While the digital age has sucked many small businesses kicking and screaming into its vortex, it is the service industry that continues to boom. In particular, hair salons, seemingly unaffected by digitization, are still popping up across the country and the trend shows little sign of slowing. However, a booming industry also means booming competition, and there is no time to get complacent. In this blog, we'll look at ways salon owners can ensure their salon stands head and shoulders above the rest with a unique and effective marketing strategy.
GeoTargeting First, Everything Else Later
One of the things that most salons have in common is that they are targeting customers in their local area. For this reason, your first priority should be to perfect your marketing to these customers. Whether you target them by handing out flyers or using geo targeted ads on Facebook or Google AdWords, your objective is to expose your brand to as many people as possible.
Showcase Your Star Staff
If you have staff with sought-after skills that are hard to come by or that are on trend right now, shout it from the rooftops. Use your website, social media or even the window of your salon to showcase your staff and tell the world why they need to book an appointment. Build portfolios of your staff on your website showing their latest and best creations and ask them to provide inspiring quotes or a short paragraph about what clients can expect when they book an appointment with them.
Allow Online Reservations and Cancellations
Make things easier for your customers and your business by offering an online reservation system. Your customers are busy and they want to book appointments quickly from a range of connected devices. An online booking system allows you to take bookings with ease, but also allows customers to cancel at a click of a button and to receive reminders 24 hours before their appointment is scheduled. This type of system can help to prevent no-shows and ensure you have a steady stream of customers through your door.
Get Creative With Instagram
Instagram is one of the best ways to market a creative service business and it has a huge following. From client photos (with their permission, of course!) to beauty tutorials, you can use these assets to create a real personality for your brand. Use hashtags for different hairstyles or special events, use images that really stand out and above all else, reply to any comments whether they are good or bad.
Become an Influencer
Trends have to start somewhere and there is nothing stopping you from unleashing the next big thing at your salon. The best trends come from experimentation and trying new things with different products. Encourage your staff to get creative, to bring their ideas to life in your salon and to offer big discounts to clients who are willing to be guinea pigs for new styles and techniques.
Create Your Own Branded Products
Many salons today are defining their brand with their own beauty products. What could be better than your clients taking a little part of your brand home with them? Whether you create your own products from scratch or use white label products that you apply your own branding to, make sure that you use them in your salon and promote them when clients ask what you are using.
It may be a jungle out there for salon owners, but with a little ingenuity and innovation there is no reason why your salon cannot stand out above your closest rivals. By reviewing your strategy often, listening to what your clients want and promoting your products and staff you can make 2018 one of your best years in business yet.