While aestheticians in many areas are thriving, and may even have to turn down clients, others struggle and can’t figure out why. the biggest mistake is not marketing at all, but every business can benefit from making sure it is putting forward the best image possible. So when you’ve put your 2020 plan together, take a closer look at it and focus on making these 10 marketing strategies.
Devise an Overall Strategy
Don’t get complacent and expect that clients will simply come to you. If you live in a competitive area, you need a strategy to get your message out. Think about your city, your clients, your potential clients, what they need, and what they want. If you don’t know exactly what you intend to do with your practice, how can you effectively market it?
Create a Marketing Plan
Marketing costs money, but it’s money well spent. If you spend $200 and gain a few new clients from it, you will soon recoup that cost. While most small business owners understand the need to spend money on advertising, a common mistake is to do so without an organized marketing plan.
It’s important to organize your marketing efforts so you know exactly where your money is going and which marketing methods are proving to be the most effective for you.
If you don’t know anything about marketing, there are great books you can find at your library or bookstore. Small Business Marketing for Dummies by Barbara Findlay Schenck (For Dummies, 2005) is a good overview on methods and marketing techniques. Marketing Your Services: For People Who Hate to Sell by Rick Crandall (McGraw-Hill, 2002) is also excellent.
Develop a Website
A surprising number of aestheticians see no need for a website or haven’t gotten around to creating one. In today’s world, a website is absolutely essential for any business. Like it or not, a website gives you authority and makes you look far more professional and successful than those who don’t have one.
“If you don’t have a website, it’s like you don’t exist,” says Janina Jackson of New York. “As a client, when I was looking for a skin care professional, those who had websites were able to give an impression of who they were. Those who didn’t ended up on the bottom of my list.” A website isn’t just for helping new clients discover you. It also allows your existing clients to easily check your business hours, location, menu of services, prices, and anything else they want to know about you. Online scheduling is also expected by an increasing number of spa clients these days. Finally, a website encourages clients to contact you via email, which is often preferred by more introverted clients, and helps you to gather email addresses for future marketing efforts.
Keep Updating Your Site
Once you have your website up and running, remember that it is your first impression to potential clients. Search for other aestheticians or spas in your area and compare the impressions their websites give you. Many in my area had badly organized content, poor-quality graphics, or obviously outdated information such as a seasonal or limited-time offer from many months in the past. This makes an aesthetician look like he or she doesn’t care.
Always look like the professional you are. Make sure your site is easily found, clean, modern, and easy to navigate. Keep it updated by posting current specials, regular tips, and articles about skin care. This shows you are aware of current practices and trends. Keeping your content fresh will also make your website more attractive to search engines.
Reach Out to the Community
The worst thing an aesthetician can do is stay in the spa. Get out! Volunteer. Take a class or teach one. Set up a booth at a community event. Wherever you go, make it clear who you are and what you do.
Always be prepared to answer questions and hand out business cards. Send out postcards, have coupons for referrals, and network, network, network. Vistaprint.com is a wonderful source for marketing items for small business owners, especially ones just getting off the ground or on a tight budget. They offer many deals to keep the prices down, and their templates make graphic design a snap.
Get Your Information Out There
It’s not enough to just put your business name and contact details out there. Younger generations in particular like to research their options thoroughly before they ever contact a business. Online and in your brochures, flyers, and any other marketing materials you distribute, make it clear what services you provide, what you charge (if a smaller marketing piece doesn’t have room to name all services, perhaps you can mention one signature treatment or current special, with its price), the days and hours you are open, how to set up an initial consultation, and other details that would be relevant to a new client.
Keep It Concise
On the other hand, some websites and brochures can be so cluttered with information that they’re impossible to read. When you present a giant block of text, people’s eyes glaze over. Make sure your information is adequate, but not too much for the format you’re using. If it’s necessary to go into a lot of detail, break it up into several smaller chunks for readability.
Check Spelling and Grammar
Nothing will kill your reputation faster than marketing materials riddled with errors. While you don’t need perfect grammar to be a great hands-on aesthetician, you won’t get the chance to show a client what you can do if that client gets an unprofessional first impression from your website or brochures. Bad grammar, punctuation, and spelling will make people assume you are uneducated, don’t care how you present yourself, and that you may be equally casual and haphazard in your work. Even experts in spelling and grammar benefit from letting another set of eyes check their work for inadvertent typos.
Don’t rely on spellcheck. If you don’t have a friend, relative, or coworker who can check your writing and catch any problems, hire a proofreader. You may also want to hire a copywriter or editor if you’re writing an important, longer piece or doing some major advertising. Paying a small amount of money for this service will help you avoid wasting larger amounts if your spa menu contains a major error and needs to be reprinted.
Have a Unique Selling Proposition
Why should a client choose your business over your competitor’s? What benefit do you provide your customers? These are questions that need to be answered in your marketing materials. However, you do have to be careful about what you say. Don’t claim to be the best, don’t make promises you can’t keep, and don’t compare yourself directly with others. For example, don’t say you are better at brow design than your competitor; just say you are an amazing brow designer or that you specialize in brow design. Think about what makes you unique, and capitalize on it.
Keep in Touch with Past Clients
Aestheticians derive most of their business from repeat visits and referrals. If a client has a good experience with you, there is a good chance she will come back, and also send friends in your direction. Keeping in touch will keep that memory fresh. Your marketing plan should include planned regular newsletters, birthday and holiday cards, and relevant offers with each one. The right amount of contact, delivered via the client’s own preferred route—whether that’s email, mail, social media, or the occasional follow-up phone call—will make sure she keeps you in mind for another appointment, or when any of her friends need a recommendation.
Following these 10 tips will help you avoid the worst potential pitfalls in your marketing plan and improve your standing in your local community. The more professional you are, the better your reputation will be, and that’s a great thing, both for you and for your profession
- Crandall, R. (1996). Marketing your services: for people who hate to sell. Select Pr.
- Schenck, B. F. (2012). Small business marketing kit for dummies. John Wiley & Sons.