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Marketing 101

One of the rules in marketing and sales is to stand out from the others. I was shopping online for a gift certificate for the Little Woman, looking for a nail salon. I Googled nails (even I can do that!), the zip code, and voila, around five shops appeared. No problem. I studied each one, and then I saw it; a theme! Every nail salon had one or two photos of- guess what? Their storefront! What are you selling? Hair and nails. How are you marketing your product?
Take a picture of (pick one):
1.) A parking lot full of cars with half the storefront visible
2.) Straight on, front door shot, complete with the sign above it.
3.) A woman who is beautiful, and not fashion magazine hot, but with a great smile. She's sporting a gorgeous new haircut, her eyes are glowing like she won the lottery.
4.) A glamour shot of someone, focusing on their nails. Hands and feet. Again, not a supermodel, but someone who looks...nice. Maybe a before and after shot.
5.) A monkey eating a bannana with the name of the salon photoshopped onto the bannana.
6.) A stylist, behind a chair with an electric shears, and a woman in the chair, both smiling like they are enjoying the experience.
7.) A video clip of Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd, singing to his razor. No, forget that one. Bad idea.

Post the picture on your website, and see what happens.
If you picked 3, 4, or even 6, there is hope for you.
If you picked 1 or 2, you can have a mediocre hair and nail salon, too. Work diligently. Blend in with the crowd.
If you picked 5, and you have the skills and guts to do it, you probably still will outperform the 1 or 2 shop. As long as the monkee has nice hair and nails.
How difficult can it be? You already took the picture. all you had to do was point the camera at a happy customer instead of the front of the store. Shoot, you don't even own the store, you're renting it.
How about this one:
Clever Hairstylist; "Renee, this looks great today. How about we take your picture, and next time we'll give you a free shamppo and creme rinse?"
Happy Customer; "Sure."
CH; "Could we post it on our website?"
HC; "Sure."
How simple is that? Then, offer free stuff for customers who give you reviews. Every shop has one or two reviews. You know it's the stylist's friends and relatives that wrote them. What if your shop listed ten?
This ain't rocket science, and it ain't all that tough, either.

I'm going into business as a marketing consultant. This stuff is just too easy.