Cross-Promotion with Local Businesses

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Partnerships, cross-promoting, marketing, and referrals – those words are commonly thrown around in articles and books that focus on building a business, but it is never explained exactly how to do it or who to collaborate with. There are many different types of businesses that skin care professionals can pair with to boost their business. Here are some fresh, new ways to cross-promote with some typical, and some not-so-typical, local businesses.

Gyms, Fitness Centers, Personal Trainers
It is likely that people who frequent gyms, fitness centers, and hire personal trainers have some disposable income and care about their bodies. There are countless ways to collaborate with these types of businesses.

pic1Approach their marketing teams and offer to give them certificates for complimentary services to give to their new members. This is a win-win for both them and the professional, especially at the beginning of the year when fitness-related businesses are in their "new year" membership drive and when the spa might be entering the post-holiday slump. If the fitness business has challenges throughout the year, skin care professionals can offer gift certificates or spa packages to the winners or provide a complete makeover to one of their members that achieved the highest weight loss or highest percentage of body fat.

Ensure that the services the spa is gifting are low-cost (like a brow wax or a spray tan) before offering them. Giving an actual service is a better traffic driver than a "percentage off coupon" or a "buy one, get one free" offer.

What can the professional ask for in return? Advertising space in their newsletter, space inside the lobby or locker room to do miniature-massages (if they do not offer them already), as well as discounted memberships for the spa's staff, and one-day use passes for the spa's clientele. In addition, if the professional by chance has a membership-based spa, they may want to talk to them about a combination gym-spa membership package that both businesses can sell to their respective clientele.

Hotels, Motels, and Resorts
Most hotels, resorts, motels, and similar businesses have a resource binder or guide for their guests and they offer a listing of businesses that can provide services not found on property, as well as advertising opportunities. Professionals can also connect with the on-property concierge and front desk staff who can be a great source for client referrals. Invite them to experience the spa to learn more about the services so that they can properly refer the spa to their guests. The professional can also ask to leave brochures in the hotel lobby or guest area as well.

If the property has a spa or salon, do not be discouraged. Ask to meet with the spa manager and get introduced. Perhaps the professional's spa offers services their spa does not and vice versa. This situation allows for cross-promotion that benefits both parties. Also, if they work with large groups or stay booked, there might be a chance for them to send the professional overflow reservations or have the professional come in and work in-house if their staffing changes.

Wedding and Event Planners
Wedding and event professionals can be a steady source of income for spas. The best way to connect with wedding and event professionals is to have them come in for a facial, massage, or another relaxing treatment and give them the chance to digitally detoxify. They will love the gesture and if they love the professional's services, chances are the spa might get some brides, entire wedding parties, or corporate groups referred to them.

The professional can offer wedding and event planners a kick-back on services sent to the spa or simply a few free services here and there as a thank you. Most wedding and event planners work very long hours and do not often get a chance to relax, so they will be most appreciative.

If they already have a spa that they work with, there is nothing wrong with asking to be a back-up to their regular go-to.

Film Office
One of the most overlooked places for a potential partnership is the county or city film office. Check the website for the local film office and chances are the professional will see a directory of places that production companies are referred to when filming movies, television, and commercials in the area.

There may be an application or a contact to get on the list, but all the information needed to collaborate with the local film office will be right on their website.

Photographers
Photographers take pictures of people every day that need to look their best. Reach out to see if they need another spa to cross-promote with. Combine common services with their photography sessions for senior portraits, engagement photographs, weddings, boudoir, headshots, birth announcements, and family photograph sessions.

Local Charities
While it may not boost the spa's bottom line directly, it will impact the professional's soul. Volunteering and donating services to local shelters and charities will often pay the professional back tenfold at some point. Look for opportunities to give items or services for local fundraisers, raffles, and silent auctions, as well as opportunities where the professional can give directly to those in need.

Formal Clothing Stores
Chances are probable that someone buying a formal dress or a tuxedo is going to need some services, such as a manicure, pedicure, eyebrow wax, facial, makeup application, or a blowout. The customers of formal wear stores are usually getting married, going to a wedding, school formal, military ball, prom, or another event that requires them to get a little more dressed up than they normally do. This store is a great type of business to cross-promote with and it may be as simple as offering complimentary or discounted services to staff and them sending the spa referrals, or something more formal like being able to have brochures given to their customers with every purchase.

The professional could also work with the owners to do a day of beauty for their customers or offer tips, regular contributions, or take over their social media networks.

Other Salons and Spas
There is a great possibility that the professional's spa offers services that another spa in the area does not. Professionals should seek out a spa that offers complimentary services that they can refer to when a client asks for something that they do not offer. It also does not hurt to have a place to refer a client to for services when the spa's schedule is booked.

Professionals might be worried about losing a client, but clients will be very happy they do not have to hunt for a spa that offers what they need or to get a last-minute service when the professional's spa is booked.

Remember, any time professionals are collaborating with another business, they should always make sure that they are doing their part to meet their needs. They should not go into a meeting focused on what they need for their business. Focus on meeting the other business' needs and filling a void that they may have.

Always give and the return will come back automatically. If another business is tentative about a partnership, request a trial basis and see how it works out for both parties. It may also help to put things in writing, especially if the professional is giving out gift certificates and/or services.

Kelly-RichardsonKelly Richardson is the Founder of Venone Public Relations, a media placement, marketing, and consulting agency; working with companies to successfully launch their products and services, as well as shape executives in the media. Formerly a CEO in the sunless tanning and skin care industry for over a decade, Richardson still enjoys speaking at conferences and writes regularly on business-related topics that are relative to the entire beauty industry, as well as wellness travel.

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