Sole proprietors and single-employee business owners are often referred to as solo-preneurs. Salon suite owners are the ultimate solo-pros with years of education, incredible skills and a business owner mindset together into one potential-packed package.
To reach this potential, salon suite members need to own the responsibility of marketing their business effectively, and these are the ten salon marketing tactics every beauty industry solo-PRO-neur needs to understand.
Ensure that these 10 core salon marketing tactics are part of your overall marketing plan.
1. Point of Difference
Unless you’re the only stylist in a 30-mile radius, you have competitors. Your brand’s point of difference is the one thing that your client’s can’t get in any other salon experience. If you don’t have a point of difference, which could be something unique to your salon’s menu, client experience or some other facet of your business, clients may view it as a commodity.
2. Owned Digital Real Estate
Many salon owners forego website development, thinking that social networks give them sufficient web presence. Without some type of owned digital real estate you lack the type of web content that is needed to help your salon get found in online search. Examples of owned digital real estate include business web sites as well as My Salon Suite and Salon Plaza’s member pages.
3. Social Media
Effective social media marketing is more than having a Facebook page or Instagram account and posting now and then. Like every other marketing channel, your social networking will only be as effective in so much as you develop a strategy, optimize your pages for each network’s best practices, systematically post updates to engage your target market, get your clients to like, comment and share your updates, and add local followers.
Dollar for dollar, email is listed as the best marketing for return on investment. Email marketing can help you in many ways, including client attraction, engagement, retention, referrals, reviews, events and more. Your return on investment will depend on your ability to build a contact list that includes clients and prospective clients, which in turn will depend on the value contained in your email newsletters and offers.
In addition, it’s worth noting that owned digital real estate, social media and email marketing all give you the ability to teach clients about the retail products you sell in your salon. Using these marketing channels to educate clients and create intrigue in retail products, add-ons and introduce new services and products can be invaluable, giving you the ability to pre-sell these items without ever “selling” anything.
5. Appointment Confirmation
No one needs to tell you this: You can only sell your time once. Every no-show is a working hour of lost revenue (or more) that can never be recovered. Reminders and appointment confirmation texts and emails are your last line of defense against missed appointments and lost revenue.
6. In-Salon Visuals
By the time a client sits in your chair they may have already visited your website, followed you on social media and received email communications that contained information about your salon’s current promotions, popular add-ons and retail products. Use in-salon visuals to continue the client’s buying journey and put the spotlight on the products and services you want them to choose using signage at the point of entry, in shelf and mirror talkers and at the point of sale.
Thanks to technology and Wi-Fi, you don’t have to wait and hope that your client goes on their way and remembers to leave a review for your salon on Yelp, Facebook, your website or some other platform. Before your happy client even leaves the salon, you can invite them to leave a review for your business online and place an iPad in their hands to do so. If you prefer, you can email them at the end of the day with a thank you message and an invitation to leave a review for your business online along with a link that takes them right to the review site.
Rebooking is one of the most powerful retention strategies, and should be a priority for every salon suite owner. A rebooked client has no need to panic (and find another salon) when five weeks have passed and their hair color is fading, their precision cut isn’t falling quite right or the length of their fringe is out of control, only to call and find out that you’re booked solid.
While rebooking should be at the core of your salon’s retention strategy, it should be accompanied by additional tactics which might include rewards, thank you notes and emails, events, social media engagement, email newsletters and other marketing touchpoints which remind them why they want to do business with you over anyone else.
Nothing is a more powerful referral engine than a happy client who tells their friends, colleagues and loved ones about your salon. Whether you incentivize word of mouth referrals with some type of reward or simply actively invite your clients to refer people to your salon, make sure that you are actively soliciting word of mouth referrals.
10. Goals and Measures
“What gets measured gets done.” Each of the salon marketing tactics you put to work to grow your book of business should have corresponding goals and measures. Setting specific goals and deciding which tactics you will use to meet them is a great way to take your marketing from “hope” to purposeful action!
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