Ep 78 – Video 101: Intimidation-Free Tips for Practice Promotion with The Massage Nerd Ryan Hoyme

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Video can be key to promoting and growing your practice. Yes, it may be intimidating, but learning a few skills can introduce potential clients to yourself and existing clients to the full gamut of your techniques and modalities. Bring your website and social content to life and beyond the written word. Ryan Hoyme, the Massage Nerd, tells you which platforms to use and lets you in on equipment choices.

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The Massage Nerd, Ryan Hoyme
Author Bio: 

Ryan Hoyme has been a massage therapist for over two decades and worked in the health field for over three decades. He is internationally known as Massage Nerd and has won many awards in the massage profession. Also, he has been inducted into the American and the International Massage Therapy Halls of Fame. Ryan currently works at the Mayo Clinic as a massage therapist. He first decided to start MassageNerd.com when one of his students called him that and started photographing his massage techniques and eventually videotaping them. Ryan has a huge following on his social media accounts and continues to be a role model in the massage profession.

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Full Transcript: 

0:00:00.3 Kristin Coverly: ABMP members receive 10 percent off 2021 pricing on the Color Up Cannabis Master Program core classes, and receive $150 in complimentary products with the program. This online course is designed for professionals to learn about CBD, the endocannabinoid system, and why bringing CBD body care and even skin care into your practice is more than just a trend, it's a comprehensive approach to functional healing for body, mind and spirit. Color Up makes it easy and affordable to introduce Color Up's professional spa products into your practice. ABMP members, access your special promo codes by logging into your ABMP member discounts page at abmp.com/discounts, or visit colorupco.com to learn more.

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0:01:02.1 Darren Buford: Welcome to the ABMP podcast. My name is Darren Buford. I'm the editor-in-chief of Massage $ Bodywork magazine, and Senior Director of Communications for ABMP.

0:01:10.0 KC: And I'm Kristin Coverly, licensed massage therapist and ABMP's Director of Professional Education.

0:01:15.1 DB: Our goal is to speak with luminaries and experts in and around the massage, bodywork, and wellness profession in order to talk about the topics, trends, and techniques that affect our listeners' practices.

0:01:25.1 KC: Hey, Darren. Should we tell everyone the exciting news?

0:01:28.1 DB: I think we should.

0:01:29.5 KC: Listeners, Allison Denney, the Rebel MT, will be joining the ABMP Podcast Network on March 4th. Her new podcast, the Rebel MT, will address anatomy and hands-on techniques. We'll be listening and we hope you will be to.

0:01:43.5 DB: Our guest today is Ryan Hoyme. Ryan has been a massage therapist for over two decades and worked in the health field for over three decades. He is internationally known as Massage Nerd and has won many awards in the massage profession. Also he has been inducted into the American and International Massage Therapy Halls of Fame. Ryan currently works at the Mayo Clinic as a massage therapist. He first decided to start massagenerd.com when one of his students called him that and started photographing his massage techniques and eventually videotaping them. Ryan has a huge following on social media accounts and continues to be a role model in the massage profession. Hello Ryan, and hello, Kristen.

0:02:20.6 Ryan Hoyme: Alright, thanks for having me.

0:02:22.2 KC: Ryan, we're so happy to have you here with us. As Darren mentioned in your bio, you're known for many things. One of them is your moniker the Massage Nerd. So of course, we have to start by asking you a little bit more about how that name came to be, and then also just in general, what led you to bodywork.

0:02:40.2 RH: What brought me to bodywork is my mom. She's the one that convinced me to be a massage therapist. So she begged me for a couple years. She has fibromyalgia, and she was getting regular massages. She noticed it helped her sleep a lot better, and then she kept bugging me, bugging me, and bugging me, and then I always say you eventually have to listen to your mom though. And then with the name Massage Nerd, kind of like in my bio, one of my massage students called me that. And what I did was the exact next day I bought the domain name and it's been Massage Nerd ever since then.

0:03:15.9 DB: Alright, let's jump into our topic for today, which is videos and video creation. Ryan, why should MTs embrace creating videos for their practice and their business?

0:03:25.5 RH: For myself, when I first got started with Massage Nerd, I started taking pictures and then eventually videos. But what I've noticed is so many people are a lot more visual, so they wanna see what's going on. So there's professional videos and then there's also home-grown videos. So home-grown videos are just not as scripted, but a lot of times people wanna see those kind of things. But that's how I got known in the massage industry is on my YouTube channel, and currently I have over 250 million views on my videos. So I just keep cranking them out. I'm not cranking them out as fast as I did back in the day, but I'm still doing reviews on things and posting little videos every now and then.

0:04:11.2 KC: And I believe I saw somewhere that you have the largest collection of massage videos on YouTube. Is that still right?

0:04:16.6 RH: Yeah, so I have over 5000 videos on there. And again, I'm really not comfortable on video a lot of times, especially in the beginning. And sometimes I would just record my hands massaging and maybe even do a voice-over. But that's the easiest way for people that don't feel comfortable on video is you can do a voice-over, do something later, or even pay somebody or barter with somebody to have them do a voice-over if you don't feel comfortable with it, too.

0:04:47.3 KC: And I think a lot of therapists are intrigued by the idea of creating video to use to market their practice in some way, and there's a lot of different ways that can happen. And we're gonna talk about that in the podcast today. But there's a little bit of an intimidation factor, right? So it's like, "Can I create just one video? Do I have to create 50 videos? Where do those videos go? What kind of content do I use?" So can we talk a little bit about what type of video. If someone just wants to get started, do they create a Welcome to my Practice video for their website or Here's my Massage Office Tour? Is a technique video the way to go? What advice do you have for someone just starting as they plan their content.

0:05:29.8 RH: First, you wanna be able to connect with the potential client, so you wanna give a little intro and what your specialties are, and how long you've been in the massage field. And even once you get that, then it's a good idea to start doing testimonials, because most people I don't see doing testimonials in video. So of course I see them on websites all the time with written testimonials, but just think how much more impact that is to have a video testimonial. But the ideal length for videos is usually 30 seconds to a minute now, just because people do not have great attention spans now online. And one of my past students called it ADOS: Attention deficit, oh, shiny.

[laughter]

0:06:22.3 RH: So that's totally true, especially online, but that's why if you have really long videos, you wanna make sure that it's very interesting and they're getting some educational content. So that's why podcasts are so important too, because people are learning from them. So it's okay to have 'em longer with podcasts, but with videos, unless you're showing a full body massage, then it's okay to do maybe 30 minutes or an hour, 'cause they can always stop or start it, but just for little intros and things, you want 30 seconds to a minute is ideal.

0:07:01.8 DB: I just think, as a client, I would want... I think it could be really valuable to see, if I'm curious about going to a practitioner, I think it could be really valuable to see some of the techniques that they're doing even in short clips, especially if I'm unfamiliar with techniques as you move outside of the deep tissue or Swedish realm. Does that sound like something you agree with, Kristin and Ryan?

0:07:22.4 RH: Yes, definitely, because Ashiatsu of all things, people don't really know what it is and what it entails. Myofascial release, people don't... The average person doesn't know what it is. So if you can show some techniques and explain a little bit about it, and so again, just 30 seconds or a minute is all you need to do. But what I did too is, back in the day, I made a whole bunch of little videos of a minute long of different major massage styles out there, so people could understand what they actually entail, because most people think Swedish massage and they think that's everything, or deep tissue massage. So it's either Swedish or deep tissue. That's what people think. But they don't realize all these other different modalities out there.

0:08:09.5 DB: Let's take a short break to hear a word from our sponsors. Anatomy Trains is excited to invite you to a new two-day dissection livestream specialty class, The Deep Front Line and Central Nervous System. February 27th and 28th. This advanced dissection livestream educational experience is presented by Tom Myers and Todd Garcia, together in the lab for the first time in a year. In four two-hour sessions, we will explore detailed anatomy and the fascial connections in the ventral core, what Tom Myers termed The Deep Front Line, moving on to the brain, spinal cord and fascial membranes that surround the central nervous system and the dorsal cavity. This special dissection livestream format allows us to explore more deeply subjects in areas of interest. Visit anatomytrains.com for details. Now, let's get back to the podcast.

0:09:01.5 KC: I like to think of video in the context of a therapist website, or say we're focusing there right now, of bringing that written content to life. You have an about the therapist page, a welcome video on that page brings that content to light, or just what you were saying with the techniques, most people have a list of the techniques they do in their descriptions, but just what you were saying, a 30-60 second video can really bring that into a whole different understanding for the client. Is that something that would resonate with you, Darren, as a client?

0:09:31.4 DB: Oh, absolutely. Especially if I'm not familiar with it, there's a good chance I might be curious enough to try it, and then on the body worker's perspective, then you may, if you're practicing very different modalities, there's a good chance you could be saving your hands and saving your wrist and a lot of extra body work just to, again, depending on the techniques that you use. But that comes to mind to me as well. But from an add-on perspective as a massage... Or as a client, absolutely. If I saw something I was unfamiliar with, obviously, there's gonna be a greater chance of me potentially seeking that out and doing that in the session, or adding it to a session or trying it next time. Absolutely.

0:10:07.5 RH: Yeah, 'cause just imagine if you go to a weekend workshop, you learn some really cool modality or techniques, and you have a hard time explaining to the client that comes in, do you wanna try this? But if you actually show them videos, that's the best way to see it then.

0:10:29.5 KC: What a great way to both inform and market to your existing clientele. You go, you learn a new technique, you create a short video, and that's what you include in your upcoming e-newsletter. And then they can really see the new technique, they know that you're learning and growing, and they're excited to come back and receive that work. There's a lot of potential.

0:10:47.4 RH: Yeah. Because it's all about content too, because they say content is king, but marketing is queen, so you... [laughter]

0:10:56.8 KC: I love that.

0:10:58.5 DB: I love that too. That's great.

0:11:00.5 RH: So I can't remember, a famous blogger titled that, but it totally makes sense, because content, you need as much content as possible, but you wanna be able to market it just right too. So you just can't just keep throwing that content out there, you have to kinda have a system, what you're gonna be doing. So even on social media, just say, massage style of the week. So highlight a different style of massage each week then. And then, again, all you have to have is 30 seconds or a minute video, a little bit longer if it's really interesting too.

0:11:35.4 DB: One of the things I wanted to raise right now before we go into a little bit of a technical aspect is, yes, for some people, they may have a fear or a technical hurdle. I know kind of personally just being involved with ABMP all these years and the magazine, there could be a safety hurdle as well. Is that true, Kristin or Ryan? I know a lot of massage therapists, they will not put their image of themself on their website or in their marketing for fear that they could be sought out by someone seeking out a massage therapist in an inappropriate manner, could be using those images to then hone in on someone, unfortunately.

0:12:14.1 RH: Yeah. I myself, I've heard about that. Other massage therapists, they just don't want their actual face on their website or out in public. So that's fine. So again, like I told with the videos in the beginning, if you don't feel comfortable with your face on the video, it's ideal just to show your hands doing the massaging then. And then maybe down the road, you might change it, but honestly, it'd be a good idea to at least have your voice so they can kinda connect that way.

0:12:43.5 DB: So, Ryan, we talked a little bit about listeners and the ways they could integrate video onto potentially their websites, but what about go-to platforms like social media? Social seems to always be shifting. I mean, is Facebook the tried and true, should they be looking at different things like Instagram and YouTube? What's your go-to?

0:13:06.1 RH: For my go-to is still YouTube and Facebook, but nowadays, it's more Instagram and TikTok are the big things. But you gotta see who's on those kinda platforms too, because my daughters are teenagers and they have Facebook accounts, but they refuse to do anything with Facebook 'cause they always say, My parents are on Facebook. I don't wanna be on there. So it all depends on what kinda clientele you're gonna be going after then too. But with TikTok, a lot of people are doing, even middle-aged and even older, are starting to get involved into TikTok, so it's just not a younger generation for that. And with that, it's just 30-60 second kinda little clips, and it's really quick, and you can even have it a lot less than that if you want too. But it's just getting yourself out there as much as possible.

0:14:02.3 KC: Absolutely. And when I'm teaching marketing classes, that's what I always say in the social media segment. People think they have to be everywhere doing everything, and really, it comes down to, where are your clients, what platform are they using? That's the platform you need to be. So if your clients are on TikTok, let's learn how to use TikTok, or if your clients are still using Facebook regularly, that's your home base. So it really varies from massage therapist to massage therapist, based on their practice and where their clients are, or potential clients are.

0:14:33.4 RH: And a lot of people don't realize that YouTube is basically a social network too, but they don't view it as that. But the nice thing is, when you're searching on Google for things, a lot of the times my videos will pop up in the search results, so that's why it's important to, whatever you do, stilt put 'em on YouTube then.

0:14:53.5 KC: And that's critical. That's such an important point. I'm so glad you made that, Ryan. Oftentimes people think of YouTube as the place just where they house the videos that they link to from other places, but you are absolutely right, it is its own social media platform and a very powerful one in its own right.

0:15:09.8 RH: Yeah. 'Cause on your own channel page, there's community, so people can... You can ask questions and everything else, so they're trying to integrate it a more of a social network too that way.

0:15:22.3 DB: Okay. So, Ryan, I know a lot of people are probably thinking this. What pieces of technical equipment do I need, and is my iPhone or my smartphone good enough?

0:15:32.3 RH: If you have a newer iPhone or a newer Android, it's definitely good enough for what you're doing, because more likely, you don't have a huge budget, you don't have to worry about that. But I myself, I started off with iMovie, and it's a free program, if you have a Mac. Back in the day, when I first started with video, it was on a PC and Windows Movie Maker, and I don't even think they make that anymore. But there are many free apps or really cheap apps that you can use to edit videos for PCs. But iMovie, I loved it, but I got bored with it after a couple years, so that's when I went to Final Cut Pro then. And so it's basically iMovie on steroids, is the way I look at it.

0:16:19.8 KC: And I really like a phrase you used earlier in the podcast is, Your videos can be professional or home-grown. And I like that, because oftentimes people feel like they wanna give it a try, maybe they wanna try video, but they don't have the budget to hire a professional yet and they just wanna test it out. I love this idea that we can really empower people to try it using tools they already have or that are free. So using their phone or their tablet and using one of the free editing software. So I really like that we're talking about ways that people can get started, and then maybe they grow and move to hiring a professional down the road. Do you see that as a typical trajectory of how things work with therapists?

0:17:04.8 RH: Yes, definitely. But I'd say most of 'em are going more the home-grown aspect of it, just because it is a lot cheaper, and especially if you're just a private practice for yourself, that's when you're gonna be doing those kinda things. But if you're working for a big spa or a big massage business, you're more likely... That company is gonna hire more higher-end professionals to shoot your videos then. But what I noticed is, you can pay thousands and thousands of dollars for videos and maybe get one or two minutes of a nice video, but of course, that is good, but you still wanna be able to put out a little bit more content, so that's why home-grown is king and queen.

0:17:54.1 KC: [chuckle] It's the whole royal family. [laughter] So, Ryan, I'm curious, when I'm thinking about, if I'm gonna approach my first video shoot, Here I go, I'm ready, I've got a friend over to be my client, I'm ready to go, maybe someone else to help me behind the phone or camera, what are things I should learn before that day? So should I learn about lighting? Should I learn about where to place the camera for different angles? What are some of the basics of just what to think about and learn before you do your first video shoot?

0:18:26.5 RH: Yeah. Lighting is really, really important, but they say audio is actually two-thirds of the video. So that's why if you are recording audio during that time, I myself, I always have a back-up audio version, so I can record audio too, just in case if something doesn't work out right, I still have that one way or another. And especially now, in the day of podcasts are so popular, that's why it's so important to have that too. And I've even seen people just embed their audio onto a website that way, so... Especially if you're using WordPress.

0:19:04.1 RH: It's a really easy platform to use, and then you can just automatically put there, so they can just click it. But what I hated, especially back in the day, is when people automatically played videos with the audio or automatically played music when you went to somebody's website, and especially if you're at work. You don't want that. You wanna be able to choose to do that, so...

0:19:26.6 KC: And when you say record audio on... A second or back-up audio, is that again, just thinking about the logistics here, is that a second recording device, so a second phone or tablet that you're just recording just audio while you're doing video on another device?

0:19:41.3 RH: Yeah. So I do the video and audio on my D5500, so it's like mid-range, so it works great, and I can get great shots and great blur in the background, but then I have my iPhone in my back pocket with a Rode mic connected to it and record myself that way too. So but I tend to use more the Rode mic, the iPhone audio a lot more, just because it's more individualized, it's right there for you, and you can hear it a lot better, but you're gonna find out over time what actually works for you or not.

0:20:17.2 DB: Ryan, can... Let me ask you a question. When you have people other than yourself in the video, I'm guessing that you probably do model release forms, right?

0:20:25.9 RH: Yes, every single time when I'm doing those kinda videos, so...

0:20:32.6 DB: So, listeners, protect your rights. It may be your friend, still do a model release form. There are plenty available online, and if you are curious, you can just contact us at ABMP, we have those as well.

0:20:47.3 KC: Okay, listeners, fun fact. One of Ryan's massage video clips ended up in The Emoji Movie. Ryan, how did that happen, and did you get to attend the red carpet premiere?

0:21:00.2 RH: I wish I was able to, but... [laughter] All they did was they emailed me asking the permission to use it, I had to sign a long contract, of course, and that's all it was. It was more the sad emoji's, the parents, they wanted to kinda feel better, and they were clicking on my video then to... [laughter]

0:21:29.8 KC: That's so fun. That must be... That's a fun thing. And you... And I'm sure your family got very excited about that. That's exciting.

0:21:37.4 RH: My daughters were a little embarrassed, so... [chuckle] 'Cause it's not cool at their age to watch cartoons and... [chuckle]

0:21:48.0 KC: Well, we think it's cool.

0:21:49.4 DB: We think it's cool. That's right. Alright, Ryan, one final question. We know that you started shooting your own massage stock photography. Why did you start doing that?

0:22:02.6 RH: I hated massage therapists when they're using stock photography with really long nails or flowers in the hair or candles on the table. I wanna show what actual massage is. So that's why I even hired other massage therapists to be in those photos and to make sure it looked real too, because a lot of times, some people complain when they purchase my photos, they'd say, Oh, there's not tons of decorations. I wanted more decorations. But my goal is to have it kinda neutral so that anybody can use these photos and to help market and advertise, because it's so easy... I myself, I use Photoshop a lot, but I also use Canva, C-A-N-V-A dot com, canva.com, to do quick edits and so I can throw words on the photos so I can post them on social media then. So it works really slick, and I got some over 30,000 massage photos that I've shot over the years. So I just... I myself, I have a hard time doing things small, so... [laughter]

0:23:19.0 DB: Listeners, I know that we always get questions at Massage & Bodywork Magazine, because we do do a balance between stock photography and shoots that we actually commission to go have done. Those can be expensive, and so that's why we do a balance of stock photography. But on our end, we have the benefit of two professional, unbelievable designers who trim fingernails and tattoos and whatever they need to do to make the images look the most appropriate they can. And we're very aware that we're trying to show the most real possible image that we can, but, Ryan, what you're doing is exceptional. That's really great.

0:24:00.3 RH: Yeah. 'Cause a lot of times too, even with tattoos, I had this one massage therapist, she has tons of tattoos, and I said, That's cool. You don't really see that on massage stock photography at all.

0:24:16.8 DB: That is absolutely correct.

0:24:18.2 RH: And the problem is, people of color too. You don't see many of that too, so that's why I sought out people that are African-American and Asian, and just so you could actually see other massage therapists, because there are tons of massage therapists of different color, and it's so important, so people can use those too.

0:24:38.6 DB: And you're right, Ryan. So many photographers who've probably been assigned massage shots are totally unfamiliar with what massage is. So that's why the candle is being lit in the background, and they have that whole preconceived idea of what they think a massage session is. We laugh internally all the time in the office too, because again, we rely on stock photography for a number of things, but we do chuckle when they continually get the same things wrong again and again.

0:25:06.4 RH: And especially when somebody is on the table in the prone position, and then their head is tilted up and turning and smiling at the camera. [chuckle]

0:25:15.9 DB: Oh, you're totally right.

0:25:17.0 KC: Pet peeve, pet peeve.

0:25:19.6 DB: Oh, you're totally right. There's so many... Because again, they're going for the aesthetic, the beauty of the shot, so there's so many massage tables that don't have a headrest. Just there's so many things that they do that just make us chuckle all the time. Again, we have amazing designers who build those things that don't exist on the page or are able to manipulate them in a very positive way when we can. We wanna thank our guest today, Ryan Hoyme for joining us run. Ryan, where can listeners find out more information about you?

0:25:48.5 RH: Massagenerd.com, and then also where I sell my stock photography is ryanhoyme.com.

0:25:57.8 DB: Excellent. Thank you so much for joining us. This was a lot of fun.

0:26:00.4 RH: Thank you. I had a blast too. Thanks, everyone.

0:26:04.3 KC: Thanks, Ryan. Thanks for all those great tips. You're gonna help a lot of therapists step into the video world. So we really appreciate it. Thanks.

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