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FROM ZERO CLIENTS TO FULLY BOOKED WITH A WAIT LIST IN LESS THAN 12 MONTHS.

First up let me paint the picture for you, I was a busy mum of 3 beautiful boys and a husband that had to travel a lot for work, but every time we moved to another town, city or even country that meant I had to start over from scratch every single time. I had no list in my new home, no reputation, nothing. But trust me, we weren’t one of those families where we could survive on one income and mum only worked as a hobby. We needed the money to make ends meet.
 
I needed a fool-proof rinse and repeat strategy for gaining a lot of clients, and quickly. But most importantly, I don’t want one-time business. I needed REPEAT customers.
But how? We have a saturated market and we all do exactly the same thing right? How do I stand out?
Lets break it down for a moment, Yes, the beauty industry is saturated, there is basically a nail tech on every street. But there are more than enough clients to go round, you just need to find your people…
 
The biggest mistake people make is that they don’t research their competition. There is so much value in knowing what the industry as a whole is doing, Not so. that we can copy and undercut pricing, but so that we see industry trends. what’s hot right now in your town? what do people like? what don’t they like? How can you give them what they want, if you don’t know what they want? Makes sense right? 
 
The bottom line is this, at the end of the day, if we are clueless about exactly where the industry is, and what’s hot and what’s not, then you have no hope of standing out. 
But how? We have a saturated market and we all do exactly the same thing right? How do I stand out?
Lets break it down for a moment, Yes, the beauty industry is saturated, there is basically a nail tech on every street. But there are more than enough clients to go round, you just need to find your people…
 
The biggest mistake people make is that they don’t research their competition. There is so much value in knowing what the industry as a whole is doing, Not so. that we can copy and undercut pricing, but so that we see industry trends. what’s hot right now in your town? what do people like? what don’t they like? How can you give them what they want, if you don’t know what they want? Makes sense right? 
 
The bottom line is this, at the end of the day, if we are clueless 
about exactly where the industry is, and what’s hot and what’s not, then you have no hope of standing out. Right at the beginning work out what the average prices are in your area and sit right there in that price range for a while. Don’t be the cheapest, but don’t go in straight away to the top end. Knowledge is power and once we know all of that then we are ready to Introduce ourselves to our potential customers. 

Facebook is an invaluable tool for this, what I did was I found local groups on Facebook to join…

and typed nail tech into the search bar from there all of the conversations people had about nails all came up, 

My motto is this ‘You must always give before you can receive’ therefore, because I was only helpful & conversational and not (salesy) people usually would get curious. 

They would click on my profile to have a nosey, and I had links to my salon page so I got a lot of people following my page this way, which often would lead to bookings .

Secondly I got a non toxic nail polish in, and made sure that it was cutesy so that it would appeal to little girls. Then when I wasn’t busy I would post to Facebook about free mummy daughter dates. Mum got a coffee, daughter got a choco milk or orange juice and the little one got her nails painted for free. trust me when I say it worked a treat. So how did I turn a free service into a paying/recurring customer?? 
 
 
Simple! while I was doing daughters nails I was chatting away with both of them, not just the mum and ignoring the little one, or vice versa. And because it was a free service, that was branded to the kids it meant it was a point of difference that got talked about A lot. 

Then at the end of the service I would give mum a business card which had a loyalty programme on the back, after 4 stamps (visits) the 5th Service they would receive 25% off. and after 9 Stamps (visits) they would get 50% off their 10th visit. Then I’d drop in that because they were so lovely I was going to give them their first stamp for free. You see, people are more likely to ignore an empty loyalty card. Simple psychology. And just incase the mums forgot about me, I could always rely on the little ones to be a very effective reminder, always chatting about the nail shop with chocolate milk and cute manicures. 

I also offered new clients an extra ‘stamp‘ for giving my facebook page a like and follow, they had to do it then and there, and show me to receive their stamp. Which brings me to my last point about cold vs warm leads. What is a cold lead? Put simply, a cold lead is someone who hasn’t heard of you or your business and they haven’t used your services before. A warm lead means that person has heard of your business, and/or has expressed interest in what you do and may have used your services before. Obviously warm leads are easy to convert into repeat business.
 
Therefore every mother became not just a ‘warm’ lead, but a boiling hot lead! They gave me a list real quick, and it was easy to turn them into paying customers. So because I gave so much value without asking anything in return they usually turned into regulars. There you have it, that is how I turned a free manicure into a recurring payment of $80. And by having the loyalty programme in place, it ensured that they came regularly and they were loyal to me.  

You see I would always put just as much effort, if not more, into keeping existing customers happy as I would put into finding new ones. Because of this my ‘NO SHOW‘ rate was pretty much non existent. So don’t forget to look after your warm leads and your current followers. If you always have New client Specials but nothing for your regulars who already support you, they will notice that. Loyalty is a two way street and just like any other relationship you need to work on it and build it on mutual give and take.