We follow up with Allissa’s marketing plan efforts and she how she failed, succeeded, and why!
Catch up here with E186: That Time Allissa Needed a Marketing Plan
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Michael Reynolds Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we discuss the business side of massage therapy. I’m Michael Reynolds.
Allissa Haines And I am Allissa Haines.
MR We’re your hosts. Welcome, welcome everybody. Happy getting through January day.
AH End of January. Yeah, it’s the end, man. Hey, you know what we haven’t done in a long time?
MR What have we not done in a long time?
AH We haven’t talked about our lunches.
MR I noticed that. We’ve kind of gotten out of the habit of talking about our lunches.
AH What’d you have for lunch today?
MR You know what? I had leftover enchiladas that Ariana made a couple nights ago, and they were just as delicious reheated.
AH Oh, my gosh, enchiladas are even better reheated because it’s had time to spice up and everything.-
MR Yeah. I think they were better. What about you?
AH I had, oh, fried rice. I made fried rice from some vegetables and then some rice we had sitting around. I made vegetable fried rice last night.
MR You know, I’m in awe if your meal prep. I see your meal prep photos on Instagram every week and I’m like, wow. You’re like a commercial for meal prep or whatever. [laughs]
AH You know what —
MR It’s so beautiful.
AH — it’s not — it’s really nice to be — you know, I moved in with Walt in May or June. And it’s really nice to be in a fully operating kitchen with all the staples and to have someone to share meals with. Because I wasn’t doing enough meal prep when I was living alone because it was just me. And I make a pork roast with potatoes and vegetables, and I would have to eat it for seven meals, and I would just poop out and totally end up throwing away the rest. I just burn out on it.
MR [laughs] What a waste.
AH Right? And I’m pretty chill. I can eat something three times and be totally — three meals in a row and be find with it, but then that second day, I’m like oh, God. So it’s really nice because I can cook a pork roast and whatever — which is what I did on Sunday — and make six meals, but I don’t have to eat all of those.
MR Yeah, there are people around who can eat it with you.
AH Yeah, I make a lot of stuff that I can freeze portions of, but there’s stuff that I make — you can’t really freeze an omelet, you know? So yeah, it’s really nice. And actually, I have a niece — you know my niece, Ella. I need to have her over and show her some meal prep, and I have my stepdaughter who’s over a lot so I can give her meals too. And it’s really nice. I really enjoy the cooking. But it’s so funny because I’ll cook on a Saturday or Sunday, and then they’ll just be twelve meals stacked up in their little Pyrex dishes in the fridge. And then Walt will make himself a bowl of cereal. I’m like, we have seven prepped meals here. And he’s like oh, but I’m home, so I can make something. I’m like, eat what we have. I even — this is ridiculous I am — sorry this has turned into something longer than expected. I promise it’ll be a short episode. So I cooked a ham on Christmas Eve. Even though it wasn’t going to be our Christmas Eve dinner, I just didn’t want to cook on Christmas Day. So literally on Christmas Eve cooked a ham, and did some roasted vegetables and a couple other things, and I meal prepped. I made four meals that were like a full Christmas plate. And so on Christmas Day, we literally pulled them out of the fridge, heated them up, and had our full Christmas ham. Which is not something we normally do; I just wanted to have some food ready for later in the day. So we ate that with some of the other food I hadn’t put into meal preps. I made like a split pea and ham soup and stuff. It was great. And now I have like ten servings of split pea ham soup in my freezer. I have like five different kinds of soup. My freezer is stocked for the winter. So I bring them to the office, and then I have an emergency meal there if I’ve forgotten my lunch bag or am just there longer than expected. Anyway, sorry. That was my meal prep thing.
MR I am in awe. I am blown away by your meal prep prowess. Next time you come visit me, you need to teach me this because I want a portion of your skill at this.
AH It’s not hard, man. There’s some really great websites and stuff to follow for that and some great Instagram feeds. But also — I don’t have a scale; I don’t own a scale, so I can’t tell. But I’m pretty sure I’ve lost weight, which is great. Right now, the only — because I was just eating food served to me through my car window far too often and that has dramatically reduced. I’m still struggling with breakfast. Meal prepped breakfast doesn’t tend to work for me, but I actually just think I’m going to keep a toaster at the office and then keep some bagels and some fake cream cheese there, and then that could be my office breakfast when needed. Anyhow, sorry that was longer.
MR Oh, no worries. I think we have a topic today.
AH We do. It’s not just meal prep.
MR [laughs] So there’s that. A few weeks ago or a few episodes ago, maybe more than a few episodes ago, you were sharing your reboot of your marketing plan. And you promised you would follow up. And lo and behold, you have kept your promise because today you are following up.
AH I am. I am. And it was back at the end of October where I had really run a lot of numbers over the past couple months and seen that my massage practice needed a boot in the butt. I needed to up my numbers. I was restructuring things at the office and shutting down my yoga space, so I was really ready to rededicate myself to my massage practice and I talked about my marketing plan. So I’m going to give you a really quick recap of what it was.
The plan was between mid-October and then beginning of February, so coming up for next week, that I was going to overall create nine original blog posts based on my specialty of treating people with anxiety and sleep issues. And through November and December, I was going to publish one post a week, I was going to promote it via Facebook, Instagram, email, all the usual suspects. And then if needed, if my numbers weren’t up my January, I was going to create a targeted ad campaign using my blog posts, using probably more Google AdWords than anything, but leaving the door open to play with Facebook or Instagram ads as well. And I had a whole list of videos and/or written blog posts that I was going to cover in my specialty. And then I was going to assess the results. And we also talked a little bit about, in that episode, that I was missing a networking link there. I hadn’t really come up with — all of my stuff was very create content and promote content. I didn’t have any networking goals in there.
So did I meet my goals? Nope. Not at all.
AH No. Nope. And there’s a whole bunch —
MR [Indiscernible] waiting for the outcome there, so.
AH Yeah, no, I definitely didn’t meet my production goals. But before we get into what I didn’t do, what I did do, and why, and how things have turned out great anyway — before we do that, let’s talk about our halftime sponsor. Who is that today, Michael?
MR Oh, it’s a special day because it’s the first jojoba of the year.
AH Oh, happy jojoba day, Michael.
MR My heart is full.
AH We thank the Jojoba Company for being our sponsor today and for many days prior.
Sponsor message I firmly believe that massage therapists should only be using the highest quality products because our clients deserve it and our own bodies deserve it as well. I’ve been using jojoba for years for a couple of reasons. Because it’s noncomedogenic, it won’t clog pores. So if you have acne-prone clients, jojoba is a really good choice for them. And mostly because it’s nonallergenic, so I can use it on every client and any client and not fear an allergic reaction, which is really important when you’re working with fragile skin or pregnant clients or anyone. The Jojoba Company is the only company in the world that carries 100% pure, first-pressed quality jojoba. We are delighted to be their partner. You can get 10% off orders of $35 or more when you shop through our link going to massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba. So it’s massagebusinessblueprint.com/J-O-J-O-B-A.
AH And that is delightful. I love jojoba. I love how when it gets cold it will — like, I kept some in my car because I had a home visit over the weekend and I had some in my car, and it turned solid. And all I had to do was run the bottle under hot water for a minute and it totally liquified. It was delightful. And pretty fun to watch. It’s okay for it to get hot and cold and hot and cold like that. It doesn’t wreck the oil, so that’s nice.
Anyhow, back to my epic marketing failure. So here’s what happened. Sometime in November, the middle of November, I got a shoulder — well, it’s not really a shoulder — I got a back thing, which we’re pretty sure is a slightly bulging disk. And the fun part about slightly building disks is that– one of the markers of them is that they hurt more when you sit. So I have this slightly bulging thoracic disk, we think. And it hurts when I sit at my computer. And so I kind of stopped sitting at my computer. I can do a little bit on the computer standing, but really it was brutal for a while, and I just didn’t want to be in front of my computer at all in any position. Trying to find a comfortable position stunk, so I did not write. I got really behind on all the stuff that I needed to write, and I absolutely did not write much content for myself. I did a few things. I got a few posts up, I did a video on self-massage with a tennis ball that really played well, so that was good. But that was it. Out of my goal to publish nine things, I published like two. And one was a revamp of an old thing. So that happened.
And then also my schedule got busier kind of on its own. And I don’t know if it was just seasonal. Sometimes this happens. I’m not sure. But it seemed as if all of a sudden, the first couple week in November, I was hearing from a lot of clients I hadn’t heard from in a year or two. And I also had one woman come to me from a parent’s network — a friend of a friend — group of parents of kids with disabilities. And she came and she really talked me up, and I think I’ve gotten two other referrals from her since then, and they’re all people who are booking monthly. So I had this wacky influx.
I think just getting a few new things up on my website rally helped my SEO because I had a new influx of clients who were just kind of coming from — some were coming from a referral like that and a lot of them were just coming from the internet. So I got a handful of new clients in November that rebooked for December and January. And it seems that some of the regulars that had dropped off got back on my schedule and stayed there. So on its own — well, not on its own — because of other factors, my schedule got busier and I had less time to create content. Combined with my shoulder thing, I was like yeah, I’m not doing this.
But at the same time, I also finally prioritized networking and I joined my chamber of commerce. So I’ve started going to an every-other-week, BNI-style — BNI-lite — kind of networking meeting. And that’s been nice. I haven’t gotten any referrals from that yet, but actually today I sat next to a woman who works at a local mental healthcare facility, and we talked a lot about our overlap in clients and our potential overlap for future projects. So that was really cool. So I felt okay not meeting my content creation goals because I was doing some of these other things and my schedule was already getting busier.
So my goal initially — the actual written goal was to increase to an average of 62 clients a month. And I’m pleased to say that in November, I had like 50-something and in December I had 61, and January I’m looking at 62. That’s not a final number, but that’s close. Next month, I’ve only got around 30-something, but it’s still kind of early for that. We’re recording this towards the middle/end of January, so I’ve got plenty of time in February to bump up those numbers. And I’d be really happy with 56 in February because it’s a short month. So I have, for December and January, I’ve met my goals for client numbers and income. So yay. And it’s — I’m settling into this networking thing. Hopefully getting this back problem under control.
And I’m fortunate, by the way, just to be clear, it doesn’t hurt when massage. When I’m up and moving around, I have no pain at all, which is why I’ve been like, I’m not going to sit down at my computer. I’m not even going to stand up at my computer. And I did a whole change in my office, so I had to clean out the old yoga space and do a bunch of transition. And so I’ve been physically really active, which has been delightful and probably helping with that meal prep weight loss situation we were talking about. So that’s where I’m at, people.
And I realized I had this topic to cover again, and I kind of flinched and was like, I don’t want to do this episode. Because I kind of failed at meeting my goals. I didn’t kind of fail. I definitely failed at my content creation goals, and I felt really crappy about that and it’s not something I wanted to share. But I also did want to share it because it’s okay sometimes to find that you are stronger in one area than another and to embrace that short term.
I still need to get some content out. I still have a handful of things I want to write that will really help my ideal clients find me and find their massage home with me. So I want to do that. I am figuring out how to put that on my calendar and make that happen. I’m also figuring out — I wanted to do a lot more written stuff than video. But I’m finding that I’m probably doing to have to do more video because it’s just easier on my body right now than sitting at a computer. So I feel really good about how I — I didn’t just ignore it all. I consciously made decisions based within my abilities right now and the time I had to make it all happen. So I think I did a good job of kind of adjusting and redirecting and carrying on. And that’s my marketing plan update. Big failure in some ways; not in others.
MR [laughs] Well, I like — I mean, the fact is you’re paying attention. And that’s — I think for most people, that is the critical component is – it’s so easy just to not do anything or to randomly try things and then stop and get distracted. But I think it’s much better to pay attention and be intentional, like you said, even if you fail at certain aspects of it. I would quote fail — I wouldn’t call it failure necessarily, but didn’t meet those goals because it sounds like, first of all, they’re making an impact, and you’re always getting better and better and you’re optimizing your marketing strategy over time. So paying attention and just being aware, I think, is more than 50% of all this stuff.
AH I think so. And I feel good about it. And I also realized the couple of times I did sit down to kind of work on things, I just didn’t want to. It wasn’t where my excitement level was. There’s other things. And frankly, I’m at a point where I want my massage business to be busy, but I also want much of it to be on autopilot as much as possible, and I just couldn’t bring myself to work on that stuff because there was other things that were exciting me more. And I had to knock out a bunch of things on my to do list to get to the point I am starting this afternoon — I am really excited to work on a project for Massage Business Blueprint people. And I’m really excited to launch a new project — I’ll tell you about it next time — and I just didn’t want to focus on other things. I just wanted to do that. So I did — I slogged through the stuff that I really had to get done so that I could do the things that were giving me a little bit more emotional and motivational steam. And I’m okay with that. The bills are getting paid, and I met my number and my income goals, so I decided to let some of the — sometimes goals are arbitrary and it’s okay to readjust. And that’s how I felt about it.
AH So there’s that.
MR There’s that. All right. Well, I can’t wait to hear the next update.
AH Woo-hoo. We’ll see.
MR Woo-hoo. All right. Well, congrats on your numbers by the way. Sounds like it’s been a good couple months.
AH Oh, man, I am paying the bills. It feels good. It feels so good.
MR Making bucks. Nothing wrong with that. Well, that wraps it for today. Thank you, everyone, for joining us. A reminder as you have figured out by now, our website is massagebusinessblueprint.com and we love email. As Allissa mentioned last week, we do love email. We’d love to hear from you all types of email. We love positive feedback, constructive criticism, questions, random wins, just anything you want to tell us. You can send that to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we would love to hear from you. Thanks as always for all the iTunes reviews. We’ll check those out, probably next time and read a few more. We appreciate you telling your friends about us as well. Until then, have a great day, and we will see you next time.