7 Ways to Be the Expert
From time to time we run across articles or posts we feel inspired to share. This read from Tazeem Jamal in this month’s edition of Skin Inc. magazine gets our vote for 7 important ways to help you shine as the expert you are – while making sure your clients know and appreciate it too!
Article begins here. . .
When you go and visit a financial planner or your doctor, you expect them to take the lead and offer their advice and recommendations. In the same way, your clients expect the same from you as their skin care professional. They come to you because they want to improve/change their skin or get results to a challenge they are dealing with. The best way to do this is to set the tone for them, so they feel confident and trust in choosing you.
First, we need to know WHO our ideal client is. What do they love, where do they hang out and what level of service do they want? Even more important, what are they prepared to pay for that? All the big brands out there know their client and therefore can “speak” directly to them in their market positioning.
Show your passion and enthusiasm and take charge of the experience. You will put them at ease by offering details that they will need, to be best prepared for their appointment. As an example, let them know the required length of hair if they are having waxing done for the first time or make sure they do not have fresh lashes done just before a facial.
An important aspect of starting with a new client or a client you have not seen in a long time is the consultation. This is so often not done effectively, or sadly, sometimes skipped over altogether. As a coach, I believe that one of the best ways to develop a connection and trust with your clients is to rock your initial skin consult with them. This will be your secret weapon to incredible sales success and a long- term client.
As a coach, I highly recommend that spas focus on doing a thorough consultation. When done properly, a consultation will allow you to understand your clients needs and opens the door for you to offer your professional recommendations. When a client purchases your recommendations, they will get much better results, faster. This, in turn, builds your confidence and allows you to “stand in your power.” Studies have shown that great client results increase loyalty, which leads to higher client retention rate. Who doesn’t want that?
1. Consistently Share or Write About Your Expertise.
Creating content that is consistent around topics related to your area of expertise with your audience will remind and re-enforce that. It’s in this repetition that you will become known for your niche over time.
Depending on your strengths, you may choose to do Facebook/Instagram Lives or write blog articles to share your knowledge. You do not have to be on every single platform to be omnipresent. I recommend choosing one or two core platforms to share your content consistently, so that you have a strong voice that isn’t diluted across multiple platforms.
If you’re tired of chasing clients and wish they would find you instead, then positioning yourself as an expert in your niche is a great way to attract them. This marketing strategy will help your ideal clients understand whom you help and how you can help them. It will help you to build authority and trust, which is essential for making sales. Plus, it will help you to establish a strong marketing foundation from which you can scale your business and grow. Once you have figured out your niche, then it’s time to reach your ideal audience. How do you do that?
2. Update Your Marketing Message
Now that you know who you are speaking to, begin your positioning journey by figuring out your point of difference (POD). Why would someone choose your spa over the competition?
Start highlighting your expertise within your messaging. So many estheticians ask me what the best way is to share their expertise to their potential audience. Posting on social media and e-mails are good, but one of the absolute best ways is to show up on video, especially Facebook and Instagram Lives. Here are some simple ideas that you can share on these livestreams.
Introduce yourself to them, share information about your location/space, highlight a specific product and do a demo of a treatment. Also, think about showing them what your treatment room looks like; people love that. Remember to give them a call to action (CTA). What do you want them to do? Do you want them to click on a link, call to book an appointment or check out your website? Best of all, the traction and authority you will get by doing live videos is incredible and will bring new clients into your spa.
Ask clients to share what words come to mind when they think about your business, then do a brain dump. If you are new, brainstorm the words that describe what your niche is, as well as the words that describe the target market that you ideally want to attract. Think about who that is, where they hang out, what other big brands that they may buy into to ensure they align with your brand too. Be consistent in your written and visual branding. Use these words, images and colors throughout your website copy, your online profiles and within your service descriptions.
You may also want to consider using words such as expert, specialist, authority, professional, skilled, knowledgeable, trained, qualified, certified, experienced, competent, proficient, talented, accomplished, award-winning and educated as examples to position yourself as an expert.
3. Share A Unique Perspective
There’s a lot of content out there these days, so it’s easy to get lost in all the noise. One way to stand out from the crowd as an expert is to share your own opinion. This will bring out your fans, and they will identify with your message.
Sharing a unique perspective is also known as becoming a thought leader in your area of expertise. Whatever you choose to write or speak about, creating language that allows you to be memorable and interesting will help you stand out in the ocean of millions as an expert. As a spa coach, I coined the term “purple carpet experience” that I use in my trainings when I talk about creating a memorable client experience unique to your spa.
4. Tell Them You’re an Expert.
When you’re first starting in business, this step may feel awkward or you might feel embarrassed, but it gets easier as your experience and confidence grows. I call it humble bragging. Tell your ideal clients that you’re an expert in your field (even if you haven’t worked with that many clients yet). The truth is that you wouldn’t have started your business if you didn’t have expertise to share and have a passion for what you offer. And, you likely have years of experience, skills and knowledge gained in another role before you launched your business.
Therefore, don’t be scared to share your knowledge and skills. There will always be people out there who will be seeking and needing your help. You just need to get in front of them. Remember, your audience won’t know about your expertise unless you tell them.
5. Promote Testimonials That Highlight Your Expertise.
As natural healers, we can be a bit modest about our success. If you are fortunate enough to have a lot of client testimonials, then ask their permission to share their experience for your marketing materials.
The saying “a picture speaks a thousand words” is powerful, especially in our industry. Use before and after pictures to show off what you can achieve when clients choose to work with you. They display your success; will give you unspoken credibility and draw your ideal client to you.
If you have chosen to position yourself as an expert for a specific target client, such as acne facials, then primarily show the testimonials from these types of client results to further solidify that area of expertise.
If you don’t have many client testimonials yet, then consider asking your past employers or mentors to write a testimonial highlighting you as a professional and to show your credibility. As you grow your client base, ask every client permission to document their skin care journey and remember to ask for a written testimonial to share.
6. Join an Industry Association.
Having a membership to an association that you can affiliate yourself with other professionals in your field, lends itself to deeper professional trust. You also get the benefit of being able to display a logo or membership badge on your website and marketing materials. Displaying these social proofs on your marketing material, including your website, is a great way to position yourself as leader and an expert. It also shows that you are committed to complying with industry standards and that you’re up to date with what’s new and trending in your industry.
7. Highlight Your Qualifications or Accreditations.
As a spa professional, you have spent thousands of dollars studying to obtain that qualification, and you should proudly share that. Update your website and your reception/treatment room to include your new certificates. Enthusiastically share your accomplishments on social media and tag the companies/training institutes you partnered with. Remember, it’s not showing off, it’s humble bragging. Also, update your online profiles and perhaps your e-mail signature if it’s relevant to include your credentials alongside your job title or name.
And don't forget - Contribute Your Value
The only way you can grow and stand in your power is to market yourself as the only option for your clients. Don’t hide from your audience. The more they see and read about you, the more likely you will be able to create the know, like and trust (KLT) factor.
Be consistent in highlighting who you are, your passion, and what you do because people need to know your services and talents. By sharing it, you are shining the light on you. It’s not shameless promotion but contributing your value in a way that helps clients look and feel their best. Are you an expert? How does your work speak for you?
For over three decades, Tazeem Jamal, L.E., PMDT, has been an award-winning industry coach and master esthetician. Jamal is a #1 Amazon best-selling co-author and has worked as an ambassador with TEDx. She is an international speaker and a featured educator at Face & Body Conferences. www.tazeemjamal.com