Salon Marketing Questions & Answers By salonhowto.com – Call Us Now On 618 9443 9327

Salon Marketing Questions & Answers By salonhowto.com - Call Us Now On 618 9443 9327

Salon Marketing
Questions & Answers
Call Us Now On 618 9443 9327

Salon Marketing Questions & Answers By salonhowto.com – Call Us Now On 618 9443 9327

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Often, readers and Members ask questions which deserve a detailed answer, and which may shine light in dark places for many others. Some of the questions have been edited for clarity/grammar/spelling.

We’ll continually update this page as new or relevant questions find their way to us.

Q: What is the single most successful marketing strategy to attract new clients?

I could spend some considerable time arguing that getting new clients isn’t always the best answer, but I’ll answer it as asked.

Frankly, I know of NO single ‘best’ way of getting new clients. And I’ll bet my own mother nobody else does either.

But I do know 10 ways to get 20 clients, or twenty ways to get 10 clients, and 40 ways to get 5 new clients. And the more ways of getting clients you have in play at any one time, the more likely you are to get a whole bunch of ’em every month.

The question itself betrays a basic misunderstanding about what IS a salon or spa business. Pare it down to bare bones, and in truth it’s just a marketing business. As I’ve said elsewhere, till I’m blue in the face, marketing IS the business.

So, to extrapolate on that thought: if you aren’t doing at least 70% of the following (very) basic list of activities, regularly, then you’re not even close to getting that longed-for stampede of new customers every month…

1) a system to encourage and reward referrals. E.g., the Queen of Referrals system contained and explained in detail in the Members Only section here. 

2) a monthly – not when you feel like it, or every quarter – but monthly newsletter to your clients. Containing real news, gossip, special offers etc. (See examples and downloadable templates in the Members Only sealed section here.)

3) a lead-generation, name capture device or offer on your website. (See as example, one of the many websites we build for our Inner Circle members, such as http://www.femmefatalebeauty.com.au/)

4) New mover promotions – people move in and out of your area all the time. What are you doing to acquire lists of these, and mailing offers to them?

5) Membership programs – not only getting money ‘up-front’ from your clients, but guaranteeing that for the life of the membership, they sure ain’t going anyplace else to get their hair or beauty treatments done. (The Members Only sealed section website contains editable templates – in Word format – of Membership sales letters and posters that can be easily modified to sell memberships. Many of our members report up-front sales of tens of thousands of dollars doing this.)

6) “Client Appreciation” events – what are you doing, on a regular basis, say quarterly, to promote a special event for your clients, to bring them into the salon and show them new products, styles or treatments?

7) Gifts, freebies etc… what random and unexpected bonuses are you giving to your best clients, just as a ‘thank you’ for giving you their business and encouraging referrals?

8) Are you preparing a Monday/Tuesday special offer to SMS out to clients on say, a Friday, to fill empty chairs and treatment rooms on your slow days?

9) What are you doing to set Joint Venture marketing systems with nearby, non-competing businesses, such as florists, restaurants, gyms and cafes?

10) How are you identifying ‘famous’ people within your client base, and leveraging off that fame to attract clients of a similar type. Fame doesn’t mean a household name, it might be somebody who happens to be famous within a very small niche.

That’s just for starters. Exhausted just reading it? Welcome to the real world. That’s just a partial list of what it takes. Or…you could bury your head in the sand and just go back to cutting hair as fast as you can, or waxing till your hands bleed. Up to you. Hell of a lot more fun being a marketer of your business that it is sweating over a hot nail table though.

Q: “What is cost-effective marketing that works without spending a fortune…marketing that’s quick to do on a quiet day to fill slots last minute? How do I figure out how much I should be spending on Marketing, and what are a range of cost options that I could choose from?

A: In a survey we’ve just conducted of more than 100 salon & spa owners, we received a LOT of questions that went along similar lines. And all demonstrated flawed thinking behind the questions.

First, and worst, such questions betray the misguided belief that the marketing of a business is some kind of chore, a nuisance task to be done as cheaply as possible, with as little thought as can be got away with, and got out of the way so you can go back to the ‘real’ work of doing business.

Folks, get this, and make it stick: the real work of doing business IS the marketing of the business. It’s the ONLY thing that brings customers through the door, and keeps them coming back.

So to dismiss ‘marketing’ as merely something that has to be done on the cheap and as quickly as possible is akin to begrudging putting fuel in your car. If you don’t gas up, you don’t get anywhere.

I nag about this relentlessly – and most of our Inner Circle member salons actually get this. As Tegan Messineo (Body Firming & Beauty, member two years) writes here,

Salon Marketing Questions & Answers By salonhowto.com - Call Us Now On 618 9443 9327

Salon owner Tegan Messineo was working 80 hours a week – until she started marketing her business ‘our’ way

“If it wasn’t for  (what Greg teaches) I would still be working IN my salon not ON it. I was working 80 hours a week before doing business the Worldwide Salon Marketing way and now I work 2 days a week and I have 2 salons. The best part about the WSM program is the done for you templates.
The time I save is priceless. Thanks WSM!”

What Tegan ‘got’ very quickly was simple; the real ‘job’ of a business owner is to market the business, ALL the time, relentlessly…almost to the point of it being the ONLY thing that matters.

The other part of this question – ‘what is cost-effective marketing that works without spending a fortune’ – also betrays a basic misunderstanding of the mechanics of marketing, and the science behind it, as does ‘ How do I figure out how much I should be spending on Marketing?’

You’ll often see business people in big dumb companies talk about a ‘marketing budget’, a foolish concept if ever I’ve heard of one. If, using carefully-measured and tested Direct Response marketing & advertising (as against pure ‘branding-style’ marketing the big companies waste money on) and bring in $2, $3, $4 or more for every dollar you spent, how much are you going to spend on marketing?

Well, as much as you possibly can. Duh.

Following that logic, marketing budgets – where you arbitrarily cap the amount of money you spend on marketing – are for losers.

Having said that, of course there are ways to get a bigger bang for your marketing buck, and the more outrageous you’re prepared to be, the bigger bang you’ll get. Most business owners are far too timid in their marketing. As the late and famous American copywriting genius Gary Halbert was often teaching,  fear of criticism overrides most business owners’ desire for profit. They fear what Halbert described as “committing image suicide in order to actually make some money.” They neuter their copy so they don’t offend.

Yesterday in a coaching call with a very active Inner Circle member – she’s opening a new salon in her country town in a couple of weeks and wanted ideas on how to pack it full of customers from Day 1 – I advised her to prepare an marketing campaign that is almost guaranteed to put some noses out of joint and draw howls of protest.

(Many Inner Circle members will be familiar with a Gary Halbert-inspired headline I wrote years ago, since used very effectively by a number of Members around the world)

To her credit, this Member relished the thought of upsetting a few people – and in the process, getting herself untold amounts of FREE publicity of the kind that money simply cannot buy. She didn’t let her ego get in the way, not once declaring – as so many do – “Oh, I certainly couldn’t say that…”


Q: “What is the difference between ‘discounting’ that you say you loathe, and sending ‘money off’ vouchers to ‘lost clients’, or offering price breaks for clients who pre-pay for a series of treatments/appointments? Note: I am not saying it does not work, but you regularly slate discounting and I just cannot see the difference so perhaps you should promote it as discounting done correctly. Basically be a bit more honest in how you promote the Toolkit – and a little less clever with your wording (Packaging / Incentive = Marketing Speak for discounting / money-off). The reason I have not invested in it at this stage is that I feel that what you say and what you actually provide are not always aligned and I am concerned that I will not be buying into what I am being led to believe.”

It never ceases to amaze me how this concept of difference between ordinary, garden variety discounting, versus value-adding is so difficult for so many to get. I’ll attempt here to demonstrate this as clearly as I can, but before I do, let’s address the first sentence in this question – the difference between discounting and ‘sending ‘money off’ vouchers to ‘lost clients’, or offering price breaks for clients who pre-pay for a series of treatments/appointments?’

First, putting a sign on your front window that says “50% off” sends a multitude of negative signals to your customers, clients and prospects; in effect, it says to all and sundry,

a) We’re no good at what we do, so we’re flogging it off for whatever we can get for it.

b) We can’t think of any better offer to get you in the door, so we’re going to sacrifice our profits just for the joy of having you

c) The salon down the road is offering a 40% discount, and we can’t think of any better way to compete with them, except cut our throats by even more.

d) We sell pretty much the same service as everybody else. Yep, it’s just a commodity, like a washing machine. Our widgets are the same as their widgets. So the only way you can compare us with the competition is price.

e) And hey, next time you come in for that service, you can be pretty confident you’ll be able to screw us blind again.

In other words, you’re broadcasting your distress. And signalling loud and clear that you have no concept of ‘Sales Thinking’. So how is this different from ‘sending money-off’ vouchers to lost clients’?

If you’ve lost a client, it’s usually because they’ve been unhappy about some aspect of your service or product, and they either feel too shy to tell you, or they simply can’t be bothered. But if an average client is worth say, $1,000 a year to you, it’s probably worth offering them some incentive to get them back in, so you can attempt to re-convert them into a long-term client again. So, offering them a $20 Gift Voucher as bait is one – fairly simplistic – way of doing it. Ain’t the best way, but it’s one way. And remember, you’re not broadcasting this to the world, as with the 50% off window poster, you’re sending it to a very carefully-selected target market.

But I never advocate ‘money-off’ offers when a value-add offer can top it. Harder to construct, and requires more thinking, but much more powerful.

Which brings me back to the vast difference between value-add offers (packaging, for want of another description) and straight discounting. So many salon owners – members included, curiously – can’t get their heads around this, so it’s worth some detail.

Let’s say Salon A sells a service for $100. Salon B also sells much the same service, except today they’ve discounted it down to $80. So it’s actually cost them $20 in lost revenue.

Instead of matching that discount, Salon A decides to add value. With a service or services that cost the salon little or nothing to provide, but which add considerable perceived value. For example, a $100 hair cut plus a scalp massage valued at $10, plus a parafin wax hand treatment valued at $15, a style consultation valued at $45….and so on. Maybe even a sample home-care product as a bonus, valued at $X but provided free by your supplier.

Total perceived value, say $170 or more, for only $100.

Point being, these ‘add-ons’ can be largely stuff that you do in the salon anyway, and give away for free anyway. For the sake of the exercise, let’s say these extras actually cost you $10. Not an actual loss of revenue of $20, like the rival salon.

(AND….with such extra perceived added value, you can even recoup that ten bucks by the simple expedient of increasing the price to $110!)

PLUS….which of these two offers – a $20 discount versus an added perceived value of + $70 – would you, the prospective customer, see as being the more attractive? (And if your answer is ‘the $20 discount’ – well, are these the kind of customers you want anyway?)

That’s the difference between ‘packaging’, value-adding, and discounting. Value-adding – taking care to add value with services that cost you little but carry high perceived value – tends to attract clients who shop based on value, rather than price alone. Discounting, by contrast, appeals only to those whose prime and only concern is to buy at the lowest possible price.

Further, the entire My Social Salon program and everything in the Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit that comes with it is geared towards value-adding rather than straight discounting. Such distress selling remains, in my view, evil.

Price-breaks for clients who pre-book a series of treatments?

Yes, it might appear to be another form of discounting. But it’s much more valuable than that.

1) pre-paying – for example, salon memberships where the customer gets say, $1,000 worth of services for an up-front $800 – commits the client to continuing patronage. Once you’ve pre-paid a year’s worth of hairdressing, for example, you ain’t going anywhere else for the next year, are you?

2) As so many of our Inner Circle members report, using the templates in the Toolkit to create big-ticket, exclusive memberships, that’s not the end of the customer’s spending. For example, you limit your pre-payments to cover treatments/services only. Doesn’t include product. But people love to buy things. So what happens in real life is that, having spent the money up-front, the customer will often reach into the purse again to buy something else. The original purchase is forgotten.

Here endeth the lesson.

Salon Marketing Questions & Answers – Call Us Now On 618 9443 9327