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Industry • Best Practice

Cracking the Code of Creatures of Habit: 5 Marketing Hacks for Barbershops

Here are the barbershop marketing tips you need to follow to attract new patrons and get more from your current clientele

By 2024, the global male grooming market is expected to reach $81.2 billion. While there’s plenty of opportunity within the barbershop industry, it doesn’t mean every barbershop will see success.

There’s a major problem every barbershop has to face: Most men will consistently go to the same barber, where they rarely deviate from their typical cut. So, what’s the secret to getting these creatures of habit to switch to your barbershop? And, how do you get regular customers to try a new product or service to grow your revenue?

Here are 5 marketing hacks you can use to grow your barbershop business — even with the most change-averse of customers.

1. Create a website

Marketing is a crucial part of any successful business. Whether you own a single barbershop, run a chain of locations, or are wondering how to start a barbershop, you need a single focal point to funnel all of your marketing toward. That’s where your website comes in.

Imagine this: A guy looking for a haircut searches for the best barbers in town and reads a glowing review a customer left about your business. He clicks on the review to learn more, but it leads nowhere. No phone number. No website. He goes back to his search and picks another barbershop.

If you don’t have a website yet, you’re leaving money on the table. Your website is oftentimes the first impression someone will have of your business. Make sure it’s professional and easy to navigate or risk losing potential clients at that crucial first step.

2. List your business on Google

Once your website is set up, business will start flowing in, right? Not necessarily. If you don’t create a marketing path, your audience will never find your website. As a brick-and-mortar business, the next crucial step is to list your business on Google. When someone needs a haircut, they’ll often type into Google “barbershops near me”. When they do, barbershops that have set up a Google Business Profile will be prominently displayed.

Once you’re set up on Google, clients will also see your barbershop pop up on Google Maps, making it even easier to find your shop. Under your Google My Business profile, you can add photos, your phone number, and a link to your website. Plus, one of the most critical benefits is you’ll now be able to collect Google Reviews. This leads us to our next barbershop marketing hack…

3. Generate online reviews

According to a Bright Local Survey, 77% of consumers ‘always’ or ‘regularly’ read online reviews when browsing for local businesses in 2021. This is up from 60% in 2020, which means online reviews are becoming even more important to local businesses. If you want to reel in new clients, then you need to set up Google Business to start bringing in reviews, then actively pursue them.

Here are a few tips to get more reviews:

  • Ask every client to leave a Google review.

  • Double up your review strategy andloyalty strategy: hand your client a loyalty punch card as an incentive to come back. On one side, print “Buy X Cuts, Get 1 Free”. On the other side, ask them to leave you a Google review.

  • Display reviews on your website and social media.

  • Ask for a review during a follow-up email.

When someone Googles “local barbershops”, the businesses at the top typically have the most 5-star reviews. Make this your goal and your lead generation will lift off.

4. Use an online booking system

The harder it is for someone to book with your shop, the fewer bookings you’ll get. If you want to get new clients and bring your current clients back again, you need to set up an online booking system

An online booking system makes it that much easier to become a customer. It’s 2022. Millennials and Gen Zers don’t want to phone in and talk back and forth to figure out a time. They’d rather click a button to find a time that works for them. Using an online booking system also means no more missed calls after hours or on weekends, or when the front desk staff was otherwise occupied.

5. Use email to keep your clients coming back

According to a Litmus Survey, email marketing provides an average return on investment (ROI) of $36 for every $1 spent. But what makes it an effective way to build trust and loyalty among barbershop clientele specifically? Well, email marketing is a great way to remind clients about your business in a non-intrusive way between visits. Plus, it doesn’t take a lot of time.

By using the right email software, you can harness the power of email automation to engage with your clients even when you’re busy cutting hair (or resting your weary fingers back at home). For instance, you could set up simple automations such as a “thank you” email after each client's appointment. This is a great opportunity to build rapport and — going back to No. 3 — ask for an online review.

As a brick-and-mortar shop with plenty of overhead, you need to look for revenue opportunities whenever possible. One way is by showing your clients new products or services, and even upselling them through email. For instance, a purpose-built marketing suite should make it easy to send an email to a client a few days before their scheduled appointment with, say, a discount code to add on a hot shave or hair gel.

You could even set up automated emails to go out 30 days after a client’s last cut. Simply send them an email right before they’ll typically get a haircut as a reminder to come back to your shop rather than the competition.

Bonus: Happy clients are your best marketing asset

Your number one marketing goal should always be to make the client happy. When your clients are happy with the experience at your barbershop, they’re likely to come back. And when your clients love coming back to your shop, they’ll become a walking, talking billboard for your brand.

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