How to Do Successful Online Marketing for Your Salon Business

how to do successful marketing for salon businesses schedulicity tips


By Elizabeth Tran

Building your hair clientele can seem like a daunting task. Where do you even begin? Spread the word through family and friends first, of course. Though, not everyone has a lifetime of friends to keep their salon business going…

When you’re also busy with clients all day, how do you still have time for marketing yourself? This is where the wonderful Internet comes into play!

Read through all these steps on how to market your salon business online the right way.

1. Set Up Salon Business Listings Everywhere

The Internet is filled with business directories, so make sure you’re on the most relevant ones! Start with Google, of course. Setting up a business listing on Google allows a client to directly look up business information and directions immediately. Otherwise, your client will give up digging for information – and may not show up to a scheduled appointment on time. It should be your number one priority to make sure you appear on Google Search properly with the correct information.

Once Google knows you, browse through other marketing options where your salon competitors are also listed. Some examples are Yelp, scheduling software, and booking software. Scheduling and booking software manages your calendar, but also markets your business online. Typically, clients browse through list-formatted websites, such as Yelp and Schedulicity without an exact hair stylist in mind. Clients want to view an aggregated list of salon options, so placing your salon on these websites will give you more exposure. Online software companies already spend thousands, maybe millions on bringing visitors to their platforms. You’re just benefiting from their marketing!

Remember that a business listing makes the first impression. Make sure you have everything that could attract a new client. Put yourself in the potential client’s shoes, would you book yourself?

Check out how to set up your Schedulicity business listing.

2. Engage on Instagram & Facebook

Instagram and Facebook are loaded with hair salons, makeup artists, and more. How come? Because that’s where the target market is for salons! Salon clients browse social media for inspiration, trends, and more. Even though your competitors are on there, you don’t need to be intimidated with social media marketing. You still need to have social media profiles for clients to find and browse your portfolio.

Why are salons expected to be on Instagram or Facebook?

Let’s face it. It’s not easy to browse through Google when you just want to see a salon’s portfolio. It’s all text – and images aren’t filtered to just your photos. Instagram and Facebook offer a more streamlined experience where clients can discover one of your photos, then click through to your portfolio. Think of Instagram like a visual search engine.

Even better, attach an online scheduling software’s “Book Now” button straight into your Facebook and Instagram profiles for a streamlined shopping experience.

Upload all salon work onto your profiles – even sync the two social platforms together for simple posting. Clients want to see consistency and frequency in your social media marketing. Show that your styling skills are consistent, so they can be rest assured their haircut will be great. Post at least once a day to remind clients you’re around. Seeing you once a day eventually helps them remember you long-term.

Receiving comments? Reply back, show them that you’re not a robot just posting away!

3. Highlight Your Staff’s Skills

Each person in your staff specializes in a unique skill. Show them off online by sharing their best work. Clients can then view your entire profile and see which hair stylist matches them. One stylist definitely does not fit all. If clients see a stylist’s past work, it’ll make them more excited to book an appointment with your salon.

Marketing is all about the story and the experience. Show people that your salon has a diverse set of stylists to choose from, so that they can get a well-deserved personalized experience.

4. Allow Online Reservations

Most clients pick the hair salon after reviewing an online portfolio, website, and more. Why should you take them away from their browsing experience and …pick up the phone? Get an online scheduling software to help you with online reservations! This increases the possibility of getting a booked appointment because it was easy, quick, and all in one place. Online scheduling also saves you time because you don’t need to pick up the phone!

It’s even better if you accept online payments, so all the client worries about… is showing up!

5. Partner with Neighboring Businesses

Most likely, you have a few neighbors on the same street that you can collaborate with. Partner together on an online marketing campaign to get more clients to your local area. Maybe do a quick video or contest that you host online, highlighting both of your services.

Heck, you may even win clients from far away since they’ll be getting the full experience on the same street. Sell the ambience, neighborhood, and you, of course!

6. Offer Discounts

Discounts can help your business if done occasionally. Be wary if you offer discounts too much, clients will expect it. However, discounts influence more clients as you’re capturing the deal-loving people!

How often should you offer discounts? Here are some options to attract more clients, but doesn’t affect your bottom line – sales!

  • New Client Discount
  • Free Add-On for a Referral
  • Color Your Hair, Free Haircut
  • Birthday Discount
  • Discount for a Yelp Review

Remember to only offer discounts that both appeal to the client and makes you money.

Most likely, you have a few neighbors on the same street that you can collaborate with. Partner together on an online marketing campaign to get more clients to your local area. Maybe do a quick video or contest that you host online, highlighting both of your services.

Heck, you may even win clients from far away since they’ll be getting the full experience on the same street. Sell the ambience, neighborhood, and you, of course!

7. Send Birthday Promotions

Everyone wants to feel special on their birthday. What if you’re the one helping that? Send a special birthday promotion to wish them a “Happy Birthday!” Even include a discount to make them feel extra special. Automated marketing emails are best for these occasions as it does get manual over time.

Birthdays can only be redeemed once a year, so it’s not ruining your sales. It may even bring in an old client with the last appointment 5 years ago. Sending birthday promotions help you maintain that personal connection by showing your client some love.

8. Ask for Reviews

A surplus of good reviews convince a client to book your salon, but also can boost your Google rankings, too. If Google sees that you’re receiving more positive reviews than not, you’ll be rewarded with more visibility as clients search for hair salons. Who knew?

Asking for a review shouldn’t be scary. It just takes a few minutes of your client’s time. If they’re satisfied with your service, they’ll be happy to do it for you! Many clients won’t leave good reviews because they’re not reminded or incentivized. If you don’t bring it up, the only clients that will are negative. Prevent that from being the focus of your salon. Ask for reviews whenever you can to improve your online marketing. Maybe throw in a discount for the next service, so it’s a win-win for both of you!

9. Offer Add-on Services

Hopefully, you’ve listed your business everywhere by now. Now, think about offering add-on services. Add-on services are great to upgrade an appointment easily. The main services are always going to be booked, but giving “extra” services makes the client think they’re getting a deal.

Only $10 more dollars for styling? I’d do it – rather than seeing it all bucketed together. They might just think the bucketed option as more expensive than a competitor’s.

10. Contribute to Salon blogs

Salon blogs most likely are getting more traffic to their website than yours. Write a guest blog on salon magazines or sites to help get you more visibility. Clients will perceive you as an authority in the space since you were published on a popular site. The blog then drives clients to your own website, and in turn gets you more booked appointments.

If you contribute enough to blogs, more clients will come flocking – since they “trust” your reputation and brand. It’s all part of the marketing flow.

11. Remarket to Old Clients

Let’s face it, you will lose contact with many clients in your career. Reduce the impact by remarketing to your old clients. Re-engage them again on a special occasion with an email or text message. It’ll make them feel that you really cared. Being a salon professional is at least 70% dependent on the personal relationship. There are many other hair stylists, but what makes you stand out is the bond. Clients want to enjoy the time when they’re being groomed and pampered. What’s better than having your hair done by a friend?

12. Send Thank You Email Messages

Great service doesn’t end when the client leaves. Send a thank you message to every client that’s booked an appointment. Show appreciation for the time and consideration. The extra little effort will make you stand out from other hair stylists. How many times have you personally received a thank you email?

Online scheduling software does offer automated marketing as a feature to help you streamline this task. Whenever an appointment is complete, it sends an automatic thank you message of your choice to your clients. Saves you time, but makes you more money!

13. Confirm Appointments Online

What is one of the biggest struggles that salons face? No-shows and late cancellations. Cancelled appointments negatively impacts your business for two reasons: time and money.

How do you prevent cancelled appointments?

Send email confirmations to remind clients they have an upcoming appointment. This will prevent clients from forgetting to show up. Email confirmations also gives clients time to cancel an appointment earlier, leaving you time to rebook with another.

14. Start Email Marketing

By now, you should understand the power of the Internet. Use your emails to start marketing your salon business more! Client follow-up emails are a great way to start. Continue to send more emails for marketing. Emails stay professional, but aren’t seen as spam if done the right way.

Build your client relationship by sharing stories or updates about your salon. Email marketing can be used to get clients acquainted with your brand – especially since Instagram and Facebook is flooded with noise. Let your brand shine with content that your client would find interesting.

15. Start Automated SMS Messaging

SMS messaging isn’t online marketing, of course. However, you can use online scheduling software to automate the process for you. Automated text messages can remind clients about their appointments – and even allow them to reply back directly to confirm. All SMS communication is streamlined with your calendar, so you know who cancels immediately. Then, you can get started with rebooking.

16. Optimize Your Website

Up until now, you can do everything with pre-existing software, but now it’s time to create a website if you haven’t done so yet. Your website is your space, a place for you to represent your look and brand. It is the foundation of your marketing strategy. You can include a widget or button on your website to direct people to your other online locations ie scheduling software, business listings, and more.

A couple ways to optimize your website:

  • Make it usable. Many salon websites nowadays look cluttered and outdated. If you don’t have a web developer on hand, use easy website builders like Wix and WordPress. They provide website templates for you to plug in information. No need for you to touch any of the code – and you stay professional.

Include more detail on your business listing information. Business listings limit the amount of text, but you can have fun with adding unlimited context to win new clients. Add pictures, service information, and more. Whatever questions your clients most often ask, create content to keep clients informed.

17. Start Your Own Blog

There are many blogs out there in the Internet, but don’t be discouraged. Many blogs that get visibility on Google are “fluffy,” generic information. Since you’re an expert in the field, share your knowledge about salon, hair, and more. You’re getting questions anyways from clients. Use the same content for your blog! If you create content that’s different and valuable, you’ll be able to rank well in Google. More visibility for your brand!

You can always share your content through email and social, so it’s easy to spread the word. It will increase your authority in the salon business, and in turn bring you more clients! Marketing at its finest!

Not great at writing? Develop some easy how-to videos that clients can do at home, such as hair care and diet tips for great hair. How-to videos showcase your personality, so flaunt what you have! You can then share your videos on Instagram and YouTube, but mostly to your current clientele for relationship building through email marketing. Show off your skills!

18. Answer Common Salon Questions

Again, you’re getting many, many questions from clients. Sort out the salon questions that are asked way too often. Then, post the answers on your website and social media. Give a couple nuggets that only you may have noticed. Clients appreciate multiple opinions, so share yours!

19. Sell Packaged Services

If you’re seeing clients on a frequent basis, sell packaged services. That way, clients can feel like they’re getting a deal, but also makes it easy for you to upsell services. Packaged services can even grab those clients who want an all-in-one treatment – without having to pay for everything a-la-carte. A-la-carte does get expensive, so you should give the impression that “everything” is included for an extra discount. Packages simplify the sale process for both you and the client.

20. Offer Promo Codes

Promo codes are different from packages as they’re geared more towards the deal-loving clients. Clients feel extra special when they can use a unique promo code to book a service. Packages are usually available all the time, whereas promo codes push for urgency with limited time offers. Online scheduling software sometimes includes this feature to offer to clients, so be on the lookout for those tools.

Whatever you decide to do – offering discounts and deals or signing up for an online scheduling software, you’ll need to do it the right way. Salon marketing is no easy task, so find tools or tips that can help you maximize the return. After all, your time is limited with servicing the appointments. The key is to make your clients comfortable with you, so they can book appointments over and over again!

Happy Booking!

Schedulicity is the leading online appointment, class and workshop scheduling system and platform for discovering and booking local services in more than 50 different industries. Consumers in more than 7,700 cities across the U.S. and Canada have booked over 117 million appointments, classes and workshops through Schedulicity.

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