Question :
Hi there,My sister and I have opened a small salon at home providing only the services we have a passion for which are nails (manis, pedis, shellac, gel, acrylic), brow and lash treatments (henna, shape, tinting, extensions), spray tans and makeup.We are also retailing a product, which has been selling really well whilst in Level 3.What we would like to know is how can we get our name out there more and generate more local traffic on social media etc and become a known name around town for the services we offer?We have both been in the beauty industry for a few years (I took a 3 year sabbatical when I moved back from overseas) but there is just so much competition in town I would love us to have a point of difference.We were supposed to have opened in march, but covid 19 put a stop to that, we are not an established business, so any help you can offer would be hugely appreciated.Thank you

Question submitted 10/05/20 @ 07:15am
Industry: Brand & Marketing
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    Hi there,

    Great question and one every business needs to spend time working through and strategizing over. I’d split the ask into 3 areas; building your brand, finding your unique customer value proposition and marketing your services.

    Depending on the time you have to dedicate to this will determine how far you take my recommended approach below.

    I’d start with the lean canvas which can help you to determine your own angle. How you’ll stand out vs the competition. Who your competitors are. What your unique value proposition is. What your unfair advantage is. How you’ll price your services to be competitive and sticky. https://leanstack.com/leancanvas

    Once you’ve had a crack at the top line canvas I’d then suggest developing a more detailed plan using an old marketing framework: SOSTAC, which stands for Situation, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics, Action, Control.

    * Situation assesses where a business is presently (Where are you now? Who are the competition? What’s the market size? who are your target customers and where are they? Are there any gaps your business could fill? Etc)
    * Objectives sets the mission or goals for the business (Where do you want to be? What are the 3-5 objectives you have for the business? E.g. For the first year: To grow the salon business revenues from $x to $x with a profit of x%. To achieve a product sales target of $x. To grow our customer base to x. To drive brand awareness in our local community by x%.)
    * Strategy is an overview of how to achieve the objectives (How do you get there? What are the high level strategies you’ll deploy to reach your objectives? E.g. Target customers and drive acquisition through onboarding offers. Raise brand awareness in the community using targeted comms, etc etc).
    * Tactics are the details of strategy (e.g. the marketing mix. These are the specific initiatives you’ll employ to deliver on your strategies. E.g. Targeted FB ads, join local business networks, conduct door flyer drops, write articles for local press, offer a recurring revenue bundle such as a subscription to your salon service that comes with associated products (this will assist with managing cash flow and provide some predictability on revenues), raise your own profile in the community through social good etc etc).
    * Actions how do you ensure excellent execution of the plan. (E.g. Using simple planning tools you can plot your tactical initiatives across a calendar).
    * Control establishes how you know whether you are getting there (What do you need to monitor? E.g. Put in place simple measurement tools to allow you to understand what tactics are achieve if the best outcome for your business. Use A/B split testing with your ads on FB, monitor if there was a spike in website traffic or sales after an article was published in the local press, after promoting your subscription based offer via, say a member get member offer, did you see a significant uptake? Etc etc).

    By systematically working through each of the areas above you’ll land on a clear direction and the tactical efforts you need to take the business forward.

    Further information can be found here;

    SOSTAC® marketing planning model guide

    When it comes to bringing it all to life it’s really down to yourself and your sister to get creative and think differently to your competitors. What are they doing on the socials, who’s demanding the best position in the market and why, how are they turning up differently. Considering these questions will hopefully lead you to a set of smart strategies and tactics (as part of your sostac plan) to smash the competition!

    Good luck,


    hi there,
    The first and most important thing on social media is to really understand your audience, so you can target effectively and optimize your spend. Where do your customers live, what do they do for work, where do they spend their personal time, which magazines do they read, what age groups are they, etc.

    I’d also recommend that you draw up a 2×2 matrix to define your unique selling proposition (USP) relative to your competitors. What do you do that is different to everyone else in the market – what is your secret sauce? If you plot this on a two by two matrix based on how your customers view your market segment, you’ll be able to find your position and differentiate yourselves from everyone else. By way of an example price and value as axes is a really easy 2×2 matrix, but in your market, there is likely something more specific to your services that you can substitute – eg your service quality, breadth of offering etc.

    Use this USP to shape your brand strategy, and from there create a content strategy that is aligned to your audience needs (which you defined in step 1 above). You can then translate this into your social media strategy across the different social networks on which your clients are most active.

    Defining/Understanding your USP:

    Brand Strategy resources:

    Here are some social resources:

    I hope this helps~


    Hi there,

    Well done on starting to get your business off the ground, it’s so important to work on something you’re passionate about! You are right that you need to develop your unique selling point. But what you’ll find is that as your business goes through this development phase things are going to change a lot. You’ll get a feel for the services you really like to provide and niche down so those become the focus of your marketing efforts. There are salons that focus on hand painted nail art, extra long nails, natural healthy nails etc etc. What you need right now is a small group of cheerleaders that can champion your business in your local area. Once you have your Facebook and Instagram accounts set up, you can offer your service to local businesses for a discounted rate and ask them to post reviews on your Facebook page, or share your services with their clients. Because you’re creating something so visual, Instagram is going to be great for you. Use Instagram stories to show the process you go through when doing nails, and show your audience who you are and what you care about – you are the product as much as your service. You can get started right now by taking great photos and posting them with relevant hashtags – use your local area tag, nail specific tags like #nznails and look at what other nail and beautician accounts are doing to get a feel or what tags are useful in your field. Make sure your Instagram profile outlines who you are, what you do and how clients can get in touch. You can get start right away and be discoverable to your client for free. Wishing you loads of luck in Level 2 😀


    Brilliant answers @Russell and @Kirsty …what amazing support for a new business


    You’ve received from amazing detailed advice above!

    I would add interesting visuals will help you to stand out in newsfeed On FB + Insta (as well as stories as mentioned above).

    Take lots of photos of what you can do (with good lighting).

    Create slideshows. Create stop motion videos of nails being done (stop-motion studio is a good app). Try timelapse videos showing your process. take before and afters of your lashes

    Once you have identified your USP’s and have some great visuals, BOOST your posts to your local area (how far will people travel to reach your business and ideal demographic (females with an interest who like lashes, brows and nails etc).
    It costs about $10 to reach 1000 people so you will be able to build up that awareness without spending too much.
    Good Creative (visuals) + Good Targeting + Good messaging (USP, Offers etc) are they key to a successful campaign.

    Good luck!

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