If there is one thing I could not have managed without during lockdown it would be Zoom. Zoom is a lifesaver! What on earth would we have done without it? As a busy working therapist I don’t often get the opportunity to do things like Zoom meetings and Webinars but one of the activities that was top of my list was to do a week long Pro Beauty Zoom webinar marathon. I am so glad I did, the week was wonderful.

Monday 8 June kicked us off with “Preparing your Salon or Clinic for Safe Reopening” (including learnings from Dubai) with Yasmin Teimoori owner of Morning Glory Health Club and Med Spa Dubai, Sue Ali owner of Endermospa and Laure Cardier LPG Trainer. All three industry pros shared their experiences, re opening plans, goals and guidelines on how they intend to move their businesses forward following the Coronavirus crisis.

Yasmin Teimoori was incredibly interesting to watch and she looked absolutely immaculate with her hair in a tight bun and flawless make up (note to self). Yasmin discussed the challenges she faced including reducing staff hours, changes to salaries and contracts. However, what I found most interesting was Yasmin’s take on survival, She said, “Anyone who survives will have a strong bond with customers.” This is such a relevant point,as I know only too well that in our industry, it’s just as much about the personal relationship we have with our clients, as it is the services we provide.

Sue Ali was very focused on the PPE she was providing for staff and clients. When asked about price increases, Sue said she would not be passing PPE costs to the client, as they have remained loyal to her throughout the lockdown. Sue also mentioned her ‘vulnerable people hour’ which I thought was a superb idea and also the staggered scheduling of appointments and increased opening hours.

Laurie Cardier was a huge ambassador for the use of video consultations, apps and Zoom. Laurie also mentioned shorter express treatments and the importance of cleaning and sterilising equipment in front of the customer, creating that instant trust, and building client confidence.

Tuesday 9 June saw Kirsty Kianifard of Uniquely Organic Beauty Spa Brighton and Hove discuss ‘Bridging the Gap to Reopening: Maximise the Online Learnings of Lockdown to Create a Stronger Business.’

Kirsty had clearly prepared and once again the session was excellent with an interactive power point walking us through step by step. What I found most interesting about this particular webinar was Kirsty’s reference to the Paradigm Shift which basically means a fundamental change in approach or peoples underlying assumptions. In relation to the beauty industry the old paradigm would be a fixed industry rate, unpredictable income exchanging time for money. The shift…. to price the transformation long-term creating constant cash flow and exchanging income for support. What this basically means is to look at your other skills, what else are you good at that could support the business and help increase revenue? Which therapists can you utilise and what are there skill sets? Are they strong on social for example? Are your clients willing to go online? Could you provide online courses for clients and consultations. How can we build these changes in to the client journey and our marketing campaigns. Basically, as I have mentioned before, don’t hide from the problem and do an ostrich, be an expert in your field, embrace change and use it to your advantage.

Big thanks to Kirsty – the webinar was truly inspiring. To see Kirsty’s bespoke business head over to her beautiful website,  Uniquely Organic Eco Spa.

Wednesday 10 June saw us join Timely with Hollie Power, founder of Salonology and Lu Korth, social media specialist and guru at Timely salon software.  

This webinar focused on consultation and how we can all use new technology to maximise our time and make things more efficient. I found this session particularly relevant to the current situation as the talk focused on performing a thorough consultation, sensitivity and allergies and mentioned how poor consultations could lead to bad reputations. This reminded me of various points Valerie Delforge made about the importance of reception and it being the start of the clients journey with us. How many of us have become slack in our consultation process? How many salons have we visited or worked in where consultation is a rushed signature or not even performed at all? A thorough consultation can lead to a sale, something that often therapists shy away from but actually if used correctly the consultation can be a great way to go on to promote homecare and tailor your treatments perfectly to the individual customer.

Timely have introduced a free app for therapists to use called Consult which allows the client to fill out the various forms on a phone or tablet and provide a digital signature. This immediately removes the need for excessive paperwork and stores the clients details safely and securely. I know only too well, especially at our large hen parties and events, paper consultations can be misplaced or worse still not signed, this way therapists can keep and store client information and keep things organised.

I have also looked at Timely for my own business and was very impressed when they organised for me to have a demonstration of the software. Dimitri walked me though step by step on Zoom and the whole experience from start to finish was excellent – well worth exploring this if you are a savvy therapist or salon owner who wishes to update your online booking system and offer your clients text alerts, online consultations and marketing emails via Mailchimp. To see how Timely can help your business head to the website 

Thursday 11 June was quite simply brilliant! ‘How to Build a Content Strategy to smash it on Social Media.’  This was one of the webinars I was most looking forward to and Al Tepper founder of Tepfu was not only engaging and charismatic but I could literally have listened to him all day long!

Al talked about the WOW factor, the USP (unique selling point) and how to identify our ideal customer. Al asked us to consider the two aspects of the WOW factor and ask ourselves, why do we do what we do? Why to they (prospective customers) care? And, what do they go to a salon for? He also said that we must ask our clients what the single biggest reason is they chose you…he then jokingly went on to say the answer may be that you are the nicest skincare therapist around, and that in itself is enough.

He also asked us to pick a name, an avatar name and let that name be the foundation of our ideal customer. He suggested to Google the name Chris and I got Chris Rock, which I popped into the chat creating much amusement. However, the purpose of this exercise was to nail down our ideal customer looking at challenges, goal, primary goal and pain point. So it could play out like this……

Sarah Smith aged 50, kids teenagers , has her own business, travels mid week, wants nice nails and brows for meetings and zoom, cant be bothered to paint own nails, has half day on a Friday, uses Facebook..a lot. Earns excellent salary and likes to socialise at the weekends/dinner with friends.

From this we can then identify our ideal customer and create a social media post that speaks directly to them. So simple in yet how many of us are tempted to just post generic posts without actually pinpointing who we are targeting?

I actually decided to do a little experiment the following day using Al’s formula and I asked a member of my team to see if she could see the difference. Well, the proof was definitely in the pudding as she had already spotted it AND to top off my already over excitable achievement, this particular post has received more likes on Instagram than any other in the past few weeks. So all I can say is, it works!

To find out how Tepfu can work magic on your social visit the website.

Finally on Friday 13 June we were joined by Andy Millward expert aesthetician, educator and blogger. The subject was acne and as any skincare specialist will tell you, this subject can be broad but Andy spoke with such ease and confidence.

Andy particularly touched upon breakouts during lockdown and how he has been guiding his clients through their skin concerns, maintaining client contact and with some of his clients providing a little more hand holding with their homecare routines. Andy touched on the triggers that can also activate acne, especially throughout the lockdown and mentioned such things as losing jobs, unsettling work patterns, dietary changes including excessive sugars and of course a big one, anxiety as all playing a significant role in breakouts especially around the jawline – a typical area clients may suffer breakouts at times of increased stress.

Andy also touched on ‘maskne’ with more people seeing an increase in breakouts due to the wearing of masks and face coverings. He explained that the mask, friction from the mask and the breath being locked inside could cause the skins natural barrier to become compromised. He recommended the use of pro biotic skincare as a good solution for this, which is again a wonderful tip for those who are suffering due to mask use.

To discover more about Andy head over to his blog – here you will find excellent posts including information on Alpha Hydroxy Acids, bumpy skin under the eyes and lots more.

A big thank you to pro beauty for a fantastic week, with such a huge amount of information, so diverse and enthusiastic. As an industry we are truly blessed to have such wonderful people working behind the scenes, providing us with so much support, information and also fellowship in an industry that will always hold such a special place in our hearts. Keep going everyone… we are doing great!

Claire Louise