“My four-chair salon can’t compete with the advertising budgets of a 75-chair salon, but our blogs have the same opportunity to reach as many people,” Mae says.
But for a large salon, a blog can create an intimate environment. With 28 retail-focused spas in 13 states, Blue Mercury’s owner Marla Malcolm Beck most likely will never meet the majority of her clientele. Buy she uses her Marla’s Beauty Blog, located at www.bluemercury.com, as a vehicle for personally reaching out to them. A self-professed product junkie, Beck loves to blog about her personal experiences with different products.
Unlike a salon newsletter that you can directly mail to a targeted list, your blog can literally be accessed by anyone who surfs the Internet. That broad reach can have some surprising results.
Daili’s blog has drawn regular clients from outside the Los Angeles area, where her salon is based. “Clients will drive far and spend $150-$250 in one day when they know are getting excellent service,” she says. “I’ve even picked up a few clients from London who fly to LA a few times a year, and our beach wedding blog entry drew a bride from one of the Scandinavian countries who was getting married on our beach.”
Your salon’s blog is the perfect spot to brag about staff member’s accomplishments. While they feel awkward telling their clients that they’ve been selected as a platform artist or have work appearing in a fashion magazine, the blog is the ultimate show-and-tell vehicle.
You also can encourage staff members to write blog entries (just be sure to edit them before they post). Reagan lays out proposed blog entries on the break room table, inviting staff members to review and add info before she posts. Many of Suttle’s staff members have MySpace pages with personal blogs that link to the salon’s blog. And one of his staff members recently designed a promotion targeted at college kids which he featured on the blog.
While Mae has encouraged staff members to write blog entries, she hasn’t had many takers. That’s why she overwhelmingly benefits from the new clients coming in by way of the blog specifically to see her, she says. When it comes to blogging, “The person with the voice is the person with the power,” Mae says.
“I’m a four-chair salon in the Seattle-Tacoma market, which has 1,244 salons,” Mae says. “Our blog communicates that we’re a fun salon. Our blog goal is for it to be an extension of the salon experience—anything we’re talking about in the salon is what we talk about on the blog. The idea is that you can still get a taste of the salon—and feel part of our community—even if you’re not physically in the salon.”