Nikola Cline from Brandettes shares her tips and advice for where to start with a mid-year marketing check-in for your salon.
Believe it or not, we’re basically halfway through 2023. Many of you set goals at the start of the year, for both your own personal development and for your salon or beauty business. Whether you’re on track to achieve those big goals, or you’re realizing you’re not making the progress you wanted, it’s time to check-in. Where should you start with a mid-year marketing check-in? The dollars.
Mid-Year Finance Check
It’s everyone’s favorite subject, I know. Finance can feel like a loaded place to start, but it’s an important part of the strategy for the second half of the year. You’ll want to look at your current revenue, your projected (or goal) revenue and your expenses.
Are you where you thought you’d be? Were there months that exceeded your expectations? Were there months where you were “in the red”? This is valuable information, so you can project what the next six months will look like for your salon or services.
Pay special attention to your expenses as they relate to marketing. Do you have a social media team? Are you spending money on local advertising? Did you sponsor an event? Itemize these total expenses where you can, as this will come in handy later. If you’re spending beyond 10% of your review goal, revisit the marketing activities to make sure they’re driving towards the desired results.
Review Your Goals
Sure, we all make New Year’s Resolutions and write down those big lofty goals, but what were your actual goals at the start of 2023? I like to say that a goal isn’t a goal unless it’s written down, but I know you’re busy, and you may not have had a pen handy when that 2023 goal popped into your head.
Take a minute and think about (or write down) your 2023 goals, in detail. If you had a goal to grow to a certain revenue mark, hire a team member, book a certain number of new guests, expand certain services — Write those down. Then, next to those goals, write down where they currently stand. Document your current revenue, how many team members you’ve hired, how many new clients you’ve booked or specific services booked. Be as detailed as possible, using numbers and next steps, so you can revisit this at the end of the year and see what’s changed.
Assess Your Current Marketing Initiatives
Look over what strategies you currently use to promote your business, including social media, e-mail marketing and direct mail campaigns. Are they generating leads and sales? If not, it’s time to look into where things might need some fine tuning.
Are people not opening your emails? Data shows that the average open rate for salons, spas and barbers is around 13% to 14%. Are you posting on social and getting comments, likes, shares and saves? Are people coming to your location because they found you on social?
If you have direct mail campaigns or even seasonal promotions, how are those going? Are people booking via online schedulers, printed ads or requesting your seasonal services? How’s the traffic to your website? How many people book from your site or your contact form? This is all important information, and the data you glean will show you if your current efforts are working (or not).
Again, this circles back to your finances. Look at current marketing expenses and see what sort of revenue they’re generating. If they’re not generating enough revenue to at least make up for their expense, it’s time to change something. Knowing the numbers behind your efforts will help you pinpoint your next steps.
Revisit Your Client Experience
What do clients experience from their first touchpoint with your business? Whether it’s a Yelp review, a Facebook post, a Google listing or your website… really think about all the ways someone can come to know your brand.
From there, think about the rest of their experience. How easy is it to schedule? Was it clear where you’re located? What about parking?
Once they entered your front door, what happens? Are they welcomed warmly? Are they seated in their chair promptly? Are they given amazing service that leaves them ready to leave a review and come back for their next cut, color or style?
Also think about what customers do while they’re waiting or when they’re getting ready to leave. Is your retail area drawing their eye (and getting them to open their wallets)? Do you have promotions that encourage them to book their next appointment or refer a friend? From top to bottom, look at your client journey, and be honest: Where can you build a more memorable experience? How are you building brand loyalty?
After the Review, Let’s Look Forward
After all the steps I just walked you through, it’s now time to look at what you’ll do next. If your finances aren’t where you expected, what efforts will you put into driving more sales? If you’re not on track to meet your goals, what needs to change? And most of all, what are you doing to continue to grow your salon or beauty business through strong, targeted marketing?
Here’s just one example. Now’s the perfect time to think about the rest of the year. Most brands launch new products and seasonal promotions in the late summer and early fall. This is prime time to get support from your favorite manufacturer in the form of new products, sampling or education. You might also want to consider education or additional incentives for your salon team to drive sales in your retail area and encourage them to pre-book clients for a seasonal promotion.
Try Something New
Hopefully, this mid-year check-in has shown you the progress you’ve made, and you feel great about the second half of the year. But even if you’re not where you want to be, I encourage you to keep going — and to even try something new. Maybe you try a new marketing tactic or explore a referral partnership with another local business. Perhaps it’s time to really invest in your website’s local SEO. Whatever your mid-year check-in turned up, it’s time to get curious!
Stretch your knowledge and grow your circle of influence these next few months. You’ll be surprised to see what it brings. If you need a wingman to bounce ideas off, hit me up @brandettes. I’d be happy to answer your questions.