News

  • New Year, New Strategy—PR Tactics to Broaden Your Business Scope

    Lori MacGregor Considering adding PR to your marketing strategy this year? Consider this: PR, generally understood as securing third-party endorsements for your brand, is widely thought to be more influential (and less expensive) than advertising. That said, it’s called “earned media” for a reason—good PR takes effort and a dedication to building relationships with journalists, online influencers, and consumers over time. If you’re willing to put in the work, you can reap the benefits for years to come.

    Here are five ways to use PR to boost your business within the coming year.

    • Develop a press kit, a collection of assets that communicate the key message points and vision for your business. Press kits typically include a company backgrounder, service menu, location images, and a bio on the business owner or key staff. You might have printed copies to hand out, but most media prefer digital.

    • Connect with media influencers. Note local media outlets such as city magazines, newspapers, blogs, and TV news, and invite the appropriate contact in for a complimentary treatment—media will be better able to capture the spirit of your brand if they experience it first-hand. Reach out via email, briefly explaining what makes your business, staff, or menu unique. Then, roll out the (figurative) red carpet: confirm details the day before, give a full tour of the space, and ensure they are booked with your top-performing talent. Remember the old adage: you never get a second chance to make a first impression!

    • Provide unique content. Reporters cover news, so they’ll be motivated to cover a business that’s just opened or expanded, a seasonally-relevant skin treatment, expert tips that consumers can try at home, or local stories that benefit the community. Many publications plan weeks and months in advance, so be ready to preview your unique summer skin treatment in March. Be thoughtful about outreach; contact only with newsworthy topics, and never badger a writer with calls or emails. You want to build a relationship; be respectful and understand that if an idea doesn’t work, there may be another opportunity down the road.

    • Team up. There’s power in numbers. Partner with local businesses to create a neighborhood event, where guests receive exclusive deals, previews, or add-ons when they attend. Invite local business owners, customers, bloggers, and social media influencers, and encourage them to post photos on their social media channels, tagging your business. Social media is powerful media!

    • PR your PR! Amplify your accolades. Add press clips to your website, create display sheets for shelves, and highlight wins on social media. Always thank each journalist for coverage. Do it publically over Twitter, privately via email, or more personally with a handwritten note. You’re not obligated to send a gift, but complimentary product will keep your business top of mind as they plan their next story or segment.

    Adv. vs. PR

  • 6 Stress Relieving Techniques to Beat the Holiday Hustle

    Angela TaylorWhat does the holiday season mean to you? Time with family, the magic sparkle in a child’s face, indulging in too much food, giving to those you love, an opportunity to help others or just having time off… Unfortunately, although the festive season is often associated with joy, it can also be a stressful, lonely or sad time for many people. For those affected by depression or grief it can actually be the worst time of year!

    With the extra demands of the holiday season parties, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining to name just a few, it could be the tipping point that sends you into a stressed state. In our industry we are very well positioned to help our clients cope with the extra stress life may bring at this time.

    Here are my 6 top tips to help your clients avoid the stress overload during the holiday season:

    1. Schedule some “me” time. This may be in the form of an express treatment as clients are more time-constrained at this time of year. Be sure to create a place for them to escape during their treatment, where they can focus only on themselves for that moment. Also recommend taking a walk, reading a book or listening to some music—just simply taking a moment to distance oneself from the holiday mania will do wonders.

    2. Stop and breathe! Scientific studies have shown that controlling your breath can help manage stress-related conditions. Breath control is also used in practices such as yoga, tai chi and some forms of meditation. Many people use their breathing to help promote relaxation and reduce stress. Shallow breathing limits the diaphragm’s range of motion and the lowest part of the lungs don’t get a full share of oxygenated air, this can lead to feeling short of breath and anxious.

    holiday ornamentDeep abdominal breathing encourages full oxygen exchange. To make this even more effective we can combine with the inhalation of essential oils. These can directly stimulate the limbic lobe, also known as the “emotional brain” and is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance. Essential oils like Lavender, Geranium and Sandalwood are great for quieting the mind and soothing. So make time to diffuse essential oils that will encourage your clients to relax and take a moment to breathe!

    3. Turn to the healing power of touch. We are so privileged to have the permission to touch our clients through the treatments that we do, for many this may have been the only human touch they’ve had for some time! Serotonin regulates behavior allowing us to do the appropriate thing at the appropriate time. It also impacts emotions and subdues irritability. Low serotonin levels have been linked to sleep/wake cycle disturbances, depression, pain disorders and behavior problems, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder. Massage increases the availability of serotonin in the brain; oxytocin is also increased, which affects feelings of attachment and care-taking. Studies show that empathy for others is also increased.

    4. Practice mindfulness. Life means often we are guilty of having our mind completely full and therefore we can’t truly appreciate every moment. How many of you look at your tablet or smartphone first thing in the morning and last thing at night? Sometimes we need to switch off technology and take in those little moments and appreciate the details around us. Mindfulness is the current buzz word but it is a proven technique used to help depression, anxiety and stress, but it takes practice. So start with just pausing for a moment and really seeing the detail of what you do or appreciate the moment you are in.

    5. Connection with your surroundings. Connect fully with right now, when we practice this we pull ourselves out of the past or the future and bring ourselves back to the present. But connection is not only about connecting with ourselves, it’s about community, and our skin centers are a meeting point for a community, a place to feel connected and this may become even more important at this time of year.

    6. Get up and exercise. Research shows that physical activity can boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, even dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It doesn’t have to be hours of activity, 20 minutes can be enough if done regularly. So avoid sitting on the sofa watching all those Christmas movies, get moving you will feel better for it!

    Stress is part of life but remembering that at this time of year the most precious gift is time with loved ones. And as professionals, we too must practice what we preach—our clients look to us to help relieve their stresses—and if we’re not calm nor present, their treatment can be given in vain. So let’s not waste it by letting stress become the main focus, take action and enjoy the moment.

  • Climate Control: Adapting the Skin to Global Seasons

    Maria ThorburnMost people love the idea of hopping on a plane and jetting off to explore a faraway land. There’s nothing quite like travel to invigorate the senses with new sights and smells, to taste exotic foods and experience a different culture…but often with another country, comes another climate and in turn a very different skin than the one you’re familiar with.

    I am very fortunate to have a job that sees me travel much of the year, and when I’m not travelling for work I’m travelling for my own enjoyment. So I know only too well that when I climb on board an airplane I can expect my skin to go from smooth and dewy to dull and dehydrated, and that’s before we’ve even hit the runway!

    With the year drawing to a close and the holidays on the horizon, many of our clients will have plans to go away for some well-deserved R&R. Whether it’s a trip to a warmer climate in search of some sun, sea and sand, or perhaps to a winter wonderland with snow-capped mountains and log fires—your client’s skin health will most likely be challenged by the change in climate.

    As skin therapists we need to be mindful of these subtle changes so that we can make the necessary adjustments to their skin care routine.

    Handling the Heat

    hawaii coupleIf there is one piece of advice you can give your client it would be to never go without SPF! The allure of the sun on their shoulders and toes in the sand might be too much to resist; but remember that the sun is a primary cause of aging and pigmentation, and in this instance prevention is better than cure. Be sure that they protect their skin with a broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF30, or SPF50 for even greater protection. And if you suspect they will succumb to splashing about in the pool or sea be sure to advise them of the importance of reapplying the SPF regularly and liberally to avoid sunburn and severe damage to their skin.

    Some of your clients may also find that their skin becomes shiny and produces more oil than usual or perhaps they become more prone to breakouts, this can happen in a hot and humid environment where the sebaceous glands are stimulated to produce excess sebum. In this case you need to arm them with a mattifying serum with ingredients like Sarcosine and Niacinamide to suppress excess oil production, teamed with a good spot treatment containing Colloidal Silver and Tea Tree, which together, provide anti-bacterial properties to soothe away inflammation and speed up the healing process.

    These key products will help your clients get through a summer holiday looking more sleek and less ‘slick’.

    A Cooler Climate

    frosty lashesFor those seeking out some snow for the holidays, or perhaps live in a cooler climate, will find that the cold weather can be most unkind to the skin and zap every last bit of moisture from it. And when it’s cold there’s only one thing to do…crank up the heating! This alone brings a whole host of additional skin concerns for us to battle against.

    Cold weather can potentially do more damage to the skin than heat. It can deplete essential lipids from the skin’s barrier, which in turn leads to water loss and dehydration leaving the skin parched and flaky. Recommend that your client use a thick emollient moisturizer and barrier cream that contain ingredients like Evening Primrose Oil or Shea Butter to help replenish and protect.

    Another structure of the skin that takes a beating are the delicate capillaries that constantly expand and contract due to a combination of hot and cold temperatures as we move from outdoors to indoors—this is what causes those trademark red cheeks and nose. This ongoing action in the skin can lead to capillary damage, but by using a hydrating soothing serum that contains Red Raspberry and Honey, we can reduce inflammation and strengthen capillaries making them more resilient in extreme weather conditions.

    Adapting To the Seasons

    So whether it’s travel or the inevitable change in seasons, it will more than likely leave its mark on the skin. Our key objective is to ensure that our clients’ skin is equipped to make a smooth transition and adapt to the change. By listening to our client’s skin needs and observing visual changes through skin analysis, we can adjust their regimen to better manage the way in which their skin responds to environmental changes and the elements. Whatever the weather, we can rest assured that our clients will have healthy and happy skin throughout the year!

  • Why I Dare to Give, and You Should Too

    LG Headshot“I just don’t have the time.

    But I’m not qualified.

    I can’t find the right organization to work with.

    I can’t make a difference; I’m only one person.”

    Any of these sound familiar? You’re not alone. Most people have avoided the act of giving—whether they meant to or not—within their lifetimes, but this holiday season we challenge you to find a way.

    give backTo make giving easier than ever, there’s #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. Held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s an opportunity for people around the world to come together and focus on one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

    “But I’m a small business owner and don’t have the time or resources to give back.”

    Giving back is a win-win scenario for your business. Studies show that consumers around the world prefer to buy products and services from businesses that give back. In fact, 46% of consumers are willing to pay extra for these products and services. As professional skin therapists and salon owners, you have the opportunity to give back to your community while also drawing attention to your business and attracting new potential clients.

    Whether a non-profit organization, book club or even potluck dinner, individuals are always looking to be part of something greater than themselves. Giving Tuesday provides you with the opportunity to work with your clients to give back and, perhaps, appeal to new consumers as well.

    So the next question is obvious: how do you participate?

    It’s easy! Donate to your favorite charity or cause on Giving Tuesday. If you don’t have one yet, visit givingtuesday.org to research ideas. Check out what’s happening in your local community this year on Giving Tuesday (December 1, 2015), and be a part of it!

    Or join us to help women and girls achieve Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship! Visit joinFITE.org to find out how. Always remember that even the smallest gesture goes a long way. Together we can all make a difference for someone, somewhere, somehow.

    How will you be giving back? Tell us @joinFITE #GivingTuesday.