The 5 salon marketing ideas you need to get right to attract new clients
I know that when it comes to online marketing, there are always SOO many things that you *could* be doing. I know, because I so often get distracted by marketing “shiny objects” that I hope will get me more website traffic, more email subscribers, more clients and more money.
And while I do know that there is a time for experimentation and trying new ideas (heck, I wrote a whole blog post about creative salon marketing ideas you probably have tried yet), I also need to remind myself (and my clients sometimes) that it’s always better to perfect the basics.
The basics are those tried-and-true promotional ideas that always work and always need to be improved.
They are the FOUNDATIONS of your salon marketing strategy and whether you’re just starting out or have had your business for a while, it’s always a good idea to run through the basics again and make sure that potential clients are getting the right impression of your business.
Today I’m going to go through the five things that every beauty business needs to stand out online and to bring in new clients. So let’s jump into the 5 things!
Want to watch instead of reading? Here’s my accompanying video for this blog post!
Salon Marketing Basic #1: Visual branding
The best salons stand out online with an amazing visual brand that’s consistent everywhere: on their website, on their social media, their email… everywhere! From the start, you want to make sure that everything that you do fits together; that all of your branding is consistent and that it expresses what your business is about.
So, how do you make sure that your brand is actually reflecting your business? How do you make sure that it not only looks great, but it’s also meaningful and gives people the right impression of your salon?
First of all, you need to step back for a minute and really think about the personality and the culture of your salon. If your business were a person, who would it be? Would it be artistic, indie, and edgy? Or do you tend to be more peaceful and calm? Or maybe your salon personality tends to be outgoing, off the wall, and a little bit wacky?
Each business and all the people that work in it have their own personality and you want to make sure that you express that in your branding.
Next thing that you want to do is understand who your target audience is. And I don’t just mean in the sense of “women aged 22 to 45”. You want to go a lot deeper than that and really think about what the personality of your ideal client is. What kind of businesses are they attracted to? What are their likes and dislikes?
So, understanding your business personality and then of course your target audience are the two things that you need to start creating a visual brand that is authentic, real, and beautiful.
When you do create logo, a color palette palette, or an image style, you want all of these things to reflect your business personality.
So for example, in your color palette, if your business tends to be very fun, modern and exciting, maybe you want to go for brighter colors like teal or bright yellow. If your personality is elegant and feminine, maybe you want to choose a dusty rose and cream color scheme.
The same goes for your image style. Whenever you post pictures on Instagram, they should always be following the same kind of feeling and mood to them, and you can do that through having certain colors represented in your photos or using certain filters. For example, you could use a bright filter to reflect a fun and friendly personality, or if you want to express a minimal, modern personality you could use a muted color filter.
To sum up, all the things that you do online first of all need to be branded and consistent, but they also need to be meaningful and attract the right kind of clientele.
If you want to dive deeper into your salon’s visual brand, I’ve got the perfect blog posts for you:
Salon Marketing Basic #2: Your website
Your salon website is usually the last thing you want to think about when it comes to marketing. But trust me, it’s the first thing that potential clients look at when researching your business.
To go back to my last point, your website should be branded and have your colors, your fonts, and your image style represented so that potential clients start to get familiar with your brand. That way, when they see you down the road (for example on social media) they start to recognize you.
So as I said, your website is probably going to be the first place that people look for information about business. It is SO super important, particularly for these 4 reasons:
1) First of all, your website is a place for people for you to tell the story of your business
You obviously want to show off photos of your work. But you also need to use it as a space to tell the story of who you are, to show what your culture is, what’s unique about your business. Clients love to hear about the story of a businesses, and trust me people want to hear about you and your staff. So don’t hide yourselves!
2) Your website also gives your business a sense of legitimacy
If you don’t have a website, people question whether your business is a real business or not. It seems like a shallow thing (can’t they just search you on Instagram?), but it’s a real red flag for a lot of people if a business has no website.
3) Having a website helps you get found on Google
Search engine optimization might sound like a huge scary thing, but actually one of the easiest and best ways to get found on Google is to actually have a website.
When you’ve got a website you can optimize it for Google by using keywords of what local potential clients are searching for. But even just the fact of having a website allows other websites to link back to yours. When you have a website to link to from your Facebook, from Instagram and from your Google my business profile, you’re increasing the strength of your search engine optimization and increasing the odds that people are going to find you on Google.
4) Lastly, your website is a place for people to get practical information about your services your pricing and then to book an appointment
Your website is probably the best way for clients who are on a busy schedule to book with you instead of calling. It might seem obvious, but don’t skip this step. Allow your clients to book online!
Ready to keep reading about salon websites? Here’s everything you need to know:
Salon Marketing Basic #3: Social media
I’m sure you could have guessed that social media would be on the list! Social media is something that most salon owners and beauty professionals know about because they use it the most often. However, many of you aren’t sure what are the most important things you need to do to make it work, and to actually get clients through it.
Social media for salons usually comes down to two things: Instagram and Facebook. Both of them are great, but they’re great for different things. Instagram is perfect for creating a strong brand and showing off your business personality through the style of photography you use, the type of things you post, and even the filters and colors that you use. It’s also obviously really great for showing off a portfolio of your work.
That brings us to Facebook. Most business owners have seen that their reach on Facebook (the number of people who see your posts) and their engagement (likes and comments) have sadly been going down. That’s the same for everybody, so don’t feel bad about it!
The reason for this is that Facebook really wants to promote one thing: video video video. The more videos you can post from your business on Facebook, especially live videos, the more engagement, likes and comments you’ll get.
So think Instagram = beautiful photos and Facebook = video.
Let’s go back to Instagram for a second. How can you make sure that your Instagram does a good job of branding your business and gives people really good first impression of your salon? First thing is to think of it as a exercise in visual branding. Make sure that your photos have a consistent photography style, a consistent color palette, and even a consistent filter that you use. All of these things are really important for expressing your business personality.
Also, I want you to make sure that you’re not just posting hair photo after hair photo, or nail photo after nail photo, and that you’re varied in what you’re posting. Remember to switch things up and post things like:
Pictures of your clients
Cute puppies that come in
Photos from your city
Design details in your salon
Products that you sell
Make sure that on one hand you’re varied in the kind of things that you’re posting, but at the same time all of your photos are high-quality and are harmonious with each other to create a branded, consistent look. You can think of your feed like a magazine.
It may sound shallow, but the more beautiful your Instagram feed is, the more followers you’ll get because people are attracted to your feed.
The amazing thing about Instagram is that you can expose your posts to so many people, particularly people in your city in your target audience. How do you do that? Hashtags! Hashtags are how you get people to discover your posts, and you’ll definitely find that you get more reach, more people seeing your photos if you use more hashtags. However, you want to make sure that it’s the right people. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post, and I recommend that you go to the maximum with hashtags that are targeted for your city.
So take an hour or two and research the trending hashtags in your city, even if they’re not related to hair, nails, spray tans, etc. Look at local influencers, bloggers, and even people in your target audience that are in your city to see which hashtags they’re using. Make a list of these hashtags and ones related to your city, such as #chicagolife, #chicagobeauty etc (obviously using the name of your city). When you use more hashtags, you’ll find your Instagram reach and engagement increase.
Next question is how can you use Facebook to grow your beauty business? Facebook is kind of like your website in the sense that it gives a really good sense of legitimacy to your business. When they’re researching your salon online, they’ll go to your Facebook page, they’ll check out your reviews and see if any of their friends like your page.
The next thing to remember about Facebook, which I mentioned before, is that it’s really important to use videos to give viewers a feeling of the culture, personality and vibe of your salon.
You’ll especially get great feedback if you use live videos on Facebook. You can do things like:
A salon tour once a week
You can interview some of your staff members
Help educate your clients through informational videos
You can even do fun behind the scenes shots
Your clients will love watching these videos, and potential clients that scroll through your profile will see what a warm, welcoming, friendly group of people you are. That’s the real magic of Facebook and of videos.
Obsessed with getting Facebook and Instagram to work for your salon? You’re gonna love these blog posts:
Salon Marketing Basic #4: Facebook ads
Posting on social media is perfect for getting people acquainted with your business. But what if you want to start promoting your salon and start bringing in clients right now? Well my friends, this is where Facebook ads come in.
I know that a lot of beauty business owners have experimented with boosted posts on Facebook and a lot of you have had results that are less than exciting. But I promise you that Facebook ads, if done right, are amazing for bringing in new clients and promoting your business.
I work with salons and spas all the time on Facebook ads coaching and I’m telling you that if you follow these five laws, you’ll get them to work too.
So what are the five elements of an amazing Facebook ads campaign?
1) Your advertisement needs to be friendly and personable
I know a lot of businesses make a Facebook ad with photos of their work and they say “right now we have a special on, click to book an appointment”.
But the truth is that there are so many businesses advertising on Facebook, and the best way to stand out is to make yourself human and personable. Be sure to showcase yourself, your staff, introduce yourself and talk about what’s unique about your salon.
The more you share yourself in your ads, the more you’ll get the attention of people. After all, Facebook is a social network. What gets users to pay attention is seeing faces of people that look like a friendly business they they want to check out.
2) Video is best
Same as posting organically on Facebook, the best Facebook ads campaigns have videos in them. You can even just grab an iPhone, get one of your staff members to film you and give a tour of your studio while introducing yourself and welcoming new clients in.
It’s okay to be camera shy! I used to be like that too, and I encourage my clients to jump over that camera shyness because having a video in your Facebook ad makes such a difference. People will pay attention! They’ll be more interested in what you’re advertising and they’re more likely to book in for an appointment, which is of course what you want.
3) Have a specific promotion in mind
What I mean by promotion is something that’s special, something that’s limited supply, or something that’s time-sensitive.
Say for example you’re a spray tanner and you set up a promo for the next week only where new clients get a gift card or they get a special discount. I know that a lot of salons are hesitant to discount their services and I understand that. What you can do instead is, bundle services together a package that’s only available for new clients or only available for a certain amount of time.
Essentially what you want to do is put together a promotion that’s so good that people cannot pass up. They say to themselves “Oh my gosh, this is only available until tomorrow. So I have to click, I have to pay attention.”
4) Keep an eye on your metrics
Instead of boosting posts from your Facebook page, go into the ads manager, explore it a little bit and set up your ads through there. The Facebook ads manager gives you so many powerful metrics and tools that you can use to see the success of your ads. Knowing your numbers is so important!
Some of the numbers you want to keep in mind are “cost per result”. So if you’re trying to get people to click on your ad to go to your website, you want to see how much it costs per click. You also want to know how much it’s costing you in general for each new client. Say for example you’ve spent a hundred dollars this month and you got in 10 new clients. That means you spent $10 per new client. You have to figure out if it’s worth spending $10 to get a new client through your door.
Another metric that you should keep an eye on is your frequency. The ads manager actually shows you how often people are seeing your ad. So if you’ve targeted a group of 10,000 people in your city, you want to make sure that each of these people is not seeing your advertisement 10 times. You want to make sure your frequency stays below 3, because otherwise people get annoyed with your ad and your cost goes up.
5) Make multiple versions of your ads
Don’t just make one version of your ad! When you have a promotion in mind for an ad campaign, you don’t know exactly what to put for the text, photo or video for the ad. You need to create multiple versions of your ad and test which one brings in more clients.
If you create different versions of it, Facebook will optimize your ad campaign and it will start showing the most popular ad to people, which is another great way of getting good results.
Getting excited about Facebook ads for your salon? Keep reading!
Salon Marketing Basic #5: Email & Social Reviews
I’ll admit, this last one is kind of two points rolled into one, but I’m going to go through two important marketing things quickly: email marketing and social reviews.
Apart from Facebook and Instagram where your followers may or may not see your post depending on the day, what’s a really good way to keep in touch with clients? To keep them updated on your business, to get them more connected with you, and also to get them to book in more often? The answer is email marketing!
Compared to Facebook, where only 5% of your followers see your posts, and Instagram where only 10% of people see your posts, with email 22% of your list will open up your emails on average. And these people are not just randomly scrolling past like on social media. They’re opening it up and they’re reading what you have to say. They’re connecting with you as people and learning more about your business.
Email is hands-down my favorite way to keep yourself in the minds of your clients, get them to rebook more often, and keep them loyal. You should regularly be collecting the email addresses of new clients and I also recommend you send out newsletters at least once a month to keep in touch with them.
These emails that you send out should not be sales-based. Everybody hates sales emails: they just get thrown into spam, they get ignored and deleted. The emails that you send out to your list should be educational, with beauty tips, skin tips, hair advice etc. They should be filled with beautiful pictures and stories of you and your staff. This is an amazing way of getting people to feel more connected with you as people.
The last point I want to go through is social reviews. When a client leaves you a review on Facebook, Google or Yelp, two things are happening. First of all, this client is now becoming an advocate for your business. They’re publicly vouching for you and in leaving you an amazing review they in turn feel more connected to you.
Secondly, social reviews are also social proof. Potential clients are researching your business every day. Did you know that almost 70% of people researching your salon will read six or more reviews before deciding whether to come in for an appointment? That’s huge! So you want to make sure that you’re encouraging your clients to leave you reviews on social sites.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list and you’re feeling refreshed and inspired with a ton of ideas for how to promote your salon or your beauty business.
If you love checklists (who doesn’t!?) and want a salon marketing “to-do” list, download my freebie below! It’s a PDF guide with lots more salon marketing ideas that are sure to inspire you! Enjoy 🙂