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Industry • Marketing

5 Salon Marketing Ideas for Building a Clientele Fast

A prime location and talented staff aren’t enough to guarantee a thriving salon business, especially in highly competitive locations like Los Angeles or New York. You also need to attract customers, and for that, you need salon marketing ideas that get real results.

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Where to begin? How do you attract customers to your salon? It’s a noisy landscape, and even experts in social media and digital marketing can struggle to attract attention. Thankfully, there’s no need to break a sweat (or the bank) to figure out what works best for you. Here are five simple salon marketing strategies that will get you on the map fast.

1. Get a website, already. And make it pretty.

Real talk: If your salon doesn’t have a website, it may as well not even exist. Google is the first place a new customer will look when they’re in need of your services, and a stylish, informative website is what you want them to find. Although there are lots of DIY website builders out there, enlisting the services of a professional web designer will ensure your salon truly looks its best. Once your website is up and running, be sure to integrate business software that is specifically designed for salons. Not only does this give your clients a seamless digital booking experience, but premium software offerings enable you to optimize schedules, generate business reports, communicate with clients to confirm appointments, and much more. 

Pro tip: Remember to have your web designer optimize the mobile browsing experience. Studies indicate that over one-third of appointments are booked on mobile devices.

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2. How is your digital presence?

Your salon’s website isn’t the only place your information exists online, of course. If you’re looking to build salon clientele fast, make sure you’re leveraging every business reference platform available. Yelp, Facebook, Instagram, and Google Maps are just some of the hubs you should audit for accuracy. First, Google your salon name and the name of your city, then click on each listing to confirm it has the right contact details, like phone number, hours of operation, and location. If you’re the salon owner, you’ll be able to update the listing as needed. Next, open Google Maps and search for your salon to check the same information. If your salon doesn’t pop up on Google Maps, you can add it for free here: https://business.google.com.

3. Incentivize client referrals

All told, word-of-mouth is the best advertising your salon can possibly have. It’s also the only real way to build the cult status that luxury salons covet. Give your clients an incentive to tell their friends, neighbors, and random strangers how next-level their experience was at your salon. Ask your clients to leave a review in the specific location that will benefit you most. Invite them to comment on Yelp, or on your salon’s testimonials page. Better yet, use your salon software to send follow-up emails after their appointment that include a direct link to that portion of your site. Also consider introducing a client referral program, which awards clients with discounts or perks for sending more customers through your doors. Make the most out of your existing client network— you’ll be amazed how far it can reach.

4. Photograph your work

Customers gushing about your salon is all well and good, but what really matters is how people look when they walk out of your door. When you’ve nailed that balayage or cut the perfect, lived-in lob, ask your customer if you can take a picture to share on your salon’s Instagram page. Better yet, post before and after shots that show just what an artist you are. Clients will often be delighted to be considered brag-worthy enough to put on your salon’s website or Instagram account. 

You may also consider creating a dedicated spot for your clients to take selfies. Find a cool backdrop, invest in flattering lighting (or take advantage of natural lighting near the front of your salon), and clients will be eager to take advantage of the space. You’ve already made your customers look great in real life, now go the extra step and make them fabulous on Instagram! Speaking of Instagram…

5. You should be on Instagram 

When it comes to beauty marketing, no social media network tops Instagram. Your salon should have an Insta, but not just to share all those stunning before-and-after shots you’ve been snapping. Consider reaching out to beauty influencers in your area; they can be an easy way to find hair models. Micro-influencers have 1,000-30,000 and are more likely to help promote your salon in exchange for free services. An influencer post that tags your salon’s account can create a lot of buzz. Just make sure they have good engagement (likes, comments, shares) and are in your general area.

To take it to the next level, turn your artist’s eye to your Instagram page. Use resources like Canva.com’s Instagram Templates to make your feed look polished and professional. Supplement your client photos with or inspirational images that evoke what your salon is all about. Getting seen on Instagram will help you build your salon clientele fast. 

Test-drive these salon marketing ideas & trust your gut

While it’s true that a sign on your door may not be enough to build a thriving business, these simple steps can help you get traction in your digital presence. Once you’ve established a web presence and verified your listing on key sites like Google, you’re well on your way to attracting clientele. Photographing your work and leveraging social platforms will take you the extra mile. But remember, you know your business best — above all trust your gut, and market your salon in a way that feels true to you. One thing is certainly true: If you build a brand, they will come.

For more tips on how to outfit your salon, including the latest COVID-19 guidance, download our NEW Salon Equipment Guide!

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