Welcome to the Salon Owner’s Podcast, Phorest FM Episode 24. Co-hosted by Killian Vigna and Zoé Bélisle-Springer, this show is a mix of interviews with industry thought-leaders, roundups of our most recent salon owners marketing tips & tricks, all the latest in and around Phorest and what upcoming webinars you can join. Phorest FM is produced every Monday morning for your enjoyment with a cup of coffee on your day off.

Phorest FM Episode 24

With so many channels available today to market your salon through, it can be hard to know the best way to approach a marketing strategy.  Louis Grenier, digital marketing consultant and podcaster in chief for EveryoneHatesMarketers.com, visits the show to clear up some confusion about this topic, and share his experience and wisdom. This episode will make it easier for you to decide which of the tools you have at your disposal you should be using to make the most impact on clients and potential clients.


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Killian Vigna: Welcome to the Phorest FM podcast, episode 24. I’m your host Killian Vigna.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I’m Zoe Belisle-Springer, your cohost.

Killian Vigna: So in this week’s episode, we’re actually going to change it up a little bit. Today, we’re going to be talking to Louis Grenier, who is a marketing consultant with Phorest. And we’re going to talk about how to focus your marketing efforts for salon owners. And as always, we’ll top off the show with our upcoming Phorest Academy webinars. This podcast is produced every Monday morning for your enjoyment with a cup of coffee on your day off. Now let’s get into the show.

Louis, I know we went through it three times, four times beforehand, I still can’t pronounce your second name. Do you want to say your name there for the —

Louis Grenier: You say it perfectly well. I don’t know why you’re so self-conscious.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Because he’s messed up pretty much everyone’s name, including himself.

Killian Vigna: Did I mix up my name?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: No, you did.

Louis Grenier: It means, my last name means attic in English.

Killian Vigna: Attic.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Attic. Like an attic.

Killian Vigna: You could have just said that, Louis Attic.

Louis Grenier: Yeah, yeah and then I would have punched you.

Killian Vigna: So Louis runs a podcast, Everyone Hates Marketers, and he’s done a little bit of work with us here on Phorest as well. So we said, why don’t we do a little collaboration today? We always talk about different marketing efforts, we always go through channels for salon owners. Marketing is a full time job in itself.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And with the technology popping up, with new apps and new things, new channels every single day almost, it’s kind of hard to figure out where to go.

Killian Vigna: We find it overwhelming and it’s our job. Let alone a salon owner trying to this as quarter of what their daily tasks are. So I suppose straight into it?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Why should you focus on a few channels? What’s the benefit of that?

Louis Grenier: It’s not necessarily only about focusing on one or two, or two or three channels. It’s also focusing your strategy, focusing on one goal, one objective. So to go back to it, exactly as you said, everybody has problems. Information is everywhere, you have Wikipedia, you can read any blog on any topic. If you want to disagree with somebody, you just have to type what you disagree with and you find articles that agree with you and disagree with the other.

There are so many tactics out there, so many growth hacks, or anything like this that will tell you what to do, it’s impossible to follow every single tactic that you learn, that you hear for, or that you listen to. That’s fine if you feel overwhelmed, everybody else feels this way.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Even us.

Louis Grenier: Exactly. Me as well. For my podcast, for example, there are so many things I could do to promote it, but I have to focus on one or two things because it’s not my full time job.

Killian Vigna: Yeah because we’re so used to hearing “Oh you have to be everywhere, every platform going.” Then when you’ve got new platforms coming in, you’re going “Well what do I focus on?” And you eventually can just spread yourself thin then in the end, can’t you?

Louis Grenier: Yes, exactly. That’s the first thing. The benefits of focusing your strategy on marketing is that it has a compounding effect in the long term. If you keep switching from, let’s say, “Oh, I’m going to try Facebook for a week and then I’m going to try Snapchat. Oh it’s not working. Now I’m going to move to like sending emails, it’s not working”. If you keep switching from one channel to another without having a concrete goal in your mind, then for sure your marketing is not going to work.

This is counter-intuitive, because you will hear from your friends or colleagues or specialists in the field that will tell you “No, Instagram is the way to go. Everybody’s on Instagram”. Well that’s not necessarily the case. The first thing that you need to really ask yourself is the goal. If you had to choose one goal for your business in terms of what marketing can help, what would it be. And it’s not about five goals or ten goals, but one single goal.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: That could be like do I want to attract new clients, do I want to retain clients, do you want to have more retail sales, things like that.

Louis Grenier: But it has to be extremely precise. As an overall we can say we want more clients. What does it mean concretely? How many clients do you have every week or every month? And how many do you want in six months, let’s say. It has to be set in a time frame. It could be by the end of this year we need to have a total of 2,000 customers who went through our doors in the last six months. Something really tangible that you can put on every wall of your salon and talk to your staff about.

Killian Vigna: Because if you’re going to say I just want to get new clients as my goal, how do you know if you’ve hit that goal? Because like you said, you’ve never put a target and you’ve never put a timeline on it.

Louis Grenier: That’s it. So once you have that, you’re going to start seeing clarity pretty quickly. Because of this objective, you know almost for sure that there are certain things you shouldn’t do anymore. Once you have a goal, the second thing you really need to do and spend time doing is asking your customers where they hang out.

It depends on your salon. You could have customers that are quite old in age maybe, or very young, or it depends so you need to talk to those people and understand where they spend their time. Do they spend their time online, and if so, on which channel? Are they actually on Instagram? Are they actually on Snapchat? On Facebook? Do they enjoy receiving emails? Do they actually read the posts? Do they go to events? There are so many things you can ask them. The first thing is I would talk to 5 or 10 customers and understand where they hang out. And really drill into that and understand where they hang out. Once you have that, I’m pretty sure you’re going to have a really good idea of where you need to be in terms of your marketing.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And when you say talk to five customers, who do you pick from the crowd? Is it like your most regular customers, people that you trust, maybe to begin? Do you switch it up every few months?

Louis Grenier: Yes, people that you trust, people that you like, so that it’s easier to ask them. But I would argue the most important thing is trying to talk to the most profitable customers. Those people who keep coming back to you, who keep referring you to others. That’s what your marketing is, you need to bring more loyal customers, more people who would spend a lot of money with you and would be really happy with the service.

So you make a list. Ask 5 or 10, and ask them for their time. You can bring them to your salon and invite them for coffee or whatever. But have a genuine conversation with them, asking them where they hang out, asking them what type of marketing that they like from you or others. You’re going to start forming a very good idea of what people want and where they hang out.

Killian Vigna: And that can be done from general word of mouth in the salon while you’re doing their treatments, or send an email out with a Google forms or Survey Monkey. If you’re a Phorest client, you can pull a report of your highest revenue clients, and you could invite them to a salon evening. Get the conversation going, find out, get everyone involved then.

Louis Grenier: Yeah that’s a great idea. But I would argue, be careful not to try to sell to them. I would try to put the hat of a journalist on. Try to really drill into their lives and where they hang out. Ask them, show me your smart phone and which apps do you use the most? Those kind of things are the most important things. Marketing is about customers, your people.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Would you value more a one-on-one with these people or just a group?

Louis Grenier: It’s an interesting topic. To start with I think it’s less overwhelming if you do one to one, because you can just have a genuine conversation. If you’re very comfortable talking to people and leading a group of people, then you can do focus groups. Focus groups can be a little bit hard to organize, and they can be a little bit difficult to maintain during an hour or two. Focus groups are interesting sometimes when somebody would say something, a customer would say something and somebody else would pick it up and say “Oh I haven’t thought of that, but actually…” So there’s a conversation going on.

I would say to start with, if you can speak to five customers, for 20 or 30 minutes each. Your marketing is going to get much clearer straight away.

Killian Vigna: That could be a case of just bringing them out for a cup of coffee. You’d easily sit there for 20 minutes chatting over a cup of coffee anyway. Why not get some use out of it?

Louis Grenier: People love to talk about themselves.

Killian Vigna: It’s true.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It is true, yeah.

Killian Vigna: As long as, and we’ve talked about whole effective listening stuff. As long as you can sit there and do that, “Oh yeah, oh really, oh tell me more,” basically they’re just going to keep on spilling.

Louis Grenier: Yep. So once you have that. So to come back to it, you have your goal, number one goal. You have those conversations with your customers. Try to make sense out of them. Try to find patterns. If all of your profitable customers are between 50 and 60 years old, then I can almost guarantee you that Snapchat shouldn’t be your number one channel. It sounds obvious, but it’s the truth.

The same way for the other way around. If your audience is between 18 and 25 years old, then this is probably somewhere you need to be. Once you have that, you can start to make a list of those channels. What I mean by channels are there are plenty of different of channels. I’m not talking necessarily about social media channels. It could be search engine optimization, making sure that you are being seen on Google, because maybe they are using it a lot. It could be contact marketing, where you write blog posts every week or every day even. It could be sending emails. Then yes it could be Snapchat, Instagram.

In total there are around 18 to 19 channels, that’s from a book called “Traction”. It’s actually interesting, if you Google it, you find the answer to it. There are like 19 channels you can pick from. But the key is to pick two or three. Maximum. Especially because you don’t necessarily have the time to do your marketing every day and it can be quite cumbersome.

Once you have your goal, you know your customer and where they hang out. You also need to think about what you like to do, right? So let’s say you have five channels that your customers hang out on and maybe there are two or three where you really don’t like using. That’s perfectly fine to use the two others that you like using and focusing on them.

There is one big thing out there and everybody’s suffering from it. It’s called the fear of missing out. You’re going to suffer from that every week or every two weeks or every month or even every day. Focusing on two or three stuff is really going to help you in the long term. Don’t be scared every time there’s a new channel coming up and everybody’s saying you need to be on it. You shouldn’t. If you’ve decided that you are not going to be on it, don’t be on it. That’s it.

Killian Vigna: I like what you said there about find what you like or what you’re good at, because if you enjoy using, say you’re going to pick blogging as one of your channels. If you enjoy blogging or writing content, it’s going to come across in the message. It’s not going to appear forced. It’s the same with your Instagram, your Facebook, stuff like that. Yeah, definitely pick the ones that you know you’re going to enjoy using. Any message will come across much better.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah much more genuine.

Killian Vigna: It won’t become a chore either. You’ll actually enjoy doing your marketing then.

Louis Grenier: And you’ll be able to be consistent. That’s the other thing. Let’s say, if you pick blogging as one of your channels. You need to be consistently posting articles. If you decide every week, you’re going to have to stick, at least 6 months, 9 months, even 12 months, or even more. Building a brand takes a while, and building an audience takes even longer.

If you’ve chosen this path, then you stick to it. A little tip that I will tell you, some of it’s silly but you need write yourself a contract, right? So you write yourself a contract with your number one goal on top, the things you will do. Let’s say, I promise that I will write a blog post every week for the next 12 months. Make this contract about yourself, show it to others and to your colleagues and to your staff and say “This is what we’re sticking with for the next 12 months. This is what we decided, and we’re all behind it”.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Because it makes you accountable for things.

Louis Grenier: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: But the more people you tell, the harder it is not to do it. People are now expecting. It’s the same, they say, with any challenge you want to do, tell everyone and it makes it easier to get up and do it.

Louis Grenier: If you have channels that you are using and you have chosen not to use anymore, close them down. It’s much easier to have four or five channels that are open and all of them closed rather than trying to maintain those 20 channels, and people can contact you from any of them. It’s quite overwhelming. If you decide, for example, that Instagram is not for you, close your Instagram account.

Killian Vigna: So you’re saying, when new channels come in, like Instagram came in, everyone sets up Instagram accounts. I suppose just to kind of get that salon name registered. Are you saying forget about the whole FOMO thing? Don’t worry about opening accounts just to secure your name. Just open what you’re going to use then.

Louis Grenier: If you register an account with your name and people can find it, then it’s likely that they might try to contact you on it. It’s a good idea to register names if you feel that it might be a good channel in the future. But I wouldn’t really worry about it too much. You can always find a name that suits you. Adding salon at the end or the name of the city you’re in. It’s not a big deal.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, fair enough.  Other than that, do you have any other tips, or even if, say, if there was one channel you really have to be on because that’s going to stay throughout the ages.

Louis Grenier: That’s the good question. The question you also ask yourself is, will what I’m doing still be relevant in one year, two years, five years, twenty years right? At the end of the day, marketing is about understanding people and connecting with them so that they buy from you, right? The best tip I can give is, focus on that. Focus on creating connections, connecting with people. Regardless of the channel, we are social animals, we love conversation. We love talking about ourselves. We love experiences and feeling great emotions that make us feel better. Whatever the channel, that will always be true. Regardless of that, I can’t really tell you that this channel needs to be your number one thing. I can always say, depending on your audience, then this channel is probably what you need to be in. Once again, if you’re targeting 50 to 60 year olds, it’s unlikely that Snapchat is the channel you need to go to. Maybe they are actually enjoying receiving stuff in the post way more than they enjoy receiving emails.  Maybe that’s what you need to invest in. But it will be very difficult.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, you won’t know until you actually ask.

Louis Grenier: You will be surprised by the answer. I can guarantee you will be surprised by the answer.

Killian Vigna: You could try and guess the platforms, but do you really know your clients inside out? Especially if you got something like 1,000 clients. Are you going to know every single one of them inside out? No. So ask.  Ask, ask, ask.

Louis Grenier: Another tip as well. Asking questions is great, but make sure that they are not leading questions. Make sure that you ask about past behaviour instead of their thoughts.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: What they would do?

Louis Grenier: Yeah. If you ask, “Would you spend time on Snapchat?” First of all, you’re leading them into thinking about Snapchat. Second of all, you’re leading them about what would you do, which is not good. Instead, you should probably ask questions about their past behaviour such as, last night what did you use to spend time?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Before going to bed.

Louis Grenier: What did you use?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: What apps do you use?

Louis Grenier: She might have said or he might have said “Well actually I was just checking my emails”, or “I was just watching TV and checking my emails”. And he or she will have never mentioned Snapchat in the first place. Be careful with leading questions, trying to lead people on to get the answer you want necessarily. Try to ask open ended questions that are based on the past, instead of in the future. Because people are really bad at telling what they think.

Killian Vigna: So basically avoid the yes, no answers.

Louis Grenier: Yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Louis Grenier: Like this one.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Like this one.

Killian Vigna: Exactly. And that’s why he’s here.

Louis Grenier: To summarize, you pick a goal that is tangible, that you really can get behind. You ask your customers, the most profitable customers where they spend their time, what they like, what they don’t like, the type of competitors that they would follow. Then you create this type of contract. It’s for you and you sign it, but it’s also for others, that you make yourself accountable by sharing it with others. It’s perfectly fine if you frame it in front of you everyday. It sounds stupid, but that works. If you see it every single day for a year, you’re not going to forget it.

Killian Vigna: It creates a habit. A habit that you’re not even going to realize. You see that every day, it’s stuck in your mind. You actually start acting on it before you realize what you’re doing.

Louis Grenier: Yep. So that’s the one thing. If it turns out that after 12 months or 18 months, that it’s not working, that’s really unlikely. That’s really, really unlikely if you’ve done all of those steps before.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah because you’ll be analyzing whatever you do within that channel anyways, so you can always progress on that.

Killian Vigna: Exactly.

Louis Grenier: But let’s take an example, a last example would be Snapchat versus Instagram, because that is something that is being talked about a lot. Right, let’s say that you talked to your people and they told you that they spend a lot of time on Instagram. After six months, you realize that actually they are moving away from Instagram, going back to Snapchat. That’s perfectly fine, you should keep talking to customers anyway during the weeks after. You can just switch. But your goal will remain the same and the spirit behind it will remain the same. It will be for your audience. It will be for them, this is where they spend their time. You shouldn’t worry about every single new channel coming up because you’ll follow what your customer are doing and that will be much easier.

Killian Vigna: And if it’s really a new hot topic, your clients will tell you about it. They’ll start mentioning that “Oh have you seen…” like when Snapchat came out, “have you seen Snapchat? It’s brilliant”. Like we said, you’re not going to get massive sales of customers straight away, but you’re providing value on the new platform. Is the customer going to be excited to see your content, basically.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: If you’re not doing all your marketing alone, say you have a little tiny team of maybe two or three people doing it, how do you approach that? Do you split it up between, do you divide it up between people or–

Louis Grenier: The channels, you mean?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Louis Grenier: Well once again, it depends. Depends on the skills of each. Maybe one in your team is really good at sharing the sawdust of your company, so showing the behind the scenes of your company. Maybe you have somebody who’s really good at writing. It really depends. But at the end of the day–

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So aim for talent.

Louis Grenier: Yeah. Aim for talent. Aim for what they like to do, but don’t choose a channel because one person says we really need to be there. Make sure that you engage with the customer, and share this goal with your team so they’ll all be behind it. The contract should be within your team. Everybody signs it. You put it in front of their desk everyday for them to see.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So that way everyone’s aware of it as well, it’s not just you.

Killian Vigna: That’s another thing you could add to your Salon Owner’s Procedures manual that we’ve talked about.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Many, many times.

Killian Vigna: We bring it up nearly every episode. You should have that bible. Again, it doesn’t need to be too procedure based, but it’s just getting everyone on board with the same vision.

Louis Grenier: Yeah, I really like this idea, the process manual.

Killian Vigna: I suppose in terms of, we could do a quick breakdown of what social media accounts are out there. Kind of give you a guideline on whether it would suit your salon or your clients. The first few to top off, you’ve got Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Website, blog, any kind of blogging platform.

Killian Vigna: Blogging, email. So you’ve got your monthly newsletters. You could get your content in there.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Would you even fit events, nights, things like that?

Louis Grenier: Channels? Yeah. Terrific.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Like conferences and stuff.

Louis Grenier: It can be P.R. It could be social media display ads, particularly, not necessarily writing a status but actually being quite clever with your social media ads. It could be offline events. Your sales could be coming from the chamber of commerce that you’re a member of, and you go there every week, and you know a lot of people. That’s perfectly fine. That’s a marketing channel. You can also build partnerships. Let’s say you are a salon and you know a hotel very well, and you have a good relationship with them.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: A florist, a café.

Louis Grenier: So that’s perfectly fine, as long as behind all of that your customers are really happy with your service, they will refer you to others. At the end of the day, word of mouth is the number one channel. If your service is great and people really like what you do, then people will come back and it will naturally build up, regardless of the channel you’re using.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It’s about focusing on things. I mentioned this in my retail webinar, where I say if you focus on a product, say you have 50 products left of this one thing and you want to order this new brand and you’re trying to liquidate the rest of the product… if you focus on trying to push that out, then it’s actually going to work way faster than if you’re just trying to get one here and there every week.

Killian Vigna: Incentivise the staff to get on board with that. If it is something they really need to get out quick, you could always give them a percentage of every sale.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: As well, commission based.

Killian Vigna: Or who comes up with the best post to push it will get commission. So Louis, thanks very much. I believe this is the first of a couple of, are we going to talk about that are we?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: No, well we might as well now.

Louis Grenier: It’s all right.

Killian Vigna: So Louis thanks for coming in today.

Louis Grenier: You’re very welcome. Thanks guys for having me today and I guess it won’t be the last episode we’ll be doing together. There are a few other subjects and topics we mentioned in marketing that deserve to be talked about. Thank you so much once again.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And if anyone wants to hear more about what you do, it’s the podcast Everyone Hates Marketers.

Louis Grenier: Yeah. Everyonehatesmarketers.com. It’s quite technical, it’s for marketers, particularly, but I’m pretty sure there are a few episodes that would be relevant to salons.

Killian Vigna: It’s very interesting. I haven’t left a review yet, but it is good. I’ll get working on it. But now you know I’ve listened to it.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: All right, if we switch on to the next Phorest academy webinars…

Killian Vigna: The next one we have is coming up on Monday, May the 15th. It is the Phorest Academy Online Bookings Master Class. What’s going on there is, talking about the benefits of having online booking on your Facebook and on your internet. Because if you’re just relying on a receptionist, you’re not open 24 hours. You’re not open when your clients are off. If you’re open nine til six, how do you take bookings after that? You might have a voicemail, but then they’re not guaranteed. Or if you’re busy, how do you answer your phone? Some tips and tricks to be able to take in more bookings online and even through the app on social. Jump on board that one there, and what else?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: May 22nd, the Facebook master class. That’s one that’s been rolling on for a few months now already. It’s led by Chris Brennan, our content manager in Phorest. He runs through best practices, how to analyze your ads, how to make your Facebook stand out basically. That’s something you can join in on on May 22nd.

Killian Vigna: And to sign up for those you can go to the Facebook, Phorest Salon Software Facebook page, and you go to the event section and click into the events and go “Buy tickets now”. As always, they’re free tickets but it’s just the way Facebook labels it. Click that link and register.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: There you go. Have a great week, and we’ll catch you next Monday.

Killian Vigna: All the best.

Thanks for reading!


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