"Build loyalty, not clients"
As I see it, there are two types of competition;
- The fight for new clients
- The fight to keep your existing ones
When fighting for new clients, you are trying to shout how great you are to quite a small pool of potential new clients. Let me demonstrate just how small that pool is. Here's our real life example for our Buderim Hair Salon:
- 10,000 total population of Buderim, Australia (100%)
- 5,000 women (50%)
- 3,000 aged between 25 and 64 (30%)
- 2,000 prefer a professional salon experience (20%)
- 1,500 aren't our current clients (15%)
- 150 looking to change hairdresser (1.5%)
- 50 will come to us (0.5%)
- 25 will become loyal clients (0.25%)
So with all our effort, all we are fighting for just 25 new clients or only one quarter of a percent of the total population. 25! Our local paper charges about $200 per week for an ad. Good size, strong readership. But this same paper is going to the 10,000 people in Buderim of which 9,975 don't really care about our ad, regardless of how awesome an offer it is, how pretty it is or how big it is. So your $10,000 annual advertising spend actually equates to $400/new loyal client. That's a hefty cost of acquisition!
It doesn't really matter what type of advertising you do, trying to get to those 25 people is going to be tough and expensive and there is a far amount of "fingers-crossed" associated with it.
So how about loving the clients you already have, spend the $10,000 on them and let them tell everyone how great you are. Not cash handouts, discounts or presents, but things that benefit them each visit and adds to the experience. At the same time, stop them from being one of those people who are looking.
Build loyalty, not clients.