Running a salon can be a challenging business. Everything can be humming along just fine until one customer has an experience that they perceive to be negative. They tell their friends, likely with a few embellishments about your misdeeds, who then tell other friends, and pretty soon you’re the subject of a harmful game of Telephone in your local community. To counter this, you need a strong reputation. To get this, you need to be marketing yourself every day.
In order to market your salon effectively, you’ve got to build that strong reputation one customer at a time. Every customer that leaves happy may not leave an online review or tell their friends about the experience, but you’ll reinforce your reputation with them when they receive a good experience so that when the negative gossip mill comes around, they won’t believe the bad stuff that is being said about you.
Great Salon Marketing Strategies to Grow a Business
1. Get Local Graphics
People come to the salon because they want to feel like a rock star. You can encourage this feeling by partnering with local photographers who need models for their own shoots. Your customers might get the chance to be paid for their modeling services and you’ll get a credit for the style work that was done if/when the images are published.
2. Have a Strong Portfolio
Take pictures of all the work you do in the salon every single day. Instead of having a portfolio that shows off what you believe your best strengths happen to be, you’ll be able to show prospects what daily life in your salon is like. That helps people relate to you in a better way because they’re able to see the story that you’re trying to tell.
3. Engage, Engage, Engage
If you’re keeping your images to yourself in the salon on your computer, then you’re missing out on an easy and free marketing opportunity. Post photos on a Facebook page, your Twitter account, and especially on Pinterest to show off your skills and create a want in the viewer of the image to have a similar look. Just take note: you’ll often need a customer’s permission to post a photo of them online, especially in communities where personality rights are enforced.
4. You Market Yourself
If you don’t have confidence in your own personal beauty, then why should someone have confidence in your ability to make them beautiful? Your look is your best marketing device. If you look the idealized way your target demographic would like to look, then you’ll sustain the confidence that your prospects have in your and proceed through your sales funnel.
5. Be Different
Many salons hand out business cards by the dozen and these tend to get lost in the stream of overwhelming information. You’ve got to be different in your small handouts in order to stand out. Instead of handing someone a business card, what if you could hand them a mix tape? Or a CD of songs with your salon’s brand? Or a headshot that’s stylized as a business card? Your creativity here will make you stand out.
6. Have a Speech
A 30 second elevator speech is a handy thing to have memorized if you’re promoting a salon. This way, when you’re asked the inevitable question about what you do, you’ll have a polished script that can act as a stand-alone marketing device.
7. Blog Like Mad Crazy
Blogging is a free way to provide more value to your customers and prospects. There’s a wide variety of topics you can use to promote your salon through a blog as well, which makes it a powerful marketing too. From new hair styles to celebrity gossip to information to help customers keep up the work they had done so it still looks stunning, a high quality blog can even generate additional revenue for your salon when it’s done right.
8. Give Them Something
People love to get stuff for free. If you throw a contest for your customer base and offer something simple, like a free haircut or style, then realistically your costs will be minimal except for the time investment. In return, you’ll have people getting something they find tremendously valuable and you might even get a few personal details, like an email address, that can help future marketing campaigns.
9. Let Them Earn Something
The only thing better than getting something for free is to let customers earn something to receive for free. A customer loyalty program that will offer free work, free products, or some sort of individualized free services will help drive business your way because people will be tempted by the end result: free stuff.
10. Rock Your Email
Email marketing as a salon can sometimes be tricky, but it can also be wildly effective. It’s another way to interact with people and provide them with value. Style tips, how-to video links, and anything else your customer base would like are all fair game. In return, you’ll keep your salon’s brand at the top of the customer’s mind.
11. Be Trendy
Being stuck in 1992 will limit your customer base. You’ve got to make sure that you’re keeping up with the latest in salon trends without ignoring the trends of 1992 so that you can effectively market your skills to all local sub-groups that might want to utilize your business for their needs.
12. Go Public
If you’re struggling to get customers through your doors, then go where the customers are. Public demonstrations of your skills are like the food samples that a restaurant would offer people for more exposure. Offer up a free haircut or trim that won’t take up much of your time. You can take this type of marketing to the next level by offering discounts on future visits as well so there is a lot of value seen in it.
13. Text Away
Text marketing has the highest open rates in the industry and you create relationships when you own a salon. Offer follow-up reminders, special SMS discounts, and other specific services on a limited basis and you’ll likely see an immediate up-tick in bookings.