The number one question on the mind of every Aesthetician is “How do I market myself on a very low budget”? While I don’t claim to know everything there is to know about this subject, I have always had a certain “knack” for promoting myself and my businesses without putting up a lot of money. I live by a few simple rules and the rest I have learned by trial and error.
Rule #1- Always keep the integrity and ethics of your business! Do not change your prices for your existing clients with the gain of your popularity! My most loyal client was my first client 8 years ago and to this day I have never changed what I charge her, sure my prices changed as I moved in the industry, but her price never changed and over the years many of my other loyal clients have come from her recommendation and the few dollars that I may not be making on her treatments I am making up in referrals. Integrity and ethical business will make your word of mouth soar and we know that is your number 1 most effective marketing tool!
Rule #2- Be excited about what you are doing! No matter what it is I am doing I talk about it nonstop and I share it with excitement! Excitement is contagious! Whether you are talking to your server at dinner or the guy changing your oil, tell them what you do with confidence and share your business card with them and maybe a little promotion for them to use or give away, you never know who they know!
Rule # 3- Always be prepared and looking for an opportunity! Have your materials on you at all times and talk to everyone about their lives and what they do for a living, you never know when you will meet someone that will make a great promotion partner
Rule # 4 – Never discount your services! When you discount a service you are telling the client it is not worth its original value. It is better to give a smaller service away to add value then to discount; I.E. a free eyebrow wax with the purchase of a facial, or a free sunscreen with a Chemical Peel.
There are so many misconceptions about marketing today. Sure it would be nice to have the ability to put ads on every corner and have the radio personalities talking us up, but realistically very few people have the means to do this and at the end of the day your $3000 spot in the upper left hand corner of your cities most popular magazine will bring you very little business. I am going to share with you the most popular promotions I have done, how I ran them and what the outcome was.
Social media...Of course! This is absolutely free and simple! Make sure to keep it professional! Tweet your specials and post them on facebook. Always have a yelp profile or something like it, so that when you do an amazing job your clients can go brag about you! I offer incentives to clients that leave feedback.
If you are in a salon atmosphere (ask permission first) have “free eyebrow Fridays” This gets the client in your chair, you can do a quick skin analysis and book her for her next eyebrow wax and a facial in two weeks…and you usually walk away with a tip. Also, a hand massage while a client is processing goes a long way!
Paper marketing……WASTE OF MONEY AND TIME!!! Spend as much needed to make or buy plenty business cards and gift certificates, print out stickers for free eyebrow waxes, or mini treatments and stick them on the back of business cards and leave them everywhere you go, I mean EVERYWHERE! Make out gift certificates for free mini facials….let’s say that your Regular facial cost is $70, and your mini facial is $35 have the gift certificate say “Free mini facial” ( $35 value). When they call ask them to upgrade to the full facial (which is a $70 value) for only $35! Share with them how much more they get with the full facial and 9 times out of ten they will upgrade and you walk away with $35 + tip and a rebook (All clients need to and should rebook).
Give out $25 Gift Certificates to clients during holidays. They have to be given to a new client! They are happy because they just got a free gift to give someone and you just got a new client!
Find out when all of the nonprofit events are being held in your city and donate a gift certificate to their raffle, in most cases the people going to these functions are paying a pretty penny for their ticket and will become a great client for you!
“Pay it forward incentive” Have a special where if a client brings you a new client, they both get to pick out of a jar of secret mini services to add to their current booking! This is always exciting and fun for them!
Referral program! Always have a referral program for your existing clients. For every 3 clients they refer they get a free service!
Monthly Newsletter! This is a must! I did this in my regular email program! Make it look professional, upload some industry pics relative to the subject, introduce yourself, offer a monthly special, a little bit of education, and ask them to forward it to their data base. Most of your loyal clients will do this and you are then reaching a ton of new people per month. Yes, you will have to offer any special you are doing for your existing clients so pick specials wisely. As I said earlier, make your existing treatments hold more value, add ons…not discounts.
Last but not least, set yourself apart! It’s the small things that count! Sanitary wipes for your waxing clients, keep an umbrella handy to walk your clients out if it’s raining, a mini fridge with waters and refreshments if you rent a room, a thank you note to all new clients, and anything else that you can think of to make your clients experience one of a kind. They will leave happy and spread your name all over town! What are you waiting for? Go make some money!!