Stylists | Estheticians | Nail Techs
Small business salons can survive on common sense strategies like good customer service, shop cleanliness, and offering relevant services. But marketing can mean the difference between surviving and thriving.
Whether you are just starting out at your own salon studio suite or are a seasoned professional looking to expand, you can grow your business and gain new clients with these Beauty Pro marketing tips.
1) Have a Great Website
It’s all about the user experience.
Nail that silent interview with a stylish and mobile friendly website. Strong visual elements and high-quality images, listing your services & prices, and links to your social media channels should all be front and center. Engage clients and potential customers with calls to action that stand out. Showcase your talent, training, and experience. Highlight positive reviews and testimonials and pair your website with an online booking system that is easy to use. See Capterra’s suggestions for salon-specific software.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization.
Review platforms dominate organic search results for salons in many markets. Work hard on your website optimization to try and outrank them in your area. Develop a blog. Obtain backlinks through your networking or by guest blogging for other websites and online publications.
Relevant keywords and long-tail phrases that potential clients may be searching for can be included in your content and image descriptions. These phrases include grouped keywords such as, “eyelash extensions near me” and “balayage before and after.”
2) Create Content
Represent Your Brand.
Quality visual content in the form of photos and videos is important in any industry, and that’s especially true when you are in the business of beauty. Trying to stand out in a sea of beautiful content can be a challenge. Add value to your content by offering tips and tutorials about styling and care. Having a content creation schedule is valuable for both your brand and your serenity. Setting aside time to create your engaging content and then sharing it at intervals can help your brand maintain consistency without spamming your audience. Always take a moment to proofread you text content. Nobody is perfect, but typos and errors can leave your audience questioning your professionalism.
A Beauty Pro’s clientele is all about relationships, so don’t shy away from letting your personality shine. Humor, trendy topics, and emotion can all be conveyed in a professional manner that allows your audience to relate to you. Before and after shots, progress videos, and candid action scenes are proven techniques for engagement. Creating and publishing so much content can be daunting. Focus on content that is relevant and fits your vibe.
Create a selfie station or space that has ideal lighting and a simple background.
3) Social Media is a Marketing Tool
Why it’s Relevant.
There’s no denying the value of social media for marketing purposes and getting your business in front of your demographic. Because social media platforms are constantly changing, staying up to date about policies and best-practice recommendations is important. Connect all of your social channels to each other and to your website to maximize the potential. Your clients all have social media accounts and many of them love sharing pictures during and after their experience with you.
Facebook is still Tops.
According to Zephoria, 1.49 billion people on average log into Facebook daily and five new Facebook profiles are created every second. In addition to the vast social aspect, Facebook also offers location and interest targeted advertising, a user review system, enhanced communities within Groups, and impressive opportunities for B2C and B2B networking that outpaces even business-oriented LinkedIn.
Do It for the ‘Gram
Instagram is a visual storytelling look-book that pairs well with the beauty industry. As of 2018, Instagram has 1 billion active monthly users and over 500 million daily users. It utilizes Facebook’s powerful ad platform and offers additional features like hashtags and stories. Take that #salonhustle into your own hands and use those hashtags to your advantage!
Looking for More?
Although not as prolific as Facebook and Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, and LinkedIn are all valuable platforms for marketing. Have some stellar video content? Consider having your own YouTube channel. YouTube is now the second-most popular website globally, right behind Google.
Many customers and potential customers are inquiring via social media through comments and messenger platforms. Be responsive and engage them with an active presence.
4) Manage your Reputation with Reviews
Why You Do It.
Customer satisfaction is just as important as the product or service itself because customer reviews have a big impact on the decision making of new clients. According to the most recent survey, 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses and 91% of 18-34 year old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Facebook, Google, and Yelp all offer online review services.
How You Do It.
You need to be proactive in getting positive views. ASK for reviews from your clients. At the end of an appointment. In an e-mail. Add links to the review platform where they can leave reviews. Thank customers for their positive reviews. You can reduce the impact of negative reviews by obtaining more positive reviews and responding professionally to negative reviews. Bogus negative reviews can be reported to the platform for possible removal. Longer testimonials and social media posts with photos and videos can be shared on your social media platforms and put to good use as content on your website.
Use your Google My Business account for more than just reviews by regularly adding some of your favorite content to the images and video sections.
5) The Power of Paid Advertising
What’s All the Fuss?
Utilize the power of targeted advertising: geo-targeting, interest targeting, and keyword strategies. With Google, YouTube, and Facebook being the three most visited sites in the world, the return on your investment on these platforms is likely to be higher than any other form of paid advertising. You set the goals, budget, and content how you want them.
Google AdWords and Bing Ads both offer paid advertising options that suit any budget. Focus on specific locations and keywords, like “Balayage in Arvada” or “Lash Extensions in DTC”. Use some of your best images and videos in the ads that you create to showcase your work. Google’s search platform draws considerably more traffic, and Bing allows you to copy your Google AdWords campaign over to their platform so that you don’t waste time duplicating your content and strategy.
Get a grasp on the enormity of Facebook’s Ads Manager with customizable, targeted, and re-targeted ads that appear in the newsfeeds, stories, and messenger streams of both Facebook and Instagram. This is an effective way to directly reach the people most likely to schedule an appointment. Most of your current and future clients are already on social media every day.
Google’s AdWords platform offers free consultations and step-by-step set up guidance over the phone.
6) Develop a Solid Clientele
Getting & Keeping Customers.
Offering gift certificates is reliable tool for gaining new clients. During the holiday, promote your gift cards on social media and to your clients when they are in your salon. Provide an extra incentive like $10 off your first visit to encourage potential clients to take the first step. It takes less time and money to retain existing clients than it takes to earn new ones. Offer Loyalty Programs. Statistics show that customers who use loyalty programs return twice as often as those who don’t. Punch cards, point system (1 point for every $1), every 10th hair cut free, discounts for seniors and kids go a long way towards retaining your clients. This is especially true in the business of beauty.
The All-mighty Referral.
A referral is one of the best gifts a business can receive. Offer your clients a referral incentive and develop your own “brand influencers.” Give your clients encouragement to tell their friends and family about you. A set discount for every referred client, a gift card for your services that they can use themselves or gift to another, or a complimentary product or service are great ways to express gratitude to your clients. This has the benefit of making your existing clients feel special while increasing your new customers.
Beauty Pros are with their clients through relationships, babies, career changes, etc. Show your clients that you care about them by developing personal relationships and engaging with them on social media. Make a consistent effort to let them know that you care.
7) Network like a Boss
Build relationships with local businesses and beauty professionals. The beauty business can be a tough world. Collaborating and supporting each other is intrinsically valuable and creates the positive vibes we love. But those supportive relationships can be more than comradery and social media engagement. Utilize your network to expand your market with cross promotions and referral partnerships. Form partnerships with Beauty Pros that offer products and services that your business doesn’t feature to generate new referrals expand each other’s customer base.
Team up with a Beauty Pro that rents a suite from the same location and offer packages like spa days or wedding parties.
8) Stand Out in a Crowd
Be Your Own Brand.
Distinguish yourself from your competitors and use that distinction to create a story. Define your brand with a coordinated color palette and a logo. Offer a unique experience or amenity or specialize in something. Everyone loves free stuff. Offering value-adding services and products that feel like little luxuries for your clients is a delightful approach. Trial sizes of products, relaxing scalp massages, and take-home tools for care and styling are all ways to add value to the service you are providing.
Selling unique products and services that you are passionate about can engage clients, make you stand out, and create additional income for your business. Multiple streams of income are welcome for any small business owner, and that’s certainly of true in the beauty industry.
Participate in continuing education and be an expert for a current trend. Being on the cutting edge of something always draws attention.
9) Generate Buzz
From Surviving to Thriving.
Offer promotions and holiday specials. Seasonal events are the reason many customers decide to seek out a Beauty Pro, and you can capitalize on their interest with timely incentives. Create promotions for weddings and prom. Offer a short-term special like March Madness: $10 off a set of lashes during the month of March. Give back to your community by dedicating a portion of the proceeds from a specific service to a particular cause or donate a gift certificate to be used as a raffle prize or bidding item for a charity event.
Promote these buzz-worthy occasions with your clients when they are in for services, through your social media and e-mail lists. A little buzz can go along way to helping your business go from surviving to thriving.
Host an in-store event that includes prizes or education. Demonstrate tips for at-home care and styling, showcase a new technique or product, or throw a client appreciation party. Utilize social media, e-mail, and SMS to invite clients and other Beauty Pros, and talk the party up to your clients when they are in your salon.
10) The Classic Business Card
They are wildly inexpensive and still demonstrate professionalism. Keep them in your salon and carry them with you everywhere. Business cards can reinforce your brand and message. These days, business cards are also diverse in shape, size, and texture. The design can include everything from contact info to images and QR codes that lead people directly to your website.
Ensure that your business card designs leave a lasting impression by allowing enough negative space so that the message is easy to read and recipients don’t feel bombarded.
11) Get Some Marketing Help
When to Outsource
Marketing can take a lot of time and effort, and some small business salons can’t keep up. When this is the case, it may be necessary to obtain outside marketing assistance. Selecting the right agency for your marketing is like selecting any other business partner or contractor. Trust and cooperation are essential to ensuring that your business doesn’t throw money at an operation that doesn’t deliver results.
You will want your marketing partner to provide transparency and credible metrics. Understand your needs and your budget, then ask for referrals and shop around.