Most business owners know that Christmas is a no-brainer. Bookings are full, and everybody’s scrambling to fit as many clients in as possible before the break.
But the really smart owners have their eyes on the New Year. Finding clients before Christmas is easy. After? Not so much.
It takes some clever “Sales Thinking”.
And the very first “Sales Thinking 101” is your offer.
Marketing without an offer is like putting up a logo and imagining it’s somehow going to attract a stampede of customers all on its own.
How to Create an Irresistible Offer.
Pretty pictures alone doesn’t cut it. Most small business owners know how to throw up a picture on social media, or send an email to their clients and prospects. But few know the ‘secret sauce’ of creating an offer that compels people to respond. That’s irresistible.
So here are the “Big Four” elements that make up a great offer: Run these by your current marketing and see if it ticks all these boxes.
1. It has to be clear.
Confused people don’t buy. Discounts and value-add-ons can work, but don’t make the prospect think. Half off works better than 50% off, and 50% off works better than 35% off or 60% off, because people have trouble working out percentages.
Two for one, or buy one, get one free will almost always work better than half off.
For years, Members of our Client Attraction System have used our famous “Buy One, Get One Free” templates to great effect around Christmas time to drive clients and prospects into the salon after the holiday.
2. The offer has to be good value.
Don’t be shy about publishing prices. If you’re offering a discount or a premium, make sure people can compare it with published prices. People have been lied to for decades, by everyone from the church down. So they’re suspicious. Make the extra value crystal clear.
3. Put a limit on the offer.
There’s no point creating a great offer and then, by default, making it open-ended. Scarcity drives response.
You can either limit the offer by time, or by numbers. But I’ve found limiting by numbers has almost always worked better than limiting by time.
So “only for the first 17 to respond” tends to work better than “Offer ends January 31.” And thanks to technology, if your offer is on your website, you can automatically show how many of the special offer or deal are left.
4. Make it believable.
There should always be a reason for you making this offer. Again, people are suspicious. We’ve all been taught there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
So you need to explain. You’re doing this to introduce a new team member. Or to celebrate a birthday. Or the opening of a new shop, an anniversary, a celebration of some kind.
Almost any explanation will do. But there has to be one.
Now, take a look over your most recent marketing material. Does it offer great value? Is it scarce? Is it believable?
Strategies and tips like this are just the – pardon the pun – tip of the iceberg.
Which is why so many salon & spa owners are Members of our Client Attraction System.
It’s a complete “how-to” online course in marketing for smart salon owners, plus a huge range of downloadable tools, templates, and done-for-you social media marketing.
There’s a high chance you’re losing more business than you’re gaining – and it’s going right to the pocket of your competitors. Why? Read on…
We all know Google. We search everything on it. Heck, our entire lives are surrounded by Google. “Google it,” we always say. And that’s just it: people are Googling you. They’re searching for your business. Which means you’re either being found, or you’re not.
Being a local business, it’s easier to be found – and ranked – than if you’re an online blog servicing the entire globe. With Google My Business Listing, it’s easy to find businesses around you – for exactly what you want.
As an example, open a new Google search, and type in a business near you… for example, “vet Mt Hawthorn.” Potential customers always Google whatever type of business their looking for – dentist, hair salon, vet, optometrist, etc – along with their suburb/town.
You’ll notice the first thing that appears in the search results is a box, a map, and three businesses. That’s the Business Listings.
The first three are simple – St Francis, Vogue Vets, and My Best Friend. I can guarantee these three vets are receiving more phone calls, and more doggy patients than any of the other businesses.
If you tap “More places,” this appears:
Notice how there are more businesses listed? North Perth Vet, and Perth Cat Hospital are here – but they won’t be receiving anywhere near the amount of phone calls, website visits, or walk-ins than the top three results combined.
Simple. People always trust the top-3 businesses to appear in the Google search.
Which means if you’re not in the top-3 listings, you’re losing business.
if you’re not in the top-3 listings, you’re losing business
How To Appear In The First 3 Spots on Google
First, you have to decipher whether you have a business listing already, or not.
If you bought the business you own – chances are, the previous owner has one. Google yourself, and see if a listing appears.
If you started the business yourself, and you know for a fact you don’t have a listing – you can easily claim your business.
When you have your own business listing, this means you’ve “claimed” your business on Google. When you claim your listing – Google sends you a physical letter, with a code, to prove you own the business.
Step 1: Claim Your Business
Start by going to Google My Business, and click “Get On Google,” or “Start Now.”
You’ll then be prompted to sign into your Google account, or, if you’re already logged in, you’ll receive this page:
Step 2: Verify Your Listing
Once you’ve filled in all the information about your business – your location, the services you offer, your opening times, payment methods, etc – Google will send you a physical letter in the mail with a special code.
This can take 3 – 4 weeks, sometimes less.
When you’ve received the letter, make sure you follow the steps listed in the letter (it always varies, but it’s easy to follow).
Pro tip: Make your Business Listing as transparent as possible. The more information you have, the better you’ll rank in Google. Include your opening times, payment methods, and photos.
Let’s dive into what happens when you’re in the top-3 listings on Google:
How To Track Calls When You Have Your Listing
When your listing is set up, Google gives you access to manage your business listing. This includes “insights” into how many people are searching for you, how many calls you’ve had from your listing, visits to your websites, and directions requested.
Here’s how you find it:
Step 1: Login To Your Business Listing Account
Head back to Google My Business, and you’ll find your business listing.
Here, you can edit your details, if you ever need to change anything.
Step 2: Go to “Insights”
When you’re logged into your Business account, click on “Insights,” found below your business name, in the bright blue bar across the top of your screen.
You’ll see insights like this:
If you hover over the blue discovery bar, you’ll get an accurate amount of searches by people looking for businesses like yours.
If you hover over the green direct bar, you’ll see the amount of people searching directly for your business, usually by typing in your business name.
The above will show you where people are viewing your business on Google – either by Google search, or on Google Maps.
This section here – the Customer actions section – shows you how many calls you’re receiving, how many visits to your website, and how many people are requesting directions to your business.
This is where you find out how many people are coming to you because of Google.
The business I’m showing you here – a hair salon in Berwick, Victoria – had 139 calls from their business listing in the last 4 weeks.
139 calls = new clients.
That means money.
To show you the value of being in the top-3 spots on Google Business Listing, this is the business of the insights you just read:
Allura Hairdressing is on spot 3. If they’re third – and receiving 139 calls in the last 4 weeks with no paid advertising, they’re rolling in new clientele.
Now that you know the value and importance of having your Google Business Listing in the top-3 results, you must get your listing taken care of.
Start by claiming your business listing, or if you already have one, make sure you’ve got plenty of photos, plenty of real customer reviews (Google know if they’re your friends or family… remember, they have access to the people you email!) – your listing will slowly grow higher and higher among the search results.
Finding new business is all about being found.
No salon advertising, no matter how well written, is worth spending money on unless it has a great offer.
Take a look through the newspaper. It is astounding how many business owners have spent good money to buy expensive ad space, and filled it with nothing more than a big business card.
Unless you’re letting the reader know exactly what the offer is, most of them will just skip over the ad and the whole point of the advertisement is lost.
An offer is NOT discounting. In fact, discounting is a last resort, and does more damage than good in most cases. Discounting not only takes money out of your pocket, it trains your clients to expect it. If you’ve ever had a phone call from somebody asking when your next special discount is on, you’ll know what I mean.
In direct response marketing, an OFFER is best described as a deal where if they pick up the phone now and make an appointment they’ll get some added thing, or combination of things that they cannot get another time, or they can only get if they’re among the first 12 or 17 or 29 to call.
To give you an idea of the difference between a weak offer and a strong offer, we’ll take an analogy.
Let’s say two men are each selling a horse. One says to the horse buyer, “Here’s my horse, give me the money now and you can take the horse.”
The other one says “Don’t give me any money now. Take Bessie for a week, ride her as you wish, and after a week if you like Bessie, only then give me the money.”
Now, who do you think is going to make the sale?
The second seller hasn’t lost anything by taking the money a week later. Yet, he’ll probably be able to sell more horses at a higher price than the first seller simply because he’s making it seem like his offer is a good deal better than the other.
Typically, a good beauty industry offer would be built on an existing service you want to sell, combined with free add-ons that cost you little or nothing to provide, but which give massive perceived value to the customer.
Perceived value is when the value add-on is of little or no actual cost to you, but increases the value of the services offered to the person reading the ad. Saying “Hurry, $249 worth of beauty treatments for just $99 for the first 14 people to call” may be a little bit of a sleight of hand, but without offers like this, your marketing is dead in the water.
Packaging The Offer
Once you’ve crafted a great offer, you can then start getting a bit more sophisticated. Let’s say that until now all you’ve had is a price list. In my view a price list is a poor way to market your services, since it encourages people to price shop, like walking along the server in a cafeteria. Granted that everyone likes a good deal, but the meaning of the word deal itself means good VALUE. It does not necessarily mean lower prices.
Want to know why? If the only distinguishing factor about your salon is the price, then you become a commodity. Once people start perceiving you as a commodity you become replaceable and/or interchangeable.
Are your customers calling you and asking what the prices of certain services are? Are they complaining about the prices that you charge? If you see a long time regular after a few months and ask her why she hasn’t visited you and get “Oh I couldn’t get an appointment with you, so I went to the place around the corner and kind of just kept going there.”!
If this is happening to you then for sure, you’ve become a commodity to them, meaning that they can get what you give anywhere. It isn’t necessary for them to come to you.
The situation is not irretrievable though and there are a number of things you can do like revising your prices upward, or starting new services, or even prune your customer list.
During these difficult times when the economy is not doing too well, it is easy to fall into the trap of reducing prices. I am, however, fundamentally opposed to mere discounting as a way to increase sales.
The important thing therefore is to ensure that it is not price alone that is your distinguishing factor. In fact some of the best ads ever written didn’t even mention any product, far less its features or price. It appealed to the emotion of the reader.
This is a very important concept in marketing, that people do not make buying decisions based on reason.
According to US marketing guru Dan Kennedy, ‘under normal conditions, only 10% of customers always buy by price, their decisions governed by price, because they have no choice. This group is largely made up of “working poor”, low-wage working people with more mouths to feed than they can afford food for. Nothing wrong with them as people. A lot to admire – except the choices they make that keep them poor.
‘But no good reason to have them – or worse, seek them out as customers. Yet, strangely, most business owners focus 90% of their energy on price even while only 10% of customers decide based on price.
However, there are 20% who make most buying decisions with little weight given to price or cheapest price, and 5% who never consider price….’
So, which customers do you want? It is my contention that you get the customers you deserve.
Most buying decisions are based only on emotion.
If therefore you are appealing to the rational part of the human, you will never get as much response as if you appeal to the emotional part.
Just take a look at some of the ads that are listed here. The very first ad is the one placed by Sir Ernest Shackleton, the great Antarctic adventurer. It’s a very simple ad, does not have any pictures, does not promise anything other than negatives, and basically is one of the worst kind of ads that you can place according to advertising professionals.
Here’s what the ad said
For hazardous journey, small wages,
bitter cold, long months of complete darkness,
constant danger, safe return doubtful,
honour and recognition in case of success.
This ad came out on December 29, 1913 in the London Times and it brought in more than 5,000 applicants including three women.
On the face of it, this ad does not have the power to bring this kind of response, but if you understand what the ad is about, you’ll realize that it is a deliberate, well planned and brilliantly executed dare to every red-blooded male in the whole United Kingdom.
A good contemporary example would be the advertisement for Singapore Airlines. In a time of recession when airlines all over the world are cutting down on price in order to become more competitive, they are one of the few airlines that have not gotten into this race.
Cutting down on price or discounting as we have already discussed is not the right way to market your goods or services. Whatever you do, however much you try to cut your price, there will be someone somewhere who will undercut you.
The only sensible thing to do then, is to appeal to the emotion of the buyer. This is what Singapore Airlines have done brilliantly.
They use the ‘Singapore girl to show you visually, how you will be cosseted and cared for in their airliners. Rationally speaking, would you expect any less in any other airline? But none of the others have caught on to this and are paying for it with loss of business.
Yet by appealing to the emotion of the user, Singapore Airlines is able to maintain its pricing and show growth in profits at a time when many other airlines are looking for bailout plans.
What about the legendary ad for the Rolls Royce. It came out in 1958 and is sometimes referred to as the “Most famous headline in advertising history.” All it says is
“At 60 miles an hour, the loudest sound you can hear in the new Rolls Royce is the ticking of the clock.”
More than half a century has gone by and no other luxury car maker has managed to bring out an ad that even comes close to this.
All these advertisements have one thing in common; they give some sort of emotional benefit rather than a physical one and emotional trumps physical every time.
One way to stop people cafeteria shopping is to package your products and services, and re-brand them so that they cannot be compared apples to apples with your competitors.
For example, you might currently offer a cut and colour at a certain price. But if you value-add by listing all the nominally free services you provide as part of this cut and colour, you come up with a package that has enormous added value. And remember, there is no point doing this unless you are going to list the added extras, with their nominal value, in your marketing message.
You can then simply name this new package, re-brand it if you like, so that it’s called the ‘Scarlett Johanssen Glamour Make-Over’, or whatever. You can actually take the exact same package, give it a couple of tweaks, and call it something different, for example the ‘Meryl Streep Screen Goddess’ package, to appeal to a different demographic.
“How Do I Write Ads That Work?”
Writing ads that work – writing ads that find you actual clients, that’s the skill. And that’s all readily available, all so very easy to learn, tweak, and use whenever you want to turn on your “money” tap. I’ve compiled the Starter Pack, a 2-part manual that shows you exactly how to write an ad that brings in clients like a flood – and, ready-to-use marketing templates with it.
See, this will give you the exact tools, the exact SYSTEM used by thousands of salons and spas across the globe, making them money every single day.
And the best part? It’s all guaranteed.
SO. If you’re ready to start finding more clients, get ahead of your marketing and write ads that really work.
My technical gurus tell me that every month, hundreds of people around the world are going to Google and typing ‘how to market a beauty salon’.
It’s such a simple query, an obvious question, and I’m guessing that almost all of these people are searching for an equally simple ‘silver bullet’ answer. Well, here’s where I let you down; there isn’t one.
There is no ‘one’ answer. BUT…there is a three-part formula, and the formula starts with what I call ‘sales thinking’.
You’ve probably heard of what astrophysicists call the Big Bang Theory. They tell us that several billion years ago, the entire universe was started with a massive explosion, and everything developed from there. (yes, I know, a very unscientific explanation.)
Sales thinking is a bit like the Big Bang Theory. Nothing effective is going to happen until you get absolutely clear about this. Sales thinking has to happen long before you put pen to paper, long before you put up a post or an ad on Facebook, long before you hand over your credit card to Google for ads on their platform, long before you laboriously print thousands of mailbox flyers and get them delivered to every household in your area.
Here are the three ‘Big Bang’ things you need to decide on before you even start marketing your beauty salon:
- Target Market – Who are you trying to attract as customers and clients? What type of people are they, where do they live, what kind of jobs do they have, what age are they, who do they associate with, who else markets their products and services to these people?
- Your Message – what are you going to say to these people that is compelling, that is attractive, that gets them to pick up the phone and book an appointment, or buy whatever you’re selling online, or refer their friends and family to you. In other words, what’s your OFFER.
- The Media – now that you’ve determined your target market, and your compelling message to that target market, which forms of media are best suited to delivering that message to that target market?
In my experience, most owners of beauty salons do this all arse-backwards. They look at say, Facebook and decide “Heck, I’ll put up a post offering a discount.” And somehow, they’re massively disappointed when there’s no stampede of customers battering down their door.
They haven’t asked themselves the question, “What kind of customers do I want – and by extension, what kind of customers do I NOT want?” And then, they fail to craft an offer that’s entirely suited to that chosen market.
(Still with me? Good, because 90% of beauty salon owners will have given up by now, still searching for that easy, simple silver bullet.)
Let’s roll up our sleeves and do some more work (equals thinking!)
You essentially have TWO target markets in your current business.
TARGET MARKET #1
This is your existing list of current and past customers and clients. They already know you, they know your staff, they are familiar with you and your business, to a greater or lesser degree, depending on how often they’ve interacted with you.
You know their names, their mobile phone numbers, and if you are doing your job properly, you have their physical addresses, their email addresses, the names of their husbands and children, certainly their date of birth, their likes and dislikes.
In other words, you know a LOT about them. And because you already know them, the offers you present to them are going to be (should be) different from the offers you present to the other target market;
TARGET MARKET #2
These are people you don’t know yet – in other words, your prospective customers.
How you find these people, how they find you, and what offers you present to them so that they become known to you, are entirely different from the clients you already know. And the media you use to reach out to these ‘unknown’ future customers is entirely different from the media you use to reach out to your existing clients.
It would be stupid to run a newspaper ad to present an offer to your existing clients, right? Equally, you can’t use email or SMS to reach your prospects, because you don’t yet have those contact details.
Let’s take your existing clients then. Which form of media should you use to reach out to them? EVERY FORM OF MEDIA YOU HAVE!
Let’s say you have empty appointment slots next week, and you need to fill ‘em fast. Most beauty salon owners think “Okay, well I’ll email ‘em with the offer.” Or “I’ll send out a text message.” Or “I’ll put up a post on Facebook…” Or, “I’ll send ‘em a cute letter in the mail.”
That’s valid, but incredibly limiting. Why not do ALL of that?
Only a small percentage of your clients will get your email (some will go to spam) and even fewer will actually open it. Facebook deliberately limits the number of people who see your posts. SMS gets to most people, but only a small percentage will act on it.
But if you use every available form of media to reach out to your existing list, you dramatically increase your chances of getting a profitable response.
And you should concentrate on marketing to your existing clients, before thinking about attracting new ones. A buyer is a buyer is a buyer. They’ve bought from you once or multiple times, they’ll keep buying from you if a) they like you, b) you’ve given them great value, and c) you keep offering them stuff.
Remember, it’s up to eight times more expensive to get a new customer that it is to sell to an existing customer. But every business loses existing customers, for many reasons. They move towns, they (inconveniently) die. Or they’re wooed by a competitor. Either way, every business needs a constant and steady supply of new blood.
Target Market #2 is an entirely different proposition.
These are people you don’t know, who don’t know you even exist. They have to be able to find you, and once they’ve found you, what they see has to be attractive enough for them to pick up the phone and call you.
Thanks to technology, it is now easier than ever before for people to find you. Forget the Yellow Pages. These days, the new Yellow Pages is Google. If they can’t find you when they do a Google search, they are as sure as hell going to find your competitors. And call them, not you.
(How they find you on Google is a subject that fills entire libraries, so this is not the place for that discussion. However, you can study this yourself in a series of four short videos we’ve created here.)
But relying on Google alone isn’t enough. Not nearly enough. US marketing guru Dan Kennedy puts it like this:
“One year, on vacation in Hawaii, I was relaxing at a beach, watching whales in the distance, when a fisherman, obviously a local, drove up in his pick-up truck. He got out with a dozen fishing rods. Not one. A dozen. He baited each hook, cast all the lines into the ocean, and set the rods in the sand. Intrigued, I wandered over and asked him for an explanation. “It’s simple,” he said. “I love fish but I hate fishin’. I like eatin’, not catchn’. So I cast out 12 lines. By sunset, some of them will have caught a fish. Never all of ’em. So if I only cast one or two I might go hungry. But 12 is enough so some always catch. Usually there’s enough for me and extras to sell to local restaurants. This way, I live the life I want.” The simple fellow had unwittingly put his finger on a powerful secret. The flaw in most businesses, that keeps them always in desperate need—which suppresses prices—is: too few lines cast in the ocean.”
It’s obvious – you’ve got to use as many forms of media as possible to reach that elusive target market.
And technology has made that easier too.
1. Facebook Advertising:
No, not simply posting offers in your timeline – actually paying for advertising on Facebook’s platform. But there needs to be some ‘sales thinking’ behind this too. And advertising on Facebook requires not just sales thinking, but some technical know-how too.
The sales thinking goes like this: what do you want the ad to do? What is your Most Wanted Response from people who see the ad? What ‘target audience’ do you want to see the ad? What part of your website do you want the ad to take them, and what is the offer on that web page?
If you aren’t confident about your skills with Facebook advertising, we have a specific Facebook Advertising campaign that’ll attract more clients and more bookings, just for beauty salons and hair salons. You can fill in the form over on My Social Salon to learn more.
2. Google Adwords:
Adwords is how Google makes 95% of its money. But, like Facebook advertising, it requires some knowledge and technical skills before you go blundering into it. Essentially, the same questions apply to Google ads as they do to Facebook: where do you want the ad to take people, which people do you want to see the ad, what is your offer etc.
2. Database building:
For every one person who picks up the phone after seeing and responding to you ad online, there will be 20, 50, a thousand who don’t pick up the phone. What are you going to do to capture their names and contact details to market to them later? For that, you need some kind of database or software program that can put a form on your website so people can fill it in, in exchange for some kind of free gift or downloadable widget.
Again, that requires some technical skills once the sales thinking has been sorted out.
Contact our office on +61-8-94439327 and we can walk you through that process.
3. Offline marketing:
Contrary to popular belief, offline marketing still works. In fact, works better than it ever did, simply because so few business owners are doing it these days. There’s a vacuum in people’s mailboxes.
Designed with proper Direct Response Marketing principles, a mailbox flyer can and does still work brilliantly, and very cost-effectively.
So do newspaper ads, radio advertising, billboards, and a dozen other offline marketing media – IF they’re done properly.
How to write an effective ad or flyer is another subject that fills seminars around the world, and isn’t the place for this essay.
BUT IF YOU SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS PIECE, you’ll find the best marketing manual ever written for salons & spas, The Starter Pack, that gives you the essentials of direct response marketing – and much of applies to online marketing as well.
So they are some of the essentials – the Market, the Message, and the Media.
But there’s one CRUCIAL element overriding all of the above. I call it the CORNERSTONE of everything you do, the key that unlocks the door to the marketing vault. And that’s your
Unique Selling Proposition.
Scholars, marketing specialists and ad copywriters have been banging on about this for years. Somehow, you MUST find, discover, invent something that differentiates you completely from your competitors and rivals. Otherwise, you’re just another ‘me-too’ business among many me-too business.
History is littered with really outstanding USPs. Tom Monihan built a billion dollar business on the back of “Fresh hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed!”
FedEx’s USP neatly answered the uppermost question in the mind of every single customer wanting to get a package from A to B: “Absolutely, positively overnight.”
A strong, accountable guarantee is a great way to develop your USP, and make you stand out from your competitors. Most business owners flinch from offering a strong, unequivocal guarantee, instead watering it down with ‘weasel words’ like “to claim your guarantee, please turn up at midnight accompanied by both great-grandparents.”
You need something to make yourself stand out – something to make yourself be different. In a previous post, Josh Kallmeyer details what you need to know before you do any marketing for your beauty salon. You must know who your perfect client is, along with what you’re selling, and why they’d buy from you. After all – those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
Become the 20% of salons that make it. Better yet – become the 1% of salons and spas who truly thrive. The 1% are the beauty salons who really make bank – and make a lot of it.
Once you have grasped how to market a beauty salon, you’re on your way.
Salon marketing is complex, confusing, and so very overwhelming. Read on to learn the evils of discounting, and to download your free salon marketing template – it’ll ease that confusion, overwhelm and stress.
“Experts” tell you to make sure you have your logo big and centered, and make sure you ALWAYS discount. Discounting is the key to success!
Let me explain.
Discounting surfaced in the mid-60’s, when the post-War boom was occurring. Everyone was off rations, and families finally had money to spend. Stores like Kmart, Target, Wal-Mart all started appearing – offering massive savings when customers bought bulk.
Why buy 1 pair of women’s leggings when you can buy 4 for the price of 2? Why buy one gallon of milk for 80c when you can buy 4 gallons for $1? Wal-Mart and Kmart, especially, took advantage of these discounting offers to the point where it became a “discounting war.” ‘The Discount Wars,’ the media proclaimed.
At the time, it all worked well. Business was booming, customers received deals after deals – yet, eventually, the appeal wore off. When everyone started to discount – from big supermarkets to small boutique salons, it became an old-tatic.
Sure, discounting works – when it’s done right. But that’s the thing. Most businesses – especially salons – will give you 30% off a leg wax; or 50% off your next cut and colour. But at the end of the day – who would you rather go to?
The salon that offers 50% off your cut and colour, or the salon that offers you a free head massage, an added blow dry AND a sample of NAK straightening cream, all valued at $128, when you book in for a cut and colour right now?
The second one would get me in – and I’m a guy. I’d grab that cut and colour any day with an offer like that. But 50% a regular cut and colour? Boring.
See, knowing how to write offers that make people pick up the phone, that get clients BEGGING YOU to give them the offer, that’s real marketing that works. Solely relying on discounting is in the past. It’s time you learn what TRULY works, and how to really do it.
These principles work in print advertisements, flyers, over the phone, in texts, on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest – heck, even Instagram. What I’m about to teach you digs into one thing: the human behaviour.
This works because we’re all human. Regardless of if you’re in Germany, Japan, the US, UK, or Australia – this works (when written right). So if you want your phone to ring endlessly off the hook, to upsell clients on the spot, read on.
How to Write an Ad That Works
For this blog, I’ll be showing you exactly how to figure out who you’re selling to, BEFORE writing an ad.
You MUST know exactly who you’re trying to sell to before you write any form of marketing material – be it an ad, a text, email, post, etc.
When writing any offer – you need to know your perfect, ideal client. That means knowing three things:
1. What you’re selling.
2. Who you’re selling to, and
3. Why they should buy from you.
Sounds easy, right? Sure, the first part is. It’s whatever you’re selling – a fullset of lashes for $199, hair extensions, Brazilian blowout, nails, whatever it may be.
Now, knowing who you’re selling to sounds easy, right? You’re selling your extensions to women, your kids cuts to kids – maybe you’re a barber servicing men. Your hair extensions could be selling for $149 – for women. Pretty easy, huh?
Almost there. Be a little bit more specific. Why? The more specific you are with who you’re selling too, the easier it’ll be to write any ad for those potential clients.
If you’re in beauty – let’s say you offer a fullset of lashes for $199, to busy Mom’s who want to look and feel more beautiful, and who don’t want to have that ‘rugged Mom look.’
If you have a hair salon – you could offer a Brazilian Blowout for $139, to busy professional women who don’t have the time, or who can’t be bothered, to deal with their hair constantly.
Can you see how those two types of clientele are MUCH more specific than just “to women?”
Suddenly, you can start writing an ad – an offer – for those busy Moms: “Treat yourself to a new, beautiful you while the kids are in school….”
Or maybe, with lash extensions, you’re aiming for single women who have more money to spend… “ATTENTION SINGLE LADIES: do you want to find that man who notices your flawless beauty, and compliments you every single time he sees you? With these all-natural mink lashes….”
Aren’t those two offers much more appealing than just “50% off – today only?”
The success is in the details.
Once you have your ideal client in mind – now we can move to the next step:
What are you really selling?
You’re not selling eyelash extentions, beauty, hair care – whatever the ‘product’ or ‘service’ you sell is. What you’re really selling is confidence, or reactions – compliments, beauty, sex appeal.
Your clients come to you because they want to look gorgeous for a date they have this week; or because they want to feel sexy for their husband when he comes home from a business trip. Heck, your client just wants to feel beautiful. They want to be complimented for their look and their beauty.
When you sell these type of reactions – the confidence, the beauty, the sexiness – this is what makes clients pick up the phone and call you. Not discounting, not smooth legs from waxing, or wavy hair. No – they want the smooth legs because their boyfriend can’t get enough of them, or their wavy hair so they’ll get higher tips at work.
So think about what you sell: are you selling beauty? Are you selling a woman’s confidence? Or are you providing her with the opportunity to make her husband feel proud to be married to such a gorgeous woman?
You might be thinking “how derogatory! I’d never sell confidence or beauty!”
Well, take a look at Victoria’s Secret: they don’t sell bras and panties. No, Victoria’s Secret sells confidence, they sell glamour. A woman will buy Victoria’s Secret because she knows she’ll look sexy as hell in whatever she buys.
So why not give your clients the same honour when they come to you? If you’re truly the best at what you do – and because you’re reading this, I know you are – be proud of that. Look your client in the eye and go “I’ll make you look and feel more gorgeous than what you already are.”
Next – why should your clients buy from you? Why should they trust their bodies with you?
Do you have any guarantees you can express with them?
Do you have any testimonials from other clientele?
Have you won any awards?
Are you or your salon in any media publications?
Or are you simply the best of the best?
Any new – or existing – client wants to know they’ll be looked after. They want to trust you. If they don’t – they won’t come to you. That’s why building this trust between your salon/spa and your clients is VITAL.
Having a guarantee (they don’t all have to be money back ones!) will build trust. Showing testimonials from other clients, any awards, publications – and even if you just give away free information – is all trust building.
And trust building = clients.
Clients = money.
Money = happy you.
Now that we’ve covered everything you must know about your perfect client, you can download the FREE perfect client template below. Print it out and fill it in before you write any marketing material, and you’re one step closer to filling more appointment slots and making more money than EVER before.
Below, you can download your free salon marketing template. This checklist you can use – for free – whenever you’re writing a new ad for your salon. Use it as a guide so you always remember what you’re selling, who you’re selling to, and why they should buy from you.
Download Your Free Salon Marketing Template >>
What’re you really selling?
In the second part of this blog series, I’ll show you EXACTLY how to write an ad that works, and one that attracts your perfect client. But that’s for next week.
Remember: you need the right ad, to the right people, selling the right thing.
If you don’t have all 3 aligned, your marketing just won’t work, and you’ll be left scratching your head going “why the f*$* isn’t it working?!”
David Ogilvy is the grandfather of marketing, and he said it best.
Marketing. It’s the only industry other than Hollywood that’s filled with 80% crap. When done right, it creates miracles. When wrong, it ruins bank accounts, businesses and reputations.
We’re living in a world where one tweet can make or break a business – and we’re living in a world where we can interact with almost any person, any business – at anytime, from anywhere. We’ve never had this level of interaction before. So why aren’t we using it more?
We see business after business reap in likes, comments, and shares on Facebook, we see business after business hit millions of followers on Twitter, and we see all those models posting selfies on Instagram, wondering how on earth they have 17,000 followers.
It’s all well and good for those businesses, but what about the small boutique day spas, the trichology centres, the hair salons, nail salons and beauty salons of everyday families? How do you breakthrough the clutter of social media and make REAL money?
How do you attract more clients than you’ve ever had before, and get them spending more money than they would anywhere else?
Do you have to have the most luxurious, most expensive salon? No.
You have to have irresistable offers – you’ve gotta have the marketing that works. Marketing that really works.
These 4 marketing ideas are all tried, all tested, and they’ve all been proven to work regardless of where you are, who you’re serving, and what you’re selling.
MARKETING IDEA #1: Facebook Sharing Competition
This idea has been used by several of our members, and I’ve personally set these up for them. Bodhi J – a boutique, luxury salon here in Perth – accomplished a Facebook giveaway/competition perfectly:
Here, they’re giving away a gift bag filled to the brim with their products, but to be entered in the competition, you must like their page, tag a friend, AND share the post. So not only are their likes going to increase, but anyone who gets tagged in the post by their friends will see Bodhi J, too. This entices MORE people to like – more people to share, and MORE people to pick up the phone and call.
Try this for yourself: come up with something you can giveaway… a service, a product – a mixture of both.
Get an image that will get people’s attention, and write a catchy offer (you can steal Bodhi J’s offer if you want inspiration). When you’ve posted the offer to your Facebook page, you can reach more people by boosting your post.
When you’re on your Facebook page, press “Boost Post” to pay Facebook for more people to see it.
Ideally, you can boost the post to two types of people:
1. People who already know you, and who already like your page
2. People who don’t know you, and don’t like your page
The results of a competition like this will vary from audience to audience, so it’s up to you. I personally prefer going for people who know you, because they’ll tag their friends who don’t know you. Free word of mouth! (well, almost)
To begin your competition, start with people who like your page. You can even try people who like your page and their friends.
Once you’ve picked who you want to boost the post to, hit publish. Within a few hours, the ad should be live.
What They Missed Out On:
A fun little way to build your Facebook page, and something Bodhi J should definitely use with those 1.4k likes is inviting the people who’ve liked your posts to like your page.
You can do this by going to any post on your Facebook page, and clicking the likes on your page:
When you’re in your Facebook page, you can invite people who like your posts to come and like your page.
See the little “Invite” button? You can now invite anyone who interacts with a Facebook post of yours to like your page. A pretty neat and free way to build your Facebook page.
MARKETING IDEA #2: “Rupert the Dog” Lost Clients Letter
How many times have you had a regular client just stop seeing you? How many times have you had a new client appear to her appointment, only to never see them again?
What if you could get them back again? And what if you could get them back on a REGULAR basis? Enter Rupert.
More referred to as a “Raise the Dead” letter – Rupert is used to bring back old clients.
This little puppy will bring you in a few extra thousand dollars by the end of the week if you do this right… the idea is simple: write a letter to your old clientele, from a dog’s perspective, expressing how you – the salon owner – are *very* upset that your client hasn’t come to see you in a while. Add an irresistable offer, enticing your old clientele to pick up the phone and call you – and you’re set.
It works. It’s adorable, effective, and who in their right mind wouldn’t react with an “awwww!”?
The idea is you export a list of names from your database (the software you use to book clients in) who haven’t seen you in, say, 3 months.. 6 months, 12 months… you get the idea. It doesn’t really matter how long – just make sure it’s not *too soon*.
Now, once you’ve sent the first the letter… the key here is to follow up. Follow up with those who didn’t respond, and keep following up. You’ll find more people will call you on the second, third, and fourth letters than the first.
Don’t just send one letter, and hope for the best.
Send multiple, and keep at it.
After all, you don’t quit after doing something once, do you?
MARKETING IDEA #3: Your Salon Window
Yes, I know – “why on Earth would I use my salon window for marketing?”
Let’s say this ad was yours:
Placing ads like these in your salon window will increase your walk-in rate ten-fold.
Instead of paying a newspaper a few hundred dollars to run the ad, you could pay a printer $50 to print a large copy of it. Large enough for people who’re walking by your salon across the street can read the headline. Large enough for cars driving by to stop and read it.
Place that large ad in your window – and suddenly, you’re an advertising machine. Imagine if every mattress store had a large ad with the headline “Ten Things You Must Do to Get a Solid Night Sleep”… wouldn’t that make you stop and read it?
What about your salon?
“Ten Mistakes ALL Women Make With Their Hair,” (hairdressers)
“They Laughed at Me When I Went to Get My Lashes Done, But Only Gawked When a Man Asked Me Out to Dinner” (eyelash extensions)
“You Can Weigh 10 Kilograms Less – One Month from Today” (fat cavitation)
“Your One Chance for SMOOTH Legs That Men Can’t Resist” (IPL/beauty)
Have an irresistable offer in your ad, and you’re on your way.
MARKETING IDEA #4: Blank White Envelope Letter Box Drop
Yes. You read that right. Take any ad you’ve written (it could even be the one you’ve stuck in your front window), put it into a *BLANK* white envelope, and deliver them to a few streets around your salon.
“But a blank envelope, Greg?”
If you got home from work this evening, opened your mailbox and found a blank white envelope with no name, no address, no stamp… wouldn’t that be the *first* thing you’d open?
You bet it would be. That’s the type of attention you need to get with your marketing: it should be the first thing your potential clients open/read/watch. If it doesn’t get their attention, you’re screwed.
This flyer drop – this type of marketing – is incredibly effective to bring in new clients. And bringing in new clients is an absolute must.
All of these ideas can be used in any type of salon, any type of spa – regardless of who you serve, regardless of where you are, and it doesn’t matter if you’re in an English speaking country, or in the middle of Spain speaking only Spanish.
The only way you’ll be able to bring in new clients, and rescue your old clientele, is to do something about it. Marketing your salon doesn’t have to be perfect, and with time (and practice), you’ll get better.