Learning curves are annoying and tech glitches are everywhere. How do you make it through when annoying little obstacles pop up in your marketing efforts? We talk you through the pain.
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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 And we are your hosts. Glad you’ve joined us today for this episode. I got to tell you, Allissa is on fire with this March massage room project —
AH That they don’t even know about.
MR That you don’t even know about because it’s for premium members and it’s for a beta group and she’s kind of going crazy with people getting their social accounts in order and it’s awesome because everyone’s kind of doing this shared group project to get some social media momentum. And it’s a lot fun to watch, so stay tuned for more if you’re not a part of that group. It’s a — it’s going to be a fun project.
AH Well, you know, since you brought it up, I’m just going to tell people about it. So don’t be sad that right now it’s just for premium members because I’m just running a beta test here to see how this project goes. And the idea is — and actually — sorry, I wasn’t entirely planning to do all this, so let me just bring up the screen of information.
MR Sorry about that, did I jump the gun?
AH You did, but I was going to do a little — okay, so we’re doing this little thing but I’m going to tell you more about it next week because we’re beta testing and we’re going to open it up to the world. We’re going to run this project again, probably in April. So in like a week, I’m going to be ready to — if this sounds interesting to you, what I’m about to tell you in a minute, I’m going to be ready to run it for April and have you guys start signing up, subscribing to be part of this project. I’m not sure exactly what it’s going to look like because I’m in the middle of a beta test right now.
But in a nutshell, what it is is a 31-day endeavor — or April, I think, had 30 days, so it’ll be a 30-day endeavor to help you make a habit of posting to your business’s social media account at least five times a week. And this is really flexible and adaptable. So what happens is every Sunday for the month of April, I’m going to provide prompts and examples and inspiration and some moral support in the form of an email to get you posting several times a week. And we’re going to focus around a particular theme, and that theme is going to be your massage room, the space you’ve created, the equipment and tools you use, why every little detail matters in crafting the unique kind of massage experience that you provide clients. So we’re going to focus on — and we have people pick one; you’re not going to do all of these things. But we’re going to focus on either your Google My Business page, which is kind of my primary schtick right now. I’m really enjoying learning more about how effective use of your page can help your search engine optimization, et cetera, et cetera, blah, blah, blah. We’ll focus on that or Instagram or your Facebook page. We’re not saying you have to do all of them, but we’re going to provide some support to get you posting regularly and increase the traffic to your business’s website and your interaction and your education of clients and potential clients.
So if you are thinking you want to increase your social media presence, but you’re lacking some inspiration and imagination, if you want to improve your SEO, if you want to more fully educate your clients about what you can do for them, and if you just, in general, need a kick in your rear to get something creative and something somewhat fun happening in your marketing, this could be a really great project for you. Stay tuned because next week I will have a link for you where you can go and subscribe to this project. I have not determined a price. It will — right now, we’re running the beta test for premium members. It will continue to be free if other premium members who aren’t doing it this month want to do it next month. There will be small fee for non-premium members, so maybe this is just going to be the boot in your rear to get subscribed to our premium membership, which you can do at massagebusinessblueprint.com. There’s a Go Premium button on the right-hand side. But I think it’s going to be good; it’s going to be really helpful. And actually the topic that we talk abut today is going to stem from that. But I need to take a break to sip my coffee. So, Michael, either tell me about your lunch or the weather.
MR (Laughter) Lunch today was Chipotle. My default is Chipotle. And the weather — because Chipotle has — they have queso that they rolled out, like, last year. So I get a chicken bowl with queso on top of it. It’s dreamy. Aside from that, it’s just cold, gray. I’m ready for spring. I keep looking out the window thinking it’s going to get sunny, but not today. So that’s the weather report from Indiana.
AH Yeah, it totally — we got snow this morning here.
AH Like 4 or 5 inches.
MR No. No.
AH Overnight, yes, totally overnight. I didn’t even know this storm was happening until like 5 o’clock last night and it started snowing at like 7.
MR That’s ridiculous.
AH School was delayed like crazy.
MR But you know what?
MR March is here.
MR So that’s my, like, light at the end of the tunnel saying hey, at least in March, like, spring occurs in the month of March so I feel better.
AH (Laughter) We get, like, blizzards in April here, though, and so you you, so suck it.
MR Well, don’t ruin my little dream of spring here, so.
AH So that’s what’s going down with us, people. (Laughter)
MR Such exciting lives we lead. (Laughter)
AH I know.
MR It’s all very exciting.
AH But I think — I don’t know, there’s a lesson in here. I’m feeling meander-yes today, so I’m going to — I’m brining up my bullet points here so that we can actually cover some stuff.
So you’ve heard about this social media project that we’re — we’re about to — we’re in the middle of to start with our members for March. And the workup to this — the work we had to do prior to March 1st, like all of us who are going to participate in this project, is annoying and preparatory. So the startup tasks are, you know, get all of your social media accounts in order. Like, whichever one you’re going to use, make sure all the details are on it right. Make sure you’re utilizing the features properly; so make sure your business hours are listed, your address is correct, your logo is updated, the description of your services is in there. All of the things, you want to make sure that your business listing — wherever it may be, whatever platform you’re focusing on — is good; it’s where it should be with all the right information.
So as we’ve been all prepping for this — and I think we’ve got 80 people in the project right now — we’re finding a whole bunch of, like, little tech glitches and variables and setup problems where, specifically, some people are having trouble getting an action button put on their Instagram. So for certain — if you have an Instagram business account, you can actually have a little action button put right on your profile that says “Book now”. So you can have one that says, email, contact information, phone number — I’m trying to bring up my Instagram so I can look at the buttons I have for realizes. You can have email, phone, and people can literally with touching that button just above where all your pictures are, they can hook into your scheduling or email you right from there or call you.
So we’re having a problem where a bunch of our people can’t get the book button. They just don’t have access to it. We ran through all of the help articles together sending screen shots, I’m reading every Instagram-based support article, Facebook-based support article, and then all of these other support articles from other social media experts and watching these how-to videos, “how to get the book wow”, and we’re not finding a solution. People have done the setup, they’ve connected their business Instagram to their business Facebook page, they have added all of their information, they’ve made sure it’s a business account and not a personal account, they have done all of the legwork, but when they go to the menu where it should say, “Add action button,” it just doesn’t exist. And it’s so aggravating. And we’ve spent hours on this, a couple of hours on this until finally I realized that this is — it might not even be a glitch. I think that it’s just a feature that is not rolled out to everyone yet. And in Instagram’s very vague help support articles about using the action button, it does make reference to “rolling out,” so I think the final determination I can make — because I cannot find anything about there being a known glitch — is that this is simply an option not available. So we spent, combined, probably like six hours on it; I spent about two hours on it myself. And it was aggravating, but we got through it, and now it’s like a thing that we’ve kind of figured out, okay we just don’t have access and we’re going to move forward. And after the halftime, we’re going to take about how to move forward when you run into these problems.
Another example, I uploaded a video to the Facebook group that we have for this project that was a demo, and somebody couldn’t watch the video on Facebook. They couldn’t watch it — they tried shutting down their whole computer and reopening the browser and they checked their internet connection and they still were not able to view the video. Ugh. We found a solution. I uploaded the video to Google Drive and I think everybody was able to watch it there. Fine. Just an annoying tech glitch. You know, I’m in the demo video showing how to use the third-party app and I’m trying to upload a picture and demo how to do that and the stupid picture uploads sideways, which is a problem when sometimes you take pictures with certain devices and then you move them to your computer and then you try to upload them, like, sometimes the pictures rotate. I found a solution for it, but it was aggravating.
And these things really shine a light on how every little task has the potential for a dark side and a learning curve and an aggravation. And this is normal. It’s aggravating and it’s normal, and there is a tendency just to throw up our hands and walk away and say, I can’t do this. And that is sad and frustrating and human. I asked Michael earlier if he would be able to come up with an example or two of this or even just say something comforting about these kinds of tech issues because he is a tech guy.
AH So before we jump into halftime and I come up with — and I’m going to give you, like, my list of how to work through these things, Michael, tell me how you feel. Tell me, viscerally — tell me — tell me your emotional reaction when you bump into these kinds of things.
MR I think like everybody, I get really frustrated because I am very impatient, like many of us, and I want to get things done right now and I want to go through my workflow. And when something interrupts my workflow, it’s very frustrating because I have this whole plan in my head of how things are supposed to go. So yeah, I get frustrated. I think everybody does, so I’m definitely not immune to that. I actually thought of an example — you asked me to think of an example —
MR It’s sort of an example. It’s actually our own podcast because you actually tagged me on a post yesterday about how Apple is requiring people to — or requiring podcasts to not have episode numbers in the titles anymore. And it’s not so much a tech glitch, but it’s a tech hiccup because we are on episode 207 and that’s 207 podcast episodes that all have episode numbers in the titles. And supposedly, Apple is threatening to potentially remove podcasts from their directory if you violate some of their guidelines and one of them is you’re not supposed to have episode numbers in the titles any more. So I’m thinking, oh, wow, do I have to go through 207 episodes now and edit every single one of them one by one? (Laughter) So it’s like — I’m actually doing research to figure out how legit this is and how serious Apple is about it, and I’m testing some software to see okay, is there software that makes this more automated and how our own software works. So I’m kind of going through a little bit of tech glitchy plus research plus tech hiccup stuff right now with that. And it’s very frustrating because, like I said, we have hundreds of episodes, and this is going to take hours of work that I’d rather be doing something else. So yeah, that’s kind of an example I thought of recently.
AH Yeah, all right, so we’re going to work through some solutions on how to handle this when you want to throw your computer out into the middle of the street and hope that a semi runs over it.
MR That’s pretty specific.
AH Yeah, it is. That’s how I feel sometimes.
MR Pretty graphic.
AH That’s just how I feel sometimes. That’s why I always need to have a backup computer around.
MR (Indiscernible) getting flattened by a semi now. The image in my head is very dramatic.
AH You’re welcome. Who’s our halftime sponsor today, Michael?
MR Oh, my goodness. Our halftime sponsor today is Acuity. We love the folks at Acuity and their scheduling — magical, magical scheduling software.
AH Yay. Indeed.
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AH So let’s talk about solutions. So you hit this tech roadblock or variable glitch or black hole or whatever, and you want to throw your computer onto the train tracks, so what do you do? First of all, you need to calm the heck down. So if you feel yourself getting physically agitated by this, take a minute, do whatever you advise your favorite ten-year-old to do when they’re getting aggravated with something. Take a darn deep breath, which is so pretentious to say, I’m sorry. But step away from your computer, breathe, have a snack, make sure you’re not hangry or exhausted when you’re trying to work on this, and give yourself a second to chill. Maybe change your deadlines and your expectations to give you time to deal with whatever roadblock is coming up in front of you. Sometimes we can’t, you know. Sometimes the — whatever — the editing software to make our new business card is not working properly and you’ve got to get these business cards ordered before midnight and you can’t do that. But more often than not, you can adjust your deadlines, you can adjust your expectations to give you an extra block of time to deal with the problem at hand. So recognizing that not everything is an urgent crisis can be really, really helpful.
Utilize the support articles and the communities there. It is very easy to run into a problem with, let’s say, Instagram, and then, you know, post in your social media, “how do I fix this glitch.” The easiest way to do that is to go to Instagram’s help and plug in a couple key words and see what help articles you can find. Read the manual. Utilize the support articles. And often there’s support communities for any particular software you’re trying to use, google the problem and you might find a fix. There’s so many message boards and forums and support communities. It’s — typically, you can find an answer if you can take a minute and actually look for it. And then be methodical as you work through the issue. Open up a separate browser window, watch the support video, and keep pausing it as your follow through the steps step-by-step. Again, giving yourself time to work through this methodically is huge.
You could also just let the problem be a problem. Let, you know — and this is ultimately what we decided with the Instagram issue we were having and the action button, let it be imperfect. We went back and considered our primary goals of this project. Our primary goal is to increase our consistency and our proficiency posting to a particular platform, and an action button — the lack of an action button is not stopping us from doing that. We can achieve that goal with this imperfection in place. And there’s another way to meet the need. And ask yourself that. Is there another way to meet this need? Yes, we don’t need the action button on our Instagram profile. We can put that in the link in our profile. We can put that — there’s another third-party app we can use that will provide multiple links to somebody who is utilizing your Instagram profile. And it’s okay if you don’t know what those words mean right now, but what you need to know is there was another option to meet this need so we’re okay.
And also, what happens if I just leave it be? You know, we talk about this — I know I’ve talked about it before, there’s this question you can ask yourself like what happens if I just don’t do this thing that I’ve been putting off that I don’t want to do? What happens if I just don’t do it? Does anything bad happen? All right, then maybe I can just cross this off my to do list even though it’s not done. Just take it off, just delete the emails that you’re never going to read. What happens if I just leave it be?
There will always be glitches and imperfections in everything we do. A little glitch, a little imperfection, a little problem is rarely going to be the thing that takes down a successful business, so putting these things into perspective is really helpful and also recognizing that all of these different aspects of running a business, they all come down to flexibility, resilience, adaptability. Just like when a complicated client walks in the room or, you know, you get this new client who didn’t fill out their health intake, and they walk in and it turns out they can’t lay flat, they’re on blood thinners and they’ve got this other issue that you’re not certain how to work with. There is always a way to find a way. There is always an option. You can google that weird pathology and find out any contraindications pretty quick. You can bust open your pathology books and work yourself through a decision tree pretty quick. You can get a couple extra pillows and find a comfortable position for that client. You have the skills to be resilient and to be flexible in the massage that you provide so that it is safe and it is comforting and it is what it needs to be.
You have those skills, and you have them when you’re applying them to running your business. They don’t come as natural because you haven’t had as much training in them, probably. But you have those skills, so if you can step back, reconsider what your actual goal is on any particular task, find an alternative way to meet it or to reach it, you’re probably going to be fine. Sometimes finished is better than perfect. In fact, most of the time, finished is better than perfect because perfect doesn’t exist.
And that’s my little pep talk as you work through aggravating problems. And that’s our little preview of a project you’ll see in a week or two, you’ll be able to sign up. It’s not going to start until April, but that’s that. Michael, what do you have to say?
MR Finished is better than perfect. Here, here.
AH Right? And just, you know, getting to bed on time is more important than perfection.
MR (Laughter) Love it.
AH Let’s bring it home.
MR (Indiscernible) with you?
AH I’m sorry?
MR Can I share a tool with you?
AH Yeah, please do.
MR So it’s totally random and totally unrelated, but I forgot to share it at the beginning of the episode. It is a tool that I came across called Toby. Have you heard of Toby for browsers?
AH I have not.
MR So speaking — it’s kind of a tech episode, I think it’s sort of loosely related. So how often do you find that you open up your web browser to do tasks and you have to open like three or four tabs to do a certain thing that you do, and every time you start this new task, you have to open up all the tabs all over again, right?
AH Oh, my God, yeah.
MR Okay, so Toby gives you a way to click one button and open up all your preset tab that you’ve kind of defined for a task all at the same time.
MR It’s at gettoby.com, G-E-T-T-O-B-Y dot com. And it’s free.
AH All right, I don’t know how I feel about having to learn anything else or to set up anything else —
MR (Laughter) But it’s like a super simple thing that’ll actually make your life easier, so in the spirit of making your life easier in the midst of all this talk of tech hiccups, I thought it would be a fun little add-on to — a little Easter egg at the end of the episode for you.
AH Okay, and I’m already on the getttoby page and it’s like, better than bookmarks, add toby to Chrome. So yeah, okay. I might even already be sold, that’s how good their logo is —
AH I don’t know —
MR Just thought I’d share that. So that’s all I have to add.
AH I am going to explore — I’m putting this on my to do list to explore. I actually have — and here’s another pro tip, people, since we’re just blathering on today.
AH I have found that I get excited about trying, like, new tools or a thing I want to investigate, but I don’t have time to do it and it stresses me out, or I make time to do it but I’m putting off other things I need to get done and then I feel bad about it. I literally have a list of stuff I want to explore and then I try every other week to block off an hour or two to work my way through that list of things I want to explore. And so I’m literally — you can hear my pen clicking — I’m going to put gettoby onto my list of things I want to explore. And I might not get to it for a couple of weeks, but at least I’m getting it out of my head so I know that — I know that it’ll — the idea will be there — I’ll know what I want to look at when I sit down with my fancy coffee and decide to just enjoyably explore some tools.
MR That sounds really organized.
AH So that’s my pro tip. I’m trying. I don’t know if it’ll actually work. It’s worked a little bit. It’s kind of a take off on Gretchen Rubin’s — the author I really like — her power hour, where every couple of weeks, you schedule an hour at an appropriate time to do all the things you’ve been putting off. Like, so for her, an also for me, I found it works like if you need to make a bunch of phone calls, like scheduling dentist appointments or doctor’s appointments or just scheduling things that require you to make a bunch of phone calls during a particular time, I try to schedule that once a month or so on — or if I notice a couple things I’ve been putting off kind of piling up, I’ll schedule a power hour where I actually have to call people and make appointments for things. Or I will schedule a power hour to — ugh, I’ve got some tax prep power hours scheduled for the next week where, okay, I’m going to accumulate all of my 1099s at this hour and I’m going to do this other task at this other hour. So anyhow, whatever, random tidbit.
MR Yeah, well, that’s very sound. That’s actually context batching, which is David Allen from Getting things Done recommends that. That makes you more efficient to batch tasks together that are similar in context.
AH Yeah. It’s partially about efficiency; it’s also partly about things that I don’t want to do. So if I’m ripping– if I have it scheduled, I can just sit down and rip the darn Band-Aid off. So that’s helpful.
AH All right, that’s our — that’s enough pro tips — random pro tips for today, Michael.
MR (Laughter) Random pro tips. I’m all about the random pro tips. All right, we done?
AH We’re done.
MR Cool. Thanks for listening, everybody. You can find us, as usual, online at massagebusinessblueprint.com. If you have questions, comments, any kind of feedback you want to give us, love notes, hate mail, we’ll take it all. That goes to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d love to hear from you. So thanks again for listening. We appreciate it. Until next time, have a great day. Thanks, everybody.