Panelists weigh in on the issues impacting the efforts of spas in their pursuit of top talent and the things they can do to retain their expertise
While the COVID-19 pandemic has been a source of stress, fatigue, and hardship for many, one aspect of it directly had a positive impact on the spa industry: bringing the importance of both mental and physical health back to the forefront of people’s priorities.
Since 2020, there has been an undeniable consumer perception shift regarding the value of wellness. The world-at-large is more interested in it as a concept than ever before. Now, for the majority of individuals, it’s not just about their beauty outcomes, it’s about walking out of their favourite spa feeling replenished—both physically and emotionally.
As a former spa owner and current spa business coach of over 10 years, I frequently used to tell my coaching clients to steer their marketing away from orbiting around “relaxation” or “fluffy facial”-type services because, before the pandemic, it was more difficult to apply value to them. Consumers wanted tangible outcomes for their skin, hair, nail, and body treatments—not promises that their aesthetician could help them feel better overall. Wellness was too vague of an outcome to prioritize dedicating a marketing budget to it.
But the game has changed. Here, I’ll outline how to attract more wellness clients into your spa business—and the steps you’ll need to take to get there.
Why Are Value Propositions Such a Big Deal?
Before I dive into how to attract more wellness customers, I need to specify what value propositions are.
A value proposition is simply a promise of value that’s to be communicated and delivered to the consumer. It tells a customer the No. 1 reason why a product or service is best suited for them particularly—ideally, in one succinct sentence.
Value propositions are crucial because they’re what both your in-spa conversations and your spa marketing need to revolve around. Your promise about who you serve, how you serve, and why you serve it is the core reason why your target demographic will choose to book and buy from you. If they don’t clearly understand right away who you are, what you do, and why you do it, they’ll move on to your competitors.
Before you invest in your spa marketing any further, if you’re trying to attract more wellness clients into your business, you must ensure your value proposition and marketing images speak to this new focus and are visible on your website homepage (ideally at the top of the page, where consumers can see it ASAP), social media bios, and any other content marketing bios. After nearly three years of a pandemic that took a sizable toll on spa bookings and sales around the globe, it’s even more important that consumers landing on your website or social media know why your spa should be their first choice for their wellness needs.
Common Marketing Mistakes Cost Your Spa Wellness Clients
Speaking of your website, the most common marketing mistakes I see that are costing spas money boil down to one item: copywriting.
Some spa owners write their own marketing copy and simply don’t know how to connect the dots of what they know in their heads (e.g., their spa promises or values) and how to write it in a way that clicks with what their consumers want. On most spa websites, I see vague promises, vague service descriptions, and vague About Me copy. And what I know for sure about spa marketing is that vague copy and vague communication net one thing: vague bookings and sales.
This most commonly happens because spa owners haven’t taken the time to really get into their ideal clients’ heads and understand their exact pain points. Think of it like method acting: step into your consumers’ shoes and understand who they are, how they’re feeling deep down, what’s possible, and why they would choose you as their provider for wellness-centric services.
In the spa industry, we’re actually pretty good at empathizing with our clients when we work with them: we hear their disappointments, see their struggles, and understand the physical and emotional implications of their experiences. This means, we have a plethora of examples of what clients are experiencing and can share those stories (anonymously, of course) with others.
Seven Steps to Attract More Wellness Clients
Now that you know the importance of your two marketing foundations—your value proposition and your marketing copy—it’s time to relay the seven action steps guaranteed to net you more wellness clients.
Any time you want to attract new clientele into your business, reassess if your marketing strategy and copy are speaking to those customers. Create a new strategy and copy that will directly connect with clients’ pain points, self-talk, and common frustrations. Don’t reuse old copy and hope it translates.
When launching a new spa offer—especially one that takes six months or longer to really get going—reinvest in your marketing. Why? Because whatever you focus on grows. Both consumer interest and bookings will drop off if marketing this new offer isn’t at the forefront. This isn’t just a flash-in-the-pan success; you want this to be a long-lasting revenue stream for your business.
Reassess what your spa marketing has previously focused on. If you’re a full-service spa, for example, and have a wide variety of services that are equally popular, you’ve likely been attracting new clients by using video and service descriptions to drive traffic to said treatments. Will these tactics carry over to your wellness audience, or will you need to make a hard switch in your email or social media marketing? Have you already focused on wellness in your content marketing, or do you need to switch the majority of your blog posts to it?
Dig into the psychology of your ideal consumers. If you’re ready to add more wellness treatments to your menu and want the most successful outcomes possible (as in, more bookings, please!), then dig into the pain points of your wellness clients to get to know their needs. This can be done by including mental and physical health questions about current stress levels, sleep habits, or nutrition, for example, on your new client intake form. For existing customers, check in with them verbally when they’re in your spa. For spas that don’t already have a wellness treatment underway, this is also a great way to check your consumers’ level of interest.
Get your team 100% clear on your wellness treatments and benefits. Ideally, have a script for them to follow so that they clearly and consistently convey your value proposition. (During my time as a coach, I’ve lost track of how many spa teams didn’t receive any training or even have a team meeting to walk them through a new service. This typically resulted in a loss of customers when staff shrugged at simple questions about the offer.)
Start elevating your client experience with more nurturing actions. This can include setting an intention for the energy and tone of their services, allowing clients to choose an essential oil they resonate with, providing five-minute guided meditations as a complimentary service add-on, or engaging in active listening throughout the treatments.
Curate and nurture relationships with wellness professionals in your area. You never know what you could learn or collaborate on.
More Wellness Clients Are in Your Spa’s Future
While shifting your spa’s value proposition and overall marketing strategy to incorporate wellness is a must-do in today’s climate, know that it will take time and commitment to see your wellness service bookings build…just like when you first opened the doors to your spa!
Use the seven action steps to start your journey to attracting more wellness clients.