In any beauty business there will always be a slower season. Depending on the region where you live the slow season will vary but that does not mean that the slower time can’t be productive! This is actually the perfect time to do some updating and finally get to all the “Projects” you couldn’t do when you were trying to catch your breath. The slow season will pass and these can help you kick start into high gear when it picks up.
Here are some tips that I recommend to help market your spray tanning business during the slow season.
- Save money! I cannot stress that enough. A slow time is inevitable in every industry. But if you have a financial cushion it helps to relieves some of the panic. The last thing you want to stress about is having money to pay your bills or to keep your business afloat.
- Get involved in community events to make connections. If your slow season is in the summer months there are many events that are happening ranging from fitness, 5k races, concerts and more. See about doing a vendor booth at some of these events if available. To help with cost see if you can share a booth with another beauty professional if allowed.
- Spray tanners should be marketing themselves in many different areas. Social media is great but you should also do some old fashioned cold calling! So put on a business suit or pretty dress and get your face and bubbly personality out there! Make some rounds and leave your cards with gyms, hotel concierges, event planners, bartenders, wedding planners, photographers and more. Take advantage of your local chamber of commerce happy hours and luncheons. Stop in salons and network with other makeup artists. Just because it is not social media does not mean you have to sacrifice the opportunity to show them your incredible work! I highly recommended that you make a portfolio on your tablet to show them or if they don’t have time leave a rack card showcasing a few of your best portfolio pics.
- Approach fitness studios with the suggestion to collaborate for a spray tan party (fit & tan always go together) and gyms are usually busy as people workout all year round. See if they will let you do a Pop up event and set up in the locker room or an area in the gym . Another idea is to ask them if they would be interested to include a spray tan offer to new members that sign up. (Great to increase your exposure and also looks great for them to offer potential members a bonus offer)
- Carry your business cards with you everywhere. If you go out to eat, leave it with the receipt and write a nice little note to the server or bartender (Maybe offering a new customer discount) If you get your nails done ask if you can leave some cards at the counter, or invite the receptionist to try your services (A great referral source when they go into work looking beautifully bronzed!)
- Take time in the slow months to work on your website content and give it a refresh! Here are some great ideas that you can do:
- Add more detailed Q&A to help your clients prepare properly.
- Update your reviews to make them current.
- Add recent client pictures to update your portfolio.
- Work on improving your SEO.
- Make sure your social media accounts are linked.
- Work on social media graphics for your branding.
- Push tanning parties. In the summer kids are out of school and many families use their hard earned money for camp and vacations. Since spray tanning isn’t a necessity for most women (like nails and hair) they tend to put sunless tanning on the back burner. So promoting a tanning party is a fun and economical way for women to have a girl’s night in without breaking the bank.
So lets talk about slow time discounts, the ones that pop up everywhere on social media and Groupon type sites:
I am not against providing a discount in the slow months (I personally offer $5 off for new clients) but I see many spray tanners getting into panic mode and start to advertise bargain basement pricing. Be very careful about that as you are devaluing your worth and services. If you start offering huge discounts, then people are going to wait until you offer the next one. It is human nature and I have seen it happen to many spray tanners, They would hear crickets and then as soon as they posted their weekly “Special on Facebook or Instagram” they would get bookings. Discounts should be the exception & not the rule for a healthy business model.
Think about it, why should a client pay full price if every week you are going to offer a huge special? Understandably people panic when it is slow and just want to do the quickest thing to get business through the door but please understand the long term effects. If you have marketed your business establishing yourself as a top rated professional throughout the year then slash your prices people will change their perception of you. And then there are also clients that appreciate value and if they feel if a service is super cheap then the perception is that the quality is as well.
There have been market studies for example like this:
They take a group into 2 rooms. In room 1 they are served a glass of white wine in plastic cups and some pretzels to snack on. They were told that if they wanted to purchase a bottle of the wine it is on sale for just $7.99! When asked for feedback they said it was ok but it did taste like cheap wine, nothing special.
Then the same group went into room 2 and served a glass of white wine in a beautiful goblet and some shrimp cocktail was passed around by a waiter on a silver platter . They were told they can purchase a bottle of the wine and it would be $19.00. When asked for feedback they said it was crisp and delicious. Very flavorful and even though it was not on sale they would love to have a bottle for their home to enjoy.
But it was the SAME bottle of wine that was served in both rooms! However the cheaper discounted one took on a totally different perception and value!
So instead of huge discounts I recommend offering a free retail product. This way you are not cheapening your skills or discounting your “worth”. Maybe offer a free luxury body lotion or tan extender with a spray tan session (This can also be more cost effective for you then lowering your fee & also help with future retail sale conversions) Always promote the $ retail value of the product that they are getting for free. Also make sure you put an expiration date to create a sense of urgency.
For example here are 2 different marketing approaches.
- With every spray tan session you book until 8/10/2016 you get a FREE luxury tan extender ($22.00 value) or
- Get a FREE luxury tan extender at your next spray tan appointment. A $22.00 value and this limited time offer is only good until 8/10/2016 or until supplies last.
So always look at the positive and think about your long term business goals and how your quick decisions today can effect your future business for tomorrow. And even though business might be slow here and there throughout the year use that time to focus!
Need more tips? We offer customized business coaching programs. Visit Learntoairbrushtan.com for more information or schedule a FREE consultation call.
Happy tanning XO – Melissa
Melissa Weinberg is the founder of Perfect Glow Sunless. A luxury worldwide line of professional spray tan solution and self-tanning products. Her products are used by professional salons and spas all over the world. She is also a South Florida spray tan expert and offers spray tan training & consulting.