For any local business like a salon or spa, the most valuable online real estate you can have is a position in the “Three Pack” of Google listings under the map.
These businesses get more than 90% of the phone calls and website visits:
Smart salon owners (like our Member salon, Allura in Berwick, Victoria) know that being in the Three Pack isn’t just the luck of the draw, it’s about setting up your Google Business Listing (GBL) with just as much love and care as you might put into your own website.
In this video, watch as I show you just one of those ‘love and care’ processes – tweaking the pictures before you upload them to your Google listing.
Comment below if you need help with this.
And here’s a bonus – fill in the form below and our team of digital marketing specialists will give you a detailed Website & Google Business Listing Health Check for your business (a $245 value – FREE!)
FREE: we have two complete copies of the Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit, valued at $4,995, to GIVE AWAY to the next two salons or spas to join WSM’s ‘My Social Salon’ marketing program – see below!
Back in the late seventies, there was a band called Woolley and the Camera Club. No, I don’t remember them either. I doubt anybody remembers them, ‘cept their mothers. But they recorded a one-hit-wonder that gained a cult-following, “Video Killed the Radio Star”.
Apart from a catchy tune, everything about the title and the chorus was wrong. Yet so-called ‘experts’ have since paraphrased the same message, that suddenly, the ‘new’ is killing off the ‘old’. Video didn’t kill radio. Radio is bigger than ever, and growing in reach and effect, specially as daily commutes to work and home again get longer. Particularly talk-back radio. People like to sit in their cars and be part of a conversation. You don’t get that listening to music on an iPod.
Neither did TV kill off movies, as so many doomsayers predicted in the fifties. Quite the reverse. TV made the movie business bigger. There are lessons here, for those who want to run their salon or spa business with a pulse, instead of by rote learning, or worse, on the basis of ill-informed opinions from Gen Y staff, the next graphic designer you talk to, or any one of legion of so-called ‘internet marketers’.
It always makes me chuckle when I see a salon or spa owner declaring, often in forums, that ‘I’ve tried newspaper advertising and “it” doesn’t work.’ Or ‘I’ve done radio advertising and “it” was a waste of money.’ Such comments betray a lack of understanding of what advertising actually is. But worse, they make it obvious that few owners of small businesses such as a hair or beauty salon realize they’re talking about the relative merits of various media, rather than advertising itself.
Let’s get at least one thing straight – newspapers, direct mail, Facebook, Twitter, mobile apps, websites, radio, TV, cinema, billboards, posters in the window, the elastic band of underpants worn above the jeans by cool dudes, and yes, word-of-mouth ALL have one thing in common:
They are just MEDIA.
In other words, they are no more and no less than delivery boys – merely a device by which a message can be delivered from Point A – usually you, the business owner – to Point B, the eyes and ears of your intended target market. To claim that any of them, either individually or collectively, ‘doesn’t work’ is akin to claiming the world is indeed flat, that the sky is really red, not blue.
It is true that some media that worked decades ago no longer has the same impact. But today’s online shopping sites are just the modern version of the mail-order catalogue of the 1930s. (And yet, real, hard-copy catalogs are still being mailed in their hundreds of millions every year by some of the biggest, smartest companies on the planet. Think Victoria’s Secret. Or IKEA.) When email caught on in the 1990s, the ‘experts’ predicted the end of direct mail. Could they have been any more wrong? Email is just about dead as a means of driving new business, yet direct mail has not only survived, it’s bigger than ever.
What has NOT changed – and this has never had anything to do with mere media – is the need for every business to find a way to differentiate itself from its competition, and to then translate that difference into words, images, sounds to be used in the various forms of media appropriate for that message, and the target market you want to reach.
Declaring that you’ve given up all forms of paid advertising in favour of Facebook ‘because it’s free’ is just plain dumb. Sure, you wouldn’t run an ad in Seniors Weekly if you want to appeal to working women in their thirties. But do you really expect Facebook to deliver you hordes of affluent, 60-year-old customers who drive to their golf club in Mercedes convertibles? (Nope. You’d advertise in their golf club newsletter!)
Yes, it’s complex. More so now than ever. So how DO you navigate your way to a sensible, well-planned and reasonably well-executed strategy, one that takes into account all forms of media, that helps you develop and deliver a compelling message to the right people, at the right time, using the right media for that target market?
It’s the primary reason we developed the salon & spa marketing program called My Social Salon.
Hundreds of salons & spas around the world have already signed up for MSS. Because for the first time, anywhere in the world, the busy, time-poor salon owner can access and use the power of ALL forms of media, online and offline, in a single, proven, affordable system.
And, also for the first time, we giving away one of the most famous, enduring and still absolutely relevant marketing & sales tools ever developed for the small salon or spa. The Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit®. The Toolkit, full of done-for-you templates, strategies, sales systems and CD/DVD tutorials, has been used by more than 4,000 salons & spas around the world to bring in more clients, more often, than any other such system on the planet. And it’s still being used heavily by smart salon owners today.
We’re giving away a complete Toolkit, valued at $4,995, to the next TWO salons who join the My Social Salon program. Watch the video below, and complete the form to get a free LIVE DEMO of the entire system….and you might qualify for WSM membership.
New Survey Reveals the Shocking Cost of ‘No-Shows’
Hair & Beauty salons are losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year because of no-shows, and the lack of deposit-taking policies for fear of upsetting clients.
In a new survey conducted by Worldwide Salon Marketing, the vast majority of 130 salon owners questioned revealed they had no policy of taking deposits to secure appointments, and even it they did have a cancellation policy in place, it lacked ‘teeth’.
Telling figures that show most salons are letting clients get away with murder
According to WSM founder & CEO Greg Milner, the results are a wake-up call to the industry. “If salons want to be taken seriously by their clients and stop hemorrhaging money, they have to take the lead from industries like travel, hospitality and entertainment, which simply refuse to take bookings without payment,” he says. “Customers accept those policies completely. Try booking a concert ticket and telling them you’ll pay when you get there. It just doesn’t happen.”
The survey of 125 salons reveals
- 88% do not take deposits.
- The average annual loss through no-shows is a whopping $10,000 per salon, with one salon reporting a staggering $52,000 – even though fully 80% of salons claimed they sent appointment reminders by text message.
- Extrapolated across Australia’s approx. 25,000 hair & beauty businesses, the losses represent $250 million annually.
- Of the 12% of salons who insist on deposits for appointments, the average annual losses dropped to less than $2,000
- Asked ‘How many times must a client ‘no-show’ before you no longer take bookings from them?’, 31.5% said three times, while another 32% said “I always let them book another appointment because I’m too scared to lose the potential business.”
It appears the industry is beset by fear. According to one respondent,
“We do have a cancellation policy, but rarely enforce payment, as so few other beauty clinics do so. Clients will not come back.”
And this from a salon in Melbourne:
“I would like to put a cancellation thing in place but I don’t have credit card facility nor any way of safely storing peoples numbers. And yip I am scared of scaring people away.”
But that fear appears largely unfounded. Said another salon owner,
“We started taking credit cards or a cash deposit on February 1st this year, for the first time. It works a charm, no more no shows, the clients now know we’re serious.”
The survey shows that among those salons which insist on deposits or pre-payments, the rate of no-shows drops dramatically across the board. “It also positions the salon as a business to be respected,” says Mr Milner. “It’s just plain rude to book a one or two-hour appointment and simply not turn up. You wouldn’t dare do that to your doctor or dentist because you respect them too much. It’s about time hair & beauty professionals swallowed a small teaspoon of cement, and hardened up,” he said.
Those who have ‘hardened up’ and imposed a strict cancellation policy backed up with deposits report dramatically-improved results.
“We’ve had a 100% Cancellation Policy in place for almost 6 years. It has virtually eliminated no-shows and forces clients to respect our business. EVERYONE in this industry should do the same – it will educate clients that they are visiting professionals whose time is valuable,”
says a Sydney salon owner. And a West Australian salon owner agrees, with impeccable logic:
“It should become common practice in all salons to take deposits, like the hotel and holiday industry, people will just accept it as common practice. Nothing is gained from those who are scared, and just end up hurting the industry with their fear. Even Spreets and other common daily deal sites do it, so why not the salon itself?”
Here’s how veteran WSM member Marnie Kallmeyer describes her deposit-taking and cancellation policy:
BONUS GIFT for salon owners who want to eliminate ‘no-shows’ forever!
Want to stop no-shows? Join the Lite marketing program and get this proven client letter FREE – a Bonus Gift valued at $297 – but PRICELESS!
This is the first page of a 2-page, proven client letter that stops no-shows dead. Carefully setting out what your client can expect of you, and importantly, what you expect of your client, this letter has been used successfully by hundreds of WSM member salons around the world – and you can easily edit it to suit your own salon.
Join the Lite program FREE for the first 14 days – and you’ll get to download this letter as a Bonus Gift worth $297 – but priceless when you consider how much no-shows are already costing your business every year!
Every salon owner loves the thought of getting more new clients through their business. It means an increase in turnover, profit, more product sales and so on. But what it also means for a lot of salon owners is more time ‘on the tools’. And that’s scary when you are already working 50 hours a week trying to run a business, make appointments, do the GST, pay the wages, do the marketing and everything else on top of that!
Hana Snowden, Owner of Ataahua Day Spa in Lower Hutt, NZ
But for WSM member Hana Snowden of Ataahua Day Spa in Lower Hutt near Wellington, getting 10 new clients a week means FREEDOM.
Hana has been in our marketing and mentoring program now for 8 months and in that time she has seen her business grow and grow. Hana was a Beauty Therapist at the time of joining and has worked incredibly hard and taken lots of action to build her business. She soon realised the value of working ‘on’ her business instead of ‘in it’ servicing just one client at a time.
For those of you who have read ‘the E-myth’ you will be familiar with the concept of working more on your business as opposed to in it. For those who haven’t read it, it’s a MUST read so go out and get your hands on a copy asap!
Hana could spend an hour or 2 putting together her marketing campaigns that would bring her in lots of customers as well as thousands of dollars, instead of being in a treatment room making 50 bucks for a waxing appointment.
And this growth in turnover and customers allowed her the freedom to make the decision to pull herself ‘off the tools’ once and for all. She set a date (15th March) and told all her customers that as of that date she was a business owner, not a beauty therapist and would be handing her clients over to an employee.
Now I am not saying that being a beauty therapist or stylist is a bad thing. Rather being the owner of your business is a better thing, instead of being an employee/slave to it!
And Hana knows that should a staff member be sick, or someone leaves and has to be replaced then she can step back in, albeit temporarily, and cover for them – she has that option available to her.
And if Hana has been getting 10 new clients a week up to now, imagine what it will be like now that she can focus even more on the marketing.
10 new clients on average a week is 520 new clients per year. If each of those clients has a value to Hana of $1,000 each then she is looking at an increase in turnover of half a million this year alone. Heck, even if she kept just 50% of them that’s still a quarter of a million!
Too many business owners (not just salon owners) make the mistake of creating a job for themselves and becoming chained to their businesses. For many, the only way they feel they can make more money is to work more in the business so they can cover the bills. But the business will just continue to suffer if no time is being spent on the important stuff, the marketing and getting systems in place. And so the vicious cycle continues.
And I am talking from personal experience. Just over 4 years ago my wife Rachael was working as a Beauty Therapist in our salon D’Aguiar: hair.skin.nails in Auckland. She’d spend about 70 hours a week in there doing treatments, I would hardly ever see her, her hair was falling out due to stress and she was suffering severe RSI.
Just like Hana, we made the call (with the help at that time of Greg Milner) to pull Rachael off the tools, as nervous as we were that the clients would leave and the business would fail. Well, of course the clients didn’t leave, the salon flourished and today we own 4 massively successful businesses (including the salon which is run by a manager and we pop in maybe once a week).
If someone had told me 4 years ago that I’d be running 4 businesses then I would have thought they were mad and laughed in their face. But today, I understand the concept of working on the business, not in it. So I still have plenty of time to spend with Rachael and our new 2 week old baby. It’s all because of the world-famous Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit®
Imagine being invited to someone’s house, having a really great time and then never being invited back again…you’d feel pretty hurt, right?
Well, two months ago I was asked to be a mystery shopper for one of Auckland’s top Day Spas and that’s exactly how I felt when I left the Spa….totally hurt that I hadn’t been invited back.
Now for obvious confidentially reasons, this Spa (who is not an Inner Circle member) shall remain nameless, but I wanted to share my experience with you and show how a failure to ask simple questions or do any follow up marketing could be costing YOUR salon a bucket load of money every year.
Before you read on, this story is not to bad mouth this Day Spa. In fact, I have to say that the service I received prior to and during the treatment was up there with some of the best I have ever experienced when visiting a Salon or Spa. But that’s what makes it so bad. They have spent so much time putting systems and procedures in place to ensure the customers have this amazing experience, but it’s then let down by complete neglect at the back end.
From the moment I made the booking on the phone the receptionist sounded delightful, asked all the right questions and took my credit card, explaining their 24 hour cancellation policy – a sure way to prevent those frustrating no shows!
When arriving at the Day Spa I was greeted and shown to a lounge where I was given a consultation and then shown the facilities available to me while I was at the Spa which included a sauna, steam room and gym. Everything was done down to the finest detail, even matching the tea I drank to the type of treatment I requested through my consultation.
Before being taken through to the treatment room I was taken to a relaxation room and introduced to my therapist, as well as another therapist. From the time I walked in the Spa I had met 4 different people, who all knew me by name and made me feel incredibly special. I felt like a valued client of the Spa, and not just one therapist!
The treatment itself was also excellent, with music and lighting tailored to my mood and post treatment I was taken to a separate room to relax even further, drink some more tea and fill out a satisfaction survey.
I think you get the picture, overall the WOW factor was huge!
So you can understand my disappointment that I was NOT ONCE asked if I wanted to rebook another appointment. It was pretty evident that I had really enjoyed my visit to the Spa, so as a guest to the Spa, why wasn’t I invited back?…HOW RUDE!!!
Please Let Me Come back To Your Spa…PLEASE!
Maybe I was missing something, was I meant to get down on my hands and knees and beg to come back?
One simple question would have turned a $140 sale, into at least a $1700 – $2000 client over 12 months, because you know what, if they’d asked me to come back, I would have said YES!
“Okay Chris, we would LOVE to see you back here at (salon name) again, so let’s make that next appointment for you now because we do get booked up very quickly and I don’t want you to miss out on the time that suits you best….how does 3pm on (date) or 10am on (date) suit?”
Now obviously I am just one client, so can you imagine how much money this Spa is losing if clients are not being re-booked…it’s scary! But that’s the difference between a great salon/spa and an average salon/spa. Members of our Inner Circle program understand the value of a customer, they don’t look at each client as a one-off sale, rather as a customer for life who will be worth thousands of $$$.
The next thing here was that I was not offered the professional products to go away with and use until my next appointment. It’s a fact that 70% of clients who are NOT sold retail will go down the road and buy it from a chemist or supermarket (a salons biggest rival) within 24 hours, the products will be crap and the client won’t be a happy camper! Who are they going to blame first…that’s right, the salon/therapist! So they will never return. How sad!
Maybe they didn’t ask me because I am a guy or some other lame excuse like that – whatever it was, it wasn’t good enough and will be costing the salon a fortune!
*If you have never heard about former Schwarzkopf CEO John Lee’s 1000 hour customer care policy, you should Google it, learn it and apply it to your salon!
Finally, the reason for me writing this story some 2 months after my visit to the Spa was to at least see if they did some follow up marketing. A welcome letter perhaps, with a voucher to use off my next booking or an email with their latest offers…did it ever happen?….Nope!
After my visit to the Spa, I filled out a lengthy mystery shopper questionnaire making specific reference to these issues and how all the positive aspects of my visit had gone to waste because of the failure to rebook or retail to me. I even made special mention that I would look forward to receiving follow up marketing from them as I REALLY wanted to come back.
I suppose I’ll NEVER know if they fixed any of these issues because I am still waiting to be invited back.