Salon marketing

Are you relying on word of mouth to grow your client base? Unsure why your appointments are looking a little light? Do you feel like you’ve tried everything under the sun to bring new people through the door? 

It’s competitive out there and that means that if you’re not getting new clients, another business is. Times are changing and as we step further into the digital world, investing in marketing is the single most important action you can take.

Our guides are designed to give you a comprehensive understanding of salon marketing and an abundance of ideas to get you started. You’ll find inspiration from industry experts, templates for SMS campaigns, recommendations for social media management tools and the ins and outs of influencer marketing.

A good marketing strategy can be a great way to communicate your brand with potential clients and can help you to draw in the right people for the right reasons. It’s not just about promoting your services, but also sharing your story. Once you have a real understanding of which tools to use and how to make the most of them, you’ll be able to grow your community and focus on your financial goals.

Arm yourself with the tools to build up your business. Whether you want to start slow or dive in, we’re here to help at every step. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s give it a go!

So, what is a marketing strategy? And why do I need one?

When we say marketing, what are we actually talking about? By definition, marketing simply refers to all of the steps that lead to the promotion of your services or products. It can overlap with sales and advertising and can be implemented in every aspect of your business. 

For salons, marketing means connecting your business with potential and existing clients. Five key outcomes that salons generally focus on are:

  • Growing your client base
  • Creating a client niche based on the work that you want to do
  • Increasing your clients’ frequency of appointments
  • Selling more retail
  • Building brand awareness and engagement

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been around for years, marketing is the key to growing your business and making sure that your clients aren’t tempted to test the water with other salons.

Timely marketing strategy success blueprint:

Do you believe you could be earning more? Want to see a boost in your sales? If you’re ready to take action and maximise your revenue, you need a marketing plan. Here is how to get started on mapping out your strategy:

1. Set your business goals

What are your goals for the year ahead? Perhaps they’re to grow your client base by 20%, or maybe you want to increase retail sales by 50%. Most likely, you’d be aiming to do both! Check out our salon business strategy guide for tips on how to start and remember to consider your running costs. Clarifying your goals is a crucial step for your marketing strategy!

2. Identify your niche

It’s easy to say that your target market is ‘everyone’, especially as salons often get a range of clients. But every business has a niche and identifying this will help you to focus your marketing on the right people. Have a look at our blog on how to find your niche market and start asking yourself questions like; are your clients mostly locals or do you have people travelling from across the city? What type of income bracket do your prices attract? Do you specialise in vivid colours? What is the look and feel of your brand? All of these details should impact your strategy.

3. Do your research

Gaining a comprehensive understanding of your market, competitors and prospective customers will be unbelievably beneficial. Ask questions, see what works and what doesn’t, learn from others and find out what separates you from the competition.

4. Start to strategise

Think about what tactics you might use to achieve these goals. Will you be relying on social media and influencer marketing? Or perhaps trying out traditional marketing channels like radio or print? Do you need to increase KPIs? Change your service prices? Add new services? How can you encourage referrals? Check out these creative ways to attract new customers for some inspiration!

5. Allocate your budget

Once you’ve decided what strategies you’re going to use, get the ball rolling by creating a marketing budget. Research prices and assign the resources required to make it happen. Rather than distributing your budget evenly across all months of the year, consider the seasonal cycles of your salon. Think about when you’ll need to work harder to draw in more customers.

6. Create a marketing calendar

When it comes to marketing, consistency is key. And we’re not only talking about your brand voice! All of your content should carry the same tone and be shared regularly. Make it as easy as possible for yourself by creating a marketing calendar. In your calendar you could include reminders to post content like blog posts, social media updates and paid search. You can even consider trying out one of these free social media management tools!

7. Promotions

Take advantage of holidays, special events and your off-peak periods by offering promotions to your clients. They’re a great way to draw in new clients or encourage existing clients to book more frequently. We have a range of promotion ideas for your salon that you can use as inspiration.

8. Customer marketing and client retention

Never forget about your existing clients! Encourage client retention with email newsletters, SMS marketing and promotions! Use Timely’s Consultation app to collect information about your clients and tailor your marketing to each individual. You can even make targeted SMS campaigns!

9. Online reviews

Having no control over reviews can be daunting, but one thing you can control is how you respond. Read about why you should never ignore customer reviews.

10. Think about the online experience

Is your brand consistent across your website and social media? How is  the experience for a visitor? Don’t give potential clients any reason to choose another salon. If they’re already on your website or social media page, make booking an appointment as easy for them as possible. Take advantage of Timely’s tool for online booking and make sure that key information is highlighted on your pages.

Don’t give potential clients any reason to choose another salon. If they’re already on your website or social media page, make booking an appointment as easy for them as possible.

11. Consider your staff

Take time to hold team meetings and share your plans with your staff. If you are offering new promotions or changing your services, let your staff know and make sure they feel confident telling customers about these, they could share offer details in their social accounts too. Your staff also contribute to the perception of your brand, so it’s incredibly important that everyone is on the same page.

Common marketing strategy questions:

If you’ve managed to put your marketing strategy on paper, but aren’t sure how to start making moves, we’ve got your back! We spoke to a selection of highly regarded hair and beauty professionals about how they mastered marketing for their salons. Here is what they shared with us:

My stylists want to do more experimental colour work. How do we attract the clients that want this?

We also use our social media to direct what we’re interested in doing more of in the salon. When we post blonde hair, we get more blondes, pinks, more pinks. When we stopped wanting to dye hair grey- we stopped posting pictures of grey hair and it killed the demand.

We do 80% bright, vivid colours and 20% natural colours. Post what you love and your dream clients will find you.

Author Avatar
Stevie Vincent
Owner/Director, Stevie Vincent Studios

How do you choose what influencers to use?

It has to be a mutual exchange when using influencers. Make sure you like them. Don’t reach out to just anyone. It’s important to reach out to people who you like and follow already. People can tell when something isn’t authentic.

You want to work with someone who will talk about what you do because they love it, not just because they’ve received something for free or have been paid.

Author Avatar
Stevie Vincent
Owner/Director, Stevie Vincent Studios

For more tips on using influencers to market your salon, check out our free guide!

How do I get my salon to the first page of Google results?

Keywords. Check your content is keyword rich. Getting to the first page of Google is your goal, searchers rarely move to page two of a results page, and in fact, they rarely scan much past the top 3 or 4 results.

It would be difficult to rank on the first page of Google for every possible thing your customers might search for, so choose what is most important to you and ensure you keep those keywords in your website copy. For example, ‘Brunswick Hairdresser’ or ‘laser treatment Sydney’ might be terms you use fairly regularly and also terms you would expect your customers to use when they try to search for services.

Using these keywords on your site and in your content regularly will help your website to be noticed by Google. A good tip to remember is to also ensure your website developer has put those words in your page titles, meta tags, image descriptions and pages descriptions.

Author Avatar
Larissa MacLeman
Founder, Salon Owners Collective

Is there a way to minimise cancellations?

I think the main thing is getting the client excited about the appointment, so we send them an automated email to welcome them to The Hair Boutique and tell them to bring in trending or celebrity photos to their appointment.

Author Avatar
Shaun Thornbrugh
The Hair Boutique

Is online booking really necessary?

We’ve had online booking for years, but salons around us don’t tend to have it. I’m still waiting for them to catch up. Timely definitely makes us different –  it’s crucial to make it as easy as possible for your client to book with you.

Our clients can go online and have a look at times that suit them, rather than being on the phone for a while and working with a receptionist to find an appointment that suits the client and the business.

Author Avatar
Haylee Benton
Managing Director, Alchemy & I

Drafting a marketing strategy for your business is only the first step. Once you’ve mapped out your plan, it’s important to stay on track and keep consistent with your marketing practices. Try to be patient – some strategies are slow burners. You may not see results overnight or get hundreds of likes on your Instagram immediately, but if you keep it up, engagement will grow and so will your sales.

Be kind to yourself! There’s no one-size-fits-all guide for business. Some strategies will work and some won’t. Test things out, give them time, and see what works for your business. You’ve got this!

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