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Muscle Marketing for Your Spa

By: Christine Heathman
Posted: April 1, 2014, from the April 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Affirmation. Vision. Strategy. Goals. Creativity. Five words you should commit to your muscular memory to help create a bigger, more powerful position for your skin care facility to grow into. Thinking outside of the box will help to establish client addicts who are captivated by your company’s indelible customer experiences.

If your marketing efforts only extend to actions, such as handing out brochures and business cards, hanging wall posters, providing samples, and maintaining a simple website and a part-time Facebook presence, you’re practicing run-of-the-mill marketing.

There is no room for mediocre if you expect to win at marketing—you’re aware that small businesses are not afforded the luxury to spend the millions that Fortune 500 companies spend on marketing— however, Goliath was brought down with a small slingshot. In other words, stop worrying about that giant competitor and become laser-focused on your own business using unconventional and conventional marketing methods.

This year, it’s all about establishing a firm business regimen to build company marketing muscle if you expect to stand out among your competitors using low- or no-cost methods to gain control for greater profits and success. Your marketing results should be measured by profit, not by how many clients you have or gross sales. You can generate a million dollars, but if your profit is only $1,000, your marketing is failing.

Muscle marketing is more than advertising with a mainstream media audience. Your clients want authenticity, your personal attention and committed participation—meaning spas need to shift their thinking from old-fashioned conventional marketing to a strategy plan that grabs the attention of underserved audiences.

The first rule of thumb is to muscle-up your news releases. Don’t just send news releases when big news is happening—find good reasons to send them regularly. Create news releases that appeal directly to your niche market clientele, complete with call-to-action information that will encourage clients to make an appointment with you ... now.

Developing long-term relationships and trust with your clients rather than just looking for the sale are paramount to your marketing game. Keeping clients happy is more effective than using a single marketing ploy or making a sale. Increasing transactions, growing repeat sales and adding new clients is the steroid your business requires to maintain the muscle advantage to your competitor.

Muscle marketing requires you to continually step out-of-the-box. Due to the paradigm shift in marketing today, you need to maintain a steadfast focus using social media daily to reach your clients on a regular basis. Many spas have a difficult time changing old habits—relying on old strategies and ignoring the new rules of marketing, which have left them casualties in the marketing game. They have become forgotten because no one knows they exist.

Social media muscle will increase your revenues, improve your profitability and ensure you remain relevant, competitive, visible and significant to your clients. Muscling up your social media game will increase your spa’s brand value by engaging your clients with communication, collaboration, education and entertainment. Tools, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, blogging and hundreds of other avenues, should become the No. 1 part of your muscle marketing business strategy by blending the old with the new.

Nothing happens overnight. Start by cleaning out the cobwebs of your stale business marketing practices and chart a 12-month muscle marketing plan to fit your vision. Whether you are large or small, muscle marketing works. It does not require a lot of money, although financial prudence is important for fiduciary muscle and should be an integral part of your 12-month muscle marketing plan. The benefits will pay off and next year at this time, you will have a business that has grown beyond your expectations!

Christine Heathman is a licensed master esthetician, massage therapist and burn specialist with more than two decades of clinical practice and research at institutions such as Stanford University and the University of Utah. Honored in 2003 as an industry legend by the American Association for Esthetics, she believes the future of skin care is now.