2018 update

hello! I’m apparently just updating this site on an annual basis these days. Here’s what’s going on now.

First, I am no longer assisting at my friend’s business so my schedule is back to being fully open six days of the week. This is most obvious on Thursday which had been blocked off until 3 or 4pm most weeks and now is open starting at 10am.

It’s true. By request, I’m opening Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10am. These appointments must be made in advance. Otherwise appointments start at 11am and run until shortly before midnight (last appointment is 10/10:30pm).

There will be a small price increase on the 90 and 120 minute sessions, and by small, I mean like $2-5, which will begin at the new year. I’m still working on the numbers but the differences will be small.

There is a new policy on hotels. I’ve gone back and forth on it. For the last few months, I’ve alternated between telling people that I don’t work in hotels anymore and being super obnoxious about imposing several rules and fees to avoid working in them. I have had no shortage of awful, terrible experiences at hotels – people just wasting my time left and right. But I still have people asking and booking online at hotels. So time for an official, real policy.

Hotel Policy: There’s a $50 hotel fee, and the full hotel & service fee need to be paid in advance, 24 hours preferred, 4 hours mandatory. Go to mkt.com/melissarocksmassage and scroll to Hotel Massage. Any cancelations made less than 4 hours before the appointment will be refunded 50%, cancelations made less than an hour before the appointment will not be refunded.
It’s surprisingly serious, I know. But I seriously hate having my time wasted.

Quick note on payment options, I do now accept Zelle and Venmo for payments. I’ve only had someone ask once about BitCoin and the truth is that it makes no sense to me and doesn’t seem to be easily converted into cash, so I don’t take BitCoin and unless those two things change, I won’t be taking BitCoin.

And this is the part of the update where I swear I’m forgetting something but I have no idea what it is. So maybe there will be a part two this year! We’ll see. In the meantime, I’ll hope to see you on the table soon! 🙂

Some upgrades ….

While my phone number remains the same, I did finally hire an assistant to return phone calls, since, let’s be honest, that’s the worst thing about me. You can still reach me directly through texts and emails.

I’ve changed my default email address to book@melissarocksmassage.com. I spend a lot of time in entrepreneurial groups, which have a lot of UK/Australian members so I wasn’t sure if book@ or bookin@ would be better so I am sort of using both. I’ll be whittling it down to book though. I think. For now anyway.

I have created a new intake form. Yeah, that’s the least exciting update.

I finally got the HelloBar working on this version of my site.

I registered some short domains so soon all my links will be cute and short (ever create a Google form? If not, it’s like 98 random characters – that’s not exactly sharable.).

And the last, somewhat sad update is that I am struggling with the plugin that I use to backup my sites. As soon as that is set here, I’ll be taking the original Melissa Rocks Massage site and setting that subdomain to forward to this domain. That’s the sad part. I’ve had that site for … idk, like forever. It’s an end of an era. At the same time, I feel fully committed and more … professional with this site and email address.

Go, tinybiz, go! 🙂

New options!

Tonight I figured out how to add online scheduling to my Facebook page! Feel free to try it out. 😀

AND I added instant gift certificates to my Schedulicity listing. It’s with a different company than the instant gift certificates on my website, but hey, who doesn’t love having options? And setting up instant gift certificate account is actually way more complicated than it sounds like.

… I realise that this is a very boring post, however, this is my idea of Sunday evening excitement (because I am afraid the Sand Snakes are going to end up on the Iron Throne so I’m delaying my GoT watching). #entrepreneurialthrills #productiveprocrastination #sandsnakesaretheworstsnakes

On scheduling appointments…

I have run into this situation a few times lately, so I thought I would just make this super clear:

In order to have an appointment with me, you need to provide ALL of the following information:
First Name
Last Name
FULL Street address, including apartment number
Any weird parking issues (residents of DC, Arlington, Alexandria, and townhome communities, I am especially looking at you here)
Any weird building issues, like that you live in the basement and I need to walk around the back of the house.

I need either a working phone number or an email address, or both.

If you fail to provide me your full information, I reserve the right to not honor your attempt at an appointment.

A regular client jokes that I’m like pizza delivery, but better (massage is better than pizza — there are no calories). So if you can’t get a pizza delivered with the information you provide, you aren’t getting a massage delivered.

To be blunt, I am carrying ~80 pounds of gear. Let’s make it as easy as possible for me to get from my car, parked in a safe, nearby place where I will not be ticketed or towed, to your front door. (On one hand, I do this all the time, nbd; on the other, it is 80 pounds and having to stop and dig out my phone to text or email about where I am going and/or if its okay to park where I parked, it does start feeling heavier and heavier.)

Since it’s what people have been asking for …

I am currently trying out a new online scheduling service. Look for the new “schedule now” buttons on the site and a widget on the Service pages so you can schedule from the site.

It’s definitely not perfect. Notably, if you are scheduling for multiple people at the same address, it’s going to force an hour of travel time between each appointment (just shoot me an email if I don’t notice this happening and I’ll sort it out manually). Also, please do make sure there’s an hour between the last appointment and your appointment as I do need time to drive from here to there.

Because this isn’t my only calendar, as I get used to updating my entire life to this schedule, please bear with me if I am accidentally overbooked and need to move your appointment.

 

    Schedule online now

 

quick notes:

First, my annual personal holiday is next Sunday, July 6. I am probably not even looking at my phone or checking email that day. So if you want to schedule an appointment, please get to me on the fifth or seventh, or be patient on the sixth. 😉

 

If you want a same day appointment, pretty please text me (571.766.8007). It’s the fastest way to reach me. I don’t generally have time to listen to voicemail or answer calls until the end of the day, which pretty much eliminates the potential for a same-day appointment. Email works fine, too, but texting is still faster.

 

I do have a bunch of updates to this site that I’m working on, so watch for changes by mid-July. 🙂

Sick, Snow, Yelp

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Three quick things for you today.

Sick: I’m currently under the weather. Today was better than yesterday and I should back to my regular self by Saturday.

Snow: I don’t like it, I avoid driving in it at all costs. So if your road isn’t plowed and easily drivable, warn me, we can reschedule. It’s not a big deal. There’s only one of me and I can’t afford to replace my car so getting an accident to see one client is simply not worth it to me. I’d much rather reschedule for a warmer/sunnier/snowless day.

Yelp: I’ve been avoiding unknown callers on my personal phone for awhile now. I get a lot of marketing calls despite being on the national no-call list. And then I went on Yelp yesterday and realized that it had reverted to my old information, including my personal line and home address, which I had changed months ago. Argh. So my apologies if you’ve called a 703 number recently for a massage. If I’ve never seen you as a client, you aren’t saved in that phone and thus, I haven’t even listened to your voicemail. Please try again at 571.766.8007. Texts are much easier for my life, especially with the cough I have going on right now.

And if you saw my home address, because Yelp makes it awkward to be clear about it, I don’t see clients in my home, ever. In the past, I’ve had people text me that, oh, they are free at 6 and could be at my house at that time. Haha, no, pretty please don’t be that guy.

I really wish there was a way for me to skip the address part of Yelp but it seems insistent on plotting me on a map somewhere. If you know a way around that, please let me know. I am not sure how other mobile businesses do it.

So the tl;dr version: currently scheduling for next week, please don’t make me drive in the snow, yelp is not my bff so please use the 571.766.8007 to schedule a massage, & texts are easier than phone calls. I hope your hearts & flowers day is as lovely as you. 🙂

a new phone number

So I got a new line for business calls and texts. The previous number on this site is my personal cell and I thought it was a good time to put a little separation between the two.

 

If you have my previous number, please note that it still works and you are welcome to still use that number to set appointments. If we have talked or texted previously, you’re probably saved in my contacts there anyway.

 

571.766.8007 — the shiny new number.

 

Prompt, Prim, Funny

In one of those fancy website/marketing/business lessons, I was asked for the three words that describe my business. They weren’t hard to come up with.

The first word that came to mind was “prompt.” There are only two things in this world that stress me out and one of them is being late. So I avoid it at all costs by leaving excessively early in order to arrive 5-10 minutes early. That way I have time to breathe, time for any traffic surprises, and no need to freak out. If I am ever running late, typically due to unforeseen things like downed trees, roads closed for utility work, etc., I will call to let you know and give you an ETA or reschedule (if say, a tree landed on my car).

The second word that came to mind was “prim.” Actually, it was the phrase “prim and proper” but I didn’t want to use up my remaining words with one phrase! I am a pretty laid back person (see above where only two things stress me out), I’ve been a massage therapist since 2001, I am the rebel in my family and I generally see myself as a pretty tough to shock. Still, if you want to unnerve me, just start getting undressed while I am still in the room.

I realized the core of this when I had a client recently who was from the large city near the tiny town where my mom grew up. This area isn’t known for being conservative but if you’ve ever been there, it’s pretty obvious.  We spent a few minutes chatting about the area, how lovely it is, what weird names the tiny towns have, etc. So a few minutes later, this client suggested that we could skip using the top sheet. I awkwardly laughed while pointing out that I always, ALWAYS use a top sheet. During the session, I swear to you, all I could think about was that even with complete disregard for the ethics, laws and regulations that govern massage therapy, he knew where my momma was from, how could he think I’d be okay with an undraped massage?

Clearly, it is my mother’s fault that I can only stand to see my clients fully dressed or covered by a sheet. It’s probably related to the ridiculous work ethics that my parents also forced upon me.

Let’s just say that despite how casual I am, I love all the ethics, laws and regulations that govern massage therapy. I think the associated fees and procedures are horrible but that’s a rant for another day. I am even nerdy enough to admit that I quite like being required to take continuing education classes.

The last word that I came up with to describe my business is “funny.” Because I am. I don’t necessarily try to be funny, I accept that I have some fairly unique views on things. This statement that I am a funny person in no way guarantees that I will make you laugh. It’s more like a warning that laughter is a possibility in all communication with me. (Also, if I say something that comes out oddly, I was actually probably trying to be funny there and wouldn’t mind a little pity chuckle.) So if you hate laughing and/or have no sense humor, then I may not be the right massage therapist for you.

So your rockstar massage experience will start with my showing up on time (by which I mean, a few minutes early), I will totally be a goody-two-shoes the whole time, and there’s a decent chance that you may have a laugh.

Today, I was in Occoquan, McLean and Alexandria.

A bold beginning

I realize that the name of my brand is bold for some people. Perhaps it seems arrogant. I can see that. I was actually a bit hesitant to use it at first.

You know what though? I’ve been a massage therapist for over ten years. From the days I was in massage school, whether in the classroom or working in the student clinic, to my days working in upscale hotels and day spas, to just in the last week, I’ve had people tell me that I am gifted, that I have great hands, that I am a natural healer, that I just gave them the best massage of their life.

How often do you have to hear that you are great before you finally accept it? Before you admit it out loud? I’ve been hearing it since October 2000. I think that’s long enough. I feel like it’s okay to say it out loud now.

I am not here to play small about what I do. Massage therapy is where I shine. I am a stellar massage therapist who loves her calling. Because massage therapy is not my job, it’s not my career, it is my joy and what I am meant to do.

I am Melissa who rocks at massage therapy, at your service.