I have a question for you:
Have you got a budget for marketing...and do you spend it all?
I get it. When you're busy running your Salon, marketing can feel like just another thing on the list. There are so many other things you need to do that seem way more urgent… marketing just keeps getting pushed to the bottom of the list (mostly, I'd guess, because you lack clarity on exactly what you should be doing, why, or its outcome… am I right?)
Reality check: As long as you're running your business, you're in the business of marketing. Time to get serious about your game plan!
I believe you should always be investing in marketing and have a budget for it. But it seems that as an industry, we aren’t budgeting for marketing. I want to get to the bottom of why this is and help people to realise why they need to be investing in marketing.
Why aren’t we doing what we should be doing?
I believe that the number 1 reason we don’t budget for marketing is that we don't have the right mindset around it being a journey… we want quick fixes. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been there. You need new clients, and you need them now! But I'm telling you, there’s a much stronger strategy that you can put in place that will benefit you much more in the long run.
This ‘quick fix’ attitude is the wrong mindset to have. This mindset means you’ll always be trapped in a state of emergency... this is what constantly looking for ‘instant fixes’ will do.
To get out of that trap you have to pause, and take a step back.
Get out of the trap!
Understand that business is a long term game and so is your marketing. If you only ever envisage a week ahead in your Salon’s life… it just wouldn’t progress! So why do we do it when it comes to marketing?
If you have a few gaps, this week… and your team are out the back on their bums… guess what, you’ll have a few gaps next week and the week after too. STOP!
You need to invest in the future.
Your book today is as a result of activities 6 or 12 weeks ago! So the same applies here. You need to be putting money back into growth activities for the ‘tomorrow’ of your business… and stop worrying about yesterday’s problems... you can’t change yesterday.
As business owners, we often invest in team training... that’s nice. But what about generating new clients to put into the chairs of those now beautifully skilled team members? What’s the point of improving skills, if there is no one to serve?
Consider marketing a business expense, just like wages, stock and all the other ‘essentials’ that keep your business open each day.
Where to start …?
I want you to start taking a ‘testing and evolving’ mindset.
Like, who said you should get anything right the first time? With most things in life you start as a beginner. You have to practice... that's how you become a pro!
Just like when you were training, through trial and error, to become a hairdresser or therapist, you need a period of trial and error in marketing… something that you were probably never trained in.
Too often people try something once and then give up, like posting a promotional post and getting no clients booked in, or putting an offer together and getting the ‘wrong clients’. You can’t tell me “facebook marketing doesn’t work” on this basis… Maybe it’s not facebook, and maybe you have an opportunity to learn.
These things take time, practice, and the journey is different for everyone.
The only thing worse than that is if you try something, it doesn’t work, and you keep doing the same thing over and over, and say ‘tick’ I'm doing my marketing!
Marketing, especially at the beginning isn’t just a box you can tick.
Have you ever done either (or both) of these things? Just think about it for a moment.. we’re all guilty of doing probably both of these at some point, right?
It’s a dating game!
Marketing is like dating... we are trying to ATTRACT people into our business.
It's not often the first guy or girl you date is the one you marry… in most cases, we test a few out, date around a bit until we learn who we want to marry. And while you're looking for Mr or Mrs Right, you might have a few short term relationships or flings (which is fine too!)
It’s exactly the same with marketing.
You have a few flings… an ‘in the now’ strategy while you work on your long term strategy. Have both going at the same time. You need clients today- short term, quick win offers and promotions to get bums in seats- but you also need to be thinking days, weeks and even months down the track. A lot of Salon Owners nail the short-term but forget about their long-term.. their Mr. Right!
You have to try a whole bunch of things and learn what works and what doesn’t... refine your skills and give yourself some time to get ‘good’.
Take the approach of ‘let’s see if this works, we’ll double down on what works and ditch what's not working.’ But, most of all... KEEP GOING!
You can’t find the magic unless you’re prepared to invest some time and money into working this out- there is no ONE solution or tactic that just ‘works’ (or we’d all have 1 million followers and multi-million dollar businesses!)
Your business can survive on killer offers (short term wins) while you work a real (long term) strategy. Attracting your ideal client into your salon and filling your team with great quality clients, week in, week out…
Let’s talk about turning your likes into bookings in your salon.
My 5 step strategy
Most Salon Owners I see are skipping 3 of the 5 steps in a full, well-rounded marketing strategy.
I want to make sure you know all 5 of the steps!
It's like a car...
Most owners have seats and a radio in their car (or have a website and social pages), and most have an engine (or have a promotional offer)...
And on the surface, that seems like it’s all you need… right?
But can the driver drive? Does it actually turn on when you turn the key? Does the engine work? Does it make the wheels spin? Do you have a map on where you’re going? Do you have keys, are the spark plugs working?…
Now, sometimes, we see a car and see the engine and think we’re ready, so we add some jet fuel (or make facebook ads and boost posts)...
But where are we driving? Who are we reaching, do they know us, like us, trust us, do we have an offer that people actually want to buy? Are we going for the one night stand or wanting a long term quality client who will stay with us for the long haul?
What I’m saying is, we may be doing the things we think we need to be doing, but if we don’t actually have any idea of what we’re doing… it’s all going to fall apart! We need to have all of the moving parts nailed down and in place before we even think about adding that jet fuel.
Ok, so what are the things we should be doing and implementing? This is where my 5 step strategy comes in…
-> Step #1: The Attraction Formula
Your ‘attraction formula’ means all the parts of your business which are going to attract your ideal client.
While you need to figure out who your ideal client actually is…. how old are they, are they male or female, do they have children… what their demographics are.
What’s even more important are her psychographics. What problems does she face, what does she struggle with, need help with, love, hate… how does SHE THINK… all of it!
My tip is to get in front of the mirror with her in the morning. Not literally… just picture yourself looking back into the reflection of this person, what are you seeing, thinking, feeling.
Once you’ve figured out who your ideal client it, you need to figure out your expertise so that they match what she’s looking for. What do you love, as a business, what do you do that’s different from others, what are you the best at? Why will she choose YOU over anyone else?
Now look at your messaging, your branding, your story… does it all match what she is looking for?
-> Step #2: Nailing your content
In order for you to build a following, you need a great content plan. Your content should be entirely driven by what your ideal client wants to see… not what your team wants to post!
Organic reach has dropped, so we really need to be putting effort into making sure our content (what we post) is something that our audience is going to engage with.
Again… don’t just do one post and ‘tick’ the box done (and yes, you should aim to post every day… but quality over quantity still applies). There’s no point in posting a before and after photo with no caption or a ‘back of head’ photo with the caption ‘blonde balayage’. Like, in reality… who’s going to engage with that?
Social media posting with no thought who you're speaking to is not the answer to building a following. So it doesn’t feel like a great burden to cross each day, I recommend you plan your content in advance, get a great content planner and plan out what you’re going to post each day, change up the types of posts that you’re posting and stay consistent.
-> Step #3: The know-like-trust formula
Now that you have your ideal client and engaging content nailed, it’s time to start the ‘dating process’.
But don’t get ahead of yourself? We aren’t taking them home with us just yet…
So many Salon Owners skip this vital step.
We are moving the relationship from ‘following us’ and leading them towards a date. And after all, we aren't looking for a one night stand- we’re looking for Mr. Right! Your potential clients need to get to know you a bit more.
And a social page is not a reliable way to do this, it’s a bit like a busy bar... it’s noisy in there, and harder to get to know you. The algorithm is constantly changing and so is your ability to reach new clients. It’s hard to make sure those who follow you are seeing your content.
Let me introduce you to the know-like-trust formula.
Our goal is to get them off the page (out of the bar) and into a place that we can get to know you, like you (and your team) and trust you… to form that long term relationship
The best way to do this is through facebook messenger ‘chat’.
Once there, you have the ability to chat to them, nurture the relationship and talk to them all at once through a tool called SalonBot.
Just like when you’re getting to know a potential love interest, it too takes time for clients to follow you and get to know you; actually between 7-11 times to interact with your brand before they will be ready to think about doing business with you.
Being consistent with both posting on your socials and nurturing them inside of messenger so that when they’re ready to do business with you you’ll be top of mind for them, not just lost at the bottom of their newsfeed.
The best thing? You don’t have to be glued to your phone or laptop… SalonBot is automated so that you have the ability to enjoy freedom & profit, while your potential clients are satisfied, too… automate and delegate is the best way, I say!
-> Step #4: Get em’ in your chair
There are 2 types of offer to really get clients into the chair. One is the ‘killer offer’. This is the read hard and fast offer that works straight away and gets bums in seats.
You’ll stop staff sitting out the back… but you can’t grow a business on that alone. You’d go broke!
The killer offer tends to attract more short-term clients- they hop onto the next deal. Don’t get me wrong, killer offers have their place and they are effective.
Too often I see Salon Owners relying solely on these killer offers, and wonder why they are slowly going broke.
Your long term strategy means you don’t have to rely on killer offers all the time. A long term strategy keeps in touch with their audience over time, so when the quality client wants/needs what you have, they choose YOU.
This is when we use the second type of offer. This is your signature offer. Something that’s tried and tested, it does well in Salon - you know it’s something your ideal client loves.
It doesn’t even have to be a deal, just a package or a high-end offer that will make the new client JUMP. She already knows she wants to come to your Salon.
This needs to be well thought out. We need to be presenting it to people at the right time- not too early and not leaving it too late- we need to make it super easy to do business with us.
-> Step #5- Delight and Retain
Now you have them in Salon, I’m leaving it up to you to delight them.
“how do you get clients to rebook? I have had so many clients come just once and then not return!”⠀
One word: EXPERIENCE⠀
Clients will come once for a haircut. They may like the haircut, but even the best haircut or colour in the world won’t compel someone to rebook like an EXPERIENCE will.⠀
Make them feel special, listen to them and ensure that THEY know that you care. ⠀
Everything that comes with a great experience is linked to the interaction you have with your client, not the cost of the service.⠀
A few simple (yes, and automated) reminder strategies put in place to remind people to come back will do wonders to ensure those that don’t book, come back to visit your business…simple yet effective! THAT’s all it takes to make them come back!⠀
Ok, so I want you to think to yourself… what part of this 5 steps strategy am I doing already?
Are they tied in together? Do they FLOW, so one client can flow easily from one stage to the next…
What parts have you nailed and what do you need to work on?
What I have talked about in this blog is the ‘Turn Likes into Bookings’ strategy that I have developed over years of managing salon social media and digital strategies.
It was my very first course when I launched the Salon Owners Collective, and now that I have coupled that with SalonBot, this is the exact strategy we help owners implement using messenger marketing.
We implement this for you in business: building a following, client-attracting content, building a list, nurturing during the know-like-trust period, a killer offer or just the right offer at just the right time.