Phorest FM Episode 122: June Monthly Round-Up

Did you miss an episode this month? Catch up on everything that's happened in June with Killian and Zoe's round-up. On the agenda: Phorest Salon Software's product updates, highlights from recent online booking survey findings and snippets from previous interviews with Amanda Olusanya, Paul Kiersey, Will Hulihan, James Mulcahy & Denise Gill.


Abigail Walsh

Abigail Walsh is Phorest Salon Software’s Events & PR Lead for the UK Market. With an in-depth events background in both the corporate and social sectors, Abi heads up the planning and coordination of hair and beauty educational, motivational and influential events such as Conscious Hair & Beauty, with various capacities, ranging from 10 to 500 attendees. Based in London, she can also be seen attending and supporting various industry award nights such as the Salon Business Awards and the British Hairdressers Business Awards, along with attending and exhibiting at industry trade shows.


Killian Vigna: Welcome to the Phorest FM podcast, episode 122. I’m Killian Vigna.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And I’m Zoe Belisle-Springer. It’s that time of the month again where you can catch up on anything you’ve missed recently. We’ll discuss some of the latest Phorest FM episodes, product updates, interesting survey findings, and everything else in between.

Killian Vigna: So, grab yourself a cup of coffee, sit back, relax, and join us weekly for all your salon’s business and marketing needs. Good morning, Zoe.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Good morning, Killian. It’s good to be back in the studio.

Killian Vigna: I was just saying it’s so weird that you’re sitting here beside me, and we’re both sharing the same mic.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I know, it’s been so long!

Killian Vigna: Yeah, we don’t have to talk about the weather anymore, because you’re in the same country.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly! However, I was watching the Brené Brown documentary, well it was kind of like a conference, but it’s just like a special.

Killian Vigna: It’s the one on Netflix, isn’t it?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, it’s a Netflix special.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And after that, I looked her up, and well obviously she has loads of bestselling books and stuff, but there was one in particular that I wanted to get into, “Dare to Lead,” so that’s probably going to be on my list quite soon.

Killian Vigna: Her newest one, isn’t it?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I think so, yeah, yeah.

Killian Vigna: Because I remember reading a few of those books in college, but I haven’t quite got around to this one yet. Is it a good recommendation?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I mean, I’ll let you know!

Killian Vigna: The Netflix show?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: The Netflix show, it was fantastic. Got me laughing, crying, all the things. All the emotions in about an hour.

Killian Vigna: Sounds like a good Saturday night, so.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, exactly. And the other one I had a look into, I think I stumbled upon it with Amazon recommendations was “Deep Work,” by Cal Newport.

Killian Vigna: Cal Newport, yeah. That was the first book I downloaded on Audible.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: You listen to them more than you read them, don’t you?

Killian Vigna: Yeah, yeah, I find it easier, because I don’t have much time where I can sit down and read things, I’m usually always kind of out and about, and doing stuff, so audiobooks are the only way I can get my education in. So unless authors have a voiceover of a book, I’m probably just not going to get around to it.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So you’re going to listen to Jay Williams’ audio version then?

Killian Vigna: Just heard a snippet there, and I have to say, audio quality is key when it comes to stuff like this, and a good narrator. And he has both, I suppose, I’ll give it to him, yeah!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, he does.

Killian Vigna: But that Cal Newport one, yeah, I would definitely recommend that. It was good for, not only everyone’s in a… well, I suppose we’re all in a world full of noise and distraction at the moment, and it’s how do you sit down and focus. So he has a couple of strategies in there, kind of the monastic approach, the bimodal approach, the rhythmic approach, and the journalistic approach. The first one you could probably guess what that one is, straight away.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Like a monk, kind of a…

Killian Vigna: Yeah, exactly. It’s just like, do cabin in the woods sort of vibe, and go and hide for a few days, lock yourself away. Then he’s got the bimodal one, which is similar enough, but it’s more just kind of lock yourself in a meeting room for a few hours, until you get the work done. Then he’s got the rhythmic one, which is basically the Pomodoro Effect, which we all know. You just kind of chunk your day, and then the final one he has is the journalistic approach, which is essentially his, like the last-ditch, you use every ounce of free time you have. If you’re sitting in an airport, if you’re waiting for a bus, you’re using all of this to get your deep work down.

But one thing he does mention, which you’d like is productive meditation.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Oooh. Tell me more, yeah, I do love meditation.

Killian Vigna: Because you are… you’re interested in your meditation and stuff like that.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: Well, this is more productive, so he talks about in his book where… we’re so focused on think, and think, and think, and trying to solve problems, that’s what you’re doing with your productive meditation. So if you’re standing in a queue, or if you know your bus is going to be half an hour, try and solve complex problems, to train your mind. But on the flip side of it then, when you’re trying to solve something out, that’s when you should kick back and relax.

A lot of famous inventors did this. Thomas Edison was well known for it, where when you get stuck in a rut thinking something, just put your feet up, lay back, and I think he had steel balls that he used to play around with in his hand. And he’d let himself get so relaxed, where your mind is essentially switching off. I love this idea. I love, I do this every time I can. But you essentially switch your mind off and nearly fall asleep. So when he dropped the balls from his hand, that’s when he’d have to come back to life, and then usually he’d have that solution or that answer.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It would trigger some neurological… yeah.

Killian Vigna: Exactly, because we’re thinking of this stuff subconsciously, and then we’re forcing ourselves to overthink it consciously, so if we just remove the conscious element of it for a second, and just let that subconscious work away, and you go and look at something else, or focus on something else, you’ve had more time just to refresh the thought.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, I guess it’s true, though. As you were saying that I was like, there was a problem I was trying to solve, it was actually around the podcast, and I couldn’t figure out how to do it, and it had been about two or three weeks I was thinking about this. I went over to some friends; we had a really lovely dinner. I was walking back home, the streets are really quiet, especially in my area, there’s nothing going on. And I just had this, “Oh! I know!” And I think one person walking by who just looked at me weird, because honestly, I’m just screaming on the street, like, “Oh, yes, finally I get it!”

Killian Vigna: But it’s so typical, it’s like, I don’t care, I’m going to throw it out there. It’s those aha moments you have when you’re in the toilet, or you’re in the shower, that’s usually when you come up with the solutions to life’s problems.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It’s true, and yeah-

Killian Vigna: It’s those places where you’re last thinking of something, and that’s where it comes, it springs to mind.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: That’s brilliant. Oh well, you’re making me excited to read this book now.

Killian Vigna: Well I think I’ve just given it all away, and the big one for you, his final point is, switch off at the same time every day.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Oh, yeah.

Killian Vigna: So half five, switch off. Because that’s… I suppose that’s that downtime, where you’re saying kind of you’re removing a conscious and subconscious, and if it’s really important, it’ll spring to mind, and then the next day you can action that.

So yeah, I think I’ve kind of, pretty much a solid one there, so I haven’t been keeping up on my books, but I’ve been able to educate on previous books.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Well, thank you. I appreciate that one.

Killian Vigna: I’m going to take that as a win.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: You should.

Killian Vigna: I’ll do the audio version soon for everyone.

Introducing Phorest’s new SMS marketing editor [06:10]

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly. So what do we have in product updates? You usually do a section on this in the monthly roundup.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. So, this month we have two things at the moment. So, for anyone that has been using the new email marketing editor, that’s now going to be the default email editor. So if you open up Phorest and you go to marketing, you’d see kind of marketing campaigns, and a blue button saying view campaigns. That’s how you’d access the email editor, that’s now going to be defaulted in compose email. Now we have the SMS marketing editor. It’s built on the same sort of technology.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Web-based, and templates and all?

Killian Vigna: Exactly. For anyone that’s used the new email editor, the SMS composer, it’s accessed in the same way. So you click create campaigns, only this time instead of email editor, you’re going to have a choice now to do the email or the SMS composer. When you go into that, you’ll see your preview snippet, where you can… I’ll actually go into it as I’m talking about it here. Probably makes a bit more sense.

You’ll see when you click view campaigns, you’ll see your list of previous campaigns, any drafts or completed. Click the blue new campaign up on the top right, and see here now you have the choice of the email or the SMS. So this is playing on that whole thing of, I want to create a campaign, as opposed to, I want to do an email campaign, or I want to do an SMS campaign. So they’re working in tandem here now.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yep. And with the email anyways, if, say, you don’t have the email addresses of certain few of your clients, which we know happens quite often, you can fall back to SMS.

Killian Vigna: Absolutely, I think we could like… what’s that campaign we had, you could fill three jumbo jets of clients whose phone numbers you have, in comparison to email addresses. Because think about it, unless you’re booking online, it’s usually the phone number that you require for an in-house booking. So you’re always going to have the majority of those, because SMS confirmations, reminders; they’re basically essentials.

So yeah, I go into the composer, similar to the editor, again there’s a lot of comparisons here, so you’re going to hear me saying similar a lot. But you can create your own SMS, or there will be SMS inspirations. That bit’s coming soon. You’re going to have templates uploaded there, and I believe they’re going to come from the marketing department again. So when we go in and compose, again, same technology. You can use copy and paste, and there will be the spellchecker, you can add pre-composed links for things like online booking, services, staff. You’ll also have your character counts, and message counts included.

However, the first thing you’ll probably notice with those character counts and limits is it starts around 137. The reason being is because the opt-out link is automatically included. And it’s region-specific, so if you’re a salon in Ireland, you’ll always have that opt-out link included, that’s those missing characters there. But if you’re in the US, you’ll only have that opt-out on the first message.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, so you’re compliant with any data protection law, depending on your region. GDPR here in Europe, but also the SPAM-Can Act in the US.

Killian Vigna: Yep, it’s all taken care of. Then, because you’ve spent all this time on the campaigns, you’re going to want to make sure it looks right before you send it out. You’re going to want to make sure your links are working, so there is that test functionality. You can refine your audience, so we will have filters and targeting included in there. Then finally to confirm your SMS, just because there’s always that little bit of… like, if you’ve ever used a MailChimp one, you’ve got that sweaty monkey paw? So you just kind of need to be sure about your message that it reads true, and that this is going to make an impact for the recipients.

And finally, we have the reporting success on your SMS. So with the email editor, you could check the opens, clicks, and how much revenue you generated from a particular client in that campaign. You’ll have the same thing with the SMS now.

Throwback to some of the latest Phorest FM episodes [09:54]

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So then moving on to the recent Phorest FM episodes. The first one we had this month was with Amanda Olusanya on developing individual greatness or finding your Michael Jordans.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, exactly. So finding your Michael Jordans, this was based on the coach Phil Jackson. Where if he were to focus on fitting Michael Jordan to fit the team standards, Michael Jordan would never have shined as much as he did. So how do you play on that A-Team mentality? Like, every salon, according to Amanda, has their A, B’s, and C-players, and I think that extends further than the salons to pretty much every company.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, definitely.

Killian Vigna: Your C-players are the type of guys who-

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Bad attitude, and-

Killian Vigna: They’re just there because it’s… you’re getting paid. Your B-players, they’re your majorities. They’re going to be the guys who are committed, but I suppose they’re just not on that shining star level that the A-players are.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: The B players are the ones we write the, she was saying the handbooks, the policies for. You know, you want to help them perform at the best of their capacities, but they still need some form of guidance at the end of the day.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, exactly. Not so much handholding, but they like procedures, guidelines, things in place, they know where they’re going. As for the A-players, it’s probably best to have a listen to a few of these clips.

Amanda Olusanya: “But what I really want to talk about and start the conversation around is, I think it’s really important to talk about what team we’re creating. And I believe, rather than building this idea of a team, and making everyone fit into this idea or this box, I think you really should build individuals into a great team. The reality is, C-players just suck. There’s no other way around it. Basically, they’re low producers with bad attitudes, right. B-players kind of make up the majority of most of our companies. They come to work, they have great attitudes, but they need encouragement. They need guidance, and they produce what’s asked of them.

The A-players are the ones, those rare few who go above and beyond. They come up with their own ideas; they’ll offer to implement them themselves, and want to push the boundaries a little bit. And they far exceed their goals, you give them a target, they either hit it really quickly, or they go beyond it. And so again, the conversation isn’t around this majority of great people, or good people if you will. The conversation is more around these few outliers, how can we leverage them and pull out more greatness out of them, rather than stifle them and trying to put them in a box to fit into this 80%.”

Killian Vigna: And then the next episode we have, and I’m pretty sure this one is… it’s a long time coming; it’s definitely one of the top concerns for anyone moving software nowadays.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, well for many, even just opening a salon is a scary experience. And once you run, say, your business for… I don’t know, 15 years, and you’ve been using the same tools, and the same providers, it is going to be scary to switch over if you decide to go down that road. And it’s normal because our brains consider what we know to be far safer.

Killian Vigna: So we decided with this episode, there was no better people than Paul Kiersey, the Phorest Onboarding Team Lead, and Will Hulihan, the Phorest Brand Ambassador, to talk about the different stages of a client’s lifecycle in Phorest. So how do we ease those concerns, because the two of them are probably going to spend the most time with a potential Phorest client, talking about this subject. Will will explain how easy and simple it is, and what the journey is like when you become a client, where Paul is there in the thick of it. Him and his team, they’re the ones that are going through this migration period. The guys are doing this in their sleep; they make it as seamless as possible as they can. So, look, let’s listen to Paul and Will talk about it.

Paul Kiersey: “One of the more common things that you hear from a lot of salons is that they kind of, the nervousness, or the natural daunting scenario of moving from something that you may have been using, potentially in some situations for 10 to 15 years, over to a new software. We work very, very closely with salon owners, or any of the clients that sign up, and we need to make sure that we’re as clear as possible. And that the salon owner understands all of the steps that need to be done in between the process of signing up to the software, all the way up until the date that they go live.”

Will Hulihan: “Even with pen and paper clients, we actually handhold, and work through the process. If they have a list of their clients, it’s either on a spreadsheet, and we can take that and work that in into it. One thing that’s important is to make sure that your team, it has all of their up to date information in the system, and talk to other salon owners. Really understand what they’ve done, how their experience has been with Phorest, to help to relieve some of that fear that they have.”

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And then more recently, episode 121 was titled “Workforce Ready: Defining Your Career Path.” And this was another discussion with Phorest staff, so this time around we had James Mulcahy, Software Engineer, and Denise Gill from the Education team, who’s an Online Trainer.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, this was an interesting one. This one just came up out of a discussion, and the episode ended up being a discussion.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yep.
Killian Vigna: And it was weird, we said on the day, we felt like we were interviewing each other, too.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: We did. Well, it was like a round table, I suppose. But at the end of the day, when you’re out of school, and you’re ready to tackle the world of employment, finding your career, finding your path, it’s kind of hard to make sense of anything. Because it just all seems like a blur. Things do fall into place eventually, but it’s that transition period, again, the fear of change, right?

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It’s that transition period that makes it complicated to navigate, and I think the four of us coming from such a different background is what made that episode unique.

Killian Vigna: I mean like, a lot of the episodes we do here are targeted towards salon owners, and well, obviously because it’s the Salon Owners Podcast. But it was a nice way of taking a step back in time, and going, how did you feel making that move from… was it college, an apprenticeship, internship, preparing yourself for the real world. For your first professional career, finding that career path. But also, what is going through the head of someone who is coming to you for their first-time job?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: Like, when you’re interviewing them, because we’re so prepared for our career fields, in the sense of learning skills and development, but nothing prepares you for that interview. And that’s what we all agreed on, it’s the interview, and we even said, you should probably read up about interviews because if anything, it makes sure you are on top of what you should know.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I guess there’s no better way for you to get the gist of this episode than by letting you hear a few snippets.

James Mulcahy: “Because I was trying to figure out what company would be a good fit for me, and I think what it boils down to is experience is the most important thing.”

Denise Gill: “The main thing that brought me to Phorest was the fact that I had used it in multiple salons that I had worked, and for making a change to going to work in an office from a salon can be quite scary, and it was more the fact that it was familiar for me. As well as that, reading through the values, and going through all the different jobs…”

Killian Vigna: “It’s B2B, but really, it’s talking to people. That’s what really drove me to Phorest. That every day in here, you’re not talking to a business, you’re talking to individuals, and it comes back to that. You’re not just another cog in the wheel, per se.”

Denise Gill: “In college, you’re like, oh, you’re good at this, and you have your certificate, but when you’re going for a job in the hair/beauty industry, it’s a lot different than a normal industry, and it’s quite overwhelming. As you go on, you do get a little bit more confident in it, but still, it’s never really what you expect going in, at all.”

James Mulcahy: “The only way to get better at interviews for me was to do a lot of interviews, and really understand what are my good qualities, and what are my bad qualities, and rehearse questions as well.”

Denise Gill: Just be yourself, and if the company thinks you’re a good fit, you’re a good fit. If you’re not a good fit for that company, you’ll be a good fit for a different company.

Review of some the latest Phorest Blog articles [18:14]

Killian Vigna: Okay, so now it’s time for the blog. What have you got for us?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, I’m not going to get into more than one this time around, because this one is quite interesting. Recently, we got a request for some website advice, and it got us thinking, what exactly are people looking for when they visit a salon’s website? How can you make sure that your customers choose your salon over a competitor if they’re shopping around?

First we surveyed our social community, so as you know, there’s the Let’s Grow Facebook group there, that people have joined through either #30Day2Grow, #SalonRetailWeek, all these different opportunities, right? So we put the question out there, what do you think your clients want to see on your salon’s website? And we got a few interesting comments. The ones that came out the most often, I suppose, were things about your salon story and values, information about the salon owner and the staff, service lists and menus, which makes sense, you would want to see that, and making sure the pricing was up to date.

So we took that, and we decided to push it one step further. We sent out a survey to salon customers, so to your clients, and we broke our questions down into two categories. First, we asked what features or pages people wanted to see on a website, so 56% of people wanted to see a good, up to date contact page. So location, contact, opening hours, those Google map add-ons and stuff.

Killian Vigna: I suppose there’s nothing worse than like, the first thing you do when you’re checking out a business’ opening hours is you go to Google. So you’ve got the reviews and the opening hours. And there’s nothing worse than being lied to; it drives me mad.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. There you go, the salon customer. Then 40% of people said service lists and accurate pricing. Accurate pricing in the sense that a lot of clients would have gone to a salon, thought that they were coming in for a cut at a certain price point, or whatever treatment it was, right, and ended up having a completely different bill. So to avoid any surprises, really. Then, 32% were all about online booking, 27% about deals and promotions. 8% were looking for products for sale online, so that e-com aspect. Then, 4% were looking for blogs, news, discussing new styles, trends in the industry, all that sort of stuff.

The one that I thought was the most interesting was the online booking. It’s becoming increasingly important for salons, we all know this, and 32% of salon customers also flagged it as important. But this is also confirmed by some of our most recent research, which shows that 46% of bookings happen online when salons are closed. That’s close to 50%, a booking out of two.

Killian Vigna: Yeah well, I mean like the next time I want to get my wax done, I’m not going to do it over the phone when I’m in work.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Fair, yeah!

Killian Vigna: I’m going to book it online.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, and even more than that, when we look at the age breakdown of our survey respondents, 36% of millennials, so 35 to 34 years old, and 43% of Gen Z, so the 18-24, say they want to see online booking on a website. So think about your target audience. Who’s your ideal client? Do they fall between those age brackets? Because if so, it means you probably, if you don’t have online booking, it means you’re probably missing out on a lot of clients at the end of the day.

Killian Vigna: Yep. And a good way to know that is by having your client cards up to date, so if you could manage to get each client’s date of birth, I don’t know how you’ll go about that, but it’s always a great way, not only for tagging on for birthdays but for finding this sort of information.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Super important. Then we asked what information people wanted to find when they visited the pages on your website. So what information is important. 46% of people said that reviews and testimonials from real clients were extremely important, and-

Killian Vigna: That’s the first thing I just said when I’m going to Google, looking for the reviews.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly, exactly! And of course, we’ve been talking all about the Online Reputation Manager, so if you are using Phorest and haven’t looked into that section of the product, you can email our Grow team, and they’ll activate that for you. Then 36% of people said that before and after pictures of past work was very important to them. 29% wanted detailed descriptions of each treatment or services. Then we went down to 24% that wanted images of the salon’s interior, which makes sense because that’s where you’re going to be spending maybe an hour, two, three if you’re getting your hair coloured, and cut, and blow-dried, and all of that.

Killian Vigna: I mean, look. You’re getting pampered; you want to be in a pampered environment.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly, yeah. We have a recent blog on this that was released this month; it was by Julie Lee, “How To Win At Designing A Salon, Even Your First.” So she touches upon those points. So if you’re looking for more information on that, I would strongly recommend going to the Phorest blog and having a read at that article. Then the two last ones come in very close, so 16%, 15%. The first one was info on products used for sale in the salon, and then staff bios, photos, achievements, awards, which is also kind of self-explanatory, and pretty intuitive as well.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So that’s the overview of this blog on salon websites. If you want more information, there are loads more details on this. The blog’s called Your Customers Tell Us Exactly What They Want To See On A Salon Or Spa Website, so you can check out, to have an in-depth understanding of these survey findings. Before we move on, Jay Williams’ “Eat This, Not That… A Leader’s List Of Ingredients To Create Better Communication” video series has now ended. The last one was published a week ago or so, and it was all about commitment versus compliance, which boils down to emotional engagement. And as you know, we’ve promised you an episode with Jay specifically on that topic, so we’ll be back with more information on that, it’s going to be coming in the next couple of months.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, look out for that one. It’s going to be another good episode.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, definitely.

Inside Phorest: reflections, upcoming events & final words [24:14]

Killian Vigna: So moving on to the second half of the show, or what we used to call the second half of the show. It’s the bit just after the podcast and the blogs, we’re going to be discussing Phorest events, upcoming events. Usually, we have Sinead Carroll who comes on to discuss all this sort of stuff, but she’s now over on the stateside, so we said we’d bring it a little closer to home. Now we have a new hire here who’s going to take care of events on this side of the pond, Abigail Walsh. Abigail, welcome to the show.

Abigail Walsh: Thank you, thanks for having me. It’s an honour!

Killian Vigna: An honour, yeah. So you’re, I’d say, two, three months you’re in the door?

Abigail Walsh: Yeah, about two months, get my foot in the door and trying to wrap my head around all that Phorest does, because Phorest does a lot of events. Very exciting stuff!

Killian Vigna: So what are your… I guess your roles and responsibilities here now?

Abigail Walsh: So I’ll be looking after the Events and PR, in the UK and Ireland. Since Phorest has grown so big now, we needed someone really on the ground in the US, as well as here in the UK. So yeah, it’ll be a combination of Phorest run events, as well as sponsorships and the PR side of things as well. So part of the marketing team, and yeah, I think it will be good fun.

Killian Vigna: Okay, so I suppose what events do we have coming up?

Abigail Walsh: Yeah, so we’ve got quite a busy schedule for July. There’s a two-day event on, on the seventh and eighth of July in Wales, which is hosted by David Barnett, who runs the High Performance Stylist coaching. So it’s the Next Level Event, that’s the name of the event. Ronan our CEO, as I’m sure everyone knows… He’s going to be speaking at the event, on the eighth, so I think that will be fantastic for us to get involved, and I think it’ll… I think the event sees about 100 salon owners, so that would be fantastic for us to get involved, and have Ronan there.

Killian Vigna: And we’ve had David Barnett on the show a few times-

Abigail Walsh: That’s right.

Killian Vigna: And he’s also part of the Salon Mentorship Hub, so definitely going to get a lot of value out of that event.

Abigail Walsh: Absolutely, I think it’ll be fantastic. I’m very excited to see and hear, all about how that goes. And then on the same day, actually, on the eighth of July, we’ve got another event that we’re attending as well as speaking at, and it’s Salon Life, which is in London. So it’s a one-day event, and we’re exhibiting, but we’re also speakers. We’ve got two guys from our development team who’ll be doing a talk at the event.

Killian Vigna: So is this kind of a mix of conference and trade show, or…
Abigail Walsh: Yeah, it’s, I would say so. There’s about 100 to 150 salon owners, hair and beauty, and entire mixture, and yes, so it’s a bit of a smaller version of a trade show, and then a conference at the same time.

Killian Vigna: Is this the first time that we’ve gone to this event?

Abigail Walsh: Yes, it is the first time we’re doing this event.

Killian Vigna: Ah, thought I don’t remember hearing it before.

Abigail Walsh: And so that will be really good, it’s the first time the event has ever happened, even, so it’s exciting to see the outcome of that, so we’re very excited to be part of that. And that’s July, but we do have a very exciting event coming up in August, which some people may or may not be interested, but hopefully interested in-

Killian Vigna: Of course, I’m sure they’ll be interested.

Abigail Walsh: Right? Yeah. So it’s Conscious Hair & Beauty, and it’s an event run by Phorest, and it’s talking about sustainability and wellness within the salon industry. So that’s taking place on the eighteenth of August, in London. Tickets start from about £100 plus VAT, per person, and I think it’s going to be a great day. It’ll be a half-day event, some great speakers talking about wellness, and mental health, and sustainability within the salon industry.

Killian Vigna: So this sustainability is that going to be moving a bit more eco-friendly? Is it?

Abigail Walsh: Absolutely, yep.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, because I know Ronan has been very keen on that for the last few months, and we have had Jennie Lawson on the show, discussing that she was the first 100% eco-salon in the UK.

Abigail Walsh: Yes, she’s going to be speaking at the event; we’re really excited to have her involved. We’ve also got industry experts, we’ve got Prof Denise Baden, who is a professor at the University of Southampton, and she specialises her studies in sustainability in salons. So I think it’ll be a beneficial day for salon owners who are interested in taking steps to become a little bit more eco-friendly. They’ll be able to get the knowledge from her; she’s the right one for the job.

Killian Vigna: Well, everyone needs to do their bit. There was a recent survey out there about how our current consumption of even just meat, and with the energy and stuff, it is destroying the Earth.
Abigail Walsh: Absolutely.

Killian Vigna: And everyone’s always like, “Oh, it’s the one thing where I’ve got no impact,” but you do. It just takes a couple of people to start making the switch now, like switching off lights.

Abigail Walsh: That’s exactly it. And yeah, it’s the little things, so I think, I’m hoping that people can take something from the event, even if it’s just little changes that they can make to the salon. Because really, if every salon owner made small changes, it’ll have a huge impact. So…

Killian Vigna: How do I get on board this? How do I get tickets?

Abigail Walsh: There’s a link to get your tickets on the Phorest website, under the events tab. So you’ll see Conscious Beauty, click on the link, and it will take you to the payment tab, where you can buy the tickets, put in all details, and we’ll follow up with all the event details as well on the day. So it’s a 9:30 am start on Sunday, the eighteenth of August, bright and early, until about two o’clock, so a nice half-day event.

Killian Vigna: Excellent stuff.

Abigail Walsh: Along the Thames, so it’s nice.

Killian Vigna: A lovely view. Nice and-

Abigail Walsh: A lovely view of the Thames.

Killian Vigna: Well that’s brilliant, that’s all of the events for July and August so far then, is it?

Abigail Walsh: Yep, that’s correct.

Killian Vigna: And plenty more to come in the pipeline, I’m sure.

Abigail Walsh: Plenty more to come. Oh, absolutely!

Killian Vigna: Well listen, Abigail, thanks very much for joining us for what’s going to be the first of many talks that we’re going to have you on.

Abigail Walsh: Yes, very excited. Thanks for having me!

Killian Vigna: No problem. So that was Abigail Walsh, a bit of competition now in who we get on the show next time, Abigail or Sinead.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Well I mean, we possibly could get both at the same time, one’s covering the US, one’s covering the UK.

Killian Vigna: We could do, but you’ve got to keep it spicy.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So what do we have next? Phorest Academy?

Killian Vigna: Phorest Academy, yep. That’s right. So, we’re delighted to announce it’s the official launch now of Phorest Academy. Your one-stop education shop.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: You love that spiel.

Killian Vigna: I do love it, yeah. So how it’s going to work is, it’s going to help, I suppose, the… like what we were talking about with the software migration or transition, in the last few episodes and recently in this. It’s about making your onboarding with Phorest that bit more seamless, where we’re now going to offer self-taught training, so you can get up to speed with your Phorest system in your own time.

So you can either make that as fast, or as long you want, but a lot of clients, they’re flying through it so far. The feedback has been great. So what is involved in this? It’s interactive online and on-demand training, there’s learning on the go with our downloadable app, a library of regularly added and updated courses, interactive Phorest systems, and best of all you get your Phorest Academy certificate. At the moment, we’re just rolling this out to US clients, but if you are a Phorest client, and want to get access to Phorest Academy, email, and we can get you set up.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Sounds amazing, and it’s great to see that we’re moving over from the beta to rolling it out, it’s great. I love it, you know I do the courses.

Killian Vigna: The feedback so far has been phenomenal, and I think it’s that speed as well. It’s when people become a client, they want to get the Phorest system now, they want to do training as fast as possible, but it’s just not always possible to have availability in time, so this is the alternative, and like we said, the feedback has been phenomenal.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And on that, actually, what I found was the best part of the whole self taught aspect of it, is that if you only have, say, 15 minutes in the day in between two appointments or something, even if you don’t complete a full course you can still complete a section of a course, so you’re always keeping busy, you’re always learning a few little tiny bits here and there. And you can put it into parts of your day where you don’t have any appointments or anything like that.

Killian Vigna: Absolutely, I mean the main course that we have is for, it’s the very first course you do when you become a client, and it’s called “Getting Started With Phorest.” It’s composed of seven modules, and each of those modules is only five-minute-long bite-sized segments, so one example is booking appointments, it’s a five-minute course. Editing appointments, five-minute course. End of day cash up, all these little parts where you can jump in and do what you want to do now, essentially. You do not have to go through a full hour, hour and a half, two-hour course. It’s just a little bite-size, and you do what you want to learn now.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, it’s fantastic. And speaking of other learning opportunities, as per usual, I’m going to plug the Salon Management Course. So this course is a free, six-week program hosted by business strategist Valerie Delforge, and it is designed to develop your managerial and leadership skills. I’ve been talking about this for a little while now, you can sign up to that with the link in this episode’s show notes, as well as that, we have the Salon Mentorship Hub, as always, which is a place to connect. So whatever you’re struggling with in the salon, from customer service to social media to finance, to whatever it is really, we’ve teamed up with industry coaches and consultants.

So if you head over to, you can book yourself in for a free 15 to 30-minute consultation on a topic of your choosing. There are a lot of mentors working with us on the Hub, but recent ones who have joined are Susie K. Brooks, Ryan Power, and Kym Krey, who is based in Australia. So to book your free consultation, again, head over to, and no, you don’t need to be a Phorest client to avail of this opportunity, it’s open to everyone.

That’s all we’ve got for this week, guys, and as always, if you want to share your thoughts on this episode, or have any suggestions, send us an email at, or leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. We genuinely love feedback and are always looking for ways to improve the show.

Otherwise, have a wonderful week, and we’ll catch you next Monday.

Killian Vigna: All the best.

Related links

Your Customers Tell Us Exactly What They Want To See On A Salon or Spa Website

Register for the 6-Week Salon Management Course hosted by Business Strategist Valerie Delforge

Book a free 15-30 minute consultation on The Salon Mentorship Hub


This episode was edited and mixed by Audio Z: Great music makes great moments. Montreal’s cutting-edge post-production studio for creative minds looking to have their vision professionally produced and mixed. Tune in every Monday for 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 or events you can join.

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