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Last updated: October 10, 2017

Simple Contest Ideas, Proven Success

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Michelle Esling of Hair Excellence Salon & Spa in Sun Prairie, WI is more than just a master hairstylist—she’s a master motivator! Michelle realized her stylists had a ton of unlocked potential and she knew she could reach it one way or another. So, she decided some friendly contests would boost sales and morale, and help her salon establish their culture! “People really love competition,” exclaims Michelle. “If you really want to push things in your salon, don’t pit one group against the other, but give them something to reach for!” Here are three simple contest ideas that Michelle shared with attendees at the KAO Salon Alliance Networking Event in Milwaukee, WI—that are guaranteed to yield results!


Upgrade Menu Competition
This challenge essentially sold itself—those who sell the most upgrades win, well, more money to take home! Each stylist has to find a way to market upgrades and sell the most, whether by talking about it during the services, displaying the upgrade menu on the mirror—whatever technique they wanted to use! Each time there was an upgrade, the stylist placed a sticker on a chart, allowing other stylists to see where they fell compared to their coworkers. Over the course of four weeks, the salon saw 312 upgrades and additional revenue jump from $1,300 to $3,605! Additionally, the top two stylists added $445 and $375 to their take home incomes, respectively. Making it a contest was motivation enough to motivate these stylists to sell, sell and sell some more!


Hair Excellence staff with the Selfie With Your Stylist winner.


Selfie With Your Stylist
Everyone is always snapping selfies—especially after leaving the salon with a new ‘do! And where do those selfies end up? On social media, of course! So Michelle proposed a contest that would generate free publicity for Hair Excellence. Clients were encouraged to take a selfie with their stylist (mid-service if possible!) and post it to the salon Facebook page. At the end of the month, the stylist who had the most cumulative likes for their client selfies won a trip to the Goldwell KMS California Academy New York. So how’d her stylists do? There were 105 selfies posted to the Facebook page, with a grand total of 2,240 likes! Best of all, those likes came from more than just Hair Excellence’s Facebook followers, greatly extending their reach into social media!


By offering a prize for the stylist and client, Hair Excellence saw their reviews jump from just 16 to over 200!


Review Your ‘Do
If the prize is an iPad, people are willing to do almost anything! So why not spin that into something positive for you. For this contest, Michelle noticed that she had only 16 reviews posted on her salon’s Facebook page—a mix of moderate to positive reviews. So she advertised a raffle to win an iPad Air. Clients were urged to leave a review in order to enter to win the iPad—detailing everything from their services to the stylist they visited. At the end of the month, a review is picked and the client and stylist mentioned both receive an iPad. As a result, Hair Excellence went from 16 to 120 reviews by the end of the contest (and it’s still climbing with over 200 reviews now!), with the majority of them being 5-star reviews!