As you know, I don't often look back at Salon ownership and say, "I miss it". In fact, I'm sorry to say it would be an act of God for me to go down that road again.
What I do miss however, are the services. For 24 years, I had hair stylist, nail technicians, massage therapist and skin care specialist at my fingertips.
I always paid my team for performing those services I wished to receive, but it's nothing like having to pay what I pay now.
I do get my nails manicured, I do get pedicures, and I do get regular massages and facials. To me, it's important in so many ways to maintain how you look and feel. For no other reason....I am in the Beauty Industry. Shouldn't I look and play the part?
I bring this up because without a doubt, I am super picky about who I choose for these services. So picky in fact, my pedicures are only performed by the infamous Nellie Neal. Not just because he's a friend, not just because he is damn good at what he does. It's because I know he is using quality products and I know his cleaning and disinfection techniques live up to my expectations.
Nellie has spent a lot of time (and money) to market himself. He didn't sit in his Salon and say "build it and they will come". He put his face out there, he put his body out there (at trade shows) and he still continually markets most every little step of his journey.
It's not brain surgery.....it's smart!
The idea of this blog came to me after receiving by facial on Friday night. I have been using the same esthetician for probably eight(8) years now. Unless she disappears into thin air, I will continue to use her. I have followed her now to 2-3 different locations. Not all have been the most convenient, but let me tell you......she is freaking amazing. She is one of those people who "I feel" is doing exactly what she should be doing. She's THAT good.
However, her marketing skills are -0-. Not because she isn't capable, it's because she doesn't want to. Some people are made to market and some people are not. Some people are a natural (like Nellie Neal) and some people have more of a struggle. Doesn't make them bad people, however.....in this Business....self marketing is crucial.
So, the question becomes how does a person market themselves when they aren't THAT kind of person. It's a real struggle, and I recognize this.
#1 - Know your why! Why are you doing what you do? Purpose? Money? Just because? Whatever your why is, if you don't market it correctly, you will never get where you want to be.
Using myself as an example. My why is to help others succeed. I do this through Education Base Marketing (EBM). I like to help others succeed because in the end, it does make me feel good. I feel good because I feel like I have been able to give to others, what others have taught me....to succeed. My bottom line why is "pay it forward".
Because I am constantly marketing and producing education....it put's me where I want to be.
#2 - Be present! Where are you? Who sees you? How do you let people know what you do?
Being present in today's world can cost you nothing. With the amount of SM available to us at no cost. If you aren't marketing on SM...I guess I'm left speechless.
I see so many Technicians on sites which are Industry related. That's awesome. These Industry related forums have a wealth of information coming in from all directions. However, are these the sites you need to be on to market YOUR Business. To market YOU!
I very rarely see Technicians addressing their clients. The ones I do see, it is so darn obvious how successful they are or have become. It's awesome.
Let your clients and/or potential clients know who you are. Recruit your current clients to write reviews about you on SM. Share...share...share.
You have to be visible. You have to be present.
#3 - Be involved! Network groups, Community events!
It doesn't take much to put yourself out there. In my hay day at my Salon, I belong to 1 network group and I participated in local events. These events could have been getting together with a group of friends to walk the American Heart Association walk or it could be directly related to offering lunch time services at local Business health fairs.
Either way, I began to make a name for myself and my Business grew. In fact I still go to the same Dentist I met through a network group. I have some very close friends still now of whom I met through a network group AND there are many who stay in touch via SM.
Many of these same people reach out to me with "Beauty" questions and have even introduced the Salons they frequent to my Business now.
There are many, many numerous way for you to market yourselves. There are many books, podcast, SM sites etc to help you.
However, the above 3 are the most important (in my opinion) and they are simple.
Just remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. It took the Wright Brothers 6 yrs to make an airplane that could fly and now, we have Vatican City, Millions of airplanes and Abraham Lincoln had 44 years of failures before becoming President in 1860.