Archives for July 2012

Profitable Marketing Lessons From the Beach

Wil and I were hanging out at the beach yesterday and though I was resting and enjoying the afternoon sunshine, I learned a very important marketing lesson that I wanted to share with you. Check it out:

How can you apply this lesson to your business? Share your thoughts with me below.

5 Steps to Creating a Referral-Based Business

Doesn’t it feel great to pass along the word about your favorite restaurant or tell someone about a terrific book you can read? You can make it easy for your clients  to do the same for your spa and salon services. When you create a VIP experience for your clients, they are just as excited to tell others about you.

Creating a referral based business, where you’re consistently getting leads from your current clients, has multiple benefits. It helps cut down your marketing time and costs, it gives you more opportunities to provide great service and can help you grow your business at lightening.

Here are five PROVEN steps to use to create the type of business that people love to rave about!

  1. Be worth of referring – Always do your best! This doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect. But it does mean that you need to give your very best effort and deliver on what you promise… on time! Under promise and over deliver at every opportunity that you can.
  2. Ask for referrals – Don’t worry if you feel intimidated! Asking your existing and past clients to introduce you to those in their family members, friends and colleagues is a perfectly acceptable way to grow your business. This is simple to do when a client has just commented on the excellent quality of your work.
  3. Educate your audience on how to refer you – It’s easier for your contacts to refer to you when they know exactly what you are looking for. Give specific and relatable examples. For example, “We just introduced a new skin care that caters to folks with [A SPECIFIC SKIN CONDITION] and are looking to help them”.  Provide terms and problems they should be looking for so they know when to present your services.
  4. Systematize your efforts – Send out a monthly mailing to your past and present clients to let them know what’s new in your business. Invite them to share the news with others. Be sure to promptly follow up on any leads you receive (within 48 hours). Keep track of your leads and check-in regularly with prospects.
  5. Offer a gracious and generous thank you to anyone who refers business to you. Show your appreciation by promptly sending a thank you card and a gift. Whether it’s a gift card, a delivery of flowers or another gift of your choice, make the time and extend the effort to let that person know how much you appreciate their confidence in your services.

By implementing these five steps, you’ll be able to create a solid stream of referrals and create more profits and more success in your business!

These 5 Mistakes Will Ensure I Never Return to This Salon

I JUST got home from a mani/pedi appointment and am so disappointed with my experience. To make sure you aren’t making any of these mistakes in your spa or salon, I wanted to share my story with you:

What do you think about this? Please share your thoughts below.

How To Add Incidental Income to Your Bank Account

Have you ever read an advertisement that goes something like this:

MAKE $10,000 WEEKLY WHILE YOU SLEEP!!

I sometimes laugh at the hype-y claims that are made in internet marketing. Oftentimes, the hype leads you down a path of making several purchases before you even learn the first implementable strategy on building a successful business.

piggy bankI’m glad that you join us here for smart and simple marketing strategies that you can use immediately in your business and find several benefits. Instead of telling you some wild story about how to make thousands of dollars at the push of a button, I do want to teach you how you can earn incidental income when you are not even thinking about it. Is that hype-filled? No! Is it possible? VERY!

What do I mean by incidental? Take for instance the products and services that you have sold in the past. Likely, you had a promotion for a specific period of time where you really put forth a great effort of marketing your product or service. You may have had a goal for the amount of income that you wanted to draw from this campaign. Does this sound familiar?

Now, I want you to fast-forward a month or two beyond that particular marketing campaign. The hustle and bustle of the launch is in the past. You have made a good number of sales from the promotional period (probably even crushing your initial goal). But, it has come to an end and you are no longer focusing on selling that product or service. Read more about How To Add Incidental Income to Your Bank Account

Simple SEO Strategies That REALLY Work (Infographic)

Search Engine Optimization, aka SEO, is a marketing strategy that often eludes busy professionals like you and me. Yes, we know we need to pay attention to it. But it seems overly technical, time consuming and confusing to figure it out all out.

Not to mention the fact that the big search engines like Google (which is the only one you should really pay any attention to) change their formulas constantly, so keeping up with what works and what isn’t working could easily be a full time job.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that kind of time. I’m pretty sure you don’t either. Thus, in order to make sure our websites are well optimized and doing their job (which is bringing us pre-qualified leads and helping us convert those leads to clients), we need a simple strategy that we can implement consistently and that won’t be overly affected by whatever changes Google decides to make next.

[Read more…]

How To Use Automation to Short Cut Your Marketing Efforts and Increase Your Profits

I often hear entrepreneurs making this excuse about why they aren’t marketing their business consistently:

“I don’t have enough time to market Sydni!”

I’ll refrain from going off on a rant about making excuses (and how that correlates to how successful you are in business), but I will say that we are each gifted 24 hours each day. How you choose to spend that time is entirely up to you. But you can easily buy more time to help you specifically with your marketing.heavy profits

“How is that?” you ask.

You can do this by automating as much of your marketing as possible. Let’s face it, technological advancement is on the move and not slowing down any time soon. Rather than this being a cause for fear or stress, embrace it and use technology to your marketing advantage. You will serve your audience well and increase your profits by letting technology pull the heavy load for your marketing needs. Automation simply means to use technology to handle repetitive tasks for you. Let’s see how this works. Read more about How To Use Automation to Short Cut Your Marketing Efforts and Increase Your Profits

5 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Spa or Salon with a Blog

Looking for a way to get new customers and grow a loyal fan base in your community?

Print ads and direct mail used to work wonders for businesses – but with more and more customers going online, doesn’t it make sense to connect with them where they are? Grabbing attention from your local clients is essential to growing your business and blogging can help you do just that.

By consistently updating your blog and offering your audience new information, your website will be found in search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo – the places that potential customers are going to online to look for spa and salon services in your area. Your potential new customers aren’t looking to be sold to – they want information and solutions the challenges they are facing with their health or beauty needs.

To top it off, by publishing consistently, you can increase your search engine rankings. Search engines love new information! Each blog posts acts like an update to your website. The more often you update your site, the more often the Google, Bing and Yahoo will direct traffic your way.

With all of these benefits, you’re probably ready to get started blogging. But perhaps you’re wondering, “What should I write about?” That’s a great question and here are five ways to create topics for your salon or spa blog that will bring in new traffic and new customers:

  1. Highlight new trends.Spa and salon clients want to know that they are getting the newest and latest services. If there’s a big new trend in your industry, give potential customers the inside scoop. Think about how cuts, coloring techniques, manicures or other spa services change throughout the year – and then show your readers how to make use of these trends. You can highlight new techniques, explain seasonal changes in style and generally show off your expertise with this type of post.
  2. Introduce a popular product.Retail sales are the most profitable piece of your revenue mix in a spa or salon business – so this type of post can give you an edge. If there’s something popular on your product shelves, give it a spotlight on your blog. Share how a client used it, what her situation was before and what her situation was after. Show how using the product made a difference in her life. Not only will this help current readers learn about something new, other people will be lead to your blog when they search for these products online and may be inclined to come and buy them at your shop.
  3. Give your staff the spotlight.No spa or salon survives without a great staff – so give yours center stage on your blog. Creating team profiles on your blog can help you highlight their expertise, their awards and give your shop a real “face.” When people come in for the first time, they’ll feel like they already know your staff and feel more comfortable. They’ll also know exactly who to go to, to get the services they are looking for, which makes it quicker and easier for your receptionist to book appointments.
  4. Advertise special events.
    Is something special going on at your salon that everyone needs to know about? Give it some attention on your blog! Special events – from theme days to charity events hosted at your business – are worth spreading the word about, and your blog can be the perfect platform. Plus, it shows that your business can have a little fun and give back to the community.
  5. Share insider tips.Give your new salon or spa customers a few tips to help make their experience special. These type of posts can help them understand the lingo, your different service options and how to make the most out of their visit. It’s easy to take for granted the details and knowledge you have about health and beauty issues. Your clients are dying to know your insider secrets! So pull back the curtain and share with them! When you do this, you’ll be able to build more trust and credibility with your clients.

There are thousands of ideas as to what you could write about. But don’t overwhelm yourself! Keep it simple and get started using these five I mentioned. Use them as jumping off points to brainstorm some ideas and begin using your blog to get new business and increase your sales.

Try This “Hot New Thing” to Boost Your Revenue

oopsThere is always some “hot new thing” in the marketplace that is supposedly designed to end your marketing woes. Sometimes the new thing works, sometimes it doesn’t. But I want to share with you the new smart, simple, “hot”, “new” thing that IS working right now. What is that Hot New (or actually old successful thing)? It comes in the form of three simple words: Plan, Execute, and Results!

How often do you take time to look at your business objectively? Every day you fight to not get bogged down in the minutia of things that are thrown at you. After putting out multiple fires each week, it is easy to forget the very reason you are started your business in the first place. It can be difficult to step away from the hustle to detect areas where you could simplify and improve operations. If you are constantly in a mental fog, you will miss opportunities to increase your revenue. If you aren’t careful, your business can put you in the same rat race that you sought to escape when you were working for someone else.

It is time for you to go old school and do what successful entrepreneurs have done for centuries. That is plan the work that you must do. Execute the plan that you have created. Benefit from and duplicate the results you enjoy. Let me show you how. Read more about Try This “Hot New Thing” to Boost Your Revenue

Are Daily Deal Sites a Good Deal for Your Spa?

Daily deal sites are all the rage for consumers – but are they a good fit for your business?

Before you sign up to offer deep discounts on your services in order to woo new customers, you need to consider the facts. Sites like Groupon, Bloomspot and Living Social may not bring you the benefits that you’re looking for – unless you have the right strategy in place to woo couponers and turn them into long term clients.

Do Daily Deals Add Up?

Daily deal sites seem promising to many spa owners. After all, who doesn’t want a flurry of customers coming in all at once? However, after the initial rush of bringing in dozens, or hundreds of customers, there are the financial facts to deal with. Most sites will encourage you to give 50% off of your retail price for services, and will charge a fee of 25% of the total retail cost of your service. When these are combined, these discounts may eat up your profit margin.

For example, if you have a basic spa package for $80 retail, it may cost you $40 in labor, products and other miscellaneous business expenses. Your total profit off of this service is $40. So it may seem like you’re breaking even on all the daily deal coupons coming in with a $40 price tag. The only problem is that when you add in the daily deal site’s commission, it leaves you with $20 of loss for every sale.

That may not be a bad deal, IF you look at that as money spent on marketing and advertising to attract a great new client. Which means you need to be clear about who you’re targeting with your deal.

What Kind of Customers Can You Expect?

According to the research firm User Insight, there are two types of coupon seekers that you can expect to find with daily deal sites. With the right strategy, you can easily turn couponers into long term customers.

Casual Couponer

This type of couponer doesn’t actively seek out deals but will pick one up if she runs across it and was planning to buy that service or product anyway. This type of couponer may have considered visiting a spa, or treating herself to a massage, and seeing the deal on the website coincided with her need.

Groupon and other daily deal sites might be a good way to introduce your spa to this customer – but you need to really “Wow!” her with service in order to get her to come back and give her an incentive to do so. If her experience is truly exceptional, you can count on her returning.

Reward Seekers

Unlike casual couponers, who may have bought from you anyway, reward seekers are buyers who are always on the hunt for a low price. This type of buyer isn’t loyal to your brand – she’s just looking for a deal. She’s going to move onto the next deal unless you have an enticing loyalty program to keep her around. If you’re willing to create a frequent customer program or have another type of ongoing discount in mind, you can grab those daily deal seekers long term.

Participating in a daily deal isn’t necessarily a bad idea. It can be a great boost to your business! But you do need to understand clearly what you’re signing up for and how the numbers work.

For this opportunity to really work for you, you need to have a strategy in place to turn each of your daily deal sales into a recurring client, so you can re-coup the cost of services up front and build up a consistent revenue stream with that client. Also, you want to have systems in place that will “wow” your new clients and incentivize them to return soon after their first appointment.

Before you sign up for a daily deal website, you need to look at the situation from all angles. You have to determine whether or not it will be a good deal for YOU as well as the customers. Crunch the numbers and figure out how much you can spend to obtain a new customer.

If it looks like a good fit for your business financially, understand the difference between the most common daily deal customers – and get those systems in place to keep your new clients coming back. Only then will you be able to reap the benefits of inviting couponers to your business. Good luck!