Welcome to the Salon Owners Podcast, Phorest FM Episode 99. Co-hosted by Killian Vigna and Zoé Bélisle-Springer, Phorest FM is a weekly show that puts forth a mix of interviews with industry thought-leaders, salon/spa marketing tips, company insights and information on attending Phorest events and webinars. A new Phorest FM episode airs every Monday morning for your enjoyment with a cup of coffee on your day off.

Phorest FM Episode 99

The year 2018, done & dusted! What a year full of surprises and good news. It started strong with the podcast getting nominated and winning Silver in the category ‘Best Podcast’ at the 2017 Digital Media Awards! Then, Phorest FM got shortlisted another two times throughout the year, at the Sockies Irish Social Media Awards and the Podcast Awards (supported by iTunes’ Podcast Connect). All in all, Killian & Zoe produced about 18 hours of discussions, hosted live recordings, went out for interviews, had guests from all around the world connect and really refined the show’s mission statement. Based on what you’ve listened to this year, here’s the best of 2018: Phorest FM’s ten most popular and downloaded episodes of the year!



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Killian Vigna: Welcome to the Phorest FM Podcast, episode 99. I’m Killian Vigna.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And I’m Zoe Belisle-Springer. In this short episode, we’ll be looking back at Phorest FM’s ten most popular or most downloaded episodes of 2018.

Killian Vigna: 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. That’s 2018 wrapped. Isn’t it crazy to think of it, that it’s the second full year of the podcast?

Killian Vigna: Second full year, and we’re coming up to 100 episodes now. We’re just one off. We’ve been talking about it for a while. We didn’t know if we were going to get it landed, but I suppose no fear, no doubt. We’re getting there. We’re getting there, which makes Live at the Salon Owners Summit 2019 our 100th episode.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yes, in just a few couple days. All right, so let’s kick it off with the number 10. We’re talking about Reviewing Your Salon’s Business Strategy From Reports To Results. This was episode 59. It was one of the first ones of our 2018 year of Phorest FM. It was the first time we were doing the podcast in front of a live audience. It was the day at Inside Phorest.

Killian Vigna: The very first time, yeah. Now we’re only a week, two weeks away from doing the second one.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. It’s gonna be so much fun. This one is all about reviewing your results from the previous year and how you can use reports to actually set yourself up for the year coming. We were joined by Jennie Lawson from Mimosa Beauty in the UK. We were joined also by Paul Davey from Davey Davey and Hairdressing Live and, last but not least, Sean O’Sullivan from our very own Customer Success team at the time. I know he’s now moved around in a few different roles since. Yeah, he even had a stint in Australia since.

Killian Vigna: Now he’s back doing data for us.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. We’ll just play a few clips and move on to our number nine.

Phorest FM Episode 59, Snippet 1, Paul Davey: Business is evolving all the time. Technology’s evolving all the time, so we have to move with it. There’s one thing that is more apparent to me, and even in yesterday’s presentations, was customer service. Customer service is a massive, massive thing. How do we evolve that and change that?

Phorest FM Episode 59, Snippet 2, Jennie Lawson: For us and for me, my team, it’s just nailing team. We have a really good nuclear team and it’s just how do we get better? How are we happier? How do we make sure that what we’re giving people is the best that we can possibly be, because we are the best that we can possibly be in terms of our attitudes and looking after ourselves.

Phorest FM Episode 59, Snippet 3, Sean O’Sullivan: The salon trend summary and also the staff trend summary… It gives them a really great breakdown month by month of what type of clients are coming to you and then what colour services are coming through. How much of your technical services are coming through, and then breaking down then at the very bottom into revenue per hour and cost per hour and contributions to the salon. For me, it covers the three most important things. Are you giving good service so clients are coming back in to you? Are you generating revenue? Are you profitable for the business?


Killian Vigna: The next clip we have was episode 82 back in August. This one was with Jennifer Swaine, and it was about the Importance Of Social Media In The Salon Industry. Who is Jennifer Swaine? Jennifer Swaine has spent 20 years in the beauty industry. She’s owned and managed salons before. What was so interesting about this episode is Jennifer Swaine has decided to essentially make a career swap. I know she’s still in the beauty industry, but she’s focusing a lot of time on digital marketing, and has even become certified on digital marketing.

This one was all about creating a narrative for your brand and promoting beauty services online… really good episode because it gives you that mix between expert digital marketer and salon business owner, as well. Here’s a few clips from Jennifer.

Phorest FM Episode 82, Snippet 1, Jennifer Swaine: The whole point of social media is not the hard sell. Obviously, you have to post if you have special offers or if you have something new in the salon, but that’s more about educating. The whole point behind social media, in my mind, is it’s to educate, to entertain, to give people information and to have interaction between you and your clients. That’s when social media really works, whereas if you’re always just about the hard sell, people will get bored with it. I would always tell people that you have to educate and entertain.

Phorest FM Episode 82, Snippet 2, Jennifer Swaine: Make sure that your staff 100% understands the tone that you want to put out there on your social media, because tone is very important with regards to maybe some salons, like a spa-type salon, want their tone to be all about the relaxation and the luxury and all that end of things. Then you might have a salon, like my current salon, where it’s very casual and it’s buzzy. All that tone comes across very strong on social media.


Zoe Belisle-Springer: Off the back of that, number eight in our countdown. Jerrod Roberts, on his Journey As A Hairstylist And Working At Fashion Week Events… I remember this one pretty clearly. I had just flown to New York to meet Sinead for an event, a Modern Salon event, that was actually like an influencer event that they were hosting in New York.

Jerrod Roberts was there with R+Co and he had a short presentation throughout the weekend. I couldn’t miss out on this. I heard that he worked on Fashion Week events. I was like, “How do you even get into that to begin with?” I remember just chatting to him afterwards and just literally telling him, “We have a podcast. We’d love to get you on the show. Would you want to talk about your experience and how you got to working on to Fashion Week events?” So he did, and we had this really interesting chat with him, got to get to know more about his life story, essentially. To me, it was mind-blowing. I can’t even start to explain the episode, because it’s his life story. The best thing you could do is to actually just take an hour out of your day and listen to the episode and just smile.

Killian Vigna: Here’s a few clips from Jerrod Roberts himself.

Phorest FM Episode 80, Snippet 1, Jerrod Roberts: The reason why people who are at the top are at the top is because they’ve got decades of experience under their belt, and they’ve made all of those mistakes.

Phorest FM Episode 80, Snippet 2, Jerrod Roberts:Every job, every client… I have a level of pressure. I thought I was unique in that, and then I worked with Garren. Garren had a 40-year career that just spanned so much. He’s got a thousand covers of Vogue and all this. He’s done absolutely everybody and worked for absolutely everyone. He is so talented and so professional, but to be on the other side and to prepare for these jobs with him and realise that he has his own version of this and that that’s a natural part of the process… I think it comes from a place of just caring about what you do and wanting to put out good work.


Killian Vigna: That brings us to number seven, a bit of a surprise one, especially following on that great story from Jerrod Roberts. This one is a lot more serious now and is about-

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, I remember the headaches around that one.

Killian Vigna: What is GDPR And How Can You Prepare For It? Up for discussion… What is GDPR and how you can prepare for it. It was episode 62 and it was back in February. That was February, March, April, May… three months before this was even kicking in and it was still one of our most popular. Who did we have on the show there? We had no better man to talk about it than our very own head of marketing, Connor Keppel, because Connor Keppel had already hosted a few webinars around this topic. He’d contributed towards a GDPR ebook and I think he had some input in the GDPR website that we had, as well.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: He did.

Killian Vigna: We brought him in to chat a bit of information about it, and here he is.

Phorest FM Episode 62, Snippet 1, Connor Keppel: There’s kind of two parties that are really responsible in the GDPR. There’s what’s known as the controller and the processor. The processor is the tool. If you look up on Phorest Salon software, we’re storing data. We’re allowing people to collect data. We’re allowing salons to collect the email addresses and medical details or whatever of their clients. It’s our responsibility as a processor to provide the salon owner with tools that can be used in a GDPR-compliant way.

The salon owner is what’s known as the controller. The controller is the person, really, that’s actually using the data. For instance, you can collect something in a GDPR-compliant way, but obviously that doesn’t mean that you don’t have the responsibility. It’s on you to make sure, for instance, that if people are not opted in for marketing, that you don’t send them marketing. Phorest can help you opt them in properly. It can do all that, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not your responsibility as a salon owner to use that data in the correct way.


Zoe Belisle-Springer: Coming in at six, we had Rowena Doyle on Visual Merchandising In The Hair And Beauty Industry. This was episode 69. It was in April. It was also part of the #30Days2Grow special interview series. This episode literally was… We couldn’t catch Rowena at the Summit, so we reached back a few months later and said, “You know what? Your workshop was amazing. Everybody was engaged. Can we get you on the show to talk about visual merchandising?” It was part of the #30Days2Grow. I think it was the first week and the first week challenges were all around visual merchandising, placing your products and making sure that people were aware that you actually had products to sell and stuff. It was really, really good to have her on at that moment, specifically.

Without further ado, a few clips from that episode.

Phorest FM Episode 69, Snippet 1, Rowena Doyle: In terms of product, if you want people to buy product, I think now, as I said, yes, you can have little testers out of stock, but you’ve got to think more creatively-

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Rowena Doyle: … because everyone does that. If you’re really an expert in it, how can you really go out and maybe buy really special jars and make it look really appealing so people almost … It’s like when you want people to kind of almost live in your retail space.

Phorest FM Episode 69, Snippet 2, Rowena Doyle: That use of space now being almost like we wanna break that rule book in retail, so it’s not just for your main product that you sell or service that you sell, but what could you add on to that to make people come there for that and then maybe buy your product or use afterwards? Hospitality and retail is definitely merging.


Killian Vigna: Now we’ve reached the halfway point. Back on February 5th, this episode aired. It was episode 61 with Saad Aslam. It was on Strategies For Retaining Employees And Minimising Turnover. Who is Saad? Saad Aslam is the CEO of HC MedSpa, an award-winning chain of luxury beauty clinics in North London and Hertfordshire.

His whole thing was he actually approached us on this topic. We thought it was really good. Basically, he was telling us that the staff he’s had have been with him for years. He has an absolute minimal staff turnover. He’s managed to retain them for so long, which he attributes to one of the biggest successes of his business, is that he doesn’t have to keep spending time hiring and re-recruiting. He shared some really good strategies in there. One thing I took from it was upscaling, always giving your staff the opportunity, always giving your team the opportunity to upscale and learn where necessary. Here we go… a few clips from Saad here.

Phorest FM Episode 61, Snippet 1, Saad Aslam: If you’re changing staff every three months, I think that’s a problem. I think that as an employer, you’re doing something wrong. I think also the clients will see that, the clients that you’re working so hard to get. They’ll see that straightaway. A good amount of time is two years, on average, I think… is a good amount of time, really, where someone’s come and worked for you. They’ve spent two years and maybe then they find that it’s time to move on, but I think a minimum of 18 months to two years is a good show.

Phorest FM Episode 61, Snippet 2, Saad Aslam: We very much work, and I think everyone should work, on a very much almost a partnership basis, where our therapists that come in … We are very transparent with how well they’re doing.

Phorest FM Episode 61, Snippet 3, Saad Aslam:We make them look at their targets, look at their sales figures, so they understand that I’m doing really well for the company. Therefore, are they doing well personally? Are they being well-rewarded on a personal level?


Killian Vigna: Next up, we have is the fourth most popular of 2018. This one went to air on April the 18th, and it was the third instalment of our special #30Days2Grow interview series. This one was with Gavin Hoare on Customer Experience And Acting Like The Expert You Are.

For anyone who was at the Salon Owners Summit 2018, they’ll recognise Gavin Hoare as one of the keynote speakers. He’s referred to as the salon Maitre D, which is basically the master of all salon managers. I suppose his skill set is him being a people person, mixed with his background of spending years in the hairdressing industry, which has brought him to the position of managing the ultimate super salon, with 90 staff and 1200 clients per week, and 250 innovative hair and beauty treatments and services. That’s what they have to offer. This place is huge.

What does he talk about here? Again, it’s customer experience. That’s the main thing he’s talking about. We have here in Phorest what we call the first impressions. It’s how do your clients feel when they walk into your salon? Do they walk in, see everyone’s busy, get acknowledged by no one, no eye contact and are left sitting on the couch reading a magazine, waiting for their turn? No, he talks about changing that all, and also acting like the expert you are… really believing in you, who you are, your skill sets and your team. Here’s a few snippets from Gavin.

Phorest FM Episode 71, Snippet 1, Gavin Hoare: My team, [inaudible] up to 4000 calls a week. Quite often, clients would come in. They’re on headsets booking appointments. They’re busy and they can’t actually speak to a client, but there’s ways you can communicate through body language… making eye contact, a nod, a smile, a simple, “Someone will be with you shortly. Take a seat.” Ultimately, it’s just really people taking ownership.

It’s really giving the autonomy to any member of your staff, whether they be a first-year apprentice or the most senior member staff, that they have to take ownership of their part in the client journey. Someone comes in the door. That’s stage one. How we meet and greet them can leave a lasting impression. I just think you have to give your team the autonomy to deliver. It’s quite simple, but they have to know that they can do it.


Zoe Belisle-Springer: Coming in at number three, then, was the episode we did in late March, March 19th. It was episode 67 with Nicola Sharp on Salon Experience And Preparing for GDPR In The UK. I remember your face when I was, like, “We should have someone from the UK on this show to talk about GDPR”, and you were, like, “Why? I don’t get it. It’s not supposed to affect them.” I was, like, “No, but we should ask how do they feel about it?” Nicola was all up for it. She actually did prepare for GDPR fully. She saw it as an opportunity, if anything, because no one really knew what was gonna happen with Brexit and still nobody really knows what’s gonna happen with Brexit. With GDPR, we don’t know if GDPR’s gonna affect them, as well. As salon owners in the UK didn’t know, if anything, it was gonna be a law or some sort of legislation that was gonna be just as rigorous and just as tough, I suppose, on businesses to comply with.

Nicola actually just went on. She’s a salon owner of the award-winning salon, Enhanced Beauty and Spa in Penicuik. Their mission is all about providing the best salon experience. She took GDPR as an opportunity to enhance their salon experience with their clients and deliver… show clients that they cared about them and that they could trust them with their data and stuff like that. It was really, really good. It was more like an open discussion vibe, I suppose, for that episode, but it was definitely eye-opening at the time. Here’s a clip from that episode.

Phorest FM Episode 67, Snippet 1, Nicola Sharp: We have clients that follow some social media for months before they step through the door, so we need to meet all their expectations when they do so that when they see us online, they come and they know exactly how the business is gonna be when they walk in. They know the small things that we do that essentially adds an enhanced experience for the clients coming in the business.

Phorest FM Episode 67, Snippet 2, Nicola Sharp: This is an opportunity for us to build more client trust than what we have already. For us, GDPR as an ongoing task within the business and every day brings another question from my team, which is great, because they are asking questions that essentially clients may ask. I’d be naïve to think that our clients don’t already know about GDPR. Some are dealing with it within their own businesses and the workplace. We want our clients to know that we’re a capable business that they can trust with their personal information.


Zoe Belisle-Springer: Number two… second most downloaded episode of 2018. It was episode 72. This one was recorded and released on April 23rd of 2018. It was David Barnett on Charging What You’re WorthThe spiel for this one was “You have the technical skills but are still frustrated with a mediocre paycheck?” It was a great opener for the conversation, because at the end of the day, we realised through the #30Days2Grow challenges and stuff that a lot of people from the hair and beauty industry were actually scared to raise their prices and lose customers over it, where David literally came in with an amazing formula. Everything was defined to the dot. It was literally, “This is what you need to do and calculate to know if you’re ready to raise your prices. If you are ready, then no one’s ever gonna complain.”

Killian Vigna: The formula he shares in that episode is worth listening to it alone.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Oh, yeah, definitely. I’ll play a few clips from it here just now.

Phorest FM Episode 72, Snippet 1, David Barnett: A lot of salon owners and stylists are fearful of raising their prices. They are actually more fearful than the guests. They’ve kind of got this thing in their head that, “If I raise my client, if I raise my prices, nobody’s gonna come in,” or, “Everyone’s gonna be so upset with me. If I keep them low, I’m gonna be packed.” That is not the case.

Phorest FM Episode 72, Snippet 2, David Barnett: I’m just throwing numbers out there. Let’s say it’s a thousand bucks or a thousand euro a month to keep the lights on. If your average ticket, then, is 50, then how many clients have you gotta see? Obviously, if it’s a thousand, you gotta see 20 clients, which of course wouldn’t be hard to do. You see them one a day, you can afford to keep the lights on, but if it ends up being four or five thousand, then obviously the numbers are a lot higher. You need to have that number. It’s so crucial.


Killian Vigna: This brings us to number one. The top episode this year, which ironically was pretty much a year ago when we recorded it. This one was with Steve Martin and Tabatha Coffey on Salon Success Live From The Summit. It was episode 57. Between their talks, just before and after they both went onstage, we managed to get a few minutes with them in the green room to give, I suppose, a bit of information into their talks that day and how what they’re talking about can be introduced into the salon.

With Steve Martin, he talked about the six principles for science of persuasion and how they could be used in the salon. Tabatha Coffey… We threw Tabatha a bit of a curve ball one. This one was about booth renting in the industry, and we wanted to get her thoughts on that, which actually had some surprising feedback on that one. Without further ado, here are some clips from both Steve and Tabatha’s vox pops on the day.

Phorest FM Episode 57, Snippet 1, Steve Martin: Recognise the moments, and the moment being that when they’re in your salon, they’re not in the supermarket. The moment they leave the door and they go out, that’s it. It’s gone.

Phorest FM Episode 57, Snippet 2, Steve Martin: The differentiation can’t be between the products, ’cause they’re exactly the same. The differentiation needs to be the messengers. In this case, who would be more inclined to follow the lead on?

Phorest FM Episode 57, Snippet 3, Tabatha Coffey: A lot of things don’t cost money, so you can elbow grease it cleaner, you can paint it… That’s kind of cheap. I would put the money on the big ticket things. I think a great software system is really important. You can’t function your business well and to me it’s the foundation.

Phorest FM Episode 57, Snippet 4, Tabatha Coffey: When a client walks into a business, if it’s Tabatha’s, they’re coming because it’s Tabatha’s. They’re not coming because Mandy rents a chair and John rents a chair and Joseph does his own thing. They come for the name of the business and the brand that’s built. I think that’s what people still have to remember.


Zoe Belisle-Springer: There it is. That’s 2018 wrapped! The 10 most downloaded episodes of 2018 on Phorest FM, the second full year of Phorest FM. It’s crazy to think about it. I remember the first, very, very first episode in that little conference room that we had, and now we’re all set up in studios with mics and this and that. We’re just… I don’t know. I’m just amazed at the growth of it. It’s insane!

Listen, that’s it for us this week. Which episode was your favorite this year? Let us know. Drop us a comment. Maybe drop it in the reviews on iTunes… something. We wanna know what kind of episode you’re into so that we can cater for that next year, as well. Otherwise, have a wonderful week, guys. We’ll catch you on episode 100.

Killian Vigna: All the best!

Thanks for reading! #LetsGrow

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