The New Spa Menu
Micro Information for a Macro Impact
by Lori Crete
A menu of services is one of the most important foundational elements of a spa. Often found on your website, it is a direct reflection of your spa, showcasing what you offer, how you deliver it, and what you will charge for the service. Although it sounds simple, it is often the ‘make or break’ as to whether someone will book an appointment with you.
Just as someone strolling down the street peruses a menu on the sidewalk to see if a restaurant’s offer is appealing to them, your clients do the same whether you realize it or not. They may access your menu online, review it in print, or come in to view it in person. Moreover, when a potential client sees your menu, you want to make the biggest impact possible, almost leaving it irresistible to book an appointment immediately. However, the problem is that most spas are doing spa menus wrong.
I’m going to let you in on a big juicy secret. It’s 2018, and if your spa menu reads like a playwright, you’re doing it wrong too. Technology and innovation are fueling the way we communicate with each other and businesses, and the world is changing before our eyes. We cannot operate the way we did even five years ago and expect the same results.
Consumers have shifted the way they do business—they want to do it quickly and without issue. It used to be that when a customer wanted to book an appointment, they used their phone on the wall to call the front desk to inquire about making an appointment, and receptionists used to call home phones for appointment reminders. Now, this process happens seamlessly, all under the radar. They are searching online for what they want, quickly scan a webpage, and when they find it, they reserve their spot online without direct human interaction.
What were once common forms of communication have now been replaced by texts and emails, and clients are now accustomed to receiving a text or email appointment confirmation as opposed to a long-winded call from a receptionist.
The beauty business is not immune to this shift just because we offer hands-on services. If you’re not shifting the way you operate your business to accommodate the way your clients want to engage with you, you’re going to be left behind.
As a growing number of consumers use their smartphones to locate and book spa appointments, it’s imperative your menu and website be designed to win them over via mobile. You can do this by using short, digestible bits of information conversationally. While you might offer the best facial services in all of Southern California, your clients don’t have time (or the capacity for sensory overload) to read a two-paragraph description outlining every single detail on your 20-treatment-options menu. You can also leave clients feeling confused if you use words like “melasma” and “photodamage” on your menu of services.
How do you share micro information to make a macro impact? It is quite simple. You cut the fluff by keeping it simple, organized and written for the right client.
WRITE FOR THE RIGHT CLIENT
Your menu should be tailored to the exact type of client you want to attract and cut the rest out. Consider the services you like to offer and what lights your beauty biz soul on fire, and outline what type of client would come in for this service. I call this person your BCE or Best Client Ever. This is the person you want all your clients to be like, and this is the type of person you want more of in your business.
LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE
Your offerings should match your BCE, meaning if your spa is an eco-chic holistic skin care center that caters to middle-aged women, you shouldn’t have pictures of a teenager with acne on your menu and website—and you shouldn’t offer a service for it either. Alternatively, if you’re an acne clinic who sees teenagers and younger skin types predominately, make sure your menu reflects this, and you’re selling to the right demographic. Teenagers with acne won’t be attracted to a spa menu that doesn’t implicitly sell them on your ability to manage their acne. Remember, like attracts like, and your spa menu should be like the clients you want to attract.
START THE CONVERSATION
Your menu should be conversational, not like you’re reading a manuscript. It should speak to the client whose skin care concerns you want to address, in a way you would talk to them in person.
WISE ON WORDS
Choose your words wisely. You want to use words that are commonly expressed to describe skin care concerns and issues while being succinct and impactful. Avoid using technical or industry terms such as telangiectasia, hyperpigmentation, and comedones. Instead, use words like redness, brown spots, and breakouts. These are words clients un derstand and are immediately relatable. You can showcase your knowledge in the treatment room.
HIDE OR SEEK
In addition to understandable words, you want your clients to be able to find you through Google searches. Use words that are commonly used by your clients when designing your menu and website. You can enrich your exposure to more ideal clients who use the same type of words when describing their skin care concerns.
Pain points are what push people to seek solutions. It’s an unresolved problem or issue the client has. For instance, for lash stylists, your client’s pain point may be light colored lashes that only show up with mascara—and they don’t have time for makeup in the mornings because of their busy lifestyle. You could speak to this pain point by saying, “Busy mornings will be a breeze. Your eyelashes are ready the moment you open your eyes.” If you speak to their pain points, you’ll sell them on your services.
WHEN IN DOUBT, HIRE IT OUT
You want your menu to creatively entice your potential clients. If you’re not a wordsmith or don’t have time to put together a compelling list, consider hiring a copywriter to do it for you. Many freelancers specialize in this line of work. At the very least, make sure your menu is proofread and mistake free.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
One of the biggest mistakes I see estheticians make is trying to offer everything to everyone. This is impossible! Instead, focus on a signature service and a few other treatments. Your signature service should be a reflection of your business philosophy and a showcasing of your specialty. The signature could offer a sampling of a few of your favorite modalities, or be a specific one. As for the other treatments on your menu, it’s best to aim for three to four, and no more. You can alter a client’s perception of satisfaction by offering too many menu items, leaving them with a feeling of “missed opportunities” due to too many choices. Remember, when you’re targeting your BCE, you can adequately address their needs with just a few effective options, and they will appreciate the tailored services.
You should include a short professional biography on the menu (if it’s in print) and on your website. Storytelling sells. Be sure to include career highlights and why you love what you do. You should also include a professional headshot. It’s important to remember that you are offering an intimate service where you are touching someone on their face or body, and people want to see who is touching them. Lifestyle photography, as opposed to studio photography, aims to capture people in real-world settings. It is an excellent choice for estheticians because it not only allows your clients to see your face but allows you to tell the story of your work.
It’s important to remember the driving force behind a successful menu is not the pretty paper or the cool font. It is you, the esthetician and mastermind who is showcasing your expertise in targeted skin care services. You can take your menu to the next level by cutting the excess and making it easy to attract the right clients. By making this shift in your business, you open the doors to flourish in your business. It is possible to make an abundant living doing what you love when you have the right tools for helping you.