In this unprecedented time where beauty salons, spas and aesthetic clinics in South Africa have been forced to close their doors for at least three weeks as per the COVID-19 national lockdown, some industry stakeholders are using the enforced downtime in a proactive way.
Winner of the 2020 Professional Beauty Award for Manager of the Year, Lourette Du Toit of Dermology, notes that when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the lockdown on 23 March, she and her team launched their, ‘We may be on lockdown, but we have not shut down’ campaign.
Du Toit sent out a broadcast message to all Dermology patients to advise them on the practice’s plans for the upcoming weeks and when the team would be back at work.
She continues: “This lockdown is not leave, neither is it a holiday so we are all still working from home, generating content. My front desk coordinator, our head therapist and I have access to our booking schedule from our homes. We have kept all Dermology communication channels open for our patients to be able to reach us. We are on call throughout the lockdown period, to ensure our patients do not forget about us. Social media makes this very easy; it is definitely one the biggest platforms we use to communicate with existing and new patients.”
Du Toit handles the marketing for Dermology and, in addition to continuing with her normal schedule, she is pushing out extra content to ensure that once the practice reopens, that it will be on everyone’s minds.
She continues: “To this end, I am running social media and wordpress as usual (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok). Most of our leads come through social media and wordpress and I do bookings accordingly. In addition, I do mailchimp campaigns twice a month. My therapist has our WhatsApp phone, which is one of our main contact lines with our patients.
“I put together a ‘Lockdown Marketing Schedule’, which I have shared with my team to ensure we stay on track with everything. This includes timelines for who needs to send through their article and when – I allocate an article topic to each member of my team to write. Normally we would do one or two articles a month, now we are writing at least five articles a month, which will be published online every week.
“Other content includes some video blogs that were done while still in the practice, and general social media content to ensure engagement, such as questions, advice and tips. We are doing webinars through different suppliers via online platforms.”
Du Toit notes that the Dermology team is doing consultations online through SKYPE, ZOOM and Whatsapp Call. “This has been going really well, and ensures for revenue to increase at least while we are in lockdown. Furthermore, I have specials out on vouchers and courses, which have been received very well, to make sure there is extra revenue coming in. This also gives a boost to our finances to be able to pay salaries.
“It is my job to generate business and keep my team motivated, and I will continue to do so throughout this stressful time. Should the lockdown be increased, we will adapt accordingly,” concludes Du Toit.
Louise Pitot of Body Orchestra, a holistic beauty practice in Johannesburg, is offering complimentary online group wellness calls over the next three weeks.
“In addition, I will also be sharing videos on how to treat your skin at home,” she says. “I believe it’s important to give back.”
Professional Beauty UK is currently hosting its Virtual Beauty Week until 3 April. This online event features fantastic speakers offering inspiration, business advice and demos. The webinars will all be live on YouTube. For more information click here.
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