You may not look around your salon or nail station and think "spa." And you may not look in the mirror and see a publicist. But chances are your services are just as luxurious, relaxing, and satisfying as those at the spa down the street-your clients just wouldn't know it by reading your menu. Here we show you how to spruce up the language to make your services sound as good as they are.
Think of your menu as the voice of your salon. What does it say about your services? Is it dry and curt? Is it communicative and cheerful? Is it flirty and intriguing? More important than looking dazzling, a stellar menu must sound good. And spa menus, with their heavy focus on selling an experience, have cornered the market in service spin. A well-written menu has the ability to sell services and elevate clients’ perceptions of your salon. Don’t think of a menu simply as a way to state the price of what you offer. Rather, think of it as a way to convey the value and benefit of your services. With the proper language, your menu can perfectly communicate the tone, style, and mystique of your salon — just like the big boys do. Here we dissect an everyday menu and show you how to take it to the next level by using the appropriate language, tone, and voice.
FIND YOUR VOICE
Writers have a trick that we use when we want to streamline a piece. It’s called writing for the ideal reader. An ideal reader is someone who is interested in what you have to say and wants to believe you. Think of your clients as your ideal readers. If they’re holding your menu they want to be unable to resist your services. Talk to your ideal reader in the language she wants to hear.
Here’s a trick: Imagine your perfect client. Is she upbeat, friendly, and chatty? A demure, understated woman? A hip and trendy fashionista? If it helps, give her a name, a career, a husband, an irrational mother — whatever it takes to make her real in your head. Speak in her voice when writing your menu.
BASIC DOESN’T MEAN BLAH
It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking your clients know what your basic services entail. Even if they could perform the service themselves, don’t pass up the opportunity to describe the steps, joys, and benefits of the everyday manicure or pedicure. Hype the massage, fawn over the hot oil soak, praise the skin-saving benefits of the lotion.
Clients come to you because you are a professional. Sometimes they’re looking for a little relaxation, sometimes they’re looking for a new experience, sometimes they’re looking for help. If one of your services might hold special interest for a particular age group, gender, or skin type, makes a good gift, or complements another service, make it known.
WHAT’S YOUR NAME?
Your goal is to have your menu make clients want what you’ve got. But you also want to convince them that only you’ve got it. A good way to do this is to stay away from generic service names. Why call a pedicure the “Extreme Pedicure” when you could call it the “I’ve Been Bad Pedicure,” or the “Mango (or other key ingredient) Infusion Pedicure,” or the “Replenish Pedicure.”
As spas innovate traditional services by incorporating unique, tantalizing, and exotic ingredients, clients are becoming more interested in what goes into their manicure or pedicure services. So tell them the products you’ll be using, and make them sound good. If you use fresh ingredients, mention them. If you make your own products, mention it. If you serve an accompanying beverage or snack, mention it.