This small salon is run by a hair stylist with a couple of chairs and a room which she rents to other stylists and people in the beauty industry. She is known throughout her community as the person to go to for a hair straightening technique, which is popular among the Latina and African-American industries.

We are called because she was spending a significant amount of money with very little to show for it.

During our consultation, we learned that others in her industry and website designers had advised her to optimize her website around the technical and common names of the technique, and to advertise heavily with the same approach. She also told us that she wanted to be able to add pictures to her site on the fly, as opposed to having to wait (sometimes up to two weeks) for a web designer to post them.

Her website needs were simple: It did not need to be fancy. It needed a nice presentation with before-after pictures, and a way to call her to set appointments. She specifically did not want an automated way for people to schedule appointments because she needed to control the schedule based on everyone’s needs.

We put together a relatively quick website for her. She had a friend who was good with graphics, so we provided a template for them to use to show before and after within the same picture. We showed her and her friend how to post them, and they took over from there.

A competitive matrix showed that there were several players in her industry spending a lot of money on their advertising, driving up the costs. Investigating their techniques, we found that nearly every one of them were doing the exact same thing that her friends had told her to do.

We dug further beyond the technical terms, looking for what else people who wanted her services might be searching for.

During the search, we found the proverbial “gold nugget.”

We found a phrase which virtually nobody was using, especially any of her competitors that we could find. It was widely searched, and our client liked the fact that advertising with it would cost a small fraction of the other ads she was running.

An advertising campaign was built around this phrase, and it didn’t take very long to see the results. We typically like to see how an advertising change performs in 2, 4, and 6 weeks.

Within a few days, however, her phone was ringing to the point where she had to get help to answer the calls (she routes all calls to her cell phone and can longer answer the phone while she is working on a client).