Should You Register Your Massage Therapy Business on Yelp? Read This and Decide

Yelp is an online tool that has become known as the most powerful review site. Founded in 2004, creators claim the original purpose for the site was to help people find the best local businesses. Today the platform claims to have 135 million monthly users, and search engine results prove that Yelp is a powerful source of information for businesses.

Business owners can set up a Yelp account for free; often the business is already listed, but not claimed or updated. If you’re the owner or representative all you have to do is claim the listing, then update the information and add photos.

A recent survey by Wiidemen Consulting revealed that 60% of Yelp users go to the site looking for reviews, while only 32% are actually looking for businesses near them. But how important were the reviews to them? With choices of “high,” “in between,” or “low,” only 42% said the impact of the reviews was “high,”  11% said “low” – while 45% said, “in between.”

Users can use Yelp to find events and communicate with other users, while business owners can also respond to reviews and send messages to customers.

To set up a Yelp account:

  1. Claim Your Yelp Business Page — if it’s listed. Use the search function on the Yelp for Business Owners page to find your company.
  2. If your business is not listed, click the “Add your business to Yelp” link and complete the form to add your listing.
  3. Fill out a form with your company name, email address, and password.
  4. Verify your phone by clicking the “Call Me Now” button.
  5. Update your business Information and add photos.
  6. You can also offer specials and gift certificates; customers pay Yelp, Yelp keeps a share of the purchase (30% for deals, 10% for gift certificates), and you get the rest.

Check out Yelp and see if it’s something you want to use for your massage therapy business. Let us know in the comments if you have had experience with the tool, and if so, how your experience has been — we’d like to know!

 


Image courtesy of: Yelp.com

 

Still Don’t Have a Website? Learn Why You’re Missing Out on 80% of Possible Customers

According to a 2016 study, 46 percent of small businesses in the U.S. still don’t have a website. The study surveyed 350 businesses, most of which had less than 10 employees.

The sad thing about this study is that these businesses are possibly losing out on as much as 80% of their possible customer base. That’s because over 80 percent of Americans report using online research before making any kind of purchasing decision.

In other words: if you don’t have a website, 80% of customers don’t know you even exist.

Almost 30% of the businesses without a website stated that they felt a website “wasn’t relevant” to their business…so they obviously aren’t keeping up with the latest trends in sales and marketing.

While cost was listed as the next most popular reason for not having a website, that’s also questionable, with the many excellent free website platforms available.

Only 10 percent stated lack of technical know-how, which is good…because most free websites are ridiculously easy to create, offer technical answers and how-to-videos, and allow you to add your own pictures, blog posts, articles, videos, coupons, gift certificates, and review. (Check out the information on the Massage4Life Website Builder to see the selection of stunning free website templates available so you can create your website today!)

It’s also important to have a website that’s mobile-optimized since more people spend time browsing, shopping and researching on mobile devices than on computers; however, a quarter of the businesses surveyed that did have websites admitted that they were not mobile friendly.

In an article on Massage Magazine, massage therapists with marketing success shared the necessity of having a website. Some of the benefits named included:

  • “Breaking the ice” and making your business more familiar to new clients by posting photos of yourself and your practice
  • Ability to answer common questions, share information such as a mission statement, the modalities you perform, and payment/cancellation policies
  • The ability to share reviews and testimonials from satisfied clients
  • Allows you to sell gift certificates and promote specials
  • Set up online scheduling

Check out the information on the Massage4Life Website Builder to see the selection of stunning free website templates you can use if you’re ready to create a website today!

 

 


Image courtesy of: Puigg!

Facebook is Still KING…and You Should Be Using It to Promote Your Massage Therapy Business

While many of us still only use Facebook as a means to connect and share with family and friends, the following statistics show how vital it is to take this social media platform seriously.
If you have a massage therapy business, you can be using the incredible reach of Facebook, along with social media sites like Pinterest, and information and review platforms like Yelp, to spread the word about your massage business.
Your marketing efforts need to be multipronged, so you’ll want to continue blogging on your website, sending out email newsletters, and even direct mail campaigns every so often.
But don’t miss out on the opportunity to promote on the largest social media channel on the planet: Facebook is still the easiest and most popular way to share your massage therapy business through the social media sphere.
Learn more amazing facts about Facebook in the blog:


Image courtesy of: LeStudio1 – 2017

  • Worldwide, there are over 2.01 billion monthly active Facebook users for June 2017 (Facebook MAUs) which is a 17 percent increase year over year. (Source: Facebook 7/26/17) What this means for you: In case you had any lingering doubts, statistically, Facebook is too big to ignore.
  • There are 1.15 billion mobile daily active users (Mobile DAU) for December 2016, an increase of 23 percent year-over-year.  (Source:  Facebook as of 2/01/17)  This is hugely significant and shows the dramatic growth of mobile traffic on Facebook.  Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 87 percent of advertising revenue for Q2.
  • 1.32 billion people on average who log onto Facebook daily active users (Facebook DAU) for June 2017, which represents a 17 percent increase year over year (Source: Facebook as of 07/26/17) The Implication: A huge and vastly growing number of Facebook users are active and consistent in their visits to the site, making them a promising audience for your marketing efforts.
  • There are 1.74 billion mobile active users (Mobile Facebook MAU) for December 2016 which is an increase of 21% year-over-year (Source: Facebook as of 02/01/17).  
  • On average, the Like and Share Buttons are viewed across almost 10 million websites daily. (Source: Facebook as of 10/2/2014)


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There’s Still Time for You to Make Plans for the AMTA 2017 Convention, Sept. 14 – 16 in Pasadena, CA

 There’s still time to make your plans to get to Pasadena, CA, for the AMTA 2017 National Convention!

And sight-see while you’re there: Just northeast of downtown Los Angeles, Old Pasadena is in the center of the city, is a historic walking district with shopping and dining, and famous for its Victorian and art deco architecture.

Other sights and things to see include The Gamble House, considered a fascinating example of American Arts and Crafts style architecture; the Norton Simon Museum, a 30-year assembling of incredible global art founded by industrialist Norton Simon (1907–1993); and the natural beauty of Eaton Canyon.

While online registration has closed for the AMTA 2017 National Convention, it’s not too late to attend! 

Join your peers at the premier event for massage therapists taking place Sept. 14-16 in Pasadena, California! On-site registration opens Wednesday, Sept. 13 at the Pasadena Convention Center.

Multiple ticket options are still available!

Photo By MassageTherapyFoundation

Photo By colleenamta

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Why You Should Think About Offering Massage Therapy Clients a Customer Loyalty Program

If you currently have a few seriously loyal clients and a few who seem to come back fairly often, why not try out a customer loyalty program?

The fact is that 68% of customers leave because they feel brands do not care about them, and the cost of these lost customers can add up fast. It’s estimated that acquiring new customers is 500% more expensive than keeping old ones.

Loyalty programs work with your repeat clients because the more often they come in for a massage, the more often they can save on future sessions.

“Buy 10, get one free” is an example of a loyalty promotion that you can try. MD Spa Shop suggests, “Give customers two free punches to get them started and give them motivation to fill up the card.”

Another way to offer a loyalty program is to team up with other businesses that you can swap massage sessions for products and freebies. With these products, you can then set up a loyalty rewards programs where you clients can earn points with their sessions, and then gift them with products for a certain number of earned points.

Referral programs are another way to reward loyalty: for every friend, family or co-worker your regular client refers, offer another series of points and rewards.

Photo By Vhea

Why You Should Think About Offering Massage Therapy Clients a Customer Loyalty Program

If you currently have a few seriously loyal clients and a few who seem to come back fairly often, why not try out a customer loyalty program?

The fact is that 68% of customers leave because they feel brands do not care about them, and the cost of these lost customers can add up fast. It’s estimated that acquiring new customers is 500% more expensive than keeping old ones.

Loyalty programs work with your repeat clients because the more often they come in for a massage, the more often they can save on future sessions.

“Buy 10, get one free” is an example of a loyalty promotion that you can try. MD Spa Shop suggests, “Give customers two free punches to get them started and give them motivation to fill up the card.”

Another way to offer a loyalty program is to team up with other businesses that you can swap massage sessions for products and freebies. With these products, you can then set up a loyalty rewards programs where you clients can earn points with their sessions, and then gift them with products for a certain number of earned points.

Referral programs are another way to reward loyalty: for every friend, family or co-worker your regular client refers, offer another series of points and rewards.

Read the following blog to learn more about the “science” of customer loyalty.

 

The Science Behind Customer Loyalty

One way of looking at customer loyalty is to think about the underlying behavioral psychology.

Today’s infographic is from West, and it outlines some of psychological principles surrounding customer loyalty, and how they can be applied to help retain existing customers.

The Science of Customer Loyalty

Retaining customers is vital to success, but achieving a low churn rate is never an easy task. After all, customers can be fickle, and brands already invest millions each year to make sure they can handle extremely high volumes of customer interactions.

How can brands lower their churn, while making the most out of their customer interactions?

Five Ways to Build Customer Loyalty

Here are some tried and true methods that help build customer loyalty, and why:

1. Deliver unexpected rewards
Unexpected rewards produce a huge rush of dopamine to the brain. By rewarding customers when they least expect it, brands can really make an impression.

2. Start and end strong
People tend to have cognitive biases towards the first and last things they experience. By making sure the customer experience is strong at both of these touch points, odds can be improved that they will come back.

3. Create a social identity
Social identity theory shows that when people feel a part of an established in-group, they are more likely to stay loyal to that group. Brands can help by creating or nurturing these channels, allowing customers to develop bonds with each other, as well as the company.

4. Let customers share rewards
People are frequently motivated by helping others, so giving customers the opportunity to share benefits or rewards can create a new facet to the customer relationship.

5. Show customers you share their values
Studies show that customers rate shared values as a key reason behind their relationships with brands. Make sure you communicate brand values loud and clear.

 

Photo By Vhea

If You Haven’t Discovered the Benefits of Herbal Compress Massage Therapy, Read This (w Video)

Herbal compress therapy is a beloved form of therapeutic heat massage. The practice is believed to go back almost 5,000 to Thailand. Some think the practice might have started in India. 

Wherever its roots lie, it is a soothing and healing tradition in which the therapists will apply the compress – a muslin ball containing herbs including lemongrass, lime leaves, turmeric, ginger – which has been heated with steam. The practitioner will roll and press the compress along the body in circular massage movements.

The therapy was originally used as a relief for pain and inflammation.

Tom Wellman, who owns a company that imports Thai herbal compresses to the United States, believes the healing therapy is special in that it “allows you to provide aromatherapy, thermal therapy, and herbal therapy all at once in a modality that is new and unique.”

Benefits are believed to include opening the pores, improving circulation of blood and lymph, relief of muscle pain, stress, and headaches, offering deep relaxation, and stimulating internal organs. Traditional blends can also be tailored to fit specific conditions.

 


Image courtesy of: Auraveda Wellness

Compresses are usually heated in steamers – bamboo, traditionally, but electric steamers or rice cookers with steaming racks are also used. Practitioners usually have at least two compresses available, so that while one is being applied, the other can be warming.

In some spas, the treatment is offered along with gentle Thai yoga postures.

Check out the video to view an herbal compress massage in action:

Photo By Auraveda Wellness

The Body’s Healing Power is Behind the Mysterious Bowen Bodywork Techniques (w/Video)

Bowen Therapy is named after its founder, Thomas Bowen (1916–1982), who was a self-taught “manipulative therapist.”

According to The American Bowen Academy, “Bowenwork® is a system of touch that initiates a series of responses through stimulation of the nervous, musculoskeletal, fascial, and energetic systems of the human body.”

Bowen bodywork is extremely minimalist; practitioners use only light, simple, brief moves on the body, interspersed with two-minute pauses, to cause the body to move into a relaxation and innate, restorative mode.

Bowen therapy works to treat the “entire body” and stimulate “holistic effects” that will create healing on a greater range of issues than they might have come into treatment for – or even realize they have.

The premise of the body work is that pain in the fascia triggers pain throughout a wide range of muscles, nerves and tissues; according to Bowen, fascial dysfunction could affect every structure, muscle, nerve and organ in the body.

According to the Bowen Academy website, the techniques work along “Bowenwork’s overarching philosophy of “Less is best,” – with its therapist doing only the least amount of stimulus necessary to encourage the body to heal itself.

 


Image courtesy of: januarys_gem

Clients sit or lie on a massage table, dressed in loose, light clothing; no lubricant is used.  Says Massage Magazine, “When people initially observe and experience this subtle technique, it may seem a little mysterious in its minimal approach, with the practitioner applying some hands-on work, interspersed with hands-off delays.”

Here’s a video for a look at Bowen in practice.

Learn How Bamboo “the wonder tool” is Used in Bamboo Massage Therapy (w/ Video)

Bamboo has been used in Asia for thousands of years, for everything from being used as the first form of Chinese “paper” to being used to create bridges, furniture, musical instruments, decorations, building materials, art, utensils and farming tools.  Bamboo has also always been used as a medicinal tea, and in soups and food preparation.

Bamboo is actually a very tall grass that grows extremely quickly, as much as a foot a day. It has been venerated in Asian culture as representing fertility, youth, durability, and prosperity.

While there’s no definite date when bamboo was introduced to massage, somewhere along the thousands of years that Traditional Chinese Medicine spread world-wide, bamboo came into use in the massage clinic.

Bamboo sticks are used in many kinds of massage, including Thai massage and shiatsu. Today there are new forms, including Bamboo-Fusion massage, which is a mix of Thai and tapotement, which uses varying lengths of bamboo sticks. Another contemporary form is Tian Di Bamboo Massage, which is formulated on the Chinese five elements theory, incorporating wood, fire, earth, metal, and using “cho” sticks (bamboo in Chinese) of different sizes.  

 


Image courtesy of: BCA IL 101 Team 2

Sometimes heated sticks and essential oils are used; sometimes bamboo sticks are used in conjunction with reflexology on the hands and feet.

Bamboo massage techniques – including rolling, stroking, using pressure, and other techniques, allow practitioners to delve deeply into the tissue while taking the strain off their own hands and fingers — so it benefits therapists as well as clients.

Check out the video to see how therapists use bamboo in their practice.

Photo By pelecia.robert

What You Should Know About Anma Japanese Massage Therapy (w Video)

Anma is a Japanese massage form that is thought to have come from the Chinese Tui Na massage practice. The complete system of anma as its own special modality was created in 1320 by Akashi Kan Ichi.

Anma is a vigorous therapy, combining forceful manipulation and acupressure applied to specific areas and meridians. Practitioners use techniques that including grasping, kneading, vibrating, pressing, rubbing, tapping, shaking, and hand rolling. The massage is used to stimulate blood flow and reach into the deep tissue. Today modern shiatsu is considered to be an offshoot of anma.

Anma also incorporates a special kind of abdominal work called “ampuku.” Ampuku means “the pulse of the will” or “calm the abdomen.” Ampuku is focused on the energy point located in the abdomen, called the “hara” in Asian medicine.

Clients remain clothed during anma massage, and no lubricants or oils are used.  

For a period in its early history, anma was performed only by blind practitioners; today, while sighted practitioners also perform anma, there are still many blind practitioners of the form in Japan.

 


Image courtesy of: eismane

Take a look at Anma massage in action in the video:

 

Photo By eismane