Archive for June, 2009
Welcome to Motivation Mondays! Here is your quote for the week.
“Every dream you dream will one day come true.
So dream your dreams – all they need is you.”
- Mike Dooley TUT
Excerpt from ‘Choose Them Wisely’
Introduction to Feng Shui
Feng shui (pronounced “fung shway”), a Chinese term meaning “Wind and Water” originated in China more than 3,000 years ago. The ancient practice of Feng Shui is concerned with picking the most favorable location for building homes and other structures, as well as how to blend harmoniously with the surrounding physical environment. By placing one’s home or business with the natural flow of energy, it helps to promote health, love, happiness and success for the home’s or business’ owners.
Today, we don’t have the luxury of choosing the most auspicious site for our home or business. We usually take what is available or what we can afford. Therefore we must look to more contemporary applications of Feng Shui to create harmony around the existing dwellings in which we work and reside.
The Bagua Map
The Bagua (pronounced “bah-gwah”) is a map which is divided into nine equal sections called “guas”. Each gua correlates to a particular part of you life, such as wealth and prosperity, fame, love and relationship, family, health, children & creativity, self knowledge & spirituality, career, helpful people and travel. In addition to specific areas, it has colors, elements, compass directions, and areas of the body associated with each gua.
To use the Bagua Map, you will overlay it over any lot, building, house, apartment, room, or piece of furniture. You will align the bottom edge of the map with the wall through which you enter the structure. This means that you will always enter a room or building through Self Knowledge & Spirituality, Career or Helpful People and Travel depending on where the door is located. If the building is irregularly shaped, you will have a part of all of a gua missing and this will become evident when you overlay the map. You will need a Feng Shui cure (more on that in a future post) to correct these missing areas.
When chi enters the office (or home/room), it goes to the center of the dwelling and then disperses out to the nine guas from there. The flow of chi is directed and shaped by the space itself (is it rectangular or square? does it have long hall ways?) as well as by all the objects in its path. Because this causes certain energy patterns to develop you may want to re-think any clutter you have both in your office as well as your home and body. You can’t be well organized at work and have a cluttered house and expect it not to affect you.
These energy patterns attract the chi of our bodies to that of the world, drawing to us life situations (people, opportunities, relationships, etc.) like a magnet. The energy of our life experiences is then transferred back into the world. Therefore, it is possible to influence the energetic flow you experience by making simple alterations to things in the environment and coming into balance with the natural flow of life all through the use of the Bagua Map.
To begin to create a more harmonious environment, you will need to look at the areas of your life and what gua is associated with it. Ask yourself, if that area of your life is working or does it need a little help. Pick one to three areas that you would like to enhance. Next, look for things which may be adversely affecting these areas. Clear out any congestion. In the same way that congestion within the body creates a myriad of problems (both health as well as in a relationship), the obstruction of energy flow in the office (or home) can create similar problems. One of the biggest culprits of energetic congestion is clutter. Clutter prevent chi from moving freely. Get rid of it. You’ll immediately feel the difference.
After you have cleared the clutter, you will want to gain clarity of what you want in each of the areas you want to enhance. Our offices (and homes) are a reflection of us. Is the space an accurate reflection? What do you want the space to do for you? When we have focused intentions, we gain some power over the forces that shape our lives.
Feng shui is a powerful system for working to restore proper energetic alignment in all aspects of our lives and create the life we desire. In future posts, I will be writing about what to do with missing corners and specific things you can do to enhance different areas of your life. Until then, gain clarity of your purpose and clear the clutter.
Welcome to Motivation Mondays! Here is your quote for the week.
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”
- Winston Churchill
Expert blogger Chris Brogan featured in the Wall Street Journal. Read the story here
In response to my blog post “Promote Your Practice or Spa on YouTube“, Lindsay Rom of Riverspointe Spa made the comment “We get many comments from our clients about how helpful the tour video is, as well as how informative our other videos are (re: Thai-Yoga, Ashiatsu, Warm Bamboo, etc.) In fact, one recent client mentioned that most of her questions and hesitations were addressed before she even stepped through our doors by watching the videos. She said she felt like she knew us already, and that helped her relax even more.” This made me curious so I went to their website, where I immediately saw their link to take a video tour.
I was very impressed as Lindsay, the lead therapist took us on a tour of the Spa. She was well-spoken as she greet us (the camera) at the door, explained that they were the premier spa in Estes Park, CO. She proceeded to show us the retail area, the relaxation room then led us down the hallway where we got to peek in to the treatment rooms while various treatments were in progress. The first stop was Warm Bamboo, then on to Raindrop Technique, Seaweed Wrap, the Couple’s Room where one client was experiencing warm River Rocks massage and the other was having a Phytomere Facial. At each location, Lindsay explained what the particular treatment was and its benefits. Then on to the Locker Room and Infrared Sauna. As she is leading us back to the front door, she even commented that all of the artwork on the walls was available for purchase.
I am relatively new to producing videos and YouTube so I was grateful for their post. As a result Pia (a another reader) asked, “Do you have any experience with how well this works? Where would you publish the video? How do you get visitors to find it?”, I wrote to Riverspointe Spa and asked for permission to use their video in a future blog post and asked “how many clients they get as a result of their video?”.
Lindsay responded, “We get many comments from our clients about how helpful the tour video is, as well as how informative our other videos are (re: Thai-Yoga, Ashiatsu, Warm Bamboo, etc.) In fact, one recent client mentioned that most of her questions and hesitations were addressed before she even stepped through our doors by watching the videos. She said she felt like she knew us already, and that helped her relax even more.” She went on to say, “I don’t believe we’ve composed any formal statistics regarding our YouTube videos. I would imagine 1 out of 4 clients mentions our video to us, having either seen it on our own website, or seeing it on YouTube.com. We have this and several other video links posted on many different sites, so whenever someone is searching for us, chances are, they’ll see it.”
Immediately after reading that they had more videos, I went to YouTube and searched for Riverspointe Spa. I found their channel where I found that they had a total of 7 videos. Here is the run down of the individual stats on each video: The Tour (the one they have on their website) was posted 5 months ago and had 401 views; Hot River Rock was posted 4 months ago with 1186 views; Warm Bamboo was posted 4 months ago with 4521 views, Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy was posted 7 months ago with 9489 views; Three Traditional Types of Massage was posted 4 months ago with 801 views and Traditional Thai Yoga Massage was posted 7 months ago with 2104 views.
Again I am fairly new to videos and YouTube, but these numbers sound pretty good to me. Let’s just take the Tour Video with 401 views as our example. Lindsay said that about 25% of their new customers come to them as a result of their video so that equates to 100 new clients in the last 5 months. At $80 per hour (their price for a one hour massage), their video that costs them probably very little to produce (I’m guessing that it was done in-house) and nothing to publish, added $8,000 to their bottom line. Please note that I am using pure speculation with this scenario. I have not confirmed these dollar values with Riverspointe Spa.
Regarding Pia’s other questions:
Where do you publish this video? Other than YouTube, publish the video on your website, Facebook page, Facebook Fan Page or Group (if you have one) and Twitter.
How do you get others to find it? In answer to that question, let me tell you what happened to me as I am writing this post. It is June 12 at 11:30 p.m and I am watching the news. The newscaster starts talking about a rap video from Arlington (a town that is very near me) on YouTube. Upon hearing this, my ears perked up…after all, I am writing about YouTube. It was a very funny video, so I went to YouTube and searched on rap video Arlington and found it here – it was posted on June 11. Remember it is June 12 (just one day later) and the video has gotten 94,496 views! After watching it, I immediately went to my Facebook page and posted the link which I am sure is one way people find videos.
Other ways, people will find your videos: (1) Your social networking, (2) Put on Twitter and ask your followers for a retweet, (3) your YouTube subscribers will automatically be notified when you post new videos (4) on YouTube make sure you are using the appropriate Tags so that people can find your video when they are searching on your topic.
What is your experience with videos and YouTube?
Does any one else have any knowledge about how you become a featured video on YouTube?
Welcome to Motivation Mondays! Here is your quote for the week.
“When you stop comparing what is right here and now with what you wish were, you can begin to enjoy what is.”
- Cheri Huber
Before we get to the reasons to start a blog, let’s talk about what a blog is. A blog, short for web log, is a type of website with a user interface that makes it easy to update, or create “posts” for, without any knowledge of html or other programming languages. These posts are typically displayed in chronological order with most recent entries at the top.
1. To Express Your Thoughts and Opinions. As massage therapists, we have something to say about massage and wellness. Blogs provide a place to say it and be heard.
2. To Market or Promote Something. Blogging is a great way to help market or promote yourself or your massage business, a particular service, or a particular product.
3. To Establish Trust. By default, blogs let readers leave comments, which allows a conversation to begin and facilitates the formation of a community with you as the organizer who brought everyone together. Also, blogs have a grass roots beginning, and even though many have been commercialized, most are still updated by a single person. Folks often trust a blog more than a big business site.
4. To Help People. Many blogs are written to help people who may be going through similar situations that the blogger has experienced. What questions do you get repeated asked by your clients? Perhaps others in your area or around the world are experiencing this same situation and looking for answers. Although these people may never become your clients you will be rewarded. Remember you have to give to receive.
5. To Stay Active or Knowledgeable in a Field or Topic. Since successful blogging is partially dependent on posting frequency and providing updated, fresh information, it’s a perfect way to help a blogger stay abreast of the events in a specific field or topic.
6. To Establish Yourself as an Expert. Blogs are wonderful tools to help bloggers establish themselves as experts in a field or topic. Through your posts, readers get a feel for your expertise and your writer’s voice, even as they get a glimpse into your life. In short, blogs can humanize your business.
7. To Make Money. It’s important to point out that most bloggers don’t make a lot of money blogging, but the potential does exist to generate revenue from your blog with hard work and commitment. There are many bloggers who bring in big bucks. With patience and practice, you can make money through advertising and other income-generating activities on your blog.
Blogs can be set up in a variety of different ways (stand alone blogs or part of website), frequency (you will see posts ranging from daily, weekly, monthly), topics and platforms (self-hosted or one of the free versions on Blogger or WordPress). Look for more to come about these topics in future posts. Here are a couple of massage blogs to take a look at and get those ideas flowing.
Welcome to Motivation Mondays. Here is your quote for the week.
“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.”
- Marcel Proust
Social networking, also referred to as social media, encompasses many Internet-based tools that make it easier for people to interact and collaborate with each other. Social networking platforms such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs, message boards, Wikipedia and countless others are catching on like wildfire.
People use social networking to share recipes, photos, ideas, to keep friends updated on our lives as well as to market our businesses. By its very nature, social networking is interactive. You can tell anyone (that you want to talk to, and that wants to listen to you) anything about your opinions and experiences—and vice versa–through blogs, Facebook pages, videos and even 140 character messages called tweets. You can also build communities based on common interests, causes and concerns.
While we don’t have room to discuss all of the social networking sites, here’s a sampler to help you get your head around today’s most popular social networking tools:
Blogs are sites that people set up to provide information and opinions about events, ideas or anything else they want to discuss. Blogs can include links to other related sites, photos, videos and sound as well as text. The number of bloggers is growing exponentially; eMarketer estimates that in 2007 there were almost 23 million U.S. bloggers and more than 94 million blog readers.
Twitter is a micro-blogging site. Twitter members post text messages called “tweets” of 140 characters or less, using either a computer or a cell phone. Other Twitter users can “follow” your posts, but you can decide if you want to let them follow you or not. Compete.com, a Web-traffic analysis service, says that Twitter had 6 million unique visits in February 2009.
Facebook is a social networking site where you can set up a profile, join different communities, and connect with friends. More than 200 million people currently use Facebook—and the fastest growing demographic is people over the age of 35.
LinkedIn is a social networking site with about 38 million members. While it shares a lot of the same features and capabilities you’ll find on Facebook, LinkedIn focuses specifically on helping people build career and business communities.
Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Articles provide links to related information. In 2008, Wikipedia had 684 million visitors, and 75,000 contributors working on more than 10 million articles.
YouTube is a site to share and watch videos. Anyone can record a video and then upload and share it via the YouTube site. Everyone can watch the videos on YouTube.
The world of blogs, tweets and wikis can be confusing for many people. Even if you are comfortable using Facebook, YouTube and other services in your personal life, you may be wondering if social networking can be a useful tool for your massage practice or spa. The answer is a resounding yes. Massage practices and spas can use social networking for many practical purposes. Thoughtful use of social networking services ca help you move beyond the conventional, one-way marketing, such as advertising and tap into a more interactive marketing approach. For instance, you use social networking tools to:
1. Research ideas, and learn more about what clients and prospects are saying about their needs.
2. Learn what clients are saying about your services or the competition’s services.
3. Gain new market and competitive insights to improve your services and products. I was just reading a post on one of the discussion boards about why there isn’t any massage/spa services for children with physical/mental challenges and this originator of this discussion what to know why.
4. Create and join conversations with clients, prospects, partners and other constituents about key issues and concerns.
5. Create positive word-of-mouth about your services.
6. Grow your company’s reputation as a leader.
7. Grow your reputation as an expert in your field.
8. To collaborate with others for a new project/service.
In future posts, we will be discussing individual social networking platforms and how they can help you grow your business.