Marketing a salon

Marketing a salon is more important than ever and As a person who really misses their spa time during this pandemic, I know that salon customers cannot wait for things to get better so that they can relax at their favourite salon. 

Luckily for salon owners, things are already looking up as most states have eased their lockdown restrictions, but every salon has witnessed a sharp decline in annual profits as they remained closed the past 2 months.

However, this also gives you the time to invest in marketing for your salon and ensure that you make up for the past few months by rolling out an amazing marketing strategy: 

#1. Keep your blogging game strong

Marketing a salon is incomplete without blogging. 

And when I say blogging, I mean everything – from online articles to Instagram tutorials and live sessions with followers. 

  • Website blog 

I bet most of you already have an online blog and website set up, but you haven’t found the time to post on it regularly.

I’m here to tell you that it’s absolutely crucial and this quarantine has been the perfect time for all of us to do the things we had put on hold. 

Grab a cup of coffee, kick back and let that artistic mind type out all your knowledge of salons. 

The goal of your blog should not be to earn profits; rather it should be focused on helping people out. 

Write on topics such as how to do a manicure at home, the right skincare routine etc. 

Giving to the community will eventually find its way back to you and people will begin trusting your brand. 

If you haven’t set up a blog yet, you can use free tools like WordPress and once you start generating profits, you can opt for one of its paid plans. 

Then comes SEO. 

Unless you optimise your blog for search engines, it wont rank high – which means you could be producing quality content but it’s not visible to people. 

Here are a few basic tips for improving your blog’s SEO: 

  • Use high ranking keywords, preferably in the first half of your article (Use UberSuggest, a free tool to find out the search volume, cost-per-click and general overview of a keyword so you can use the best ones
  • Only link to websites with high domain authority. A 60-70 DA is considered appropriate, but generally, the higher the better (Just type in your link on Moz to find out)
  • Use internal links i.e. link to your own blog at least 2-3 times in every article 
  • Use a short URL that includes your main keyword, along with a meta title of 50-100 characters and a meta description of around 165 characters, each with strong keywords 

These are just a few of the basic points to remember when writing. 

If you’re focusing on improving your SEO strategy, check out my complete guide on how to master Search Engine Optimisation

  • Social media blog 

A social media blog is potentially much more important than your website blog when marketing a salon. Why? 

Because your audience is millennials/Generation Y girls and women, they are more likely to be looking for video tutorials and tips rather than written articles. 

Since you’re targeting women of all ages, a Facebook and Instagram profile is a must. 

If you have the resources, a Snapchat and Pinterest account could also be a great online presence. 

One of my favourite salon bloggers is Mounir. 

His blog went viral on social media a few years back when the trend for dyed hair started. 

His ability to create a beautiful balayage and get it shot right is so good that it mesmerises followers worldwide:

Mounir started off in Lebanon but now has 13 branches in different cities! 

And all that because his blog is so good. 

Here are a few tips for you when uploading content: 

  • Show the face behind it all 

People love to get to know who’s working the magic. It creates a more personal relationship as followers will feel like they already know you, even if they’ve never met you. 

  • Engage your followers

I cannot emphasize on this enough. Interactive content is one of the biggest marketing trends of 2020 and your followers will scroll right through your post if you don’t engage them. Upload live videos, do Q&As and take advantage of this new feature that Facebook just introduced: 

So you could upload a nail art post and ask your followers the same question. 

If you get no more than 50%, you can always do a tutorial and teach your followers how to get it done! 

Remember, hard work and giving to your followers always pays off in the long run. 

Last but not least, use trending hashtags on Instagram because that will make your content more discoverable. 

#2. Hire influencers 

This is a must-have when marketing a salon. 

Even if you own a small business with a limited budget, partner with local influencers that won’t cost you too much! 

Plus, you may not even have to compensate them with cash payments. 

Most salons have a lot of inventory at the moment, considering outlets were closed. 

So a great idea would be to make gift sets, package them beautifully and send them out to influencers in exchange for a shout-out or review! 

I can tell you from experience that it works wonders. 

You’ll see a boost in followers (considering your target audience follows the influencer) right after the shoutout. 

And you get all this in minimal cost by utilising extra inventory. 

Find out which type of influencer you need: 

To know more about the tier that your business fits in, check out my complete guide on how to hire influencers on Instagram to promote your business. 

#3. Invest in interior design 

Another great way to spend all this free time is investing in your salon’s look. 

Your customers come into your salon to de-stress and look beautiful – and that’s something your theme should reflect. 

Again, even if you don’t have too much to invest, there’s a lot you can do. All it takes is creativity! 

Set up a seperate spa room for massages, facials etc (that is, if you offer these services).

Make sure these rooms have dim lighting with peaceful music playing. 

It never hurts to put a few scented candles in there either! All of this will make your customers feel calm and relax while you conduct the service. 

Suppose you have a nail salon only. 

Bold colors, neon lights and an overall funky outlook should be your go to. 

You can come up with a great window display as well where you showcase your most popular nail colors (or customer favourites!) 

Your interior look also adds to your brand personality. 

Creating a creative spot inside the salon could actually help you go viral. 

Millennials love to take aesthetic pictures and post them on social media, so all you have to do is put up a creative space and your clients will do the job of letting everyone know! 

That’s how the Elān cafe in London gained popularity. 

I’ve never heard of how the food tastes there, but I know for a fact that everybody knows about it just because of its interior! 

#4. Offer a unique experience 

I’ve recently studied a lot about the service industry and the one of the most important things I learnt is that you need to offer an entire experience, not just the service itself. 

The service sector is growing steadily at 1.6% annually in the US. 

This is because millennials are willing to spend money in places that offer a memorable experience.

In most cases, there are so many salons in one area that without offering a competitive advantage, you won’t have a good customer turnout. 

This means that you need to find your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

It can be whatever you are good at that competitors aren’t offering – premium quality, products, interior, professional stylists, low prices etc. 

Just pick whichever works for you and invest in it. 

Here, I’ll give the example of the UK based salon, Toni and Guy. 

It is my absolute favourite salon because I’ve had my own personal stylist since 7 years now. 

They charge me a premium but that’s okay because they offer one of the best services in the city. 

You know how everybody gets extremely nervous when they’re going in for a different haircut? And a lot of the time they don’t get what they wanted.

I’ve never had to worry about that. My stylist knows my hair type; I get greeted every time I walk in. Plus, they offer amenities like coffee and tea which makes my experience even better.

These are called supplementary services

You offer them as add-ons to your actual service to create a more wholesome experience. 

You could invest in a TV to replace magazines.

Offer free WiFi, tea, snacks and whatever else you can come up with without straining your resources. 

Even your workforce can enhance customer experience. 

Hiring and training skilled workers with good memory who greet customers, remember their needs etc. can make or break your marketing strategy. 

All of this will eventually improve customer loyalty and one of the oldest marketing principles is that 20% of your customer base (loyal customers) bring in 80% of the profit, so invest in them. 

Marketing a salon During COVID-19

These are extremely trying times – more so for businesses in the service industry that cannot conduct their business online. 

However, every challenging situation can be overcome by adapting and coming up with creative solutions to thrive in a new business environment. 

Right now, the priority of every business should be to keep their clients safe. 

Masks, gloves, temperature checks and other basic precautions are all mandatory rules set by the government. 

But what can you do to make customers feel like you are the safest salon in town to visit? 

First, do everything in front of your customers. Sanitise each workstation after they walk in right before they sit. 

Not only will they trust you more but they will also feel at ease while you perform services. 

Similarly, you need to sanitise all equipment i.e. manicure kits, hair kits etc. regularly. 

If it’s too much work and time to do it infront of customers, post it on social media! Customers sitting at home will also consider coming to you. 

You can also boost sales by selling manicure and other kits to customers who aren’t comfortable visiting the salon just yet. 

Write instructions on the package or post tutorials on how they can give themselves a spa treatment at home. They’ll feel safe and you’ll be selling products so it’s a win-win! 

Then comes your interior design. Whether or not you’re planning to change your interior, COVID-19 is forcing all businesses to make some changes. 

You’ll need to keep all workstations at least 6 feet apart and preferably with a partition in between (if you can afford it): 

Despite all these measures, as this picture implies, there is still a lot of human interaction in salon services. 

Thus, contraction of the virus is still possible. 

According to the Business Insider, local businesses are making customers sign COVID-19 waivers which waives their right to sue if they contract the virus through the business. 

While this may be a good idea to protect your business, it could also scare off the few customers that are willing to visit at this time. 

Thus, you need to assure customers that you will do whatever you can to protect their safety.  

Conclusion to marketing a salon

So this sums up some of the best tips on marketing for salons. 

It’s a complete guide on what you need to do going forward after this pandemic and some crucial things that will put your salon ahead of competitors. 

Just make sure you don’t overspend or underspend (considering every business is on a tight budget these days). 

The right amount of money spent for marketing a salon can be the sole reason behind a salon business’s success.