Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with a lawyer with an outdated website. Despite all its deficiencies, he was adamant that he didn’t need a website re-design. He went as far as to say that a website is merely a fancy business card. This article is in part inspired by this misconception and ignorance about what purpose a website can serve.
The hair styling service business will be used as a reference point here. However, other forms of business can borrow and apply the same concepts touched upon. So, here are seven ways you can generate more business through your website and social media.
Constant technological advancements, modern marketing techniques etc. Just goes to show how much we as people want our lives to be more convenient. Having an online booking capability such as the one offered by Acuity Scheduling as used by C Street Hair Salon brings this convenience to the fingertips of your clients through their mobile devices, wherever they may be and at any time of the day of their choosing. It may not seem like a big deal but that’s you putting some control and power in their hands even if they don’t see it that way.
Also, what many service business owners with the mindset of the lawyer in the above fail to realize is that these booking tools come packaged with a ton of tools that will make them more efficient and communicate with their clients more efficiently. Online booking tools also do the following: confirm your clients’ appointments via a text or e-mail automated process, allow you or them to cancel or reschedule the appointments, collect payments with credit cards, give the clients a way to leave a note about any special request they may have that is associated with their appointment; it notifies you via your text message or e-mail when a new client has booked on your site (a cool tip here: You can also customize your phone alert tone to let you know that notification you got was from a customer); it lets you collect your client data, which allows you to communicate with them as a group or individually through one e-mail. Imagine that you’re going to be out on vacation, need to promote a special offer or that an emergency has occurred, you can immediately notify all your clients in one e-mail.
Square Register, which is used by Tyson Hair: An Urban Lounge offers an online booking tool that allows you to see how much sales you’ve generated, who your top clients are and more. With this kind of data available in your online booking tool dashboard, you’re able to see trends in your business, which allows you to make informed decisions on your marketing strategies. Another tool which is not really a booking tool but will allow donors to pick an item to donate to while collecting data and making life easy for believers in your cause to support you is Donor box as used by Together We Strong, which is a non-profit organization that improves the lives of disadvantaged children in The Dominican Republic.
Landing Page with an Opt-in
A landing page with an Opt-in such as the one here on Uzo Design’s service page. Which offers potential clients free valuable information in exchange for their information. By doing so it allows you to add them to your subscription list to continuously offer them value, keep you their minds and present them with special offers. As a Barber shop or salon, you can offer something of value such as a downloadable PDF that says something like “5 ways to make your hair look great at little to no cost”. If that’s even a thing.
While Pop-Ups may be annoying, they do work. The trick is to use it appropriately and strategically. When a client is about to leave your page, the pop up comes off and presents them with an offer such as “Get a free hair consultation today and get 10% off your 1st hair appointment” or something of that sort. I’m sure you get the idea. If the client had no intentions of coming in, to begin with, this enticing offer might just do the trick to get them to come see how awesome you’re.
Offer a Free A 30-Minute Consultation
Tyson: An Urban Hair Lounge offers its clients a free 30 minutes consultation, this type of offer encourages potential clients to come in to get a firsthand look at your services. At Uzo Design we believe that if you offer people value they will reward you for it. People tend to patronize people they’ve already built a relationship with. An offer like this can be boldly advertised in a section of your website’s landing page as an ad or as a pop up as mentioned above.
Start a Facebook Group
I’ll assume you know of the awesome ways you can scale your business through social media. In the off chance that I am wrong and that you’re new to social media. If you don’t already have a Facebook page it is time to create one. Why? Because it’s another reference to your website which helps with your SEO and provides people with a link to book on your site or directly from the page. All the same, one of the ways you can provide great value to your clients and potential clients in addition to your Facebook page is to start a Facebook group. A Facebook group is a bit more intimate than a Facebook page. It allows you to bring together people of kindred spirit. They get to join the group and you approve who gets to join. Having this page allows your members to interact with each other, moreover, it also allows you to provide additional expert beauty tips with your clients, apprentices or hair stylist students. They can also share ideas with each other. Periodically, you can offer a new product or special promotions such as a referral “Invite a friend to get a haircut with you and you both get half-off”. You can see a good example of a Facebook group with Foxley’s Rock Stars, which is an Australian based web design agency that markets to designers.
Offer In-store Products that goes along with a Healthy Lifestyle
On your website, you should offer products that clients or potential clients within your service area can come in to pick up. Although this isn’t a hard and fast rule merely an opinion it should be a quality product that is rare enough to people wants to come in and get it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be exactly a hair product but it’s best if it’s a product that aligns with a healthy lifestyle. The great thing about this is that your business is generating additional income which is made possible by your website. Not only are people buying your products but with people becoming familiar with your business the potential to convert them into customers is very high especially if you have an on-going offer that is visible for them to see.
Run a Social Media Ad
LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest all allow you to promote your brand and services. Why not run an ad periodically during the slow periods of the year to your in-store products above that will drive your new clients into a frenzy to come into your store to get their hands on that next fountain of youth product only you offer.
The major reasons people are often indifferent to owning a website or re-designing a bad one is because: (1) Their business has been successful without one. So, in their estimation, why bother with a website or with an updated one? (2.) The second reason is that they are more likely from the baby boomer generation, have a fear of technology and don’t want to have to deal with it. What they don’t realize is that having an optimized and mobile responsive website not only provides their clients with more accessibility and a better experience but also serves to promote their brand and generate new business to balance out those slow periods and take an already successful business to the next level. What are your reasons for not owning a website and what else is missing from these 7 pointers above?
Suggested reading How to tell if your website needs a redesign