

I know most massage professionals, maybe even you, don’t have a clue as to where to start when it comes to blogs. Some people reading this may even be asking: “What’s a blog?”

So I’m compiling a variety of blog posts and articles into a “massage blog guide” to help you get started. We’ll be looking at how to set up your blog, how and what to write, and how to use your blog to get more clients. This will be a work in progress and I’ll add links as I write the posts.

The Challenge

The original challenge by Kelli Wise
How to win your “Blogging Bad Ass” trophy

Getting Started

What’s a blog?
A blog a lot like a website. What’s the difference?

Watch Eric Create a Blog in Five Minutes
I don’t know anything about creating blogs. It’s all way to complicated for me? If that’s how you feel then watch as I create a blog with one post in under five minutes. Follow along, pausing the video where needed and create your own blog right now so you can see how simple the technology really is.

Why Create a Massage Blog?
What’s the big deal? Why does everyone and their mother keep saying I need a blog?

Is It Essential to Have a Blog for Your Massage Business?
But seriously, with all the other things I could be doing online, is creating a blog really that important?

Creating Your Massage Blog
Okay, I’m sold on the idea of starting a blog. How on earth do I set one up when I don’t know an FTP from a KFC? What’s the easiest way to set this up?

Integrating a Blog Into Your Massage Website
Now I know the easiest way to create a blog, what if I want to make it part of my website?

Set Up Your Massage Blog On Your Website
I can see the benefits of integrating a blog into my website. Can you give me some more specific how to’s?

Getting Stuff Done Cheaply
I don’t want to do the technical stuff. Is there someone who can install the blog for me? What if I’m really cheap and don’t want to spend a lot of money doing this?

My Blog Recommendations
Now I’m not sure what to do. What would you recommend I do next? What would work best for a blog novice like myself?

Be Sure to Do This on Your Massage Blog
Is there anything in particular that I need to do in setting up my blog to make it more effective?

Creating Content

What Makes a Good Blog Post
What sets a good blog post apart from a mediocre one?

Writing Content for Your Massage Blog
What the heck am I going to write about? And how do I maintain a blog if I’m a lousy writer?

A 90 Minute Exercise for Planning Months of Blog Posts
Another perspective on coming up with content ideas and scheduling your posts.

More Writing Ideas for Your Massage Blog
Do you have any more simple ideas for helping me come up with ideas and content for my blog?

A Super Easy Way to Create Content for Your Blog
Where do I find the easy button? 

Guest Blogging
What is guest blogging and why would I do it?

Finding Free Images for Your Blog
Where can I get pictures to put in my posts? 

Checklist for Publishing Your Blog Post
What things do I have to remember to do before I press the Publish button?

Blogs as Websites

Turn Your Massage Blog Into a Website
Some people use blogs for their website. How do I do that?

Using WordPress as Your Website
And why is everyone suggesting WordPress?

Top 5 Reasons to Use WordPress as Your Business Website
Why should I use blog software to build my website? 

Great Example of a Massage Blog
Can you show me a real life example of this? 

Promoting Your Blog

How to Promote Your Massage Blog
Now that I have a blog, how do other people find out about it?

More on Promoting Your Massage Blog
Any other suggestions for getting the word out?

What’s an RSS Feed?
This weird symbol is on my blog. What is it?

Submitting Your Blog to Directories
What is the value of having my site listed in directories?

Getting Found in the Search Engines

Getting Your Blog Posts Ranked in Google – Part 1
How do I get found in Google?

Getting Ranked in Google – Part 2

Getting Ranked in Google – Part 3

Google Doesn’t Rank Websites – Part 4

More on Ranking Your Blog in the Search Engines

Commenting

The Value of Blog Commenting

Making Blog Comments Meaningful

Top Posts

Top 10 BodyworkBiz Blog Posts
Here’s number 10 to number 6 for the past year.

Top 5 BodyworkBiz Blog Posts
The countdown continues

Some Controversial BodyworkBiz Blog Posts

31 Posts in 31 days – A Midpoint Tour

Categories and Tags

Categories vs. Tags
What’s the difference between the two?

WordPress

WordPress.COM or WordPress.ORG
What’s the difference?

Themes – what are they?

What is a plugin?

Please share this guide by using one of the social bookmarking buttons you’ll see on this page. And subscribe to the BodyworkBiz Blog feed to get future blog posts coming straight to your inbox. Click here to subscribe now.

If you have any questions about blogging or would like to share your own experiences just post them below in the comments section. If you haven’t yet joined the 31 posts in 31 days challenge for a chance to win your blogging trophy, make sure to get started by August 15th.

Is It Essential to Have a Blog for Your Massage Business?

Is a blog essential?

No. It’s not absolutely essential for you massage business. However, as you saw from my last post it does have some clear benefits that you can take advantage of.

So the bottom line is this: If you are not going to commit to updating your massage blog on a regular basis, at least monthly, but preferably weekly, don’t set it up. There’s nothing sadder than a dead blog.

If you can make a commitment to spend even a half hour per week updating your blog, I’d say go for it. Don’t worry about what you are going to write about. That’s really a minor concern and I’ll give you ideas in a future post.

Through this next week as part of the 31 posts in 31 days challenge, I’ll show you how to set up a blog, what to use as content, how to optimize your content and lastly how to market your blog so it gets found online.