News

  • Plan a Spa Party with Pennies

    The retail landscape has changed over the years, with e-commerce becoming the number one shopping venue. Retailers need to evolve their strategies to entice shoppers to visit our businesses to purchase rather than in the comfort of their own home.

    Physical stores are still most customers’ preferred shopping method, as online shopping cannot replace the personal experience stores allow. While in store, clients can touch, feel, smell and test products, immersing themselves in a multi-sensory experience while receiving live expert advice. Fortunately, this cannot be accomplished while shopping from your couch. Nowadays, the fastest, most cost-effective way to elevate the in-store experience and attract new clients is by hosting in-store events.

    Provide an Educational Experience

    Your event shouldn’t just be about selling products, but rather to provide a unique experience that differentiates your store from the rest. Offer education and encourage client and professional skin therapist interaction by offering complimentary one-on-one skin care analysis. Your team of professional skin therapists will then have the opportunity to explain the benefits of your products and how they will target specific conditions for client results. Clients can play with their recommended products, ask application questions and receive professional tips from you to help maximize their results.

    Offer mini-treatments to allow guests to sample your services when maybe they wouldn’t otherwise. The therapist can discuss products throughout the entire treatment, explaining what they are using and encouraging home care, as well as solidify a future treatment booking.

    These interactions will provide your guests with professional advice and are the key to stimulating an emotional connection between the client, your team and the product. Clients who are educated and are able to try recommended products are more likely to purchase. In fact, an average retail transaction post service is 40% higher than a retail transaction without a service.

    Partner Up

    Chances are businesses in your local community wouldn’t mind driving business into their stores with some free advertising. Network with like-minded retailer neighboring businesses with a goody bag of samples and your business card. Tell them about your event, and encourage them to partner.

    Partner businesses could include: blow dry bars, fitness studios (yoga, Pilates, spin), clothing boutiques, bakeries, waxing salons, health food stores, massage studios and active wear boutiques. Local businesses can participate by donating bounce backs, or products to be included in your event gift bag or an item to raffle. Many restaurants are willing to provide food or beverages to be served during the event as a way to promote their business.

    Let them know you will include their logo on your invites and tag them on social media. Include a charity you feel passionate about and plan to pledge a percentage of your event’s revenue.

    Motivate your Team

    Hold team meetings to get everyone excited and communicate the in-store event details and retail and service booking goals. Assign the team with event tasks such as: door greeter, cash wrap, treatment services, gift bags, bartender, etc. Launch a contest for the team member with the highest sales of the event or most treatments booked.

    Create Buzz

    Get creative when designing invites. Be sure to include your partner’s logos and all that will be offered. Use words like “complimentary treatments,” “gifts with purchase,” and “door prizes and giveaways.” Charge a small ticket fee redeemable for product purchases to encourage product sales during your event. Events that require ticket purchase and RSVPs have a 60% higher show rate than events with no ticket charge or RSVP requirement. A small ticket charge redeemable for product purchases motivates clients to show up and redeem their retail credit which leads to 95% of attendees purchasing product. Utilize event hosting sites like Eventbrite, which manages RSVPs, payment and the guest list.

    Promote Your Event

    Social media is the most effective way to promote your event at no cost. Create buzz and increase ticket sales with a simple social media strategy. Come up with an event tag line that’s short and catchy, put a hashtag in front of it and use this on all social media channels leading up to your event. Add it to your event invite, signage and use it anytime you are promoting your event. Encourage your partners do to the same. This will expand your reach, create excitement and increase ticket sales.

    Set-up for Success

    Set-up and presentation is a vital part of holding a successful event. You may need to rearrange your store to fit all of your guests and allow for maximum service and retailing capacity. Set up a check-in area outside displaying an easel or step and repeat at your entrance. It is important that clients and passers-by know there is a special event happening.

    Gather your partners’ raffle items and a complimentary treatment gift card from your store and set them up by your entrance. Don’t forget entry cards, pens and a bowl or box of entry cards at this station. The purpose of this is to ensure you capture the email addresses of new customers and existing customers who attend the event. Pick raffle winners multiple times throughout the event to keep the excitement and energy high. This will ensure guests will stick around longer in hopes that they are one of the winners. Clearly display promotional items on a focal table to allure attendees to shop.

    Set up a food, drink and gift bag station. Pump up the music to create fun atmosphere and greet attendees with champagne. Take pictures of the event and post to social media, tagging your partners and attendees and utilizing your hashtag. Encourage attendees to do the same by rewarding the best photo using your hashtag with a prize.

    Follow-up

    Your event was a success. You made some new client connections and achieved your retail target. Events should do so much more than generate revenue; they should leave a lasting impression. Most importantly, they should connect with clients emotionally. This connection alone gives customers a reason to return. Solidify those new relationships and follow up. This is the most important part of holding a successful event. Send a handwritten thank you card to each attendee and include a bounce back to encourage them to return. This personal touch will stand out in their mind, and they will be more likely to become a repeat client. Share event pictures and videos of favorite moments across social media from your event, using your hashtag. Post onto your website to promote, build excitement and encourage guests to attend future events.

    This article was originally published in SkinInc.com.

  • 4 Simple Ways to Spark Your Career Success

    As skin therapists we have all at one time felt frustrated when appointments seem scarce, the salon is slow or retails sales are not up to par. However, don’t let these bumps in your career put out your fire! In an industry that can be fiercely competitive, you have to channel your passion, ignite your spark and show the world that you know and love skin. Remember, YOU are the skin therapist that is going to be changing lives (or at least skin health!). The advice is simple…get obsessed, become a true skin enthusiast and an expert in your craft—and most importantly, believe in yourself. The fact is, you already know how to be successful; you may have just gotten distracted for a moment. Let’s get re-focused! Confidence brings clients and if you share this same sense of passion for the industry, then read on for ways to spark your success.

    Get empowered through education

    The best way to learn and experience what is going on in the industry is to continue your education in and outside of the treatment space. Many of us found our way into skin care by actually being a client first; receiving treatments from another professional is an excellent way to experience various techniques and to get inspired. The industry is constantly changing and evolving, and we must be able to do the same. Take the time to strive towards your professional best by staying up to date on product innovations, learning new techniques and ingredients. Whether this is online, in the classroom or receiving a treatment, education = empowerment and clients are seeking that type of elevated training in a therapist.

    Make the connection

    General networking events are a great way to meet people, however, take a moment and think—where are you making your most impactful connections that not only inspire you but the business you’re in as well? Kick start your philanthropic spirit by getting involved with groups or initiatives that create meaningful relationships, where people want to propel each other’s success. Client’s like to do business with professionals who do good. Get involved and give back.

    Don’t know where to start? Visit Dermalogica’s FITE page for ideas and resources.

    Put your PR On

    Consider this as your personal rave, your personal reputation, your passion re-ignited. Take charge of brand YOU by sharing with your clients why you love what you do and why you are the best. Are you an exceptional brow specialist? Are your extractions painless? Is your massage the best in the city? This is not the time to be bashful about your talents. Be proud of what you do, as there is nothing wrong with bragging as long as you can back it up. In other words, you’re kind of a big deal.

    Get local on your social

    Even if you don’t have a million followers on Twitter, you do have local raving fans and they want to know what you recommend for treating the skin. With social media you can create that instant connection with clients and even gain a few new ones in the process. Your advice on skin health can be given anytime, any day by posting about what you do on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Clients want to be educated and will readily read and re-post your skin care secrets. Don’t be shy about your healthy skin tips, embrace your inner expert and share! You can even fill up that empty spot in your schedule by using your social media to instantly alert clients that you have an opening versus calling them. Trust me, they are checking their Facebook page more often than their voicemail.

    Use these simple steps to spark your professional success and growth. It’s time to put your newfound confidence to work and invest in creating the career that you deserve!

  • SKINtuition: 5 Ways To Get People Buzzing About Your Biz

    Buzz or word-of-mouth marketing is best described as “people talking about you.” Has a friend recently recommended a new hip restaurant, a unique store, cool website or insist you watch a certain Netflix show? Has a business connection suggested a new money saving app? That’s buzz.

    Buzz can happen organically, and creating buzz for your business is not hard. It takes a bit of creativity, willingness to fail and above all confidence. Here are five simple ideas to push up the buzz o’ meter.

    1. Stand Out

    Do something that will get you noticed. Examples could include a new advanced treatment, big event or giving back to the community. If you do what every other spa does, you’re not worth talking about.

    2. Share Your Story

    Storytelling is gold. If your entered into skin care as a life-long dream after losing your job, getting divorced or finally getting your kids out of the nest, share this. Being honest and transparent is refreshing, and people love a real success story (especially the press), so don’t be afraid to share your truth or even your failures for that matter. It’s fascinating and people want to connect with and support small business.

    3. Look After Your Loyalists

    Loyal clients are the ones who will buzz about you to their friends and family in person and via social, so it’s in your best interest to treat them like royalty. It goes way beyond your treatments and services—you should have stellar customer service support, build exceptional relationships and go above and beyond expectations. Your top clients give you the majority of your business, it’s part of the 80/20 rule. So dial up how you acknowledge and reward them. The occasional “surprise and delight” unexpected note, gift or complimentary service goes down as a treat too.

    4. Be Your Own Ambassador of Buzz

    If you’re not ready to jump in and chat about your craft, then who else? Instead of focusing on what you do and how you do it, talk to people about why you do it. When you talk about the why, your authentic passion will come through; this is much more fascinating and galvanizing for someone to hear.

    Think of it as your own 30 second “elevator pitch” you need to be able to get this down and it is the cheapest and easiest most important form of buzz marketing. Share away at networking events, startup meetups, co-working spaces, industry get-together’s, backyard BBQs and even in the dog park.

    5. Dig Deep Into Social

    Research says that 63% of consumers who search for local businesses online are more likely to use businesses with information on social media sites. Facebook alone is now a mini website, and your social platforms are likely to be more up to date than your business website.

    When you consider that 93% of buying decisions are also influenced by social media, it is a no brainer. No social presence equals no visibility and no business. So post, Pin, engage, Tweet, Instagram, Snapchat away, but keep it professional, educational, positive, a bit quirky and fun if you want to convert those followers to service dollars.

    This article was originally published in SkinInc.com.

  • 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

  • 4 Essential Tips to Reach Clients through Social Media Marketing

    Michelle SilvaTake a second to think about how your business is communicating on social media. Are you constantly pushing hard-sell messages to your followers? Are you overtly telling your customers in every post to book an appointment or to buy a service or product from you? If so, you could be guilty of turning off your followers.

    Social media marketing has evolved into an enormous tool for brands both large and small to engage with their customers online and reach new ones too. Like any type of marketing, your social media efforts should include the overarching objective of converting your followers into paying customers. However, it’s important to keep in mind that people don’t want to see a news feed full of sales pitches. In the social space, if you can consistently create content that taps into your target audience’s interests, you’ll stand a better chance of keeping your followers and growing your fan base.

    Social Media Here are a few key things to keep top-of-mind when crafting content for social pages:

    Provide value to your customers.

    Highlight your expertise and position your business as an expert in your industry by curating content that provides value to your followers. People love to learn online and discover new tips—especially about skin care! Share your knowledge by creating content that features tips, solutions and guides on how to care for skin or treat a specific concern. If you’re consistently creating valuable content, your followers might share your content with their friends, getting your business page in front of new eyes. This will help you keep the attention of your existing followers and help you grow your audience.

    TIP: For every question, there’s a piece of content! What are the most common questions your clients ask you? Keep a running list and turn each one into a post!

    Be creative with what you’re promoting.

    So, you just added a new service to your menu and you need to get the word out. Try thinking of a creative way to entice people to try it out, but without the hard-sell lingo.  For example, create an infographic that highlights the top 3 benefits of the service.

    Quality over quantity.

    Don’t just post for the sake of posting. Always ask yourself if it will benefit your audience? Will it inspire them? Will it provide value? If so, post away!

    Be conversational.

    Don’t be afraid to be human! Think of social media as a conversation between you and your customers and an opportunity to build relationships. While it’s important to still be professional and practice good customer service, there’s no need to be overly formal. When writing for social media, keep your copy conversational, concise, and easy to understand.

  • Is your Business Ready for Mother’s Day?

    Mother’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the importance of the mothers in our lives. It is also an occasion to give thanks to them for being a constant guiding force in our lives and for the support they have shown in helping us achieve our dreams and goals. Not only is this a special day to celebrate anyone who has been a mother to you, but it is also an opportunity to promote your business and to connect with your clients and potential consumers.

    Remember to organize ahead of time with a marketing calendar so you can optimize the opportunities that special events, like Mother’s Day, can bring to your business.

    Many people are unsure what to get their mum’s for the holiday, so why not take away the confusion and make it easy? Bouquets of flowers are a traditional Mother’s Day gift, but bouquets can come in many shapes and sizes. Think of your own products or services as bundles that you can then translate into great Mother’s Day packages of your own.

    Target your existing data base and send out an e-blast and/or text to your clients, as many of them will be looking for ideas. Prepackage gift baskets for Mother’s Day with themed items such as hydrating, anti-aging, reducing stress etc. Remember men purchase a significant portion of Mother’s Day gifts overall, so make it clear to them the gift options they have. This might mean partnering with businesses that have a significant number of male patrons for cross marketing.

    Use social media to connect with your customers as many people will be searching online for ideas. You could engage them with a competition for the best story on how their mother has inspired them, and the gift could be a treatment or product for their mum. A different social media channel to promote is Pinterest (instead of just Twitter or Facebook), as a lot of mums use this site to save their ideas for food, kids, the home and much more. You could also create a “Mother’s Day wish list” of gift ideas to post on your blog, website, or email newsletter.

    Don’t forget to also take the opportunity to bring them back to your business once they have purchased their gift. Ideally, a Mother’s Day gift won’t just represent the sale of products for your business one time, but rather it will result in a new customer coming back to your business. Include a bounce back offer, bag stuffer or special offer along with the customer’s receipt. If you’re offering a service, consider creating a tangible gift that a spouse or child can wrap up to give to their mothers. For example: a free gift with the purchase of a treatment.

    Events are great to link with celebrations like Mother’s Day; you could create a mother and daughter/son event to celebrate. Events create an ideal environment for them to interact over skin lessons, treatments and product.

    Lastly let’s not forget that we can also use Mother’s Day to make a difference and support women around the world who struggle to provide for their children. You could connect with a charity or philanthropic initiative that helps give women support and opportunity to enable them to provide for their families, allowing them to raise their children in a safe and healthy environment. You could also connect with a local organization that supports women and mothers, encouraging people to pay it forward and get involved in sharing with others the opportunities their own mothers have given them.

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Negative Reviews: The Silver Lining

    If you have social media pages for your business, it’s possible that you’ve experienced the dreaded “negative review” moment. This would be the moment when you log into your Facebook page, or Yelp page, or possibly it’s Twitter, and you see that someone has publicly complained about something within your business.

    But is a negative review actually a negative experience? Not always. Of course there are those occasions where people aren’t very nice with their words, but often, it’s just about perception.

    If you receive a negative review, stop and understand how you perceive the message. Is your initial instinct to take offense? Do you feel scared that that review may affect future business for the worse? Do you feel misunderstood? These feelings are normal, but they can get in the way.

    Sometimes people want to be heard above anything else, so instead, put yourself aside and listen to what the reviewer is actually saying. Is this person offering helpful advice? Is this an opportunity for you to help someone out when you didn’t know there was an issue? Are you able to publically show that you care for your clients by responding and handling the manner? Every negative review has its silver lining.

    When a negative review comes in, it’s best to reply as quickly as you can with a warm and understanding approach. Let your clients know you hear them and that you understand they are unhappy. Ensure that you appreciate both their business and their interest in reaching out, and that you’ll take the necessary action to resolve the issue. It never hurts to include a free service, gift, or product to help reconcile the situation. Chances are they’ll understand and be more willing to work with you given your concerned and thoughtful approach.

    What about positive reviews? It’s still great to interact with your clients and thank them for taking the time to write a nice message!

  • Get Social

    As Social Media Manager at The International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica, I’ve seen first-hand the importance of utilizing social media in your business. Plain and simple: your competitors are there, and if you aren’t, you’ll get left behind! It can be intimidating, that we understand, but just like anything new, it can be learned and better yet, easily understood. So how do you begin? Let’s start with the basics.

    Social Media – What Does That Even Mean?

    The term social media applies to new media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, etc. Users of social media sites create and engage in online communities to share information, thoughts, photos, videos, and other content. That may seem obvious to some, but what may not be so obvious is how exactly social media differs from traditional media (i.e. television commercials and mailers).

    Traditional media once kept companies in charge of their brand’s or business’ reputation and messaging. New media, on the other hand, puts the messaging in charge of the consumer. Now, 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations and only 14% trust advertising, giving you the opportunity to hear feedback from your clients so you can keep doing what works and adjust what doesn’t.

    How do I Create my Social Media Pages?
    There are an endless amount of social media outlets, so I recommend you choose the top sites when starting out. Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, and Instagram are likely to give you the most visibility, so I suggest you start there.

    Facebook
    Visit Facebook and click “Create a Page for a celebrity, band or business.” Choose “Local Business or Place,” and then you’ll be guided along as you set up your page. It’s important to know that you need a personal page in order to manage a business page. For more on setting up, see here.

    Once your page is finished, you can begin personalizing it by adding a profile and cover photo, your contact information, hours of operation, etc. You can also post skin and product tips, share available openings, show photos and videos of your space, it goes on. Check out other skin therapy businesses on Facebook to see how they manage their pages.

    Yelp
    Yelp is the top site for consumers to share reviews about businesses. You may not know this, but you don’t have to start your own Yelp page – someone else can start it for you. If a page for your business already exists, you can claim that page. If no page exists for your business, visit Yelp and click “Sign up for Yelp” at the top of the page. You can then encourage your clients to write a review so that new prospects can see how wonderful you are! What if you get a “bad” review? Reach out to the client and amend the situation however you can to turn that client happy once more.

    To learn more about how you can use Yelp to enhance your business, watch this clip.

    Twitter
    Go to Twitter and select “Sign up for Twitter.” Follow the steps for setting up your page, and begin personalizing it for your business. Unlike Facebook, Twitter does not have business pages vs. personal pages, so a simple sign up is all you need to get started. A few details about Twitter that may be of use:

    • A username, or handle as some refer to it, means using the @ symbol in front of your name. If you want to directly speak to or support another page, use @ when speaking to them rather than using their username alone (i.e. @Dermalinstitute vs Dermalinstitute).
    • A hashtag has the # symbol in front of a word (i.e. #acne). When you hashtag a word, regardless of the word or context of the tweet, it puts your tweet in a search of others that used that same word. This is nice because it can enhance visibility of your tweets.

    After your page is set up you can begin following others (ahem, @Dermalinstitute), and you can begin tweeting about your business and all the wonderful treatments you have to offer! More on Twitter here.

    Instagram
    Why tell, when you can show? Instagram is a photo sharing app accessible through mobile device. Download the Instagram app, then simply click ‘Register” and follow the steps. Choose your username (the same you would on Twitter, using the @ symbol), and then choose an appropriate profile picture. Begin sharing photos of your treatment space, your product line(s), that event you had at your treatment space, etc. You can link your photos to your Facebook and Twitter pages as well! Get more details here.

    Is That All I Need?
    Not quite. Don’t forget that a website is always recommended, and it helps to maintain a blog through your website as well. And don’t forget You Tube! You Tube is now the world’s 2nd largest search engine, so once you adjust to life in the social media world, start creating videos of your treatment space, your treatments, your product lineup, your events, etc., and show the world what you’ve got!

    All stats and more can be found in this clip: Social Media Video 2013.