by Greg Milner | Sep 4, 2014 | Advertising Tips, Blog, The Right Mindset, The Smell of Success
I’ve taught a lot, written a lot about the enormous amount of ACTION required to make a real difference to a salon’s financial performance over time. It’s simply folly to rely on ONE thing to bring customers through the door. Success is doing a dozen different things – simultaneously, persistently, relentlessly.
Amber Clayton of Pearl of Beauty, Port Pirie, South Australia
Amber Clayton is a living example of this. In the back blocks of regional Port Pirie, South Australia – hardly a hub of economic prosperity – her beauty salon went from sales of $12,429 for the month of August 2013, to $21,764 for August this year…an increase of nearly $10,000.
But she didn’t do that by relying on merely email, or Facebook. Here’s a partial list of the marketing activity Amber undertakes as part of the normal operation of her business:
Newsletters – every month, written and posted in hard copy, as well as emailed. (From templates downloaded from the Members Only Resources Library)
Promotions via her Mobile App (built for her as part of her WSM membership)
Radio advertising – using the same direct response techniques applicable to all other media
Website leads – generated via her WSM-built website
Direct Mail – New Client letters and ‘Raise the Dead’ lost client letters downloaded from the Members Only Resources Library
In this video recorded via Skype, Amber details how she went from being a tiny, struggling salon in April this year when she joined WSM’s My Social Salon marketing & mentoring program, to being the busiest and most profitable salon in her town.
ATTENTION MEMBERS: download Amber’s successful promotions, posters, newsletters and client letters in the Members Only salon marketing Resources Library here.
NOT A MEMBER? Go here to find out how to get a 30-day Money Back Guaranteed Test Drive of the entire My Social Salon program, including the famous Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit, one-on-one mentoring, hundreds of templates, done-for-you online marketing, a bonus Mobile Phone App and much more.
by Greg Milner | Aug 7, 2014 | Advertising Tips, Featured, Getting Salon Clients Quickly, Increasing Retail Sales, Newsletter marketing, Selling Salon Products, The Right Mindset, The Smell of Success
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.
by Greg Milner | Mar 7, 2014 | Advertising Tips, Blog, The Right Mindset
George Slater piloting the helicopter Google sent us. (Amazing what you can do with Photoshop!)
Next time you post a promotion on Facebook, or send an offer to your clients by email or SMS, take a moment to think about this:
“If the world’s biggest, richest, smartest internet marketing company (Google) thought that promoting its business purely online was THE answer, why would it send a helicopter – one that actually flies – to thousands of small business owners???”
ANSWER: because Google knows that anybody who says ‘social media is all I do or need to effectively market my business’ is DUMB.
In the Worldwide Salon Marketing office today we were delighted when our Director of Online, George Slater opened the mail and there, among all the usual, dreary bills, marketing flyers and other postman-delivered flotsam was a big, colorful box from Google. Inside, a real remote-control helicopter. (And, of course, an offer from Google to encourage us to spend money on Adwords, which we do anyway!)
So, for a bit of Friday Fun, George and a couple of our web developers Pash and Andrew took our new chopper for a fly around the office…
[cf]chopper[/cf]But here’s the lesson. Here’s what’s instructive about this little bit of fun:
When Google’s marketing message arrived, we were in the middle of a boardroom meeting with a group of serious businessmen. For 15 minutes, these MBA and CPA-qualified suits were absorbed by Google’s ‘helicopter marketing’ as they flew the little chopper around the office, bouncing it off the walls and ceiling and crashing it into each other, laughing uproariously.
And they read every word of the Adwords promotion that came with the toy ‘Trojan Horse’. The lesson is simple: don’t believe the ‘gurus’ who tell you that it’s ALL about digital marketing these days, that direct mail is dead. It’s not. It’s alive and very, very well. And if you learn how to use it even a tenth as effectively as Google, you’ll reap the benefits in more clients, spending more money with you, more often.
Want to discover how to really market your salon or spa effectively (both online and offline)? Here’s what Lords ‘n Lads Barbershop owner Jason Quarrell says about being a Member of the My Social Salon marketing & mentoring program. (Click here to find out how to get a 30-day Money Back Guaranteed Test Drive)
by Greg Milner | Sep 12, 2013 | The Right Mindset, The Smell of Success
A salon owner wrote to me a few weeks ago, bemoaning the fact that “I’ve run out of salon marketing ideas. Everybody’s doing package deals now, value-added offers and so on. It’s frustrating, if we all do it, there’s nothing to help the customers differentiate between us any more….”
That kind of thinking betrays a dangerously narrow view of what marketing is, and what makes a business successful.
Yep, everybody’s doing special deals. The daily deal sites, bless their black and bleeding hearts, have made an entire industry out of it. And it’s bitten a lot of businesses on the backside.
But to concentrate all your marketing focus on the next package deal, the next offer, and ignore everything else in your message is akin to expecting a perfectly baked cake when the only ingredient you’ve used is sugar.
Apple’s new iPhone – will it maintain the company’s cult status?
Let’s be clear; your offer is only the tip of your marketing iceberg. All the other ‘below the surface’ stuff is what holds it up in clear view, above the waterline. Imagine if all Apple did was build mobile phones and offered a ‘buy one, get one free’ deal. Sure, they’d sell a bunch of cheap mobile phones. Until somebody else came along with a better offer, a cheaper deal. It’s shallow, creating little more impact that a stone skipping across the surface of a lake. The ripples fan out, and just as quickly die off.
No, what Apple has done for decades is build a cult, it’s nurtured a culture, created a massive below-the-surface support structure that turns mere customers into raving, evangelical fans. The most fanatical, tub-thumping born-again Christian ought fear for his life if he gets between a gospel-preaching Apple fan and a new MacBook Air. It’s Apple’s culture, its below-the-surface iceberg, that’s allowed it to enjoy the fattest profit margins in the business. Apple charges more than any other company producing similar products. It never discounts.
(But even Apple isn’t infallible – the launch of the latest iPhone has hardly set the world on fire. Evidence that without the theatrical inspiration of it’s spiritual leader, any company can slide down to ordinary.)
So, let’s roll up our sleeves and examine for a moment what your iceberg might look like below the waterline. And there has to be a LOT of it, otherwise the tip of the ‘berg will sink.
First, what stories do you tell your clients, customers and prospects about you, about your salon, about your beliefs, successes, failures, achievements? People want to do business with real, flesh-and-blood people, not faceless entities. In your client newsletters, in your website and social media posts, do you tell stories about yourself, your family, your kids, your dog? Do you present a human face, or do you retreat self-consciously behind the front window of a pretty, stylish website and a salon facade that holds customers back behind a wall of ‘professionalism’?
Do you invite your customers into your life, or do you hold them at arm’s length?
Second, what is it about you and what you do/say/deliver that is unique, that cannot be found at a competing salon, that cannot be ignored, that is compelling, magnetic, attractive…or are you just another ‘me-too’ business, doing/saying/delivering pretty much the same as everybody else? What’s your Unique Selling Proposition (or propositions plural)?
Third, what kind of customers do you want, and what do you do to attract them? Are you trying to be all things to all people (and therefore nothing special to anybody in particular) or do you deliberately and carefully filter out the kind of people you don’t want, and only let in the kind of people you do want?
On my local TV news last night, a perfect example – a gym that deliberately makes it difficult to join. They have a long waiting list. If you don’t jump through all of their hoops, you don’t get in.
Fourth, what interests do most of your customers have in common? Are they from a recognizable niche? Smart business owners will forensically examine their list of clients, collecting as much useful data about them as is possible to do. And then identify key factors which might give them a clue as to why certain types of people are attracted to the business – vital information that gives the business owner the ammunition to go after more of those types of people.
It’s niche marketing at its most basic.
Fifth, what intellectual capital do you have that you aren’t using? Qualifications, awards, photos of you with ‘celebrities’ (or, people who are well-known within perhaps a very narrow circle of people/professions/groups).
Trying to build a viable, profitable, in-demand business based only on the ‘tip of the iceberg’ special offers and package deals is going to give you a shallow result at best, a grass castle easily blown away by the lightest puff of breeze from a rival salon.
Spend time and energy on the basic foundations. When you do that, you won’t need special offers. People will queue up. And pay top dollar.
FREE for Salon Owners – the ‘BIG 5’ Salon Marketing & Sales ‘Cheat Sheet’!
These are the five crucial business-building strategies ALL successful salons use – are you doing this in your business? Fill in your first name and email address for an Instant Download.
by Greg Milner | Aug 27, 2013 | Blog, Motivating Salon Staff, The Right Mindset, The Smell of Success
There’s an old joke my brother tells quite often, because a) it’s at his wife’s expense, and b) it’s not completely untrue.
You see, his wife’s credit card was stolen a few years ago. He didn’t report it for a month because the thief’s rate of spending was less than hers. Ha ha, get it?
But the point of the story is we love buying things. We love to buy. And yet, for some strange reason, we hate to sell. To be seen as a ‘salesperson’. This has always bemused me, since without salespeople, copywriters, marketers, not a single transaction would ever occur. Nobody would buy anything. So, no income would be generated, no taxes paid, therefore no roads built, hospitals staffed, teachers hired. In effect, the world would stop turning.
We love to buy things. Love it. So why do we hate to sell?
This line of thought was prompted by a heartfelt post from a beauty therapist in an online forum. Obviously articulate, intelligent and passionate about her work, she was nonetheless feeling a bit down-in-the-mouth about the ‘pressure to sell’ from her employer. She was worried she would ‘freak her clients out’ if she tried to sell to them every time they came in.
She’s hardly alone. The common cry among so many in the hair & beauty industry is “I’m not a salesperson…I’m a stylist/therapist!”
Given that, it might be helpful to look at ‘selling’ in a different light. The business of a salon or spa IS selling. A salon is, before anything else, a marketing & sales business. And, in every small business (not just salons), the process of selling is inextricably linked to having a job.
But selling needn’t necessarily be seen as a distasteful chore. At many of our seminars over the years, veteran hair & beauty industry guru John Lees would teach that
“Our knowledge is ours to give, not ours to keep.”
John is right. Selling is the process of informing and educating clients so that you become the ‘trusted, knowledgeable expert’ they instinctively turn to for the solution to their fears, anxieties and insecurities. Once you get over your own anxiety about pitching to your clients, and start to see yourself as being the trusted expert, the selling becomes second nature, like unconsciously changing gears in a car. You don’t even notice you’re doing it.
There’s another common mistake made by those who look down on selling, and that’s pre-judging – by applying your own ‘cringe filter’, deciding on your client’s behalf whether she can afford to buy, or wants to buy what you’re selling. And in many cases, deciding in the negative.
A couple of years ago I conducted a little experiment. I dressed in dirty overalls, scuffed shoes and a battered hat pulled down over my eyes, and walked into a local prestige car dealership. For fully 15 minutes I wandered around looking at the shiny new cars, completely untroubled by even one of the half dozen sharply dressed salesmen standing around drinking coffee and looking down their noses at me.
I left, and returned half an hour later in pressed trousers, blue blazer, white shirt and polished brown shoes. I barely got in the door before two of these guys were fawning over me.
They couldn’t do enough for me, took me for a test drive, made me coffee, buried me in glossy brochures.
I thanked them, drove to a rival dealership, and bought exactly the same car that morning.
Unjustly, selling has a bad name, made worse by salespeople who either regard it as beneath them, or decide for themselves who can and cannot afford to buy. People love to buy. Let’s not make it hard for them, or play god and decide how people should spend their money. If you fail to educate, fail to inform, fail to offer, it’s a dereliction of duty to both the business, and the client.
“Never enough is sold because never enough is told. Selling is telling – the better you tell a story, the better you sell anything.”
Want to make selling EASY?
“Selling Like Crazy” is the ‘how-to’ in-salon sales manual for the hair & beauty industry. Straight out of the famous Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit, Selling Like Crazy turns ordinary, fearful “I don’t like selling” staff into retail queens – without them even noticing the change!
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Click here to see what’s in Selling Like Crazy for Beauty Salons
Buy it here for just $US97 with credit card or Paypal!
by Greg Milner | Jun 20, 2013 | Australia, Featured, Packaging Salon Services, The Right Mindset
It can only be the money. I can’t for the life of me imagine what else could possibly be attractive about running a business like a bank, where an entire army of customers almost universally loathe you.
I actually feel a bit sorry for the banks. The fact that they’re in business to make a profit – just like every other business – appears lost on media and government, who relish in taking a shot at this soft target every time interest rates hi the news. Pity nobody in the banking industry has the balls to stand up and say ‘Hey, wait a minute, we’re a business not a charity, it’s our job to make money…!’
(Isn’t it funny how most bank customers moan bitterly every time their mortgage rate goes up, complain about the ‘greed’ of big business when the banks publish their billion-dollar profits – but don’t twig that their own retirement savings are heavily invested in bank shares.)
But that other public whipping boy – the airlines – deserve every dose of doggy doo thrown at them. Dumber than a bagful of hammers, for years they’ve competed with each other on little more than price, a strategy that – in any business – can only lead to death.
According to figures from the US Bureau of Transportation, US airlines collectively lost only about $145 million in the last quarter of 2012, compared with $602 million in the corresponding period the previous year. For some years now, they’ve been fighting back with an almost-universally despised trick of ‘un-bundling’ air fares so that passengers have to pay extra for things that have traditionally been included in the price of a ticket.
More and more airlines are charging an average of $25 to check in a bag. Several will slug you an extra $8 for a blanket. It’s now common for cut-price airlines to charge extra for exit-row seats which provide a bit more room for tall passengers.
Airlines are beginning to charge extra for what was previously part of the deal – like $8 for a blanket. Oh well, at least you get to keep the blanket….
After years of cutting their own throats by discounting, these big dumb companies have suddenly realized they need to make money. But the way they’re doing it smacks of desperation, and worse, complete ignorance about the concept of adding value, packaging, differentiation and giving themselves an ‘unfair advantage’ over the competition without discounting.
Salon owners who are Members of Worldwide Salon Markeitng could give the airlines a much-needed lesson in such market-making processes.
In Australia, I fly Qantas exclusively. Of all the competing airlines, Qantas is regularly the most expensive carrier. That’s why I fly with them. The food is free, and good quality – even in Economy Class – unlike the inedible trash on US domestic airlines. There are no extra charges for blankets, checked baggage, headsets, movies or anything else. On many flights, even beer and wine is free in Economy. It’s all included in the price.
Where even a profitable airline like Qantas falls down is in its failure to capitalize on this competitive advantage. They still attempt to compete on price alone, too timid to shout from the rooftops
“Hey, we’re the most expensive – but there are no hidden charges, sneaky extras or nasty surprises when you get to the airport. When you buy a Qantas ticket, everything is included in the price!”
Here’s what’s instructive for your salon business:
Take a lesson from bumbling mistakes of the airlines. Instead of constantly trying to compete with rivals on price (discounting), figure out a way to package your services. Don’t allow your customers to ‘cherry pick’ your treatment menu on price alone. By learning to package – as our member salons have done using the templates and tools in the Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit® you’ll find yourself attracting customers who are more interested in value than mere price, want service above perceived (often phantom) savings, and are prepared to pay for it.