We are a special group! Booth Renters, Salon Suite Renters and Mobile Service Providers are artists as well as entrepreneurs. At one point in our careers we decided that we were not getting enough out of salon/spa/barber shop experience to warrant letting someone take, roughly, half of what we were bringing in. So we struck out on our own and took on the task of our own continued education and became our own cheerleaders. We learned to file our taxes, save and fill in every one of our empty hours via social media or marketing. We are also brave and self-motivating. As a former large salon owner, booth renter, employee, and now, salon suite renter as well as a social media expert, I’ve picked up a lot tips on how to stay busy. I’d like to pass on the 3 essential tools that will be exceedingly important for all of us to us in 2016.
1) EMAIL – Salon Suite Renters, Booth Renters & Mobile Service Providers must-must-must acquire their customer’s email addresses and send monthly emails. Tell your customers that you will be keeping them up on what’s going on in your salon suite and give them tips and product review or updates.
Invest in a Service such as MailChimp (under $30 per month) or use Insightly to send all of your customers a monthly email that is worth something. Give them a hair care or skin care tip along with an alert that you will be on vacation a few days in the upcoming month. Remind them to schedule ahead when you know it’s going to be busy so they won’t be turned away. A simple informative email can insure that you stay busier in your slower times of year if you offer clients something special like a free conditioning treatment and a glass of wine with a cut during a “Client Appreciation Month” (Slow month). Insightly will not let you make as elaborate or pretty emails as MailChimp if you’re using the basic plan like I do. But Insightly is also my cloud based client records keeper which doubles as another email provider for keeping me busy. I can access and update my client record on my mobile device or PC and Insightly syncs with my calendar. I can even send an email to each customer immediately after their visit to thank them for their patronage.
2) Social Media – All Salon Suite Renters, Booth Renters and Mobile Service Providers should learn one social media platform and do it well. One of the reasons you probably left working for someone else was that you were busy and the rest of the salon/spa/shop was not. This is because most salon owners are not taught nor teach their staff members social media or the importance of regular emails to clients. But you built your clientele so you’re probably a natural for social media marketing! I suggest you poll your customers and ask them what social media platforms they use. Then learn the one social media platform that most of them use. If you don’t get on the social media platform that your favorite customers are using, there will be other service providers who are and they may lure even the most loyal client away. Give yourself 90 days and take a class or read an eBook to learn any social media platform.
3) Scheduling Apps – Use more than one way and use more than 1 booking app to let your customer schedule an appointment. Your customer probably loves the fact that they can book an appointment with you via phone, an app, online, by Facebook Direct Message or by Texting you. I have learned that every client prefers a different way to book me and the more avenues I’ve opened up the more I stay booked up. One of the coolest booking apps is called The LISA App and the media is calling this the Uber of Salon Apps because they are marketing to get customers using the app which makes getting new customers much easier for those of us using it. I’m an early adapter and recently signed up to be an AST Ambassador. You can download the app, upload your information and license number, and, in a short amount of time be able to accept new customers, on-demand, or just be available a few hour a day or the week. You can set your own premium prices and fill in the holes in your schedule. Don’t think of it as a calendar or simple scheduling app.
The LISA App is truly more like Uber for the beauty industry and, right now, there are more customers than we can even handle! It’s so new that it may not be in your area yet but you can still sign up. You can use my email for your AST insider signup: firstname.lastname@example.org