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Ways to Effectively Grow Your Salon or Spa!

    Growing your Salon or Spa is, of course, a very challenging task. Salon growth depends on several key elements, most of which you understand, like quality work and customer service. But growing your salon or spa business can be a fun and tantalizing experience when you start to explore the inner workings of your digital doorway and the opportunities you can exploit with the right systems in place. Here are 12 ways you can grow your salon or spa right now and keep your customers coming back for years to come. 

1. Ask For Referrals

     This is probably the hardest thing for a salons or spas to do. No one really enjoys asking others for favors, or what may seemingly be a hand-out. Referrals are everything in the beauty industry, especially salons, and honestly, word of mouth is still the strongest form of marketing. So don’t be afraid to ask people for more business. If they are happy with your work, they will gladly speak about it to others – especially close family/friends.

     Have a referral program in place that motivates your patrons to refer friends and family. We all love a little kick back now and then and referral programs are a great way to harness, track and reward your top referral customers. What’s more is that this is a strategy that can be easily cloned in your digital channels as well.

Don’t be afraid, the first rule when it comes to asking clients for referrals; the worst they can do is nothing.

2. Start Blogging

     As a business owner, it is important that your website offers your visitors informative articles about the services and products you offer. Knowledge is everything- so saturate your audience with blogs pertaining to your niche. In addition, blogging is great for SEO purposes and helps your site rank higher.  Having a blog on your website will not only generate more organic traffic for your spa or salon, it will also help build trust and authority with your audience. Any brand can benefit from having a blog, but most Salons and Spas overlook this key step in growth due to the time that it takes to create one blog post, so maybe think about hiring someone to do that for you. Nevertheless, if you are looking to get new customers, just get creative, get personal, and start writing.

3. Create A Loyalty Program

A good loyalty program can win hearts of new and recurring customers. Let’s face it, everyone loves a deal or a bargain, so why not create a little game out of it. In 2018 according to Salon Iris (The leading salon & spa software in our opinion) more than 65% of salons in the US were using some form of Reward program.

     How you structure your Salon or Spa reward program is really up to you. Some of our new salons just starting out give 1 point earned for every $20 spent This way their clients are earning a 5% return in there reward. Some of our more successful and established salons are offering 1 point for every $10 they spend. This basically equates a 10% return in there reward.

     That’s the first step in a good reward program to keep and attract customers. Then you have to decide what a point is. Our favorite model is to apply a monetary value to the point. Clients like a point system that is easy to interpret. But above this we like to take the point system one step further and also have a few select services that the salon or spa is trying to promote that can be redeemed at a discounted point value as well.
Here’s an example: 1 point = $1: Save 20 points before you can redeem.

 OR

     Save up and with 35 points the client can redeem them for a mini facial ($50 value)!

Give them something to look forward to and make them want to come back to your salon or spa – maybe they’ll bring a friend to join in on the fun. Some salons even reward referrals with points.  Rewarding your clients with some sort of give back will assure that they will come back to your salon for more!

4. Network More

     Just like asking for referrals, networking can be a daunting task as well. Getting out there and promoting your business, speaking on its behalf as if you’re a salesperson can be quite intimidating. So take it slow, don’t join a Meetup with 50+ business on your first try: find a local meetup or networking event with fewer businesses in attendance. This will call for a more intimate encounter during your networking and will be less overwhelming. Once you get the hang of it, go to those 50+ member meetups, maybe even start creating your own. Clients can always use tips on day-to-day styling techniques. Become the the go-to-authority in your unique space by offering free meetups and style classes. The point is to find people in your industry that will help elevate your brand- networking gives you and your brand the opportunity to reach a whole new audience without seeming salesy or pushy.

5. Manage Your Reputation

The power of reputation is only getting stronger and more central to your business growth. So if you are not actively managing your reputation online it’s time to get serious about it.

The best rule in our books is being proactive about your reputation. Using a Marketing Automation tool send out an email at the end of the day to each of the clients who had a visit and ask them how their visit was. The body of the email should have two buttons: One that says “Yes – I had a great experience” and Another that Says “No – It could have been better”. If the client clicks the Yes button they are redirected to Google or Facebook to leave a review. If the client clicks No they are redirected to leave internal feedback before they have the option post a negative review publicly.  

There are several Key Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to managing your reputation.

RESPOND

No matter what the reviewer says, good or bad, be sure to respond to all of your reviews on each platform. Show your audience not only are you listening but you're ready to help.

RESOLVE

NEVER publicly post your remedy to a situation. This is a private matter between you and your client. Each Resolution will be different. It has to make sense for both you and your client.

GRATITUDE

Always be grateful for the feedback. As Bill gate once famously said: "Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning." Feedback is like growth fertilizer.

REPAIR

Your primary objective is to invite the client back for a redo not a refund. A redo gives us a golden opportunity to repair the relationship. A customers life-time value is at risk.

CONTROL

Acknowledge negative feedback publicly but take the conversation offline by asking the reviewer to send you an email with more detail about their experience. Control your temper.

COMPROMISE

Refunds are sometimes necessary but they must come with the condition that the client removes their negative review. We count a refund as a resolution and the client should too.

6. Have Great Customer Service

     This can go for any type of business, always have great customer service. It might seem like a no-brainer but we know stylists, masseurs and estheticians sometimes need a reminder that amidst the busy, hustle and bustle of their work-day, it’s still important to deliver personal and compassionate service to your customers.

     Salons and spas have to deal with people all the time and we know sometimes those people can be difficult. However, it’s crucial that you (the owner), and the staff, maintain a positive deemenar at all times – no matter how upset the customer is. Kindness goes a long way, especially if the customer is an avid Yelp user. Make sure your staff is trained to deal with an irate customers (if need be), and also make sure you and your staff possess great listening skills (the client is always right).

7. Collect Emails - And Use Them!

     One of the most powerful forms of marketing today is still email marketing. Statistics show that 86% of emails sent from salons are opened and read. And of those opened emails 30% engage with offers. Imagine what this statistic means to your bottom line.

     Of course running a successful email campaign is not as easy at writing an email and sending it out. Regulations such as Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) put in place a few do’s and don’t and sending emails without following these guidelines can result in fines up to $10M. In order to be CASL compliant there are two main kinds of consent you need to get before sending emails:

 

If you’re using a management software like Salon Iris or Orchid Day Spa you are already well ahead of the game with tools built in for Double-opt in and email marketing abilities. You can ask your clients if you can have their email so that you can send them a “promotional offer once in a while” or some of our salons like to give them the option to have their receipt emailed to them and once they say yes and give the email they then say, “Would you like to get notified when we have special offers and discounts available?” almost always they say yet.

Email Marketing is getting more complex and we have barely scratched the surface of this powerful opportunity.

Consent is very important and making sure you have it requires some technical skills and knowledge of using Marketing Automation or Email Marketing Softwares such as Mautic or MailChimp for example.

Understand Email Marketing Consent for Salons

Requested Consent or Double Opt-in is our favourite. It’s a clear and concise way of asking permission to send your clients a deal or promotion via email in very plain casual language.

  • Clearly State the name of your salon and where you're located.
  • If you’re outsourcing your email marketing to a 3rd party who will host the personal information on their servers under accounts not registered to your salon then that 3rd party has to:
    1. Clearly state the name of their business
    2. Clearly indicate they are working for your salon and for what purpose.
  • Indicate what your salon mailing address is and provide some method for the client to contact you (either a telephone number or voice messaging system, e-mail address, or web address) And it's important that the contact information is valid for the period covered by the consent.
  • Indicate what your salon mailing address is and provide some method for the client to contact you (either a telephone number or voice messaging system, e-mail address, or web address) And it's important that the contact information is valid for the period covered by the consent.
  • Outline the period or length of time for which their consent will remain valid (Usually until they change it through unsubscribing)

Implied Consent is a more grey area but still follows a strict set of conditions. Implied consent means your client doesn’t need to double opt-in if they meet any one of the following conditions: 

  • Your client has purchased a product or service from your salon within the last two years immediately prior to the day your email message was sent.
  • In the case of franchisees if someone has applied for or accepted a business opportunity pertaining to your salon within the last two years immediately prior to the day your email message was sent.

8. Use Social Media - Constantly!

Being present on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Yelp, Google+ and many others- is now considered the new normal. We rely on social media to feed us our daily news, pop culture, trends, and keep us up-to-date with our family & friends; they help us discover new places to go, eat, get our hair done, and relax. These platforms are the hub of social life, and Salons are a social place so it would be foolish to not be present in this space.

     But being present in social media is harder today than it has ever been. Getting reach requires ad spend and getting noticed requires creative content. There’s no question in our minds how social media can grow your bottom line but you need every stylist on board if you want to make this happen.

     Make sure your brand is featured in the right social media space. Certain brands may require the need for different platforms and it depends on your audience or what your growth intentions are. More and more salons are outsourcing this realm to professionals who can make recommendations and execute a strategy based on those core goals of growth.

Social media is a great way to showcase your work and service to a whole new audience. It’s also a great way to get people engaged with the current events and people who make up your brand. 

9. Online Booking

Online Booking is now an industry standard. Every day your salon or spa goes without online booking your salon is losing. While there are dozens of software applications out there that allow you to link your booking calendar with your website, the absolute best is a software designed by DaySmart Inc called Salon Iris (For salons) and another one called Orchid Day Spa Software (For spas).

In another article we talk about the 7 reasons why your salon needs online booking and how having it contributes to the bottom line cutting operational expenses and administrative costs. Here is a brief recapitulation of the benefits of online booking:

  • 24/7 Availability
  • Your Own Free Virtual Assistant
  • Expanded booking through social media platforms like Facebook
  • Collect Emails for remarketing, cross selling, up selling and cycle selling
  • Decrease the amount of no-shows with automated appointment reminders
  • Grow your database on autopilot.

10. Run PPC Campaigns

     PPC means Pay Per Click. Almost every platform today like Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more offer PPC advertising options. For a Spa or Salon these tools can be a great place to put your money but it requires some technical knowledge and understanding of digital strategy. It’s not enough to put money on google or Facebook and then turn on an ad.

We believe one of the most important components to a digital ad strategy is the funnel that it feeds. Getting people to your website is no good if you don’t have a clear path for them to follow when they get there.

While PPC campaigns start with Facebook, Google or Instagram – they need to end with a conversion and in order to accomplish that you need to outline a clear path for your clicker to follow as you take them through the 3 stages of the Buyer’s Journey.

  This needs to be done in one smooth, seamless transition after the click. It requires split testing and time but once the design and strategy is perfected it tends to work for quite some time

11. Incorporate Online Webchat

     Web Chat is a  plug-in you install on your website that allows your marketing team or receptionist to monitor the people who visit your site. When a user lands on your web page the web-chat plugin will notify you and give you the opportunity to watch them navigate your site page by page.

     If you find your site visitor lands on the contact page,  you can send them a message and offer some assistance. If they are on the services page you might be prompted to do the same thing.

     While many salons or spas have yet to jump on this trend, we are seeing a great benefit in implementing this practice with salon and spa clients. You wouldn’t ignore someone who walks through your Salon or Spa doorway so why would you ignore them when they walk through your Digital Doorway?

12. Pick the Right Salon/Spa Management Software

As a business owner or manager I’m sure we don’t need to tell you how laborious it can be to hold everything all together. From booking, scheduling, inventory, point systems, payroll, and reporting – you have your hands full (Usually of advil) at the end of the day or period.

     So choosing a management software that does all of this work collaboratively as part of a whole system in invaluable.

     Our salons use different salon softwares. Some use Vagaro, and others Use MindBody and everything in between. As professionals in the salon marketing vertical we can’t illustrate enough how powerful Daysmart software is. So much so that we partnered with them to secure discounted rates for all of our customers. More and more of our salons are switching to this powerhouse.

     But no matter what management software you use it’s important to have a partner in success who meets the unique needs of your particular business.

Final Thoughts

     As a digital marketing agency our primary focus is growth,  the digital doorway plays a huge role in the buyer’s decision making process. Our goal is to generate leads for your business. But attracting customers to your salon or spa doesn’t only play out on the digital stage.

     No matter how great the digital marketing strategy may be, attracting customers to your salon or spa  starts in-house. There are many cards at play that will attract customers, and keep them returning to your salon; it is our job as marketers to get clients in the door, but keeping them coming back is a team effort, and without your team’s customer service and self promotion, the strategy falls apart. Attracting customers can be both a digital and practical process that work in tandem. When a first time client visits your establishment, they become more than just a paying customer – They are a seed of potential revenue and from the first greeting you must nurture them and unravel their full lifetime customer value – one visit at a time.

     Attracting Customers to Salons and Spas isn’t like any other landscape in business.  Personality can be the make or break element, this means no matter how they greet you – you must always be kind and professional, as stylists we have a secret power to change lives – and spirits. If a client seems moody or irritable: accept the challenge.

    Nurture their needs: understand what they want out of their visit, and try your best to give it to them. This could mean listening to how they want their new hairstyle and give them exactly what they asked for, or understanding where their pain is and help them alleviate it. Working with Salons and Spas, we frequently see  how difficult it can be to attract customers – and so often do we catch the flack when business is slow; we understand how frustrating it can be to have little clientele because obviously more clients equal more money. Next, you have to prioritize their needs and your own – for the benefit of the salon: figure out how you can manage your time, work more efficiently, etc. Lastly, you must be ready to sell. This means sell whatever your business has to offer: that can be hair services, facials, products, etc., and making a sale can happen in many forms.

      Want to supercharge your digital strategy and fill up your sales funnel with new clients? Let’s start the process together

 

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