Captain’s log, stardate 20200525
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Bootstrapping “The Makeover Maven”
Sent by Jonathan Stark on May 25th, 2020
In response to a reader question, I’ve been spending the past few days thinking about how a hair salon owner could transform their business to respond to pricing objections from clients.
Here’s the crux of the question… if you were a garden variety hair stylist who sold low-value “unisex haircuts for children and adults”, how could you transform yourself into an in-demand hairstylist who commands premium fees?
My advice in the last message was to get very VERY specialized and I outlined three potential positioning examples for you. Today, I’m going pick one of them and describe step-by-step what I would do to start bootstrapping that business in one week for under $100.
Let’s use this one:
Identity—The Makeover Maven
One-liner—Transformational makeovers for women who have recently gone through a major life change.
Tagline—“When you know it’s time for a big change, but don’t know what to do.”
Here are the steps I would recommend:
- Change your LinkedIn headline to “THE MAKEOVER MAVEN”. Your current clients are probably not checking your LinkedIn profile, so it’s a safe place to experiment.
- Change your LinkedIn “About” section to “Did you recently retire? Let’s find the new you! If you’re ready to reinvent your look, I’m here to help. Message me here on LinkedIn for more info.” A portion of your target market will definitely be on LinkedIn - specifically, recently retired women.
- Send connection requests to 20 or more retired women on LinkedIn every day. I just typed “retired” in the People search and found 11,000 profiles for retirees in my local area alone.
- Buy themakeovermaven.com and set up an email address. You can use Hover for this and it’ll cost less than $20 and take you about 5 minutes.
- Set up a dead simple placeholder page with your identity, one-liner, tagline, email address, and phone number and point your new domain name at it. You could use a free carrd.co account for this and be done in a half hour.
- Create a very short (3 pages or less) PDF called “10 Hair Mistakes That Will Age You” written by “The Makeover Maven” that has 10 simple and effective hair tips for women in your target market. End the document with a call to action like, “Did you recently go through a major life change? Let’s find the new you! If you’re ready to reinvent your look, I’m here to help. Call me at
phone numberor shoot me an email at
email addressto set up a free consultation.” This’ll probably take a few hours, but it’s totally worth it.
- Every weekday, share one of the ten hair mistakes on LinkedIn with a link to the full PDF. It will take two weeks to go through all ten. Once you go through them all, start over at the beginning. Wash rinse repeat. The vast majority of people will not see your posts, so you can keep reusing them indefinitely without annoying anybody.
- If the PDF seems to be generating some interest, draft a 10-part series of short articles (400-600 words each) that expands on each of the 10 points in your PDF. This will probably take a day or two, but it’s totally worth it.
- Publish your series of articles as a 10-day email course. You can use the $49 tier of Drip for this and it should take you less than an hour.
- At the end of the email course, send a message with a CTA of some kind… probably something like “Are you ready to meet the new you?” with a button labeled “Schedule a Free Consultation” that links to a scheduling app. You can use the free tier of Calendly to set up this scheduling link.
- Add a section on your website for your email course with a button that links to the Drip sign up form.
- Announce your free 10-day email course on LinkedIn and other social media.
- Email literally everyone you know with a message like, “Hey there! Do you know any women who have recently gone through a big life change (e.g., divorce, retirement, empty nest, health scare, widowed, etc)?” If they reply with a “Yes”, ask for an email intro or if they would be willing to forward a link to your free email course.
Following these steps will increase awareness of your value proposition with folks in your target market. As more and more people become aware of you, your calendar will start filling up with free consultations with women who are your ideal clients.
NOTE: These conversations will be full of solid gold information, so take notes like crazy with every person you chat with. Capture the hopes, dreams, worries, and fears of these ladies because it will help you connect more easily with people like them in the future.
At the end of each call - if you believe your prospect would be a good fit - you can ask for the sale. You could say something like, “Well, I’m convinced that you’d be a great fit and I’d love to work with you. I have one opening next week for a Maven Makeover at $500. Would you like to book it?”
If she says, “Yes!” then take payment right then and there, and book the appointment.
If she says, “No” then find out why by asking something like, “Okay, that’s totally fine. Can you share your thoughts on it?”
The goal of this bootstrapping exercise is to create a small but steadily growing pipeline of targeted leads for a very specific premium priced service that you can provide without a lot of ramp up time. Namely, a hair styling appointment for a woman who’s looking to make a major change in her appearance.
Here’s the coolest part of this particular specialization… it markets itself. Since you’d be making big obvious improvements to your client’s appearance, everyone she knows is going to ask her about it! In other words, it’s viral by default.
It’d go something like this:
“OMG! Sally you look amazing!!!!”
“Thanks! Don’t you love it?”
“Yes! Who’d you go to?”
“The Makeover Maven. She’s a little pricey, but… SOOOO worth it!”
“I’ll say! I have to tell Martha… we could go together!”
Every friend of your clients (big life change or not) who’s looking for a hair/style/makeover reboot is going to call you fully expecting to pay top dollar. The more of them you help, the more people will become aware of your services.
Now… if we stopped here, it’d be pretty good. You’d have gone from selling commodity haircuts for $50 to anybody who walked through the door to selling transformational makeovers for $500 to a very specific clientele. Once your pipeline was full, you could potentially 10x your revenue.
That said, you’d still be doing a lot of high-touch sales and delivery. This is fine… until it’s not.
How could you 10x things again?
I’ll talk about that next time.
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