You’ve created a logo, purchased business cards, and even have a website, but is that enough? Marketing your salon is an ongoing process, and sometimes you need to get creative with it to attract new people and to keep current clients interested. If you’re running out of ideas to promote your business, try some of these easy marketing tips:
Set up a selfie station: Find a white wall or use a small pop-up or roll-down background to have a designated selfie area. You can even order a simple “step and repeat” background using your salon logo, social handle and/or hashtag. Make your selfie station a fun stop at the front of the salon on the client’s way out. Ask customers to share their snapshot on their social media channels and tag your salon, maybe even offer them added points with your rewards program.
Step up your social media efforts: Post photos of your work to your salon’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest pages. Take the time to engage with followers, provide expert advice, contests, events, and deals through your various social media channels. Just remember to keep up the efforts so that you can hang on to everyone’s attention.
Cultivate online reviews: More and more potential customers search for reviews online before trying a new product or service. Salons are no different. Ask loyal clients to step up for you with an online review. Yelp, Google reviews, and Facebook are a few good places to start.
Create a trend: Produce a new look on a client, friend or another stylist and tout it as the next trend. Hair color changes and makeovers are always great to show. Name your trend and create a hashtag around that name. Think #redhotredheads #copperkisses #faceframehighlights #thenewbob #shaggychic, etc. Now, show off your trend on social, post on your website, blog about it, even use for salon newsletters and other promotions. Be sure to make it easy for your clients to identify your trend and to know what to ask for in the salon.
Be a trend: Make a conscious effort to keep your look updated and to change things up, often. If your clients witness you and your salon team making changes, they will be more likely to do so as well.
Make and post a video: Create a quick how-to video that will help clients care for or style their hair at home. Be sure to post on YouTube and share on your various social channels.
Offer freebies: Make keychains, pens, coffee mugs, mouse pads or other promotional items with your salon’s logo and brand coloring and give them away freely.
Get creative with competitions: Come up with a series of competitions and let all your clients know that you are running a contest on social media and in your salon newsletter. In the salon, give away gift sets of product, free services, a gift card, or a prize for the most referrals, etc. The sky is the limit. On social, have clients post a review and share it or invite their friends and family to like or follow your salon’s page. Make it a competition so that the one with the most referrals wins a prize. Just remember that the larger the effort on the part of your clients, the more valuable the prize should be to incentivize them properly.
Get involved in national events: Partner with a national non-profit and create your own fundraising event for them. Think cut-a-thon, pledge drive, walk-a-thon, etc. It’s a great way to show that you care about your community while building your brand awareness.
Join networking events: Most every city offers some form of networking. Join your local chamber of commerce and any other business networking groups. Attend events offered by these groups to talk up your business and hand out your business cards and promotional materials.
Step out for community involvement: Get involved in your community to do local events, charity functions and donate your time where you can to the highest possible exposure. Homeless or women’s shelters, support groups, work programs, career drives, fundraisers, and local refurbishment programs are great places to start.
Teach a class or workshop: Either offer a class in your salon or partner with local colleges or other venues to teach any number of classes or workshops. For example: consider providing a father/daughter event to help teach dads how to care for and style their little girl’s hair or a mother/son event that helps educate younger teenage boys how to properly shave when there is not a dad in the picture. Braiding classes, easy DIY up-dos, and makeup demonstrations also make for great workshops.
Generate local publicity: Get to know a local journalist and offer them some complimentary services to get them in your chair. Ask them to consider a story about your salon. Just remember that you need to have something newsworthy, beyond excellent service, to get their attention. It could be your unique personal story that ties back to your salon, how your team donates their time to charity, does cut-a-thons, offers new trends, or it could be advice for hair care, styling tips, growing gray gracefully, you name it.
Advertise locally: Promote your business in your local newspapers and lifestyle magazines and advertise on their websites. You can also ask to write an article for their blog to obtain overage that way. Just be sure to include a link back to your website in exchange. Also, consider advertising in your local college and/or high school football and other sports programs and signage during the games. And if you or any of your team specialize in weddings, look into local bridal expos and consider exhibiting and/or advertising at the event.
Blog away: Set up a blog section on your salon’s website and write quality content that will appeal to readers. Offer expert advice, styling ideas, product and tool use tips, tutorials, etc.
Use email marketing: Set up and send thank you, happy birthday, and reminder emails, so your clients feel special. Use your salon software to automate the process.
Send promotional emails: Use a mass email program to send your salon clients occasional promotions. Tell them about new products, sales or other special deals that may be of interest to them.
Create newsletters: Create a newsletter and email to your clients in regular intervals (monthly or quarterly). Offer tips, expert advice, point to your blog posts, talk about upcoming trends, events, and other news about the salon or the services you offer. Just remember to keep the content informative versus promotional in nature.
Host a client appreciation event: Once a year host an event for your clients to demonstrate how much they mean to you. Consider an open house, cocktail party, happy hour mixer, after work get-together or other gala and make a sincere effort to give them your proper thanks for their support.
Go old school: Sometimes you need to offer printed material to reach certain portions of your market. In that case, consider a simple handout or brochure for your salon or services. You can also create postcards rather inexpensively and promote your salon as a whole, a trend, and individual service or promotion. Send a mailer when appropriate and leave a stack at your front desk for anyone who wants one and consider mailing as needed to help generate interest. Use these printed pieces to help generate interest outside of the salon too. Carry a stack with you when out of the salon in case the opportunity arises to share. Also, ask local businesses if you can leave a bunch behind or post on a public bulletin board. Most are open to cross-promoting and know that if they support you, that you’ll likely support them.
The key to successful salon marketing is keeping up the effort. Get creative, always think long-term, even get help if needed, just keep at it!
About the Author: Jim Bower is the founder of SalonInteractive, software solutions for eCommerce and digital supply chain management. He is a former salon and spa owner with over 30 years of experience in the industry.