summer update

Here’s what’s happening on August 1st: 60min massage price is increasing to $115, and I’m going to the beach for about 42 hours.

The following week, I’m going to be gone Monday-Saturday afternoon (first appointment on Saturday is at 5pm). I’m going on a retreat with some classmates to Bainbridge Island in Seattle. I haven’t been on vacation since I went to a yoga conference in 2011, I have never been west of Colorado, and pictures of Bainbridge Island remind me that there are non-tropical rainforests. In other words, I am super stoked about this trip! XD

Am I just fleeing the area after increasing a price? Haha, no. I haven’t raised the 60min price in like 5 years, it’s overdue. No other prices are going up at this time. Even packages are staying the same. Which means that the 60min packages just became an even better deal.

If you have been my client at any point before 8/1 (yep, even if it’s been a few years), you can hold onto the current rate until the end of the year. If you have a friend who has been on the fence about getting a massage with me, please encourage them to do so before the first!

If you have bought or received a gift certificate for 60min massage, fear not! Gift certificates are honored for the service, not the monetary value.

I think that about wraps it up. If you’ve got questions, just ask.

Hello 2017!

This is a long overdue 2016 review post, and a preview of some new changes, mostly in scheduling.

I have been very quiet on social media since November for a small variety of reasons, and while I will probably still keep a low profile, I’ll be making a little more noise than I have been.

So 2016 was another great year – business doubled again. It continues that any day I declare to be the “busiest” will immediately stop that, so I’ll just say that the beginning of the week is the easiest to schedule, in general.

My best decision was in hiring Amanda to handle my phone calls. It took a long time for me to get comfortable with letting go of that, even though I know its my weakest skill. I never really have thought of myself as a control freak but there it is, staring me in the face.

There are still some days with my long time clients that I think that I can totally handle returning a phone call. And then a butterfly floats by and returning the call slips my mind. So if you haven’t talked to Amanda yet and you’ve called me before, you will.

I still suck at asking for reviews, so there still aren’t too many of those around. I know, I know, how can my business double when I am the worst at returning phone calls and have so few reviews? The majority of my first time clients are a fantastic fit with my practice (and y’all are pretty fantastic as people as well). I see the same people over and over, with new clients coming on board regularly.

I also took a bunch of classes for my next CEU deadlines. These were all fun classes for me with rocks and energywork. I’ll be adding crystal healing and a new form of energywork to my menu of services by the end of the month, if not sooner. If these things are too weird and out there for you, that’s fine. We can just do the same ol’ massage stuff and never talk about the weird things. If you’re curious though, feel free to shoot me any questions over email, I’m happy to talk about them.

And in the late fall, I cut off my long blonde hair and had it dyed blue. Normally my hair color is no big deal, but since my website and social media have my natural color, this new, short ‘do has thrown a few clients. So this is just a heads up.

It’s going to be weird for awhile but eventually I’ll get back to blonde. The plan is to go from blue to deep purple to a bright red (my favorite so I’ll probably be red for a long while) and then transition back into my natural blondeness.

My hair is the least important part of your massage so I’m not getting new website photos taken, just know that while my hair is weird, my hands are just fine. 😉

So here’s the new 2017 stuff:
+ As some of you know, I work out of an office in McLean a few days per week. Since my busiest day there hasn’t changed and my weekly clients tend to happen on the same day, I am dedicating my Thursdays to that office, leaving just a 10pm appointment for you all that day. If you happen to live in McLean, feel free to text me on Thursdays if you need an appointment that day, I’ll work you in earlier if I can.

+ I am taking a half-day on Mondays for myself. I am torn between just blocking off half the day (what I’m currently doing), or just taking the whole day every other week.

+ I am still working on a few of my classes. If there’s a Carnegie Hall of energywork, that’s what I’m aiming for. 😉

+ I am developing a webstore for crystals and crystal accessories. While it’s true that Melissa Rocks Massage is a true statement ;), it’s also my name plus two of my favorite things, I’ve been collecting pretty stones since I was in high school. The store is a side project that neatly fills up all of my spare time.

+ I am done discussing politics during massage. It was never my favorite thing since it’s hardly a relaxing topic, but the way things are going these days, it’s just too stressful/distracting for me. I love everybody*, and I’ve been concerned about the ozone layer and global warming since I wrote my first report on CFCs when I was in seventh grade. #resist, yes, but not while I am working.

Last but not least, I just want to thank you for reading this, thank you for being great clients who make my work a pleasure, thank you for supporting small businesses, thank you from the very bottom of my heart.

*it’s true. My natural inclination to like everyone I meet. I want us all to win, I want everyone to have truly equal rights.

About Reviews

So I had someone ask me for references the other day, it was a first and to be honest, it threw me off-guard.

And eventually it dawned on me that while I have Facebook and Instagram accounts, I’m not a hardcore user. I do have a Yelp page, but the one 5 star review I have there has been hidden.

So this evening, I figured out how to get a Reviews tab on my Facebook page, I updated my Yelp page to actually reflect my current business (I used to try to be super formal and proper when talking about massage — it wasn’t a good look for me), and I finally fully updated my Google+ page.

Now you have options when it comes to leaving reviews.

I do have to note that both Yelp and Google have outsourced the menu section of the review page to one company, Single Platform. While Yelp offers a method to get your menu updated through them, Google does not. Through Google, my option was to “Claim this business,” which led to giving them all my information and then they will call me within 24 hours. (where’s a headdesk gif when you need one?)

If you go to my afore-linked Yelp or Google+ pages now, there’s a chance you will see menu information that is from either 2007 or some other company (I genuinely don’t remember having a menu like that).

The Yelp method should be resolved within 2 business days, according to Yelp. The Google+ method, since I have run into this company before, will probably take longer and be super annoying since their call is a sales call, my least favorite of all phone calls, and I have zero intention of paying them money to get my information updated (I did note on my Google+ page that the menu is wrong). Yay for resolutions.

On the upside, there is small comfort that my Yelp page has not not filled with negative reviews, people are way more likely to complain. I know it’s kind of weird to have a stranger come to your home so I get the need for reviews, I have just always been terrible about asking for them — I truly hate to be sales-y and annoying, it’s just really not my style.

But hey, if you’ve had a massage or Reiki session with me, I would appreciate an honest review. For your convenience, here are the direct links:

What I may do is respond to any compliments you give me about my work, and ask if I could use them here as a testimonial/mini-review. I’ll keep you all listed by first name and city, like Yelp. That may be the easiest compromise.

Business update.

Okay, so first, the most awkward one – I’m raising prices on the 60 minute packages as of January 1, 2016. Everyone who regularly uses them has already been notified, the raise isn’t significant, and it only effects new 60 minute packages (calm down, 90 minute package people! ;)). Whew, the worst is over.  Oh, and if you want to stock up on 60 minute packages before the price increase, why would I stop you? You can prepay for packages here.

There is obviously no rush to finish a package before the end of the year. Your current package will last … until you use it, or I die/retire. Note: if you wait until I’m 90 to redeem your last massages with me, it’s not my fault if my hands are shaking the whole time, I’m no longer capable of deep tissue work, or if my dentures fall out and land on your back. : If you buy a package and then move out of the area before redeeming all massages, feel free to gift them out to your friends. Just send me an email and let me know who is getting how many massages and how to contact them.

Next up, I’m actually in the process of writing policies, which is about zero percent fun but it dawns on me that it’s actually necessary. Despite the unseasonal weather, my winter weather policy will be featured. There will also be a same-day cancelation policy, a privacy policy (especially relevant since I will also be debuting an intake form!), and a creepy dude policy (unforch, just saying that I hate creepy dudes is probably not the only deterrent that they need. Because creepy.).

Earlier this week, I formed the Melissa Rocks, LLC. So yeah, that’s a thing. 2016 = the year of leveling up. 🙂

If I don’t see you, I hope you have a great New Year. I’ll be over here with my finger hovering over the “update” button while the clock is counting down to midnight. 😉