Unicorn Part 2: How we created three 7-figure businesses and sold over 30 million dollars in beauty products and services from a Small Bedroom
Dec 01, 2020
This is part two of the article series. Click here to read part 1.
Here we go, lets start with the timeline:
Branding, Looks, Packaging, are ALMOST everything:
This is something I had to learn. Alana and I are NOT showy people. We don't really care much the kind of car we drive or the location of our house etc. Naturally, most of the clients we first attracted are not showy either.
Therefore, for a long time, we assumed we could grow our business this way. We were dead wrong.
By investing in our branding both online, in our retail store, and day spa... and making it all sing in unison, we could attract both "showy" people and our current people, MORE!
Thankfully, we learned this early on. Once we really bit the bullet, and invested in our branding (doing it right) by hiring a professional and talented branding firm, it paid off right away.
Here is the proof backed by data and analytics!
Ever heard of split testing?
Its basically the process of sending roughly half your visitors to one version of a web page, and half to another version, then you track it, and see which web page has the best metrics such as conversion rate, time on page, etc.
We will talk more about it later.
By split testing our old branding logo (yes JUST the logo) vs the new logo, we experienced 276% improvement in conversion, revenue, and pretty much everything else.
It was almost too good to be true! Basically, the improvement is so high we are having to triple check that the test is set up right, and we even triple checked with our split testing software company convert.com
So how do you know if your branding needs to step it up, and how do you get started? First of all, check out your competitors.
My goal with branding is to always look better. Its really that simple! If you have competitors that have more professional branding then you, I would say its time for a rebrand!
Second of all, I would simply ask your customers and friends in the industry, why not right?
I will give you a hint, usually when Alana and I check out the branding of a beauty business, its like 9/10 need to step up their branding.
I recommend hiring a professional branding firm, agency, or individual to first create a branding guide for you. This will be a back and forth discussion between you and your new branding firm.
Make sure you come to the plate with what is in place currently, information about your target customer persona, and some competitors that you like. The result will deliver you with a new logo, typography, color palate, brand rules and applications, and more.
Our new branding guide was our bible! We used it on all of our emails, in our brick and mortar, on our street sign, postcards, online assets, new product design, and everything else! We also used it to create a photo guide, video guide, and more.
If you are looking to grow your own brand of skincare products, let me just tell you, good branding and packaging are like 90% of the battle!
Fill up your clientele.. and by the way, its never full
Keep in mind this is around 15 years ago, but Alana was able to fill up her clientele in the first year (with my help) of leasing her own spa room. Even though it was long ago, the same principles remain the same:
- Focus on getting customers the free way first. Start with google, where 85% of local traffic is searched for. We teach an entire class about this here
- Most business we audit have only done 50% of the first point above correctly, and it is where 85% of your customers are searching, so do it!!!!
- Facebook and instagram ads are a great source of new clients, here is an ad structure that has successfully worked for our clients, utilizing a booking page with great social proof and easy booking from vagaro.
- Facebook Audience and budget: Let facebook do the work! Start with 20 to 65+ years old, men and women. With a 20 mile radius around your address, facebook will do the rest, then dive into the data! Start with a budget of around $300 a month or more.
- Booking Software: I mentioned vagaro.com above, but there are a ton of good ones out there! I am floored at how many estheticians have not embraced this, book clients and make money while you sleep!
- Its all about sellling retail (see below) and your ability to provide an experience that is so good they can not help to book again.
- Rebooking: Become a master of it. Offer specials if you have to. Follow up in three different ways if you need to, text message, social media, email, handwritten letters, and a phone call!
Develop the new mindset!
Your clientele is NEVER full. Once our clientele filled up, we realized we made as much in 1 minute selling retails as we did an entire 60 minute service. So how were we to scale our retail sales out of a 70 square foot room?
Retail is where you make real money and can grow your business
So we had a full clientele, and one spa room. We wanted to dig deep around the concept of "Your clientele is never really full".
Every beauty professional has the dilemma when their business is growing. Do we expand and get more space? Get more employees? Wait, should they be employees, or independent contractors?
Here was our though process, and I stand by it today. We had our yearly goals, 5-7 year goals, and retirement goals. We knew that Alana did not want to do services and be hands on full time forever.
So, we asked the question, How do we make the most amount of money, in the least amount of time, with the least amount of cost and effort?
We all know the answer, its retail. I am not going to address brick and mortar retail training in this article, for that, I recommend following our good friend Daniela Woerner for that.
First, we dove into our financials, and we realized that our bread was buttered with our retail sales. We wanted to scale that.
As we mentioned earlier, we figured out we made more in 1 minute than in all 60 minutes of a service, and it could potentially happen while we sleep.
This was back when Amazon was still selling just books LOL.
We knew the internet was the future. So, we focused on selling more and more products online, and in our brick and mortar.
Every line we added to our online store, we stocked out front in our brick and mortar store.
This my friends, was where the game began to change for us. Our online store skincarebyalana.com
began to boom, and we started "making money in our sleep" and before we knew it, Alana was out of the treatment room!
Read Part 3 Of the Story, click here!