5 quick ways to grow your salon's clientele when you’ve got a slow day
When things are going great in business, we’re super busy, and we’re flying high, it seems like inspiration comes from everywhere, doesn’t it? We feel like we’re at the top of our game, and ideas and excitement are everywhere.
But what about when things are slower? When our business isn’t at its peak and we start to feel unsure of ourselves?
“What did I do wrong? How come things are soooo slow? Is it just the time of year?”
If you’re at a time in your beauty business when things are slow, or if you’re just looking for effective things to do during an occasional slower day, I’ve written this guide for you.
These are some easy things you can do for your salon’s marketing to attract clients and get the ball rolling again. If you’ve got 30 minutes for between clients, or if you’ve got a free day and you’re not sure how to make it productive, keep reading!
Your business’ online presence and brand can ALWAYS use some small improvement; it’s a constant work in progress! So choose at least one of these things to work on today and you’ll have more clients finding you online. On top of that, you’re going to learn so much and upgrade your marketing skills.
You ready? Okay let’s jump in!
Spiffy up your Google My Business profile
Girl, you don’t even KNOW how many people are looking at your Google profile every single day. Seriously! Even if you don’t appear first on Google, that doesn’t mean your profile is hiding!
If someone searches “lash extensions” on Google Maps from their phone, and happens to be just down the street from you, guess who shows up? That’s right, you!
Your Google My Business page is often the first thing people will see on Google when they search you, so it needs to make a fabulous impression and pull clients to you. It also affects what position you’ll show up for on Google, so if you optimize it right, you’ll have even more people finding your page, and then finding you.
With all the features it has now (busy hours, videos, offers, reviews, etc), GMB is like a mini website and sometimes it’s the only “inside scoop” potential clients will get about your business because it contains so much information.
However, I know that so many salons have been overlooking this space and they’re letting weeds grow up around their profile. Please don’t let it turn into an abandoned property. Spiff it up and it’ll pay off by serving you up clients on the daily!
First of all, start off by making sure your business categories are correct and you’ve got an attractive, informative description of your business.
Your categories can be things like “Hair salon” “Facial spa” or “Waxing hair removal specialist”. You need to choose a single primary category, and then you can add up to 8 extra categories. Google decides whether to show your business in search based mostly on your primary category, so double check that you’ve got the right one.
Your description is a single paragraph (750 characters max) where you can sell the best parts of your business. Go through your description and see if it could use a facelift. Make sure to include a few keywords about your services, the name of your neighbourhood/city, and anything unique or special about your business. Make sure that it’s friendly and flows well, and double check that you don’t have any spelling errors!
Next, click through your GMB photos and see what kind of impression they give. Are they old, blurry, or are you missing photos? Now’s the perfect time to fix that! Upload some high quality, or even professional photos (I’ll talk about that further down) onto your profile. And if you’ve got a few short videos, upload those two as we all love to see videos from inside your salon, or videos of you working.
Finally, here’s some real talk for you: Your Google reviews make a gigantic impact on how many people book with you. If you’ve got lots of 5-star reviews, your salon will appear higher up in search results. On top of that, potential clients who are researching you will almost always want to check your reviews before booking. If they find out you only have 3 reviews, and 3.5 stars… let’s say that they might keep looking.
If you’ve got half an hour free today, make it your mission to get at least 5 Google reviews. Get in touch with your top-loved clients or recent clients that came in - a quick email or text message will do! Tell them how much you’d appreciate their feedback and send them a link to your GMB profile to leave you a review there (you can find a link to your GMB reviews here).
Give your Google profile some love and it will pay off ten-fold in how many clients it refers to you! Promise.
Schedule a personal branding photoshoot
Investing in personal branding photos has absolutely changed my business. It’s made me more confident to share my face and story, it’s made my marketing more personal, and it’s helped my audience and students to connect with me as a person instead of as a business.
I use my headshots everywhere that I promote myself: email, Instagram, Facebook, my website… they’re so important to my marketing. And I’m sure that your favourite beauty educators and influencers use professional photos everywhere. Maybe you never thought that you’d need them, too. But trust me, having these photos will make your marketing so effective.
If you want to grow your business this year, you need to step up and be the face of it. Clients don’t connect with your logo, your pricing, your location. They connect with you as a person, and if you want to reach new clientele, you need to show the human side of your business.
Professional photos make “showing up” so easy. You can reuse the photos for months and months on Facebook. You can show up proud on your website, you can use them for partnerships, promotions, emails… anything!
So if you don’t have photos yet… now’s the time to do it! When you have a free hour today, research local photographers and book a photoshoot within the next few weeks. To find a great photographer, you can start off by asking your personal network on Facebook and Instagram for suggestions.
Next, you might want to search on Instagram, which is how I found my photographer. Find your local “photography” hashtags by searching for things like #citynamephotographer (#chicagophotographer, #torontophotographer etc).
You’ll find thousands of posts on Facebook from photographers, and a lot of them will be pretty bad unfortunately. But as you scroll through you’ll find some beautiful photos. Lots of wedding photos, engagement photos, baby photos, etc. I recommend that you look for personal branding photos of people, that have the “look” you want to achieve. That look could be bright and poppy, neutral, warm, minimal, etc.
Once you find the photos you like, click through to the profile of the photographer and look at the rest of their work. If you like their portfolio, make a note of it and put them on your list. My list had about 10 photographers on it, and I contacted all of them to ask for their pricing and availability. It’s good to have options!
A personal branding session will usually be 1-2 hours long and run you about 200-400$ in my experience. In my opinion, it’s better to spend a little bit more to get that extra edge of high quality photos.
When you schedule your shoot, tell the photographer that you’d like the photos taken at your salon. You’ll want several beautiful photos of yourself in your element, plus some photos of your team, your salon’s interior, you working with clients, etc.
Package up a special offer and promote it using Facebook ads
If you’ve followed me and my business at all, you know that I’m obsessed with Facebook ads. They’re the #1 investment I make in my business right now, because they work like magic to grow my revenue. And because I’ve seen how powerful they are, I also teach beauty business owners how to use them effectively to grow their clientele (my program relaunches in January, so mark it on your calendar!)
If you’re like most businesses, you’ve seen that your reach on Facebook and Instagram have gone down - it’s getting tougher to get your posts seen by your audience, let alone to get them engaged with what you’re sharing.
The beauty of Facebook (and Instagram) ads is that they let you promote your business to a huge audience in your city, beyond just your fans and followers. So if your organic reach is going down, do not worry!
If you’ve got some time today, and you want to take on a project that actually brings you instant bookings, I highly suggest you look at Facebook ads!
My students have used them to get thousands of dollars in bookings, from a single post! And they don’t cost that much either: most of my students spend less than $150 over the course of a few weeks, with big results to show for it.
The secrets behind creating ads that actually convert are a fabulous offer, friendly text, engaging video and an ad that’s optimized for action.
I could write pages and pages about how to set them up properly, but actually I’ve already done that! Use the form below to download my eBook about profitable Facebook ads for salons, and go nuts!
Write a fun, educational guide about one of your services
As business owners and skilled professionals, we assume that our clients don’t want to know about our services, they don’t care, or they’re “too complicated” for them to understand.
But really, it’s so important to educate your clientele about your services, because they truly do care. And educating is a great way of selling without being “too salesy”.
Not sure what your guide could be? How about some of these ideas:
How certain products or ingredients work (“Your guide to CBD in facial treatments”)
What the process looks like / what are the different steps in your service (“How lash lift and tints work”)
Why you’ve chosen to do a certain type of service instead of another (powder brows vs microblading, waterless pedicures vs traditional, etc)
Educating about the risks of doing/not doing something (“Why biting your nails is hurting you (and how to stop!)”)
Writing a guide like this shows that you’re the expert, and that you really care that your clients understand your craft. Sometimes the only thing standing in the way of trying out a new service, is not understanding it - how it works, how it’s different, what are the benefits, etc.
Personally, I’ve built myself up as an “expert” in online marketing for beauty businesses because of my educational content. I’ve come to realize that helping before ever selling grows my tribe of loyal, raving fans.
When you create educational content, you sell by explaining, and that’s the most natural and easiest way to sell, in my opinion.
So where do you start? Today, when you have a free hour or two, decide on a topic that you know your clients and audience would love to learn about. What’s a common question or issue they come to you with? That’s a great place to start.
Write out a quick guide about this topic - 500 - 1000 words is great - and be sure to make it engaging by including photos and examples.
The “call to action” at the end of your guide could be to book for that service, with a link to your booking page.
Once you’ve finished writing this guide, it’s time to use it to promote your services! Turn it into a blog post, email it out to your list, turn it into a Facebook post, and IGTV video, and put it on your website. Remember to also share it on your personal Facebook and Instagram - your friends and family are probably curious, too!
Send out a cute, personal email to your list
You think that your email list doesn’t want to hear from you… but TRUST me they would love to get a fun, heartfelt email from you!
The problem that many business owners have with email is that they see it as a sales tool. If you’ve got some open times in your appointment book, you’ll send out a mass email with the info and a link to book. If you’ve got a promotion going on, you’ll spam your list with details and sales. These types of emails tend to turn clients off, and then you get the impression that your list doesn’t want to hear from you.
Actually, email is most effective when it’s used to connect with your list as people, and share the fun, human side of yourself. If you consistently send emails where you share updates on your life, photos of salon life, stories of what’s happening in your business, and educational info (see the guides idea above)… your list will adore opening up and reading them!
I personally have an email list of over 10,000 people, and I send an email out every single Tuesday. Usually 2,000-3,000 people will open up and read my emails each week. Compare that to a crowded social media feed where I’m lucky if you’ll get a quick scan of my photo and a “like”… and I hope you see why I prefer email to Facebook and Instagram every single time.
So the question is… what should you send in your email to your list? Here are some ideas for you:
A personal intro from you, a summary about what’s new in your life and business
Some photos from your best work from the past week. Beautiful balayage, fun nail designs, glowing skin, brows on fleek? Share it!
Some valuable beauty tips that your readers will soak up like a sponge. Have some ideas for removing makeup, getting beachy waves, how to clean lash extensions, or extend the life of a spray tan? Put these tips in your email!
Share info about events, news, updates, new team members or anything else that’s coming up in your salon in the next month.
If you have some special promotions or offers, put them in your email at the end with some links to book.
The good news is that your email does not and SHOULD NOT be too graphical. These days, the emails that get engagement are simple text-based emails with some photos. So forget about fooling around with Mailchimp templates, go simple and your list will appreciate it!
And don’t forget to write like a real person. The more friendly and casual you are in your language, the more your list will feel like this letter has been hand-written to them. It’ll give you a special place in their hearts!
Whether you’ve got 1 hour until your next client comes in, or you found yourself with a pretty free schedule and lots of free time - I hope you go and use some of these ideas this week!
Email marketing is an amazing way to engage clients who haven’t heard from you in a while. Facebook ads are perfect for introducing yourself to women in your city who haven’t discovered you yet. Your Google page is one of the best ways to get found and booked… and so on!
Marketing your salon doesn’t have to be this massive project that takes up all your time. There are some pretty powerful things you can do with even a free hour or two.