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CASE STUDY – How a Hair Salon got 16 Times more new customers while spending $1,000 a month on advertising

I learned a very important truth from the Legendary marketing expert Jay Abraham. There are ONLY 3 ways to grow a business.

  1. Get more customers.
  2. Get them to buy more each time.
  3. Get them to buy more frequently.

Most businesses focus on getting more customers which is the hardest way to go, but completely ignore step 2 and 3, which is where you will almost always get the biggest bang for your buck.

I’m going to give you a brief glimpse into how to grow your business with practical insights from a real life business.

This is specifically for those of you who would like to get more customers, clients or patients without spending all of your valuable time doing any of the following labor-intensive, time-gobbling activities:

– Posting endlessly in Facebook groups…

– Editing photos and posting random content and cute captions on Instagram while trying to come up with cool hashtags…

– Posting feel good content on your Facebook Business page, hoping people actually see it…

– Messaging random strangers hoping to make a sale…

If that sounds like you, then please pay close attention because I’m gonna give you a high-level overview of how I helped a struggling hair salon owner virtually multiply his new client flow by an average of 16X in under 60 days, while spending less than $1,000/month on ads.

Imagine the implications getting 16 times more customers can have on your business!

But wait… I know what you may be thinking.

“A hair salon! That’s different from MY business!”

We all seem to think our businesses are so unique that the principles of good marketing and salesmanship have to be rewritten for our industry.

In just a few moments, I’ll show you exactly why that’s not true, and how that line of thinking is keeping you trapped in an invisible bubble of marketing incest – copying all your competitors and industry thinkers – and ultimately suppressing your growth.

Nevertheless, let’s get down to business.

A QUICK OVERVIEW

This salon owner explained to me that he was looking to get new business but could not really see any meaningful results from his current advertising.

I asked him to explain to me what the ads were about.

As I suspected, they were the typical “business card” ad many business owners are famous for.

“COMPANY NAME

WE DO HAIR. WE DO QUALITY WORK. WE CARE ABOUT OUR CLIENTS

HERE’S OUR PHONE NUMBER”

I explained to my friend that the form of advertising they used was called “image advertising” – which is essentially designed for large companies to present a nice brand image in front of their potential clients, shareholders and upper management — not to actually generate immediate sales.

What he needed, much like most local small businesses, is DIRECT RESPONSE advertising.

(For a better understanding on this you can see my blog post “What is Good Advertising”)

We have to understand as business owners & marketers that people are addicted to being themselves — so wrapped up in their own problems and day to day struggles of life that they don’t have the time or energy to care about you or your business.

Knowing this, you should build your ads around them and what they want (to feel good by the improved confidence they get by looking good) rather than what you want (to make a sale).

After interviewing some of the current clients, the feedback was so overwhelmingly positive and people were getting tired of the inconsistent quality of franchise salons and their revolving door of stylists.

My client was consistent and I knew if I could get them in the door once… it would be relatively easy to get most of the people to return.

But this is a dangerous assumption that needs some clarification.

NEVER ASSUME PEOPLE WILL COMEBACK, NO MATTER HOW GOOD THEIR EXPERIENCE WAS…

We knew we did great work and that most people would be very happy, but I never left it solely up to them. Nothing was left to chance.

We built systems to get them in for an immediate re-booking, and a very low cost follow up system to keep in contact with them if they didn’t or couldn’t commit right away.

Just making a consistent effort to do this one thing could give you a substantial jump over your competitors.

I couldn’t tell you the last time I went to a great restaurant for the first time and had them follow up with me to come back.

The crazy thing is, in most cases I probably would have if they made an offer to me.

But everyone knows, putting out daily fires makes you soon forget how great the food really was and how much you enjoyed yourself at a restaurant.

So how do we avoid that, and put our 3-step business growth system to work?

Here’s what we did with the hair salon.

Step 1. Get more customers

The client had no consistent way of generating traffic and was relying on a crapshoot of foot traffic perpetually under-performing advertising to bring people in.

The first thing that must be done to get more customers is to find a reliable traffic source of quality buyers or leads.

I built an ad campaign around what I call the “Test Drive Offer” which in this case was a FREE HAIRCUT.

There are several types of offers you can create to be your lead offer and this type of offer may not be best for every type of business, but don’t get caught up on that.

This particular offer was designed to simply get people in the door and give my client an opportunity to show what he and his staff could do.

Now if we had simply stopped there, it would have been a giant waste because we would’ve lost money on those giveaways.

To combat that, we put a few processes in place to recoup that money quickly and build a recurring revenue stream from those who took us up on the offer.

Step 2. Increase Transaction Frequency

An important note about making offers is to put some parameters in place so you won’t get easily abused by extreme couponers or freeloaders.

Firstly, in our case, to get the free haircut they had to bring in a copy of the ad (or print out an email voucher when they opted in), provide us their contact info (address, phone number, email etc…) And sign a document giving us permission to follow up with them about this offer and future services.

If they refused that was grounds for immediate disqualification, but this generally wasn’t a problem since the offer was so enticing.

As they were getting ready to leave, we  had the stylist or the receptionist try to book the next appointment right on the spot.

If they refused or had to “check their schedule”, no problem.

We had their home address and we fired off a hand written “Thank you” note to their home 2 days afterwards, telling them what a pleasure it was to serve them and inviting them back with a 20 percent off coupon to use in the next 30 days.

The same offer went out via email as well.

When they came back for their 2nd visit, we would give them 3 referrals cards with 20 percent discounts to give to a friend.

If they gave out 3 and the friends came, they got another free service.

It worked out well for us because they were happy to refer and after getting them to come back twice, we found that well over half, around 68 percent became repeat clients without any further marketing costs besides being on our free email list.

Many others came back 2 or 3 times a year and paid full price without question.

Step 3. Increase the size of the transaction

The easiest way to do this is by creating some type of upsell or package deal at the point of sale.

Most salons know you do this by selling retail products like high-end shampoo and conditioner but very few are trained, or invest in training for their staff on how to do it right.

There’s a big difference in asking if they liked the shampoo you used on them when washing their hair and simply telling them it is for sale…

… and inspecting the hair and scalp as a professional while asking key questions to highlight issues that may need to be addressed, and the potential problems that may be created or worsened if they are ignored… and then PRESCRIBING the solution.

This is a far cry from simply offering an item to get a commission.

It’s what separates professional sales people from amateurs who just push products on people without qualifying if they actually need it or would benefit from it first.

IN SUMMARY…

It really comes down to creating your own sequence of these 4 things – which I call my “Core 4” strategy:

  1. Create your lead offer
  2. Cultivate your main traffic source
  3. Create an upsell or package deal to offer those who take advantage of the lead offer
  4. Create a loyalty or retention strategy to increase the frequency of purchase

Don’t get caught up on getting locked into just one way of structuring the offer or the traffic source.

There are so many ways to structure each component, especially the offer alone. For more info on that, see my blog post “How to Create a Great Offer” but here’s a few options:

– Free trial

– Buy one get one free (BOGO)

– Volume discount

– Discount for prepayment

– Money-back/Risk-free guarantee

– Free with auto-renewal

– Bonus with purchase

There are so many different traffic sources, or combinations of them you can use to distribute your offer and each one has it’s place. Here’s a few of the most common:

– Facebook

– Google pay per click ads

– Search engine optimization (SEO)

– Youtube

– LinkedIn

– TikTok

– Direct mail

– Email

I prefer to start with Facebook, but it isn’t always the best for each business.

SEO is great to get free traffic, but takes several months to get results so isn’t a great starting point.

But layering in others as you get one working is critical because each of these is becoming increasingly intolerant to freedom of speech and driven by robot technology where your ads can be shut down at any time so taking a multi-pronged approach for the long-term is important.

Just don’t try to start them all at once as this will do nothing but lead to confusion and overwhelm.

DISCLAIMER: I don’t always like doing free offers, and they are not required to be successful… but they can really get fast results when done right!

When done improperly they tend to draw poor-quality so you have to be aware of how you implement them.

Remember the principle “The way you get them, is how you keep them”.

Men who like to flaunt their wealth tend to attract women who want to be spoiled.

Women who flaunt their bodies tend to attract men who only have have wandering eyes… always on the prowl for the next pretty lady.

If you get somebody in with a freebie or steep discount, if you’re not careful about who qualifies for the offer, they are usually the type of person to expect/demand it all the time which can be bad for business.

PRO TIP: When you do utilize free offers, try putting some hoops in the way for the customer to redeem.

This act of putting small barriers in their path tends to weed out some of the time wasters, and makes it easy to deal with those who are sincerely interested.

Sounds simple right?

This same process can be used in your business or professional practice, no matter how special or sophisticated you think you are. I assure you, you aren’t.

It may take some creativity to execute this in your industry because of restrictions about free or discounted offers and giveaways.

The chiropractic niche, for example, has strict laws about making free or discounted offers towards patients who will be using their insurance for treatment, but there are ways to create great offers while staying within the confines of the rules.

And to be completely honest, sometimes your competition is so lame, you don’t even need to do that.

If you own a local business or professional practice that and think you may need help with your customer, client, or patient acquisition strategy — more specifically, building a system that brings in new business on demand…

You can download my free report detailing my 6 step process by clicking the link below:

CLICK HERE

If you would like to talk about getting one on one, personalized help to grow your business or professional practice without a bunch of hype and fluff, click the link below to book a free strategy session:

SCHEDULE A FREE CALL

On the call we can discuss where you are now and some of the most critical challenges you’ve been facing to get where you want to be.

I will give you my best ideas and strategic insights on the easiest ways I know to get there and if there’s possibly a way I can help.

Hope to talk to you soon.

– Wayne Brown

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