With locations in all 50 states and Canada, Sport Clips Haircuts is a leader in the men’s haircare industry. For many businesses of their size, local store marketing can become an afterthought delegated down to area managers or team leaders (the brand's franchisees), but Sport Clips has dedicated much of their marketing efforts in their support center toward a robust suite of customizable local store marketing—or LSM—services for each of its stores.
Chad Jordan, Sport Clips’ director of marketing, digital services, explained most of his work is focused on managing the brand’s LSM tools and preparing team leaders to use them correctly.
“I make it easy for team leaders to manage all of our local websites,” said Jordan. “Every Sport Clips store has its own website. Not just a location sub-page of our corporate website that lists store hours, but a full-blown website, unique for each store. Each has reviews, videos, blog pages, and links to the stores’ unique Facebook pages.”
Jordan creates, rolls out, and oversees maintenance of those pages, but the team leaders are the site administrators, meaning it’s up to them to actively refresh their pages with compelling content. To that end, Jordan spends much of his time traveling to different Sport Clips markets and training team leaders on how to best optimize their websites and social media to take full advantage of this cutting-edge marketing opportunity
“A big part of my job is educating team leaders,” Jordan said. “I travel the country and attend leadership huddles where I’ll get together with team leaders and managers and walk step-by-step through the management of all of their social media while understanding that they have limited time.”
According to Jordan, for busy team leaders, dedicating just a little bit of attention to their social media tools every day can go a long way toward keeping their store on the top of clients' minds and keep them coming through the doors.
“Team leaders are focused on operations, hiring, inventory, all sorts of things,” said Jordan. “I encourage them to spend just 30 minutes a week on online marketing. Make a Facebook post, send out a marketing email, follow-up with clients to get some new reviews on the site. I tell them not to be aggressive, but to be consistent. It’s like cleaning a house; if you stay on top of it, it’s never too much work.”
Light but regular social media maintenance is particularly important for new team leaders who are introducing their store to a community for the first time. Fortunately, new owners are offered even more dedicated support both for LSM services and all other facets of their new operation.
“Every new team leader is assigned a grand opening specialist who walks the new owner through every corner of the business,” said Jordan. “The specialist will work closely with my team to make sure the new team leaders are adept at managing their website and social media tools. We’ll also send out a field marketing coordinator a week before the opening to work on market-specific advertising initiatives like radio ads or print coupons, whatever works best for the area.”
Jean-Bernard Dahmoune, a Sport Clips team leader in Redmond, Washington, said the support he received when opening up his store was essential and not short-lived.
“Every week, they were checking in with me,” Dahmoune said. “Their help was instrumental in getting the store ready for its grand opening and is part of what has helped keep the store on track and successful since.”
Sport Clips plans to continue rolling out new improvements to their LSM services both for new and existing team leaders, particularly in the digital space.
“The most exciting improvement is online check-in, which will be implemented on each store’s website,” said Jordan. “Clients will be able to go to their local store’s website and see what the wait time is and pick a stylist or just enter their name in the general queue. It’s going to completely streamline processes for clients and team leaders, and we expect it to do a lot for client retention. Today people want to choose where they wait for a service.”
Jordan’s team has also recently signed a contract with the technology company Yext, which will strategically disseminate each store’s website and social media content around the web.
“SEO for our websites has been great, and it continues to improve,” Jordan said. “With the help of tools like Yext, we’ve been able to optimize our websites so the right store sites appear in the right search results in the right markets. It’s been essential for finding new clients for each store.”
Jordan’s drive to continually advance the brand’s digital marketing services reflects his understanding of modern technological progress, which he believes does not leave time to catch up.
“Digital marketing is an afterthought for a lot of companies,” said Jordan, “and that’s a big mistake. At Sport Clips, we are constantly looking at the trends. Technology moves at the speed of light, so we do our best as a brand to stay with, or ideally ahead of the curve at all times. That means we stay fluid and dynamic so we are always prepared to accommodate the newest trends.”
Rather than implementing those advancements from the top down, Sport Clips applies their advanced digital strategies directly at the store level, allowing team leaders to reap the benefits immediately and supporting a local-first, almost grassroots marketing strategy that appeals to clients in their own communities.
For team leaders like Dahmoune, that strategy has provided a strong support system that has relieved much of the uncertainty of running a small business.
“This is not a brand that sells licenses and then leaves you in the dark,” Dahmoune said. “If you follow the system, it just works. It has really expanded my career and helped me create a future I am excited about.”
To learn more about building a future with Sport Clips, click here.