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Sleigh the holidays

While many refer to the upcoming holiday season as "the most wonderful time of the year," in the salon world, it can be, by far, the craziest and most stressful time of the year. Suddenly, those clients who've been ignoring your text messages for months are practically banging down your door trying to squeeze in so they can feel fab before heading to their holiday celebrations. You can find yourself working earlier days and later nights all while wondering when you are going to have time to pick up those stocking stuffers or prep the Thanksgiving turkey. 

But don't fear! Whether it's your first year in your own salon or you're an independent vet, we're here to make sure the holiday bustle doesn't get the best of you. By planning ahead, blocking your calendar and capitalizing on the spirit of the holiday season, you'll be able to fill your books, bring in some well-deserved extra revenue and still have time to enjoy the holidays with your family. Get ready because you're about to sleigh this holiday season and truly make feel like the most wonderful time of the year! 

Step 1. Make a List of Important Dates

Take a look at the holiday calendar so you can start planning all your promotions and communications in advance. Things can get super hectic so better to be prepared than to miss the holiday marketing window!

If there are certain days you want to focus your promotions around, make a simple calendar to remind yourself to get the word out.

You won’t want to focus on all of these in one holiday season, but you may want to pick one or two of these dates to build your marketing calendar around. Here are a few promotional ideas to get your wheels turning:

General seasonal awareness ❄️: Create a sense of urgency to get appointments booked! There’s no better time than now to send a simple reminder to book pre-holiday appointments. Send out a simple text blast or email reminder and your clients will be scrambling to their calendars to make sure they get on yours! 

Thanksgiving πŸ¦ƒ: It’s the season of giving, and leading up to Thanksgiving is the perfect time to invite your guests to give back alongside your salon. Host a clothing or canned food drive and reward your guests for contributing with 10% off your retail products. You’ll not only give them the joyful experience of giving, but you’ll also give them an opportunity to try a product they won’t be able to live without. And don’t forget on Thanksgiving (or the evening before) to send your clients a note of gratitude and post an image on social media. Tell them how thankful you are for their business!

Black Friday πŸ–€: Invite your guests to stop by on Black Friday to shop ‘til they drop! Create a fishbowl filled with awesome retail discounts and prizes written on folded pieces of paper. Invite shoppers to choose from the fishbowl to win anywhere from 10-50% off retail, add-on services for their next appointment, free travel size samples and more. It’s the perfect day for your guests to stock up on holiday gifts in a no-stress environment like your salon studio.

(@hairby_aubrey)

Small Business Saturday πŸ’Έ: Remind your guests that when they are supporting a small business, they are supporting a dream. Customers often forget that in addition to making them feel beautiful, as a small business owner, you are contributing to their community in such a deeply impactful way. Invite them to stop by for a glass of hot cocoa and a sweet treat and host fun demos throughout the day. Perhaps offer some awesome shopping opportunities and for each $5 spent, you can enter their name into a drawing to win a grand prize like a giant gift basket or a free deep conditioning treatment.

(@merakisalonandco)

Cyber Monday πŸ’»: Blast off an email or text blast to remind your guests to take advantage of your greatest cyber offering - 24/7 ONLINE BOOKING. With a special offer like 25% off retail or an extra 15-minute consultation or education session, you may see the holes in your schedule fill up quickly. And if you offer eCommerce for your retail, this is the biggest day of online shopping, so make sure to include a link to your site!

25 Days to Christmas πŸŽ„: When November winds down, it’s time to focus your efforts on the 25-day countdown to Christmas! Remind your clients using a text or email blast that your books are filling up and any days you will be traveling or unavailable to make sure they come see you before those holiday and New Years parties start rolling around. 

Help Them Plan Their 2020 Beauty Calendar πŸ“†: It’s not too early to start thinking about 2020! You’ll be seeing a majority of your guests during this holiday season. Don’t miss the chance to ask them what big events they have in 2020 and work backward to help schedule all their appointments. It’ll take the work off their plate and guarantee you pre-book! Reward your guests as they check out to book an appointment by December 31 for the New Year to receive awesome prizes like product discounts or a deep conditioning treatment.

Also, use this time to block out important personal dates or time blocks. You'll want to make sure you allow yourself time to shop for holiday gifts, prep for big meals if you're hosting, and travel days if you're heading somewhere for the holidays.

Step 2. Get Into the Holiday Spirit

The experience you provide in your salon is everything, especially around the holidays. The holidays can be a total frenzy, so create a relaxing and festive environment for your guests to take a load off and enjoy a bit of downtime while you pamper them.

(@jodisnowdenandco)

From festive decorations to a signature holiday scent, turn your studio a winter wonderland. In addition to the obvious holiday décor, make it extra festive by stocking a cookie jar with holiday cookies or serving a warm drink like hot cocoa or a hot toddy. Not only will the décor help to spread the holiday cheer, but it might get your guests in the mood for holiday spending!

Add Some Eye-Catching Retail πŸ˜: Don’t forget to add some eye-catching décor to your retail display, too! Draw attention to special product offerings like holiday gift sets and gift certificates, and don’t forget the stocking stuffers. Consider retailing items just during the holiday season that you may not typically carry year-round. There are so many people to shop for around the holidays, make it easy for your guests to check a few shopping stops off their to-do list. Make sure your guests have visibility to all of the special product offerings, gift certificates and special services you are offering during the holiday season.

(@hairbymichael_1983)

Gift Sets & Gift Certificates 🎁: Infuse shelves with joyful decorations to make existing products stand out. Bring in a few new products, too, such as your favorite lipstick a wintery candle you can’t live without. Keep in mind that, in December, clients are perpetually on the prowl for last-minute presents. You can put together pre-made gift sets ranging from small stocking stuffers to oversized baskets stocked with must-haves: full-size and travel-size products, on-the-go manicure sets, nail polish, lip gloss, candles, and aromatherapy sprays. Don’t forget to exhibit unwrapped versions of the gifts, so guests know what they’re getting. Your clients already refer you to their friends and family, right? Make it even easier for them to make a referral by selling gift certificates for your services. To reward guests for buying gift cards, offer them a $20 gift card for every $100 in gift cards purchased.

(@the_db_studio)

(@angbadami)

Partner Up πŸ‘―‍♀️: You may specialize in one thing in your studio, but your guests will be racing all over town to prepare for the holidays. Partner up with a nail tech or an esthetician down the hall to create packages and experiences for people. Turn your Sola into a one-stop-shop for the holidays!

Enter to Win πŸ†: If you want to drum up a little excitement, run a holiday raffle! Every time a customer purchases a given amount of services or pre-established amount of retail, enter them into a drawing for a grand prize, like a giant gift basket or a free service. If a client is close to hitting their minimum to enter, encourage them to get that much needed deep conditioning treatment! Or if their retail minimum is just under, we are willing to bet they’ll purchase that extra product they’ve always wanted.

Add On Services πŸ’…: For many of us, the holidays are an overwhelming time. Your clients are likely struggling to maintain their normal routines during this hectic time and that might be creating stress. Think about what you can do to make your clients’ lives easier. Have you been thinking about brushing up on eyebrow waxing or providing polish changes? Now’s the time to launch add-ons. You’ll generate additional income and make life a little easier for your guests.

Step 3: Show The Love πŸ’™

The holidays are also about showing the love. Here are a few ways to show the love to your guests and to your community:

Give a little gift 🎁: Whether you want your guests to pre-book their first appointment in 2020 or purchase a minimum of 2 retail products, send them home with a special gift of your favorite travel-size products. Getting a little gift is an added incentive for your customers to shop with you. Purchase individual facial mask treatments, for example, which won't cost more than a few bucks a pop, and give them away with the purchase of any two regularly priced retail items. Or consider throwing in a lip-gloss or nail polish when a guest reaches a retail minimum purchase.

Or if you want to just give a little gift as a token of your appreciation, a little something extra always goes a long way!

Give Back βœ¨: Vow to spread a little love and light this year and you might be surprised by how much your clients love participating in the joy of giving! Host a clothing, gift or canned food drive, and invite your clients to contribute an item when they come in for their next appointment. As a bonus, reward clients for their donation with 10% off one retail item, which they might use toward trying a new product they've had their eye on.

(@angbadami)

Step 4: Get Down To Business

Be Everywhere & Be Consistent πŸ™Œ: As always in marketing, multiple touchpoints are KEY. If you’re selling special holiday retail items, consider posting an image on social media and then follow it up with a text blast just in case your clients aren’t online that day. When they arrive at your studio, make sure to have shelf talkers and signage on your mirrors reminding them about your promotions. It’s all about consistency – with multiple reminders, it’ll be hard for your guests to pass up your awesome holiday offers!

Be Discoverable πŸ‘€: If you’re going to be sending eBlasts and talking on social media, it’s super important that you’re discoverable online and that guests have a simple way to book you on their time. We make this super easy for you at Sola. As long as you have your Sola webpage set up (which you can edit using the Sola Pro app), you’ll show up in search results online. Make sure your social media pages have a link to your booking page. If you’re not sure how to get your booking link in all the right places, be sure to watch our webinar (in your Sola Pro app on an iOS or Android mobile device) or read our blog How to Put Your Online Booking Link Everywhere.

Text Message Marketing πŸ“²: Send a text to your clients NOW reminding them that your books fill up fast during the holidays. Consider offering a promotional retail item to clients who book an appointment by the end of the week.

Step 5: Create Your Holiday Marketing Calendar! πŸ“†

November 1: Send out a text campaign 🀩

November 2: Decorate your studio 🀢

November 8: Share your holiday specials on social media πŸ’°

November 11-15: Create packages with other Sola pros πŸ‘―‍♀️

November 18-22: Build your gift sets and create gift certificates 🎁

November 18-22: Take a few minutes to give back πŸ™Œ

November 22: Invite your guests to come shopping on

November 27: Send a gratitude email and text πŸ™

November 28: Happy Thanksgiving!! Take some time to reflect on everything you have to be thankful for πŸ¦ƒ

November 28: Promote Black Friday deal πŸ–€

November 30: Promote Small Business Saturday πŸ’›

December 2: Send another text and post on social media promoting a Cyber Monday deal πŸ€‘

December 2-25: SURVIVE & THRIVE πŸŽ„

December 30: Wish your guests a Happy New Year and launch a promo to book an appointment by January 10 for $20 off πŸ₯‚

(@caileigh_elise)

Now put your red nose on and go show Santa how it's done. You're ready to sleigh this holiday season! πŸ›·πŸŽ…πŸΌ

 
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