The Best Promotions Turn a One-Off Event into a Full Suite for Months.
By Victoria Wurdinger
Emily Sideserf (Kami Studio, LLC; PHIX Salon Suites, Strongsville, OH) won’t be working this Valentine’s Day. She’ll be doing wedding hair in Las Vegas, because her cousin’s fiancée fell in love with Sideserf’s Instagram posts. How did she go from “working a double ” last year to being able to take the lucrative day off this year?
“Last year, I posted a photo of a client’s hair that was shaped into a heart, reminding women that Valentine’s Day was approaching and to come in to get their ‘PHIX,’” she says. “I got over 45 likes on Facebook and over ten private messages from new clients, husbands and boyfriends, all wanting gift cards or appointments for Valentine’s Day weekend.”
Now, she’s booked two-to-four weeks in advance, and can afford to take Valentine’s Day off. (Especially for a high-paying bridal party gig.)
Extending the Excitement
Valentine’s Day promotions used to start four weeks out but Social Media has tightened the turn. Still, if you haven’t planned a promotion yet or if you’re new to a suite, join fellow procrastinators who have different specialties and aim to build business for the long run.
For example, Amanda Allen (Birch Salon, Salons by JC, Denver, CO) says her favorite Valentine’s Day event was the “Anti-Valentine’s Day Ladies’ Night,” which saw several Salons by JC specialists team up to promote the entire location. (She joined with a nail technician, an esthetician and a tanning specialist.) They all promoted the free event using social media and community magazines, which attracted women who were new to the neighborhood.
“Ladies could plan their Valentine’s evening being pampered with their friends,” says Allen. “We offered wine, goodies and complimentary five-to-ten minute services: a lip wax, mini tan, paraffin dip and beach-wave curls.”
The guests rotated from one suite to another as singles or in pairs, and each renter offered an incentive for them to pre-book a service—Allen offered 10% off a hair color service if they booked it that evening.
“Of the 10 who attended, four are now long-term clients,” she says. “That’s a great success in my mind.”
Additional long-term ideas:
- Don’t forget potential business partners like local florists. Valentine’s Day presents the perfect opportunity to offer to do florists’ hair in return for adding a gift card to flower deliveries that exceed a certain dollar amount. This could make a florist your client forever, target gift recipients with big-spending partners and establish on-going cross-referrals.
- Never miss an opportunity to show loyal, current clients the love. To make them your Valentine, offer those who book in advance for Valentine’s Day—or your top 10% —the opportunity to draw a red envelope that includes a card for a free red lipstick, another retail item, extra points on a loyalty card or a free blow out. For high-value clients, let them drop in anytime during the week to pick an envelope. Remember, your future lies in the lifetime value of these clients..
Focus on Lips, Eyes, Hair
Among all the holidays, Valentine’s Day may be the best one for giving specialists beyond hairstylists a business boost. At Beautopia Skin Studio (My Salon Suite, Houston, TX) Ashley Pomerville says the promotion she’s loving is the lip blush, a form of semi-permanent makeup.
“This technique lasts up to two years and is great for anyone looking to add a pop of color to her lips or to enhance the vermilion border,” says Pomerville. “It is a very natural look. My price is $650 and I’m offering 20% off.”
Because the service creates 48-hour swelling and has a short healing time of five-to-seven days, she’s offering it from February 1st through March 15th. She’s also promoting dermaplaning, a light “event” peel with zero downtime, which leaves skin glowing and helps makeup go on smoothly. No need to discount this hot seller, which can be tied to any event.
And because more Americans get engaged on Valentine’s Day than any other, “candlelight” makeup (slightly shimmery foundation for an angelic aura, plus extra eye and lip color for subdued lighting), perfect nails that show off the ring and romantic hairstyles are musts to talk up and show off.
Instead of a simple blow out, promote your romantic half-up/half-down ‘dos. Offer Kiss and Makeup retail in special bags with chocolates and red tissue paper. And if you do both hair and makeup, be sure to ask your client to tag you in her “I said yes” selfie. Studies show that Facebook posts with “congratulations” responses go straight to the top of news feeds.