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What advertisement works best to get customers??
(09-02-2012, 09:45 PM)CandiceAE Wrote: That's a fairly standard saying in the marketing world, and for sure, it's true. A lot of what you're talking about Stephanie, really depends on your demographics. I have over a 90% pre-booking rate, and I track those I want to come back - and I contact them personally through a call or a written note if I don't see them. I use salon software (Vagaro) that makes it very easy to email marketing materials and I've made a deliberate choice not to, because I know without a shadow of a doubt that my clients appreciate that I don't fill their in-box.

There is no one size fits all, even within the same industry. The first step of any marketing plan (or starting a business for that matter) is knowing who your clients are (are who you want them to be) - and without that you're still just shooting in the dark, and maybe killing off a client or two in the process! I'm not saying that email, text and internet advertising don't work - obviously they have their place and can really have an impact depending on your demographics. I am just saying, not every client is one who will appreciate the emails/texts - and many are even reluctant to give it, so have another plan in place - preferably one as personal as the services you offer!

"because I know without a shadow of a doubt that my clients appreciate that I don't fill their in-box"

That was my fault that I mixed this thread with talking about marketing to pull in new customers, AND re-marketing to get old customers to come back again..... and when it comes to the former, email marketing is absolutely necessary, no matter what industry you are in (re-marketing ideas are best served by starting a new discussion because that's a whole other beast Wink ).

So there's a standard sales process cycle, and majority of the time when a new person visits your website, more often than not they are not going to call right then to book an appointment. You can easily find this out by looking at the analytics for your website (hopefully you do have those installed!) and comparing that to the number of new clients you get each month from your site. But by having an email optin form, you offer them something of value in return for their email address (coupons are a common one, but the best way to use this opportunity is to educate them about your services, and without directly attacking the NSS shops you can explain why your services are better, what you do & what you don't do that sets you apart from the competition). That way you can continue to send them emails, and have them be ready with YOUR info when they're ready to book.

It's very similar to dating Big Grin A guy takes a girl out on a first date and shouldn't expect a home run that very first night...... courting in relationships and courting in a sales funnel cycle is not much different.

In any industry, there's only 3 ways you can grow your business:

1.) Increase the number of clients
2.) Increase the amount they spend by raising prices
3.) Increase the frequency at which they purchase

Having an email list will help with #1 & #3
Email will help you convert more website visitors to clients (#1)
Email will help you to get them back in your chair again (#3)

However, #1 is *generally* the most expensive, when you factor in how much money you had to spend to GET the traffic to your website in the first place. All your YellowPages advertising, SEO, time spent on Facebook, etc.

And that's why converting more website customers to clients should be the first thing to increase with any website for a company that's struggling... because you'll get a MUCH better overall ROI for your website.

Oh and this all ties into "Effective marketing is all about putting out the right message, in front of the right person, at the right time."

Notice that part at the end that says "at the right time"?
Well if a new visitor to your site isn't ready to book right now, but maybe in the future, you won't have a way to get a message in front of them at the right time unless you use something like SMS or email marketing.
7 year Nail Tech turned internet marketing coach for salons & local businesses.

Skype: StephanieH1517

All customers & clients & friends are welcome to talk to me on Skype. I answer questions and PMs when I'm inbetween coaching sessions.
(09-10-2012, 02:22 AM)CandiceAE Wrote: I was just talking to my husband this weekend about the incredible lack of easily accessible information for our industry. I know everyone just needs to make a living, but hiring a business coach would run $150-300/hour, champ camp or the like run to the thousands by the time you pay for travel. Most people simply can't afford that. There are a few marketing/business systems with monthly fees (I've tried a few of them) that just don't have the value for dialing down into our specific business - they tend to be so generic that they don't really lighten the load much for what they cost. Everything I've invested in over the past four years turned out to be terribly general, sometimes lazy in the lack of detail, and really didn't offer much that we can't find by just googling and learning from others. Our schools are sad, because for all the money, you just learn to pass the state board. Yes, we have trade magazines - and they have some useful information, but I'm afraid I don't put much stock in them - primarily because I've been a contributor to both of our national magazines (by their request) many times now, and it disappoints me because, seriously, I've only been licensed for four years and I've been referred to as an industry expert? What??? Smile

This is supposed to be a FREE forum for helping each other and sharing ideas. That's why I continue to come on here when I don't personally benefit much except getting to network with my nail tech co-workers! I primarily answer business related questions, because I come from a finance background, and the business end of what we do is probably where the biggest shortage of information exists in our industry. During my first couple years, I had some generous people helping me, both on and off the forum. Now I regularly take phone calls and respond to emails from nail techs all over the country who have questions. Unless people who have figured things out will share information, the answers are only usually available if they have hundreds (or thousands) of dollars to spend.

Yes, the $150-$300/hr is right on the nail with what I charge for 1-on-1 coaching, and the only time I've ever gone as low as $100/hr is when someone pays upfront for a good chunk of hours. However, realize that group coaching is MUCH less, because obviously the coach gets to serve a lot more people at 1 time. I haven't started group coaching for my salons yet, but when I do I was going to do $47/mo and have a live webinar each month where the girls can come on and ask specific questions if they wish to do so, with full recordings provided in the members area. The main difference is obvious in that the 1-on-1 is specific to your exact needs. Whereas, doing a group coaching you just take 1 topic for each webinar and dissect it entirely. If the group wants more, then you expand next time.

But when it comes to 1-on-1 coaching, there's a reason why I don't have a buy button randomly floating around for every Tom, Dick or Harry that finds me... and that's because I won't do 1-on-1 coaching with every person that crosses my path. Some people I can help, others would be better suited just paying for a service to have someone take care of it for them.

There definitely will be more free information coming from me soon. I can't *yet* fully jump back into the forum because I'm getting ready to release a training product in one week, and the week after that me & some colleagues are going to Orlando for a week where I'll be speaking at a marketing event. Soooo excited & so very scared at the same time for the event LOL! Big Grin But, teaching is what I love to do, and that's what makes my world go round.

I was thinking about making my next contribution to be about pricing in the salon. This is something I get asked a lot, which made me dive into behavioral economics (in addition to marketing). The shortened version is that when faced with a decision, most people are not thinking rationally. But when you are designing your menu, you generally ARE thinking rationally... which is why the 2 don't mix Wink And even if you design 2 services where you think the higher priced one is the most valuable, but yet you don't sell a lot of those... well, there's a reason for that. And there's a way to get over that.

If anyone is still reading this thread, let me know if that's something you'd like me to make a new thread about so that you can sell more of your higher priced services.

This board was a lifesaver for me back when I was still brand new to nails. I noticed Debbie must have purged all the posts, but I used to have a good couple (or several hundred) on here "back in the day". So I don't mind giving back where I can Smile
7 year Nail Tech turned internet marketing coach for salons & local businesses.

Skype: StephanieH1517

All customers & clients & friends are welcome to talk to me on Skype. I answer questions and PMs when I'm inbetween coaching sessions.
(09-11-2012, 09:38 AM)PrecisionNails Wrote: For those of you considering Groupon:

Really good food for thought for anyone considering this! Thanks for posting!
Nail Tech/Owner
Nobody has mentioned testimonials yet, I don't think. They can also postively influence buying decisions. My online scheduling program publishes reviews from clients after their appointments (they can opt in/out) and I always ask new clients if they read them. The majority of the time they say yes and that it influenced their decision to book with me, if they didn't know me or weren't a referral. It costs nothing to get a few testimonials from your clients and use them in your marketing materials. Most of the clients you would ask to do this would be more than happy to sing your praises for you.
Laura Merzetti
CND Education Ambassador
Toronto, Ontario Canada
(09-12-2012, 02:36 PM)scratchmyback Wrote: Nobody has mentioned testimonials yet

Yes, definitely! And highly recommended, especially for our industry given the social nature of it, to get them if at all possible to post their testimonial/recommendation on your FB fanpage.

When FB redesigned to the timeline one of the things that they did that was VERY smart from a marketing standpoint, is make the recommendations box be the first thing you see when you come to a fanpage.

Social proof is HUGE.

People want what other people have. It's as simple as that.

Of course someone could dispute that and say they are the type to zig when everyone else is zagging....... of course, there's always that possibility... but at the end of the day the social norm trumps most exceptions.

Not only that, you will always pick up a few new likes (and maybe even clients) when someone posts a recommendation for you, because it gets displayed in all their friends newsfeeds Smile
7 year Nail Tech turned internet marketing coach for salons & local businesses.

Skype: StephanieH1517

All customers & clients & friends are welcome to talk to me on Skype. I answer questions and PMs when I'm inbetween coaching sessions.
Just a quick update - just got off the phone with a new client who booked a Shellac mani/pedi with me based on the testimonials on my booking page on my website. It truly does work Smile
Laura Merzetti
CND Education Ambassador
Toronto, Ontario Canada
Testimonials are a must. All the advertising in the world will not help you if your clients are not happy!
(09-13-2012, 04:07 PM)gelpro Wrote: Testimonials are a must. All the advertising in the world will not help you if your clients are not happy!

I know this is true, but we have the chicken and the egg. You must have customers to get reviews, customers begat referrals, reviews begat more customers and so on. So...

Hey Candice... I have set up a rewards program with 7 services get 10percent off. I have a client complain that I should do something more (long time client ) as she read a promo that I posted in FB ... Looking for two new ladies ( new clients) to do gel polish on. I resppnded this is a promo for new business. Her response was I know but it's only 10percent (rewards).... Any suggestions? Thanks for helping !!!
To make the best nails is to do the best you can!!
Well... she won't like my suggestion, but 10% is TOO HIGH! Yes, my voice raised just a little saying that lol. The only time I've given such a discount is for the grand opening - usually for existing clients I stick to 1) points program 2) things that reward desired behavior (such as pre-booking drawing, referral reward), or 3) service specials, as I mentioned previously in this thread I prefer to bundle services and add-ons at a special price, but I do it in such a way that my hourly rate is preserved.

My rewards program for existing clients is between 3-5% back in a points system. 3% back if they save their points and use them for a free full service, 5% for nail art and add-ons, and usually 4% for retail. It's a little bit hidden, though, because they don't get that percentage off an item, but rather the points add up and they get things for FREE. So they get a point for every dollar spent, then my system lets me assign a number of points needed to get something for free at check out. I use Vagaro salon app, and for $25 a month it tracks all this for me, plus all my booking, manages retail, etc... If you invested in this program you could back away from the whole 10% off thing and clients wouldn't really even know the difference.

As for new client promos - I originally offered just $10 off their first RockStar service. As part of my grand opening at my Stanwood salon I had little cards with percent off offers for retail and services, but I only used those for a few months after opening. I haven't advertised in a while now, and have no plans to, but I typically just do the service bundling for new clients. I don't usually have trouble with existing clients asking for the new client specials, because they see they get free things fairly regularly with the points program.

If you think about it, no successful large company gives 10% off regularly unless they have inflated their pricing before-hand or are putting things on sale as loss leaders - because they hope you will buy a whole lot more. We don't have "a whole lot more" for people to buy, just our time... The best rewards credit cards out there only give 2% or so back, why would we consistently give five times that? If explaining that to the client doesn't make her see the light, ask her if she'd like to save 10% all the time for a while and then have to find someone new when you realize you can't make a living that way, or if she'd prefer you actually make a reasonable wage so that you can continue taking care of her. You'll think I'm kidding, but I've had this conversation with clients and they usually see the logic of paying me enough that I keep coming back for more!
Nail Tech/Owner

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