One of the key challenges in running a salon business is attracting new customers. There are more than 80,000 hair salons in the US alone, and it can be very difficult to stand out amongst your competitors to win potential clients’ attention.
With that being said, here are some marketing ideas you can use to win more clients and grow your clientele in 2021.
Have a Referral Program
The nirvana of any marketing, not just salon marketing, is when your customers convert into advocates of your business. When customers promote your business to their peers and friends, you’ll get a sustainable source of new customers and effectively grow your business.
While achieving this is obviously easier said than done, you can encourage your customers by offering incentives if they can send new customers your way. This is where a referral program comes in.
The secret of a successful referral program is what you offer: offer something too valuable, and you’ll risk getting low-quality referrals (and might hurt your profitability). Offer too little, and you might not attract anyone to refer your business. Finding the right balance is very important.
Optimize Your Google Maps Listing
There are two main ways people learn about local businesses these days: via social media, for example when a premise is reviewed by influencers, and via Google.
You have to make sure your business is featured by Google when your potential clients search for “salons near me” or “salon in (your city name)”, and the thing is, Google pulls results from Google Maps for these kinds of queries.
So, make sure to optimize your Google Maps listing by:
- Claiming and verifying your Google My Business listing
- Optimizing your Google My Business listing, focus on providing accurate and complete information for your target clients. Also, make sure to use high-quality photos and images
- Build local citations by listing your business on various online directories relevant to the salon industry and/or your area
- Encourage your clients to leave more positive reviews both on Google Maps and other relevant review sites
Allow Online Reservations
In this digital age where everything is online, this is actually very important. Attracting new clients is already hard enough, and you’d want to make sure they can book your service as easily as possible.
Salon scheduling software like Bookeo can help you in implementing an online booking system in place easily, even if you don’t have any programming knowledge.
With Bookeo you’ll gain access to various features to improve your salon’s service quality, including:
- Send automatic notifications and reminders to your clients to reduce missed appointments
- Provide a seamless way for your clients to book your service on any device (including mobile devices)
- Notify staff with automatic email and text notifications for new, rescheduled, or canceled appointments
- Customize your appointment calendar with color-coding, and customize your business hours as required.
Partner With Other Businesses
Don’t hesitate to join your local community like the local chamber of commerce in your town, and attend relevant local events.
Partnering with other businesses can significantly help in growing your clientele. The idea is to build mutual relationships: you should help promote their businesses, while they’ll also help in promoting your salon to their clients.
Also, consider joining local salon events in your area. Even if you probably can’t partner with other salons, these can be a great place to gather valuable insights and generate new ideas to expand your salon.
Up Your Social Media Game
Nowadays, we can’t discuss any marketing strategy without mentioning social media. After all, more and more people are actively using social media, and it would only make sense to promote our salon where most of our target audience gathers.
We can generally divide social media marketing into three different tactics:
- Organic: that is, building your social media followers and organically reaching out to them. This is the most cost-effective tactic, but it can take a lot of time before you can build a substantial amount of followers.
- Paid: most social media platforms offer paid options to advertise on their networks. Advertising your salon with targeted Facebook Ads, for example, can help introduce your salon to more people.
- Influencers: work with relevant beauty and fashion influencers in your area that can help promote your salon.
A bit unusual for salons, but this is precisely why you should do content marketing: by consistently publishing high-quality content, you can differentiate yourself from your competitors.
You can start a blog, podcast, or even YouTube channel to cover various relevant topics such as:
- Beauty advice
- Hairstyling ideas
- Makeup tutorials (if you also offer skincare services)
- Review of hair products and tools
And so on. The idea is to establish your position that you are indeed an expert in your niche, which will drive more people to your salon.
Even with all the newer technologies, email marketing is still very effective, and most people prefer to receive promotional messages through emails than any other medium.
Collect your customers’ email address, and you can keep them coming by sending them:
- Happy birthday greetings
- Relevant holiday/seasonal greetings
- Reminders when they haven’t visited your salon for a while
- Recommending hair products
- Recommending your content, as discussed above
You can also send promotional emails like notifying them about upcoming salon promotions or time-limited, exclusive deals (people love these kinds of offers).
However, be careful not to annoy them by sending overly promotional emails too often. Focus on how you can provide relevant, valuable information and stay on top of their mind as a trustworthy brand.