Episode 311

Aug 28, 2020

Allissa and Michael discuss how to adapt your marketing during a pandemic.

Listen to "E311: How to Market in a Pandemic" on Spreaker.
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Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

  • How to Market Your Massage Business in a Pandemic.
  • Allissa and Michael talk about the adjustments we need to make to effectively recruit and retain clients during the pandemic.

Quick Tips

  • Progress comes in layers, little by little



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Michael Reynolds Hey, everyone, and welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we help you attract more clients, make more money, and improve your quality of life. I'm Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines I'm Allissa Haines.

MR We're your hosts. Welcome. We are glad you with us today.

AH We are.

MR Glad you're -- wait. Did I say that? "We're glad you with us today." [Laughing] We're glad you are with us today! This is a precursor to the kind of morning I'm having.

AH Yeah, me too. I'm feeling a little behind, a little slow this morning, but whatever. There it is.

MR That's okay. We'll make it work. We'll make it work.

AH It's all going to be okay. Michael, what are you reading?

MR [Laughing] So I noticed in our notes that we apparently are totally on the same wavelength. I wasn't going to add anything to the notes this morning because I was like, ah, what am I really reading that's interesting? Not much right now. And I saw you have all these parenting resources, and I'm like, oh, well, actually, that's a theme now because Ariana and I have started the Positive Parenting Solutions course. It seems pretty interesting. I'm liking it so far. We're only one lesson in, but I've taken some of the authors and -- the creator of the course, I've taken some of her webinars and read some of her stuff. And I've been kind of following her for like a year or more, I think, and finally took the plunge and bought the course. So we are now enrolled in this Positive Parenting Solutions course, which teaches parents how to basically work with their kids without screaming, without yelling, generally just becoming better parents through more loving, positive parenting. So I've put that in because I noticed you have a lot of resources that seem very similar. So that's what we -- I am reading right now and what I'm kind of focused on.

AH Yeah. Are you guys yellers? Do you yell?

MR I try not to be. When I lose my temper, I do. But for the most part, it takes me -- it takes a lot for me to lose my temper.

AH Yeah.

MR But when I do, then I yell sometimes, and then I feel horrible about it afterward.

AH Yeah. I'm a yeller, and more so in the last six months as my own anxiety and stress levels go up, and as the kids' anxiety and stress levels go up, and they are -- we're all a little less accommodating to each other, I think. [Laughing]

MR Yeah.

AH And I have become my mother.

MR Yeah.

AH And she was a yeller, and I'm a yeller, and it's definitely a thing I've noticed and a thing I've worked on. And I've lost my crap enough lately that I have to redirect. So anyhow, I am reading -- currently reading -- Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids. And I'm only two or three chapters in, and it's not groundbreaking yet. It's very much like a you need to learn your triggers, you need to remove yourself from the situation, and you need to model for your kids how to handle being angry and how to handle and regulate your emotions. And then the -- I actually just got it from the -- I was on the waitlist, and I just got it from the library last night. So I've skimmed it, but I haven't dived into it yet, Screamfree Parenting, which I am -- I've read some excerpts from, which is why I waitlisted for the book. And that's my mission now, is to not be such a monster at home, which --

MR That's really interesting that we, on the same morning, had this exact same thought. [Laughing] Take care of these things.

AH Yeah. Yeah. It's a thing. It's a problem. I am a yeller, and my mother was a yeller. There's a lot of layers to this, especially when you have -- I'm in a household with two kids with varying disabilities that are -- definitely exacerbate their emotional regulation issues, and I need to model that behavior better. Anyhow, that's what we're reading. We are -- and I said to Michael -- I'm like, who the hell are we? Goodness. He's like, parents! I'm like, ugh. This is not -- it's weird. I was looking at some Facebook memories the other day, and it's like, I don't know, a five- or six-year reunion of -- anniversary, I don't know -- of when we were in -- you were in Boston for that marketing conference, and we would -- we had sushi and burgers and went on a Duck Tour and all of these things.

MR Yeah. [Laughing]

AH I'm like, yeah, that's not us anymore. That's not our friendship anymore. Now we talk about, whatever, toilet training and kid stuff.

MR Maybe it will be us again someday. [Laughing]

AH [Laughing] Maybe we'll get to meet and have fun times in cities. Anyhow, let's stop being morose, and who's our first sponsor?

MR [Laughing] All right. What a great time to tell our listeners about Acuity.

AH Yay, Acuity.

Sponsor message If you are excited about getting back to work -- I know I am -- Acuity is the scheduling assistant that makes it easy for traditional businesses to become virtual businesses or to just run your traditional business just like a boss, yo. Acuity is the business suite that takes hours of work off your plate. You set it up, and then it handles things. It handles scheduling. It handles confirmation. It handles your new COVID intake form. It just handles stuff. You can learn more about Acuity and get a free 45-day offer -- I said that wrong. Get a special 45-day free offer when you sign up today. And you can check that out at massagebusinessblueprint.com/acuity.

AH And you should know that if you are just getting on the online scheduling train, you should know that Acuity does have a free level. So if you want to take your time to explore it, you can really do -- take more than 45 days. So know that. Massagebusinessblueprint.com/acuity.

MR Yay. Thanks, Acuity.

AH All right. What's next?

MR So I love the title of our episode today, which is "How to Market Your Business -- Massage Business -- in a Pandemic." How relevant is that?

AH Yeah. So I got spanked a little bit. Somebody, a reader, who was -- and a listener, who's very nice, said -- was going through some of our old blogs posts and mentioned that a lot of our suggestions were relevant -- for marketing -- were relevant to pre-pandemic times, and she even questioned my suggestion that -- we have a blog post that's "How to Get New Clients," and it very clearly walks people through the steps to build a business with a strong marketing foundation, and a strong foundation in general. And she was like, really, business cards? And like, really, a networking group? We can't do that right now. So I was like, oh, yeah. All right. I see where you're coming from. And I did point out that these are all very important, structural pieces of a strong business. Even in a pandemic, you -- especially in a pandemic, you need to have a really solid website. You want to be building a network of referral partners.

But she made a really good point, which is that we need to be adapting our marketing for a pandemic environment. And we've had a lot of conversation in our premium group about how -- we know for many people who've gone back to work, they were really busy for the first couple of weeks and then it dramatically tapered off, and how maybe only half or less of their regular clients are coming back. And this is definitely a regional thing where some areas of the country are doing very well. Some areas of the country are not doing very well in terms of coronavirus infection rates and businesses are operating anyway, or businesses are shut down or businesses are operating but with very limited options and protocols. I think in California still you can only, at least in the LA area, you can only do massage outside. So people are -- it's different for everyone. And I know that this advice will not necessarily apply to everyone, but roll with it. Take the nuggets that work for you and ignore the rest. And send me some emails to spank me if I'm totally wrong. I'm fine with that.

So how to market your massage business in a pandemic. Be ridiculously proactive in reaching out to your former client base. Hopefully, you did a little bit to keep in touch with them. I only did one or two communications because I didn't necessarily handle this stay-at-home time very well. But even if you didn't, even if you were like me, and you just kind of crawled under your bed and hid for a couple of months, if you're back to work or you plan to be back to work soon, be really proactive in reaching out to your client base with whatever techniques you used before. Hopefully, you had some kind of bulk email system, and you have the bulk of your clients in that system. Hopefully, you had a decent following of your regular clients and potential clients on social media. Hopefully, you've done a good job of accumulating and gathering people's physical mailing addresses and email addresses and phone numbers so that you can reach out. So do your bulk emails. Do your social posts. Call people one-to-one if it's appropriate. If that's a comfortable way for you to reach to people, to call or text, if that's their method of communication that they prefer, do it. Maybe even send actual physical postcards to the people who you don't reach out to -- who don't do email or internet-y stuff.

In all of these communications, talk about what has changed in your practice, but don't talk about it in a fear-based way. You want to just be super positive. You want to emphasize the things you've always done that meet COVID-19 criteria. I've been a little bit creeped out by the number of colleagues who've shared like, I deep clean my office every week now, or now I wipe down all the things between clients. And in my head, I'm like, you didn't always do this? Holy crap. Now, I did not always deep clean my office every week. And I don't even know what "deep clean" means to different people. But you want to emphasize if you've always done a lot of the things that are now being required for best practices -- saying "required" and saying "best practices" is kind of oxymoronical, but there you go.

Emphasize the things you've always done that are also and now meet COVID-19 criteria: the cleaning of all the things that we touch during a massage. I always wiped with a Clorox wipe, all of the headrest stuff, and the little lever on my rolling stool, and the handle of the hot towel cabby, and the doorknob that I touched and people touched on the way in and out of the office. I always did that between clients. I don't know that I ever really told people I did that between clients. So now is a good time to do that, and any more that you do now. I don't I -- there was -- I didn't always wipe down the bathroom and the bathroom doorknobs and stuff between every client, or the entry doorknob for the main office. I will be doing that now. And introduce and tell them about what's new and increased. So now I use a certain EPA-approved cleaner. Now I -- like I said, I clean the bathroom surfaces between every client, every doorknob and light switch, although we don't touch light switches in my offices.

Remove -- mention -- show pictures of how you've removed clutter so you can super easy and fast clean the client (sic). Show in some pictures and videos how you are ventilating the room, the treatment room, before and after every client. Are you opening a window? Show me your fan. Show me how you move air out of that room and bring fresh air into that room between every client. If you've changed out any furniture, if you used to have an upholstered chair and you got a new chair that's non-porous so you can clean it easily, show it to me. Demonstrate masks. Show the mask that you're using. Make sure you tell clients what kinds of masks you expect them to be using when they come in. Show them your air cleaner. And you really want to demonstrate -- the whole point of this is to really show them that you have been paying attention, and you've been getting the right information, and you've been involved and absorbed in all of the science and factual stuff that has helped you make changes to mitigate any risks in your office -- and not to eliminate, but to mitigate any risks of transmission within your office. And that's kind of the coronavirus-related stuff that I think you want to focus on.

I don't think you want a 3,000-word blog post, but I think a series of pictures with one or two sentences with them posted or sent via email or created as a blog post, sent out to social, saying, this is my new air cleaner. I chose it because it changes the air -- fully changes the air in the room how many times per hour. I am using this EPA cleaner because it's recommended by this and this, and it's hydrogen peroxide based and doesn't -- you won't smell a bleachy smell when you're in my office, but you can be confident that it's clean -- so those short but clear posts, videos, pictures, whatever you got, to assure clients that you have taken this seriously, and you are doing the things. And then especially, if your state has made certain requirements, you want to share that too and say, I am on top of this. My state's got a bunch of wackadoodle things, and I'm telling people, yeah, this is what the state has said, and this is how I am meeting that benchmark, and here we go.

And then finally, do the things that you always did before to get clients. What were the things you were doing, and if they're things that you can't do because of coronavirus -- you can't go to the networking group's coffee mingler -- say that networking group hasn't been good about bringing that group virtual, make your own. Send -- create -- it's a -- you can get a Zoom account for free. Create a meeting. I don't -- I lost the words -- schedule, schedule an event -- there we go -- and invite a few of -- a few people you networked with before just to do a 30-minute, virtual check-in. Let people know that you're back to work. Let them know how to talk to clients they might refer to you and how they can assure any potential client that it's comfortable and as safe as possible to get a massage from you. And ditto that for whatever their services are. Have a networking event, a virtual one, where -- or even an outdoor, in-person one where y'all can share with each other what you've done and how you can comfortably refer to each other.

If you used to send out regular emails, but you totally flaked over the pandemic -- hi, I'm raising my hand over here -- get back into a routine. It's going to make you feel better. Get back into posting on your Google My Business page. Get back into a routine, or if you never had one, create it. It's time to create a new routine to help you recruit and retain new clients, and to retain and bring back your old clients who feel safe getting a massage.

And finally, this is going to take time. Hopefully, people have done a good job of slashing their overhead costs so that they don't have to do as much massage as they used to to cover their costs. And recognize that this is going to take time. We're all going to have to create some new routines. And eventually, it will be okay. That's what I got.

Michael, what do you got?

MR I love it. Yeah. The over-communicate is key. People want to know that you're doing things that are proactive. So I love it. I agree 100%, so there. [Laughing]

AH Okay. Sorry. I had muted myself to clear my throat. I'm sorry.

MR I was no, really. I got nothing. [Laughing] It's great. I love it.

AH All right. What's next, Michael?

MR All right. So let's show some love to our sponsor, Jojoba!

AH Yay.

Sponsor message This episode is sponsored by The Original Jojoba Company. I believe massage therapists should only be using the highest quality products because our clients deserve it, and we're soaking our hands in it 15-plus hours a week, so we deserve it. I have been using jojoba for years because it's the only company in the world that covers 100% pure, first-pressed quality jojoba. And that means that they don't squeeze the jojoba seed -- it's a seed -- too hard. It's a light press that gives them a higher quality product, but a little less of it. And it's -- they're the only company in the world doing that. And jojoba is nonallergenic, so I can use it on any client and every client without concerns about allergic reactions. You can get 20% off the price of the product when you shop through our link massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

MR Thanks, Jojoba.

AH Yeah.

MR All right. Quick tip time.

AH I got nothing.

MR All right. I have something fairly lightweight today.

AH Good.

MR [Laughing] So this is, again, super lightweight. It's more of just kind of a thought. But I've just been really noticing recently that, I'm going to say, progress comes in layers, little by little, and to give ourselves permission to accept that, and to be okay with that, and to be patient. And I say that because I think all of us are somewhat impatient with ourselves when we want to make progress in our businesses, our massage practices, our whatever business it might be -- our lives in general. It's really easy to get impatient with ourselves. I do that all the time. I'm like, hey, I want to be further along faster, and these milestones are coming too slow. I want to go faster, faster, faster. And we're just always in this mindset of faster and more progress. But in general, I've really, I think I'm doing a better job of trying to slow down and embrace the fact that -- and enjoy the fact, even, that progress comes in little layers, little by little.

And so one example is in my financial advisory business, I'm -- I want to have this big marketing machine with this -- tons of -- an audience for my podcast and all this stuff. And I'm like, you know what? That's not going to happen overnight. And so I'm adding, little by little -- every few months, I'm adding a little bit of a layer to what I'm doing. I'm -- I did the podcast for like 67 episodes so far, and now I'm adding a Facebook Live component to it. So I'm adding a layer, and I'm getting more of an audience that way, and I'm building little by little. Massage Business Blueprint, Allissa, you and I have really focused on laying the groundwork for planting seeds, and we're growing our community little by little. And every single day, we're growing in the right direction. We're doing good things to point ourselves in the right direction.

And this stuff doesn’t happen overnight. We'd look at successful people all around, and especially on social media, it's really easy to compare ourselves. And we look at all these people around us, and we say, wow, they look like an overnight success. And what we don't see is the overnight success took 20 years or longer sometimes. And all we see is the end result of that. So just a notion, a thought, a point of acceptance to say that progress, real progress, comes in layers, step by step, little by little. And I think if we learn to enjoy the process, we will have a lot more happiness as we make that journey. That's what I got.

AH Well, that is profound, Michael. Thank you.

MR It helps me, so.

AH I have no quick tip. I'm burnt.

MR All right. Well, hey, that's a great time to wrap up then. What do you think?

AH Do it. Do it. I love that we have a short episode. You're welcome, everybody.

MR Let's do it. [Laughing] You're welcome, everybody. All right. Thanks for joining us today. We appreciate you being a listener as always. If you're a longtime listener, you know where to find us, massagebusinessblueprint.com. And if you're a new listener, here's where to find us: massagebusinessblueprint.com. That's our website, and it's a great place to start, to contact us, to learn more about our Community if you're a member yet, just to say hello and read our stuff. Also, we would love feedback or comments. If you have anything for us, you can email us at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. So thanks, as always, for joining us today. Have a great day. We will see you next time.

AH Bye.

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