What do you think of when you hear the phrase "hair stylist marketing tools?"
When I hear that phrase, I just flinch and realize that it's time to break out the lecture of systems over tools.
Tools are things you use that make running some part of your system easier. Tools do not produce results. Systems produce results.
If I were to ask you, "Do you have a me-centric website, or a you-centric website?" I'm willing to bet you that you wouldn't have any clue what I was talking about. You would not be alone.
I'm going to see if I can't explain it to you, so you can look at what you've got going on, or what you're about to build, and decide which one you'd rather have. Now I will tell you that most websites out there are me-centric websites. That's kind of a good thing, kind of a bad thing. Bad thing to have one of those, good things if you have one of the other kind, because there's opportunity there for you to stand out in the crowd.
You know that your website is referred to by some people as your digital storefront, but there's another way of looking at it, especially if you're an independent contractor. You really don't have a storefront, so your website is more a digital version of you.
To my mind, it's a lot more helpful to think of your website as the digital version of someone walking directly up to your chair with a boatload of questions.
Generally when someone walks into a salon, they've made it from, "I don't know what I want," to, "I know exactly what I want," to, "I know exactly who I want to do it for me." However, that's not the case for everybody. When we're talking about websites, those folks are in the minority.
You know who bumps into your website the most? People with questions who you've attracted to your website. If someone lands on your website it's not an accident. They didn't mistype something.
They got there because they clicked on something or they typed something in to come see what you've got. If the majority of those people aren't at the 'I know what I want, and I know who I want it' stage, who are they? Why are they there? What do they want? More importantly, does your website give it to them.
Let me take a pause here, because I want to revisit a thing called an avatar.
In case you don't remember, it's a fictional representation of who your best customer would be. Who your ideal customer you'd want to walk through the door and sit in a chair. I'll add, for whatever specific service you're marketing for.
You have to market to a specific person, at least in your head. Otherwise, whatever you say is so disjointed and unfocused that it doesn't resonate with anybody.
You need a target audience. At first blush, that sounds a little restrictive. In reality it's kind of liberating.
Given your druthers, you might say to yourself, "My ideal customer is anyone who can come through the door, sit in my chair, and pay my fee."
Do you really?
Think about it, all money's not good money. Some money is attached to really annoying people.
Do you really want to attract annoying people? Do you want annoying people sitting in your chair? Of course you don't.
Your avatar is a representation of the best example of who you would rather work with. The nice thing about that is, it frees you from trying to appeal to everyone.
You're not going to market to the entire rainbow. You're going to try and attract the best customer you possibly can. The person with the right temperament, disposition, background, income level, et cetera. That's who you're going to market to.
Now that you no longer have to provide for the needs of the entire world, all you have to do is figure out what is it that they want, and give it to them.
The question is, how do you go about doing it? How do you go about changing your website from me-centric, "This is what I've got for you", to you-centric, "What can I do for you?"
Build your list. Identify your target audience. Attract them to your website. Get them onto your list. Then let the list do it's thing.
You may have noticed that every time I talk to you about your website, I always try to get you to think of it in terms of what it looks like to the people visiting your website.
You may have heard me say that what you think about your website is kind of irrelevant. Okay, it's not completely irrelevant, because it is representing you online, but from a marketing perspective, your opinion of how snazzy it looks is not nearly as important as how it resonates with the people coming to your website.
If you have a thousand people who come to your website, you don't care about all of them. There's some stank money in there and we don't want that. We only care about marketing to that portion of the thousand that represents your best customer.
That focus keeps you on point, keeps you tight, makes it easier to do what we have to do. What we have to do is give them what they came there for. Which can be different depending on who they are, how they're wired, and where they are in the buyer's journey.
There are only about four groups we really need to pay attention to.
This would be a good place, I think, to bring up the quandary, the challenge, the thing that's really weird about what you're trying to do. I refer to the internet, and people wandering around the internet, it's short attention span theater.
When people come to your website you've got three seconds to catch their attention to get them to let go of the mouse. It's really shorter than that, it just takes three seconds for their conscious mind to catch up with the process that's already happened in their subconscious mind.
Things happen very, very quickly. That being said, how in the world do you get them the information they need to make a smart decision in the short period of time that you've got before they mentally wander off? Believe it or not, that's where the list shines.
Let me tell you what's supposed to happen. Let me give you a bare bones framework. Just a generic one on what is behind that curtain when we're talking about email marketing, when we're talking about this list.
The list is a series of messages that goes out. They're automatically sent out based on what people do.
Depending on which system, which company you're going with, it can be pretty darn involved. Let's just scratch the surface here today. Let's say that the first thing that happens when someone joins your list, however they join it.
Whether they gave you your email address sitting in your chair, or they came to your website and jumped on a lead magnet, the first thing that happens is a welcome campaign goes out.
Your welcome campaign is a series of four or five emails that simply says, "Hey, how are you doing? This is who I am. This is what we do. This is what we're about. Thank you so much for joining my list. I'm going to be giving you great information in the future. Welcome aboard."
Call it an icebreaker, because when they first got onto the list they didn't know who you were. Not really.
At the end of this campaign they'll have a much better understanding of who you are.
If you tailored your campaign to your target audience, your avatar, if they are in that wheelhouse, then what you are going to say is going to resonate with them. If not, then you give someone who's not your ideal customer an opportunity to wander away anyway.
The next thing that goes out is probably something that most people are familiar with, and that's the monthly newsletter. Now I will tell you a monthly newsletter, not nearly as effective as you might think it is, because it's a long time to go without reaching out and touching the people who are on your list.
Remember the short attention span theater thing? People will forget who you are. They will forget that you're out there. They will definitely forget they joined your list, so you have to touch them a little bit more frequently than once a month.
Twice a month, minimum. Once every two weeks. Once a week, probably best option, but that might be a bridge too far, especially if you're standing alone and afraid behind the chair. Basically, every two weeks you should send them something.
I'm going to say something because I don't want you to get wrapped around the axle on the concept of a newsletter, because saying newsletter is almost as painful for some people as me saying blog. These are terms that folks have pre-assigned conditions in their heads as to what that means, and will lock up just because I said that.
Let's just say you're going to send them something every two weeks, just so you can stay in the conversation and to give you another opportunity to find out what they're all about. What they want you to sell them.
Those are just two of the campaigns that you're going to throw at your list. Let's see, there's three or four more that you could throw at your list, but I don't want to get too down into the weeds on this. I just want you to understand the list is a living thing and does a thing.
Now the campaign that I know you should be interested in is the sales campaign. That's the one that gets them to get off the couch and come sit in your chair. If that weren't spiffy enough, we have what I like to refer to as the Carol Burnett campaign.
Someone has just been sitting in your chair, so you fire up the follow-up campaign that gives them what I call the after care. The follow up. You don't just send them on their way, you reach out to them afterwards and you give them a couple of cool hints, tips, things like that, so that they can preserve what you did for them while they're sitting in your chair.
Oh, by the way, it would be a nice little touch to put the follow up, "Hey it's about time for you to come on back," that six to eight weeks out.
Have that automatic email go out as well. There's stuff you can do to jazz up your revenue off your list. Remember, the whole purpose of having a list is not just to pat yourself on the back and say, "I got a list."
The purpose of having that list is to get your clientele, which is who's on that list, to come back on a regular basis. They're going to go somewhere. Your goal is to get them to keep coming back to your chair.
One of the best methods of doing that is to work that list. I know this was a little bit disjointed, talking about all the different things there, but quite frankly this one is a tough road to hoe if you're trying to do it on your own. It does take a bit of work.
The part of your website that does the yeoman's work is the list. People come to your website for different reasons. Get them on the list so that you can take your time getting them the information that you need.
Oh, by the way, remember when I talked about those folks who are about to make a decision, they pretty much know who they're going to go with? Even if that's not you, that's just this transaction. That's just this visit to someone's chair. The next visit to someone's chair, you're all over that.
You're in there. It doesn't matter how they come to your website, where they're at on the food chain. If they come to your website, smack them with a lead magnet, get them on the list, and then let the list do its work.