If you are reading this guide you are either:
A: Desperately looking for a marketing idea to save your business.
B: Aware that you should improve your salon marketing but not sure how to go about it.
If you’re person A, don’t fret; you’ve come to the right place. There are tons of salon marketing ideas for hairstylists you can use to bring in new clients.
If you’re person B, you should borrow a little from person A’s book. If you treat your salon marketing strategy like you’re tackling a crisis, you will be able to generate thousands in extra revenue and quickly win a loyal client base.
Let’s take a look at some effective salon marketing ideas to help you get more clients.
Table of Contents
- 1 TL;DR
- 2 Use online directories to boost your presence
- 3 Create or update your salon’s website
- 4 Start a blog for your salon
- 5 Use Google and Facebook Ads
- 6 Get your business cards ready
- 7 Make use of upselling and price tiers
- 8 Create customer loyalty
- 9 Organise your social media platforms
- 10 Create your own Instagram hashtag
- 11 Set up a selfie station
- 12 Create brand ambassadors
- 13 Make sure your Facebook page is thorough
- 14 Run a competition
- 15 Partner up with local businesses
- 16 Make an app
If you only take one thing from this guide it should be this:
The most important thing you can do is get new clients sitting in your salon chair.
All salon marketing is based around the answer to these fundamental questions:
How do people discover businesses like mine and how am I going to make sure my marketing strategies reach those places?
Bear these questions in mind as we go through this guide.
Use online directories to boost your presence
Google is a well-used brand discovery platform (with over 3.5 billion searches per day). Because the search engine is so hot on geo-targeting, it is essential that your salon ranks on the first page of local search results.
To appear in these results you need to have registered your salon on Google Business, it’s free, quick, and easy.
Your business listing gives clients an all-round impression of your business, so it’s important that you take a thorough approach to this salon marketing idea.
The business listing provides customers with a map thumbnail of your location, an outside view of your salon, and links to any photos you have uploaded to your business page.
Not only does your address, opening hours, and contact details all need to be up to date, but photos also need to be uploaded.
Paid advertising or search engine optimization is another great way to make sure your business ranks on the first page of local search results.
For example, here’s what comes up when we search for a salon in North London:
You’ll notice that most of the Google search page is dominated by the Treatwell salon booking platform.
They have pretty strong Google search dominance at the time of writing, so it might be worth applying to list your salon—it’s free.
The upside is your business will be displayed prominently in local searches and the site allows customers to book appointments online. Read the terms and conditions before making your decision because there may be hidden fees.
Tip: When posting a profile on a listing service like Treatwell it’s worth bearing in mind the best way to do this.
The top Treatwell listing (Brasil Hair) is a “featured” listing. This means the salon has paid to give it a priority. A lot of these directories (including Google) prioritise those who pay to get their content boosted.
You only have a few words to display in the description, so make each word count. Keywords such as “high-end hairdressing” and “indulgent beauty services” capture the reader’s interest.
Create or update your salon’s website
In the beauty industry, first impressions are everything.
This is why having an organised and easy to navigate website is so important.
Most of the website builders that are available today are free and user friendly, and can help you get a professional-looking website ready in no time.
Tip: Take high-quality action photos for your website.
It’s nerve-wracking for new clients to go to a new salon, which makes action photos a great marketing idea.
Photos are a great way to tell the story of your salon and the people behind it.Not only will action photos help build trust with new clients, but they will also convey your brand’s personality.
Potential new clients are looking for every available sign that your salon will deliver a service that will leave them feeling confident.
It’s best to avoid taking these photos yourself. Instead, hire a professional to take top-quality photos.
The last thing you want is poorly lit and framed photos because this will detract from your marketing power.
Let’s take a look at Anne Veck (Hair Definitions’ top hairdresser) Google Business photos:
They’re packed with brightly lit hairstyle action shots, and signal value by including images of their reviews and awards.
Start a blog for your salon
Starting your salon’s own blog is an effective way to generate interest in your business.
According to Prism Global Marketing Solutions, blogging can help you attract new clients and build your reputation as a figure of authority in the beauty industry.
Here are a few topics you could cover on your blog:
- Provide beauty and hair tutorials
- Recommend helpful products and tools
- Let customers know about upcoming promotions or sales at your salon
Tip: Use a free tool like Website Graderto measure the marketing effectiveness of your website. It will provide an inbound marketing score that measures factors like website traffic and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Website Grader will also give you basic advice on how to improve your website and how it compares to your competition.
If we jump on Hair Definitions’ site, we can see that it is pretty well optimized.
The page performance is slow, but it loads quickly and, crucially, it is fully optimised for search engines. To find out how to improve your site, simply post your URL in the search field at the top of the page.
SEO is not just about making it easy for clients to find your site. It’s also designed to help search bots pull up your content. You should stick to Web Grader’s rules here:
Page titles: No more than 70 characters long with no repeated keywords.
Meta description: This is a short description of up to 160 characters that appears under the page title in the search results. Every searchable page on your site needs its own unique meta description. It’s your showcase to readers and will help them decide if your site provides the services they need.
Here is Hair Definitions’ meta-description as an example:
Similarly, your salon’s meta-description should get straight to the point and list the brand’s keywords in a natural way.
Headings: The content on your site needs to be broken down into easy to follow headings (marked with the appropriate H-tag) that help the reader skim over the page to find the content they want.
XML Sitemap: If you have a website design team, this is for them. Essentially, it’s a plan of your site written in code form that you submit to Google to help them index your page. Your XML sitemap should only include pages you want clients to be able to search for.
Use Google and Facebook Ads
You can pay Google to display your site when certain search terms are used. This is known as Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising.
Because you only pay when your ad is clicked on, this can be a great way to invest in salon marketing on a results-first basis.
Before creating a PPC ad, make sure you know what keywords will work for you.
You need to get a balance between terms that are unique to your business and terms that users are actually going to be searching for.
Here are some of the key factors potential clients might be searching for:
Salons near them: i.e., “hair salon N1”, “hair salon Camden”.
Affordable salons, i.e.: “cheap hair salon”, “budget hairdresser North London”.
Facebook advertising allows you to engage with new clients on one of the most popular social media platforms.
Not only do Facebook’s adverts drive traffic back to your website, but they also allow you to grow your existing customer base.
Facebook also enables you to measure your advertising performance through an extensive set of metrics.
This includes advert reach, engagement and conversions.
Get your business cards ready
Don’t be fooled into thinking business cards are outdated.
Despite popular belief, business cards are still an affordable way to promote your business and leave a lasting professional impression.
Make sure that both you and your staff carry a few around to hand to clients, with your contact details and where to find you online.
Make use of upselling and price tiers
We can break down your clients into two broad tiers:
- Budget Shoppers
- Style Gurus
The Budget Shopper is motivated by how affordable your products and services are.
The Style Guru, on the other hand, is motivated to find the best quality haircut.
Unless they are a high earner, they will also be motivated by cost, but to a lesser extent.
By extension (pardon the pun), the Budget Shopper is also motivated by the quality of service, it’s just that they will stick to a pre-set budget.
The affordability of your cuts may get the Budget Shopper through the door, but unless they get a great cut and service, they’ll be visiting another salon.
Therefore, you want to attract both the Budget Shopper and Style Guru to your business.
The trick is to make sure those who can afford to spend more don’t take advantage of the cheap deals you’re offering to budget shoppers.
Toni and Guy show us how this is done by having a book of haircuts from which their clients can select a cut.
Fancy cuts are aimed at the Style Gurus and popular yet easier cuts are aimed at the Budget Shoppers.
Here’s the trick: Find a balancing act so that both tiers of clients are satisfied with your service.
Create customer loyalty
Customer loyalty is incredibly powerful. Clients hate changing salons, so if you win their loyalty, they’ll be a client for life.
Here’s the problem: you only have one shot at winning customer loyalty and there are few second chances.
Tip: It’s through the quality of your service that loyalty is won.
Marketing strategies don’t end once your client walks in the door of your salon. In fact, that’s where effective marketing really begins.
A client may have been attracted by a special offer, or have received a recommendation from a friend.
But, if they don’t come out feeling confident and attractive, it is unlikely that they will return to your salon or recommend your services by word of mouth.
Make sure your salon has:
- A friendly atmosphere with skilled and attentive stylists
- Stylists who listen to the needs of clients and deliver
Another great marketing idea is to create a loyalty programme. This will incentivise customers to continue visiting your salon.
This could include rewarding customers with a discount for referring a new client.
Another great way to ensure customers participate in your loyalty programme is to give them a stamp for their first five haircuts and then give them their sixth one for free.
If we take a look at Anne Veck’s Twitter presence, we can see its high impact from the get-go.
Her username is the same as her brand name: Anne Veck. It’s not unprofessional, like @anneveck23 or, unguessable like @_anne-veck.
Tip: Make sure your username closely matches your brand name and looks professional across all of your social media platforms.
Find and study the best Twitter accounts out there and try and apply their strategies to your own social media presence.
Remember, one size does not fit all. Salons have different personalities. Don’t try and apply a style that doesn’t fit.
This Toni and Guy salon has a less radical account:
They flag up the brand’s authority (sponsoring London Fashion Week) and emphasize the benefits of following their account: “hair news and exclusive promotions”.
Note the inclusion of a phone number. You need to make it easy to turn social followers into paying clients.
Create your own Instagram hashtag
Instagram is a visual medium and so is hairdressing. This makes it the perfect place to implement some salon marketing ideas.
According to Later, using hashtags on your posts and stories is a fun way to connect your social media content to a specific theme. This also makes your content easier to find by new clients on social media.
Here are a few reasons why you should be using hashtags:
It increases engagement with your followers:
Using hashtags on social media categorises your posts around a particular topic. When users search for hashtags related to your salon, it can boost your salon’s social media engagement through likes, comments and new followers.
Hashtags help you reach your target audience:
On Instagram, users can follow hashtags that they are interested in. For example, let’s say you ask your clients and staff to use #hairsalonlondon in their Instagram posts to show off your services.
Potential clients who use the same hashtag will then be directed to your salon’s Instagram page. This is why using popular hashtags can help potential clients find your business.
Set up a selfie station
Another great salon marketing idea is to set up a selfie station.
Encourage your clients to show off their cuts and post to Instagram and social media with your personalised hashtag.
Don’t forget to display your hashtag on the station to make it easy for customers to promote your account.
Alternatively, you can use a Quick Response (QR) code to direct your customers to your Instagram page through their mobile phones.
QR codes remove the hassle of trying to find the right Instagram page, which makes it easier for the customer to engage with your content.
Create brand ambassadors
These are social media influencers who have a broader following than you.
Offer them free or discounted services from your salon in return for them enthusiastically posting about their visit to their followers.
Give them a discount code or hashtag to share to monitor how effective the promotion is.
Make sure your Facebook page is thorough
Facebook is a staple social media platform and should be one of your go-to salon marketing ideas.
Searches are geo-located, so it increases the likelihood that your fans and followers will live in the local area and might easily be turned into new clients.
If we look at this salon page we can see that their brand name and logo dominates, but there are no indications of the quality of service. They’re missing a trick here.
If we look at one of their local rivals, we can see more about the kind of service we might get:
Not only is the profile picture much clearer than in our previous example, but we also get a look at the outside of the shop and some hair shots.
You need to make the most of each opportunity to display text and imagery on your social media platforms.
Each image slot on the page should show off a different aspect of your business. This will instil confidence in potential clients.
Run a competition
Running competitions is a good idea if you want to create engagement with followers, build your fan base and attract new clients.
However you do it, you want a prize that will attract people to your salon.
The prize,“£20 vouchers for you and a friend” encourages people to get involved with your page and spread the word about your services.
The competition’s entry requirements are simple, making this a great way to direct more traffic to your page.
Like the page: getting clients to like your page will keep your posts in their timelines
Share the page: This allows your post to appear on more people’s news feeds. It also helps that your content is being shared by a human and not by an ad server.
Partner up with local businesses
Partnering with another local business that offers similar products can be a mutually beneficial way to bring in more clients.
For example, you could combine your salon service (like a haircut or styling offer) with a spa treatment like a massage or manicure from another local business.
This is a great way for both parties to incentivise more clients to visit their businesses.
Make an app
It pulls data like colour scheme and images from your Facebook page and coordinates it with your URL content to create a cohesive, branded app that you can edit using drag and drop functionality.
If you get stuck or want to take your app to the next level, you can hire us to develop itfor you.
The Toni and Guy app is a great example of a cracking salon app:
- The app lets you find and bookmark local salons across the country
- It has an “alerts” section for the latest news and offers
- Finding their social media accounts is really straightforward
A great marketing idea for your business is to encourage clients to download your app for future appointments.
You can offer them a 20% discount on their next visit if they download the app. The promise of future freebies and discounts, plus the simplicity of streamlined online booking should keep them using your app for years to come.
This guide should have given you plenty of salon marketing ideas that will help get more clients through the door.
Check out our blog for the latest in-depth marketing guides and analysis. It’s an excellent resource for all those who want to take their salon marketing to the next level.