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Marketing: A Top 10 List

By: Carol and Rob Trow
Posted: December 31, 2009, from the January 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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To provide great information, seek out vendors as speakers, as they are also likely to benefit from addressing your audience. You will be amazed at how many noted professionals will offer to speak at your event at no direct cost to you. Topics can include information such as the latest advances in noninvasive cosmetic procedures, updates on breast cancer screenings and treatments, new ingredient trends—basically any issue that would be of interest to your clientele. Most importantly, present useful, credible information on timely topics. These events should not be commercials for a given product or service, and they should make your clients want to come back again.

4. Establish a referral network. Create cooperative programs with like-minded professional practices and businesses. These could include physicians, dentists, chiropractors, wedding photographers, fitness studios, schools and colleges, as well as neighboring shops and stores. Think out of the box. For example, you can host local networking events at your location. Many professionals would welcome an event to meet other area professionals for both business and personal reasons. Why not become a catalyst for bringing people together? The benefits to you can be enormous.

5. Offer last-minute specials. In the spa industry, it’s well-known most days have open appointment slots. But if you can work on getting it so that every slot is filled, both you and your clients will benefit. To that end, create a last-minute special list. Have your front desk staff make clients aware of these opportunities that carry special rates, and make sure clients know they will only have a two- or three-hour window in which to accept the offer. Communicate that these openings are rare, so clients should take advantage of them when the opportunity arises. There are great benefits to both you and your clients if you can fill in those empty time slots.

6. Get involved in local charities. First and foremost, giving back to the community that helps support you is the right thing to do. Second, it can help increase your business’s visibility and profile among community members. Adopt an organization to support, and encourage your staff to do so as well. Being active in an organization, especially one that attracts current or potential clients, will spread your good name and result in increased business. Donate services and support, and volunteer as much as is feasible for you and your team members. Remember, givers receive and get back more than they give, so be generous in spirit and in deed.

7. Collect client information, especially e-mail addresses. Without an accurate database of client information for communication, you are losing out on a myriad of opportunities. You cannot run a service business by just opening your door and waiting for clients to come to you. E-mails, periodic newsletters, special incentive communications, colorful postcards and birthday cards containing gift certificates are just a few examples of how you can stay in touch. Call each client after she comes in, asking about her experience and level of satisfaction. If there was an issue, all the better, as you now know about it and can take corrective steps to prevent it from happening again. People like to be asked about their service, making this a good marketing program, as well as a quality assurance effort.