7 Steps To Transform Your Salon Through Marketing

By Liz McKeon, Salon Business Expert and Founder of the International Salon Business School

The ‘Perfect Customer Lifecycle’ provides guidance to salons searching for a better way to develop a marketing plan – just seven simple steps that act as a framework for developing your online sales and marketing process.

By following these seven steps, you can create a marketing plan, designed to measurably grow your business, through targeted communication and smarter lead management, giving rise to lead conversion rates, increased sales and greater profits.

1. Attract Traffic

Consumers today have become highly adept at ignoring advertising in all its forms, so paid advertising is no longer the only way to drive traffic to your website; you can earn traffic by creating valuable content that attracts visitors. Content can mean things to many people, (such as blog posts, case studies, videos, webinars), but really, it’s any valuable piece of information that attracts leads to your site. More importantly, you will start to develop a trusted relationship with your visitors.

Get discovered with SEO (search engine optimisation), which is the process of getting your content and website found when potential clients perform searches on sites such as Google or Yahoo. Better search engine rankings mean you get seen by more people – and that automatically increases traffic to your website.

Paid advertising, or Pay Per Click, enables you to boost online traffic by paying a fixed amount to promote link clicks to your content and website. The best ways to get started in paid advertising are through Google adwords and Facebook ads.

About 75% of consumers use social media in some form to learn about products and services, so you cannot afford not to be in the social sphere. Start a blog about new products, industry news or salon updates/offers. Reward X (formally Twitter) and Facebook followers with exclusive offers and specials. Use LinkedIn to maintain your business connections. All of these services are free and easy to manage – the key is to be consistent.

2. Capture Leads

Now that you are attracting clients to your website with the lure of valuable content, you need to entice them to give you their contact information, so you can nurture them over time. Web forms are an excellent way to capture leads – name and email address are sufficient.

If a visitor is reluctant to submit a form on your website, it could be because your site doesn’t look credible enough. When a prospect visits your site, they should sense that you offer a comfortable level of expertise. Anything less means that they will continue to shop around until they find someone who inspires confidence. Demonstrating expertise can be as simple as including client testimonials or case studies and mentioning industry awards.

3. Nurture Prospects

Clients will book with you when they are ready to buy – you need a systematic approach for developing trust and converting leads. Consistent, valuable follow-up messages can prove to be a huge competitive edge, as long as you approach the nurturing process with a clear communication plan in mind. For example, ‘get our weekly specials’ or ‘sign up to our monthly newsletter’. Evaluate your follow-up communications, whether email, direct mail or other methods, and determine how you can customise them to each person in your database.

4. Convert Sales

You can attract, capture and nurture all the leads you’d like, but if they don’t convert into paying clients, you’re not going to make any money. In the treatment business, clients must connect with the therapist, the salesperson, before making a purchase. Your team of therapists is a valuable resource, the driving force behind your business – they will be much more valuable if you utilise your salon computer system to evaluate certain client behaviours and spending patterns.

5: Deliver & Satisfy

Winning lifelong clients requires the ability to not only get a prospect to buy again and again, but to do so happily. The benefits go far beyond inspiring loyalty and repeat business – happy, satisfied clients become advocates for your brand, driving referrals by sharing their expertise with friends, colleagues and social networks. Think about running a ‘client feedback survey’ in your salon and get feedback from your clients about the standards you are providing.

6. Upsell to Clients

In general, acquiring a new client costs 5 to 7 times more than retaining an existing client. One of the very first statistics salon owners learn is this: 80% of your profits come from the top 20% of your clients. Yet so many salons spend all their time focusing on attracting and converting new leads and clients that upsell and cross sell efforts directed at existing clients completely fall off the radar.

Consistent communication with clients is essential. Clients who have a positive experience with your salon are more likely to think of you the next time they need a treatment. Continue to develop relationships through lead nurturing, like letting clients know about complimentary services and products they might enjoy.

7. Get Referrals

Once you have established a clear process for funneling leads from their first contact to after-purchase communications, you’re in a great position for the final step in the Perfect Customer Lifecycle: growing even more clients through referrals. People are more likely to do business with someone when they are introduced by a satisfied client. Based on that idea, client referral programs are a fantastic way to generate highly qualified leads. The key to getting referrals from happy clients is simple – just ask. And don’t forget to reward clients for their referrals with a thank you gift.

Salon owners dream of striking the perfect balance between running a successful business and spending time doing the things they love. Following the steps in the Perfect Customer Lifecycle will help you rediscover the joy of running your own salon.

To learn more on Liz McKeon, visit her website here.

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