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Monday, February 27, 2012

Publicity Planning to Get Out Front!

I often network with brilliant marketing minds outside of this industry. A really good friend of mine with an MBA in marketing manages a lumber yard and hardware store. What do salons and hardware stores have in common? Marketing is marketing. We both need to constantly recruit new clients. We need them to return and buy more often and we need them to purchase more with us when they visit. Today we were sharing what we have going on in our worlds and he shared his Publicity calendar with me. It reminded me that publicity is a very real and very cost effective strategy for increasing your visibility within the community and often times a great way to give back. You might think it is a stretch, but it's really not.
February is a tool blow out sale. Maybe you have some left over holiday inventory hanging around that you need to clear out for Spring specials. What about a tool talk night? Purchase one of those horrific kits they sell at Target or Wal-Mart and explain the dangers of using improper implements. You can also instruct clients on proper care and maintenance between salon visits.
March is garden show time. Look for women's events at local community centers, teacher appreciation weeks at schools anywhere you can donate your time and talents to be in front of a group of potential clients. Our local community center has a spa day I participated in always bringing in spring trends and updates. This would be a great opportunity to have your program dispel all the misinformation about the dangers of gel manicures.
April Lawn care clinic. How about a foot care clinic? Do you have an educator in your area that can come in and help conduct a live event? Or invite a local podiatrist to share health foot care habits and have special pricing on pedicure packages. If you get 10 ladies to attend and they each purchase a pedicure package for 250 for a series of 5 pedicures that's a $2500 dollar evening. Add on polish, sandals and pedicare socks and it could quickly add up to 3 thousand.
May, is adopt a pet month. Do you sell pawlish? Why not partner with a local shelter or pet center and put together a Pooch pageant? Have some fun raising awareness for these dedicated rescue centers. Maybe a portion of any sales that month can be donated to the center.
June is tent sale month. Do you have an area you can use outdoors and have a "tent" sale? Every summer I held a Tent sale of sorts. I had a sidewalk sale complete with free hotdogs, chips and a beverage for every purchase. I often brought in more boutique items, summer bags, toe rings, flip flops, you get the picture. I borrowed a tent from a family member and set up in a courtyard for a Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Clients looked forward to it every summer and often brought a friend.
July offers an ice cream social. Many towns have these in their community, have you ever participated? Bring in a ice cream pedicure service and raffle off chances to win. Set up an area to do demos so participants can see smell and experience this amazing service for themselves.
August its festival time. Does your town or surrounding community have a festival? Get involved offering nail art, glitzy lips, retail items and don't forget a special incentive to visit your salon. Many have door prizes so make sure to offer a signature service, not a basic one, put out the good china for your new guest.
September/ pig roast clambake client appreciation sale. You know I personally would probably offer a different menu, however this particular areas demographic is quite 4 H rural and works for them. I would have a client appreciation wellness event with signature healthy dishes, maybe bring in a local area chef for a small presentation and offer 10% off any retail or service purchases all evening. I held a client appreciation event once a quarter and they were always loads of fun bringing in many new guests.
October offers a Pumpkin carving festival. Many communities have a fall festival. Why not partner with the planners and offer nail art booth and sell premade Halloween press on nails? Many of you know any festival I attend I always have a fishbowl contest to win a $25.00 gift certificate. Entries must include name, phone and email address and will automatically get added to my marketing email list.
November is the 2nd annual girl scout girl power event. Partnering with your local girl scout chapters can be a tremendously rewarding experience. Nail Parties are simple to put together and brings new faces to your salon, should you choose to hold the party in house. If you don't host the nail party don' t miss out on the opportunity to market to moms. Send a goodie bag home with mini polishes, nail brushes, mini files and an incentive for Mom to visit your salon. So there you have it, two totally different industries, sharing a marketing calendar. Thinking outside the bottle. Take a few minutes this week and write out your publicity calendar. Post your events on Yelp and your fan page and send a press release to your local papers, TV and radio stations. Putting a publicity plan in place is smart planning so get planning!
Need more? Purchase marketing tools on my website Millie Haynam

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