by Greg Milner | Jan 16, 2020 | Online Marketing, Uncategorized
“I’m just starting out in my salon business,” she said. “Obviously, I need clients. So I was thinking I will just need a Facebook page, and maybe a sign on the street…”
Hmmmm. We get a LOT of inquiries like that. Inquiries that betray a not-unexpected naivety about what it actually takes to start and run a successful business. (NOTE: by successful, we mean a business that doesn’t rely entirely on the owner to generate all the income. That’s not a business. It’s a JOB. Stands for Just Over Broke.)
So we’ve created this graphic to give you an idea of what a successful business (kinda!) looks like. It’s a lot like an iceberg.
Most of an iceberg is invisible, below the waterline. Only the tip is visible in clear air. Fully 90% of it isn’t visible.
And that’s the bit, like the foundations of a house, that supports the tip. It’s where all the stuff that you and your clients don’t see is built, maintained, tweaked, tested and refined.
The tip of the iceberg is easy to visualize. It’s the obvious stuff. Your shop. Your website. Your social media. Maybe, if you do any, your advertising.
The 90% under the water is where most new salon owners (and a lot who’ve been in business for years and still struggle with it) have trouble imagining.
So let’s go through just a few of the above in a bit more detail.
Search Engine Optimization (or SEO):
Lots of salons have a website these days. A website is an iceberg all by itself.
The bit you see on your screen is just the tip. Just about any kid with a laptop can build one. But if a prospective client can’t find your website when they search on Google for “hair salon (your town)” or “cosmetic tattooing (your suburb)”, then your website is pretty much useless. The tedious, technical and manual-labor process of getting your website seen on Page One of Google is called Search Engine Optimization. It’s not cheap, precisely because it’s so labor-intensive. But don’t even think about spending money on building a website without also budgeting for the SEO process. Otherwise you may as well flush your money down the toilet.
Here’s a new site we built recently for one of our long-term Members, Escape Skin & Body in Hobart, TAS:
It’s a beautiful site, and took more than four months to build, with constant liaison between our development team and the salon’s owner.
But it would have been a waste of money if we’d just built the site without paying attention to the SEO that keeps it right at the top of search results, as you’ll see here:
RESOURCE: Worldwide Salon Marketing builds, maintains and optimizes websites for hundreds of salons & spas around the world. Call +61-8-9443 9327 and ask for me or Sam.
Google Business Listing:
These are the listings that appear at the top any Google search for a product or service in your area. The graphic below shows typical Google Business Listing results, in this case for a search for “hair salon berwick” – they appear at the very top of searches, which means that your Google Business Listing is even more important than your company website. You have to treat your GBL as if it were a separate, stand-alone website – it has to be set up correctly, and it has to be optimized not just with the right photos and business information, but with backlinks and citations from elsewhere on the internet. See how Allura Hairdressing Boutique appears at the top of the ‘Big Three’? This salon gets more than 200 calls per month from prospective new clients who have found it and ‘clicked to call’ on their smartphones.
Here’s a simple explanation of the immense value of ‘online real estate’:
RESOURCE: Worldwide Salon Marketing sets up and optimizes Google Business Listings for scores of salons & spas around the world. If you want more info, simply pick up the phone and call our head office, +61-8-9443-9327.
Database Management: You simply cannot efficiently and effectively manage a salon or spa business without a competent booking and appointment software program. There are scores of these on the market, and most of them do a pretty good job.
Social Media Advertising: Everybody knows about Facebook. But have you ever noticed how hardly anybody sees your business promotions when you simply post them in your business page timeline? Yep, that’s because Facebook wants to you pay for advertising to reach more people.
Advertising on Facebook can be incredibly effective, if it’s done the right way. That requires time, patience, technical ability, some talent with graphics, and a clear idea of what outcome you want.
Here’s a brief video on how to make your Facebook (and Google!) advertising work for you:
Website Lead Capture: Websites only have two prime purposes; 1) to sell stuff/generate appointments, and 2) to capture the contact details of people who might not be ready to buy yet, but will in the future…IF you keep marketing to them. A lead-capture device is just a form on your website that they fill in to get something for free, for example, a free gift voucher. In exchange, you get their contact details.
Watch what I mean here:
As you’ll see in the graphic below, Worldwide Salon Marketing member salon About You Salon in Gatlinburg Tennessee, Organic Infusion and Fox Place Salon & Spa, all have a star rating. That’s because they have reviews – an online version of testimonials. These are reviews on Google – reviews on Facebook are all very well, but Google takes more notice of reviews on its own search platform. Salons with reviews and star ratings get more calls than salons without.
Advance Planning Promotions: Most salon owners do their marketing ad hoc. In other words, “Gee, it’s Friday, I need customers for Monday…better think about that…”
It’s not good enough. And it’s scary. Better: plan your entire marketing year in advance. You know that throughout the year there are many marketing ‘trigger’ events – Christmas, Mothers Day, Black Friday, Change of Seasons and more. You can make a LONG list of events and special occasions, many of them only relevant to your salon, or your local area.
Once you’ve made a list (a big wall calendar is a good idea) you can then plan for each event. In many cases, weeks out.
But you need tools, templates, systems to help you do that, otherwise you’re just reinventing the wheel every time.
Get your own online ‘real estate’ audited at no cost by my team of online marketing and technical specialists:
I hope at least some of that you’ve found helpful!
by Greg Milner | Jul 5, 2018 | Uncategorized
The smallest but most compelling book in my large and diverse business library is this one. It’s by a long-time mentor of mine, Dan Kennedy, and while the title is deliberately funny, the message is a serious wake-up call for any small business owner or entrepreneur.
Kennedy talks about the thousands of marketers and copywriters he’s mentored (including me) who have gone on to create extensive, proven marketing systems for their own particular niche markets (including me, in the salon & spa niche.)
( The farting cat title refers to the kind of business owner who blames everyone and everything other than themselves for their problems.)
The very first chapter sets the tone:
That Big Brick Building You Drive By
“There’s a little convenience store at the corner of my neighbourhood street and the town’s main street. One morning, as I stood in line, I listened to the counterman tell his tale of woe to the customer in front of me. The counterman is about 40,. His story, as Sinatra sang, is one too commonly told: hates his job, can’t get by on what he makes, has a car in disrepair, lives in a bad apartment building with biker neighbours, and rues his lot in life.
“When I got to the counter, I asked where in town he lived. After he told me, I said ‘You know, about halfway between here and your apartment, there’s a big brick building on the right hand side of the road. You pass it twice a day. In it are the answers to every one of your problems and frustrations. That building is called The Public Library’.”
He said he hadn’t been inside a library since high school. Precisely.”
(These days of course, hardly anybody goes to the public library. For most, it’s been replaced by Google. But the point remains valid.)
Kennedy goes on:
“You can divide the population into two main hunks. those who search, hunt, go after the information they need to fix whatever’s ailing them, and those who don’t. There are about 5% of the population in the first group, 95% in the second. And there are about 5% of the population who do very, very well financially, and 95% who never achieve wealth. Co-incidence?”
So how does Kennedy’s contention relate to you? It’s this: the information you need to succeed has never been more freely available. It has been collated and curated by many people, including me, in systems that take away the tedium of spending days, weeks, months gathering it and making sense of it yourself. Many years ago, I studied and put into practice the direct response marketing teachings of Mr Kennedy and others, and created a system for salons & spas that would make the marketing of their businesses a much, much easier and more effective process.
It was called The Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit, and the main component of it, the Simple Salon Marketing manual, is still available today, instantly downloadable, here.
Key paragraph from Kennedy:
“The first thing you should know – ‘it’ works. Questioning the efficacy of these Systems is like insisting the world is flat. The time for such an argument has long since passed.”
He goes on:
“If you’ve gotten your hands on one of these Systems recently, it’s the perfect opportunity to wipe the slate clean, re-design your business, refresh your marketing, and rediscover your enthusiasm for your business.”
by Greg Milner | Sep 22, 2017 | Rich Salon Owner Podcast, Uncategorized
Margie Baldock is a serial entrepreneur, author, young mother and property developer I’ve known for many years. I’ve just rediscovered an interview I did with this remarkable woman some time ago – and a BRILLIANT concept Margie discusses that ANY salon or spa can apply. If you’ve ever wondered “How do I keep my clients and make it IMPOSSIBLE to even think about visiting another salon?” then this is the podcast for you.
HINT: listen carefully at the 15 minute mark!
Get a FREE one-on-one Fast Start marketing session with Rich Salon Owner author Greg Milner.
Apply here: http://worldwidesalonmarketing.com/wsm-free-coaching-call/
by Greg Milner | Sep 5, 2017 | Featured, Uncategorized
There’s a good reason why service businesses – like yours, presumably – should never go out of business. (Conversely, it’s a mystery why many of them do.)
The reason they should thrive comes down to human nature; people like to do business with other people, not faceless, corporate entities, or machines. Businesses that rely solely on technology to sustain their revenues come and go. Remember Kodak? Gone. MySpace? A $700 million white elephant. History is littered with businesses that failed at least in part because they deliberately kept their customers at arms length.
But those who strive to serve, face to face, can weather almost any storm.
One personal example:
Mitchell Falls, in the Kimberley,
Michelle and I like to do road trips, touring our vast country, towing our camper trailer. (Cue excuse to show holiday pics here.) Last week, after our most recent 10,000km drive through the Kimberley region of Western Australia, I took the trailer to the local dealer for a routine bearings-and-brakes service.
It’s a husband and wife operation, just Jim and Lynda, operating out of a rented warehouse in the northern suburbs of Perth. Three days later, when I went back to collect the trailer, Jim had not only done the routine stuff, he’d replaced a couple of broken parts, lubricated all the fiddly bits I somehow never got around to, fitted a new battery under warranty, and even re-fitted a water pump I’d jerry-rigged after it was damaged on the notorious Gibb River Road.
And the total bill? Nothing. Nada. Zero. Refused to accept payment. Jim knows that I sing the praises of this particular make of camper trailer. Accordingly, in a Facebook group I run for this brand, I duly extolled the virtues of Jim’s excellent service, and others chimed in with similar sentiments. Jim knows that businesses like his live and die on the strength or weakness of the relationship between him and his customers.
It doesn’t actually matter that his product is acknowledged as one of the best. The previous owners of the dealership had the same product, but their attitude to customer service was appalling, and it showed in sales.
As a consumer, you can’t have a relationship with a machine, or a website, or a call centre. You can only have a relationship with people, In the end, even the biggest businesses are just people doing their thing, except that the bigger the business, the more its people hide behind the grand facade.
(The smarter people behind the biggest of businesses know this. Apple didn’t need Steve Jobs for his technical or engineering expertise. Apple needed Jobs because it was Jobs who had the relationship with the company’s customers. To them, Jobs was Apple.)
Many of our Member salons & spas take customer service to the extreme. One makes a habit of sending hand-written birthday cards – real ones, in an envelope, in the mail, with a real stamp, not just a lazy text message or email – to her top 500 clients. That’s an average of 40 a month, every month. But it comes back in spades of sales. Another will open her salon on a Sunday if a customer can’t make it any other time. These are the kind of ‘above and beyond’ actions that people extol to their friends.
It’s not doing the expected that people talk about. It’s doing the unexpected. The small and inexpensive gift, brought out from under the counter as the customer pays her bill. The random phone call a few days after your visit, from the owner who asks “Hi Jane, I just wanted to check that you were happy with our service when you were in this week?” This is the kind of service you just can’t get from a machine, or a website, or a call centre.
To quote Henry Ford: “A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.”
by Greg Milner | Jul 27, 2017 | Uncategorized
SELLING IN THE TREATMENT ROOM – DO’s AND DON’Ts
Do you simply give your client the service she booked – or do you use every opportunity to upsell products and other services? Here’s how to do both.
The treatment room is an amazing opportunity, yet so few therapists use it to even a fraction of its potential to build relationships and make sales.
It’s an opportunity that many experienced sales people would sell their own mothers for…. yet most therapists in my experience use it for nothing more than ‘doing the job’ and passing the time of day.
For an hour, two hours, even three hours, you have a captive audience, the complete and undivided attention of your client. A golden opportunity.
She can’t go anywhere. Her mobile phone is (or should be) turned off. Her friends can’t phone her, the children can’t get in, her husband or boyfriend is locked out.
Imagine that! Your treatment rooms are their own little, cocooned ‘sales bubbles’ that can only be penetrated by you and your staff. What a fabulous, wonderful , priceless, unique opportunity to ply your trade!!
Most of the time, in most salons, this ‘golden’ opportunity is completely wasted.
Here’s how to get more out of your treatment rooms than just the treatment that’s been booked in.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Treatment Room Selling
Hint: It’s all about your client, not you.
- Don’t immediately launch into gibberish about what you did over the weekend, the trouble you’re having with your boyfriend/husband, why so and so is a complete cow, or the lousy working conditions here.
- Do ask about your client’s wants. Your client knows what she wants, You know what she needs! You’re the Beauty Therapist, you are the expert, you know all the different products to use and procedures. Your client doesn’t. That’s why she came to you. Well , duh.
It’s about building rapport – a real relationship – with the client. And this is equally important for a new or existing client. It doesn’t matter.
For example: Your client comes in for an infill for her acrylic nails. You need to ask questions like:
- When was the last time you had your nails infilled?
- Do you like the existing shape of your nails?
- How long do you like them to be?
- How long have you been having your nails done?
- Have you tried many other salons in the past?
- What did you like about the other salons?
- What didn’t you like about the other salons?
- What sort of industry do you work in? (this helps determine the length)
- Have you been happy with the life of the acrylic being used on your nails?
- Do you normally paint them at home, if so, do you use a base coat?
- How often do you change the colour of your nail polish?
- Do you normally match the colour with your toenails?
- Have you ever had a pedicure? (Sell the benefits. Offer your client a time to have her pedicure.)
- Are there any areas in your nail and hand care that you are unsure of? (Meaning: do your hands feel dry or greasy?)
- Have you ever had a hand treatment? (Sell the benefits. Offer your client a time to have her hand treatment.)
- Ask your client about their skin care products. Tell them about your products. Use the touchy-feely technique. Be enthusiastic. Put some skin care products on the back of her hand. Let her smell and feel the product. Sell the benefits. Not the features.
Don’t speak Industry Technical language. Your client will not understand a word you are saying – why should they? – and will probably switch off.
Do speak your client’s language. Speak in easy to understand terms. Sell the benefits, the ‘why’ she should use these products or have these procedures, the outcome of using these products and having these procedures.
Don’t keep your knowledge to yourself. It is not ours to “own”. It is ours to give to others. Sharing makes people feel great.
Don’t forget to tell your clients about current special offers, future special offers, client reward programs.
Do choose a product and treatment of the month to retail.
For example, you and your staff may decide to choose facials to promote, as well as a moisturizer. It’s dead easy. Every single client, existing or new, is told about the most fantastic, awesome, mind-blowing facial of the month. Remember, lots of value add. And if you need some help with the concept of value adding or some more brilliant ideas, click onto www.beauty-salon-marketing.com
But here’s a start:
Tell your clients that when they purchase the moisturizer they get this SPECIAL $60.00 one hour facial and they ALSO RECEIVE FREE:
- free eyebrow shape – valued at $
- free eyebrow tint – valued at $
- free scalp massage – valued at $
- free neck and should massage – valued at $
- free soothing eye treatment – valued at $
- free luscious lips treatment – valued at $
- free de-stress mask – valued at $
- free foot massage and a hand treatment– valued at $
TELL THEM YOUR SPECIAL PRICE is just $60.00.
BUT THE TOTAL VALUE IS $160.00.
Your client will love all this value you’re giving them for free…. making the sale of a product easy.
Remember, sell the benefits of the moisturizer (your chosen product of the month), explain why it is soooo important that your client has good skin care at home.
And don’t forget to book your client in for the next amazing special for next month.
Your client will want to come back for more and most likely will want to tell her friends about you.
Here are some more:
Do encourage your client to look her best.
Do recommend a complementary business to your client. Share your knowledge of a great hairdresser in the area, a gorgeous dress shop or a shoe shop. These businesses will recommend you in return.
Don’t bag the opposition. When your client tells you of a bad experience she had with another salon, don’t badmouth the other salon or beauty therapist.
Do listen and sympathise with your client and above all else…… LEARN. Share this knowledge with your work colleagues.
Interesting fact: You have two ears and one mouth. Sounds like someone intended you use your ears twice as much as you use your mouth!