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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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.
Achieving a massive increase in salon sales isn’t actually all that difficult – IF you’re prepared to to take Massive Action.
At Labella Beautique in Rockhampton, Queensland, owners Deanne & Shenae joined Worldwide Salon Marketing’s My Social Salon program in late May 2014. Two months later, they’d quadrupled their sales with a concentrated marketing effort using easy offline and online marketing tools & templates downloaded from the Members Only ‘sealed section’ website.
Admittedly, they were coming off a low base – but if a young (8 months old) little salon in the back blocks of regional Queensland can do it, any salon can. Here’s how Deanne and Shenae describe their marketing breakthroughs…
Labella Beautique is a Member of the My Social Salon marketing & mentoring program, the world’s most comprehensive, done-for-you, online and offline marketing system developed ONLY for salons and spas. Membership is strictly-limited and available only for those salon owners who want to be business owners, nor merely therapists or technicians.
The KISS Principle – Keep it Simple, Stupid
We’ve accepted a whole bunch of new Members into the My Social Salon marketing & coaching program this year, from all over the world…and it’s kind of creepy how – no matter whether a salon is hidden away in either a suburb of Boisie, Auckland or on a main street in central Sydney – the owners all say pretty much the same things, talk about the same challenges.
New Salon and Spa Members Saying The Same Things
Here are the top handful of complaints:
“I want more clients, and I don’t know how to get them.”
“I want my clients to come back more often, and spend more money.”
And “I want to get ‘off the tools’ but I don’t know how.”
There’s a whole seminar, a dozen books and several university degrees in every one of these questions, but for clarity, let’s just deal with the top two. The faster you find answers to those two, the easier it is to find an answer to #3.
First, some basic Marketing 101.
There are only TWO types of people: Clients you already have, and ones you haven’t met yet.
And it’s a mystery to me why so many business owners spend ALL their time, energy and money, busting a gut to constantly find new customers, while ignoring the farm in their own backyard.
For years a prominent hair replacement surgeon paid me handsomely, every month, to advise her on marketing. I spent some time with a couple of the surgeon’s staff, nutting out some issues. This client is spending many tens of thousands of dollars a year on newspaper and Yellow Pages advertising to attract balding guys willing to pay an average of $14,000 to get their mojo back.
But the business has the names and addresses of over 8,000 guys who, over the years, have put their hands up and said ‘I’m interested…’ – and haven’t signed up.
Astoundingly, the surgeon doesn’t spend a single dollar on so much as a monthly newsletter to these highly-qualified, very warm leads. And yet we KNOW that if you market to people regularly, with a worthwhile, interesting newsletter, 80% of them will buy from you over a two-year period._
Do the numbers: if only ONE PERCENT of them signed up in a whole year, that’s EIGHTY customers @ $14,000 average = $1,120,000! The whole business only does about $2 million annual sales!
Talk about ‘acres of diamonds’…
So, let’s keep it simple. Here’s a very basic framework/schedule – the bare minimum requirement – for marketing to both
get new clients, and get your existing/new salon & spa clients coming back.
To Get New Clients
1) an ACTIVE – not passive – referral program. WSM members will know this as the Queen of Referrals program. It’s a systemised, generous referral program designed to get your best clients referring their friends and colleagues. (Why ‘best’ clients? Because people tend to hang around with people like themselves. If you want impoverished, penny-pinching clients, sure, ask them to refer their friends.)
2) Lead-generating mailbox flyers, newspaper ads, street signs and window posters. (My Social Salon members, they’re all in your Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit™, and in the Members Only ‘sealed section’ of this website.)Essentially, lead-generators involve making an introductory offer of some kind of FREE service – with restrictions on numbers, days available etc, to drive them in on days when your appointment book is empty anyway – with the purpose of getting the prospect’s backside in your chair or treatment room for an hour or two. That’s when you sell to ’em, not off the page.
Why would you offer something free? Because, silly, you know that an average client is worth $X to you in a year… and you know if you get ten new prospective clients in the door, you’ll keep say 5 of them for the long term. Five times $X = ?
You need to know your numbers.
To Get Current & Past Clients Coming Back: Here’s the very basic stuff.
1) Regular (Monthly!) newsletter. Anything less than monthly is a waste of time. There is a whole seminar just in newsletters. It doesn’t have to be glossy, ‘professional’. In fact, the more it looks like it’s been hammered out on an old typewriter on your kitchen table, the better. Personal stuff, about you, your kids, your staff… and with an offer in it. (My Social Salon members: in the Members Only ‘sealed section’ you’ll find easy-to-duplicate templates in Publisher format you can use to quickly and easily create your own monthly newsletter – simple, single sheet of double-sided paper, an envelope and a stamp, and the job’s done.)
I cannot stress enough the value of a regular newsletter. They always produce sales, always bring in more than they cost. And they keep your clients close. And they generate referrals. (“Oh, but they’re too hard/I don’t have time/I don’t know what to put in them/I can’t be bothered…” Well, WSM members have NO excuses).
2) ‘Raise the Dead’ letters: go to your database, pick all the clients you haven’t seen for three months or more…and send them a letter with an offer in it. (My Social Salon members: they’re in your kit. Letter #1, and for those who don’t respond, Letter #2) Do this every three months.
3) New Client Letters. If they don’t immediately re-book, every first time client should be receiving a series of follow-up letters, offering them a Gift Voucher to re-book NOW. (My Social Salon members: there’s a series of three of them, linked, designed to be mailed in sequence. They’re all in your Kit, or on the Members site.)
4) Memberships. Want your clients to pay a year’s worth up front? Or commit to a regular credit card payment every month? A member of your ‘Premium VIP Club’ who’s paid for a year of services up front isn’t going anywhere else. Plus, once they’ve spent the money, they’ll soon forget about it….and spend more on products every time they come in. (My Social Salon members: there are several examples of proven Membership letters in your Toolkit and on the Members site.)
5) In-salon special promos. One of our veteran members, Tracey Orr of Absolute Beauty in Tasmania, once produced a series of big posters offering a range of value-add services ranging in price from a couple of hundred bucks right up to $500 or more. These offers were placed all over the salon – under the nail tables, at reception, in the window. And for a month, the staff talked them up, holding people back till the beginning of the following month. Tracey sold over $16,000 worth of these packages in a matter of days. And the more expensive ones sold best! (My Social Salon members: these exact promos are in your Toolkit. Copy them.)
There you have it. If you employ only that handful of strategies, do it regularly, do it well, you cannot fail.
If you don’t want to actually create all of this marketing material yourself, you can get it all as a Member of the My Social Salon Marketing & Mentoring Program, including the kit itself. Click here to find out more and apply for a 30-day Test Drive.
If your salon has a website, you could be in for a big shock. Google is changing the rules (again) on how it ranks websites in its search results. If your site doesn’t fit the new regime, you could find your site dropping out of view, unless you take urgent action.
Because as of this week, Google will begin demoting websites that aren’t “mobile responsive.”
The company announced its impending changes back in February, giving webmasters nearly two months and plenty of information to make the changes necessary to keep their sites from disappearing from mobile search results. But the update is still expected to cause a major ranking shake-up. It has even been nicknamed “Mobile-geddon” because of how “apocalyptic” it could be for millions of websites, according to Director of Online at Worldwide Salon Marketing, George Slater.
“Come April 21, a lot of small businesses are going to be really surprised that the number of visitors to their websites has dropped significantly. This is going to affect millions of sites on the web,” he says.
Businesses that depend on people finding them through localised search — like, if someone typed “hair salon Hawthorn,” into Google on their phone — could see a decrease in foot traffic as a result of this update, says Mr Slater.
“Google has always been about relevancy, and content is king,” he says. “But that’s changing. Yes, they’re saying content is still important, but user experience is just as important. It’s not enough to have good content — if people come to your site and the content is there but it’s not readable, that’s not good.”
“I’m worried about it, a lot,” says one salon owner whose website is featured prominently at the top of Google searches. Thanks to her website’s position on the first page Google – which has 80% of the world’s search business – customers were finding her more and more easily. And she should be worried. A quick check of her website on a mobile phone and the problem was obvious. Because Google is about to change the way it ‘rates’ websites in search results, her high-ranking site risked being downgraded – ‘sandboxed’, in geek terms – relegated to back pages where nobody will find it.
The problem: Her site was built back when smart-phones had nowhere near the market penetration they now enjoy. Recent studies indicate that people are now using their smart phones – iPhones and Android devices – for fully 60% of all online searches.
And on a smart phone, her website was just about unreadable; the full-sized, detailed, multi-page site, crammed into a tiny phone screen made it almost impossible for searchers to find relevant information…like her phone number. Why is that important? Because other studies show that of all people searching for a local business like a hair or beauty salon on a smart phone, more than 60% are doing so because they want to buy something or book an appointment…now.
According to George Slater, “The people at Google aren’t stupid. They know that smart phones are taking over the world. They also know that if a Google search on a smart phone doesn’t take the searcher to a website that’s easy to read, Google’s own relevance in a mobile world will diminish.
George Slater, Director of Online at Worldwide Salon Marketing
“So the folks at Google are checking websites that appear in the top three pages of its search rankings. If those sites aren’t ‘mobile responsive’, the sites will be downgraded. And the salon will lose valuable business before the problem can be fixed, and more valuable time before the site can climb back up the search listings.”
In other words, your website could disappear from search rankings completely. And for many salon owners, like Lesley, that could be disastrous for business.
How to check your site
It’s easy to check if your site is mobile responsive. Just grab your smart phone and in its web browser, type in the address of your site. If all you get is the whole website, with all its lovely graphics and photos, and you have to scroll around that little screen just to find your phone number…you’re in trouble. Imagine it from your prospective customer’s point of view; all she wants to do is find a salon in her area that she can call and book an appointment for a cut and colour, or a facial, or some waxing, and you’re making it difficult for her. So she hits the back button, and finds another salon that makes it easy for her to do business there and then.
What to do
Call your web designer NOW. If he or she can’t (or won’t) help you – or can’t be located/doesn’t respond, which is often the case for salons who had their websites built in some cases years ago – call us at Worldwide Salon Marketing on 08 9443 9327.
WSM builds, hosts and maintains websites for hundreds of salons, spas, medispas and wellness clinics all over the world – and every single one of them is ‘mobile ready’.
Check out our website plans here – and solve your website problems with a single phone call.
It’s less than 2 weeks in to 2014 and our Worldwide Salon Marketing members are already out of the blocks with a roar with emails and phone calls coming in to our office from excited salon owners telling us about their successful campaigns.
This morning I spoke on the phone with Maree Hoare, of Red Hair in Palmerston North. Maree joined us just one month ago and has shown immediately what it takes to be a successful marketer of her business.
She hasn’t sat around waiting for the phone to ring, instead she’s got straight down to business, is creating her own success and taking complete control of her business.
When Maree opened her salon this morning she noticed some gaps in the booking system later in the week. So armed with the tools she needed to fix that problem, she opened up her computer, visited the members only template website and found an SMS example that she could adapt for her own salon.
She sent the message out to just 400 people of her SMS list and within 30 minutes had no fewer than 12 bookings.
“With schools being on holiday it gets a bit quiet around this time of year in Palmerston North, I need to keep my team busy and so at this late stage it seemed a text message to my clients would be the quickest option to fill the gaps later in the week. It took me a few minutes to put the message together from the examples on the website and then I sent it out and within minutes the phone was ringing hot! The system says the SMS’s are still being sent out so I am sure I will get even more calls than the dozen we have already had in the last half an hour. But I am really happy with the result.”
The hair offer Maree sent out by text was for $79. Given that a text will cost about 10c per message that’s a $40 cost for a return so far of $948. I would call that a great return on investment.
And the message also saw at least 2 long lost clients make a booking in the salon.
Since joining WSM in December, Maree has already put in to action steps to help her work more as a marketer on her business. Could you imagine earning $948 in 30 minutes if you were cutting someones hair or doing a facial? Not likely unless you are the hairdresser to David Beckham. So Maree is already seeing the value of her time spent marketing rather than being a technician cutting hair.
And in addition to Maree’s amazing SMS campaign she also launched her mini memberships last week which she has already sold 7 bringing in and extra $1400 in income.
A massive congrats to Maree for her great start to 2014 and we can’t wait to hear more from her as the year progresses.
For WSM members, you can see the SMS that Maree sent on our members only Facebook forum. Click her now to check it out.
If you are not a member of one of our WSM programs but want to kick start 2014 the way Maree has done then click here now to apply and one of our team will be on the phone to you immediately. Or call one of our worldwide offices to speak with someone now.
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