Free marketing?

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How much should you be spending on marketing? Answer… ideally $0! Spending money on marketing is an activity you as a salon owner should be aiming to make obsolete. “What?” I hear you say, “Stop marketing?” I deal with successful salons internationally who don’t need to spend a cent on marketing. How?

There are two ways to market your business

The first is through persuasive messaging, the use of clever words and creative linguistic endeavours, by packaging value or discounting your products and services. Nothing wrong with this if you’re happy losing time, energy and money. But honestly, you’re swimming upstream. The second way to market your business is through “truly” differentiated products and services. When you do that, life becomes easy.

What is a ‘truly’ differentiated product or service? If you build your business through delivering to the marketplace actual value that your competitors are unable to deliver (instead of just saying you’re doing so), clarity in your messaging itself becomes persuasion.

Actual differentiated value takes the burden off your linguistic ability and your marketing prowess and places it onto your actual offering. The truth of your differentiation speaks for itself. It enables you to make claims others simply cannot make.

The problem with most salons and spas is that they are not truly differentiated. This leaves them competing in a marketplace where they have to out-convince. They don’t have a meaningful answer to the question every prospective client is asking.

The million-dollar question

“Why would I choose to walk past every other salon and through your door?”

What’s your answer to that question? Is your answer real? Or would your competitors want to debate it with you? Most business owners don’t even realise that answering this question meaningfully is the key to exponential salon growth and taking their brand to a new level of success.

The second piece of the puzzle is that your meaningful point of difference must be in high demand in the marketplace. If the way in which you create your unique offering is not through an ‘in demand’ service, you’re wasting valuable time and possibly money. Don’t fight statistics. Go with them.

There is NOTHING meaningful about trends or fads

Never try to build your uniqueness with fads. A brand that will withstand the test of time is never built on fads or quick fixes. Your clients are not guinea pigs and they may let you give this or that a go, but they will not tolerate incompetence. We only have one go at it and we need to make it count.

Loyalty from your clients comes not from trying every new trend or quick-fix and hoping for a positive result, but rather, by you making powerful decisions based on what will ultimately solve their problems. Becoming customer-centric means truly offering your clients what is in their best interest long-term.

Fads are not loyalty worthy. They are far too risky and wise salon owners stay away from them at all costs. They [fads] simply do not have the longevity you need to build a long-term successful business.

Jeff Bezos, now the world’s richest man, says, “Be genuinely customer-centered, genuinely long-term oriented.“ This next quote is amazing. As a future brand creator, take special heed of Jeff’s words. They are gold:

“In the old world, you devoted 30 percent of your time to building a great service and 70 percent of your time to shouting about it. In the new world, that inverts. Are you too focused on how you talk about your business and not on what it actually does? The very best businesses acquire customers ‘organically’ without advertising.”

Let exclusive treatments and word-of-mouth drive your business.

Trust is everything

Building a successful brand is all about developing leadership in your industry and in your marketplace. You must choose a way to differentiate your brand that builds trust with your clients because that trust you build transfers into all other offerings within your business. It’s like an automatic upsell to your clients.

As you focus on becoming the educator, the influencer and the authority to your clients, you begin to gain quality clients exponentially. Everyone is relieved when they find an expert to trust. That’s how you really build exponential and rapid growth in your beauty business without spending a single dollar on marketing.

* Elle Wilson is the creator of TrueBrow, founder of Brow Secrets International and ABIA’s 2018 educator of the year. 

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