Episode 338

Feb 5, 2021

Listen to Allissa and Michael discuss the best practices for bringing clients back to your practice after a pandemic pause.

Listen to "E338: Bring Clients Back" on Spreaker.
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Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

  • How to bring people back after the big Pandemic Pause

Quick Tips

  • Embrace your resources. If you buy a resource, USE IT FULLY. ‘Read the manual’. Watch the intro videos, read the welcome emails, fill out your profile completely. Attend a live event.
  • Get An Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN)



Sponsor message This episode is sponsored by Acuity, our software of choice. Acuity is the scheduling assistant that makes it easy for both traditional businesses and virtual businesses to keep their calendar full. Acuity is the business suite that takes hours of work off your plate so you can focus on the fun of your massage business. From the moment a client books with you, Acuity is there to send booking confirmations with your own brand and messaging, deliver text reminders, let clients reschedule, let them pay online so your days run smoother and faster as you get busier. You never have to say, what time works for you? again. Clients can quickly review your real-time availability and book their own appointments. You can get a special 45-day free offer when you sign up today at massagebusinessblueprint.com/acuity.

Michael Reynolds Hey, everyone. 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 awake and ready.

AH Happy February.

MR Happy February. [Laughing]

AH January was the longest year.

MR So you say February correctly. I say /Feb-u-wary/, but I think that's wrong.

AH I only say it properly when I'm thinking about. And also, when I was in like 3rd grade, we had a teacher who made us practice saying things like, "I go to the library in February."

MR [Laughing] /Feb-rue-wary/, that sounds so weird.

AH Thanks, Mrs. McCarthy (phonetic). You were weird.

MR All right. Well.

AH So what have we been reading this week, Michael?

MR We have been reading things and stuff, but I think you're going to take the weekly roundup with reading stuff because you have two things. And I'm going to sit back and listen. So what've you got?

AH Yeah. I just wanted to make you admit that you don't have anything.

MR I know. Fair enough.

AH I have two things. The first one is the EIDL, or some people call it the /eye-dul/, advance for businesses in low-income areas. Now, back when the first COVID package was passed in the spring, the SBA launched this EIDL advance program for businesses. And what happened is you applied for the loan and the advance in the same application. And if you got the advance, it was probably, if you're a one-person business, 1,000 bucks that was just dumped into your bank account with no other information provided. And that advance is also a word for "grant," which means they gave you 1,000 bucks, and you didn't have to pay it back. There was also the EIDL, which the L stands for "loan" portion of that, which later they would have come back to you and said, hey, you qualify for a loan of this amount. It is spread out over 30 years. It was like 2.5% interest. You didn't have to take the loan. You had to apply to it -- for it along with the advance in order to get the advance, but you didn't have to take the loan. So that was a thing that happened. And if you didn't apply for it soon enough, the money ran out and you didn't get it.

So what's happened now in the most recent CARE package -- or I don't know. Did they call the one in December "CARE"? I don't know. The most recent COVID package that was passed in late December reopened the EIDL advance for businesses in low-income areas. So your first question is going to be like, well, is my business in a low-income area? And there are -- the SBA knows this information inherently. They are aware if your business is in a low-income area because on your application you probably put your business location with your zip code. Here's the thing: If you put your home location and not your business location on that application and your home is not in a low-business area -- low-income area, then you will not be eligible for this.

So here's the deal. If you got that advance and your business is in a low-income area, sit tight because the SBA will be contacting you via email to say, hey, your business is in a low-income area, and therefore, you are eligible for more advance money, which is grant money, which is -- not have to be paid back. So I am going to put in our show notes the FAQ that the SBA put out a day or two ago that has all of these frequently asked questions about the EIDL advance. So beginning February 1st, which is a couple of days ago, they're going to start reaching out to businesses that received the advance that are also in low-income areas. You got to be patient and give them time. It's going to take them a couple of weeks or more to get through everybody. And if they get through all of the original advance-receiving people and there's still money left, they will open it up for businesses who did not get the first EIDL advance to apply, but baby steps on that.

You do not need to -- if you got that first advance and you think you're in a low-income area, you don't need to do anything. Just sit tight and keep an eye on your emails and your junk folder for an email from -- that'll come from @sba.gov. And it will say, hey, we think you're eligible for this; follow these steps. And you could get up to $9,000 more of the advance money. So that's what you need to know about that. Just look at the FAQ link in our show notes at massagebusinessblueprint.com. Click the Podcast tab, and you will see this episode, which I believe is 338. The links are in there. Just email us at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com, and I'll give it you, or hit me up on the Twitter or Facebook or whatever. I want you to have this information, so ask for it if you can't find it. That is the first thing.

Was that mostly clear? I didn't practice that in advance.

MR Yeah. That was great. And I'm excited because you have even more good news.

AH I do. All of my stuff is good news. So the good news that I have as the second thing I read this week -- actually this morning thanks to someone who shared it on Facebook, and I don't remember who -- we have really great vaccine news happening. The bottom line is that looking at the roughly 75,000 people who received one of the vaccines from either Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson, the results look amazing. So of 75,000 people who have received one of the five vaccines, not a single person has died of COVID. Now, in the general population of American adults, about 150 of them would have died, and several hundred more would have been sent to the hospital without vaccine. But of all of those people who were in the vaccine -- who were in those vaccine trials, not one person has died, and only a few have been hospitalized. That's really amazing. [Laughing]

MR That's really good news.

AH So it's heartening, and it's still so scary out there, and it's -- getting the vaccine is -- I was able to get my first dose, last week, I think. And it was exhilarating and also terrifying and also a little guilt-ridden that I was able to get it before some other people. But I was in line, and I got it. It's just good news. And there's a lot of bad news coming down the pike about COVID, too, like the variations. And I read something the other day that said that we're just in a lull between the holiday spike and the inevitable spike because of the new variants. But also, the vaccines have shown to be pretty good, each of them against some variants, so there's hope here. But of the 75,000 people who received one of these five in the trial, no one has died. So good job, trial participants. Thank you for volunteering your bodies for this. Thank you, scientists. And that's -- I'm done.

MR Nice.

AH Yeah.

MR What a lovely way to start the episode. [Laughing] Thank you for that. [Laughing]

AH I'll take it, man. I'll take anything we can get right now. Who's our first sponsor, Michael?

MR Jojoba!

AH Yay, Jojoba!

Sponsor message Thank you, The Original Jojoba Company, for sponsoring our podcast. You know that I believe we should be using only the highest quality products because our clients deserve it and our bodies and hands deserve it. I've been using jojoba for years. You know this already because it doesn't go rancid. It doesn't contain triglycerides like many products do, so it won't go bad ever. And that makes it a great carrier for essential oils as well. I'm going to go a little off script and say some other stuff. You should be following Jojoba on social media because they have great posts. They posted a thing the other day about using jojoba as beard oil. I buy an eight-ounce bottle to put in a little gift basket for every single pregnant woman or a new baby gift basket that is around because it's so much better than that crappy baby oil stuff. It is a wonderful gift for anyone who has any kind of sensitive or fragile skin and even people who don't have sensitive and fragile skin. You, my friends, can get 20% off the price of the product when you shop through our link at massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

MR All right. What are we talking about?

AH So today, it's super brief, and it's really just kind of a reminder of stuff you know. But a lot of people are getting back to work, or maybe they took some time over the holidays off, or they just slowed down over the holidays, or whatever. But people are asking, how do I get clients to come back after this big pandemic pause or a short holiday pause? And these are all the same tips and tricks we use for anyone who is looking to get clients or kind of inject their practice with a little more busyness. I'm just going to go through the list. This is going to be very short.

One, buff up your website. Make sure that it is updated and relevant. Make sure you have your COVID protocols on there. Make sure you are acknowledging in there that it's a weird time and that you want people to come back.

Get active on your social media. Start sharing stuff even if it's just general health-related stuff or things that are relevant to your core clientele, your previous base, or a niche that you are looking to start targeting upon your return. Again, share your new COVID protocols. That makes for some great social media posts, a whole series of social media posts. Every thing that you do can now be a post and can even just be a picture of your thermometer with a short blurb about what your state requires, if they require taking a temperature, and how that may protect us or whatever. Every little thing could be post if you're looking for content.

Email your core list and say, I am back. I am taking appointments. You should schedule an appointment if X, Y, Z, you want a massage, you've been safe, you didn't get your vaccination yesterday. You want to be mindful of precautions; you don't want to see anybody who's sick or someone who got vaccinated that morning maybe. But you do want people to come in for a massage. You are ready for them, and they should come in.

Maybe, if you're having trouble getting people back, you should couple it with an offer, like a "welcome back" offer. I'm not saying you should lower your prices for the entire world. I'm saying that some -- many of our clients have just fallen out of the habit of getting massage, and we need to entice them back in. And if it's a very small discount or some kind of offer just for your previous clients who you want to return, do that. Maybe you're just adding on 15 minutes. Maybe you're taking $10 off. Maybe you're giving a free essential oil companion treatment or some kind of spa service that you do. Maybe you decide -- if you previously had clients who were on packages, maybe you can do a very small discount or offer with your packages just to get people back into the habit of getting massage.

If your state is -- and every state right now is doing vaccinations -- consider the timing on that. So if your clientele is all senior citizens, and in your state senior citizens should all have had vaccinations by the end of February, then you know that a couple of weeks into March, you want to start getting those clients in there. Two to four weeks after their final vaccination, they're in good shape, so consider your timing. Maybe tie some of your emails, or you're reaching out to the vaccination times for different groups in your state. So in my group at this point, the first week in February, the bulk of healthcare providers, first responders, and COVID-facing healthcare providers, they are all two to three weeks after their final vaccination. So I know that it is okay if I feel comfortable, and it is okay for me to start reaching out to my clients who are working in healthcare and first responders. So maybe think about your past clientele and/or the new clientele you are looking to recruit, and tie your -- any offers and any marketing to the vaccination timing of those particular groups.

If you are looking for new clients, do the things you would do at any given time. Pump up your Google My Business posts, make them more frequent. That will help with the search engine optimization of your website, which is when someone googles "massage" in your town or "massage for headache near me," your website will come up. Maybe consider running a Google Ad. Maybe you throw a dollar a day at Google Ads to increase the response and the placement of your website when someone googles for massage in your area. Maybe you run a Facebook Ad. Maybe you run a Facebook Ad that's targeted to your email list. You can do that. That's something Michael can help you with. If you're a premium member, go to one of Michael's office hours. He can show you how to do that.

Maybe it's time to connect with other businesses that have made it through the pandemic or are reopening now: maybe that CrossFit gym, maybe the Orangetheory Fitness, maybe the one-to-one personal trainer. Most of these places in most areas are back and operating with masks and with distancing protocols and all that stuff. Maybe it's time to say -- maybe your clients can get, whatever, 10% off a month of membership, and their clients can get 10% off of a massage. Maybe it's time to start connecting with other businesses that are also in the same position you are in and do some collaborative marketing.

And finally -- I told you this was going to be short -- recognize that this is going to be a long, slow process. And for some of us, this isn't going to be happening for a couple months. If you're in L.A., I don't think people are giving massage there right now. It's really bad right now. So you might need to recognize that you're still six months away and if your unemployment is running out that you need to get another job or something to hold you through. I'm telling you stuff that you already know, but recognize that this is a long, slow process.

And I will end with this: I have a friend who is always sharing some kind of wacky conspiracy theories with me and -- not super deep into the tin foil hat level, but stuff she's always right about. It's a little weird. And when -- she's tied into traditional medicine and also hippy medicine stuff. And when this all happened like the first week in March of last year, and she's like, this isn't going to be a 6- or 12-month thing; we're looking at 18 to 24 months until life returns to something much closer to normal. Darned if she hasn't been pretty right about every other weirdo thing she's told me and also this. And that has really helped me kind of shape my vision for when I will be back to practice full time and how I should approach this whole thing. I'm hoping for the 18-month side, and that seems to be what it's looking liking baring horrifyingness from these new variants.

So this is a long, slow process. All of your clients are not going to come back at once. All of your clients are not going to come back. Some people just fell out of the habit of massage, and they're never going to get back to it. But there are plenty more out there who need and want your services, so it's a marathon, not a sprint.

Those are my thoughts. Anything else, Michael?

MR Yeah. Can I add something?

AH Please.

MR Networking. This would be a really good time, in my opinion, to formalize your networking process and maybe join a group. There are a lot of new networking groups that have popped up even outside of what's already there, a lot of them virtual. So depending on your comfort level, there are virtual groups, there are in-person groups, there are hybrid groups. There's a lot of -- BNI is still going strong. There's a lot of groups out there. And if you -- I still firmly believe that networking and referral marketing is one of the quickest ways to kind of jumpstart getting clients. It's just a great way to bring in clientele.

And I'll also kind of add on a little bit of self-promotion here. If you haven't done this yet, it might be a great time to take our audio networking course in our Community. So if you're a member, it's free; it's included. If you're not a member, here's the thing. You can join the Community on the 30-day trial, take the audio course in a day or two, and then cancel and never pay a thing for it. Now, I think you'll stick around because you'll like it. But I'm letting you know it's totally no risk. So if you want to take the course, sign up in the Community. Check it out. It'll kind of walk you through the process of picking a networking group and making it work for you and kind of doing all the things that make networking really work for you as a massage business. So I think it'd be a great time to think about networking.

AH Absolutely. And you could join the Blueprint on the free trial and take those two -- we have two courses, by the way. We have the networking and we also have an ethics course. Get those NCB-approved credits. And also, check out all of our pre-written blog posts and grab a bunch of them and grab a few social media images that we've created for you to use. And then you could totally cancel it before the end of your free trial and still have all that stuff. And that's fine.

MR Yeah. Squeeze us and don't pay for anything. That's fine. Yeah. [Laughing]

AH Yeah. That's fine. No, see how we're terrible business people?

MR [Laughing]

AH But if you do that, I beg of you, pay us back by telling a friend about the podcast. There you go. That's all we care about.

MR Right on.

AH Maybe leave a podcast review. We would love that.

MR Yeah.

AH And that's all I got. So who is our next sponsor, Michael?

MR Our lovely friends at ABMP.

AH Yay! Thanks, ABMP.

Sponsor message They say they're proud to sponsor the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, and we believe them. CE courses you'll love are available for purchase or included for free with membership in the ABMP education center at abmp.com/ce. You can explore hands-on techniques, complete ethics requirements, and discover trending courses like "A Detailed Approach to Low Back Pain" from Allison Denney. All ABMP memberships include 200-plus video-based, on-demand CE classes. If you are not a member, you can purchase access for a single course or a package with a couple of classes at abmp.com/ce. And if you want more from ABMP, they would be delighted to deliver. You can check out the ABMP podcast available at abmp.com/podcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.

And I know I've been doing this every week, but shout out to Ruth Werner for a fantastic episode on -- wait, was it vertigo? Oh, crap. I forgot. I listened to like three in a row again because there was a couple I had to listen to again. But I think last week's was vertigo, and it was really, really good. Oh, you know what it was? Somebody in a massage group asked about treating clients with vertigo, and I referred them to Ruth's vertigo podcast episode, and it was really helpful.

And there was something else I wanted -- oh, ABMP is starting to do like a week -- pardon me -- a monthly CE that is online, and the presenters will be there live to answer questions during the course. And I'm so excited about. I believe the first one is on oncology and massage from our friends at Healwell, Cal Cates and Kerry Jordan. So I am super excited about that. I just got the email about that the other day. Abmp.com. Just check it out.

MR You know what? I expect more from ABMP, and I'm never disappointed.

AH I know.

MR [Laughing]

AH It was really delightful. I'm just going to keep going off on this ABMP thing.

MR [Laughing] They're so good.

AH They are. Yesterday or the day before, maybe, somebody in a big group said, I switched from another organization to ABMP, and I am so incredibly happy with the service and the resources, and I think they're far superior. And it was great because somebody else jumped in and was like, I love their five-minute muscle app -- I think I just called it the wrong thing. They've got a really cool app about muscle stuff. And somebody else was like, yeah, I love them for this reason. And I was like, you know what? I love them because they are a fantastic employer. They treat their educators and their writers well, and they pay their educators and their writers well. And I can confirm from personal experience that other organizations and other publications do not do that. And I just -- anyhow, gushing over.

Michael, what's next?

MR All right. Quick tips. We got a couple things here, I think, on the list.

AH Can you go first?

MR Sure.

AH Okay. I'm tired.

MR So a minor thing popped up that's a cool feature of the IRS, which sounds really weird to say out loud. [Laughing] But you can now get what's called an Identity Protection PIN. So it is kind of a way of curbing ID theft, identity theft, related to taxes. So you can go to the IRS website, and I've got a link in the show notes. Or you can just google "Identity Protection PIN," or "IP PIN" will probably get you there as well. And it will bring you to the IRS website where you can apply for a PIN, PIN being personal identification number. And you have to apply once a year. It's an annual thing. But when you apply, you get a personalized PIN that is just for you, and you use this to file your taxes. Or you can give it to your tax preparer to file your taxes on your behalf using your PIN.

And so when you get this, that means that it restricts other people from attempting to fraudulently file taxes on your behalf or perform some sort of identity theft related to your tax return. So it's a way of securing your identity related to your taxes. It's a cool feature, I think. It's a good tool. I think it's worth looking into. That's my quick tip.

AH Sorry.

MR [Laughing]

AH I had trouble unmuting. Sorry about that.

MR I can just see you scrambling for the mute button -- or the unmute button.

AH Guys, I'm struggling. Sorry. That's a brilliant idea, and I do -- I'm going to expand upon this IRS situation. They get such a bad rap because they're the ones who are collecting the moneys.

MR Yeah.

AH Much like -- I feel like, when I was a retail pharmacy technician, we got all the hate. We were just the messenger, but people were just -- hated us. And we were always the ones that had to be like, I'm sorry, your insurance doesn't cover this, or I'm sorry, we don't have that medication in stock. And they just hated us. And I feel like the IRS gets a bad rap because they're the collectors.

I have to say that every interaction I've had with the IRS has been downright pleasant, including back when I had gotten bad tax advice and ended up owing them a crap-ton of money. I called back when you had to call to get on a payment plan. Now you can just do it online. I called; they were super nice. They were like, okay, this is the type of payment plan we have. How much can you give us per month? Okay, that works. We'll send you the info. Give us that money every month. And we're all set. And it wasn't -- I owed a lot of money, and they were totally happy taking like 50 bucks a month to start. So I've had -- outside of them really having a tough time this year because half of their workforce got sick, and they couldn't go to buildings, and they had to figure out how to reroute phones, and customer service has been slow because they are down for the pandemic -- outside of that, they're fantastic.

MR Yeah.

AH They're pleasant to deal with. They want to help you. And I've even heard -- even a couple of my tax preparers in the past have said dealing with audits is not horrifying. They're not out to get you. They just want to make sure you're following the laws. Anyhow, that's my little shtick on "I don't actually hate the IRS, and nor should you."

MR Yeah. I agree. I agree.

AH So my quick tip is embrace your resources, people. If you buy a resource or you just get a free resource, use it, and use it fully. Read the manual. Watch the intro videos. Read the welcome emails. Fill out your profile completely if you're on some new platform. Attend a live event if they're offered. And I say this as someone who was cleaning out my computer and found a whole bunch of free eBooks I had downloaded and a couple of free courses I had registered for but for whatever reason had never reading or finished completing or watching the videos.

And also as someone who runs an online community like Michael and I do, we see new members join, and they don't really fill out their profile. They don't really contribute to a conversation, which is okay. It's fine to have just, like, gawkers -- that's totally cool; I usually go in and just watch for a long time whenever I join a community -- but who don't attend any of our events, which are pretty much just handholding sessions where we will help you with whatever you need, and who clearly don't embrace the resource. And that makes me sad because they're giving us money, and I want to give them a resource.

But whatever you buy or whatever free resource, use it, man. Use it because you will likely get a nugget or two out of it at the very least. And it's more likely you will get a lot of important knowledge out of it at best. So use your resources, and there are tons of them in front of you. That is my bit. And if you know you're not going to use a resource, then don't register for the class and don't download the free eBook. There you go. Done.

MR Right on. Thanks for that. Okay. Cool. Well, hey, thanks, everyone. We are so glad you joined us today. We appreciate it. If you're a new listener, welcome. Welcome. And if you're a long-time listener and you like our podcast, as Allissa said, we'd love a rating on whatever podcast app you use.

So if you want to send us a note, the email address is podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. And our website, as you probably have guessed by now, is massagebusinessblueprint.com. You can find our Community there. You can contact us there. You can get to know us there. Even some freebies there as well, so check us out. And again, thanks for being here today and joining us. Have a great day. We'll see you next time.

AH Bye. 

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