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.
I’d be filthy rich if I had a dollar for every time a salon or spa owner has told me “My product suppliers provide all the marketing I need…”
The image you see here is the kind of marketing ‘advice’ some product suppliers are handing out to their retail partners. (I’ve blotted out the name of the product to save embarrassment.)
“Business growth is easy with (name of product):
- Advertise your unique service
- if the ad pays for itself, run it again”
Wow. Brilliant. So that’s all there is to it. Gosh, and here I was, misguidedly thinking for all these years that business growth was a whole lot more complicated than that. Silly me.
Sarcasm aside, the ‘advice’ above unhelpfully fails to address quite a few crucial questions, such as:
- Who is the Target Market for my advertising?
- What do I say in my ad that will appeal to that particular target market?
- What offer should I make to them?
- How do I get them to pick up the phone and order now, rather than next week, or next month?
- How to I prove that what I’m selling them actually works?
To advertise anything effectively, you need great answers to those questions.
Fortunately, you don’t need to dream up all that stuff yourself. As a Member of our Salon Accelerator program, you get instant access to more than 1,500 tested, proven, done-for-you salon & spa advertising templates.
The writing and graphic design has been done for you. All you have to do is download, edit to suit your salon, and send to print.
NO CONTRACTS. Find out more here.
Whenever I watch Gordon Ramsay tearing the throat out of a hapless head chef or muddle-headed restaurant owner, I wish I was in the food business.
Every restaurateur with even half a brain must surely be spending at least part of every working day down on bended knee, giving heartfelt thanks for the f***ing marketing opportunity this foul-mouthed and charismatic Brit has provided.
What Ramsay has done is focus the attention of millions of restaurant-goers on the stuff most restaurants would hate them to know – what goes on in the kitchen. And for the smart ones, that spells opportunity.
Now, what has this got to do with your salon business? Think outside the square for a moment.
Here’s how I would use the ‘Ramsay Factor’ in my restaurant business.
First, I would identify what it is about restaurants that – thanks to Ramsay’s TV show – makes people lie awake at 3am, staring at the ceiling….and thanks to Ramsay, that’s pretty easy. Has the food been prepared days earlier? Is the kitchen crawling with cockroaches? Do the chefs wash their hands every time they go to the bathroom? Are the ingredients fresh? Is there mold growing over the food?
THEN…I would create a new marketing message, based on those fears and anxieties. The DUMB thing would be to attempt to bury your head in the sand and ignore the Ramsay factor. In fact, I would HIGHLIGHT the negatives, and turn them into positives. E.g.,
How to Be Gordon Ramsay for a Day!
“You know what its like when you go to a restaurant and you have no idea what’s going on in the kitchen? Well at Greg’s Culinary Emporium, our kitchen is so clean our own chefs eat their dinner off the floor! We have CCTV cameras watching our staff to make sure they wash their hands every time they leave the bathroom. Pest inspectors regularly ensure that not a single bug gets anywhere near our food. In fact, we invite YOU to be Gordon Ramsay for a day.
“Come to Greg’s Culinary Emporium for your next night out. If you can find a single cause for complaint, you have our permission to swear at our f***ing chef. PLUS, your meal is FREE!”
Get MORE salon marketing inspiration, tools, downloadable templates, how-to videos and more, as a Member of the Salon Accelerator program here.
Can you see how that statement would set my restaurant apart from any of my competitors? This technique is called
Making the Invisible Visible
It does TWO clearly distinct things.
a) By capitalizing on highly-public information, it enters the conversation that’s already going on in your customers’ heads. Do that, and you become a Welcome Guest… instead of an Unwelcome Pest. They are already talking about what you want them to talk about.
b) It highlights the process. Most businesses assume their customers are only interested in the result, the final product. But there is magic in the detail….there is MONEY in the story of how you deliver what your customers are buying.
Now, if you haven’t done so already, replace restaurant with salon. What can YOU do to tell the story of your process – a story that addresses what your customers are fearful and anxious about when making a decision about whether to do business with you?
Are your products sourced using a suddenly rediscovered formula developed by primitive tribes in the steamy jungles of Burma? Does one of your treatments originate from the desert rituals of Bedouin tribes in ancient Mesopotamia? (I exaggerate for effect, but you get the picture.)
Salon Marketing Tools: Why Emotion Beats Logic Every Time
I wear myself out trying to teach salon & spa owners that customers buy based on emotion, which is the most profitable salon marketing tool hands down. It has nothing to do with logic.Yet ad after ad, flyer after dreary flyer waxes lyrical about the features of the product (or service), often using impossibly-technical jargon, and pay scant – if any – attention to the emotional benefit the customer will get, or makes any attempt to even so much as attract the prospect’s attention in the first place with an emotional headline.
Arguably the best ad ever written didn’t even mention a product or service. Far from trumpeting overblown benefits and features, it actually went the other way, in a deliberate, well-planned and brilliantly-executed dare to the manliness of every red-blooded adventurous male in England.
Although nobody has yet been able to track down the original copy of the London Times of December 29, 1913, here is a reconstruction of the tiny ad Sir Ernest Shackleton reportedly inserted to recruit men to his dangerous expedition to cross the Antarctic continent from sea to sea. It attracted 5,000 applicants, including three women.
(Creative Theft Department: I know what you’re already thinking…what has this got to do with my hair salon/day spa/nail bar/laser clinic yada yada yada.)
Here’s what: I’ve just used this very ad to steal the idea for the headline for a big Yellow Pages ad for one of our Inner Circle members. Go on, think. How could you apply this to your business? Inner Circle members should already be dissecting this and using it. For non-members, unaccustomed to my teachings, believe this:
The University of Life surrounds you. Google is your best friend. There is NO excuse for saying “I don’t know where to look for ideas” any more. Truth is, the answer to anything is right at your fingertips. Claiming you can’t find answers is akin to insisting the world is flat.)
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, emotion. The idea that you must offer a rational benefit in your marketing is nonsense.
There IS no rational, logical reason to buy a Porsche. Yet Porsche is THE most profitable car maker in the world. One of the most famous ads for Porsche cars featured nothing more than a picture of the car, and the following text:
Doesn’t blend in.
People will talk.
Then there’s the famous David Ogilvy ad for Rolls Royce, which didn’t even have a photo of the car, just a clock.
“At 60 miles an hour, the loudest sound you can hear in the new Rolls Royce is the ticking of the clock.”
In the beauty business, a rational benefit might be
Your skin will be 37% smoother.
But more powerful, and much more emotional:
Warning: Men will look at you.
Your target market is uneducated about the relative benefits of one hair stylist versus any of a thousand others. Has pretty much no idea of the difference between one laser clinic and a hundred competitors. Attempting to explain a rational, logical reason why they should choose you as against any and all of your competitors is considerably more difficult that pushing a peanut up the main street of town with your nose.
|Singapore Airlines didn’t try to compete on price, they made it emotional with the Singapore Girl...
Faced with such a challenge, most businesses resort to the easiest, no-brainer path: discounting. The airlines are a classic example of this, undercutting each other because they can’t be bothered putting in the hard mental yards to come up with something better.
(Even here, there are examples of airlines actually striking an emotional note with their marketing. Remember the Singapore Airlines ads featuring their emotional icon, the Singapore Girl? They backed it up with the rational proposition, ‘Inflight service even other airlines talk about…’)
Aside: the rebel in me can’t help wondering what would happen if an airline offered a guarantee: We’ll get you there alive, or your money back.
Most business owners, having come up with a compelling offer – which is the rational reason to buy – rest on their laurels and leave it there. But the smart ones keep working at it, chewing away until they come up with that hard-to-define emotional reason to buy. I often call it a Unique Selling Proposition. But it can equally be re-named an ESP or Emotional Selling Proposition.
Either way, these are salon marketing tools that work, and work for you.
The real difference between one hair salon and another, between one day spa and another, is at best small, and certainly difficult to convey to the uneducated. But an emotional difference is – while more difficult to find in the first place – much easier to get across, much easier for the prospect to feel, and therefore much more powerful.
Pearl 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.