50 Low Budget – High Impact Marketing Strategies for Cash Strapped Businesses

It happens to the best of us. Whether you’re a bootstrapped start-up, or an existing business with cash flow issues, at some point or another most businesses will come to need to invest in their marketing tactics to boost their business and get some more business through the door. These fifty inexpensive marketing strategies will help you engage and leverage your customers, build lucrative relationships, and ultimately keep your brand at the top-of-mind when it comes to people searching for the product/service you have to offer.

Learn How to Ask for Referrals: You’re much more likely to get something if you ask for it! Don’t just assume your clients will pass along the good word-of-mouth about you. So do you want to get more clients? Get over the fear of asking and force yourself to get in the habit of asking for a referral from every satisfied customer.

Learn the Most Likely Places to Find Clients – and go to those places: Think of the obvious places your target audience will be and go to those places to drum up new business in person or simply just leave a stack of your business cards there.

Host a Workshop, Event or Class Related to Your Products/Services: People love to learn so classes on topics related to your products and services can bring big gains. Plan an event or class to host, then print out flyers and post them in your local community and areas where target clients will see them. Bulletin boards, libraries, coffee shops, and adult education centres etc.)

Create a Brochure: Brochures can be great sales tools as they are relatively cheap, give you some in-hand marketing material when you’re discussing your products or services and also give potential customers who want to think over your pitch to have something to take away with them.

Get Free Publicity for Your Business: Do this by involving the media (including social media!) in your big business events such as grand openings, new products launches, moves, or charity events. Don’t have one of these happening in the near future? You can always get involved in someone else’s charity event by becoming a sponsor.

Create a Website for Your Small Business: If you don’t already have one, it’s a vital necessity nowadays for a business to have a website. Even if it’s a basic one that simply presents the who, what, where and why of your business at least it gives you a home on the web and a chance of coming up in local search – critical for getting your business found nowadays. There are lots of great website building platforms out there, with WordPress being one of them.

Create a Blog for Your Business: Blogging can create a bigger market for your products or services if you share valuable, regular and engaging content consistently. You should also cultivate your blogging community by visiting and commenting on other relevant blogs regularly. (Be smart; pick the ones your customers are likely to be visiting too.)

Develop a Social Media Marketing Plan and Implement it: Developing a presence on social media is a great and vital low budget marketing strategy. Download my free eBook that has a great social media strategy template (if I do say so myself!).

Spend Money on Social Media Advertising: All the major platforms offer forms of inexpensive advertising, often with incredible targeting options. Learn about Facebook ads and Twitter ads in the above eBook.

Become a Radio Guest: Radio can be a very effective way of targeting your potential customers and is a much more inexpensive form of advertising compared to other channels such as television. Get in touch with your local radio for potential deals on airtime ads/interviews.

Develop Business Partnerships: Cross-promotion is a great way to tap into a wider audience, cut down on the cost of advertising and can create valuable relationships that benefit all the partners involved. This can be done locally offline through some kind of special event, or online with a webinar or promotional giveaway

Send out Promotions with your Invoices: A no-brainer that’s often forgotten! You’re sending out a document anyhow so why not include a promotion?

Learn How to Write a Killer Sales Letter: Whether it’s direct mail or email, once you’ve written one, be sure to learn how to maximize the response to your sales letter.

Create an Email Newsletter: This gives you a great opportunity to stay in regular contact with your customers, sharing business news, latest offers etc.

Join a face-to-face Networking Group: There’s no faster, easier way to make contacts and get known in your local community.

Participate in Local Business Trade Fairs: While trade shows are far from easy, they can be one of the most rewarding forms of marketing when approached with the right strategy. Your attendance will be rewarded with rapidly expanding your database of sales leads, meeting and connecting with prospective customers and learning about new developments in your industry.

Apply for Business Awards: Getting a business award under your belt is a great way to build credibility and generate positive PR. There’s nothing wrong with a nomination from a friend or even nominating yourself – just make sure you’re entered!

Advertise Your Business on Your Vehicle: Be seen whilst you’re out and about by putting a vinyl wrap on your car with your logo, business name and contact detail and/or place a plastic business card holder on the side of your vehicle.

Pamper Your Existing Customer: Make sure you’re not neglecting the people who already know and trust you, as typically it’s five times as expensive to make a sale to a new customer as it is to an existing one. For example you could take your best customers out to dinner using the opportunity to ask them about how to improve your business or write to your customers to reward them with exclusive benefits such as a new loyalty program or an invite to sneak preview your latest product.

Utilize Your Business Setting: Your building and surrounding land or sidewalk are great places to put up signs and banners.

Push For PR: A media story is much more valuable than an advertisement because of the credibility it gives your business. Journalists’ are looking for a compelling story to tell so help them by letting them know about an interesting story of yours involving an innovative product, unusual customer contact or gamble that paid off.

Turn Employees into Ambassadors: Your employees are part of the community and have all sorts of contacts that could help you so think of ways you can keep them motivated and utilize them.

Give Back: Channel into your inner good by sponsoring your local lads football team or having a charity collection jar by the cash register. You’ll feel good by doing your bit for the community but will also benefit by generating goodwill with customers. As an example for less than the cost of a 1/4 page ad in a local paper, you can buy team uniforms for your local sports teams and not only will you get the team, and their friends, family and fans attention but it will show a very wide audience that your business is a genuine part of the local community.

Create Instructional Videos: Video content is really valuable, but it needn’t be costly to get quality YouTube videos produced. You can research the plenty of guides out there to help, or you can get others involved on a budget by using sites such as Fiverr.

Get Ad Promo Credits: Big ad campaigns may be out of your budget but there are often discounts and coupons floating around out there for paid Facebook Ads or Google ads.

Create DIY Infographics: Infographics are very powerful marketing tools as they’re visually appealing, easy to digest, and people love to share them. All in all they’re a great way to drive up referral traffic and links. There are plenty of free vector kits out there for Adobe Illustrator. Check out Visual.ly for inspiration, they have many examples for you to browse through.

Recycle Your Content: Breathe life into your old content by turning them into new creations! For example, you could turn a collection of blog posts into an eBook.

Develop a Customer Referral Program: Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool, so encourage your existing customers to spread the word by offering a free product, free month of service, or some other reward for referring new customers.

Hold a Contest: Contests are an inexpensive, effortless and exciting way to grow your business and increase online engagement as you often only need to worry about the costs of monitoring the contest and prizes.

Guerilla Marketing: An advertisement strategy designed for businesses to emphasise the creativity and promote their products or services in an unconventional way with little budget to spend. Take a look at these successful examples.

Business Card Draw: This simply idea involves you putting a big glass bowl at your place of business with a sign asking visitors to drop their business cards in for a chance to win something. At the end of the month when you’ve collected loads of business cards, you draw a winner. The real winner here is you however as there’s no reason those other business cards you’ve collected have to go to waste! Use the email addresses provided to let users know that while they haven’t won this time, they are more than welcome to join your mailing list, which will notify them of future giveaways and special offers.

Email Marketing: A great way to get new visitors engaged with your business and maintain relationships with your existing customers. The key to success is to get new website visitors to sign up for your newsletter by offering a bonus content piece for subscribing (e.g. free ebook) then slowly nurture your subscribers via email until they are ready to become paying customers. MailChimp is a great free email marketing service.

Give Away Balloons at Local Events: For a few hundred quid you can rent a helium tank and get a few hundred custom balloons printed with your business name. This is great as a summer imitative at a fair or community event as you’ll have a bunch of happy people marching around with your brand floating above their heads.

List Your Company on Google Maps/Google My Business: Google Maps/Local presence is important for many reasons as It directs customers to your establishment when they are in the area, and your business typically appears higher in Google search rankings.

Use Google Products: Google has provided businesses with a toolbox of marketing goodies (Analytics, Google+, Google my Business etc.) that will only help your business grow. By following their terms of service and best practices, you can help your business gain recognition.

Learn From What Your Competitors Do: It’s important to look at what your competitors are doing as you can get a good sense of how they have become successful, and where they are lacking in their marketing efforts. Both of which you can apply to your own efforts.

Revisit Your Landing Pages: Landing page design can have a huge impact on your conversion rates. If you’re doing any kind of advertising or email marketing, your landing pages are where people who are interested in your offerings decide to “convert” into a lead or a customer or not so you need to regularly update and maximise them to make sure they are fit for purpose.

Make Reporters Come to You: Instead of always sending boring pitching reports with story ideas, go straight to the horse’s mouth and schedule a coffee meeting with the local relevant reporters in your market. Start the conversation by genuinely attempting to make their lives easier without trying to sell them your story and you will become a valuable resource.

Freebies: Everyone loves a freebie and there are many ways to produce freebies that cost next to nothing. For example: a free eBook on a topic of your expertise, small samples of your product, or discount coupons people can obtain in exchange for their email address.

Be Active in Forums: Join discussion forums where people are actively talking about products and services like yours, topics in your industry, and businesses relevant to your brand. This will help spread the word about your expertise, gain credibility in your industry, and build your network.

Get on Online Directories: This is one of the most efficient and inexpensive forms of marketing your brand. Many of these directories are free to register, and enable users searching for your products and services to quickly find you.

Give a Speech: Many organizations are actively looking for qualified, subject-matter experts who can present to their groups. Get over your fear of public speaking, think of the benefits and volunteer. You don’t have to be a pro as long as the information you share is helpful to the audience. Make it easy for people to associate you and your business with expertise in your field.

Be Generous: To keep customers loyal to you, don’t make the mistake of thinking that promotional items are only for conferences and tradeshows. Send your customers small “surprise” gifts as they always work to instil loyalty and retention. They don’t have to be expensive, consider items such as tea bags, pens and pads, small flashlights or things very target specific to your industry, like small packets of flower seeds for a gardener.

Team up With Larger Firms in the Industry: Find larger companies, or more experienced businesses and invite them to lunch with the intention of asking them to consider referring their smaller cases or business they don’t have time to handle, to you. With every successful referral they give you remember to send them a genuine thank you. This will help you easily build your customer or client base.

Feed Them!: Anything involving free food gets attention. Partner up with local businesses and a restaurant/ Café to throw a special event, complete with free food. Combining your database with other businesses will expose you to an entirely different segment of people for a fraction of the price.

Write For A Trade Magazine: If you want to get people’s attention and have them call you, there’s nothing like writing an article for a trade or local magazine to gain credibility and get the exposure you want. Demonstrate your expertise and position yourself as the go-to person for your product or service with this service and it will make you appear credible because a recognised publication is publishing your content.

Write A Book: The status of being a published author provides you with unprecedented access to media, speaking gigs, and other opportunities like nothing else can and the best part is that it costs nothing other than your time.

Online Reviews: Online reviews are a critical component of your business’ reputation and can do wonders for converting new customers. Let your fans review your business, then incorporate their reviews in your blog post, on your website, promote them on social media and anywhere else that is relevant and will be seen.

Host Educational Events: Partner with businesses that target the same audience as you to host “educational” events. Split the cost and the work that goes into creating the event, including inviting prospects and clients. It’s a cost-effective way to market to the other firms’ clients, to prospects, and to build a relationship with these other partners in order to gain future referrals.

Join in on Weekly Hashtag Hours like #ThrowbackThursday: To build your social media following, you need to be an active participant in the community. A great way to get your content seen by many eyes is to join in on a relevant fun weekly social media hour that already has a loyal audience. There’s a hashtag for almost anything, check which ones you could join in with here.

Go Back to Basics: In an online age, there’s still something to be said for going back to basics and conducting some ‘real life’ marketing. For example you can go old school with flyers and poster in local cafes etc.


BONUS! If it’s social media marketing you need help with there are many ways I can help you for free, take a look at this! Or if you can spare 8 quid then my new book is filled with more social media tips than you can shake a stick at!


A Message to Business Owners Struggling With What to Charge

So… I posted a little article on why you business owners out there NEED to charge your worth and value yourself and your work. I never expected to receive over 101 thousand reactions to it! (and counting!) This makes me so happy to know it resonates with a lot of you out there. Us freelancers, business owners, mumtrepreneurs, those with a full-time gig but trying to get their dream business of the ground in their spare time.. whatever you are and wherever you are in the world… it all begins with valuing and believing in yourself – after all, how can you expect others to value your work, if you don’t by underselling it.

Remember, you don’t get paid by the hour, you get paid for what you bring to the hour. This is your Monday reminder about the awesome work you do!


HERE’S THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE ON LINKEDIN 👉

💭 Thought of the day!

So, i’ve just finished at a lovely networking event, with the same burden troubling a lot of the business owners in there. They say ‘Am I charging too much’ or ‘I really need the money even though I know the budget isn’t near enough’ or commonly, ‘The client says they can’t afford me and want it cheaper, what are you supposed to do then.’

✊ I said to them, stick to your guns, YOU ARE WORTH IT. You should never base your rates on what you think the client can pay. Base them on your experience and the value you’ll bring to their business. If they think it is too much, show how your work will have an big beneficial impact for them now and in the future and communicate why the cost is what it is. If they still ask you to come down in price, then move on. Otherwise it sets up an expectation that you will always charge so little.

No one will ever give you more money than what you ask for, so don’t undersell yourself.

I had a client “negotiate” a rate for an package once. I gave in and every added job after that he tried to nickel and dime me down for a lower rate. When I called him out on it he said “he was negotiating… that’s just how business worked” 🙄

I finally got the courage to say no and just walked away.

Luckily, us business owners have come to learn the early red flags that show a client will be hard work – with brash negotiating of fees one of them.

Having said that, I get it. If money is being offered and you have nothing in the bank, with bills piled up to your eyeballs, it can be so tempting to take the money and do the work. Albeit unhappily. If that’s the situation you find yourself in, then if you have to lower your rate, lower your offering to match. Client wants to pay £XXX less, then do less blog posts, write less articles per month, lower the word count, don’t include the touch-up package from your shots, post less social media posts on less channels… or whatever you deem appropriate for your industry.

If you are in a position to be firm and say no to lowering your rate, be professional and just saying something like, “I’m sorry I’m out of your budget. I’m always happy to work on it later if you’re able to meet my rates.”

Just make sure you’re happy to do the work on YOUR terms. You are your own boss, choosing who you work with and for how much for is one of the benefits!

Saying no to bad clients who don’t respect you, your work or your time, only opens up your time to work with ones who do! And there are plenty of lovely businesses out there!


I hope you enjoyed this article! Why not join me on LinkedIn? I’d love to connect with you! 👉 http://www.linkedin.com/in/scarlettdarbyshire/

Powerful Call to Action Phrases You NEED to Use in Your Social Media Content!

Having thousands Facebook Likes or Instagram followers is great, but it doesn’t mean anything if those followers never take any action. Whether it’s a tweet, blog title or text in your ad, every word you share in an update needs to inspire people to do something beyond just reading it. Words are very powerful and for social media to be a successful addition to your marketing strategy you must learn how to right copy that converts!

What Does a Call to Action Mean?

A call-to-action (CTA) is an image or text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take action. It might be signing up for your email list, buying a product, investing in a service, or following you on social media.

Call-to-Action Statistics

  • Almost 90 percent of website visitors read headlines and CTA copy. Many of them don’t read anything else.
  • Full-screen CTAs, such as exit popups you create through Hello Bar, perform better than any other position for CTAs (up to 25 percent conversion rate).
  • Color can make a huge difference in whether or not people click on CTAs.
  • More than 90% of visitors who read your headline also read your CTA copy. (Unbounce)
  • Emails with a single call-to-action increased clicks 371% and sales 1617%. (WordStream)
  • Adding CTAs to your Facebook page can increase click-through rate by 285%. (AdRoll)
  • By forcing visitors to watch an informational video on their services before presenting a CTA, Kimberly Snyder increased conversions by 144%. (QuickSprout)
  • For KISSmetrics, a CTA within a video gets 380% more clicks than their normal sidebar CTAs. (QuickSprout)

CTA Phrases to Persuade

If your intent is to persuade people to choose your product/service, here are several phrases to try incorporating into your call to action:

  • “Try it free now” or “Start your free trial now” Everyone loves a freebie. This CTA is good because instead of straight up asking a prospect to hand over money for your product/service, you’re offering a free ‘test drive.’
  • “Join now and get…” Here you’re simply asking your audience to reply to your message to get something of value in return. It could be an e-book, a free sample, or a template, just make sure it’s relevant to your audience.
  • “Start now to get…” or “Your Journey to X Starts here” or “Start now” infers to your prospect that they are about to begin an exciting process — with the rest of the CTA telling the user how he or she will benefit.
  • “Talk to an expert now” This is a great CTA to use for an online chat opportunity or when you want the prospect to call. Telling your prospect that you are a team of experts, will automatically make them feel safer in your hands.
  • “Learn more about us at…” Prospects at the top of the sales funnel are collecting information, learning about brands and your industry without knowing exactly what they want yet. Using a CTA that invites people to learn more about your business can be extremely effective at building brand awareness. When prospects decide they’re ready to buy, they’ll have your business name at the top of their mind.
  • “Please don’t hesitate to call us” Let your customers know you don’t mind talking to them over the phone. These types of CTA’s belong on every page of your site.
  • “Order now and receive a free gift” If you can tempt prospects with a free gift, they’re more likely to buy the original product. The free gift on offer doesn’t have to be physical, it could be a discount off a future purchase or a downloadable template for example.
  • “Get yours now” A personable CTA subtly telling the consumer that you want him or her to have something valuable — something other people might want.
  • “Request your FREE quote today” Giving a free quote costs nothing but time to you, but once you have the prospect communicating with you it may just turn to a sale!
  • “Click here to get free shipping” Use this popular CTA to overcome one of the chief barriers to buying products online – shipping costs!
  • “Money-Back Guarantee offer here” When you offer a money-back guarantee, consumers feel more confident trying out your product or service.
  • Activate X Today! Using a CTA like this one puts the prospect in the driver’s seat and motivates them to act. These call to actions work well if you’re offering a discount on products or a free demo of your service.

CTA Phrases to Create a Sense of Urgency

Creating a sense of urgency encourages customers to act now instead of holding off making the purchase. Here are some effective call to action phrases that you should consider using as the sooner you can get people to take action, the better!

  • “Download here immediately.” Or “Download here right now” Strong adjectives promote urgency and encourage click-throughs.
  • “Act quickly or you might lose it” Loss-aversion is a common psychological principle that is proven to work! Get the point across that if they don’t act now, they might lose something valuable.
  • “Reserve your spot now” Same principle as above! Tell your prospects that if they don’t sign up and reserve their spots, they run the risk of leaving it too late.
  • “Order now while there’s still time!” Urgency is often a key element in effective call-to-action phrases. Subtly pressure consumers into acting now rather than waiting until the opportunity passes them by.
  • “In a hurry? Call…” Call-to-action phrases like this one let the consumer know that you’re willing to respond to their needs right away. A perfect CTA to use if you offer out-of-hours or emergency services.
  • “It’s very important that you respond promptly” With this CTA you’re telling the prospect that if they don’t respond right away then they might lose out on something good.
  • “Offer expires very soon” A powerful, snappy CTA that clearly states there’s an offer on the table, but if you don’t snap it up, you’ll miss out.
  • “For a short time only” This CTA is popular during sales or clearances. It’s clearly stating that here is a chance to buy a limited-edition product, take advantage of a big discount, or get some other benefit. But only if you act now.
  • “Limited availability” a great CTA as it creates urgency and infers your product is highly popular. A win-win for you as it serves as a form of social proof as well as an incentive to act quickly.
  • “Expires at midnight tonight” It gives a definitely end point to the sale, so your prospects know they have to act quickly as the clock is ticking.

CTA Phrases to Imply Exclusivity

A very effective way to make people act is to imply exclusivity with whatever you’re offering. Try these phrases out to get people taking action and jumping at the chance to be a part of your product or service to not get left out of the group.

  • “I invite you to…” Everyone needs to feel wanted and special —foster that sense of belonging by giving the impression that you’re personally inviting your prospect to do what you want.
  • “Join X Other [Category] as Subscribers to My Email List” A great CTA for social proof. This CTA comes in many forms for example “Become one of the X people who subscribe to my emails.” Or “Join the club! Over X request my emails. You could, too!”
  • Request an invitation”
  • “Members Only”
  • “Only available to X”
  • “Pre-register/Pre-order”
  • “Exclusive access”

This is an excerpt from my book ‘The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses: A Comprehensive, Jargon-Free Guide to Social Media Marketing For Those Who Just Don’t ‘Get it’!’ – Available now on Amazon in Kindle or Paperback!

The Ultimate Social Media Marketing Plan for Your Health & Beauty Salon!

In today’s digitally driven world, properly utilizing social media is necessary for those who want to remain relevant and competitive—and that includes Hair and Beauty Salons. With so many opportunities for growth and relationship-building, social media, if done right, provides a unique platform for long-term marketing success.

As we all know, social media has changed the way we receive and exchange information—it’s the new word-of-mouth marketing and it’s how your prospects and clients network. Just as emerging technology changes your daily workflow, it also impacts the way you interact with prospective and existing clients. Your social presence, or lack thereof, can be critical to your businesses continuity. Today’s conversations, research and buying decisions take place online. This means social media is no longer optional as a communication channel—it’s essential.

Social media is a great way to engage with your current and potential customers, spread more awareness about your services, and create brand loyalty among customers by reinforcing what makes your salon unique. We live in an image-crazy digital world where people like to see an image rather than words. Someone looking for a new hairstyle or set of nails, would like to see a) a choice of what to choose from and b) what YOU can do. This is your chance to shine. This is your chance to promote your business in a creative and inspirational way as to attract new clients and to prove what you are capable of.

Why is social media for hair and beauty salons so important?

  • Showcase your achievements
  • Promote your team
  • Engage with individuals
  • Provide excellent customer service
  • Increase online sales and enquiries
  • Reach more potential clients
  • Stand out from the crowd

With the increasing use of social media in every industry, it’s crucial that businesses know how to connect with customers and use platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in a way that customers will enjoy and that will benefit your business.

A powerful and successful social media presence could easily be made by implementing a robust and consistent content strategy that allows you to promote your activities and business news, generate engagement and a sense of community and become an industry leader by sharing valuable, informative contributions and insights that will engage, evoke interest and provide advice to your audience.

There are many examples of rich content that could be utilized!

  • Introduction to what’s involved with each specific manicure and pedicure service.
  • Tips for choosing nails for your personality, body type, age, etc.
  • Detailed descriptions about beauty service options
  • Hand, foot, and nail maintenance tips.
  • Matching nail types to events.
  • How to discuss your nail preferences with your salon artist.
  • Strategies for interesting nails, including stencils.
  • Nail color choices or polish information.
  • Post about beauty in general including tips and tricks
  • Share customer stories of transformations with a human angle and life improvements
  • Post personal stories of the staff and show the human face of your brand
  • Before and after photos of transformations
  • New products that you use and your recommendations if any
  • Thank you images to thank customers for giving you their trust and their business
  • Contests where your followers and customers can participate to get exclusive deals or coupons
  • Upcoming events in your salon
  • Upcoming events in your local community
  • Lifestyle related photos

 Facebook

Where Facebook can really be leveraged for your Hair and Beauty Salon is within the use of its extensive potential for user engagement. With over one billion active users, it is likely that many of your clients and competitors may already be there. Facebook provides the perfect way for you to share your services, post photos of your unique nail art or create contests or giveaways to promote brand loyalty and spread awareness of your brand. It is compatible with any type of multimedia content meaning you can post videos, photos, and links to external content, allowing it to enhance and support your other online marketing efforts e.g. blog posts. In addition to this, the robust advertising options offered by Facebook are a brilliant tool to leverage to ensure content is directly seen by a highly targeted audience of your choosing.

Facebook Strategy

  • Write relevant posts that engage consumers: Write posts that customers want to respond to and will enjoy giving their opinion on. An example of this would be to ask questions like “Summer has officially begun! What will be your summer haircut of choice?” This type of conversation starter is relevant, personalized, and something that majority of salon-goers would enjoy discussing.
  • Post pictures, and lots of them: One of the best ways businesses can use Facebook is as a visual medium. Your salon should be showcasing the work that it is most proud of. Whether that be fun holiday-themed manicures or gorgeous bridal party hairstyles, pictures provide an outlet to show what you can do.
  • Treat your Facebook Page as a miniature website: When customers arrive on your Facebook page they should be able to find all of the information they may be looking for. Use the various Facebook tabs to show your salon locations, services, photos and reviews.
  • Provide Facebook Fans with exclusive deals: When Liking a business on Facebook, customers like to feel as though they’re getting something special in return. You can entice them to like you on Facebook by offering 10% off their next visit or by sharing the Page on Facebook to receive a gift with their next purchase. In addition, you can provide discounts to Facebook Fans which are only redeemable by mentioning the specific Facebook Ad.
  • Target your Ads: Use Facebook Ads to their full ability through targeting. You may want to only target people located close to your salon, or those who like related Facebook Pages.
PurposeKey Metrics
Generate Engagement

Increase Brand Awareness

Generate Leads and Sales

Strengthen Customer Service

Likes

Reach

Conversion

Engagement

Twitter

Where Twitter can really be leveraged for your Hair and Beauty Salon is within its use as a real-time public information network that gives your business greater exposure in web search results and makes it easy to build a community of potential customers who are there to discover and share interesting content. Twitter can also benefit your Hair and Beauty Salon through the use of both creating and joining in with existing Hashtags. Twitter Hashtags categorize topics and discussions so users can quickly and easily connect with businesses and individuals with a common interest. In addition they can also be used as keywords to help easily find and connect with your target audience.

Twitter Strategy

  • Use Twitter as an information source about your services: Post information about a specific service with a link to your website where customers can get more information. This is a great place to promote any training courses you offer to salons and clients.
  • Offers for Retweets: Twitter is a great platform for sharing as a simple Retweet from one of your Followers can generate you plenty of referrals. Offer incentives for Retweets such as “SNS dipping powders are formulated to build the health and strength of the natural nail. Odorless, fast-drying, and Long lasting! What colour would you choose for Summer? Receive £10 off you next visit by retweeting this post!”
  • Provide Group Deals: Salons are also a social place where people go to relax, enjoy, and feel good about themselves, so Twitter is a great way to engage with multiple people at once. An example would be to offer “Come in this weekend with 2 or more girlfriends and receive 20% off each on manicures, pedicures or a colour change just by showing this tweet!”
  • Use Twitter hashtags: Twitter is where hashtags were originally created, so use them on Twitter as well as Instagram. Insert hashtags at the end of updates, as a way to make contest posts unique or to tag a specific geographic location.
  • Share Articles on Twitter Related to your Salon: Use Twitter to share articles or interesting facts or stories in relation to your hair, nail or beauty salon. Customers who are following you on Twitter are interested in what you have to say and likely want your advice when it comes to their beauty or hair care.
PurposeKey Metrics
Increase Engagement

Establish Network

Increase Brand Awareness

Strengthen Customer Service

 

Follower Quality and Growth

Brand Mentions

Retweets, Replies and Lists

Reach

Conversion Rate

Instagram

Where Instagram can really be leveraged for your Hair and Beauty Salon is within the use as an online portfolio to help drive brand awareness and sales. By showcasing products through interesting, exclusive and high-quality imagery, you will be able to give potential customers a shopping experience that can influence purchase behaviour.

Instagram Strategy

  • Stay on trend: Use trending hashtags to draw more users to your Instagram profile and to find out about your salon. An example would be to use #happyeaster as one hashtag to gain more views while showing a picture of a holiday themed manicure and showcasing the salon’s services.
  • Use geography to your advantage: Use hashtags to point out your location. That way future customers looking for a salon nearby may stumble upon your photo and your salon.
  • Use before and after pictures to showcase your stylists’ talent: Reviews and testimonials don’t need to just be a text post when it comes to social media. Use Instagram to show results in your salon. Before and after pictures show transformation and can grab users’ attention.
  • Be fun and quirky: Instagram users tend to be young and on trend, and enjoy fun, quirky posts in addition to just product or service-related posts. Once in a while a feel good post can engage your customers and you can use specific quotes or pictures that you feel defines your brand.
  • Do exclusive Instagram contests: Hold photo contests among your Followers, such as “Post a picture of your new summer manicure with the hashtag (such as #ILoveMy[Insert Business Name]Nails!) and be entered to win your next manicure for free!” These engage customers and are easy for customers to participate in by simply uploading a picture and including the proper hashtag.
  • Provide incentives for Instagram word-of-mouth: Provide incentives for customers to upload a picture of what they had done at your salon such as “Have a new hairstyle or cut from [insert business name] that you just love? Upload it to Instagram with the hashtag #ILoveMy[business name]Hair and receive 10% off your next visit.”
PurposeKey Metrics
Increase Brand Awareness

Engagement with visual assets

Showcase products

Showcase company culture

Showcase marketing events

Link back to website, blog, and other content assets

 

Referral traffic

Shares and comments

View of photos

Page rankings on key terms from photo sharing sites

Product purchasing and lead generation

 

Monthly Must-Do Checklist to Keep Your Social Media Profiles Fresh!

In order to keep your social media platforms fresh, relevant and effective there are several monthly maintenance jobs you need to complete. By regularly monitoring your pages and making it a habit to assess your settings, competitors and other important aspects, you ensure that your social media marketing is highly effective helping you to maximise your ROI.

  • Update Your Bios and Descriptions: Are your descriptions on your platforms relevant and up to date? Ensure you regularly update your bios with and new key information, links, messages or any other important information such as a new email address or website link.
  • Update Your Logos, Cover Images, Banners and Backgrounds: Are you logos and other visual identity covers up to date and relevant? By updating your social media logo and cover images to represent the current trends, seasons and any other important info like offers, sales and promotions, you keep your pages feeling fresh for your fans and followers.
  • Organise your Followings: If you follow a lot of blogs or have a large Twitter following it is worthwhile getting organised with up to date lists that contain the content and people you want to be able to find easily. On Twitter itself you can create lists based on interests or organise the updates from important users and influencers, if you already utilise this feature then ensure it is kept up to date and organised. If you don’t use Twitter lists then it’s worthwhile that you start.
  • Assess your Competitors Pages: Regularly examining what your competitors are doing on their social media platforms can reveal a lot of useful information to help you inform your own strategy. Explore keys are such as which social media platforms they are using, How engaged their fans are, what types of content they share , which types of content draw the most engagement, are they doing anything new? And are they using any social media platforms that you aren’t?
  • Review Page Permissions and Privacy Settings: It is important for security purposes that you review who has access to your social media pages, both people and third party applications and update these permissions accordingly. Ideally if a person who knows your passwords has since left your business you should change all of your passwords immediately. As a general rule of thumb however you should look to update your passwords on a quarterly or every few months basis.
  • Explore New Options and Keep up With Trends and Developments: Every month you should look at any emerging trends and developments in your industry and social media platforms that you need to be aware of and that you can utilise. Regularly check to see if you’re missing out on any new network features that could benefit you by checking the official websites and blogs of your social media platforms. You should also be up to date on industry trends, developments and any new emerging social media platforms by regularly reading articles and following industry influencers.
  • Revisit and Assess Goals: Key to your success is meeting your social media goals and objectives so ensure you regularly take a look at your analytics across your social media platforms to ensure you are meeting all aspects of them. As time progresses you may find your strategy and goals need to change or adapt therefore it is important to regularly assess your goals and ensure they are still the ones you want to aim for.

This is an excerpt from my new book “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses” out now in Paperback on Amazon! Head over there now for more of a Free preview! http://amzn.eu/2uuslrD


Instagram: Why Your Business Needs it and Top Tips for Success!

At its most basic, Instagram is a social networking app made for sharing photos and videos from a smartphone. From a marketing perspective, Instagram makes a strong business case with 800 million monthly active users. When compared among the major social networks, only Facebook and YouTube have more people logging in each month. Instagram provides a huge asset for visual content, which we all know is driving social like none other and has developed itself into a fully-fledged, global platform that allows brands to humanize their content, showcase their products, inspire their audience and promote their brand all in a friendly, authentic way without directly selling to your customers.

What’s good about Instagram?

  • One of the best attributes about Instagram is that it greatly accomplishes its original goal: fast, easy, and efficient photo-sharing. Not only this but photos shared via Instagram are reaching a huge audience, thanks to steady user adoption. People engage better with visuals rather than words. It’s widely known that photos rule when it comes to marketing as photos make an emotional connection in a way that text cannot. They make your company and brand more relatable and of course, are fun and engaging.
  • No Character And Caption Limit. While there are some limits when it comes to the bio and username, unlike some social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram does not have a character limit when it comes to the image caption. The description of every post can be as long as you want it to be.
  • Despite being one of the most popular and highly used social media platform after Facebook, the number of local businesses making use of Instagram is still very limited – which is great as it means competition is still considerably low, unlike in the case of other social platforms like Facebook.

What’s not so good about Instagram?           

  • Since Instagram is a visual tool, you need to have appealing content to share to stand any chance of success on this platform.
  • Instagram is a service that is designed to be used with mobile devices, such as tablet computers or smart phones. It has very limited functionality on desktop computers.
  • Instagram is only an iPhone and Android app. If you have a Blackberry or Linux it won’t work. That means you won’t be reaching all your target audience.

Need to Know Facts, Stats and Tips about Instagram

  • More than 800 million active monthly users
  • More than half (51%) of the platform’s active users visit the site daily
  • 35% say they check it multiple times a day.
  • 60% of Instagram users say that they have heard first about a product or a service from this social media platform.
  • 70% of Instagram users have spent time looking up a brand on the platform.
  • Instagram, brands enjoy regular engagement with 4 percent of their total followers. On networks like Facebook and Twitter, engagement is less than 0.1 percent. (source: Forrester)
  • 70% of Instagram users report having looked up a brand on the platform (source: Iconosquare)
  • 62% of users follow a brand on Instagram (source: Iconosquare)
  • Your audience engagement rate could be 15 times more on Instagram than on Facebook and 20 times more on Instagram than on Twitter.
  • Brands on Instagram with a following of greater than 100K can grow by over 100% biannually.
  • 75% of Instagram users who view brand posts act on the information in them.

Why You Need Instagram For Your Business

From the boom in popularity of Instagram Stories, to the very impressive stats of user adoption engagement and the recent expansion of advertising opportunities—it’s a good time to be using Instagram for business. Only if your business can thrive in this creative and inherently visual platform though.

Tips For Success

  • Find an Interesting Angle: Find a creative angle for a photo to showcase your product in an interesting way. Think about whether you should show the entire product, frame the shot a certain way or include another item to accompany the product. Whilst you should experiment with different content, once you find the most effective angle for your products, make sure you prioritize that approach in your content calendar to maximize engagement opportunities.
  • Focus on Lighting: The lighting in a photo can tell a story about your brand so whether photos are taken indoors or outdoors, good lighting is crucial. Even with careful tweaking, Instagram’s editing tools often can’t fix a photo taken with poor lighting. Therefore it’s vital to get this basic photography skill nailed down in every photo before you even think about using the advanced filters.
  • Use a Filter: Each filter has a unique story and feel that it communicates. There is an array of filters at your disposal to communicate a particular mood for your brand and products. Whilst a ‘normal’ photo is the most popular choice people use and indeed there is an immensely popular #nofilter hashtag dedicated for that purpose, using artistically edited photos can add a lot to your photo.  To use a filter, once you’ve taken or uploaded a photo or video Tap Next, then tap the filter you’d like to apply. Tap the filter again if you want to adjust filter strength up or down using the slider. The simply tap Done to save your change. The most popular way to upload an image or video is without any filter at all. But for those who do like to use them, Clarendon is the most popular option followed by Gingham, Juno and Lark. The Most-used Instagram Stories Face Filters are Puppy, Bunny, Koala, Genius and Love.
  • Tell a Story With the Caption: You can give life to a photo with the caption and it’s important to learn what type of description resonates best with your audience.
  • Create a Hashtag Campaign: User-generated content is one of the best ways to promote your community and products. Create a brand-centric hashtag campaign for your followers to use in their posts. Remember that engagement is a two-way street so follow and interact with your followers that are using it and like the posts that are positive and aesthetically aligned with your brand.
  • Use a Call to Action: Ensure every piece of content has a purpose by adding a call to action to it which prompts customers to do something. It could be as simple as “Shop Now!” or “Download our app.” Whatever you choose, make sure the action is relevant to your post as this is a great way to gain new followers.
  • Partner With Influencers: Consider partnering with influencers to create compelling content to promote your products and increase your reach. Influencers already have built-in distribution lists with large groups of followers and are trusted for their opinions on what products to purchase. By working with influencers, you harness their popularity and tap into their vast and relevant audience which will expand your own follower count and boost sales.
  • Best Times to Post: Instagram is a mobile app so users are on the platform at all times of the day. However, there are a few studies out there that have found the optimal times to post on Instagram for peak engagement to be Mondays and Thursdays at any time except between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m and overall, users tend to engage with more content during off-work hours on weekdays. Simply think in the mind frame of your audience and work out when they are most likely to be looking on their phone. For example, if your target audience is a Teacher for example, they are most likely to be active during the evening when they are back home as opposed to during the day when they will be busy teaching.
  • Link Instagram to Your Facebook Page: One of Instagram’s unique features is that it allows you to share your content seamlessly across other social networking sites. Linking your Instagram to your other social accounts like Facebook will increase the number of eyes on your posts and allows you to benefit from targeting both audiences.Be careful however as its not recommended to automatically link you Instagram to evry one of your other social platforms as what works on Instagram probably won’t yield the same results on other channels and it’s important to tailor your content to each platform. Note: Your Facebook Page will already be linked to your Instagram if you set up an Instagram business profile. To link your Facebook page to your Instagram account, start in your Instagram profile by going to the gear in the upper right corner. In the “Options” menu, scroll down to “Settings” and look for “Linked Accounts.” If you’re not already logged into Facebook on your phone, you’ll be prompted to do so, and then you’ll need to pick the Facebook Business Page you’d like to link. Next, you’ll be directed to the “Share Settings” menu. The Facebook logo should be blue to indicate that sharing is on.
  • How to See Posts You’ve Liked: This is more of general useful little tip, but handy nonetheless! You can easily check out all the posts you’ve Liked in the “Options” menu of your profile. Press the gear icon and select “Posts You’ve Liked.” Then scroll down until you find the photo or video you’re looking for.
  • How to Reorder Instagram Filters: To save precious time when uploading photos, Instagram lets you reorder filters so you can position the ones you use most often at the beginning of your options. To reorder or hide filters, begin editing a post like you normally would. Scroll to the far right in the filter options and click the “Manage” gear icon. Hold your finger down on the three grey lines and drag the filter up or down. To hide a filter, uncheck it on the right side of your screen.
  • Hide Posts You’ve Been Tagged In: If someone tags your brand in a post, it will show up when you click the person avatar in right icon on your profile. To remove a tagged post, click the three dots in the top right corner and choose “Hide Photos.” Select the posts you want to remove and click “Hide Photos” again. This won’t remove the posts from Instagram, but it will remove them from your profile. If you don’t want to have to remove tagged posts, you can manually choose just to include the ones you do like. Click the three dots again and press “Tagging Options.” You can then choose to “Add Manually.” From here on out, you’ll be notified when someone tags you in a photo. When that happens, tap on the photo you were tagged in and choose “Show on Profile.”
  • Utilize Available Tools: There are several useful Instagram marketing tools that will help you get the most out of your marketing campaigns.

Ones for Planning, editing, scheduling

Sprout Social: A complete social media management tool that offers access to a range of very useful areas from managing multiple Instagram accounts, to robust analytics and planning and scheduling capabilities. You can also communicate easier with your customers, monitor hashtags and track posts from Instagram locations.

Hootsuite: One of the most popular platforms for social media management. You can plan campaigns, schedule posts and analyze results of marketing campaigns for multiple social media platforms all in one handy place.

Ones for measuring performance and selling products

Crowdfire: This tool help monitor your account, providing useful insights such as those of your new followers or recent unfollows, it will also find the best moments of the day to post and the best and most suitable hashtags for your campaign.

INK361: This tool gives you a complete package that allows you to manage and analyse your account, as well as delivering useful statistics based on timing, hashtags, location, number of likes and comments.

Websta is a free analytics tool for Instagram that will help you grow your account, understand your audience, customize your Instagram feed, follow posts chronologically, explore hot brands, users and hashtags and engage with your followers.


This is an excerpt from my new book “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses” out now in Paperback on Amazon! Head over there now for more of a Free preview! http://amzn.eu/2uuslrD


How to Create a Branded YouTube Channel that Gets you Noticed

YouTube is the most popular video hosting and sharing platform with over one and a half billion active users. Businesses have utilised the benefits of YouTube, recognising that with the power of video, YouTube’s massive audience, and AdWords’ targeting tools, you have the ability to reach and impact potential customers all around the world. Having the ability to embed a YouTube video player on your website or blog also means you can easily share your video on Facebook, Twitter and other social media network making it easy to efficiently share your story and build your business online.

What’s Good About YouTube?

  • A great tool for improving search engine rankings
  • It is a free platform for advertisements

What’s Not so Good About YouTube?

  • Not useful for businesses where videos are not relevant or useful to them
  • A successful YouTube channel needs a consistent uploading schedule so is not suitable for companies without the time or resources to keep producing quality videos

Should your Business Have a YouTube Channel?

If your target audience and customers are watching videos on YouTube related to your industry, then you need have a YouTube channel to attract that audience. YouTube is great for businesses that are innately visual and regularly produce videos that are product informative, demonstrations of products or services and generally informative and entertaining content that will be valued by a certain group. The sheer audience size of YouTube attracts many businesses to YouTube but with a lot of competition to face businesses should only use YouTube if they can regularly and consistently produce good quality, varied, fresh and entertaining videos.

Follow these top tips to create a successful YouTube Channel;

Always Create Great Content

The key to building an audience and maintaining a successful presence is to always provide content that is valuable, relevant and entertaining to the viewer. YouTube provides you with a great platform to showcase your visual creativity and show that you understand and care about your audience enough to consistency produce a variety of videos that address consumer needs and genuinely interest and provide value to them.

Make Your Videos Easy to Find

YouTube is very heavily saturated with videos making it harder than ever to get your videos noticed. Simply uploading your video and waiting for people to come across it will not suffice. Rather, you need to make it easy for the right audience to discover your videos by applying several key factors in your videos;

  • Use relevant keywords and search categories to attract your target audience
  • Embed your YouTube videos onto your website
  • Share your videos across social networks
  • Include your website URL in the video description
  • Ensure your video is categorised and tagged correctly and relevantly
  • Consider advertising to give your videos a boost

Appeal to your Target Audience

With so much choice for the consumer, getting your video noticed can be a difficult task.  The key to ensuring you stand a better chance of getting noticed is to do your research and find out exactly what your audience is watching and searching for on YouTube and then apply this knowledge to your own efforts. You will better reach your audience if you know what type of content resonates best with them and directly provide solutions for them or answer their questions and queries with your videos.

Thoroughly Brand your YouTube Channel

Your YouTube channel needs to act as a hub of your brand making it clear to the viewer who you are when they arrive on your page. Ensure you fully utilise the customisable features of your channel from the background to the video cover image to ensure that you create a branded environment for your audience where they trust that it is your brand page and where they are welcomed and encouraged to interact. There are several key areas to utilise to ensure you don’t miss any branding opportunities on your page;

  • Include links to your website
  • Effectively and clearly communicate your brand and purpose in the description
  • Ensure all creative aspects (colours, graphics, typography etc.) reflect your brand.

 

Know Your Limits

Maintaining a successful YouTube presence takes a lot of consistent and continual effort. From uploading content to creating titles, responding to comments, tracking analytics and general promotion, maintaining your account can easily become a very time consuming role. From this, ensure the person who maintains it has the time, talent and expertise to run it effectively as you are publicly representing your brand to a vast audience online so you do not want to give them a negative impression by ineffectively using YouTube. If you find yourself or the person running your account is struggling then strongly consider outsourcing to a specialist who has the adequate skill set to represent your brand well. Your business can only benefit from you knowing your limits and realising when the time is right to get a professional on board.

Listen to and act on What Your Analytics Tell You

Track your videos performance through your analytics will help you to understand your audience, how they interact with your videos and what content resonates best with them. Armed with this information, you gain a very advantageous position where you can use this information to help you optimise your future videos to ensure you are directly addressing your target audience needs, making them more likely to keep coming back to your channel and share your content with others.

Be Sociable and Engage Your Audience

To fully utilise the benefits of YouTube for your business you need to embrace the social aspect of the social network and continually interact and engage with your audience and other users. You need to be actively dedicated to your page looking for opportunities to interact with others and respond to comments and feedback on your videos. YouTube has very much developed into an active online community which you need to be a part of and participate in. There is much to gain in engaging with users and audiences from potential business opportunities, partnerships with other users and by listening to your audience you can get to know them better helping to create better content that is going to attract them in the future.

Keep Your Channel Updated and Fresh

Once you have set up your channel, developed a solid posting strategy and perfected your channel design you are well on your way to a strong YouTube presence but your work is by no means finished. In order to keep the attention of your audience and attract new ones you need to actively keep your channel updated with fresh content and continually analyse your analytics to gauge your audience response to your videos to ensure you are consistently targeting their needs with your videos.  Continually look to see how you can better enhance your audience’s experience with your videos and act on what your analytics tell you, positive and negative about your efforts and respond accordingly.

Be Aware of YouTube’s Future Trends & Updates

As new technology emerges and YouTube grows and develops it is likely to make changes that can affect your business marketing. Ensure you stay aware of changing trends and utilise any new developments within YouTube and a broader technical sense to help better your videos and audience video experience.


This is an excerpt from my new book “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses” out now in Paperback on Amazon! Head over there now for more of a Free preview! http://amzn.eu/2uuslrD