23 Things You Can Do Right Now To Make More Money
Marketing, social media, client retention, staffing—pros got 360° business guidance at the Mindbody BOLD conference.
The 2016 Mindbody BOLD Conference in Hollywood offered up an intensive business boot camp for beauty, fitness and wellness professionals—two days of sessions that covered everything from marketing, promotion and social media best practices to classes on client retention and loyalty and staff management. In many cases, the programs were conducted by panels of Mindbody customer business owners, so the advice was real world and practical. Sample some of the smart stuff they shared!
Look into SMS marketing or you’ll be left behind.
Marketing & Promotion
I.D. Your Client. Everyone is not your customer. Nor should they be. You can’t be everything to everyone. So figure out who you want to serve. The top earners in your area? Faculty and students at the local university? Kids? Once you define and understand your customer, it will be easier to find and connect with them.
Make the Most of Email and SMS Marketing. Why? They cost virtually nothing! Use these platfa client referral program, reach out to, and re-engage with, clients you haven’t seen in a while with a “we miss you” email. And start focusing on texts! The Mindbody experts predict everyone will be implementing text marketing programs in the next 12 months.
Partner With the Community. Being charitable to get good press is not why you do it, but if you are doing it, do something that people will relate to, and that reflects what you’re about. Network with other businesses in your area to get involved. Consider doing things like giving away branded balloons at a local event, offering a free service as a prize or raffle giveaway; hosting a pop-up salon or hosting a community learning event.
Strategic Partnerships Are Win-Win. The medi-spa in town hosts regular “anti-aging” evenings to educate patients on the latest injections and procedures. You offer to partner with the doctors to talk about all the ways your haircolor services can turn back the clock. You invite your clients, they invite theirs. You offer a raffle for a free service or a goody basket. You solidify your brand as the anti-aging beauty expert. You book five new color clients after the class. This is what we love about strategic partnerships with other businesses in town. Everybody wins, so do it!
Get on board with video messaging, advised
Mindbody VP of Marketing Amanda Patterson.
All Things Digital
Embrace Video. People love stories and video is all about telling stories. Plus get this: after watching a video online, 64 percent of users are more likely to buy a product; one third of all online activity is spent watching videos and 92 percent of mobile video consumers share the videos they watch, according to Mindbody VP of Marketing Amanda Patterson. If you’re not using video in your social media (Instagram Stories, Snapchat, Facebook Live), on YouTube, in your email marketing and on your website, start now! Show ‘em what you can do (and be sure to include a call to action when you do) because video leads to results!
Make Sure They Can Find You On Any Device. What’s that in your potential client’s hand? Why yes, that’s her phone. It’s always in her hand, and she uses it to research absolutely everything. So when she’s ready for balayage, you want to make sure your salon is at the top of her search. Google+ is your search engine solution, so be sure you set up your page, and set it up properly with reviews, photos, maps and hours.
Encourage Good Reviews. The more reviews you have on Google, the better you’ll be positioned in search rankings, because for Google, it’s all about providing what they deem as valuable content for their users. One way to build reviews is to reach out to clients and say, “If you’re happy with your hair, please review us on Google.” Supply a link to your Google+ page, as well as a link for your page on Yelp.
A Responsive Website is A Must. A responsive website detects what’s being used to access the site, and then adjusts it for the screen—whether it’s a PC, a tablet or a phone. If your website isn’t responsive, and you’re about to redo it, make sure that’s one of the new features.
Check out Facebook’s Call to Action Buttons. Facebook remains the number one social media platform, and now they’re tapping into the needs of business owners and new customers with call to action buttons. Here are some tried and true Facebook strategies:
• Best times to post are between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., and on Wednesdays at 3 p.m.
• Use lots of images.
• Post content that’s relevant to your audience.
• Create events. A Facebook event is a feature that allows Facebook users or page operators to create a calendar-based invitation to an event. A Facebook event can be sent to a select group of people and will include information about the event, the time and date of the event and even images related to the event.
• Target your audience.
Go For the Feels on Instagram. Because this is such a visual platform, it’s important to post images that evoke feelings from the viewer. It could be a trend that generates excitement, an amazing hairstyle that evokes awe or even a precious pic of baby’s first haircut that brings out the “awwww!” The idea is to get people talking. And once they do, be sure they can find you! Include vital data like your location and hours in your bio.
Hire Help. Would you rather do hair than post hair? Consider engaging a social media expert to build your social program. It could be a high school or college student who knows their way around Insta, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc., or it could be a social media agency that will develop and execute your social media campaigns. It will need to be a collaboration for sure, because only you know how you want to present your business, but compared to other marketing programs, it’s a cost-effective investment.
Customer Loyalty and Customer Service
It All Boils Down to Consistency. You have to be able to deliver a consistent, memorable experience for every client, every time. It must begin when they walk through the door (we’re looking at your front desk lovely!) and continue through the consultation, the service, the take-home portion and even beyond. (Help her carry her bags to the car! Call her in a few days to see if she’s having any trouble styling her new fringe!) Putting systems in place for every touch point in the salon will be smartest thing you can do to ensure a consistently excellent experience for every guest.
Deal With Adversity. Immediately. Airline pilots don’t know exactly where the turbulence will occur, but they know it will and they know what to do when it does. Same with the salon. There will be adversity, guaranteed. Have systems in place for client complaints and other problems, and when they happen, handle them immediately. If you don’t, they’ll get worse, so why not resolve them before that happens?
Two Words: Pre. Book. If you do nothing else, focus your energies on pre-booking your clients. It ensures clients get the appointment slots they want, it maintains optimum levels of client frequency and it helps you and your staff plan and feel secure about your schedules.
Put systems in place so the whole team knows what to do.
Hiring and Training Quality Employees
Put Systems in Place. You have a system for your haircolor applications—consult, analyze, formulate, apply, process, shampoo, condition, style. The same should be true of your approach to hiring staff. It could look like this:
• Initial interview with owner
• Applicant performs demo on a model for owner and other team members
• Feedback from owner and other team members
• Final interview
The goal is to make sure you select the people who fit your culture, and meet your salon’s standards.
Rely on Your Network. Job posts bring in a lot of applicants, but it’s often difficult to weed out the viables from the “no-thanks” applicants. If you’re actively networking with other businesses in your area, ask those business leaders for referrals when you’re hiring. They know you and know your business, and just might have the perfect candidate for your front desk, or they may know of a stylist from another salon who is looking for a change.
Convey Your Passion. People want to be part of something meaningful. If you’re a salon owner, remember that the best candidates will be moved by your demonstration of your passion for helping people on your team get what they want out of life, and your commitment to your core values. If you come across a candidate who shares your values, that’s the hard part. You can teach skills, but you can’t instill values.
Be Present. Nobody can run your business better than you. If you’re not there, how do you know your team is reflecting your company in the best light? Be sure your procedures are in place, and that your team understands your philosophies. Model your values—don’t ask anyone to do anything you wouldn’t do.
Share Your Vision and Get Buy-In. People need to be aligned with the vision for the organization. That’s different than the leader’s dream. In order to get everyone on board, it has to be the team’s dream.
Motivate and Coach. Create a Core Growth Plan for every employee, encompassing their personal and professional journey, year by year. Check in with each team member regularly to assess their progress. Remember that everyone’s goals and priorities are different. One person might dream of becoming an educator; another might be focused on increasing her income enough to put a down payment on a house. Work with each individual to help them get what they want.
Shed the Moldy Blueberries. If you have great people, you can build a great company. And one or two “moldy blueberries” can run the whole salad. Assess your team frequently and ask yourself, “Do I have the right people on this bus, in the right seats?” If you need to get someone off the bus, keep this in mind—you will experience about 36 hours of pain when you let them go, and then the sun will shine and you, your team and your business will be so much better off. Hoping someone will get better rarely works, so it’s best to cut the cord sooner than later.
Big Picture Stuff
All work and no play makes you sick, said Keynote Speaker Deepak Chopra.
Take a Vacation. We all know that hard work pays off, but did you know that taking a break will actually make you more productive? According to Mindbody BOLD keynote speaker Deepak Chopra, stress causes genetic changes that speed up the aging process and make the body vulnerable to illness. When you take time to slow down and relax, you’ll actually be healthier, calmer and more productive in the long run.
Don’t Fear the Fail. Ask any successful person and they’ll undoubtedly tell you that they’ve experienced at least one epic fail in their business. That’s ok. That’s how you learn. So don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone, identify new opportunities and take calculated risks. It’s the only way to move the needle.