The Customer Experience (online)

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”

Jeff Bezos, CEO


Are You Discoverable
Here is the audio version of this post. Thanks so much for listening. Enjoy.

Today is Cyber Monday, another made up shopping holiday to drive traffic to websites to consume goods and services. I’m sure you know this by the gazillion emails that are waiting for you to click on in your inbox. That fact is, we are all online. Whether we are socially networking on Facebook and Instagram or shopping for the holidays.

We are all in e-commerce today, one way or another. And we all need to think hard about the customer experience (online), if we want to be a relevant business in 2014 that is.

Here is a simple checklist for you to see if you are a discoverable business and for you to audit the customer experience (online).


Search Engines
1. Google terms that relate to your business. If you are a hair salon, Google “best hair salons”, “best colorist”.
2. Take a look at what results come up. Are you there?
3. Click on the links. Are they your business pages? What do they look and feel like?


1. Visit your website.
2. Is it easy to find your location? Contact info? Hours of operation?
3. Are there pictures of your business and your work?
4. Can I make a reservation or at least contact you?
5. Is the copy reader friendly and relevant to your business?
6. Can I easily see where to find you on Facebook, YELP, etc?
7. Is it mobile friendly?




YELP (being active on YELP is one of the best ways to rank higher in search engines. Fact.)
1. Have you claimed your page? If not, click here to learn how.
2. Have you added images of your business and work?
3. Have you filled in the “About this business” section?
4. Are there recent reviews?

Google Places

 Google Places
1. Have you claimed your business?
2. Have you added images, contact info, hours of operation and a business description?


1. Do you have a business page?
2. Have you claimed your unique URL? This is the best way to show up in Graph Search, the “Google” of Facebook. Click here to learn how to claim your name.
3. Is your about us section filled out?
4. Are the hours of operation there?
5. Is your website, phone number and an email address available?


1. Have you written a short about message?
2. Is there a link to your website?
3. Do you have your phone number or email listed?


1. Can I easily find where to sign up for your emails?
2. Do you have a subscribe area on your website?
3. Do you have a subscribe tab on your Facebook page?

While this is not even close to a complete list, it’s an awesome start if you are in a service business. When was the last time you took a look at your online presence? Today may be an awesome day to start.

(shared with LOVE from Nina)


Image Is “Almost” Everything

“Branding is about everything.”

Tom Peters



Here is the audio recording of this weeks post. Thank you for listening.

In the world of beauty, we strive to help make people feel and look beautiful both inside and out. But how much time and attention are we putting towards our own brand image online?

In today’s social + digital world, we have an opportunity to extend our offline experience into the online world, and that includes how we look in the eyes of current and future clients. As they say, we only have once chance to make a great first impression. What impression is your online presence making?

Here is a list of ways you can create awesome in your online image…

1. Your Website
Passion Squared website

Always be sure your logo is clear, sized right and prominent.

Choose a font family, or ask a designer for their suggestions, make a decision and stick with it.

Be sure images are hi-resolution and sized correctly, a designer can help.

One of the most overlooked things on a website but it’s the little things. What is a favicon? It’s the little image in the left hand side of the browser tab. A web designer can help, or if you are using a self-serve template, there are places where the favicon can be added. This is what it looks like…Passion Squared favicon

Color Scheme
Pick a color scheme for your brand and stick with it. Both online and off. Try to keep it clean and easy to look at. By all means get creative, but once you decide, consistency is key.

2. Your Social Pages
Passion Squared Facebook

Place your logo where the profile picture is if you have a business page. Unless of course, you are the business. Most all social platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. use the same sizing for profile pics. Ask a designer to make one for you. I mean, it’s your logo for goodness sakes. It matters.

Cover Image
Invest the time, money and energy in creating an awesome cover image that fits. Again, a designer can help.

Be sure you are posting quality images on your pages. Most phones these days capture amazing images. If you are finding images on Google or such, just be sure they look awesome before posting and are sized right.

3. Your E-Newsletter/Confirmation E-Mails
Passion Squared e newsletter

Need I say more?

Color Scheme
Enough said.

Do your best to use your brand font family. If the email platform you use does not have your font, either choose one that is super close to yours or invest in a designer to design artwork for your newsletters.

Enough said. Again.

4. Your E-Newsletter Sign Up Forms
Passion Squared sign up form


OK, I know, but so often overlooked. Keep it awesome Passionistas.

Color Scheme
Consistency again is the name of the game. Try signing up for your own newsletter, what do you see? Is it awesome and consistent, cool, if not, change it.

Yep, again, if you can be consistent, awesome, if your font is not available, choose one closest to your own.

5. Mobile
Passion Squared mobile


The world is going mobile. If you have a mobile or responsive site (responsive means the site knows which device it’s being accessed from and acts accordingly) or mobile app, be sure to visit your site from your devices from time to time to see what the experience looks and feels like. If you have not yet gone mobile, it’s still an awesome idea to see what your platforms and pages look like via mobile devices.

Can your image make or break your business? Maybe. Of course, there is also living up to that image, you know, your promise, purpose, why and delivering a kick ass experience, every single time.

(shared with LOVE from Nina)

Promises In The Dark

Making promises and keeping them is a great way to build a brand.  -Seth Godin

Here is the audio version of this post. Thanks so much for listening. Enjoy.

Building a brand is no different from building a relationship or a business. So much of it is about trust and trust is born out of promises kept.

The Promises

  • A service and product promises a result.
  • A program promises an action.
  • A friend promises to show up on time, return a call, email or text.
  • A leader promises to lead.
  • A manager promises to manage.
  • A team member promises to do their best work and support the team and vision.

The Brands

  • Starbucks promises an experience.
  • Zappos promises to deliver happiness.
  • Nike promises to just do it.
  • Facebook promises connections.
  • Method promises to clean happy.
  • Passion Squared promises to empower awesome.

We all have so many choices today on which brands, products and services we can engage with. There are thousands of choices of where to eat, get our hair done, shampoo to buy, clothing to wear, TV to watch, website platforms to use, a coach or mentor to work with.

Many of us continue to search for the secret sauce that will magically make our brand, product or service better.

There is no secret sauce, but there is one thing we all can strive for. Having a clear promise and keeping it.

(shared with LOVE from Nina)

Awesome businesses

The Execution Dilemma

“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.”

Anthony Robbins

Awesome businesses

Here is the audio version of this post. Thank you for listening. Enjoy.
The Execution Dilemma

While doing the research for this post, I came across some very different takes on the concept of consistency in business. So let me start off by saying this is not about stifling creativity, but crafting a system of thinking, creating and doing that awesome businesses have in common.

When I think about awesome businesses, and I am passionate about studying them and working with them, they all share one thing in common; they are passionate about executing the fundamentals consistently. So what the heck does that mean?

Here are some examples…
Zappos is passionate about consistently executing awesome service and delivering happiness.

Apple is passionate about consistently delivering solutions through design and innovation. They are passionate about thinking different.

Facebook is passionate about consistently executing ways for us to be more connected.

Starbucks is passionate about consistently executing an experience.

Hairbrained is passionate about consistently executing a platform that allows us to share our art (and passion).

Passion Squared is passionate about consistently executing ideas and tools that empower people + businesses.

So what are some fundamentals in the salon biz that we can passionately execute consistently? Here are a few in the marketing, client care and leadership areas…

  • Sharing our brand story & our why

  • Greeting clients at the door

  • Answering the phone (and email)

  • Pre-booking

  • Asking for referrals

  • Professional hair care recommendations

  • Recognition of team members and clients

  • Responding to team members and clients

  • Team meetings

  • Menu’s and brochures

  • Website design and updates

  • Inbox marketing (email)

  • Facebook (or any other social platform) posts, reply’s, responses, design

  • Pricing strategy (products & services)

  • Merchandising and promotion

The list above is certainly not complete, but the point is are you consistently executing your fundamentals?

One of the greatest opportunities I see in our industry is executing the fundamentals consistently. Not stifling creativity, actually quite the opposite. If we can commit ourselves to execution, our creative ideas may actually see the light of day. Small business may actually thrive instead of the continued struggling I see each and every day, wondering why they are not making it happen.

I consistently execute my blog every Monday. While the content (the creativity) changes each week, the fact that I do not miss a week is the point. I consistently execute. And by doing that, I deliver value, meet or exceed expectations of the community and in turn grow my business.

Think about it like fitness and health. If the outcome you desire is having a healthy mind and body, you make a decision to consistently execute the fundamentals; make good food choices and move. While the food and activities change, the fact that you make good food choices and move daily does not.

If you know you are not consistent in executing the fundamentals, then find someone who is and engage them to help you. Whether it’s a coach, a mentor, a friend, a co-worker, a team member, whoever, just get honest and clear as to what you need to make it happen.

There is no secret. If someone is telling you there is, save your time and money and walk away. It’s a lie.

Today I challenge you to take a look at your business fundamentals. How are you doing on the consistency and execution side of things? Can you do better? Think about it. Do you need help? It’s available.

(shared with LOVE from Nina)


The Long Cut

“’I love being marketed to.’ Said no one, ever.”



Here is the audio for today’s post. Background music by Zen Louis Kovner. Enjoy!
The Long Cut

It’s so tempting today to market “at” people. To shout and scream and try to get attention. To create lots of noise hoping someone will listen. We see it every day. Online or off, many are looking for a short cut. For the quick sale. The fast money. This blog is not for those people.

Today we have an opportunity to engage, connect, create and care like no other time in our history. We can deliver value in the most creative and meaningful ways. We can build relationships, change lives, lift people up and make a difference. Whether we are marketing haircuts or education services, its how we choose to market that can make us a creative contributor.

If you want to create a brand or business that matters, that changes people’s lives for the better and that adds value to the world, you are on the right track. It begins with intention. Doesn’t everything?

The Short Cut
1. Talk at people
2. Scream on social platforms
3. Ignore the community
4. Lead with price
5. Over promise

The Long Cut
1. Listen
2. Engage on social platforms
3. Respond to the community
4. Deliver value
5. Exceed expectations

Which path is your brand or business on?

(shared with LOVE from Nina)