Industry • Marketing
The Barbershop Marketing Checklist: Ideas and Strategies That Work
Dec.19.2023By Boulevard Staff
Make a lasting impression that draws in clients
One of the toughest things about running a barbershop is figuring out how to attract new business and turn first-timers into loyal clients. With so much competition in the marketplace, it’s hard to stand apart — especially if you’re just starting out and have limited resources. But how can you make a barbershop marketing plan when you’re busy managing day-to-day operations?
Here’s the good news: You don’t need to be a marketing wizard to successfully draw in new business and build lasting client relationships. With these thoughtful barbershop marketing ideas, you’re well on your way to establishing your shop as a neighborhood go-to.
Cultivate your brand identity
Before producing a single flyer, ad, or web page, you need to be able to answer a key question: Who are you? To start figuring this out, ask yourself about your barbershop’s brand identity. Is it edgy and cool? Low-key and chill? Are you envisioning a more traditional shop with the classic red and blue barber’s pole, or do you have plans to build something more contemporary? Every subsequent step of your barbershop marketing plan will depend on your answers.
Start out with some market research on competing barbershops in your area. This will give you an idea of what’s already out there and how you can differentiate your own business. From there, begin cultivating your brand identity and let that be the guiding force in all of your communications with potential clients.
Identify your clientele
The next question to ask after “Who are you?” is “Who are your clients?” Like your brand identity, understanding your ideal clientele will drive many of your marketing decisions. For example, if you’re envisioning a family-friendly shop, you’ll want to make that clear on your website and in marketing blasts (more on that later). That way, parents will know their kids are welcome.
Choosing a target demographic can be tricky, as narrowing your clientele feels antithetical to running a successful business. However, if you try to appeal to everyone, you’ll end up losing any sense of brand identity and quickly fade into the background.
Build your online presence
Once a potential client learns about your barbershop, their natural instinct will be to look online for further information. It’s important to have a website that embodies your brand identity while being easy to find and use. Make sure your hours, location, and pricing are readily identifiable from your home page — bonus points if clients can book an appointment straight from the website as well.
Of course, modern self-care businesses need to have a social media presence as well. Your target clientele will help you determine which social media platforms are best for your business; you’ll find a younger demographic on TikTok and Instagram, while Facebook’s audience skews older. Use social media to share before and after pictures, promote special deals, and more — while also ensuring that followers know how to contact you and book an appointment.
One of the best barbershop marketing strategies is cultivating client loyalty. By giving clients reasons to come back again and again, you’re setting yourself up for future business success — and generating valuable word-of-mouth buzz. You can capitalize on that buzz by creating a referral program that encourages existing clients to bring their friends to your barbershop. Seal the deal with the kind of personalization that makes every client feel special, whether it’s a birthday discount or a package you’ve put together just for them.
To take this a step further, create a loyalty program that rewards returning clients with exclusive deals and discounts. Like the rest of your marketing efforts, this membership should also be an extension of your brand. With the right software, it’s easy to set up a points-based system and track it across multiple locations. That way, you can focus on building your business’ reputation as a top-tier barbershop that delivers personalized services.
Generate buzz with seasonal promotions
No matter what time of year it is, there’s always something to celebrate. Having a rotating list of seasonal deals attracts both returning and new clients and gives them something to look forward to. Fresh cuts for back-to-school time, end-of-year holiday gift bundles, or Valentine’s Day sweetheart deals — the exact details will depend on your clientele, but your options are varied and virtually limitless.
Because these promotions are only available for a limited time, they’ll help create a sense of urgency among clients who don’t want to miss out. Be sure to spread the word about any seasonal specials on your website and social media channels.
Leverage email marketing
Delivering a return on investment of $40 for every dollar spent, email marketing is one of the most effective barbershop marketing strategies you can leverage. Whether it’s a one-time blast or an ongoing campaign, email is ideal for communicating with clients when you have special offers or news you want to share. For example, those referral programs and limited-time promotions we mentioned? You’ll want to send those to everyone on your email distribution list.
That said, designing email campaigns from scratch can be a lot of work. To avoid having it take over your daily responsibilities, use software that provides pre-built templates and automates as much of the process as possible. Like with the other strategies on this checklist, you don’t need to be a graphic designer or marketing whiz to get it right; all you need is a clear brand identity, an intuitive tech stack, and an effective barbershop marketing plan.