The Salon Owners Podcast: Phorest FM Episode 35 (Content & Storytelling)

Welcome to the Salon Owner’s Podcast, Phorest FM Episode 35. 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 35

Storytelling and marketing are not ideas that people generally put together, but Chris Brennan is with us on this episode to explain how the two fit hand-in-hand. By using storytelling, you can improve your salon’s content and appeal to your clients more.

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Transcript

Killian Vigna: Welcome to the Phorest FM podcast, episode 35. I’m Killian Vigna.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And I’m Zoe Belisle-Springer.

Killian Vigna: This week’s episode is all about leveraging more bookings for your salon.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: We’ll take you through leveraging the client experience award to increase bookings, and also give you some August salon promotional ideas.

Killian Vigna: We have Chris Brennan, our content manager, on the show to talk about the importance of writing good content through storytelling.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And as always, we top off the show with our upcoming Phorest Academy webinars.

Killian Vigna: 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.

Chris, welcome aboard. You’ve been dying to be on the show for ages.

Chris Brennan: Yeah. Thank you.

Killian Vigna: And now you’re finally here.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, we hadn’t had you in a long time, actually.

Killian Vigna: The last one was the phone call and then the one before that was online reputation, I believe.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, early days.

Killian Vigna: They were months ago, like.

Chris Brennan: Yeah, I feel it. You didn’t really notice me trying to drop those subtle hints for a while, but finally, I just went, whatever.

Killian Vigna: Until this week, when it’s like, “Wow, you’ve made 35 episodes and I haven’t been on any.”

Chris Brennan: That’s surprising. That’s amazing. I don’t know how you guys got to 35 so quick. It feels like so fast, how you got there, so that’s amazing.

Killian Vigna: It’s mental, like even just-

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Time has just been flying by, as well. We’re already coming into August. The Salon Owners’ Summit in Jan. just seems like yesterday.

Killian Vigna: But even this alone, this was what, an idea back nine, eight months, or nine or ten months ago, it was just an idea.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: See, you can’t even figure out the time.

Killian Vigna: But we were like, what are we going to talk about in this podcast?  And Zoe was writing blogs, so we were like, hey, we’ll just talk about what Zoe’s doing, talk about…

Chris Brennan: Just do it.

Killian Vigna: Just do it, that was it.

Chris Brennan: Just record and just start those conversations and as long as you know what the topic is, there’s going to be value to it.

Killian Vigna: So yeah, Chris, welcome aboard, the reason we got you in this week is because you’re actually a storyteller and this week you were at the Galway Film Festival, weren’t you?

Chris Brennan: That’s correct. I actually started out as a filmmaker first and a screenwriter, and when I got into marketing, kind of the angle I was looking at was… I didn’t have marketing experience, but with storytelling, I had to understand who the audience was and provide the best value I could for them. As I got into different companies and meeting different marketers, I found that there was a bit of a flip there, where they were more interested in trying to persuade someone to buy what they had instead of trying to help somebody or solve an issue for the person, and that’s where I kind of looked at the difference, going, well, I just came in going I want to provide value. I want this audience to basically be entertained or get information, become engaged first, and then later, we might reap a reward or benefit from that. If not, cool.  Otherwise, whenever you saw our brand, you’re going to think kindly. There’s going to be a warm sensation and you’ll go forward.

You get that way when you go to the cinema. You see a film like, if you see a certain actor or even a logo, you’ll go “this place”. Like the Universal logo or Warner Brothers, you kind of feel fondly looking at that. That’s how I kind of looked at marketing. Go and try to take a brand, go create that kind of sensation for them, and that’s just done through storytelling.

Killian Vigna: We talk about content and story writing. It can sound daunting. People will always assume you’re talking like writing loads and loads.

Chris Brennan: You don’t need the three act structure or the character arcs or anything like that to tell a story in content.

Killian Vigna: Which I just learned about yesterday.

Chris Brennan: No, I think that might be the daunting part of saying good content through storytelling, which I think is how you phrased it at the beginning. Storytelling is just about, in my opinion, just opening up your own personality and letting that flow out, more so than leading with your sales pitch.

Killian Vigna: Exactly, yes.

Chris Brennan: That’s how I always looked at it. It’s about building your personality up and, or actually just allowing your personality to leak out, not being afraid of it, because a lot of companies, they try to craft this fictitious personality, like, “My business is represented by these factors.” That doesn’t really feel real to clients and potential clients, especially with the transparency of social media, where people are succeeding by using Snapchat stories, Instagram stories, by putting up videos of themselves so people get a real, raw understanding of who this person is, because you are your brand, and the more people understand who you are and who your team is, then the story kind of unfolds around you.  You don’t even need to furiously write anything. You just kind of need to…

Killian Vigna: Be yourself.

Chris Brennan: Be open really. Be yourself.

Killian Vigna: Because we say, when you’re doing…

Chris Brennan: Such a Disney moral.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: On transparency, we had Louis Grenier on a full episode, just chatting about that. That was a topic of its own because it is a growing thing.

Killian Vigna: The way you would talk to your customers would almost be different than the way we talk. We’re business to business, so it is all about kind of, the stats, the figures, stuff like that, but you’re more on a kind of personable level with your clients. You’re actually out there talking to them as friends, nearly. Most of them would be kind of classified as, I don’t know, most, you know yourself…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I consider my barber as a friend.

Killian Vigna: You’d be, yeah, you’re always talking about, yeah, exactly. It’s a one-way relationship. But it’s still a relationship, nonetheless, and it’s usually, kind of, you’re sitting there, you’re chatting away, so you don’t have to be very business-y and stuff in your content. Just be you.

Chris Brennan: Yeah, I think so. That’s how I’ve kind of done it. It’s funny enough to actually look back and focus on it, because it’s kind of more instinct-based. That’s actually where the best storytelling comes from. Even if you would take it back to a script, I think a lot of scripts, even in my own experience when I try to write it for a specific function, like, oh, I think people will like this type of story, it never goes as good as when I just write for my own interest and what I think is, for myself, is enjoyable. Then, I feel like it’s truer and I think more people actually connect to it than going “I think people would like this” or “this demographic would like this”.

Even in marketing, a lot of the stuff that we do is kind of instinct-based. Then it comes back to, who is the audience, who are we talking to, how can I relate to their thing first. It is for somebody, but I have to put myself into their shoes and go, well, we’ve all been there. We’ve all had such a busy day, let’s say. We got X amount of stuff done, but not everything. So, you get home, you put your kids to bed, you have your dinner and then by the time 10 p.m. hits, you start worrying about what you didn’t do, and that’s whenever you start looking online for answers.

It’s knowing that situation and being able to provide something for that person right then and there can be more beneficial than going “we have software, we’ve got to sell it” because that’s two different types of viewpoints in order to get to pretty much the same conclusion, which is like, we have value, we want you to understand that versus we have something and we just need you as the user at the other end. You’ve skipped the whole process of a story to understand what their fears are, what their abilities are, what their strengths are even.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: How would you translate that as a salon owner talking to their client?

Chris Brennan: That’s a good point. I once worked in a bike shop, or like a bike company. I had all these ideas where I wanted to get more involved in the community. There’s always a bicycle event every weekend. What if we went down to these events and we help people like – tune their bikes and give them water and take photos with them. Their response was, that’s too much work, we’ll just go 30% off this weekend.

Killian Vigna: That’s so annoying to hear.

Chris Brennan: So just write that. For me, I was like, that’s nothing. That’s not a story. That’s literally nothing. We’re just the discount joint. That’s how I can kind of relate it. That was business-to-client. With salons, I understand that it can seem easier just to say “discount this because we need more business in”, but you can run say, a debs promotion, but the promotion should be based on, what is it like to go to the Deb’s. What is it like to be that one person who’s sitting there worried about not having enough money or not having the right look. Once you kind of understand, I suppose, the characters and their arc, Killian…

Killian Vigna: Their arc.

Chris Brennan: Then I think you can start putting together a more honest and pretty much a, would be a more successful campaign, because that’s based, through storytelling, on who it is, what their needs are. Say even back to school, that will be coming up soon. You were putting together some great material for it. I was even thinking, reading the material going, and you didn’t say this. I don’t recommend that you do, but it is a concern that people would be worried that their child goes to school and their child has the worst clothes and they didn’t cut their hair. You’re sending your child out into this new atmosphere for a brand- new year, and they might be the one who’s bullied or picked on because they don’t look…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: They’re not on trend.

Chris Brennan: They’re not on trend, yeah. I was even looking at that going, wow, back to school. That’s where my mind went. It’s funny because I suppose a lot of people would just go, back to school. We have an opportunity to get more business. It’s all internalized into what the company gets, whereas I think when you think about the benefits and the value that the other person requires and then you go, well, how can I provide that. The reason you got there is trying to understand who they are, and you’ve created a storyline basically of how that journey can go. It’s just a more rewarding experience, then. Say you do it that way, and you do run this back to school promotion, and you get a load of people in. You didn’t trick them to get them in there, you actually went, “look we can really help”. Maybe you can do a promotion where you can get a couple of students in.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Definitely. Yeah.

Chris Brennan: Get one in and the other person gets something else. I have no examples off the top of my head.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Or even just more loyalty points for referrals and stuff like that.

Chris Brennan: Exactly. This is now based on, you’re trying to help classmates make sure they’re, as you say, on-trend, or looking good instead of, let’s get more business, you’re like we now know that students who know each other are going to be congregating in one room, and we know the date they’re going to do that and of course they’re concerned with how they look because especially at that young age, looks are so much. You’re actually designing your looks to show off who you are inside and you’re not even sure either way who you are on the outside or inside. It’s a conflict that, you know what, salons and spas can actually help with.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Oh, yeah.

Chris Brennan: They can help define that or pull that idea out of you.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Actually just yesterday, I follow this barber shop on Facebook and they posted up a contest and they were like, tag a mate and tell us why you should be the winners of two free haircuts.

Chris Brennan: Got you.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Just reading the comments was so entertaining but at the same time, so insightful, because it’s like, well, look at the state of his hair, like we need this, which was really interesting and it was just through a contest.

Chris Brennan: They ran it through a contest. A tag your friend contest, which I think is way more beneficial than like and share. Like and share doesn’t really encourage anyone to interact with their own social group.

Killian Vigna: It’s just empty pictures floating around Facebook. You were saying about the engagement, people are actually communicating with each other. I suppose you’ve just created a forum from one post on your Facebook page.

Chris Brennan: We ran an event to do a live script reading recently and we gave away a couple tickets, and in the contest it was like, “tag a friend who deserves to be this character in the film”, you know. It worked out really well because people were tagging each other and going, no, you’re totally that character. They would actually have this conversation back and forth on the thread that we put out. With Facebook, when people interact with a thread, organically Facebook goes, oh, this has value, this post has value, so it’s shared further. I think that you don’t get the empty like and share then where somebody scrolls past it, they go, these people I know are having this huge conversation and I can see it. Guess what, I want to be that character. You know what, no, I’m this character. It’s so funny because that came from a good place. We just engage with them on story rather than, my function is I want more eyes as possible to see this. That can work, but not really in the rewarding aspect of it for either your audience and your business.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It will stop working at some point anyway. I was reading a short little blog post that I got through my emails today and they were just talking about, if you’re aiming just for reach and reach and reach, at some point someone is going to go further down that road than you are ever willing to go. You might as well focus on building strong content and storytelling than just trying to reach more people, because at some point someone else is going to crack the code and is going to get more reach than you anyway.

Killian Vigna: Also, Facebook rewards stuff like that, so if they see engagement, if they see a community building on your post, that post is now going to start hitting the top of everyone’s news feed because it’s an active community going on, as opposed to like we said, the like and share, it’s an empty image. Facebook is going to go, no, that’s rubbish. What value is that offering to the Facebook community?

Chris Brennan: That’s what it is. It’s value. People’s time is more precious than their currency. It’s the most precious currency they have. It’s more valuable than the amount of money they’re willing to spend. You have a moment with people and they’ll make a decision. They say that with website hits. They’ll determine whether or not to stay within seconds. You have to make an impression, and you have to make those impressions count. I think the ones that will count are real. They’re like moments that people can connect with. If you can show yourself as a hard-working, enthusiastic individual who really cares about that community, I think you’re going to go farther than like, “Back to school sale, 20% off, this day only, la, la”. We’re so static to that.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It’s not original. It’s been done so many times before. We expect it from many, many brands across many industries.

Chris Brennan: It’s white noise now.

Killian Vigna: Even retail has ruined this whole discounting thing, because when they say up to 50% off, most people are aware now that’s just a marketing ploy. I think they bring up their price for a month to be able to bring it back down to what it was originally and then say 50% off. People are actually copping on to that.

Chris Brennan: We’re savvy anymore.

Killian Vigna: Exactly. Discounts aren’t always discounts.

Chris Brennan: They can’t be because this organization is out to make profits. You’d have to just go, hey, raise the price to pull it back down.

Killian Vigna: Exactly. I suppose before you push any content out, think to yourself, can I relate to this. Is this something that I would comment on or something like that.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Or could someone in my family. It’s like, would my brother or sister.

Killian Vigna: You don’t have to try and guess; like you were saying about putting yourself in their shoes.

Chris Brennan: I think it’s more about talking to someone over talking about something. That’s how I always look at it, like, who am I talking to? In any situation, even in social situations, especially networking. I was in Galway for a film festival. It’s an amazing experience where you get to go there with an entire community at different levels of success, if you can say that. You do want to put yourself out there. You want to stand a little bit different. This does relate to businesses who are trying to go against their competition.

I would look at it going, well, everyone here can’t wait for their chance to pitch their film. You can actually see people standing in a half-circle around somebody, and they’re just like, they’re doing this little shuffle dance because they just can’t wait to figure out a way in. I was there the whole time and because of my marketing experience, I was just trying to talk to people about their films and how they can work their pitch in, or how they can work their marketing. People really found value in it, because I’m not talking about myself. I’m trying to help you.

Eventually, they will turn around and go, oh, you’re a writer yourself. Oh, what’s your project? Now, my audience asked me what I’m up to. Now, they’re the one turning to me going, I’d like to know. My rule was I’ll never pitch to you. You have to request what my project is because me pitching to you, you have these glazed eyes of people not looking you in the face and they’re just going, uh-huh, yeah. I don’t want to waste my time or your time with that. I kind of feel like that’s what marketing is.

Killian Vigna: You’re sitting there and looking at them waiting to just say their next thing…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: As you’re pitching. The glazed over eyes. The minute you stop they’re banging straight in with it, back at it again.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Something else.

Chris Brennan: In an environment where everyone is waiting for their turn to speak, it’s so nice to be somebody who listens.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Chris Brennan: Even if you’re listening with the intention of speaking eventually, you’re still ahead of most people in that room. I say all of this because it does totally relate to the competitive environment in hair and beauty where you’re trying to be that place that somebody chooses when the first day of school is about to come by. Who are they going to choose? The person who is selling to them constantly or the person who’s actually trying to understand who they are and provide value.

Killian Vigna: Don’t be that guy that’s always shouting, shouting, shouting, shouting, shouting. Like Chris said about the whole back-to-school. Talk to your clients, because if you don’t have kids, you would never have known that would have been an issue for parents. By talking to your clients, you’re understanding that they have this coming up. This is going to be a big, I suppose…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Concern.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, big concern for them, so how can I make their life easier. One thing you’ve actually told me before about script writing and stuff that I really love and I think would work brilliantly for salon owners is, you’re not selling the script. You’re selling you. It’s like promoting a service. You’re actually promoting your salon. It’s not just, oh we’re doing a balayage today or highlights tomorrow or stuff like that. It’s your salon I’m going to buy into. Not that once-off service. I’ve got that service, then I’m going to leave, get that service somewhere else, where if I get the service and believe in you, I’m going to keep coming back to you for other services.

Chris Brennan: That’s exactly it. Then, you have to sell each individual service or product every single time.

Killian Vigna: Imagine the effort in that.

Chris Brennan: Yeah. It’s comes out of how much effort. In that bike company, they have to sell that bike at that price. They’re selling the price of this bike, whereas a good, I think, an organized, healthy company is one that people go to you, go to that company because of the company, and they know that the service, the products, that should go without saying. They shouldn’t go in there hoping to get good service. You don’t go to a restaurant hoping that the meal is good. You expect the meal to be good, but you went there because you like what they’re about. You like what they represent. This is a great organization with a personality that you can understand.

Killian Vigna: Do I want to buy a bike or do I want to go in and get the full, what’s this, the economical experience that Ronan was talking about in his last blog.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: John DiJulius also mentioned it on last week’s podcast.

Killian Vigna: I want to go in and I want you to ask me questions about what am I going to do with a bike, and how am I going to maintain and take care of that bike after. The right bike shop that’s not screaming about the bike, is just screaming about the bike shop, they’re the ones that are going to offer you this full package.

Chris Brennan: One of the worst customer experiences I’ve actually ever had is when I was buying an engagement ring. I found the type, the one I wanted online. I went in and I was on my own. No one knows what I’m doing, and I really don’t know much about jewellery. I went up to the clerk and I was asking her about it. She literally takes it out, puts it on this little-felt material and she’s like, there it is. I was like, okay, so I pick it up. I look at it twice, I rotate it twice.

Killian Vigna: It sparkles, check.

Chris Brennan: I’m like, great. She does not acknowledge anything. I have to go, like, can you tell me more about this. She says, oh, it has this many carats. Can you tell me how, I’m just, I’m dragging this out of her. She just refuses to let me know. A week before that, I went to a cigar shop and they were like, welcome, sir. Would you like an espresso while you look for a selection? They gave me an espresso and they walked me through each cigar. I’m like, how did I get better service buying a cigar than I did buying an engagement ring. I’ll never forget that cigar shop, because they made me feel, like, welcome and they made this magical. I’ll never forget that jewellery shop because they made me feel like I was stealing it, but they were untrustworthy of me because they’re like, here, hold it and just staring at me. This should be the most magical moment in a shop I’ve experienced to this point, and you ruined it, so I will never go back to you.

Killian Vigna: You may have got the purchase, but…

Chris Brennan: I found that ring somewhere else. I was totally willing to get it, but out of principle, I’m like, I don’t like this.

Killian Vigna: That is the thing. You can get the exact same services and treatments you’re providing anywhere, so why am I coming to you?

Chris Brennan: Now that I think about it, the cigar shop guy was asking what I plan to do with this cigar. I was like, yes, it’s a special occasion, my brother’s coming back to town, so we’re doing this. Why wouldn’t anybody go, oh, engagement? Does she know yet? You’ve got the ultimate story right in front of you and you refuse to acknowledge it. I’m like… Does she know? What’s your plan? Get me involved, because you know what, I’ll become really warm to you, because I’m nervous right now, because she might say no or I might mess it up. I’ve got all this emotion swirling inside, and you’re a brick wall. I’m like no, that’s not the experience I was looking for.

Killian Vigna: Chris, some great info. I suppose, do you have any key points for salon owners when it comes to their next piece of content. When we say content, we’re not just talking about a Facebook post or an email, we’re talking about the information that is leaving your salon and going out there to clients and potential clients.

Chris Brennan: Yeah. I suppose… We kind of hinted at it earlier. The next, as you say, content or campaign, you’re going to be putting words together and sending it out to your audience. Why? On their side, why? Not on your side. You understand what you’re trying to get out of it. You’re trying to get them to book an appointment. But, why should they book an appointment with you? It seems like such a simple question, but put yourself in their shoes. They’re walking down the street. They’ve got three bags in their hand. They’re probably late to pick up their child… All of this stuff is an everyday thing. Why would they stop and do that? What’s the angle? What’s the point? If you did say, because we’ve been going back to this example, the back-to-school special. Make that really feel real and a concern, and highlight the reasoning why they’re going to do this. That’s where good storytelling can really come in. You can identify what their needs are, and you can spin that into “we’re here to help you”.

Killian Vigna: Keep asking why. Not just why once. Why, why, why, why, until eventually, you’ve nailed it down.

Chris Brennan: We do that with our features for Phorest salon owners. When we’re trying to figure out what features should be beneficial, our dev team do so many interviews. They go out and they actually work in salons because they have to figure out why somebody needs this, whereas other companies just kind of like go, we’ve heard that people talked about this, so Instagram is a craze, so Instagram. But, why?

Killian Vigna: We think this will be a good idea. Do we know?

Chris Brennan: I’m actually building, which I guess this is a little head’s up, I’m actually building an Instagram webinar at the moment and I think slide four is, do you need Instagram. I’m not here to sell Instagram. Do you need it, because you can attend this master class, and I’m not here to sell this to you. First off, let’s find out if you need it, because then you would have saved so much time by attending this one webinar to go, you know what, I actually, that’s not an area that I want to put my resources into. I think it’s interesting that so many people go straight away into this going, this is why you should be on Instagram. Millions of people here. It’s like, but, should you. Let’s find out first.

Killian Vigna: They don’t know your clients.

Chris Brennan: On slide four. Then, you can stick around if you want, but let’s find out. I believe most people will find value, but it’s up to you to decide that, so let’s look at those options.

Killian Vigna: You can jump on every trend going, be on every platform, channel, media, whatever. But, are your clients there? What’s the point in being on Snapchat if none of your clients use Snapchat, or Instagram, anything like that. If your clients aren’t there, it’s a wasted investment.

Chris Brennan: Also in this Instagram scenario, if you’re not willing or you’re uncomfortable sharing your own personality and your team’s personality, maybe Instagram isn’t for you, because that audience is there for a more personable experience. The Instagram story is such a great function to be like your day-to-day activity. Taking photos with not just of before and afters, I mean like photos of you smiling with your clients. All that stuff is just gold on that platform. If you’re not ready for that, or you’re not up for that, then don’t go on there, because you can find another avenue potentially but, if you’re not willing to go for that audience who are on that platform, then don’t do it.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It’s finding what works for you in the end.

Killian Vigna: Channel your focus into what works for you.

Chris Brennan: I guess that’s the final note then on storytelling is, know your channels as well, because not everything is right for each channel. An SMS could be difficult to encapsulate the idea of a back-to-school special in such a small amount of characters.

Killian Vigna: 160 characters.

Chris Brennan: There’s definitely a way. I could not think of it off the top of my head right now, but potentially you can really rush, you can really run a whole campaign based on being, say, a mother with a child going back to school so you understand on a different type of platform. You can’t run that campaign on SMS as smoothly, because then they’d receive like 50 SMS’s.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, Chris, may as well end it on that note, because that just summarized it perfectly. Know your audience, know where to focus your efforts and…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Know your channels.

Killian Vigna: Know your channels. Exactly.

Chris Brennan: Perfect. Thank you very much, guys. I’ve loved this and hopefully, I’ll be back before episode 70.

Killian Vigna: Part two next week, yeah.

Chris Brennan: Yeah. I mean stories do come in three acts, right? This is act two.

Killian Vigna: Act two. Yeah. Thanks very much.

Chris Brennan: Thank you.

Killian Vigna: That was Chris with content and storytelling. It was actually quite good and again, content, it’s not all just about words. Content is anything. It can be video, it can be images, emails, SMS. Content is just information.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, exactly.

Killian Vigna: Speaking of information…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: We’ve got a few.

Killian Vigna: We have a few information.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: A few bits of information. Just recently, we had the Client Experience Award from Phorest Salon Software go out, and one thing that we hadn’t really covered ever was what you can do with that award to leverage that and increase bookings in your salon.

Killian Vigna: What else can you do other than sticking it in your window.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, if you want to put it like that. There’s quite a few things, but chatting away to different clients and the girls on the Client Experience Award team and PR and events and stuff, we’ve come down with five bigger ones, let’s say. The first one obviously, and you’ve probably all done this. Social media and window fronts. Like you said, sticking up that sticker in your window and putting it up on social media. Another cool thing you can do is put it up on your consultation forms, because that reminds your clients or even just new clients that you actually have this award and it’s customer service proof basically of you doing really well.

Killian Vigna: There is just one thing I will say with that, and while it’s amazing to see, we are all about helping you with your brand and marketing. People love the Client Experience Award so much that they’ve actually replaced their Facebook profile pictures with the logo. That is great. It looks great and stuff like that, but at the end of the day, be careful of your brand. Do your clients really, if they were searching your Facebook page… I’d have it attached with an image.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Even if you just keep your profile picture as your brand logo, but then on your cover picture have your salon reception area or whatever and then add the Client Experience Award there, maybe superimposed or something like that.

Killian Vigna: Be aware that you need to make sure your logo is still on display.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Then, another one was to send a press release to local publications, newspapers… It is a newsworthy thing.

Killian Vigna: Do not underestimate the power of local media, because, at the end of the day, most of your clients are going to be locals.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Definitely. So that’s there, and also in that blog basically, you have another link to how to write press releases, so if that’s an avenue that interests you, you can definitely check that there. Then the third, bigger avenue you could do is giving back to your clients with a certain type of promotion. Basically, an SMS maybe or an email campaign or maybe both, a combination of both, but give back to the people who have voted for you.

Killian Vigna: Oh, completely. You would never have got this award without your clients. Your clients have been vocal and you always want your clients to be vocal, whether it’s good or bad. That’s your feedback.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: If you don’t know, basically, the client experience award is not based on a panel of judges. It’s based on the average review over a year’s time.

Killian Vigna: From May to May.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: From May to May, and you have to, within those client reviews, you have to maintain an average of a four out of five or higher. It is all back to your customers, basically. If you have this award, it’s thanks to them.

Killian Vigna: Exactly.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So, maybe throw up a little promotion and give back to them. Another thing you could do is host a salon or a spa celebration event, so you could have just a little night in with a few bottles of Prosecco maybe. Again, celebrate with your clients. Say thank you. A thank you goes a long way. You’d be surprised.

Killian Vigna: It really does. Even if they didn’t come along. If you have 2,000 clients, you send out an email, “Hey, we’re having a client appreciation night” and only 50 people come along, you’ve invited the others and that’s enough to be like, they’ve actually, they’ve heard me.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly. And the fifth one is probably not as… you wouldn’t think about it off the top of your head, but you can use this award to apply to other industry awards. A lot of people have been doing that lately, actually.

Killian Vigna: That’s why it was put on the blog, wasn’t it, because Aoife’s been getting… Aoife’s pretty much writing these. She’s pretty much writing the application forms with the logo and everything.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I thought you did a few as well back in the past year or something.

Killian Vigna: In my earlier days. Now, I saw Aoife there where there was a woman who was actually going for a Women in Business award ceremony and she has to do up a presentation, so Aoife went out and got some of her really nice reviews, clipped them together, got the “our clients love us!” Client Experience Award, put it all together in a little presentation, and that was actually just done Friday, just a couple of days, or Thursday, just a couple of days ago, and the client loved it. It took five minutes of Aoife’s work and it… the result.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: The result. Exactly. Those are the five bigger things you can do with the Client Experience Award. If you want more information on that, that’s all in the blog. You’ll find it probably on the first page still. If we do move on to…

Killian Vigna: I just want to, just for anyone that is a Phorest Salon Software client, to be able to get that award, you have to have the “Reviews” feature switched on.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: It has to come through Phorest, those reviews.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly.

Killian Vigna: So just be mindful, if you’re calling people looking for their reviews, no that doesn’t work.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Moving on to our next blog topic this week is…

Killian Vigna: More tools for your arsenal.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yes, exactly. I’ve actually, I was actually surprised because in the month of July, you know, we’ve been running the 30 Days 2 Grow campaign, but on the Facebook page of Phorest software, I got a message from someone saying, “where’s the July marketing tool kit. I’m waiting for the download”. I was like, oh! Because we didn’t actually put one out in July because of the #30Days2Grow campaign, because it is pretty much a marketing tool kit on its own.

Killian Vigna: Is this your way of saying it slipped your mind?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: No, it was planned. It was all planned.

Killian Vigna: I’m only messing.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It was all planned because it’s a thirty-day campaign with little tips and tricks, so we were like, okay, we’ll replace that. We won’t push out another tool kit in July and we’ll just bring it back in August. But I was surprised to see that loads of people are actually looking for it. I was like, okay, that’s nice, so I’ll kick it back again this month.

Killian Vigna: It’s like to say when you’re coming up with new product. Break it to find out if people want it. You stop sending out the marketing kit, and people were like, “Zoe, what’s going on!” Break it to fix it.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: In this tool kit, this is for August basically, so, there’s no official big dates, so there’s no Father’s Day or any kind of big events like that. But, there are a few international days that you can market around, so the Girl Friend’s Day. I’m talking as in friendship, so nothing to do with relationships, but it’s easy to market for you guys in this industry because you can offer extra loyalty points for friend’s referrals, you can run targeted Facebook ads, you can host photo competitions for besties photos and stuff like that.

That’s one and then you’ve got another few where you can market for Single Working Women’s day because if you think about, again, the why, and I’ve put up ten SMS templates for this, but it’s just like if you’re a single working woman, you’re probably overwhelmed with work and personal life things and you just, I think about my mom and she’s a single working mom, like two kids and she would have been more than happy to have that break in the day to just have someone take care of her stress. Get a little massage or a facial or something like that. She was always on the run. She still is.

Killian Vigna: I love how you’re describing this because it just completely backs up Chris’s point of put yourself in their shoes. Don’t just put content out for the sake of it. You actually went back and thought, “how would my mother have felt about this” and then you were like, bam, bam, bam, here’s the templates.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: That’s one, and again there’s a few other ones there. There’s loads of tools and graphics and SMS templates that you can download from that blog. Then, we have a whole section on back-to-school, because that probably is one of the big things coming up in August. Then in September, we’ll be talking about proms and debs and stuff because that’s also a topic between August and September. It has to be one or the other, and then the other one will follow.

If you want any ideas or even just graphics to get you inspired to create your own, you can go on the Phorest blog. The tool kit is there for free. In the blog itself, you have loads of descriptive ideas and then when you download the tool kit, you get all those graphics and templates and stuff.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, and if you’re a Phorest Salon Software client, we have the email and the SMS templates for August uploaded to your system and the monthly marketing campaign that we’ve started doing the last few months. You’ll be getting that in email, so you’ll be sent to a type form where you get to essentially build your own campaign. It takes you thirty seconds. You design your campaign and we ship it out for you.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. I guess on to the Phorest Academy webinars. We have one actually today. It’s led by Chris Brennan, who was just on the show earlier. That’s at 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. UK/Ireland time.

Killian Vigna: If you want to hear more of his beautiful voice, sign up for that one.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, so 3 to 4 UK/Irish time and 10 to 11 US/Eastern time. That’s the Facebook master class. Then, coming up next would be August 2nd and that’s the retailing master class led by myself. We talk about how to build a retailing culture in your salon. Build an experience around selling retail. Like Chris said, not have that ring experience, just, it’s not supposed to be pushy. It’s not supposed to be daunting. If you understand your client’s needs, it will just flow in perfectly with the conversation. That’s pretty much it for the webinars as well.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. That’s essentially episode 35. Done.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Episode 35 already. Next week will mark the end of the 30 Days 2 Grow campaign. We’ve got something special coming up there, but we won’t say much until then.

Killian Vigna: It’s going to be special and it’s going to be sad. I’m really enjoying going through the Facebook group. I’m enjoying the Facebook Lives and just seeing how you guys are getting on. There’s actually a submission isn’t there, for the 30 Days 2 Grow?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yes. We want to hear your stories and how you got on with the whole challenges.

Killian Vigna: Why did you do 30 Days 2 Grow? How did you and your team get on? Are you closer as a team now? I’d imagine a lot of you are.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Probably, yeah. We’ve sent out an email to all people who have registered for the challenge basically asking you to share a story with us, your story with us, and you can win loads of prizes and stuff like that.

Killian Vigna: The big one, being on this show.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Killian is really excited about that one.

Killian Vigna: I’m so excited. I can’t wait to actually talk to one of you and see how you got on throughout the whole thirty days. What are we? We’re like the twenty-fourth now. Twenty-four days I haven’t got to talk to anyone. Yeah. Join us on the show. Enter your submissions. There are a couple of others ones. Get featured on the website.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: Which is equally big.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Being on the promo for next year’s challenge and stuff like that. I strongly encourage you to refer back to your email. We’ll be posting in the Facebook group anyways as well how to enter that contest and stuff like that.

Killian Vigna: And as always if you’re enjoying this show or you want to be on the show yourself or know of anyone that you want to hear on the show, get into contact with us. Let us know and maybe leave us…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Leave a review or a comment on iTunes.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. That would be great. Let us know how you’re getting on.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: We wish you a lovely week and we’ll catch you next Monday.

Killian Vigna: All the best.

Thanks for reading!

#LetsGrow


Catch up on the previous Phorest FM episode, or check out the next Phorest FM episode!

Podcast transcription by Rev.com