How to Run Your Yoga Business With PocketSuite

Are you a Yoga instructor? Do you run Yoga classes and train students on proper movement, breathwork and poses? In this article, you will learn the secrets that took me years to figure out. How to set up classes, run them smoothly, and handle all of the back-end admin stuff with no sweat. As a busy yoga instructor, it was difficult to manage my business while at the same time re-scheduling clients, practicing poses, and coordinating classes for my students. I also needed to manage repeat clients, schedule group classes, and not forget to follow up with current students.

So I set out to find a solution… one app that could help me with all of these tasks and more. Lo and behold, I found that it can be difficult to decide between the full range of tools that are available to yoga teachers.

In this article, you will learn how I saved countless hours and now run my entire Yoga practice from my phone, using just one app. (Seriously!)

Health and wellness is a constantly growing industry and there is no shortage of Yoga instructors. Having amazing Yoga classes does not mean that you were born with a special ability that allows you to focus on yoga and business at the same time.

In most cases, successful yoga instructors who are running full classes with happy students do so by setting up tools and processes to help automate the back-end office work and admin stuff that typically takes up a lot of their time. That’s their hidden secret and that’s what I’ll be revealing to you in this article.

Your best bet is to go with an app that provides you with all the tools you need to run your Yoga classes smoothly – all in one place. You may be able to find apps that address each of these needs individually. Your problem here will be getting used to all of these different apps and making sure they are fully compatible with each other.

Most of the time they will not be! Nor will you have the time to figure out the nuances – you have classes to teach and clients to catch up with!

What is the alternative? PocketSuite.

PocketSuite is the all-inclusive app that allows Yoga teachers to schedule their classes, collect deposits, and manage their Yoga instructors, all in the same platform. You no longer have to worry about learning six different software tools in order to run your Yoga classes smoothly. Moreover, you no longer have to take your clients through a convoluted onboarding process (since you’re stitching together different features of several different apps).

Why not have all of that functionality under one roof – with PocketSuite you will be able to market to prospective students and your current students, organize classes, and collect deposits from your students in a streamlined way.

Many yoga instructors have unfortunately discovered just how much money is lost with a complicated sales process. This is especially true of those instructors who are trying to expand a small practice. No matter how great a teacher you may be, prospects just don’t want to deal with website errors, crude paper and pencil questionnaires, scheduling mistakes, etc. They want to sign up, pay your fee, and receive the best yoga training possible!

What’s more, the modern client does not have to put up with a bad onboarding or scheduling process anymore. The Internet gives the average person more choices than ever. If your process is less-than-perfect, all it takes is one mouse click to find another Yoga studio, book time at a ClassPass gym, or download a self guided workout app with a signup process that is easier than yours.

Unfortunately, clients are less loyal than ever. They will do this with no thought of how it may affect your business, especially if you have not created a real connection or relationship with them.

How PocketSuite Works for Yoga Instructors

PocketSuite is made for Yoga instructors with no time on their hands. As a Yoga instructor, this probably describes you… after all, you are doing much more than just classes.

You have to keep up with the latest in terms of new breathwork techniques, new poses, and sequences for your classes. You need to know the latest in hot yoga, trapeze yoga, goat yoga, laughter yoga, beer yoga, postnatal yoga, etc. You must constantly practice in order to maintain your mastery. Basically, you do not have time to deal with all of the back-office and admin stuff.

First, the app works in your favor by automating the marketing process. It does this by integrating with your social media, scheduling recurring classes, and sending personalized text messages. With PocketSuite focused on following up and building the future of your business, you can focus on doing what you do best – changing people’s lives through centeredness, stretching, and de-stressing.

Your marketing goes to another level when you start using PocketSuite. You can not only create groups of clients with similar backgrounds, you can market to those groups in a streamlined way. No more sifting through clients trying to remember if this one or that one wanted a group class or an extra phone call. PocketSuite does all of this for you, syncing the message that you want to put out with the audience that you want to reach.

Secondly, PocketSuite provides you with more time to focus on your core competency, namely, Yoga! The less time that you have to spend on things like appointment reminders, collecting payments, and rescheduling appointments, the more time you have to focus on creating an amazing experience for your students and changing their lives for the better. With all of the needs of the average Yoga instructor that’s running their own business taken into account – PocketSuite is the one stop solution.

I’ve heard from many Yoga instructors that they make the most money from private appointments. This is also one of the most satisfying ways to teach, because you can relay more information in a one-on-one session than you can in a group setting. However, getting these kinds of clients can be difficult if you’re not a natural salesperson. PocketSuite saves you from having to go back to school for marketing and sales – it does all of this by integrating directly with Google Ads.

Instead of having to sell packages after class, the app does it for you online. People who are looking for one on one classes can simply go to the app and sign up rather than having to ask or go through an awkward sales pitch from you. The result is better classes with no upselling pressure.

Because you can automatically organize your student’s info in the app, you can also easily put together group classes of people with similar skill levels or interests. Imagine not having to go through all of your customer lists in order to find these people. They will actually find you if your onboarding process is solid.

You can also get this done with the PocketSuite app, because your clients will complete your forms and sign up for your classes from the comfort of their home computer or phone.

You will be able to complete the entire sales process thru PocketSuite as well. This means signing students up for classes, creating ongoing connections and keeping private notes on each client for the upsell later. The app will help you target who to give certain discounts to based on how often they book classes and/or appointments with you. It will also help you determine who are the most likely candidates for gift certificates and other online products.

Your Team

It is also important as a Yoga instructor to have the best set of health and wellness professionals around you. You may have a good amount of teachers under your umbrella or you may work with a small team to ensure the best experience for your clients. Either way, you need to showcase a high level of organization to keep your team and students happy. PocketSuite allows you to synchronize the schedules of your teams with the schedules of your clients. This is absolutely essential if you’re trying to expand your Yoga business through other teachers.

PocketSuite also allows you to coordinate all of your team member’s calendars. You have the ability to access client information remotely so that you can always seem like the “third-eye” regardless of where you are. You can turn your team into salespeople, tracking how well they are able to upsell Yoga clothes or Yoga mats to your customers, and paying them a commission on all sales. PocketSuite also allows you to reward them with certificates and other forms of acknowledgment if they positively affect your revenues.

No matter how you plan to expand your Yoga instructor business, PocketSuite is a tool that you can use to make it happen efficiently. Instead of hiring a bunch of admin assistants, paying someone to market your business online, or outsourcing your accounting to an expensive firm, you now have all of that at your fingertips with PocketSuite. This is the only way to expand in the digital era. Your competition is keeping things streamlined and you have to as well. Make sure that you investigate everything that PocketSuite can do for you before committing to any other solution.

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2020, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

How to Get More Clients On Soothe!

Are you a massage therapist working with Soothe to get clients You’re not alone – Soothe employs over 13,000 massage therapists in almost 70 cities across the US, UK, Australia, and Canada. Soothe is an app that sends a licensed massage therapist to a client’s home, and was founded in 2013 by Harvard Business School graduate Merlin Kauffman. 

The platform has been dubbed the ‘Uber of Massage’ by fans of the service, likely because it provides on-demand massage therapy services. Soothe connects licensed massage therapists with clients seeking stress relief.

As a professional massage therapist, you’re probably wondering how you can make the most of your time and skills with Soothe

In this article, we’ll break down the top reasons that make working with Soothe different from a traditional day job as a massage therapist at a spa and also give tips on how you can make the most of your new gig.

WHY SOOTHE IS DIFFERENT

No doubt, you joined Soothe because they claim that you can make over 3 times as much money as you can make working at a spa.

Soothe offers a 60, 90, or 120 minute massage, which starts at $129 for a 60 minute massage in most US cities. Massage therapists earn 70% of this service price.

Clients can also purchase a monthly or yearly membership, which knocks 20-25% off the retail price.

You can also pick and choose the dates and times that you’d like to work unlike working with a traditional spa.

Their hours range from 8AM to midnight, which gives you plenty of flexibility in terms of setting your own schedule.

While you’re working hard to give your clients a relaxing experience, Soothe has been racing to become the head honcho in the $16B massage therapy industry.

In 2018, Soothe acquired a competing massage therapy startup called Melt, helping it grow even faster and further dominate the massage therapy market.

This is the not the only acquisition made by this Silicon-valley based startup –  they also acquired Y Combinator-backed startup UnWind Me back in 2015

With this knowledge, you can rest assured that you’re working with an industry leader.

If you’ve passed the rigorous qualification process and been granted access to the platform as a massage therapist, you’re part of the chosen few. According to Soothe, over 30% of applicants are rejected. They only work with massage therapists that are licensed and independently insured.

So now that you’ve become a part of the Soothe network of professionals, how do you make the most of it?

HOW TO WIN WITH SOOTHE

There are several practices that 5-star rated massage therapists always perform when operating on the platform.

Top massage therapists will bring a table, fresh sheets, and an assortment of lotions with them to the job.

Secondly, if you’re ever worked at a retail establishment or at a coffee shop, you know how rigorously they train and emphasize delivering service with a smile.

Being warm and friendly will also go a long way as this is a service industry and thus having great customer service skills is critical.

This inviting attitude will serve you well and may even lead to more tips and a higher dollar-per-hour pay in your pocket

Soothe offers some guidance for therapists on their website.

Here is a summary

PERFORM A THOROUGH INTAKE

Confirm the type of massage, duration and areas that require extra attention or should be avoided

STOP WHEN NECESSARY

If you feel uncomfortable, leave – no explanation necessary

COMMUNICATION

Use the app to communicate with your clients.

STAY CONNECTED

Use the app to check-in and check-out of appointments

SECURE PAYMENT THROUGH SOOTHE

Use the app for payments.

Soothe then provides you with contact info in case you have any questions, and purports to have 24/7 support for their therapists through phone, text, and email.

The website also mentions some common ‘scams’ of ‘fraud’ attempted by Soothe clients that they warn you about:

Underpayment Scam

Client will try to pay you directly. Refuse.

Tipping Scam

Soothe says that if someone offers to tip in cash, this can be considered Tax Fraud because it can’t be tracked by the IRS. Soothe urges clients to tip within the app.

Appointment Extension Scam

Make sure you see Tip #1 above – Perform a Thorough Intake. Soothe will not compensate you if you go over your allotted time.

Overall, it seems like a win-win for both clients and massage therapists.

A client can book a massage at their convenience and have a massage therapist at their home within 24 hours.

Massage therapists can create and manage their own schedule and work on Soothe as their part-time side hustle or they can build their client base and work full-time using the app.

However, several massage therapists working with the company have claimed that Soothe has lowered their pay, plays favorites, and taken away clients from them.

In order to ensure this type of work culture doesn’t cut into your income as a massage therapist, it’s important to build your own list of clientele as well.

This is where PocketSuite comes in to save the day!

HOW TO WIN AS AN INDEPENDENT MASSAGE THERAPIST

It can be financially as well as professionally rewarding to truly work for yourself by launching your own massage therapy business.

However, if you’re seeking income independence, there are some key things to keep in mind.

GET AN ONLINE PRESENCE

Most, if not all, new clients will most likely find you online. It’s the reason companies like Soothe are doing so well – they’re taking advantage of client’s inherent bias towards searching online when looking for a new service provider of any kind.

Be visible online. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Google
  • Yelp
  • Online Directories

Of course, without a way for clients to book you, you’re throwing money down the drain because folks will find your business listing, not see an actionable way to book you, and simply move on to a provider that does have online booking.

A simple solution for this would be to install your PocketSuite online booking widget  everywhere you’re showing up online, giving your customers an easy way to book your services as soon as they see your listing

FOLLOW UP AGGRESSIVELY

If you get a lead, give them a call and send them a text message with your booking link as soon as possible!

PocketSuite makes this easy with the business messaging feature – it converts your business messages to text messages and sends them directly to your leads.

Smart Campaigns is another feature that allows you to automatically, proactively follow up with your massage therapy leads to ensure they book with you and not someone else.

MANAGE YOUR BUSINESS WITH POCKETSUITE

Speaking of managing your business, PocketSuite has a full-fledged suite of business tools to help you run your entire massage therapy business from a single app.

Give the Premium plan a shot – you won’t be disappointed, and you’ll be able to finally spend more time building your small business into the behemoth it’s destined to be!

If you’re already using PocketSuite, here’s how to set it up for your massage therapy practice.

Like this article? Check out our article on why massage therapists should become licensed, and how to get licensed.

You’ll also love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2020, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

How to Run Your Pilates Business with PocketSuite





Do you own a Pilates studio? Perhaps you’re a Pilates instructor? In this article, you will learn pro tips for running your Pilates business right from your phone. Pilates is super popular in the fitness industry. Pilates instructors can and should take advantage of all of the latest apps and tools so they can spend more time with clients and less on paperwork (still using pen and paper, eh?)

Most independent Pilates instructors are fighting against erosion in demand from:

– Pilates apps

– Classpass

– Big gyms that offer pilates classes

With more people than ever discovering the benefits of Pilates, there is a huge opportunity for professionals who want to create thriving businesses. This cannot be done using traditional methods in many cases. There is too much competition in the marketplace, and modern clients expect a seamless experience that may be beyond the capacity of a small studio.

Here are some of the areas of improvement for typical independent Pilates instructors:

Automation – Get each part of your studio organized and well coordinated

Ease of new client sign-up and onboarding – Forget paperwork! Add students to the app of your choice or have clients book themselves online using your booking site – and all the data entry work has been eliminated, just like that. Presto!

Filling classes – Choose an app that allows you to book multiple folks into one slot

Getting rebookings and retaining clients – It’s hard enough running the business, but now you need to try to get one-time clients to rebook and also try to keep your clients from ghosting. How is it possible to do all of this and still have a life? Answer: Technology! You can use Smart Campaigns to auto-text clients, encouraging them to rebook. You can also auto-text your current clients to follow up with them regarding their experience (and offer them incentives to book additional classes or refer a friend or family member!)

Collecting recurring payments and setting up regular appointments – This is a hassle and a nightmare for beginning business owners. Use something that allows you to automatically track and manage recurring bookings, including charging your customers. Ideally you’d want something that can do all of this from 1 mobile app (no desktop needed!)

Tracking client progress and client management – This usually falls by the wayside because of the litany of other tasks occupying your time. Fortunately, with PocketSuite each student gets their own profile where you can track all the most important info for that student. No more rummaging for paper files or looking up client files on your laptop – just pull it up on your phone in 15 seconds.

The overarching solution that I’m advocating is to invest in the right app that keeps everything in one place. In most cases, this kind of app is not easy to find, especially an all-in-one.

Fortunately, PocketSuite allows Pilates instructors to run a full-fledged Pilates instructor business without the need to take on more expenses like additional instructors on your payroll or tons of new, confusing software.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways that PocketSuite gives Pilates instructors a chance to focus on their core competencies without losing out on any new client opportunities.

Taking Your Studio to a New Level

The traditional way to expand business is to first increase the capacity of that business to take on new clients and automate some of the paperwork.

In most cases, this means hiring new instructors. You probably have to give them a salary instead of just having them be commission-based, which can really cut into your payroll expenses.

One of the biggest opportunities that PocketSuite provides to small Pilates studios is the ability to automate the paperwork and admin work without hiring new people.

Furthermore, Pilates instructors do not really have time to handle everything needed for a growing business. In order to build and maintain a great practice, Pilates instructors must stay ahead of the latest techniques and sequences. This involves research, taking up time that you would normally use on all of the paperwork for your business.

How exactly does the app help Pilates studios expand?

Appointment Booking

PocketSuite has the ability to give a small studio the full range of appointment booking options. Similar to how instructors have a number of different kinds of appointments, including private individual appointments, group sessions, first-time drop-in classes, and series classes.

In many cases, clients find their new Pilates instructor through social media. Social media management can be extremely difficult for a single Pilates instructor that doesn’t have a team already and hiring a social media expert can be prohibitively expensive for a solo practitioner.

Some instructors are even responsible for coordinating recurring appointments and there is always the responsibility of making sure you charge for late cancellations and no-shows.

In some cases, Pilates instructors do not have the time to follow up and collect their fees, including late fees. This can lead to lost income and puts your reputation at risk – if clients do not feel as though they have to show up to their appointments that instructor loses respect and is not considered a reference-able business.

PocketSuite automates all of the above appointment types and more. You as an independent Pilates instructor are no longer personally responsible for booking appointments with clients. (Imagine that!)

Clients and prospects can be categorized into various groups and you can send an email or SMS to them for marketing purposes – automagically! The app integrates with Google Calendar and iCal, ensuring that all scheduling for your students is done efficiently.

Using PocketSuite, independent Pilates instructors can also eliminate the burden of having to follow up on late paying customers, late cancellations, and no-shows. All of this is done automatically and on a recurring basis by the app so the “nudging” and “reminders” are always in progress. At the same time, you as the Pilates instructor are freed up to sign up the next batch of students, grow your business, and keep your 5 star reputation.

Onboarding

Strong, consistent onboarding of new clients is a hassle that many Pilates studios have trouble with. Most instructors are usually using a crude paper and pencil onboarding process or hiring an assistant to do the job, which cut into their profit margins. This expense, however, may not always pay off. Pilates studios do not necessarily receive a steady volume of new clients activity everyday. Yet, regardless of your client activity, your employee has to be paid consistently.

Do you see how this may become a problem?

PocketSuite has the ability to automatically book new clients. Not only are you as the instructor relieved of the pressure of collecting client information to book them, but your clients can also choose which class is best for them and book ahead of time online (or even from your Instagram or Facebook page!)

The consistency of the booking process is also super important. Using PocketSuite, you will easily be able to tell if your marketing efforts are working without having to become a professional marketer.

Part of the onboarding processes includes collecting deposits from new clients. This can be an awkward stage in the relationship, especially if the prospect has not fully committed to taking your Pilates class. Delegating that interaction to an app is such a relief! It makes the choice to pay a deposit a more natural and expected next step for the client (as opposed to an awkward request from you).

No longer does a Pilates instructor have to moonlight as a professional salesperson or bill collector – this is now the responsibility of the PocketSuite app (which never gets nervous or scared about asking for deposit money!)

Promotions

Another huge part of expanding your Pilates studio is offering the right promotions. The challenge is how best to offer promotions to the right people at the right time. If you have to offer a discount to everyone at once, you cut into your profit margins because you are offering discounts to clients who can and have paid full price.

With PocketSuite, you can offer promotions one at a time or all at once. You can send messages to specific groups of students who love you and will pay anything to keep working with you. You can send different messages to other individuals or groups who may need a little more prodding to stick with it and keep attending classes. The bottom line is that you have the power to personalize your marketing message and target your communication to specific client audiences.

You can run your promotions through PocketSuite using your social media. You can keep the entire process in a single marketing funnel as well (instead of having to take your prospect through different processes and tools). Once your prospect agrees to take an individual class or group class, you can have the app immediately collect the deposit and confirm the appointment for that specific class. Should that customer need more nudging, you can schedule and send them a personalized message.

Running the Business

As a Pilates instructor, you are responsible for the wellness of your own studio. However, you are also responsible for managing your team. Your team expects you to be professional and three steps ahead at all times, no matter how much extra work is on your plate. On top of that, you have to maintain your position as the people leader, maintain your skill set, and complete the other million things that are required of you in your business.

When do you actually have time to practice your own Pilates alongside teaching and running a business?

This is exactly what PocketSuite was designed to help you do. Not only do you have the ability to automate onboarding and marketing, but you can also easily schedule and manage your Pilates classes.

If you need to get your team together for a group meeting at the drop of a hat, you can do this through PocketSuite. You can keep records of business income and your office calendar to let people know about upcoming changes quickly.

Your team also needs to easily access client information. Depending on your current tools, you may be the only person with total access to client info. Ideally, you should be able to coordinate your team member’s calendars as well as give them access to accurate client info. PocketSuite is the answer here as well.

Creating a bigger, smarter, and better Pilates business is much easier when you have the right tools on your side. PocketSuite is the ultimate marketing, scheduling and client management tool for you if you are looking to grow your business and maintain your reputation as a 5-star Pilates teacher!

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2020, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!





Top 9 Therapy Websites & Marketplaces to Join

When you are building your therapy, clinical social work or mental health business, growing your customer base and getting exposure can be challenging. With more and more competition, standing out from the crowd can be difficult. Joining a therapy or health marketplace can be a great way to establish your practice and build your clientele in a high quality way. A lot more so than simply being listed on Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.

We’ve been speaking with dozens of founders of therapy marketplaces and organizations over the past few months, and we wanted to share our thoughts.

Below are nine different types of marketplaces eager therapists can join to help your practice grow, depending on your business’s niche and needs.

Big Brand & Reach

GoodTherapy for Mental Health

As one of the largest mental health directories in the world, GoodTherapy connects patients to professionals in 30 different countries. Each month, the network receives over 1.5 million therapist searches.

GoodTherapy focuses on collaborative care, with a focus on non-stigmatizing language and the client and therapist working together to identify solutions. For mental health professionals, GoodTherapy offers a wide range of continuing education materials, such as webinars, best practices and marketing seminars.

The platform also tracks visitors to your profile as a therapist. You can get access to real-time analytics as to how many clients are visiting your profile, how many are calling you, tapping on call-to-actions, etc.

To become a member it costs $29.95 per month, with discounts if you sign up for longer term memberships.

Platforms Doing Good

Open Path Psychotherapy Collective for Mental Health

Open Path Psychotherapy Collective believes everyone should have access to quality mental care, regardless of income. The mission of the site is to provide middle and lower-income people to affordable psychotherapy and mental health education services.

Individual clients can see a quality therapist for $30 to $50 a visit (well below market pricing). The mental health providers that are part of Open Path’s directory are either therapists building their practice and reputation or established professionals giving back to the community.

There are currently over 2,300 therapists in the community, but with rising client demand, many more are needed.  To join this non-profit network, therapists complete an online application and send in a copy of their license and liability insurance. For most, the process takes under 10 minutes there are no fees whatsoever for participating therapists.

International-Focused Platforms

International Therapist Directory for Mental Health

The International Therapist Directory (“ITD”) is a global listing of professional therapists, counselors, psychiatrists and psychologists who offer cross-cultural therapy. Spanning 40 countries, therapists can connect with clients and also network with other healthcare providers.

As our world becomes more and more culturally blended, with people living and working in new countries, culturally-sensitive healthcare providers are essential to provide relevant and helpful therapy.

The site is focused on professional therapists with credentials at the master’s level or higher, with a thoughtful understanding of the ‘Third Culture Kid’. Healthcare providers in the ITD network have a tendency to connect with one another to refer patients and share their expertise, so their referral network is growing quite considerably.

Member fee is just a $35 annual fee.

Directory, Community, Web-building & More

TherapyTribe for Mental Health

TherapyTribe is an online therapist directory that also offers online support groups with wellness tools and activities.  Offering support for people with mental illnesses, addictions and diseases, the site has a professional directory of thousands of therapists as well as self-help materials.

As one of the largest directories, TherapyTribe receives tens of thousands of visitors each week from people looking for help. In addition, therapists listed with TherapyTribe are featured to support group members using geo-targeting to match by location.  

TherapyTribe is now offering members a free professional therapist website included with their membership.  A membership with TherapyTribe gets your business in front of a national pool of potential clients for a monthly ($20) or annual fee ($199).

Where Physical & Mental Intersect

Essential Yoga Therapy for Holistic Approach to Psychology and Fitness

Essential Yoga Therapy (“EYT”) connects customers with specialized yoga therapists who prepare customized plans to treat chronic pain or illness. EYT focuses on yoga therapy as the evolution of the healing process.  

In addition to giving yoga therapists greater access to potential clients, the site also has quality educational resources. For example, there are sessions on how to teach a class with individuals dealing with scoliosis, covering techniques and pose adjustments that will not hurt the client.  

The site is tailored to certified yoga therapists who focus on the holistic needs and therapeutic practices for individuals. Essential Yoga Therapy also offers in-person training for its professional community to learn new techniques.

OCD-Specific

International OCD Foundation for Niche Mental Healthcare

 

As one of the oldest resources for people with obsessive compulsive disorder (“OCD”), the International OCD Foundation connects individuals and families with disease state information, support materials and healthcare providers.

The site has a targeted group of therapists 1,200 strong. In addition to a directory listing, professional members also get access to the annual conference access, entrance to the behavioral therapy training institute and clinics with providers specializing in the treatment of OCD.

There are millions of people affected by OCD (1% of the U.S. population to be exact), but finding therapists who are knowledgeable in the disease is difficult. This site connects individuals to specially trained professionals.

The foundation is thoughtful in making membership affordable to its professionals. There are 3 tiers of memberships – from students preparing to be licensed therapists, to institutional memberships – with a sliding scale of membership costs.

Regional Therapy Organizations

The Georgia Society for Clinical Social Work for Regional Care

There are a growing number of regional therapy marketplaces on a state-by-state basis, including the Georgia Society for Clinical Social Work (“GSCSW”) as an example. Since 1980, the GSCSW has worked to advance clinical social work practices and empower professional social workers in the state of Georgia.

By becoming a member, social workers can network with other local professionals, access continuing education resources, and keep informed about legislation affecting the field.

Social workers can join the network with an annual fee ranging from $20 for a student, to $110 for a licensed practitioner. Upon joining, professionals are listed in the local directory and gain access to a forum of other professionals to pose questions and receive support.

On Demand Mental Health

7 Cups for Mental Health

Recently launched 7 Cups provides affordable, on-demand mental health services, connecting users to compassionate and trained professionals around the clock. From everyday stresses to more severe needs, 7 Cups offers users a safe space.

With over 800,000 site visitors a month spanning across 189 countries, the 7 Cups platform is rapidly growing and expanding their services. The benefit to the platform is that therapists can provide care online via messages through the app. All therapy is done through the HIPAA compliant platform, and allows clients to get online (and mobile) access to therapists without having to move a muscle.

For the therapist, the fee is $29.95 per month to be listed. In addition to 40% per client interaction if the client decides to book communication time with you.

For people who want traditional in-person care, 7 Cups also offers a practice directory. Professionals can get connected to thousands of potential clients the old fashioned way as well.

Alternative Therapy

Alternative Therapists Network for Non-Conventional Care

The Alternative Therapists Network (“ATN”) focuses on multiple modes of therapy and self-care for patients. ATN connects clients with counselors, yoga practitioners, life coaches, and music and art instructors. It offers a space for clients and professionals to find alternatives to conventional therapy and medication. This is a known challenge to established beliefs.

Users can find out about practitioners, their experience and their approach to therapy before ever contacting them. That way, they can ensure their therapist shares their ideals and philosophies before beginning sessions.

Clients can schedule appointments directly through the site, which makes it easier for therapists and instructors to build their clientele. For a fee, professionals can join the network, get connected to users and get access to webinars and training seminars.

The founding team of ATN also runs Psychology Tomorrow Magazine, sourcing and delivering great content and articles to ATN members.

Recommendation: First Research, Then Join A Network

As a therapist or healthcare provider, building your own practice can be daunting.  Joining a professional network or marketplace can help you establish your presence and credibility. For a small fee, you can increase your clientele as well as network with like-minded professionals.

It’s a worthwhile investment that will expand your practice.

How and Why you should get your Massage Therapy License





Calling all unlicensed massage therapists! Your call to action has finally arrived – in this article we’re going full shiatsu on why it’s critically important to get your massage therapy license if you want to compete in today’s saturated market of 385,000 massage schools and students.

Becoming licensed takes time and effort, so ideally you want to be certain you’re allocating your time and resources to get the best bang for your buck in terms of investing in your massage therapy business and yourself as a business owner.

We’ll discuss what to focus on, provide resources for training and certification, as well as additional resources for your perusing pleasure.

We’ll also cover the basics of why this is important to begin with. After all, if you’re going to invest time and energy in upgrading your business to the next level, it’s important that you’re not running East looking for a sunset!

This article will be your north star in terms of guiding you to licensed salvation.

We’re going to get deep in with our elbows and really unravel this knot of confusion that stresses most unlicensed massage therapists out – getting licensed – how and why?

Self help gurus advocate that the how always follows the why, so let’s take a page out of their personal development book and follow that same rhythm.

PART 1: WHY YOU SHOULD GET YOUR MASSAGE THERAPY LICENSE

According to an IBIS report from 2017, massage therapy is a $16B market.

One of the best ways that you can differentiate yourself from the competition (of which there is plenty) is to become a licensed massage therapist.

The benefits of this are numerous and self-evident, but here they are regardless:

 

  • Become a Trusted Pro
  • Grow Your Client Base
  • Take Advantage of Special Business Opportunities

 

In our usual fashion, we’ll be tackling these one by one. Let’s start off with the trust aspect.

1) BECOME A TRUSTED PRO

If someone wanted to touch your body (roughly), wouldn’t you feel more comfortable knowing that they’ve been trained and certified to perform those actions?

That’s exactly how your clients feel.

You may be acutely aware of all pressure points, danger zones, and warm-up routines that constitute a consistently invigorating massage experience for your clients. (By the way, all puns intended!)

But they don’t know that!

So how are you going to communicate this to them? Just tell them?

You’d be falling into the all-too-common trap of the Self-Serving Bias (also known as the Self Preservation bias – basically it means that folks are more likely to say things that would be beneficial to enhance their own self image).

Instead of being the dime-store huckster who’s constantly selling themselves to everyone, why not prove your worth by putting in the time and effort to earn a certificate which binds a trusted seal of approval to your name and your brand.

2) GROW YOUR CLIENT BASE

We already mentioned that you’d be winning over more clients and leading with a trust symbol that captures their attention and makes them more comfortable with booking a deep tissue with you.

Ideally, you could accomplish this by displaying your license visibly in your place of business and also in your social media. Facebook and Instagram are great platforms to post a picture of yourself holding your license!

Make sure to also include the logo of the accredited state institution from which you hold a license on your website. You could even put it on your PocketSuite booking form to increase trust when folks book you online.

All of these tips will help clients choose you over the competition, which ensures the long term health of your massage therapy business!

3) BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES

There are tertiary benefits to becoming licensed. Not only do you get more opportunities to work with trusted lenders as well as payment processors (that want to see a massage therapist with a license since it mitigates their risk and increases your lifetime value. If you are licensed, you are likely to have less unsatisfied clients who request refunds or dispute their credit card payments to you.)

You’re missing out on some serious networking opportunities by not being part of professional massage therapy organizations as well! A lot of these organizations will only include licensed massage therapists as members. It makes their network appear to be more exclusive and, thus, more valuable to those who want to do business with massage therapists from large brands to consumers looking to book sessions.

Further, these organizations really teach you how to turn your massage therapy business into a full-fledged career. Don’t miss out on this!

One last tip for you on this: if you are planning on hiring other massage therapists, make sure they’re licensed as well to mitigate your own risk.

Okay, now that we’ve chopped and kneaded this issue into submission, let’s move on to the brass tacks of it all. Namely, how to actually get your massage therapy license.

PART 2: HOW TO GET YOUR MASSAGE THERAPY LICENSE

According to AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association) there currently exist in excess of  265+ accredited massage therapy institutions in the United States alone.

Here is an abbreviated 3 step process for getting your massage therapy license that is recommended by the AMTA itself:

  1. Complete a training program at a massage therapy school that will qualify you to practice in your location.
  2. Upon graduation, meet the requirements of your state or municipality (such as obtaining a license or other credential, if you practice in an area where massage therapy is regulated). This will most likely require passing the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx).
  3. Find a school or program near you: see a listing of AMTA School members.

You can also find a list of schools by state here.

In simpler terms, you need to go through a training program and then pass the MBLEx!

Click the link above to find an accredited school to get your training program under your belt.

Then, once you’ve graduated from training, go to the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMFB) and apply to take the MBLEx.

There is a varied assortment of practice tests available online that you can take before putting up the cash to take the actual MBLEx.

Make sure you practice at least once before diving into the exam as it is known to be challenging!

For example, here’s one of the test prep questions:

Quite a doozy, no doubt – study up!

Make sure you’re prepared. I have faith in you! Thousands of massage therapy pros are killing it on PocketSuite and so can you. You can easily make a $100,000+ a year in income as a licensed massage therapist.

Dealing with messaging, payments, recurring appointments, scheduling, and administrative hassles can become quite a burden as you grow your massage therapy business.

For this reason, I would recommend saving yourself some time and headaches and finding a solution that can take the work out of your massage practice, and enable you to focus on what you’re best at.

Speaking of, once you’re licensed, you should give PocketSuite a shot if you need an app that can run your entire front-end business for you, so you can focus on healing, de-stressing your clients, and running your massage therapy business.

You’ll finally be at peace and can breathe a sigh of relief as your business runs on auto-pilot. Imagine that! Now go make it a reality. You’ve got nothing, but glory ahead. 🙂

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2019, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!





Tired of MindBody’s Complexity and Pricing?

MindBody is great if you have lots of time and money.

As an entrepreneur and self motivated fitness and wellness coach, I’m sure your time is focused on your clients. Designing classes, promoting them, reaching back out to past clients about a new offerings… are just a few of the many things that come with running your own business and practice. The administrative tasks are endless. You don’t want to get side tracked from doing what you do and it is not always an option to hire a full time assistant to manage it all for you.

For large fitness businesses, MindBody is one of the more popular choices when it comes to helping you run your practice. Handling client appointments, class booking, invoicing and so forth. Getting started with software like MindBody can be very scary and difficult to learn, especially for people that aren’t technical experts. For any software, if you have to enroll in a class (much less a university like for MindBody) to understand how to use it is a major red flag. Your goal is simplify your work and save time not increase your workload with a complicated tool.

No Software Please

MindBody requires an in person seminar to onboard new users to their platform because of the complexity and the overwhelming number of features that are included. Users must become experts in the desktop software and mobile application and their clients have to download and log into a portal (which clients don’t love). If you are a large corporation or a gym owner with multiple locations, it makes complete sense why you and your team would be willing to invest weeks into customizing your administrative settings and training your people on how to use the mobile app. For independent personal trainers, yoga and pilates instructors, as well as health and well professionals; however, it is just plain too much.

It’s like learning to ride a bike… once you learn to balance it comes naturally… but try riding a bike and putting on an 80lb suit. That additional weight changes everything. Same goes for a mobile app that helps you run your business. You’re balancing your time between booking and payments as well as delivery of amazing client service, which is where you would like to spend 99% of your time. If you have a heavy suit, your focus is inevitably tilted away from doing what you do best to operational logistics.

PocketSuite would like to help you take the suit off.

Higher Price Always Means Better Right?

MindBody charges 3x to 6x more than other business apps for the health and wellness industry, How else can they pay for expensive onboarding classes and instructors. The fact that an average user has to dedicate 4 to 5 hours on average to learn the basics is extreme. If you are a Pro that has lots of clients, but no time to figure it all out, don’t invest resources in a solution that will require a lot of time and ongoing effort to maintain. You need something that is designed for your existing workflow, requires minimal setup, and automates all of the repetitive tasks that you do every day to schedule clients and collect payment.

The World is going Mobile

There is no denying that the world is going mobile. To meet client expectations for speed, transparency, and predictably you need to have systems that enable clients to book you from anywhere, at anytime, on any device. By definition, desktop solutions don’t make the cut. You don’t have access to them when you are in the field or in session with clients (which is everyday for most of the day). You need to be able to do anything from confirm a booking request, charge a card, look up a client’s payment history, and send a contract at a moment’s notice. When you go mobile, everything comes together. The simplicity of scheduling messages and follow ups with clients is literally a game changer. Mobile helps professionals build deeper, stickier, longer, and more loyal client relationships.

Try PocketSuite today… simplify your daily booking, payments, and client messaging. Automate your work and save yourself time and money.


Over 5,000 fitness, health & wellness professionals use PocketSuite’s free set of features:

Packages Services & Classes

Package any set of services or classes that you offer

Sell packages to clients for immediate and upfront payment

Track all package sessions by client


Recurring Client Payments

Set clients up on recurring payment plans

Auto-charge any client’s card after each week, month, or any period of time

Just a 2.9% + 30¢ processing fee for credit card payments, and 2-day direct deposit


Direct Client Import

Add any client directly to PocketSuite or import clients directly from your mobile phone contact list

Track all income earned from each client

Take notes (text, photos) on each customer for private viewing


Appointment Calendar Sync

Sync all PocketSuite scheduled appointments and sessions directly to iCal, GCal, etc.

Pick and choose which calendars sync (i.e., Google, Outlook, etc.)

Use a single calendar app to manage both client and personal appointments


Mobile Messenger

Send instant text messages to any of your clients

Clients receive messages via SMS text and respond in real-time

Share photos, share contacts, share GPS pin location


4 Tips to Building a Scalable Health and Fitness Business

(Written by Sam Madden, co-founder of PocketSuite. Featured on DaiManuel.com)

There comes a time in every professional’s career when they have turned their business of just a few clients, into something much bigger. If you’re currently there, then you know what I’m talking about. If you’re not, then trust me – if you’re good at what you do, you will get there very soon.

In business terms, this is called an “inflection point”, and that’s when you need to start building in efficiencies to your small business to help you grow in painless and scalable ways. There are 4 core elements to your business around which you can easily build efficiencies to help you not just take on more clients, but to continue to serve your clients well.

Each one of these core business pillars is like a body part that needs to be kept in shape. Just like your body, you need to hone the muscles of your business so that as you take on more work, you can manage easily and not have to spend excess energy (or money!) to succeed in scalable ways.

1. Your Clients: Core

The core building block to every business is your client base. Your clients are the most important part of your business – you need to serve them well, and you need more of them to grow.

In order to provide the best training and health services to each client, you need to know who your clients are, how to reach them, what their needs are, and where they came from.

Putting tools in place to create profiles for each customer is crucial. Give yourself a central location to access all your client information at the drop of a hat. That means who they are and how to reach them. Give yourself the ability to jot down notes and reference them while you’re on the go so you know your clients in and out. Quickly access your transaction and communication history with each client, so you know what you’ve advised the client before, when you last saw them, and what payments they have made or owe.

Putting these “client best practices” in place will make all aspects of client dealings incredibly easy. This will also free up tons of time to allow you to take on more clients without sacrificing any quality of your service whatsoever, and without giving you a headache.

2. Your Schedule: Quads and Calves

Your schedule keeps you moving from one spot to the next. The more organized you are, the more efficiently you can move from appointment to appointment.

Set up a system to allow you to efficiently organize your calendar of client sessions, meetings, appointments, etc. A pen and paper won’t cut it! That’s just another item for you to lug around. God forbid you lose it – do you have a back-up of your schedule? I know this sounds silly, but how about if you run out of space on a page to write?

And don’t simply set up a digital or mobile calendar to make your life easier. Use a system where once you input a session into your calendar, your client’s calendar gets notified as well so you both are easily on the same page. The worst situation ever is for you to show up and your client is a no show. Or for you to show up and your client isn’t at all ready because they simply “forgot”.

Use smart calendars to also set up automatic reminders to be sent to your clients…Maybe a day or two before the session to (again) professionally reinforce the fact that there is an appointment upcoming. Your calendar should show you (and your client) the job details and location, as well as give you easy access to your client’s contact info in case you’re late, or something has changed, or any other little update.

And keep all this info in one central calendar location so you don’t have to be opening up different computers or phones, or apps or calendar programs just to get a sense of what your day or week looks like.

3. Your Payments: Cardio

Payments are what keep the engine going!

You want to not only give your clients an incredibly convenient (and pleasant) payment experience, but you also want to give yourself a very simple tracking system to ensure no payment ever slips through the cracks.

Give your client easy options through which they can pay you. Don’t force them to lug around a check book or make sure they went to the bank to withdraw cash. And avoid making the act of asking for payment feel awkward or uncomfortable. Create a simple system allowing your clients to pay you remotely so you don’t have to be physically in front of them to collect, and so they can even pay you ahead of time for any services you offer (reducing your payment risk completely).

Keep a log of these payments close so you can quickly get a glimpse of who owes you what, and how much you’ve made from each customer. You want to make sure you know who your best clients are and ask them to refer you to their friends…maybe even send them a holiday card! At the same time, you want to know what payments are outstanding so you can efficiently and professionally remind clients to pay, never letting a payment slip through the cracks.

4. Your Business Health: Brain

Exercising this “muscle” drives you to make all the right business decisions.

Instead of flipping through bank statements, or making daily logs of cash payments, leverage technology to know exactly how your business is doing each day, week, or month. Having all your client information, appointments and payments in a central location will allow you to leverage all this data to understand the overall health of your business. This health score gets increasingly difficult to measure as you start to grow as an solo professional, as there becomes so much more information to keep track of. And don’t fall into the trap thinking you have to pay an accountant to tell you how you’re doing!

A major factor in growing a business is also understanding how much to invest for growth. If you know how much income you’re bringing in vs. last month, then maybe spend some of that extra income on marketing or leads or advertising, to bring in more clients.

If you’re making less this month than the previous month, understand why – Were you working less? Did certain clients take up too much of your time? Are you waiting on payment?

Help is Now Here!

Following the above simple steps sounds like a ton of work, but the reality is it’s not. Technology is starting to offer independent and solo professionals (of all industries) valuable tools they need to help them compete, grow, and drive their business to success. The trick is finding the tool that’s right for you, without paying an arm and a leg. But little tips like the above can help you grow your business in incredibly efficient ways to reach that scale you need to succeed.

How Wellness is a Necessity in Business





Wellness in the Workplace

Health impacts from excess of anything is always discovered later on… it takes time for the negative side of any activity to take its toll on the human body. Longer work hours, long exposure in front of millions of pixels, increased stress in the workplace and sitting for extended periods of time have all caught up with millions of humans that are part of the workforce.

It has resulted in many physical and mental issues in the last several decades. Increased suicide rates, obesity, spinal complications, and anxiety are just a few of the complications unhealthy work environment inflict on workers. Wellness at work has been and will continue to be a competitive advantage in recruiting younger generations of workers.

We Care about You

This has become a widely adopted core principle in company mission statements when referring to their employees. A special assurance that investments in the physical space and culture are being made to promote well being and happiness. The fact that our food is all organic and non-GMO or that we run on fully renewable energy to help protect your environment and planet. We’re the “good guys”. We care for the people that both build and consume our products. The implicit subtext is that the other guys do not. Overall, we are seeing a transition… incentives within the system are changing and we are finally seeing an attempt to create a win-win for all market participants.

Energy Draining Environment

The people you surround yourself with has major implications for what your believe, how you behave, and your worldview. Unfortunately, within the work environment, unless you’re part of management, you are not involved in recruiting and team decisions. You don’t determine who will be on your team and how much time you will be spending together. We have all experienced that “Debbie Downer” co-worker who brings 8 suitcases full of baggage to the office everyday. Rambling on about how their marriage isn’t working out, how the person in front of them in Starbucks put in an order for their entire office or how they can’t afford to buy the latest iPhone because their rent went up for the third month in a row.

As real as their challenges are, they are choosing to focus on them in a way that isn’t healthy for them and certainly isn’t healthy for co-workers. The counterexample is when we are overjoyed to get together with close friends and family. It’s not because they don’t have challenges of their own, but rather there is a sense of joy that comes with just being present with them — regardless of what else may be going on in your life. The energy that people bring around you can either drain you completely or fill you with bliss and restore your energy. When a molecule is positive (+), it wants to get rid of electrons to balance itself out… it’s looking to pass on energy to another molecule. The negative (-) molecule is looking to leech energy from other molecules. The positive molecule is happy to give off energy since it’s always in abundance while the negative molecule is always in a state of scarcity and needs to draw energy from others. I hope this analogy helps you better understand this phenomenon at work and in life.

So how are we fixing this problem in the workplace? Companies are not looking to address the personal problems of their workforce, but instead help them create an environment that fills people up, which inevitably has a positive impact on issues that people may be wrestling with outside of the office. Employers set aside time during the workday for recreational activities, games, positive social activities, rest and relaxation, food-drink-light conversation to support people and create positive connections. Once you create an environment that is fun and enjoyable, it raises the standard for everyone to contribute and sustain that mood. Noone wants to be that “buzz kill”. By creating a more positive work environment, employers are significantly improving the mental and physical health of all employees.

Physical Health

Lack of physical activity throughout the day like standing up, walking around…getting the blood pumping and circulating… can lead to health issues. If you are sedentary throughout the day that could lower your life expectancy. When you are stuck inside an office for the majority of your week, you don’t get sufficient natural light from the sun. Vitamin D deficiency makes it difficult to sleep and concentrate when you are awake. There is a domino effect at play in many cases — overworking leads to sleep deprivation, sleeplessness can lead to erratic eating patterns. Some will feel the need to skip a meal in order to get more rest. Skipping breakfast regularly, as an example, has shown to increase body stress over time. And the dominoes that are falling in this case, is your physical, mental, and emotional health.

Studies have proven that staring at a computer screen all day will strain your vision and lead to permanent damage. The combination of both artificial light and consistent viewing of farsighted perspective interactions with the monitor is leading to perspective changes in our sight, causing us to have less visual acuity. Staying seated for more than 90 minutes at a time causes chronic posture problems… and the lack of movement causes obesity and muscle stress.

Companies are creating initiatives to promote more physical activity at work. From group yoga, standing desks, open offices to mud runs and outdoor game competitions. They are making it a priority for employees to participate in activities that get them moving. They understand that this type of investment in employees leads to healthier workers and better business results.

Relationships

Earlier we shared an example of co-workers that carry baggage into work and how business’ are curating healthier, happier environments in which that kind of behavior is the exception not the rule. From vacation days to maternity leave, employers are investing in their workforce maintaining good personal connections in and outside of the office. From Part 1, work-life balance is very important for all. With work and intention, management and employee relationships are improving. CEO’s and other senior executives are prioritizing workplace culture. The net result of all of this corporate shift in caring about and investing in healthy workers, workplace, and culture is that the experience of work is getting better FOR ALL, including employees and managers.

Democratization of Brand Influence (Part 3) ->





What’s the Best Yoga Studio Software And Why?

woman wearing black leggings doing yoga




Depending on your studio size and needs, PocketSuite might be the answer for you. You can schedule classes online (packages, drop-ins, subscriptions), message with prospects and clients, take payments, scan cards, and payout teachers. It’s a completely mobile app and takes out all the complexity compared to Mindbody (I’ve set it up before).

There’s no studio laptop needed, nor going back to your desk to invoice and wrestle with setting up class schedules. It scan cards for new customers using the camera so no hookup a reader.

There’s a great revenue dashboard to see your earnings, and all your data can be exported to run deeper analysis on everything.

Also, for marketing, there’s built-in features for targeted messaging for clients that have booked a specific class or those who haven’t seen you in a while.

You’ll also get a business phone number automatically assigned so you won’t need to give up your personal number.

Instructors can be assigned classes and have access to everything they need on their own phone to run it, and the owner has oversight over everything.

I believe you can get a free 30-day trial and it’s way cheaper than Mindbody and there’s also a free version. https://pocketsuite.io





Podcast: The Business of Yoga from Expert Teacher Trainer





Listen to “Episode #25: The Business of Yoga from Expert Teacher Trainer” on Spreaker.

Yoga is a big part of the health and wellness industry. 36 million Americans practice yoga and spend $16 billion on yoga classes, clothing, equipment, and accessories each year. The number of Americans doing yoga grew by 50% between 2012 and 2016 alone! On this episode of Professional-on-the-Go, we explore:

– What makes yoga so popular and why the recent boom in popularity?
– How much do Yoga Instructors make?
– What is the secret to making more as a Yoga instructor?
– What changes do people have to make when they want to take yoga instruction from a hobby to a career?
– What are the licensing and certification requirements for yoga instructors?
– How yoga professionals can ensure they have the training needed to protect their clients from injury
– Who is Yoga Alliance and what is their role within the yoga industry?
– What is the best advice for someone who is looking to grow their yoga practice and income?

Here to help us learn more about the yoga industry is Kerry Maiorca, the founder of Bloom Yoga Studio in Chicago. A yoga teacher for more than 20 years, Kerry is passionate about making yoga unintimidating and accessible for each unique student, and she also provides an online mentorship program for yoga teachers. Her writing has been featured on The Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, and Mindbodygreen, among others, and she explores the intersection of yoga and daily life on her Thinking Yogi blog.

For free continuing ed offerings for yoga teachers and great discounts, check out https://www.yogaalliance.org/ where there are lots of helpful resources for making yoga instruction into a viable business.