Have you ever wondered what makes some salons more successful than others?
Is it that they have a large staff? A better location? Do they work harder? Or, could it simply be their marketing strategy? One of the biggest challenges for any small business owner, but specifically a salon owner, is getting the right mix of marketing. Developing consistent ways to win clients over and to keep them coming back is the main goal. There is never a right answer on how to do this, but the following are a few basic principles that will help improve your salon operations.
First and foremost, develop a brand identity.
- Who are you as a business?
- What are you trying to say?
- Who is your main client target?
- What do you bring to the table?
Ask yourself these questions and begin to build an identity. If your salon is located in a trendy spot in the city, take a look around at other successful businesses and salons—what attracts your clients? Is it the color schemes, the décor, are other salon names long—are they a simple one word name like ‘posh’. Is their logo sleek or does it evoke a more earthy feel? Is the atmosphere laid back or more upscale? These are questions that really set an attitude and atmosphere. The last thing you want to do is confuse your customer. Be sure to know how you want to be perceived and what mood you want to evoke. Everything from your logo, to the look of your salon, business cards, and pamphlets should match and be consistent!
After you’ve developed an identity, you’ve got to get found!
- Be sure to do this by building a website. Your website should be kept up to date, be visually appealing, easy-to-navigate and contain relevant information. Include prices, images, location, directions, contact information and anything else you think a client would need to know before coming in for a pleasant salon experience. Be sure to link your website to your social media sites (like Facebook and Twitter) and blog.
- Maintain an effective online presence. Clients are looking for a reason to come to you. Maintain a well written blog and keep your social media fresh and relevant. Post pictures, updates, contests, and specials. Include your website address or QR codes on signs and flyers in your salon, so clients know where to find you on the web.
- Be sure to list your salon in online directories, such as Yelp, Yahoo, Bing, Yellow Pages, Google. After your website is finalized, link these directories back to your site. It will increase views and people can comment on their great experiences at your salon.
- Make friends with your neighbors. Once you’ve got the website it’s time to step out of the virtual world and look to other businesses around you for referrals. Making friends or allies with nearby businesses to promote each other is a great marketing strategy. Carry their business cards and or flyers at your salon and suggest they return the favor!
- Reel those customers in! All of the campaigns you’ve created to acquire potential customers should involve a strong call-to-action. Whether the call-to-action is on flyers, magnets, online banner ads or coupons, everything should engage your potential customer into wanting to know more – “Call us to see how you can get 20% off your next cut!” or “Visit our website for more information”. Even offer a discount for a ‘like’ or a follow on social media. Small offers will set you apart from the competition and make your conversion rates soar!
- Incentives will keep your business booming. In order to keep customers interested, be sure to offer daily deals or run a contest/raffle. Social media can be a huge help with communicating incentives. Run a contest for your followers or friends to win some free goodies. You’ll broaden your fan base and interact with your clients. For an added bonus, get people sharing information about the contest by adding an extra incentive such as 20% off their next hair product purchase.
Keep your customers by staying fresh and on their minds.
- It’s important to focus on new as well as existing clients. Email marketing allows you to stay in constant contact with your clients. Learn how to promote your salon with eye-catching email blasts that will get your customers in the door. Venture out into SMS marketing or text marketing. Offer coupons and offers by sending out text messages to existing and newer clients.
- Offer gift and loyalty cards. There is no better way to keep promoting your salon than offering them the gift of your services. Remember to reward your existing clients by offering loyalty cards in order to rack up points or earn discounts.
- Last but not least, ask for feedback! This can be a daunting task for anyone, but it’s an important one. Your clients should be your focus. In order to create a repeat customer and to have them refer others to you, they will need to have above and beyond experiences. Ask them for their opinions. You can do this through written surveys or polling them verbally. Thank them for their insight and then put to good use their valuable suggestions.
Remember, salon marketing requires a detailed plan and only works with continuous efforts. Most businesses learn what works best for them through trial and error. It’s important to remember that the competition is always out there, and that your goal is to give potential clients and loyal customers a reason to keep coming back.
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