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Industry • COVID-19

5 Salon + Spa Promotion Ideas To Do Now (No social distancing required)

Salon and spa professionals understand that business has its ups and downs. During the holidays you get inventive with promotions, and when the economy slows you approach it as a creative challenge. But how do you carry on with “business as usual,” when business is anything but? With the right perspective, even radically disruptive events like the coronavirus outbreak are just another adaptation challenge. Even during a temporary closure — due to renovations, seasonal slumps, or a full-on quarantine — there’s still work to be done. These periods are a prime opportunity to grow your online presence for your business. True, you may not be able to see your clients in person, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share your experience and expertise with them on a daily basis. And don’t forget: Your clients still want to feel good, even when they can’t get out to visit you. Especially when they can’t get out to visit you. 

You can bring a bit of normalcy back (and help your salon at the same time) by connecting with your clientele online. You can start on these salon and spa promotion ideas today, and with a bit of effort, you can stay top-of-mind despite the lack of face time.

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Salon and spa promotion ideas for COVID-19 and beyond

1. Start a beauty blog

When someone is in your salon, you can consult, offer advice, and share handy tips face-to-face. You can achieve the same goal when they’re out of the salon by starting a business blog. You may not think you know how to start a beauty blog, but you already have plenty of ideas for content based on your day-to-day business. 

You can likely think of a dozen beauty problems you see every day. Hair that’s become dry and brittle because it’s been colored too much. Clients who don’t know how to treat their skin. Hair in that awkward in-between stage as it grows out from a short cut. Take an afternoon to brainstorm a list of common problems and write out tips or advice on how to tackle them. 

Don’t feel intimidated by the technical side — there are a number of intuitive blogging platforms available that integrate with your existing web setup. Wordpress is a popular option, as it’s free to start and offers access to a variety of elegantly designed themes. Some bloggers prefer a platform like Medium, as it requires minimal setup and opens you up to massive network of readers. However, third-party publishing comes with its own pros and cons so do your research before committing to a platform.

If writing isn’t your thing, you can make a vlog (video blog) instead. Don’t worry if you’re not a seasoned vlogger; authenticity matters far more to your audience than perfect editing. And there are loads of easy-to-use editing applications to give your videos a bit of polish. 

2. Break down beauty basics

You know better than anyone that while there are plenty of clients who are in the know when it comes to beauty, there are plenty — most, perhaps — that don’t know an ombre from an omelet. Use your salon’s blog to introduce them to different techniques of styling, cutting, and coloring. Explain the different face shapes and what styles look best on them. Break down when not to cut your hair (right after a breakup is maybe not the best time to cut off your ponytail). Talk about moisturizers and why, yes, you need to do your feet, too. If your reaction to an idea is “everyone knows that,” guess what? They don’t, so be the one to tell them. Now is the time to not only build authority with your clientele, but within the industry as a whole. 

Don’t neglect your male clients! Men often don’t receive much self-care information beyond “take a shower,” but they want to feel good about themselves, too. You could create an entire series of posts solely dedicated to beauty questions men may have about skincare, beards, shaving, the best style for their hairline, and coloring away the gray. And dad? It’s about time you learned how to braid your kids’ hair. 

3. Share beauty video ideas

Demonstrations are your easiest go-to for video ideas. A quick browse through YouTube will show you how popular beauty how-tos are. To get an idea of what topics you should tackle, ponder your salon’s clientele. Are they mostly busy commuters, or stay-at-home types? Does one ethnicity or culture make up most of your customers? What about age group? Tailor your videos to suit the particular needs of your clients. You know what their beauty problems are and now is your chance to provide solutions.

Think about what’s happening right now and how that’s impacting your own beauty regimen. That’s what your clients are going through, and they’d appreciate your advice on ways to look their best when they can’t leave the house. For example, some of them may have roots coming in. Others may appreciate step-by-step instructions on how to trim their bangs at home.

4. Engage clientele on Instagram

If you don’t already have an Instagram account, now’s the time to start one, because Instagram is the number one location for beauty brands and influencers. Use resources like Canva’s Instagram Templates to make your feed look polished and professional. Just remember that if you’re sharing videos, Instagram limits videos to 60 seconds, so longer-length videos should live on your website and YouTube. 

When curating imagery for your Instagram page, think of your feed as a themed grid. Consider thematic imagery and color palette when planning your posts. Find your trademark filter and stick to it, so your posts will have a sense of visual unity. If you’re feeling out of depth with these design nuances, model your feed after one of your favorites — it may be easier to recreate than you think.

When it comes to content, you can share before and afters (so popular!),style inspiration, or expert insights to promote your business. Maybe use IGTV to break down why one hair color is better than another for someone with fine hair. Perhaps post a gallery of shots demonstrating how to get perfect beach hair when you can’t go to the beach. People stuck inside would certainly appreciate your recommendation for a good bronzer. You have a wealth of beauty information ready to share, from ways to style short hair to the brush no-one should be without. Use this opportunity to convince an entirely new client base they can trust your talents before they ever walk through your door.

5. Sell the experience

In times of uncertainty, it’s easy to stress about everything from how to pay your staff, to simply keeping the lights on. But before you start brainstorming salon discount ideas, remember that you have an abundance of well-margined inventory at your disposal. If your client can’t come to the salon, deliver a bit of the salon to them by selling your product inventory online. If you’re unsure how to sell salon products online, you could partner with service like Shipsi to give your clients same-day delivery. 

People still want to take care of themselves in between visits, and your carefully curated online shop will help them do exactly that. Be creative with your packaging: Bundle together a “Beauty 101” that includes tools, shampoo, and styling products, or offer a “Head to Toe” bundle that combines a high-quality hairbrush with a foot pumice, and everything in-between. For your regulars, you could even mix up custom hair color and deliver a kit directly to their door. Remember: You’re not just selling lotions and cleansers, you’re selling an escape into some likely much-needed self-care time. 

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Don’t pretend it’s business as usual

When faced with challenges, whether at the magnitude of the COVID-19 epidemic, or just the minor inconvenience of closing for repairs, it’s crucial to acknowledge the situation and adapt. Don’t act like it’s just another Tuesday — you’ll have to try new (sometimes uncomfortable) things in order to grow. These salon and spa promotion ideas allow you to leverage online resources when in-person isn’t an option. Remember that you can still communicate directly with your clients via email, Instagram posts, blog posts, and vlogs. Ask them how they’re doing and invite them to share their beauty hacks. Everyone could use a little more connectedness in their lives. Your salon and its customers are a community, so show up to keep that community thriving. Someday, things will feel normal again.

Did you know your governor's Twitter activity affects salon sales and bookings in your state? We analyzed 2,431 tweets in 35 states to discover how gubernatorial sentiment resonated in the beauty industry. Download this new report and learn exactly what these findings mean for your business.

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