Jennifer Marshall of Social Hair Co is someone who knows what it takes to build loyalty and success in an often competitive industry. Relocating from Sydney down to the gong with her husband, Jennifer started working out of her home to initially service family and friends. It wasn’t long before an opportunity opened up to buy into a space in the heart of Wollongong, where Jennifer could take her business to the next level.
It hasn’t been smooth sailing along the way. After her husband’s employment status changed, Jennifer needed to up the ante and create more income than ever before to sustain not only the business but also their livelihoods. Luckily though Jennifer was already an active person within the hair dressing community and after receiving advice and doing her own research online, Jennifer was able to find a Business Coach/Mentor who could maximise the businesses opportunities and find the success which Jen and Social Hair Co deserved.
Now, business coaches are often viewed with a sense of scepticism. There are many people out there claiming to have expertise but often don’t deliver anything apart from a hefty bill. Jennifer certainly experienced some of this as she did her own research and reached out a number of different people advertising their services, however through grit and determination was able to eventually find the right person to suit her needs. Jennifer says that while it does cost money, it’s an important investment that is worth it and at the time, was completely necessary.
These days, Jennifer still uses business coaches and has moved onto a new person who is more inline with the current state of the business, as the goals and objectives are constantly changing. Jennifer has now built a solid reputation in the area by delivering a high level of customer service through conversation, direct customer touch points, multi-media marketing and putting her own personality into what she does.
To learn more about Social Hair Co. visit their Facebook book and also check out the show notes below.
What did you get out of this episode? Here’s what I learnt;
1. Give video a shot! – We all have mini film making tools in our pockets, so let’s use them. Smart phones these days are getting better and better when it comes to capturing video. There are also countless numbers of low cost and even free editing tools. Don’t worry about being perfect or making it ‘world class’, get filming, capture YOU and your message and work to improve as you go. Jen has plans to invest more in this area and improve the quality of their video content but has not let that slow her down in producing content with what skills they already have. Just get started!
2. Wear your mistakes – Jen shared a story about a email mailing list debacle that had her apologising to her clientele/community. Many people will curl up in a ball and be reluctant to continue to communicate, however Jen took it in her stride and injected some humour into her mistake. The silver lining is that people enjoyed the light-hearted approach that she took and it could be argued that it brought her and her customers closer together by showing an honest side to Jen and her personality. Don’t be afraid to admit fault. None of us are perfect and if you can wear your mistakes and do it with a bit of fun and sincerity then people will be far more forgiving and appreciate you more.
3. Business Mentors – There are a lot of charlatans out there! Be wary. Unfortunately there appears to be more negative noise out there than positive when it comes to coaches and mentors, however Jennifer shows that there are some great ones out there who can make a significant difference to what you do. Like anything in life, you don’t get something for nothing so ensure that you are budgeting appropriately so you can seriously consider bringing in some expertise to consult and coach you when you need it. It’s an expense but with the right research and the right goals, it’s an expense that could ultimately be a large investment for you and what you’re doing.
4. The community – We’ve seen this before, however tapping into communities within your industry is a fantastic way to share best practices, air concerns, seek reassurance and advice to ensure that you’re on the right path. Always be careful of the echo chamber as some industries can be quite insular, however having a constant link to communities of people doing similar work to you is a great way to keep connected and ensure that you have appropriate support when needed.
5. The follow up SMS – We hate to admit it, but many of us will shy away from talking on the phone these days. Preferences around instant messaging, social media and text means that many of us feel anxious when talking on the phone. While there might be some larger social problems with these changes in human behaviour, Jennifer is ensuring that her methods of communication are relevant to people’s preferences. Jen has an SMS follow up service rather than phone call, to tap back into existing clients. The conversion results and feedback from clients so far is showing that this method works. Having awareness of customer behaviour or even individual customer preference can have play a massive part in driving retention.