Podcast

Episode 450

Jan 6, 2023

Are your systems working for your business or is something old and outdated? Allissa and Michael go through how to freshen up your systems and get the most out of what you are paying for.

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EPISODE 450

Weekly Roundup


Discussion Topic

  • Test Your Systems As a Massage Client

Quick Tips

Sponsors


Transcript: 

Sponsor message:

This episode is sponsored by ABMP and ABMP makes Massage & Bodywork Magazine. It is an award-winning magazine included in print for ABMP members and available to everyone at no charge at Massageandbodyworkdigital.com. We have our Blueprint for Success column. There are a bunch of columns. There are always insightful articles. It is a professional journal that includes techniques, in-depth features, video tie-ins to cover the issues that matter for professional body workers. I am going to put a plug in right now for the most recent issue. I believe it's the January, February 2023 issue. We had a little collaboration with Ruth Werner, pardon me, Ruth Werner, about communicating with healthcare professionals and your clients' providers. And it is darn good. It's a fantastic feature article. It includes a video with Ruth and I and a little ebook that we created to go along with it. You can find all of that at massageandbodyworkdigital.com.

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. Happy New Year. I'm your host, Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines:

And this right here is Allissa Haines.

Michael Reynolds:

And she's your host too. And we are your hosts. I think I said the host thing too soon. Hey, welcome everybody. Happy 2023. Andrew's already right out of the gate wishing us happy 2023 on Facebook because we do this live and here we are. Welcome.

Allissa Haines:

Welcome to episode 450. A nice round number to start the year.

Michael Reynolds:

Indeed. We took a little bit of a break from live in December, so it was kind of fun to punch the music and pick up my pin and do this live. And so it's fun. We're off to a good start so far. It's all downhill from here. So how are you Allissa? What's going on?

Allissa Haines:

I'm good. I did a ton of reading over the holiday break. You want to hear about some of it?

Michael Reynolds:

I do want to hear about it.

Allissa Haines:

Okay. I'm only going to tell you about one.

Michael Reynolds:

Okay.

Allissa Haines:

But it's kind of a double, actually. I just read Finding Freedom: A Cook's Story; Remaking a Life from Scratch by Erin French. And it is a great memoir by this woman, Eric French from Maine who lives in Freedom, Maine. And she's got a really neat story about growing up there and traveling and going to Boston for college, but leaving after a year when she gets pregnant and working in her parents' diner when she was a kid, and then creating some interesting style restaurants as an adult and a broken marriage and some interest. It's just a phenomenal, like this woman remakes herself from scratch multiple times and it's got great stuff about food. And I got a third of the way into it and I realized that the area of Maine they were talking about is, I think it's called Waldo County, but it's where jojoba is.

And a bunch of the places she referenced are in Belfast, Maine, where I spent a weekend last year and it was the most delightful town in the entire world. So it's neat to hear about that rural area of Maine and hear all of these things, like names and sights that I kind of recognize. But Finding Freedom is a really great memoir. It's got some heavy stuff, but it's not one of those ones that's like super brutal to read. And the double doozy here is that I actually heard about, and mind you, I'm like four or five years behind on this whole Erin French train, but whatever. I heard about her because she was on Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. She has this podcast that only has eight episodes, I don't know if I've talked about it here before. And she just has semi-famous food, or not food related people come to her house in the Hamptons and cook with her.

I love Ina Garten. I think she's just phenomenal. And I always learn, I actually utilize the cooking techniques and stuff that I see from her. And it's just the sweetest little podcast where she has someone come and she'll make them something for the interview portion. Like they'll eat muffins or scones or whatever and have tea while they talk. And then the guest will teach Ina Garner recipe. And she doesn't just have chefs on. Like Nathan Lane comes on and teaches her one of his family recipes and a few other, Emily Blunt comes and teaches a Bolognese recipe that's really good. Yeah. So anyhow, Ina Garten introduced me to Erin French and the book Finding Freedom. Nice long-winded beginning to the year. There you go.

Michael Reynolds:

Sounds delightful. Thanks for sharing.

Allissa Haines:

It was great. What have you been up to?

Michael Reynolds:

Last thing I read was an article by Chris Brogan on LinkedIn. He has a LinkedIn newsletter, and the article was called Be Willing to Bomb: Advice from Standup Comedians. Pretty short, but I latch onto this advice because I think it's so important to allow ourselves the freedom to fail and the freedom to bomb, as Chris Brogan puts it. Chris Brogan, we talk about him a lot. He's an author, speaker that we follow. He did the three words exercise that we did last episode, so I'm sure you're familiar with him. But in this newsletter, he talks about how comedians, we can learn from comedians because they try their material out and they're willing to bomb on stage to see if it works or not. And they get better. They refine it. The example he gave was a really old video clip from David Letterman where he bombs the first couple of jokes and then tries it again later.

It's like a one-minute episode or one-minute video, but then he kind of refines it and gets it right the third time. And that's so true in life. I mean, we rarely get it right the first time, no matter what we're doing. If you go back and listen to episode one of this podcast, for example, occasionally, I think in the past I've listened to it, I'm like, wow, we were really clunky and awkward and didn't know what we were doing. And looking back on previous work I've done in writing and just in life in general, I'm like, wow, when you first start out, you rarely get it right, but you can never get it right unless you start out getting it wrong the first time. Not that it's always wrong, but be willing to make a mistake, to fail in public, to bomb. And that's how you learn and get better and get to the point where you feel good about your work. So I liked it. It was short, but it was a great bit of advice to remind us to not be afraid to bomb.

Allissa Haines:

Right. Perfection is the enemy of done.

Michael Reynolds:

Indeed.

Allissa Haines:

What's next, Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

All right. What's next is a word from our sponsor, Jojoba.

Allissa Haines:

Thanks Jojoba for being our longtime sponsor. Let me tell you about The Jojoba Company. It is the only company in the world that carries 100% pure first press quality jojoba. That means that they don't squeeze quite as much liquid out of the seed, but the liquid that you get is a much higher quality. It does not go rancid. It doesn't contain triglycerides like a lot of products do. So it's not going to go bad on your shelf, and it's not going to make your sheets stink all nasty. It is non-allergenic. So you can use it on any client and every client without fear of an allergic reaction. You, our listeners can get 20% off the product when you shop through our link massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

Michael Reynolds:

I want to emphasize the non-allergenic part. We've had a few questions about that recently. So does it cause issues with people with nut allergies, et cetera? No, it is non-allergenic. So it is safe for,

Allissa Haines:

Yep. And it's not a nut. It's a seed.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

So yeah, so if anyone's concerned about that, that is not an issue, which is super nice.

Michael Reynolds:

Super nice indeed. All right. So I love your discussion point today, which is to be your own client and test your systems. This is so important. I love it.

Allissa Haines:

It's super important. I can't take credit for the topic. I think it was Rianne that suggested this. Our friend Rianne, when she mentioned that she realized that within all of her automated settings, one of her emails had a phone number from five years ago that was from a previous business or something. So it's the new year. We're all jumping back into our businesses potentially after holiday break. And it is a good time to take an hour or two and test your own systems. And by that I mean check on the automations that you have going on. Anything in your booking system, you want to go into an incognito browser screen and one that doesn't recognize that you've been to various websites before. You can use DuckDuckGo for the browser, or you can just open an incognito screen tab in your Chrome browser. And a lot of people don't know that you can do this.

So let me just tell you this. If you're in Chrome and you click on file and you can click on new incognito window, and that's going to be a window that doesn't have any cookies attached and it doesn't have a record of places you visited. And yeah, there you go. So you can do that and check on all of your stuff. Book an appointment with yourself as if you were with a client and use an email address that's not your business email address. You want to have some clarity when emails are coming and going, what's what. So book an appointment with yourself, check on the confirmation email that comes, make sure it includes all the things that you want to include and check the links to that. So if you've got a confirmation email that has a link to the intake form or a link to a COVID screening form, or a link to cancel, or reschedule or pay, check all of those links and make sure they still work.

Duly check on your reminder email, the email that comes a day or two before the appointment happens. And I'm using the terminology email. If you use text messaging for this, then obviously you want to check on all the text messaging and make sure that that is working properly. You want to maybe revisit your follow-up sequence. So if you have some kind of pattern for checking in with people post appointment, whether just at their first appointment or anytime after that, make sure that any automations you have are set up properly. Or if this is something that you do manually, make sure the process that you're using is actually working. So you're actually doing it. And if not, figure out a new process that might actually work or just decide you're not going to do it. And that's okay too. If you've got a follow-up sequence, maybe you have emails that automatically will go out six weeks after their appointment if they haven't booked another appointment yet.

I have that availability in my scheduling system. I have that ability to do that. And it can be a really useful tool for client retention for people who aren't just never going to book super regularly or going to be a little more spontaneous. If you send bulk emails or bulk texts, sign up for your own messages and do all of these same things. Check on your opt-in email or text, your welcome email or text and send yourself a regular bulk email and put yourself on your own email list and make sure that everything is the way you want it to be. Right down to like read it real close, right down to the footer of your email because that likely has a mailing address that's required with bulk email systems that there be some kind of mailing address that gets put in all of these emails.

It took me like I'd say almost a year and a half to get the mailing address switched properly that showed up at the bottom of my emails because it was my old office for a long time, like years and years back when I moved from the Chiro's office to my other place. It was like the setting had to be changed in three different places in order to get the new address in there. And I kept doing it wrong and it didn't happen and it took me a long time, but felt kind of dorky about that. So make sure you're checking on all of those little details, every little invisible ish line of text in your email or texts. Now is also a fantastic time to check and or update your email signature. And again, if you've got any links in there, it's good to check those links.

It is a fantastic time as you're updating all of this to make sure all of your social profiles are updated. You may have slightly changed the focus of your business and maybe the tagline or the short about description of your business that you put in various places. Make sure that that's consistent throughout all of your social profiles and it is what you want it to currently be. And finally, the last bit, hopefully when you've checked all this online stuff, you have revisited the directions to your office, maybe the picture of your front door or your signage. You also want to physically look at your office, walk into the front door, really take note of what it looks like in the morning or in the evening. For example, in the evening, my building is not super well lit. It's pretty terrible. And I've tried all kinds of options to make it better and nothing works.

So especially in the winter, I try to have a little lit up plant or something by my front door so that it's a little more obvious that my office, that it's there so that if I have a new client coming after dark in the winter, they don't get completely lost or I make sure to reach out to them manually, individually and say, I know you're coming for your first appointment on Thursday night at 7:00 PM. Sometimes my office can be a little hard to find in the dark. Look for this. Give me a call if you have any trouble.

So make sure that the directions to your office, your signage, your lighting, all of that makes it super easy and obvious for a new client to find you. That is it. That is my whole revisit all your stuff. And this is all in the manner of making sure that your business is easy for clients and potential clients to use and access. You want it to be easy to book an appointment, confirm the appointment, be reminded of the appointment, find the information, all of that stuff. You want it to be easy and you want all of that information to be correct. That is everything I've got.

Michael Reynolds:

I love this. I think we never do this. And so being able to put yourself in the client's shoes really is super eye-opening. So thank you.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, and if you struggle with that, have someone do this for you, have a good friend,

Michael Reynolds:

A secret shopper.

Allissa Haines:

Kind of go through it all for you, someone who's got real good attention to detail.

Michael Reynolds:

Love it. Thank you. All right, I'm really excited. What a great way to start the new year because we have a brand-new sponsor and this sponsor is in a category that we haven't had represented for a while. So Allissa, tell us about Jane.

Allissa Haines:

I'm so excited to talk about Jane and I'm so excited to talk about it because we have a handful of premium members who use Jane and they just rave about it. So let me tell you more. Jane is an all-in-one practice management software. It's got all kinds of features like online booking, admin scheduling, integrated payment processing and charting. Everyone's always asking about that, but there's more to Jane than you might think. The team at Jane cares so much about the problems we face as a practitioner. One of those problems is the prevalence of no-shows and late cancellations.

So they've made it easy with a few simple tools built right into Jane that includes the ability to implement an online booking payment policy, send out unlimited text and email reminders and enable waiting list management. Woo, woo. That's another thing people are always asking about is, does this have a wait list feature that will automatically help you fill last minute gaps that just weren't preventable? And that is huge nowadays with all of the cold, flu, and COVID cancellations. You can go see the Jane app in action at jane.app, so it's Jane.app. And if you use code MBB1MO at signup, you will get a one-month grace period on your new Jane account. So one month free. So check all of that out at jane.app.

Michael Reynolds:

Awesome. Can't wait to talk more about Jane. We appreciate that.

Allissa Haines:

I know.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, quick tips. We got a couple things today. You want to go?

Allissa Haines:

I will go. So in the same theme of what we discussed as the topic, like revisiting your stuff and making sure it's all correct, your details of your business, now is a good time to revisit and revamp old blog posts. It is okay and good to recycle content. It's a good idea. And also, you are two years more experienced and smarter than when you posted that headaches and massage blog post two years ago. So pull that blog post down, do a quick edit and revision on it. Make sure again, all the links in it are correct if you use links and make it sound like your voice sounds today instead of your voice two years ago. So revisit and revamp old blog posts on your site. Republish them, repost them on social media, make them email content. Use what you already have, just update it. That is my quick tip.

Michael Reynolds:

That's great advice. Thank you.

Allissa Haines:

Thank you.

Michael Reynolds:

I have an app to share today.

Allissa Haines:

I bet you do.

Michael Reynolds:

I've been using the BreakTimer app. I love this app. So I am prone to staring at my computer for hours at a time. If anyone else is like that as well, you know how your eyes can get strained, you get headaches sometimes. You just realize you've been looking at a screen like this close for way too long and I don't remind myself to take breaks. And so I found an app called BreakTimer. It is free, it is elegant, simple, lightweight, beautiful. It's available on Mac, Windows, and Linux. So you can get a free new platform you probably use and it has a lot of different options and settings, but it basically, you set whatever timer or intervals you want and then it pops up and takes over your screen and says, Hey, time for a break. So it really is intrusive in a good way to say, Hey, you've got to take a break. It's time.

You can set features. You can say, allow me to snooze once or twice for three minutes if I'm really in the middle of something important. And you can say, don't allow to cancel after that. So it forces you to take a break for two or three minutes. You can have all these features to make sure it works for you, but it works really well. It's elegant, it's beautiful, and it gets the job done. So I found myself taking breaks at the appropriate time, looking out the window at something far away, give my eyes chance to readjust and it's really been helpful to me. So breaktimer.app is where you will find it. And again, it is free. So if anyone's interested, I love this app. It works really well.

Allissa Haines:

If you're looking for a more complicated and expensive way to teach yourself how to force you to take breaks, you should get a dog.

Michael Reynolds:

Oh yeah.

Allissa Haines:

Because I have not needed any kind of timer or because I typically do like a Pomodoro thing. We have episodes on that if you're wondering what Pomodoro is. And now I just have a dog that doesn't let me do what I want to do for more than 35 minutes at a time.

Michael Reynolds:

It's a much more fun way to take breaks.

Allissa Haines:

That is. Fun is debatable. But anyhow, thanks for that. My favorite thing about you is that you're always looking at new bits of technology to help you work in a new and exciting way. And that's good. Keeps the dopamine going to find new things.

Michael Reynolds:

Before we wrap up, we have a comment from Andrew on Facebook. Andrew says, I'm pretty sure I have a done for you blog post you wrote, posted somewhere, always offering great resources. Thanks, Andrew. It's a great reminder to our listeners that if you're not a member of our Blueprint Mastermind community, you may not be aware that once a month we publish a new blog post in the community for you to use. You can repurpose it, you can use it as is. You can make it your own, you can customize it, put your name on it. We make that available to our Blueprint Mastermind members included in membership. So if you want an easy way to have a monthly article on your website that is well-written, it's professionally written, and you can make it your own, that's one of the features and the benefits of membership. So thanks Andrew for pointing that out. Appreciate it. All right. You got anything else? Are we good?

Allissa Haines:

Nope, but I'm really proud I made it almost to the end of the episode before my camera got all weird and blurry, so that's good.

Michael Reynolds:

It's a great time to remind our listeners that we do this live now again starting in 2023 every Wednesday morning at 9:00 AM Eastern. And if you join us live, you can see Allissa's camera fade in and out and blur in and out, and you can watch her like pick her nose and turn off and on and get,

Allissa Haines:

I was scratching. I was scratching my cheek. It wasn't even my nose. It was my cheek behind my microphone.

Michael Reynolds:

Well, you're currently blurry, so it could have been, I just saw your finger go up to your nose, so I just ran with it.

Allissa Haines:

Thanks. Thanks, Michael.

Michael Reynolds:

You're welcome.

Allissa Haines:

Nice to announce that.

Michael Reynolds:

So anyway, so feel free to join us live anytime you want to, if you can make it. Otherwise, obviously you could find us on the podcast everywhere you listen to podcasts. All right. Hey, thanks for joining us. We appreciate it. Thanks for being a listener. You can find us on the web at massagebusinessblueprint.com. It's a great time. Again, to remind you, if you're not a member of Blueprint Mastermind, this is your year to join. This is your year to check it out. It's free for 30 days. You don't have to pay anything for those first 30 days. You can kind of wander around, say hello to people, check out the resources, see if you want to stick around. No obligations. So that's a blueprint, I'm sorry, massagebusinessblueprint.com. And then look for the community button in the menu or on the homepage, and you can join through that link.

All right. As always, if you have an email for us, a thought, questions, comments, criticisms, love notes, whatever you want to send to us, you can send that to us at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. And we love getting mail, so we read it, we respond. We appreciate your thoughts. So with that, thanks as always for joining us today. Have a great day. We will see you next time.

Allissa Haines:

Bye.

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