What Being a Subject Matter Expert Looks Like in Your Spa Business...  and Why it Scares You

What Being a Subject Matter Expert Looks Like in Your Spa Business... and Why it Scares You

growth leadership Feb 10, 2020

A few weeks ago in my spa owners-only Facebook group, Spa Business Mastery, I asked spa owners to describe their ideal client in three words. The response? 31 comments, 90% of which used descriptors like “loyal”, “invested”, and “committed”.

“Kirsten,” you’re likely thinking, “that’s my ideal client profile too!” And why wouldn’t it be? As spa owners, we strive to attract clients who trust in what we teach, stay regimented in their home care and in-spa treatments, and are genuinely interested in the quality services that we have to offer-- rather than being interested in flashy, unverified “quick-fix” skin care ideas and/or products.

But I digress. After those 31 comments rolled in and I’d analyzed spa owners’ top descriptors, I pitched one key question: what one word ties in to all three of those ideal client attributes?

The answer? Trust.

How Trust is the Key to Dialing in Your Ideal Clients...

Whether you are looking to attract or retain your ideal clients (like I blogged about last week!), it’s worth remembering that they are looking for the perfect spa services fit that they feel they can trust and invest their skin in wholly; it’s up to your spa business to ensure that your marketing, your client experience, and your internal processes align threefold to nurture that trusting relationship. After all, trusting a spa with your skin, body, and (potentially!) low self-confidence is a big ask for most clients.

So what concrete steps can you, as a spa business owner, make to bolster this trust? If you said position yourself as a subject matter expert, then you are absolutely right.

...And Why Being a Subject Matter Expert in Your Spa Business is Critical for Ideal Client Attraction

If you hope to market trust to your ideal clients, then positioning yourself as a subject matter expert in the spa industry is essential. This is most commonly and successfully done by:

  • Creating consistent and education-oriented social media content that orbits around providing information rather than being “sales-y”

  • Before-and-after visuals on your socials or website to display your proven results

  • Shining a spotlight on your testimonials to reinforce social proof

  • Niching in on your experience via blogs or newsletters

I have seen those methods yield tangible results both for the spa business owners that I assist with blogging, newsletter-writing, advertising, and social media, and well-known spas that have built up their positive reputations through their dedication of providing quality education to the community. 

If you’re questioning the direness of this, then put yourself in your ideal clients’ shoes: if you have dozens of spas in your local area and are looking to invest your time, money, and skin into just one of them, would you go with the spa that pushes their services down their throat (via social media, blog or email) or the one that makes you feel like your skin’s health is their top priority? Exactly.

“But Kirsten, What If I’m Not a Subject Matter Expert?”

I’m going to let you in on a secret that you may find alarming: if you are a spa business owner or spa professional with specialized experience in the spa industry, you are indeed a subject matter expert. The simple fact of the matter is that you have more knowledge than you think you do, and that you should be sharing that knowledge to not only your existing clients, but to your potential clients. 

While it’s easy to forget the depth of knowledge that you have because you take it for granted in your day-to-day work, the specializations that you possess are valuable to your client base and should be shared.

This is because social proof is the name of the game; positioning yourself as a subject matter expert in the spa industry is the fastest way to curate that social proof and establish both you and your spa business as trusted resources for education, treatments, and/or products in your community. Don’t keep yourself the best secret in town!

The Reason Why Fear Could Be Holding You Back

As spa business owners, we aren’t always the best at self-promotion: we just want to deliver powerful one-on-one results and luxuriate in the connections we have with our clients in the comfort of our own spa.

Being faced with the challenge of putting yourself out there and potentially facing criticism can be a huge reason why spa owners don’t take the necessary plunge of building social proof. It can bring up Impostor Syndrome and, in turn, thoughts of, “Who am I to write a blog about how to treat teen acne? My peers will see it and might be critical of me. What if I look like a fool?” 

I go by a saying that goes along the lines of, “Comfort and growth can’t coexist”-- which is a motto I recommend you keep in your back pocket for moments exactly like this. While positioning yourself as a subject matter expert in the spa industry may require a tremendous amount of bravery, the benefits of client trust, community respect, and, honestly, self-confidence that you will reap by building that social proof is invaluable to the long-term success of your spa.

Not Sure Where to Start?

As a former spa business owner myself, I now coach spa business owners through the necessary adjustments they need to make to their current business model in order to thrive-- including how to best position yourself as a subject matter in your specific location or niche. Be sure to reach out today to learn what customized plan of action I recommend for your specific spa business, and feel free to join Spa Business Mastery for more free Live trainings, resources, and discussion!

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