Hi. I’m Matthew, founder of patientMoon, a wellness marketing and web development studio I started in 2004 and took full-time 3 years ago. Let me back up. I began writing computer programs in the 80’s and developing websites in 1994, creating websites for my schools and several small business. I’ve been practicing yoga for 10 years or so, and started teaching about 5 years back. I currently teach at Back Bay Yoga and New England Conservatory.
The alchemy of my life’s work has brought me to to where I am now – helping fitness & yoga studios/teachers show the world what they’re about through effective marketing, and helping students see themselves as they truly are.
Mostly, I’m here to help people calm the F down.
6:54am Wake Up & Start the Day
I set my alarm for 7:30am, but I always wake up before then, even on weekends without an alarm set. I’ve never been someone who can sleep in. I start off my day by responding to client emails and following up with people we’re in discussion about working with, and reviewing the day’s meeting schedule.
7:32am Get Ready
Once I know what the day holds, I shower, get ready and get dressed. This also seems to be the most common time for me to have sudden epiphanies of new ideas for the business or our clients. Which, apparently, is not uncommon.
Time for breakfast. I almost always have a bowl of granola with almond milk, usually with a cut up banana added if I have any. I generally read the news and Facebook while I’m eating.
8:23am Crime Watch Admin
This is usually around when I pack lunch (generally a mix of leftovers and easy-to-prepare items), but today I’m having lunch with my father, so I have some time to catch up on admin tasks for the Leather District Crime Watch. (Yeah, I know you probably have no idea where the Leather District is – it’s the area in downtown Boston between Chinatown and South Station.) I started the Crime Watch a few months ago to address ongoing issues with epidemic break-ins and drug dealing in the neighborhood by meeting with leaders of the Chinatown Crime Watch, who’ve been in action for nearly 10 years. We’re a group of residents in the area who find time amongst busy schedules to volunteer to patrol the neighborhood together (in shiny vests!) for a few hours each evening, reporting crime, addressing issues of public safety and working to improve the neighborhood. We also meet with Boston Police, EMS and other city departments regularly. We’re up to 40 volunteers as of this week, and we’re seeing noticeable effects from our efforts.
8:42am Off to the Office
…which is literally across the street. Nice side effect of being the boss: getting to choose where our office is. We’re in the awesome WeWork space, surrounded by other small entrepreneurial businesses.
9am Stand UP & OUT!
Each member of the patientMoon teams stands up and updates the group about what they are working on for the day, and what they might need from other people. We focus as a team and make sure we are all on the same page. Lindsay works as the Content & Design Strategist and is our super organized, friendly client liaison, ensuring photo shoots are scheduled, content is created, and things are running smoothly. She does a bit of everything here. Dyle is our in-house designer, creating visually stunning website designs, logos and print materials. He is a painter of pixels. Kate, our Content Crafter, writes and edits all of the written material, making sure it sounds on-brand and doesn’t get stale. Dan works as a developer, mostly behind the scenes on tools to help us publish web sites faster, keep clients’ costs down, and make maintenance easier. The Stand Up gives us a chance to get on the same page, and ask for a second set of eyes on any projects mid-production.
The Stand Out is our own patientMoon team creation – we close up the morning huddle by listing things that stood out to us as being exciting, innovative or inspirational from the day before. Once a week we read them together and pick out the best items from the daily lists, and once a month we highlight the very top items from the weekly lists. It’s a nice opportunity for us to remember our successes and keep perspective on our progress as a team over time without always focusing solely on the tasks of the day.
9:30am-11:30am Heads Down Time
We set aside two hours daily of uninterrupted focus. No phone, emails, meetings or chats about Nicki Minaj/slinkies. This enables us to really fly through the most pressing work of the day, and keeps us productive and on task.
11:30am-12:30pm Client Mood board meeting!
While many of our clients call in or connect virtually (we have clients from Maine to Arizona), some of our local Boston clients prefer to meet in person. A mood board meeting is a way for us to filter what we know about our clients – the look and feel of their studio, their style and the feel of their brand into some “swatches” or slices of possibility for their website and other marketing. Our designer Dyle assembles visual examples meant to elicit responses, and from those responses he is better able to conceptualize the new website. Kate, our content crafter, is able to ask questions and listen to our clients as they form opinions on aesthetics and thematics that she can later use to craft a brand-appropriate narrative as well as getting a sense of an authentic voice. We think a lot about color and mood, texture, font and emotion. It is a fascinating and engaging artistic process that everyone participates in, and it the catalyst for future design iterations for the site and brand. The mood board is an eddying vortex of ideas, and a really exciting meeting for us and our clients.
12:30pm-1:30pm Lunch with Dad
I usually have lunch with my father once a week, which is a nice opportunity to catch up on what we’re each doing and get out of the office for a bit. It’s a great way for me to reflect on the last week and volley around new ideas. His perspective is fresh and informed, plus he always orders his avocado on the side so I can have it on my salad. What are dads for, right?
2pm-3pm Website Pre-Launch / Print Marketing / Pricing Strategy Meeting
We’ve constantly got projects in every stage – this morning’s mood board meeting was early in our work with that client, while this meeting is to review the website development progress for a site we’re launching next week for a brand new fitness studio that we’ve been working with for months. This one’s in person too, with the whole team and the client hashing out final punch lists for tweaks before we go live. Today’s agenda also includes reviewing printed flyers we’re designing to help promote the new studio, and tweaking the pricing on memberships and promotions for the studio’s grand opening. This is typical of our work with clients – we take a global-holistic look at the business and marketing, not just single pieces like the website. And after this site launches next week, we’ll continue an ongoing working relationship with this client, constantly improving the website and supporting the studio’s growth and sustainability as we help build their client base.
3pm-4pm Initial Conversation with a Potential Client
Speaking of projects in every stage, Lindsay and I have an initial conversation by phone with two yoga teachers in California working on opening a non-profit studio designed to serve folks in the inner city who wouldn’t normally have access to yoga for financial reasons, as well as people recovering from addiction, PTSD and trauma. We pride ourselves in knowing a lot about our clients and their visions, so we spend more of this initial conversation learning about the studio plans and the teachers, and less time talking about our services and pricing. For most marketing studios this would be a sales call, but for us it’s the beginning of a dialog where we truly get to know each other and decide if and how we can help them. We take our time in this process, talking multiple times and preparing written “intention statements” about how we can work effectively together before deciding whether to take on the client. This is the result of years spent evolving our process, influenced by all the “intention setting” Lindsay, Kate and I do as yogis.
4pm-4:45pm More Work Time
Today was a bit more meeting-filled than usual, so the tail end of the day is well utilized finishing up a few more tasks from my list.
4:45pm-5:00pm Stand Down with Lindsay
Lindsay and I have a “Stand Down” meeting at the end of the day (to contrast the “Stand Up” at the start of the day). She and I quickly review the status of all projects to make sure we know the priorities for the next morning’s Stand Up.
5:00pm-6:45pm Prep for Teaching Yin & Restorative Yoga
I head home, change into yoga clothes and plan class by practicing at home. Anyone who’s taken classes with me knows I’m quite the fan of yoga props. Thankfully I’ve got a nice open space in the living room to sprawl out. Today’s prop mix for class is pretty minimal for my norm – 3 blankets, 2 blocks, 2 tennis balls, 1 bolster and a strap. This may actually be the fewest props I’ve used for one of my classes in weeks.
6:45pm Off to Back Bay Yoga
The studio is a nice 15 minute walk from my place, heading past Emerson and the Boston Common. I’ve been practicing at Back Bay Yoga since 2009 and will always have a strong personal connection to the studio from sharing many hours in Restorative Yoga classes with my grandmother Joan, who died in March 2011. Joan was able to attend the first public Restorative class I taught at Back Bay Yoga in January 2011, which was particularly special for me. She often credited Restorative Yoga for helping her be the most relaxed she’d ever been, and not a class I teach goes by without me thinking of her.
7:15pm Teaching Yin & Restorative Yoga
I love teaching active yoga classes for the opportunity to get geeky about anatomy and alignment, but nothing beats facilitating a quiet, introspective practice space for my students. As someone who’s always busy and constantly working on accomplishing things, teaching and practicing in this way is deeply therapeutic for me. It’s remarkable how much spending 90 minutes in a room helping other people calm down focuses and quiets my mind as well.
9:45pm Dinner & Decompressing
My partner David and I eat at home a lot, usually cooking fairly simple meals since we’re often both very busy. Tonight we’re making a concoction of sauteed frozen peas and corn with tortellini all mixed into a red pepper and tomato soup. For some unwinding entertainment, we watch an episode of Star Trek: Voyager on Netflix. Being a bit of a trekkie, I’ve certainly seen this episode several times before, but I still love them anyway, especially sharing in the experience with David.
Some nights it’s a bit later than this, especially if I have to squeeze in some more work, but it’s been a long, full day!
Tomorrow promises to be another busy day, filled with a pre-launch review meeting of a Boston-based yoga teacher we’re building a website for, work on three fitness studio websites, a logo and a slew of other exciting things we’re working on.
To learn more about the work we do at patientMoon to help fitness and yoga studios and teachers with marketing, check out http://www.