I don't know about where you are, but where I am, people are getting pretty panicked over the coronavirus/covid-19 pandemic. As a business that mostly works face-to-face, what's a beauty consultant to do?! Here are 50 (yes, fifty!) ideas of things your can do for your business, now matter how bad the panic gets!
Before we dive in, a quick word on IPAs. IPAs are Income Producing Activities. Income producing activities involve interaction with customers or portential customers that results in a sale, recruit, or booking. Making booking calls is an IPA. Putting lables on your products is not an IPA. IPAs make you money. Non-IPAs can be helpful and useful to your business, but balancing them with IPAs is CRITICAL. A person can easily "get lost" in a sea of Non-IPAs! Som of the things on this list are IPAs, but a lot of them aren't. However, this is a season unlike any other your business has ever seen, and if there was ever a time to knock some of the non-IPA items off your business to-do list, it's now! As always, I hope these bless your business and help you weather this storm intact. My thoughts are with you and your loved ones and I pray for the health of all!
OK. Ready? Let's go!
(1) Add a new social media platform
If you're only on Facebook, and you've been wanting to branch out into Insta, now might be a good time to figure it out! It takes time to understand the ins and outs of new tech, and time to gather followers and find people to follow. If you're totally and completely clueless about social media, I urge you to reach out to Jacque over at GetPinked.net she is a pink sister who totally rocks social media and I have learned so much from her! I've referred quite a few consultants to her and they've all been pleased with her services!
(2) Record some makeup tutorials (save some for later)
I know what you're thinking--I'm no makeup artist! That's ok! Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction. You can do tutorials on whatever you want! Cleaning makeup brushes, using the skinvigorate sonic brush, applying a Bio-Cellulose mask, you name it. Videos can be recorded and posted after recording (so you can save them for a rainy day), and this can also allow you to trim the video down before posting. Remember that some videos might be too big for posting, so keep videos short (save longer ones for doing live videos) but if you're new to video, doing live can be a little scary! Record instead, and if you don't love it, record again! I haven't explored this myself, but I hear there are some good online video editors for free or cheap. For those of you who know and love former MK ISD Michelle Cunningham, she offers instruction on how to really use video for your business at michellecunninghamonline.com
(3) Clean out your pinterest boards of outdated graphics, and find/pin new graphics and ideas to use in the future
Be careful with this one! Pinterest is a literal black hole of your time! Like facebook and lots of other apps, it features the "scroll" that mimics a slot machine, and trust me, they designed it that way on purpose. Your brain is tricked into doing just one more little scroll to see what else is "down there" and before you know it, an hour has passed! This is most definitely a NON-IPA! You must set limits around this one or you will NEVER get to the other 47 ideas, my friend. Trust me. If you've never been in Pinterest, it's an app where you can see ideas, images, snippets of resources, etc and "pin" or save them in a visual way onto a virtual bulletin board of sorts. I suggest starting with Mary Kay's official pinterest board, as they have some amazing graphic designers that create content for you. Be aware, there's no policing out there so you might find inaccurate, outdated, and just plain false stuff. Do your homework and fact check. If you think something might not be true, save it to a special board for fact-checking later. You can always move it to a different board when you've cleared it for accuracy.
(4) Offer Online Parties
Using facebook, zoom hangouts, or other technology to hold parties where everyone watches and participates from home are going to be great IPA options during this season. Everyone who is quarantined can still participate! You can send samples via the mail to guests in advance, or not. There are many who do this regularly and can give you advice on the best ways to do it. If you've never done it before, consider asking one of these ladies if you can sit in on one of hers! Again, if you love Michelle Cunningham, she offers a whole course on online parties. When the panic passes and we're all back out of our houses again, the face-to-face in-home appointments can resume. And for those who are still unafraid and want to do face-to-face, by all means, go for it. But for those who are dealing with "no" becuase of the quarantines and fears, go to online!
(5) Offer Virtual Facials
This is like #4 but more individual. You can use apps like Facebook Messenger, Skype, or Facetime to interact with your customer. Again, you can send her samples in the mail and she can try them live with you. Walk her through the steps of the skincare, get her opinion, etc. Act a lot like you would at a normal appointment, just over the airwaves of technology instead of in-person.
(6) Send out facials-in-bags and samples/minis via snail mail
There's lots of variations on this one, but there are so many section 2 samples to offer and all you need is to follow up! I strongly suggest you set up a time to get feedback BEFORE the mailing even happens because samples are notorious for going unused and forgotten, and that helps nobody. By offering her a firm but friendly deadline for giving you feedback, you're way more likely to get her to try the product. Feel free to combine with #4 and #5. Remember, I offer lots of instruction packets you can download for FREE and print out to send with samples. Check them out here.
(7) Go Live in your social media groups
This is a lot like #2, but Live is different. Live is for when you're ready to be imperfect, ready to interact with commenters, ready to roll with the punches that Live provides! Again, keep it short, keep it interesting, and engage! Being Live lets you interact with people who comment, AS they comment. This is a skill that takes some time to learn, so why not start now? Many social media gurus suggest going live once per week! You can totally do that. I believe in you! Here are some suggestions of things you can do live (or recorded, if you prefer) - Smokey Eye look
- Neutral/daytime look
- How to cover undereye darkness
- How to contour/highlight - How to clean your makeup brushes - How to use the skinvigorate brush - How to line your lips
- Cat eye or winged eyeliner
- Applying the bio-cellulose mask - Applying any mask really - You get the idea!
Don't know how to present these, or how to do them? check out #33!
(8) Create and Find content for posting on social media
Sharing is great and all, but ORIGINAL CONTENT is what the algorithms love to show your audience! An easy option is to put motivational quotes or bible verses or funny sayings onto a background (I literally do this, check our PGG fb group if you don't believe me) Anything that you create anew, even if it's words that have already been said, if it looks different, it's considered by the social media algorithm bots to be original, and orginal content gets shown to more of your audience than things that you share. Find an easy app like canva or pic collage and start plugging in bible verses, motivational quotes, etc. There are plenty of resources for sharing on InTouch also, under digital resources. Save these in a file for future use. Someday you'll be out of ideas and this little file of content will save you!
(9) Pre-schedule posts on social media
I know this can be done for Facebook, not sure about the other platforms (I'm still getting used to them myself!) but you can schedule out content to post for days, weeks, months in advance. That way, when business returns to "normal" you won't have to worry about posting daily on your fb groups (and, if you didn't know it, posting daily is a MUST if you want the bots to share your content with your audience)
(10) Come up with a social media calendar, or find one you like
If your preferred social media platform doesn't allow for scheduling, come up with a calendar of ideas. You can designate days for certain types of posts, like #motivationmonday or #selfiesaturday or whatever. You can plan it out on paper so that when it's time to post, you know what to do. There are content calendars out there in the marketplace that have been pre-made, so if you don't want to deal with this, consider buying one instead.
(11) Re-brand yourself
I can help you with this one, depending on how much time I have of course, and there are other resources besides me that can help, too! Branding involves coming up with colors, fonts, images, and schemes that are continuous throughout your materials and posts that make you more memorable and consistent. Even if you represent a brand (which, let's face it, we all do) you yourself can still have a brand! It's like having a certain style, but digitally.
(12) Offer the option of a Mystery Hostess Party
(13) Offer a Silent Hostess (aka Catalog) Pary
(14) Offer a giveaway for those who watch an opportunity video and participate in a marketing survey or sharing call with your director
There's no face-to-face required on this one! Explore the videos that exist out there and ask your customers/family/friends to watch and give their opinion. Ask your director how this works if you're unsure. You can offer a free product to those who participate (like a free eyeshadow) or an entry into a bigger giveaway (like a Satin Hands set, or a purse, or whatever)
There's a graphic to go with this idea here that's editable and cute!
(15) Send notes and happy mail to your customers!
There's nothing like a good piece of happy mail to brighten anyone's day! Send a postcard that thanks her for her business, tells her you're thinking of her, or just a note to see how she's doing. I offer some really cute postcards for staying in touch with your customers here.
Some are download options, so you can personalize and print them yourself. Others, like this one, are already printed on glossy cardstock and I can ship them to you!
(16) Pre-write Birthday notes to your customers so they're ready to send
Again--happy mail makes people happy!--Sending your customers a happy birthday note, whether it offers them something or is just a note of good cheer, is one thing I have heard from more than a few Court of Sales acheivers. MKA herself said to make them feel important! You can address each one so it's ready when the birthday month begins, or just have a birthday message written and add a personal touch later. If you want to offer some sort of discount or special experience for her birthday, I have some customizable birthday postcards you can download, edit, and print here and here that will make you look like a real professional!
(17) Read a book that will help inspire you, grow you, or help you in your business
Chop Wood Carry Water, by Joshua Medcalf (here)
The Compound Effect, by Darren Hardy (here)
Girl Wash Your Face, by Rachel Hollis (here)
Goliath Must Fall, by Louis Giglio (here)
Lioness Arising, by Lisa Bevere (here) Ask your leaders which books they recommend!
(18) Find a new podcast that does the same thing
I admit, I'm totally not hip to the podcast game. Like, at all. So I have no recommendations. But I hear great things about some of the ones that are made for Boss Babes like us. Now is a great time to listen to some and find one or more that make you a better version of yourself.
(19) Create a new habit
I mean, it IS Lent for some of us. Regardless, it's a great time to work on building some good habits. Excercise, quiet time, positive affirmations, six most lists, weekly plan sheets... There's so much you could use this time to develop and make into a habit. Spend a minute thinking about what Key Daily Behaviors could benefit you and your business
(20) Start an accountability group or partnership
I'll never stop preaching on how awesome a good accountability partner can be for personal and business growth! If you don't have enough accountability, get you some! It will help #19 be more likely to happen!
(21) Host or join an online/facebook group bible study
This could also work for a book club, if you're going to take up idea #17. It will help you stay connected to your girlfriends, enrich what you get from the reading, and help keep you on target for finishing what you promised to read!
(22) Watch/Listen to inspirational Seminar speeches or opportunity videos
This one can literally be done while you are doing ANYTHING. Folding laundry, making meals... you get the idea! I strongly suggest replacing at least some, if not all, the panic-hysteria-churning news outlets with uplifting, empowering, GOOD STUFF.
(23) Renew your "why" and your goals, and make them visible
A vision board or goal poster can be very motivating, but when business is thumping, it's hard to find the time! Use the gaps in your datebook to make this happen. Remember that imperfect action is better than perfect inaction. If pictures aren't your thing, consider writing our what you want to bring to fruition, and why you want to. I'm usually a visual person but I recently tried the writing approach and it did me a lot of good! Put these in a place where you'll see them and be reminded
(24) Catch up on book-keeping
I had you going with all these fun things, didn't I?! It's not a secret that I do not appreciate book-keeping and tend to avoid it! It piles up, and it stares at me from its pile, judging and obnoxious. Now is a great time to get all of that in order. All the income coming in, all the expenses going out... get it all balanced and plugged into whatever spreadsheet or software suits you best.
(25) Update and tidy your customer files
Whether you use the myCustomers app or prefer the pen-and-paper method, these things can also get piled up. I have found it soooo rewarding to go through all the profile cards, sales slips, and other notes and consolidate them into a simple filing system like my Organize Envelope system. If you haven't heard of it, you have got to check it out. I don't like tooting my own horn but these envelopes make filing, following up, and tracking your customers SO MUCH EASIER. You can see them here and watch a video about them in the PGG facebook group here. I have gotten A TON of great reviews on these! I definitely think they make organizing your customers easier!
(26) Clean up your PCP list so it's ready to go
Go through your PCP (Preferred Customer Program) mailing list and make sure it's the best it can be. I know when things are busy, I never seem to have the time to clean it out and update it. It's always the last minute to enroll in PCP and I always tell myself to go back and update it, but I never do. NOW is a great time to optimize that, so that when the next PCP enrollment happens, all you have to do is check the boxes!
(27) Organize your office/desk
I have a love-hate relationship with this idea. I LOVE LOVE LOVE a clean desk and office. But getting it from its default messy state to that beautiful, pristine, tidy ideal, is NOT easy sometimes! But productivity will definitely be helped if you've got a desk where things can be seen and found. No time like the present!
(28) Organize your inventory
This is a good one to do periodically, especially for larger inventories. Make sure you check date codes and set soon-to-expire or discontinued items aside so you can make an effort to move them off your shelf. Apply reorder labels if you haven't already. Maybe figure out an efficient way to transport and/or store them. This is definitely another one of those Non-IPAs that can make you more efficient once business picks up again.
(29) Organize and clean out your paper files
I know I have a pluthera of papers that have scripts, product knowledge, party ideas, etc floating around this desk and taking an hour to purge, organize, and sift through them will make them a lot easier to find when I need them. Plus, I might come across an idea I hadn't thought of in a while that I want to try!
(30) Organize and clean out your digital files
EEEeeesh is the word that comes to mind when I think about this one. NOT my idea of a good time. But man are my files in desperate need of some spring cleaning! Just like in the paper world, having files inside of folders that they belong in makes finding things a lot easier, saving you time later when you are busy again.
(31) Clean out your email inbox
Man, when are we gonna get to some fun ones again? This list is giving me anxiety, people! I have actually cleaned out my email inbox on more than one occasion and it is not easy, but it sure is nice to have a tidy, near-empty inbox!
A few tips I have learned (I use gmail, not sure if these will work on all email platforms or not)
1. Use unroll.me to find subscriptions in your email inbox and decide if you want to unsubscribe to them OR if you want, assign them to go into one, tidy, daily "rolled up" email with all the subscriptions together inside of it. I'm definitely a fan of this.
2. Use the search function to seek out the emails (or types of emails) that you feel ok about deleting or archiving (I suggest archiving, since that way they aren't in your inbox anymore but can still be retrieved if you search for them). For example, you could search for the word "shipped" to see all the times you've been sent an email to let you know an order has shipped. I personally am ok with not keeping all of those, so to the archive they go!
3. Gmail has these little star stickers of different colors, and you can use them to help you keep track of emails that need immediate attention, can't be forgotten, waiting on a response, etc. You decide what the colors mean. The yellow arrow symbol is something you can select on important emails, and gmail pays attention to the sorts of emails you do that to, and automatically flags similar emails as important for you.
4. You can create folders inside of gmail, which can really help you tidy up the emails that you wish to save. I have a folder for accounts I've set up, for example, as they often contain links to reset passwords and whatnot, and a folder for receipts. Things like that. You can also create filters that allow gmail to funnel your incoming mail into folders for you.
(32) Do some research you've been wanting to do
Ok, this one is kinda fun, if you ask me. I like a good google search that leads to a nice long "ahhh now I get it" probably a little more than most people, but hey, that's me! Think up some things you've been wondering about in your business that you want to understand better. What's the difference between collagen and elastin? What exactly is an emollient? What the heck is resveratrol, and where does it come from? How does one pronounce hyaluronic acid? This is a great time to go through the flip chart and see if it jogs your memory about questions you've been asked at an appointment that you've not had the answer to, or things you've just been wondering about but never think about researching when you have the time.
(33) Learn a new makeup skill
NOW WE'RE TALKING, PEOPLE. This is a non-IPA I think many of us really should invest our time in. There are a gajillion youtube videos showing how people apply makeup. Pick one and watch some of the videos. Even if they aren't using MK products, you can still learn the technique.THEN, practice, practice, practice! What better time to practice then when you aren't going to leave the house?! You can look downright ridiculous and then wash it all off and try again. I also like pinterest for makeup instruction graphics. Sometimes the motion of video is just too fast, and a simple "dark shade goes here" image is better. Either way, get more confident with your makeup brush so that you can pass on that confidence!
(34) Practice a new script in front of a mirror
Whether it's a booking script, warm chatter script, or your entire skin care appointment routine, practice makes perfect. Even if you're an expert, it might be a good idea to practice from time to time if you're not able to have a lot of appointments, to keep yourself comfortable with the wording, timing, etc. When business picks up again, you'll be a well-oiled machine.
(35) Brush up on product knowledge
I am a sucker for a good product fact sheet, people. But even I can forget some of the details about our amazing products. Take some of the ones you haven't looked at in a while and go over them again. I bet you will find some little tidbits you never knew or had just forgotten all about.
(36) Finish MKU and Confident Courses
MKUniversity online training and the Color Confident, Skin Care Confident, and Legal modules are all such great resources that if you haven't finished them, you really should use this time to knock them out. If you haven't done them in a while, maybe consider doing them again. Remember, you get bling for completing them, so win-win!
(37) Explore InTouch
SO MUCH of what InTouch has to offer gets thoroughly ignored. I get it. We're busy. Who has time to go meandering around all those clicks and pages? Well, now thanks to coronavirus, YOU do! Look around. There's a lot there.
(38) Explore other resources (like the PGG website, hint hint!)
Ok, this might be my favorite one! If I had a nickel for everytime someone asked me if I had something that, "yes, I definitely already have that and it's on the website here's the link" I'd have a lot of nickels. Now is the perfect time for a leisurely stroll through the Peony Garden! (Plus, I just updated the website so hopefully it's easier to navigate now!)
There are a lot of resources out there. Go check them out.
(39) Prepare trainings for your team/unit if you're a leader (or becoming one)
Share the knowledge! That's what makes this sisterhood so amazing. No one is in business by herself. If you're a consultant wanting to move up, ask your director what you could train on. Maybe it's something you know nothing about. That's ok--you've got time to learn! If nothing else, brushing up on product knowledge and training your team on what you learned is great practice/learning for you. You can train on a zoom hangout or online if your local meetings get put on hold for a bit. And if not, having some training material set up and ready to offer when the time comes will be a time saver later, too.
(40) Refresh your hostess rewards program
Wise words right here: have a hostess program that would make YOU want to book with you! If it doesn't excite you, do something about that! If you're interested, I've got some booking materials here that might get your juic
es flowing! Check out the $80 for $40 idea shown here.
(41) Assemble hostess packets
I don't do hostess packets much since I have a hostess brochure, but there were times when a whole packet was my jam, and having some on-hand was a MUST. Pre-assemble them now so you have plenty when things get moving again!
(42) Assemble team-building packets
Order some of the team building materials available on InTouch and put them together into envelopes that you can mail out OR into folders/packets for in-person appointments.
Also, I'm about to update the PGG "Ponder Pink" recruiting brochure for VIP members to have access to in April. Those are a definite MUST for adding into team building packets!
(43) Pre-pack for your appointments
Having little goodie bags for your party guests to take home helps tempt them over to the individual close. Assembling several of these during this season will help you move faster from appointment to appointment when things are moving again. I suggest getting cello bags from mygirlfriendshouse.com they have always been good to me. Add a little mint, a mini hand cream, and your business card (or whatever you decide).
Also consider using the mesh zipper bags that your mirror trays come in to pre-pack what each guest will need at her seat: a cotton round or two, a tray liner, a tray insert, a pen, a cloth, a disposable mascara wand, a profile card, etc. If you only have a few of the zippered bags, pack in little ziplock bags instead. Again, having lots of these ready to go will save you time when business spikes again.
If you use clipboards or folders at your appointments for larger papers and/or product surveys, set up several of those also, and keep some extra bundles together with paperclips or staples, so you can change out your clipboards quickly.
(44) Assemble sample packs for warm chatting
Again, I love My Girlfriends House for little cello bags that are just the right size for a selfie challenge card or a lucky code card, a sample, and some chocolate. Include your business card too, or just text a digital business card.
These are great for always having a few on hand for when you see someone you just have to talk to, and I always keep some of these at my table for vendor events for the people who come up and grab a sample while I'm talking to someone else--It gives them a reason to contact me!
Again, make them now, have them later!
(45) Assemble lead boxes
If you haven't heard yet, the place to get the best lead boxes is this little joint called Peony Garden Graphics... Almost no assembly required, zero trademarks, 100% classy. I now offer kits with everything you need to put together 10 boxes: the boxes themselves, the ribbon, the pens, the entry slip pads, and sticky velcro to affix the pads onto the boxes with. I can't make it much easier for you! I even include my comprehensive lead box guide with the premium kits.
Whether you place them now or when things calm down a bit, you will love how these little babies attract leads!
(46) Strategize where you could place the lead boxes, even if you aren't placing them yet
Take the kiddos for a drive or use a google search to see where some independent business are that you could try to put a lead box in. Nail salons, boutiques, etc. Make a map or a list of places to try. When you're ready to place them, you'll have a plan of action! Hit the ground running!
(47) Leave catalogs. Everywhere.
If you are going out and about, bring catalogs with you (stick a lucky code card in there!) and leave one in the waiting rooms of wherever you go. Who knows, maybe protocols will make this idea obselete because they'll want to sterilize waiting rooms but otherwise, people sitting around in the doctors office might want something to look at! If nothing else, get rid of your old catalogs and add this sticker
(48) Find and book vendor events for the future
Even if this lasts a while, you can still keep an eye out for vendor events for the fall and early winter, when vendor events and holiday bazaars are in full swing. Get on the list now!
(49) Make lists
I know, I know. One of those things we get told to do now and then. Now is a great time to do it though! Scroll through your contacts and make a list of people you haven't reached out to yet, or haven't reached out to in a while. Make a list of the people you'll ask to host for you when this all blows over. Make a list of customers you want to follow up with. Make a list of people you want to layer more. Lists lists lists. They will come in handy!
(50) Bless those on the front lines
We made ito 50! I saved this one for last because I think it is truly the best use of our efforts during this time. I don't know about you, but the think I love the most about MK is our ability to bless others, bring smiles to faces, be a light in a dark world. I encourage you to find a way to offer something to every barista, every waitress, every nurse, every cashier, every person who still has to work to keep the gears of this country moving during this unprecendented time. I suggest offering an Appreciation Beauty Experience Certificate card and a sample or mini hand cream, and a sincere, heartfelt "Thank you." Whether you get a new customer from it or not, I encourage you to just spread as much love as you can during this season when many are stressed and many are overworked.
That's all folks! Those are my ideas. I hope this list helps calm the fear, light a fire of hope, and even get you excited to take on tomorrow. MK has stood the test of time this long. I have all the faith in the world it will survive this too!
Blessings and Health for you, your family, and your business! xo Erin