Timely Launches Ambassador Programme

Booking and client experience software provider Timely has recently announced the appointment of their official brand ambassador programme.

The ambassadors have been appointed to drive advocacy, grow reach, and brand awareness.

Tamara Reid said newly appointed ambassador Natasha Smit has an existing authentic voice of influence within the beauty industry. “The Ambassador programme is mutually beneficial, adding value not only to the Timely brand but also adding value to each of Ambassadors’ profile.”

Timely Ambassador Natasha Smit shared her experience with Professional Beauty:

Tell us about how you got into the beauty industry.

“My mother gave me a lot of business skills in a perhaps unconventional way. As a single mother she often worked doing cleaning, sewing and had various small business ventures to support her children such as selling skincare and makeup. She taught me that women should always have their own source of income independent of a partner, no matter what. Today they call it Financial Feminism, but for a lot of women past and present, it was called survival.

I was bullied and assaulted in school and had left to work in a cafe. I loved makeup so Mum took me to Tuesday night demonstrations given by her own mentor Bonnie Leonard in the back of her clothing shop in Tauranga, New Zealand. I was inspired by this glamorous, outgoing divorcee who sold makeup from under glass counters like it was jewellery. She made her own money and answered to nobody.”

How did she influence you?

“Bonnie suggested I be sent to Joyce Blok Institute of Beauty Therapy, an expensive private institution 3.5 hours away. Between my grandmother and my mother, the money was raised just in the nick of time, and the rest is history. I owe my career to women who knew they needed to do it for themselves and showed me how.

My first salon was in the back room of a hair salon, with a few thousand dollars that represented all the money my mother and grandmother could raise. The reality is that for many women, the path in is hard graft and doing what you can with what you’ve got. Raising me sometimes without a huge income, and other times on welfare, Mum taught me to give value where you can, swaps, shares, helping each other out to create a network and a safety net.

I realised quickly that what I couldn’t give a supplier in dollar spend, I could give in making video content and contributing to user forums, adding value that got my salon noticed and meant people gave me more than I would have otherwise been given.”

Timely Ambassador, Natasha Smit

How did you become a Brand Ambassador for Timely?

“I spent 14 years working with bad salon software ‘three clicks when one should do’. Staff were sick of their social media apps being more slick than the software that ran their work life. I mapped the client experience journey – from the minute they thought of needing a salon, to google, to book, consult, follow up… the way it SHOULD look. I made the world’s most insane spreadsheet of every single salon software on the market. I spent 7 months interviewing these brands, sometimes waking up at 3am to get on an intro call with New York to make sure I didn’t miss any brands due to time differences. Rather than letting them sell it their way, I asked them to answer each step of my spreadsheet client journey, and marked the box according to whether they could do what I was asking – or not.

The only brand that came even CLOSE was Timely, but there were still critical gaps. So I wrote to Timely with a business case for closing those gaps. I said I would use Timely when they could do those things. Within a year, they got back to me, having developed all of my requests. The speed and accuracy, the attention to user experience, is unmatched by anyone else. I switched and my business revenue went through the roof, as I knew it would.

Knowing most salon owners use 40-50% of the features they pay for, I set out to use them 100%. I hacked the Consult app to make it into a useful skincare prescription pad, and started to make videos about how I was using Timely and how it was making me more money. Timely offered me the role late last year, and I hope to be in it for as long as possible.

I want to see Timely take 100% market share, because they are the only brand who develop according to actual in-business use, without gaslighting users into paying for things that should, in the age of open-source software, be inclusive or free.”

What does this mean for your company and what is the biggest advantage of your synergy with Timely?

“As leaders we have to understand that staff see our business as extensions of us personally. If your software sucks, you suck – you’re the one making them use it. You are 100% in charge of how they experience work, so don’t make it a shit time for them or you can expect to struggle with retention. If you use a 2015-era software, don’t be surprised that millennials refuse to work for you in 2023.

Since moving to Timely our team can photograph, consult, take voice notes, text, email, market, perform a checkout from literally anywhere in the spa (or at home if we let them log in from their own devices). They lean in. They make more money. They LIKE the software.

The biggest change is not having to train them. Timely is like using Instagram, your staff just know how and if they don’t, they work it out in moments.

If I didn’t own and adore Natasha’s Skin Spa, I would want to work for Timely full time. They’re a serious partner to my business and are the industry’s hottest brand to watch.”

This article originally appeared in the May-June 2023 print issue of Professional Beauty.

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