Starting a business isn’t easy. It requires large investments in time, money and your opportunity cost of working elsewhere. With crowded markets, fickle customers and new challenges to face every single day, it’s a daily grind that requires proper planning and steadfast execution.
Here at Signpost we are dedicated to helping your salon succeed through simple and effective marketing. We know where your priorities are, which is why we make your marketing simple and effective, by providing the only marketing platform every small business needs. Don’t believe us? Read more about our company culture and see how we Fight For Small Businesses.
If you’re in the beauty industry you will soon find out that promoting your salon is no easy task. Whether you’re a beauty salon, hair salon or even a tanning salon, it’s vital that you maximize your efforts both online and off to keep ahead of the curve. To get started, follow these simple steps to promote your salon effectively.
Before anything else, you need to make sure customers can find your business. Here’s how you can make that happen.
Build a Website: Start with the basics. If a potential customer is searching online for a salon in your city and you don’t have a website, you’re already in a deep hole. Your website should be visually appealing and include up-to-date, relevant information including prices, images, locations and contact information. For an added bonus, you can include special keywords to have your website rank higher than your competitors in search engine results.
List Your Business On Web Directories: Once you have your website in order, you should be listing your business on all the top directories, including Yelp, Yahoo, Bing, Yellow Pages, Mapquest and more. Since you already created a website, you can link back to it so people can go see how awesome you are. Listing your business on directories will also help people find your business through more avenues and it will even help your website appear higher in web search results. For an added bonus, you can include enhanced content and become a verified merchant on most directories sites.
Create Social Media Business Pages: Social media can be fun to play around with but it can also be an incredibly valuable business tool. Start with the big three: Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and move on to Instagram and Tumblr once you have those mastered. Social media will help you reach a massive untapped pool of potential customers and will help you better connect with them down the line. For an added bonus, you can include your URL or QR Code on signs in your store or on business cards and flyers, so everyone knows where you’re available online.
Find Local Allies: Once you’re done with your web strategy, go out and team up with some local allies, like the gym down the block. Going for a great new look this summer? There’s nothing better than a fresh new haircut to go along with your brand new beach body. And what better way to follow an intense workout than a 60-minute full-body massage. Keep business cards and flyers at a local gym and allow them to do the same for cross-promotions. For an added bonus, put a call-to-action on your flyers, to make sure folks take you up on the offer.
The second piece of the puzzle is converting potential customers into paying customers. Here’s how to turn window-shoppers into new customers.
Use Call-to-Actions: Your business website, web directories, your Facebook page, handouts, flyers and even your local newspaper – any place you feature your business should include a call-to-action. A call-to-action can be anything from “Call for a free consultation!” to a cut-out coupon or even a small discount on one’s next visit. Providing small offers is an easy way to differentiate your business from the competition and ensure that you are converting potential customers into paying patrons. For an added bonus, give an extra incentive for bringing in friends and family.
Promote a Daily Deal: If you’re looking for some faster traction when promoting your salon, why not try a daily deal? If you’re not familiar with the term, Daily Deals are when you partner up with another website that can promote your offer for you on a large scale. The discount will need to be higher than other smaller incentives because customers will be paying for the deal on the spot but the investment should be worth it when you start seeing your business booming. If you’re not interested in partnering, you can even run a daily deal on your own, through your email list, website and social media pages.
Run a Contest or Raffle: Now that you have your website and social media pages already set up, you can easily run a contest, raffle or competition for some free swag. This will allow you to engage your existing audience plus broaden your customer base. Encourage those already following you to share your competition with their friends and followers by adding an incentive like 20% their next visit or an additional entry to your raffle. For an added bonus, collect email addresses from submissions so you can re-market to them later.
Leverage Word-of-Mouth: Not only can you encourage word-of-mouth through contests and social media but you can also incentivize existing customers to bring their friends by offering a referral discount. Offer a free service to anyone that brings in a friend and you’ll make your existing customers happy campers, while growing your business. You don’t need to be the only one promoting your salon – you can have your customers promote it for you!
Get Repeat Customers
Salon marketing isn’t just for new customers; you need to promote your salon to existing customers as well. Having customers come in once is nice but creating repeat business is what will grow your business in the long term.
Email Marketing: The most important way to stay in touch with your customers is through email. Everyone has email and almost everyone checks it every single day. To promote your salon effectively, write a strong subject line that includes eye-catching words like “sale” and “limited time offer.” Just make sure you are collecting emails every single time someone steps foot into your salon, to make sure you can continue re-marketing to them down the line. For an added bonus, use an email client like MailChimp to manage your email lists and measure your campaigns’ success.
Social Media: While Email Marketing is great for one-way messages, Social Media is the perfect medium for two-way conversations with your customers. Post relevant content like pictures, videos, news updates and testimonials plus always make sure to respond to customers’ posts. For an added bonus, keep track of your social media metrics to see how your pages have grown and how your customers are interacting with your brand.
SMS Marketing: SMS Marketing, or Text Message Marketing, is perhaps the most underrated player in the game. Texting makes things simple yet effective, with coupons appearing right in your customers’ pockets. All you need to do is collect cell phone numbers when your customers come in and tell them you will only use it proactively when sending out special offers. For an added bonus, send them a second offer for a friend to kickstart your word-of-mouth marketing campaign!
Start a Blog: Promoting your salon with a blog isn’t just great for keeping your customers in the know but it can actually affect your standings in search results. Post fun, relevant articles like health & beauty tips, new services you may be offering or a unique success story with a fun testimonial. For an added bonus, share your blog posts on your social media pages and encourage sharing to have it spread far and wide.
Salon marketing requires a detailed plan and a rigorous execution. If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind. The most important thing to remember is that there is plenty of competition out there, so always make sure to give customers a reason to try your business and plenty more reasons to keep coming back. If you can build a welcoming in-store culture that makes your business feel like home, your customers will be counting down the days until they get to come back!