Every salon & spa owner fears the day when a long-serving staff member suddenly announces she’s leaving. Whether she makes it obvious or not, the instant fear is that she’ll take valuable clients with her.
If this has ever happened to you – or you fear it might – then you need to study this campaign closely. Because it just might not only save you a fortune, but actually make you money as well.
Worldwide Salon Marketing member (ten years) Tracey Orr (left) of Absolute Beauty in Launceston, Tasmania, runs a VERY tight ship. And, as the Commanding Officer, she takes absolutely no prisoners when it comes to protecting the only real asset her business owns – her clients.
A while back, two of Tracey’s nail technicians left to start their ‘own business’. Tracey wished them well – and then swung into action a well-planned, two-pronged attack designed not only to sabotage her former employees’ ambitions, but to actually profit from it.
It was breathtaking in its military precision.
Here’s how Tracey takes up the story…
Read the latest newsletter and thought I would share my thoughts with you. In relation to the section on the salon owner who does not think newspaper ads work…..
Neither did we until we started working with you guys all those years ago!!! Using what you have taught us we have gradually fine tuned our ads, promos etc until now when we have it down to a fine art!!
A bit of a story……
Two of our nail techs left to start their own “nail business”. I wished them well, gave them some advice but…all is fair in love and business! So I put a plan in place to absolutely crush them in a nice way – after all they are now competition.
We designed up an ad to target full sets of acrylics (new clients) as we knew this is the market they would initially be targeting. Basic black and white ad to run on a Wednesday and Saturday over three weeks. Not expensive, not large, but well designed. We also put the ad on our website. We knew that the two techs that left would also be advertising. We got a great response from the ads!
So far we have got 50 new clients that have already been in and another 25 future bookings.
That’s 75 bookings so far. The offer began the second week in July and ends on August 31 – so is still going. We increased our other nail techs’ hours and one returned from maternity leave to pick up the extra clients and still keep our regulars.
(HOW TO GET THIS AD: Members log into the Members Only ‘sealed section’ here.
Secondly, we did not want to lose regulars that had been going to these two nail techs here for the last two years. So we sent out a letter (using the tips from the Toolkit) to all their clients informing them that Katee & Jess were leaving and what we were doing to make sure all of them, our lovely clients, were looked after. This took away the “fear” for clients of who was going to look after them. This letter also contained a great offer if the clients pre-paid for their next 3 nail appointments.
By us getting them to pre-pay we ensured that they would not follow the other two, even if they did nails for $5! It also ensured that the clients (who come once per month for nails) would still be here in at least 3 months… and then their past nail techs would be but a distant memory….
We had 26 of their clients take us up on this offer (the letter was sent to their 68 best clients).
Of the 26 clients to purchase their initial offer, 7 of them then went on to buy a Solitone Package worth $1330 so this was a huge added bonus. 11 clients are yet to use their free stuff so we will get more ad on sales when they do. We run Beautyware here and so have been able to track the….wait for it…..loss of clients since Katee and Jess left – and it is a total of 5!The rest our clients have just kept coming, I suspect because they know what and who is going to continue to look after them, the extras we offer like monthly specials, newsletters, all treatments, extended hours, our guarantee, our child free zone, general atmosphere, free parking etc etc….. and the fact that a week after Katee and Jess left we launched heaps of new and exciting nail goodies for them!
So I say newspaper ads do work! And don’t panic when staff leave, instead plan, and you will reap the benefits!
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How to craft a compelling offer
Too many salon owners spend money on an ad, or a flyer, and somehow expect a flood of customers simply because they placed the ad. It’s an enduring mystery to me how so many business owners think the mere running of an ad should be enough in itself to generate business.
Yet the information about what makes great advertising – for the salon business, for any business – has been public knowledge for more than a hundred years.
It was six o’clock on a May evening in 1905 when John E. Kennedy sent a note up to A. L. Thomas, the senior partner of the Lord & Thomas advertising agency. Thomas was just getting ready to leave the office when the messenger brought him the note. It read as follows:
“You do not know what advertising is. No one in the advertising business knows what advertising is. No advertiser knows for certain what advertising is. If you want to know, tell this messenger that I should come up. I’m waiting in the lobby downstairs.”
It was signed: “John E. Kennedy.” Thomas read the note with an amused smile then handed it to Albert D. Lasker, the junior partner in the firm and said to him, “Well, you have been asking this question for years and nobody has yet satisfied you. Maybe here is the answer…You see the man.”
Albert Lasker saw Kennedy that night. It wasn’t until 3 o’clock in the morning before they left the building. And when Lasker left that night, he had the answer to what advertising was. What Kennedy told him that night was simple. Advertising is
Salon advertising doesn’t get much worse than this. It smacks of pure laziness, ignorance and desperation. With advertising as pathetic as this, the salon deserves to fail. And it’s so easy for a competitor to counter with “We fix $5 haircuts.”
And the core skill of ‘salesmanship in print’ is in creating a compelling offer – then building a story around that offer which virtually forces the reader to keep reading.
Most business owners are too lazy to bother with this. About the best that most can bother with is a plain and simple discount. For example,
“Half price waxing!”
That’s not an offer. All it does is train your clients to expect a discount. It devalues what you sell. And it takes money right out of your wallet.
But it doesn’t take much effort to do so much better. Take a look around at what you already do in your salon or spa – things you currently provide your clients for free, in the normal course of business.
Now, what if you put a notional value on each and every one of these things?
A stylist will typically give a client a brief scalp massage during the shampoo. A beauty therapist might, in the normal course of doing a facial, relax the client with a soothing hand massage, some eyebrow grooming, perhaps a mini pedicure.
All of these things have a value. Yet, if they’re merely provided as a freebie, without declaring that value, then in the client’s mind they are worth…nothing.
It’s only when you clearly ascribe a defined value of each and every ‘extra’ service that you provide, that you create in the mind of the client what we call in marketing ‘perceived value’.
Worldwide Salon Marketing member salons will know all about this. The hundreds of ad, flyer and sales letter templates in the Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit, and in the Members Only ‘sealed section’ of this website, all contain some form of what we call
Once you ‘get’ this, it suddenly becomes easy to create massive added value – and it allows you to actually increase prices under the valued-added ‘shelter’.
The harder you try to sell your prospect on how good your salon is, the faster she backs away, emotionally if not physically
A phone conversation with a salon owner this week started like this:
“I’ve got a new salon opening up just three doors down, three others nearby are cutting prices, I don’t know what to do!!”
This salon owner was beginning to panic, but she was missing the point, so I told her, ‘settle down, and think for a moment’.
Most hair salons, beauty salons and day spas are terrified of their competition, ever watchful for price undercutting, more worried about what their perceived competition is doing than they are about their own backyard.
And that’s primarily because of a misconception about who your competition really is.
Your biggest competitor isn’t the salon down the road, it’s not the worry of staff leaving and taking clients with them. No, your biggest competitor is…
Your own prospect.
Imagine this for a moment. Your prospective client, whether she’s just walked into your salon, or she’s picked up the phone to call you after seeing one of your ads, has only four basic choices.
1) She can choose to buy from you
2) She can choose to do it herself
3) She can choose to do nothing, or
4) She can choose to do business with somebody else.
Only ONE of those four choices involve a rival salon. The other three involve only YOU.
As Harry Beckwith writes in his best-seller about marketing in the service industry, ‘Selling the Invisible’, Peggy, your typical prospect, is fearful – fearful of making the wrong decision. Peggy is not looking to make the ‘superior’ choice, she is looking to avoid making the bad choice. It is less risky for her to do nothing.
Almost every prospect for every service would rather minimize the risk of a bad experience than shoot for the best experience.
It’s called ‘looking for good enough’. Forget looking like the superior choice, make your salon an excellent choice. Then, eliminate anything that might make you a bad choice.
And that means eliminating the risk of Peggy doing business with you, eg with a free trial, or a money-back guarantee. And make sure you deliver a good service, rather than spend needless energy attempting to convince Peggy that yours is the best service.
Peggy isn’t looking for the best. What she wants is a comfortably good result, without any risk.
Which is why we have hundreds of already-proven ads and flyers that contain these ‘risk-reversing’ devices.
These devices haven’t been written into these marketing pieces just to fill out a bit of space. They’re there for a very good reason.
Because your competition is not the rival salon nearby, your strongest competition is your prospective customer. And you need every means you can muster to get that prospect to make the ONE choice you want them to make.
I’ve lost count of the number of times over the past 10 years I’ve been accused of advocating ‘tacky’, so-called ‘unprofessional’ or ‘cheap’ marketing for salons and spas. In one memorable instance, a member of the ‘upper echelon’ of the beauty industry, a veteran of some 30 years, approached me during a marketing seminar I was giving and snootily told me “no self-respecting proper company would lower themselves to using your sales & marketing tactics.”
Well, I told her then, and I’m here to tell ya now, she was wrong in every possible way.
Have you heard of Time Magazine? Yep, the very same, establishment publishing giant that’s documented the movers and shakers of the world since 1923.
Like all publishers, Time makes its money from advertising, and to a less extent, subscriptions.
Now, nobody would ever consider Time Magazine any kind of hip, brash, swashbuckling outfit. Certainly not the kind of ‘old-money’ business that’d consider doing something even remotely ‘trashy’ or lowbrow just to boost its market share.
Um, well, yes they would.
Here’s a Time offer that arrived in WSM Director of Online George Slater’s mailbox this week. Yes, a full-color, four page direct mail piece offering
…in exchange for a drastically-discounted, 54-month subscription. (Watches. Time. Get it?) Now, for the serious student of marketing, this is worth studying. There’s nothing new here. Time is using one of the oldest, tried-and-tested, bait ‘n switch marketing strategies in the book. Because they know that people will often buy the product just to get the free bonus.
You see this exact strategy every time you browse your local newsstand; a free DVD or CD, glued to or packaged inside the magazine. Only a handful of people actually want the magazine. But many more just want the bonus CD. In Thailand, the Talisman Billiards Company gives away a free golf shirt with every order over $100. “I do see people increasing their order just so they can get the free shirt,” says Talisman owner Tony Jones.
This strategy works in almost any business. Salons and spas are no different. Got a cupboard full of products you haven’t been able to give rid of? Give them away, with an offer tied to an appointment for a service. “Yours Free” has for more than a century – and remains – one of the most powerful phrases in any marketing arsenal.
UPDATE: Membership of Worldwide Salon Marketing comes with many benefits – including but not limited to the kind of support and expertise that can give your salon or spa massive free publicity. Using WSM’s technical expertise and marketing know-how, Noosa (Queensland) salon owner Kim Susskind of Ebony Beauty is the talk of her town after staging a ‘stunt’ to create a ‘World Brazilian Record’ for the most number of Brazilian waxes performed in a single day.
Driven by free publicity in the local newspaper and radio station – generated by a carefully-crafted Press Release she downloaded from the Members Only Million Dollar Resources Library – Kim and her team of two performed no fewer than 55 Brazilians on Monday, December 8th….Here’s how Kim describes the amazing response….
The media is a Hungry Beast. Newspapers, radio stations, TV networks, magazines, not to mention a zillion online outlets, are voracious consumers of content. They soak it up almost faster than it can be created…which is why it’s not all that difficult to take advantage of it and get priceless free publicity for your salon. Few, however, even bother to try.
All this free publicity came about because we helped Kim ‘invent’ an idea for an event. In this case, a
World Record Brazilian Attempt.
There’s nothing NEW in this idea. In fact, it was originally dreamed up by another Worldwide Salon Marketing member, Tracey Orr of Absolute Beauty in Launceston, Tasmania, who set a record of 38 Brazilians in a single day a couple of years ago. But records are there to be broken.
Now, I’ll admit that I’m no expert in the art of Brazilian waxing, sugaring or any other form of removing unwanted hair from one’s nether regions. That’s not the point. Any number of silly, fanciful ‘world records’ are set or broken every week, and the sillier they are, the more the media loves them. Kim got to work immediately, and drafted a Press Release and emailed it to me within hours. After some careful editing and re-writing, I sent it back to her, and she took rapid ACTION, sending it out to local newsrooms.
NOTE: Worldwide Salon Marketing members can log in here and download that exact Press Release used by Kim to get all that free publicity.)
The very next morning a photographer from the local paper was in Kim’s salon, and the result appears here. (It is worth noting that this ‘story about nothing important’ trumped dozens of other more worthy stories buried on inside pages in the same paper.)
But that’s only the beginning.
With more than 3,000 fans on her Facebook fan page, Kim posted the newspaper clipping there, as well as a short video recorded on her iPhone. That video and newspaper clipping was also posted on her website, and she emailed and SMSd her clients with a link to the video to generate more responses.
As you’ll see, marketing is often a complex and drawn out process that requires many different threads to be drawn together.
WANT THIS KIND OF ACTION IN YOUR SALON? Worldwide Salon Marketing is taking advance applications for Membership of the flagship My Social Salon marketing & Mentoring program for 2015. Click here to apply for a 30-day Money Back Guaranteed Test Drive. (Note: application does not automatically imply acceptance.)
Ashleigh Mills of Ashleigh Renea Hair & Beauty in Katanning, WA; $3,000 in gift voucher sales in two hours
Most business owners simply leave everything too LATE to capitalize on marketing opportunities in the hair & beauty business. And you don’t have to be a genius to identify many of these opportunities, they’re scheduled in the calendar years in advance. For example, Mothers Day. (In most of the world, the second Sunday in May)
But great rewards come to those who plan well in advance. For example, long-time WSM member Ashleigh Mills of Ashleigh Renea Hair & Beauty in regional Western Australia.
With Mothers Day approaching, Ashleigh decided she needed military-style planning and precision to make the most of this major ‘salon marketing trigger’ event in any salon’s annual calendar.
From the WSM Members Only ‘sealed section’ resources website, Ashleigh downloaded a series of templates for email marketing, planned her campaign several weeks out, and drew up a schedule of out-bound marketing pieces to her database of clients.
On the appointed date, she pulled the trigger. On Saturday, the day before Mother’s Day, Ashleigh arrived at work early. Just as well. Before she’d even opened for business, the phone started ringing, and didn’t stop for two hours.
And that’s in a little country town of just a few thousand people. Here’s how Ashleigh describes that morning, and the lead-up to it.
Ashleigh and hundreds of other smart salon owners around the world have 24/7 access to the huge library of resources in the Members Only ‘sealed section’ website, plus the world’s best online marketing tools, templates and systems in the ‘done-for-you’ My Social Salon marketing program, ONLY for salons & spas.
LIVE now on the Members Only website
All NEW Mothers Day advertising, posters, fliers – instant downloads for Members
We’re adding dozens of new salon advertising and marketing templates to the Members only ‘sealed section’ website site every month – in March, a completely new series of templates for one of the BIGGEST salon marketing events of the year.
Mothers Day is a big day for salons & spa marketing all over the world. It’s when thousands of salons make (or should make!) a large part of their annual revenue.
But so many face the thought of marketing with a shudder – all that work!
Not for Worldwide Salon Marketing members. As always, we provide our members with fresh direct response marketing templates – for all the major Marketing Trigger Events – throughout the year.
You’ll find them in various sizes and formats, both US and A4, postcards, posters etc.
Never stare at a blank computer screen again!
(STOP PRESS: new Mother’s Day Marketing & Advertising Templates here)
The new templates join literally hundreds of done-for-you advertising only for salons & spas, in the world’s biggest specialist library for salon & spa marketing.
All you do is simply download them from the website, edit them to suit your own salon’s offers and specialties, enter your own business name and address, and bingo – instant advertising! Never again stare at a blank computer screen, not knowing what to write or how to lay it out.
These templates are being continually produced by our copywriting and graphics team, adding to our vast library every month.
The Members website is a storehouse containing literally years of proven, done-for-you direct response marketing templates. They’ve been downloaded, tested and proven to grab salon clients fast, all over the world.
Online marketing, email, SMS, newspaper ads, radio ads, salon posters, client letters – you’ll find them all on the Members Only website.
Not yet a member?
Still sitting in front of a computer screen, tearing your hair out, not knowing what to put in your ads?
Go here to find out how you can get 24/7 access to the world’s largest Marketing Resources Library just for salons & spas