How to Market a Barber Shop

John Abbott of Abbotts Barber Shop in Brisbane 

Over the years I’ve had many business owners come to me for marketing guidance and ask “give me a way to find a hundred new customers” or words to that effect.
And I always tell them “There is no ONE way to get a hundred new customers. There’s a hundred ways to get ONE new customer, and you’ve gotta use all of ’em.”
Having said that, if there was one piece of advice that stands out above all others, it comes down to taking Massive Action.
Like John Abbott, a member of my Private Client consulting group. John owns a traditional, old-style barber shop (opened in 1935) in the suburbs of Brisbane. His sales were falling dramatically, down 17% year on year.
So we put together a plan, and to his credit, John got out of his comfort zone and took the action required. Here’s how he describes the results…

Case Study – co-ordinating an offline and online promotion [with Video]

timelyLast year Microsoft shelled out $26 billion – yes, that’s twenty six billion dollars – to take over LinkedIn. Just think about that for a minute – $26 billion is greater the entire Gross Domestic Product of more than half the countries in the whole world.

And why would Microsoft do that? LinkedIn’s total revenue in 2015 was a paltry $670-odd million. So Microsoft is hardly interested in LinkedIn for its profits.

Nope. Microsoft is prepared to make the biggest purchase in its 40 year history to get hold of LinkedIn’s 350 million members. And most of that 350 million are high-value professionals of some kind.

Microsoft recognises that the real money is in the list of customers.

So how does this relate to your small salon or spa in Downtown Anywhere? For exactly the same reason – the real money is in your list of customers, clients and prospects.

nicole1-1024x768Last week, veteran WSM member Nicole Panayiotou, owner of a successful salon in the Victorian country town of Sale decided she wanted to boost sales for June, and at the same time clean up her large database of several thousand clients and former clients.

Here’s what she did:

1) At my suggestion, she shot a short video on her mobile phone, sent it to one of my team at Worldwide Salon Marketing, and we loaded it up onto her salon’s website. You can see that video here.

2) Next, she made a list of 150 clients she hadn’t see in a few months, and wrote them a cute letter – a variation of our famous Rupert the Dog letter – except in this case the letter was ‘written’ by her baby daughter Billie. (WSM members can download a copy of that letter from the Salon Marketing Resources Library here.)

Blush letter3) At the same time, she used her database – her list – to find another 400 such ‘missing in action’ clients with mobile phone numbers, and sent them a text message that read as follows:

“Want a FREE $50 voucher? Click the link to redeem it! We miss you at Blush x. – Reply stop to opt out.”

The link in the SMS took recipients to the new video on her website here, and under the video, a simple form to fill in and get the gift voucher.


“I sent 150 letters, got 3 clients back off the first letter. Sent 400 texts, got 11 opt outs and 7 clients back in! Still got more to send so extending it (the offer) thru till end July. Great chance to clean up data base so I’m happy.”

Now, before you dismiss that as a poor result, think about it; with a simple, easily-implemented promotion using just a tiny section of her existing list of clients, she resurrected ten ‘missing in action’ clients, with the chance to turn them once again into regular buyers. At say, $1,000 a year per client, it’s a cheap way to regenerate $10,000 a year revenue.

That’s the value, and the money, in a well maintained list. And that’s why Microsoft is spending $26 billion to get hold of one.

Want results this like this? Sign up for the Lite program now, just $59, no ongoing costs. 

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Thieves & Liars – How to Protect Your Salon Business

It's your salon businessFor reasons that will become obvious, we’re in no way identifying the victim in this report. I’ll call her Jenny. It’s a false name, but everything else you read here about her salon business happened exactly as described, in the latter half of 2016.

Jenny’s otherwise-successful beauty business has been brought to its knees – in real danger of going under – through theft, deception and outright lies by a ‘star’ staff member.

This employee was hired because of her reputation as a ‘gun’ saleswoman. And she was. Her retail sales and re-booking rates were through the roof. Products were flying off the shelves. New clients were coming through the door in rapidly-increasing numbers. It all looked good, on paper.

But Jenny was mystified. Where was the money?

To her absolute horror, Jenny discovered the awful truth. It was ALL a sham. The so-called star employee was ripping her off blind. Taking cash from clients and putting it straight into her purse. Stealing products.. Secretly contacting Jenny’s clients and offering them cheaper services from her home. Then came the last straw. The employee suddenly left after several months of covert larceny, walking out of the salon with Jenny’s entire database under her arm.

And Jenny can’t prove a thing. It’s her salon business, but it’s as though it had been hijacked.

A highly-developed sense of PARANOIA might have avoided much of the heartache.

There are risks in business at every turn. Competition. Changes in the market. Credit restrictions. Innovation and new technology. (Kodak? Ruined by digital photography. Video stores? The victim of Netflix and iTunes. The taxi industry? Crippled by Uber. It’s a long list.)

But it’s a much harder pill to swallow when the enemy comes from within.

So what can you do to protect yourself?

  1. Security cameras. They are cheap. And they can record everything. You can even view them from your tablet or phone remotely.

2. Database control. Any salon appointment software package worth its salt should be capable of producing logs showing who logged in, when they logged in, and what they did when they logged in. Your list of clients is THE most valuable asset you own. Protect it with every weapon you have at your disposal.
Inventory control. If you don’t rigorously reconcile – every day – product in with product out and money collected, then you’re allowing massive cracks to open up. Things will mysteriously fall through them, unnoticed.

3. Social media control. It’s all very well and lovely to have your clients interact with you via your social media channels. But who else has admin access to your Facebook and Instagram platforms? It’s all too easy to put trust in your staff to ‘run’ your social media for you. And it’s even easier for them to run amok inside those platforms, secretly contacting clients and ‘poaching’ them.
(Did you know that if somebody has NO admin rights to your FB business page, and you haven’t verified that page with Facebook, they can steal the page from you?)

4. Email & Website. Who has access to the business email account? It’s very easy, using email, to get access to your website logins, change the password, and suddenly, the website goes dark.

And they’re just the essentials. You can make a long list of your own.

Many owners in the ‘warm and fuzzy’ hair & beauty industry might find the above a little confronting, not wanting to appear to be Big Brother to their staff. But there is wisdom in that oft-quoted saying, “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”

Larissa Macleman from Timely Software shares how to get social with your clients

Article by Larissa Macleman – Timely Software BDM.

<< Click the Play button to hear the voice clip

I speak with many salon owners who tell me, “I post on Facebook from time to time, but I don’t really know what to post and when.” Other times they say, ”I know I should be on social media more, and I need a plan of attack.” Well thankfully I know a thing or two about salons and social media.

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When I started using social Media in my salon it was still relatively new and I didn’t really know what or how to use it as a business tool. After I sold my salon, and before I joined Timely Salon Software, I ran a small social media consultancy business I was able to see first hand how much of an impact social media could have on a business. I was able to grow salon businesses, increase profits, and strengthen relationships between the salon and their clientele. Here are some of the tips I’ve learned on how to get a business started with social media.

The secret to doing well on social media is to know your audience intimately. What type of client do you want to attract? Who are the clients you have in your salon now, and do you love to look after them when they’re in your chair?  We all have clients who complain, moan and are never happy with what we do, but they still keep coming back and causing you grief. Lets not focus on attracting more like them. You can be picky about who you you choose to promote your business to.

Build a clear picture of who your perfect client is and give her a name.  Build a virtual profile based on what she does, where she goes, and what personal values she has. Let’s start by giving her a name – we’ll call her Jessica. What social media platform does Jessica use? Is she in her 50’s and and in need of a regular colour touch up, or is she in her early 20’s and wanting to look like the latest celebrity? You’ll speak differently to Jessica depending on who she is as a person.

Once you know who Jessica is, you can speak directly to her in all of your business marketing. This starts with picking the right social media platform. If Jessica is 45-55 year old career woman, she is more likely to be on LinkedIn and Twitter than on Instagram and Snapchat, so take that into consideration when choosing your social platform. The 25 year old Jessica who loves to follow celebrity fashion might hang out in Instagram to keep up with the Jenners and Amy Pham, so making sure you have a presence on the right platform for your business is the first step.

My advice would be to nail Facebook before you venture out onto other social platforms, since everyone is on Facebook.

Now you know where Jessica hangs out online, it’s time to start sharing with her.

Show Jessica who you are as a brand and salon team. Post pictures of the hair you do or real things your team get up to outside of work, like courses they attend and team building activities. Continue the real conversations you have inside your salon on your social media pages.

It’s important to be relevant with what you post. There are so many pages posting so many things but you need to be known for something on social media. You’re a hair salon, so post things that are about salons or come from a hair salon’s perspective. For example, a picture of a cute dog is not relevant to your salon, but if the dog has a very cute hairstyle or has come in with a client, it might be.

Also remember that everything you post should be directed at Jessica. Keep in mind that you’re speaking to her. Before you push send, ask yourself if what you’re posting is relevant to your business and interesting to Jessica.

The final thing to keep in mind is that social media is about a conversation. It starts inside your salon business and should be continued through your social pages between salon visits. Hair salons are not only about doing hair; they are a place where we build strong client-stylist relationships, which adds significant value to the salon experience. Social media allows you to build and strengthen those relationships by maintaining your rapport outside your place of business.

Social media doesn’t need to be a challenge if you see it as a way to continue your customer conversations and build relationships while they’re away. Of course to do this you need to know who you’re speaking to. Creating a profile of your perfect client will allow you to speak directly to them and keep them interested in who you are and what you do. Use this as a guideline when deciding what to post and when, and you will do just fine on your salon’s social media.

Good luck out there!

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Marketing & Business Development Manager at Timely Software. After 20 years of owning an award-winning salon and 3 years running online marketing businesses,  Larissa knows first-hand how hard it is to keep up with the evolving digital landscape, while keeping clients happy and looking after the day-to-day pressures of running a business.


If you are interested to know more about Timely Salon Software then click here to find out more now


[VIDEO] How to Grow Your Salon Business and Get ‘Off the Tools’

Amber ClaytonPearl of Beauty salon owner Amber Clayton was working on clients full time and struggling to grow her business when she joined Worldwide Salon Marketing in February 2014.

Now, little more than a year later, she has four full-time staff and is completely ‘off the tools’, spending her time training and mentoring staff, and most importantly, marketing the business to keep them busy.

In this video, Amber explains how she did it…

Want your salon to be as successful as Amber’s?

Get hundreds of done-for-you salon marketing templates – the same ones Amber and many others use – click here to find out more. 

Accurate Thinking in the Salon Business

“Most business owners think the purpose of getting a customer is to make a sale. But smart business owners know the purpose of making a sale is to get a customer.”
Dan S. Kennedy, marketing guru, millionaire-maker, and one of my mentors for more than a decade.

Greg MilnerIn any business – and the salon business is no different – the way you think about your position in the market, and how you act on that thinking, is fundamental to your future success.

And the more carefully and deliberately you design your business so that prospects and customers are magnetically attracted to you with a pre-disposition to buy from you, rather than you chasing them, the more successful you’ll be.

My company is no different in that regard. I certainly didn’t dream up the concept. I just sought out the likes of Dan Kennedy and others, studied their teachings, and applied them – haphazardly at first, I’ll admit – to my business.

Many have looked at our success and tried to steal our intellectual property, emulate that success.

Among our Member salons – in more than 15 countries – there has been much curiosity about our business model. So here is how we apply the principles of ‘magnetic’ marketing to our business; why we do it as deliberate strategy…and perhaps the smarter ones among you will be able to study this and ask yourself “How can I apply this thinking to my salon or spa?”

From its earliest days as a spare-room start-up ten years ago, Worldwide Salon Marketing has hired not a single sales rep, made not a solitary telemarketing call, knocked on no salon or spa doors soliciting business, nor cold-called a single salon owner pitching our wares.

And yet the company has been profitable since day one, with a constant stream of salons & spas joining our various marketing, coaching and online programs.

Clearly, the product works. The fact we’ve been wholly or partially responsible for making more money for more salon & spa owners than any other company in the world is testament to that. But a successful business isn’t about product (or service).

It’s about the method by which we attract our customers. We do it by NOT approaching them.

How can this be? Conventional business ‘wisdom’ has it that sales is about wearing out shoe leather, hordes of sweaty salesmen tramping from door to door, armies of telemarketers slaving over banks of phones and computer screens to get appointments, all aimed at securing a meeting in which the prospect finally and wearily signs on the dotted line if only to ease the pain of having their brains beaten in for three hours.

But we’ve never done any of that hard-labour. By deliberate strategy, we have instead forced prospective members to seek us out, jump through hoops to get to us, and pass careful but largely-invisible testing to qualify for membership.

Why make it difficult for our customers to get to us? Primarily, because it increases our value. Pure scarcity marketing, which is what we teach all our Members.

But there is another mainly selfish reason. It’s about the quality of people we attract as Members. Most businesses will take anybody as a customer. And indeed, in the early days I did the same, and quickly learned the folly of such a strategy (or lack of strategy).

If you look at our main marketing document here, you’ll notice that there’s a LOT of information, videos, testimonials, explanation – detail, detail, detail.

The entire page is deliberate strategy to weed out those who will not apply themselves, who are not willing to study what it takes to be successful, who not only don’t want to learn how to fish, they want the fish handed to them on a plate, preferably filleted and fried, who are only interested in an instant-coffee solution to their problems, a magic bullet they can fire with no thought, application or self-imposed discipline and application.

Simple Salon Marketing manualIt’s selfish on my part because I simply can’t be bothered dealing with people who won’t read, who must be dragged kicking and screaming to the trough, who – if they manage to slip through the net (and a few do) – will sit their copy of Simple Salon Marketing on their salon shelf and expect it to miraculously leap off and gang-tackle prospects as they walk by the shop, with no input or effort from themselves. Who argue with our coaches at every turn, insisting that ‘it’ (the system) doesn’t ‘work’, despite overwhelming proof that it does work for thousands of other salon owners all over the world.

Every salon or spa has ‘project’ clients, those requiring inordinate amounts of tact, diplomacy, cajoling and nurturing far out of proportion to their value to the business. (Definition of tact: making people feel at home when you really wish they were.)

So by deliberate strategy, we’ve structured our marketing and sales process to limit not only our availability, but to elevate the quality of those we choose to do business with.

Eg., when we interview prospective members after they’ve completed one of our surveys, either online or offline via our newsletters, we carefully question them on how much they have read and absorbed the (large amount of) information we’ve published about WSM’s programs, membership fees, rules of membership etc. If the answer is ‘nothing, I just filled in the form’, they are politely but firmly turned away, with instruction to go back and educate themselves, and then come back and talk to us.

No doubt this strict policy of being careful about who we let in has cost us dearly in terms of revenue. But I have no doubt it has also saved us much annoyance and wasted resources attempting to teach the unteachable, and diverted resources from those who have not come to us merely expecting a silver bullet, fired with no effort on their part.

Those of you who are ‘our kind’ of customers will already be studying this model and asking ‘how can I apply this thinking to my business?’

And those visitors to this site who are clearly NOT our kind of customer…well, your eyes would have glazed over before getting this far anyway, and clicked through to somewhere else where the promise of easy success with no effort shines brighter.