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Salon Marketing Strategies

by Coach Christopher · 0 comments

Part 2 – Salon Marketing Strategies

If you haven’t read part 1, “owning a salon business can be hard on your marriage” make sure to do that first because it you’ll find out how I got fired from my own business and how that led me to learn the 1st truth of all business owners, which is…

Marketing your Salon Spa is your #1 job as owner

…which is what I did after that “thing” my wife did to me happened.

Specifically getting new clients in so I could have 100% control over that part of my income

but you won’t believe how much money I LOST in the process 🙁

 

See, I’m pretty savvy (ok, bold & tactless at times too)

And I remember when we first signed our initial lease well over a decade ago…

We went into the mall, signed a 10 page contract and was on the hook for a few thousand dollars every month for the next few years…

Plus we had to build out our own space too, but mothers day was just a week away!

So I ran a little business card sized ad in the local paper and figured we’d offer a special and do massages out of our home office until we got our place open the following month

GUESS WHAT?

We got 1 phone call and no sales, zero, zip, zilch, nada, nothing…

So I didn’t pay. Then the phone rang, it was the paper.

The paper (sales manager, actually, a brand new gal) called a month later right after we got our mall location open asking for money…

And I told her I didn’t mind giving a whopping 50% of sales… but we only got 1 call and zero sales.

She said I had to “build my brand,” and to spend more (and more) and more and it would work.

So what did I do?

I said “If the first ad didn’t work, why would I run another ad?”

and to “put your money where your mouth is and run the ads and I’d pay half of all sales until we got up to our bill that was due” ($250).

Usually they would NEVER do this, but I don’t know why, being new or what not and she said YES!

She had her design team create a full color, 2/3rd page ad and ran it!

COLORRUSSIAN

Then another half page b/w ad the following week!

So she calls back to gloat about her wonderful $10k ad campaign and see how happy I was, so I told her…

“We’ve got 6 paying clients from that, I still need 4 more”

She was speechless and ran another b/w smaller ad or two, collected her money from me and called it quits.

LESSON LEARNED:

“Branding” doesn’t work

That’s an important one because it’s a mistake nearly every one of us salon and spa owners make with print advertising…

Again, “getting your name out there” will NOT pay the bills…

I honestly don’t know why we do all this print advertising because it LOSES us money,

I think it’s because it’s “done-for-you” i.e. we write a check and then they make an ad for us and print it,

*sigh*

Anyway, in my newfound “jobless” position (after being fired by my wife for trying to get the staff to do their jobs) this MARKETING the business challenge would prove to be tough…

…and expensive…

So I remembered that lesson and proceeded with caution so I wouldn’t lose $10k of my own money (which I did anyway testing things out)

 

I started out and went to work with a specific goal in mind (remember, it was new clients I was after)…

I created what I called results-based salon and spa marketing”

i.e. If I put this on my credit card at the beginning of the month, I want enough (more than enough) sales to pay for the bill by the end of the month!

Right!

I mean, shouldn’t that be the point of marketing, to get clients IN, not just the word ‘out’???

Here’s what I tried:

1st, I went back to print and spoke to a few magazines and the owners literally told me this:

“Oh, don’t expect anything withing the first 6 months… but at the end of the year the ads should pay for themselves” (with 100% going to advertising)…

WTHeck???

Ok, on to #2

I contacted “direct response” Coupon Magazines thinking they should get results…

…and they do, for restaurants

but not spas.

Even with a 400% increase in results based on my ad design, it still only brought in a few hundred bucks but cost THOUSANDS to run an ad,

and then I lost more trying the same thing with postcard mailer packs

Damn, $10k lost hoping for results, and I’m losing my own money now!

3rd, I tried radio, not for cash (tried and failed at that again and again before) but as their #1 prize during their HUGE Christmas promo…

I mean, it was ALL over the radio…

Christmas is the BEST time for us to sell gift certificates and spa gifts were HOT back then…

And it’s all for TRADE in services!

The results?

We got one (1) client… and had to give away a years worth of services in trade to the radio station,

“No” to any more radio advertising.

What was left?

if the newspaper, phonebook (gave that up long ago), womens magazines, coupon magazines, postcard coupon mailers and radio doesn’t work, what does???

“Oh, television” I thought

4th, I sought out and found the best TV guy in America and got all his “secrets” on running tv ads and we actually did pretty good…

We got famous within months…

People recognized us…

Sales went up some…

But it cost us $2,000-$3,000 each and every month to do it for something that couldn’t really be tracked.

Although I had success with it, it wasn’t the answer,

I was at a loss for words (and knowing me, that’s tough)

I was literally stumped.

 

But then I remembered something…

I had to call my website designer to get her to update the site (costing us each time) for Valentines day…

She was 2 weeks late and missed the ball on my V-day specials, but it made me realize…

“Where are the NEW clients who love our website?”

“Why aren’t we getting calls from the INTERNET via our website?”

And I realized, we weren’t being FOUND (i.e. for as pretty as it was, for business… our website sucked)

Our site was based on what 99.9% of designers base all the sites they do on…

The businesses NAME

But who the heck is searching for my salon spa’s name?

I mean, I don’t need my own clients, I need new ones!

And new ones have no idea what my name is, but here I am with a website that’s virtually invisible to google unless you search for my salon spa’s name…

How ridiculous is that?!

So I got to work on “fixing” all the keywords, html & code on my website!

After all, my website is MINE, I own it, so any seo improvements I do will stick with me…

what better investment is that?

And I could do it myself, so

First …I did research on my “keywords” to find out what people were searching for,

…then I fixed the titles of all my pages so google would know what my site was about,

…and I also fixed the descriptions of all my pages,

And low and behold, we started showing up on page one of Google!

Not our google page by our map listing, but our MAIN Site 🙂

But there were still not that many phone calls,

Here we are getting hundreds of hits/day and the phone isn’t ringing, what’s up with that!?

I realized I wasn’t stopping the person from “surfing the web” and getting them to call me…

So I fixed my site, made it Google friendly, got it “keyworded”…

Now I literally had to change up my website completely to create some “Authority

I needed my visitors to know that there was NO reason to continue searching for other Salon Spa’s,

That they had found the best one in town, period!

How do I create Authority?

Well, I needed testimonials…

I needed “bling”…

I needed social media (facebook, twitter, etc)…

I needed VIDEO to Stop them and Connect…

Clearly, editing custom html on my site wasn’t going to work,

every time I forgot a comma the who thing would disappear or move half a page off the site…

So what would you do?

I knew what needed to be done, but

It was tough…

(I can’t believe I did it… but I did it for the good of the business)

But I FIRED my designer (who wants to pay $100 for an update each month anyway!)…

And I threw away my beautiful $6k designers website,

and started over from scratch.

I redid the whole site…

AND JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME

Because without it…

What happened next (in part 3) nearly did me in and closed our doors forever.

If it weren’t for the changes I was making in my NEW site…

“Who Loves Ya?”
– Coach Christopher

PS
Tomorrow I tell you the ONE thing that literally makes me THOUSANDS in sales each month without me lifting a finger,
…and I would’ve left it off completely if it weren’t for what was about to happen!

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