All the construction, unpacking and recruiting is over, and finally our big day has arrived. We have our team in place, our salon looks just as we dreamed and we are ready for game day. It’s time to get butts in those seats. We knew three things would put us in the position to win our first year—the relationships we build in our community, Yelp and getting people to find us first online.
Our Brooklyn community is progressive, yet old school. They love local and want to connect with cool people. We’re coo,l right? Our mission is to know 80 percent of our five-block radius by name inside of 18 months and be known for being the friendliest people in our neighborhood. It’s time to get to work with our community, not just work in it. We have four tools:
- A complimentary blowout card
- A 20% off your first service card
- Block by block map of our neighborhood
- Our feet
We are strategic, and have built a schedule, teams and targets. We walk the neighborhood, meet business owners and say hello to everyone. We eat in our neighborhood, wave to everyone who walks by, and smile. We love our community before they even know they love us. We don’t handout cards, we meet people (block by block). We invite them in for one of our special offers. We offer support and solutions. We enjoy their company, always with gratitude. We make their day, as they always make ours. We do it every day, with few exceptions. My favorite part is the minute you realize it’s working.
THE WIN! Saturday, eight clients came in immediately after our introduction and yes, I pulled them in off the street. Even cooler, we go have dinner after a long day and have some yummy Thai food. After noticing a couple giving Shannon and I an awkward stare, we wave because it’s our thing now, we always wave. The couple smiled and say, “Aren’t you the owners of that new salon?”.
We say, “Yes.”
They say, “We love it, we walk by every day and everyone waves. You guys are always so happy and friendly. We can’t wait to try it.”
You know what comes next, we invite them in for 20 percent off their first service and thank them for such a warm welcome to the community. They came in the following week.
We know in today’s day, we have to win in digital, but where do we start? We know our clientele are mobile junkies and asking the community their three biggest referrals to new businesses; friends, yelp and the internet. We don’t have a huge following yet, so how do we get one? We work with our friends at Linkup Marketing to design our killer website and partner with a Search Engine Optimization company. We decide on keywords that were relevant to our business and began to prioritize them in order of not only importance, but where we could win. We began to tweak our website content, write blogs and encourage Yelp reviews which mention those same key words. It’s a game of activity. How do we build enough relevant content that we can fight our way up the search rankings? We knew “salon near me” was going to take a while to win but ‘balayage’ or ‘natural hair’ were a few we could win relatively quickly and had strong reach.
In the meantime, we built our script for Yelp. We set-up our profile, included online booking, our opening offer and ensured our photos tell the story we want it to tell. We share it with every client who loves their hair…a little bit on Yelp goes a long way. To win our way to the top on Yelp, we need lots of activity and we encourage our clients to use the keywords and to upload a picture if they love their hair. We set goals to celebrate every time we hit a milestone for a certain number of 5-star reviews. If there is ever a non-five-star review, I’m on the phone or instant messenger with the client in minutes, asking what we could do to deliver 5-star service. It’s important our community tells us it’s the first place they go. Our goal is 100 5-star reviews.
This process is as important as the service you provide, whether you outsource it or do it yourself. It’s critical YOU own the vision and the direction of how you bring your brand to life. It’s not just about posting; it’s about building relevant content to your target consumer.
If you know us, we’ve now been open 14-months as we post this blog--sorry it took so long. Here is where we are. We hit our first-year sales goal, and year two is off to a great start. We have 80 5-Star Yelp reviews and 10 Yelp thinks are too good to post so they don’t, which is sad. But, we are #1 when you search salon near me.
Stay tuned as we share more about the opportunities and challenges we face as we grow.
Allyson and Shannon King, co-owners of Hair & Co BKLYN
After 20+ years of achieving heights in the professional beauty industry, husband and wife duo Shannon and Allyson King decided to open a multi-cultural salon in Brooklyn, New York. As the couple build Hair & Co BKLYN, they’ve blogged about it for Salon Today. Catch up on their past blogs: