One of the best investments you can make as a small business owner is marketing. But if you operate a local salon business, it can be tough to regularly find ways to promote your services.
You’ve probably earned a steady stream of regular customers who always book with you, but consistently acquiring new customers can be a whole other ballgame.
And booking appointments with new customers is the key to growth and to dominating your local neighborhood as the top salon in your city. This is where marketing your salon comes in.
The right salon marketing strategies will help you attract potential new customers, communicate to them why they should choose your salon and scale your revenue through the roof!
So what are the top salon marketing ideas you should consider and how can you execute on them as part of a salon marketing plan?
In this article, we will guide you through creating a salon marketing plan and discuss the six best salon marketing strategies to pull you ahead of your competition.
And once your revenue soars, you’ll have time to focus more on what you love, talking with your amazing customers while styling hair, polishing nails or offering high-end skin-care services.
Let’s get started!
Before we dive into specific salon marketing ideas, it’s essential to discuss how to create a marketing plan for your salon business.
By understanding your marketing goals and what opportunities or limitations you’ll face, you will make the most of your efforts.
When it comes to creating a small business marketing plan, a lot of the work involves analyzing local competitors, studying different price points and researching your target customers.
You might’ve gotten a good handle on some of this legwork opening up your salon. Let’s focus on a couple elements important for salon marketing, your objectives and your budget.
Setting objectives for your marketing campaigns gives you measurable metrics you can track. Therefore, you can know what’s working, what you need to improve and what you should scrap.
Knowing your marketing objectives for your salon business will also help you develop the best ideas to execute your goals.
Some marketing objectives for your salon marketing can be:
When you know what goals you want to achieve, it provides clarity for you so you can hone in on the right salon marketing strategies to pursue.
Try mapping out your goals. Set some targets and ensure you have ways of measuring them. Trust us, your business will thank you.
Setting a budget helps you make the most of the resources you have to execute on your salon marketing strategy.
Once you set a budget, it will influence your decisions and help you prioritize more cost-effective solutions.
Determine what you can afford to spend on marketing, research the costs of different marketing ideas and allocate your funds where maximum impact most overlaps with your objectives.
Don’t be afraid to iterate. It can be difficult when you’re just starting out, so adjusting your forecasts and your spend based on initial results.
For example, if you want to improve retention because your revenue share of existing customers is below average, target first-time customers with ads for followup services.
But if the ad costs exceed your budget without generating a sufficient return-on-investment, scale back your spend and reallocate your expenses towards a loyalty program.
To market a salon, you need to invest in improving customer loyalty, rewarding customers for referrals, engaging with influencers & social media and getting serious about digital marketing.
Kind of a tall order? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered by outlining these marketing strategies for your salon business so you can expand your business, grow sales and score more bookings.
Learn about these marketing strategies to help you market a salon business and watch your appointment calendar fill up every single week!
Your website is of utmost importance because it is the face of your salon’s online presence.
Your website is the first impression of your business, so it should reflect your brand’s image and the latest updates on your services and marketing offers.
Optimizing your website can help you attract more customers and improve your engagement metrics, such as online appointment bookings.
Think about it. When most new customers look for a salon service, they’ll search online and compare different salons by visiting the websites that pop up.
This means you want your website to be both discoverable via Google Search and strong enough to compel users to choose your salon over your competitors.
Make sure you know the basic principles of how to build a lead generation website, such as compelling copy that speaks to your audience and clear calls-to-action.
For example, don’t simply say “Serving Cook County for Over 20 Years”—that won’t grab people’s attention.
Instead, say “Cook County’s Most-Trusted Hair Salon for Over 20 Years” and then include customer testimonials underneath the headline. Now we’re talking!
And forgo the boring “Contact Us” button that brings website visitors to a page that shows your phone number in plain text.
Why not add a banner that offers a discount to new customers if they book an appointment on your website and include a button for them to book on the spot with an appointment calendar?
A small business referral program is an easy and excellent way to start scaling your revenue and get new customers.
It works by simply encouraging your existing customers to recommend their friends and family to your business.
Every time they bring you a new customer, you can reward them with a discount, a gift card or a free add-on service.
By offering the equivalent of commissions, you’re creating incentives to make the program actually work.
To design a referral program for salons, determine costs to ensure profitability, create worthwhile incentives and implement a system to track numbers & attribute referrals accurately.
While it is important to ensure that you deliver a great service, it is equally important to focus on getting online reviews as part of your salon marketing strategy.
What is the importance of customer reviews? They establish your reputation, they entice people via your website & social media and they improve your Google Business Profile rankings.
For example, sharing customer reviews on social media will compel people to trust your brand and your services.
That’s because they’re seeing an unbiased testimonial not written by you but by someone else, another customer like them whom they trust.
Plus, according to online review statistics, a potential customer reads ten reviews on average before deciding on a local business.
Positive reviews help your customers know you better and answer some of their concerns.
This will also increase your conversion rate as the leads that your online reviews generate will already be aware of your salon and your reputation.
What’s better than getting a new customer walking into your salon? How about a customer who keeps coming back time and again instead of checking out your competitors?
That right there is easy revenue because the costs of keeping existing customers are far less than the business expenses it takes to acquire new customers.
Of course, the basics of customer retention include establishing a personable relationship with your regulars and providing amazing customer service.
But you can supplement these tactics with a loyalty program for small business to get even more existing customers to return and to increase your best customers’ appointment frequency.
A loyalty program is like a referral program except instead of rewarding people for referring you new customers, you’re rewarding them for being a returning customer.
Loyalty programs are a hallmark in the salon industry, so if you haven't already implemented one, at least one of your local competitors likely has.
Yes, diving into digital advertising can be intimidating for a lot of small businesses, especially when the alternative of posting for free on social media feels so much easier (and cheaper!).
But if done right, advertising to your customers online can yield profitable returns!
Don’t get bogged down in old-school techniques like paying for coupon placements in a local newsletter. The best salon marketing strategies often rely upon sophisticated digital ads.
Your target customers are likely heavy users on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, so take advantage of that with advertisements on those platforms.
With advanced targeting techniques, you can ensure that only people who match your target demographics and those who visited your website can see your ads.
And you don’t have to do basic “spray and pray” ads where you’re paying for generic images to show off to simply anyone just because they fit into your target demographics.
For example, in addition to starting off with simple-to-test ads about special offers or seasonal promotions, look into ads that actually improve the “user experience.”
Facebook Messenger ads, for instance, can send people directly to a Facebook Messenger conversation with you where they can ask questions about services or book an appointment.
You can also implement a marketing chatbot on social media to automate the first stages of a conversation to save you time and to effectively route potential customers to relevant answers.
Of course, the power of social media without digital advertisements is also important for salon marketing strategies. And your success in harnessing this power involves local influencers.
Marketing techniques for hair salons, nail salons and beauty salons rely a lot on visuals and beauty experts.
Sharing lots of posts on social media about your work is an important first step, but imagine how much more business you can bring in with posts from local influencers who love your salon?
I know what you’re thinking, isn’t influencer marketing only for big brands who can afford to pay for a recommendation from Kim Kardashian?
Not true. Salon influencer marketing offers lots of potential for your local business.
Maybe you own a tanning salon and you notice that a lot of your customers also frequent nearby gyms and fitness centers.
A lot of regulars at such gyms will have relatively big followings on Instagram. Why not reach out to them and ask if they want to become ambassadors for your business?
They can show off their awesome tan on their Instagram profile while mentioning your salon in exchange for payments or discounts and you can watch the sales roll in. It’s that simple!
As a small business owner, focusing on marketing plans can be challenging, but with the salon marketing ideas mentioned above, you can win more customers and stay ahead of competitors.
From improving your lead generation website and getting more reviews to referral & loyalty programs and engaging on social with ads & influencers, your salon’s revenue can skyrocket.
All of these salon marketing strategies rely heavily on word of mouth and establishing a strong reputation in your neighborhood and among your customers.
That’s why small business reputation management is critical to the success of your salon.
The more you can both manage and optimize your customer relationships and your reputation, the easier it will be to execute on salon marketing strategies and promote your business.