Written by Jessica Brown, owner of 3 successful salons
First lesson! - Chill out on social media!
You are not alone in being stumped about social media!
What do I post? It’s just another thing I HAVE to do!
We hear so many salon owners fret over their social media.
A little secret … social media is NOT where the majority of your customers are going to come from (as a single salon).
Absolutely if you own multiple salons - then 100% social media is where you do need to be putting a good quantity of your attention. But as a single establishment, you are going to get your customers from LOCALISED marketing and promotions.
Social media communicates to a very broad demographic.
Customers are not going to fly in from Queensland to come to your Melbourne salon.
So why would you want to ensure that Queensland people know about your salon? The answer is: you don’t.
So who do I market to?
Who needs to know about your salon; is absolutely every single person within a 2-5kms circumference of your salon (if you are established in the countryside this would be a larger circumference).
You need to find out from your current clients, who travels the furthest to come to your salon - that is the maximum amount of distance that you need to promote to.
Absolutely you need to have a presence on the web and social media. You need a place where potential clients can stalk you and see what you are all about,
Absolutely you should always be running an advert or two as a paid/sponsored post to promote your salon/services.
But do you have to dance on TikTok and have a huge following on Insta? Not at all!
You do need a system where they can book easily. You do need a system where they can see your prices. You do need a system so potential clients can see your work, where you are located, your opening hours and all contact details.
Here are some ideas on things you can do to ensure every single house knows who you are, what you do etc. You don't have to do all of them, but I would recommend that you do most of them.
1) A simple flyer dropped in letterboxes.
The flyer should include;
A: Your full contact details
B: An offer or discount
C: Exactly what service you are promoting
D: How they can easily book in
E: a map of where your salon/home salon is
For best results on your letterbox flyer, it is recommended that you do the drop on each house more than once. Often people don’t pay attention to an advert the first time they see it, however, with repetition they will take notice on the second, third or fourth time.
So repetition is the key here. We personally have found the best results with doing a drop every week on the same day for 3-4 weeks in a row.
2. Collaborating with other local businesses to ensure they also know who you are.
There are so many advantages to ensuring all other local businesses know who you are and joining forces with them.
Not only do they communicate and talk to people that you don’t, but they also want business themselves. So it is a win-win situation for everyone.
For each salon I have opened, I would for the first couple of weeks, go and visit every single local shop, introduce myself, tell them about my business, offer them personally a discount, leave some promotion, ask about their business, get their promotion and let them know that I will most certainly let my customers know about them do they have a discount or something I can give my customers and would they do the same for me.
Not once did a shop reject me or was displeased about me paying them a visit.
I would additionally target hairdressers, gyms and ladies' boutiques (clothes & homewares) and single out the most chatty assistant in the establishment, approach them and offer to do their lashes/brows for FREE and any future refills at a discount in exchange that they talked to their customers about me (It is kind of like the influencer program without being on social media!)
I would also drop off Christmas cards, take some cookies in etc, to continually remind the local shops that I existed.
3. Guerilla marketing
“The creative use of novel or unconventional methods in order to boost sales or attract interest in a business.”
This is not only fun but also so effective!!
Some things I have done as a salon owner for Gorilla Marketing;
A: Made cookies and Rice Crispy Treats and gave them out on the street with a flyer. Was so successful! The Rice Crispy Treats were nostalgic for people too, which made them even more popular.
B: Took professional photos of 10 people (including myself) tastefully in the nude (see below photo) with the message of rock your brows, rock your beauty, rock your life.
We then got them printed and put them up all around the neighbourhood.
I am not encouraging you to get your kit off, I am just giving you ideas on things you could do to create some attention.
C: Gave out valentines day roses on the street
If you google ‘Guerilla Marketing ideas’ you will get inspired and will think of something fun you could do.
The purpose is to create attention for yourself and ensure everyone knows who you are.
4. Participate in any local markets, events, fairs/carnivals.
You don’t have to sell anything at these, you just need people to know you are alive.
We used to attend local markets and set up a stall doing free brow threads. Or you could just give out cookies or balloons with a flyer. It does not have to be complicated or expensive.
5. Give out community free service days/hours
Free brow days/hours or free something - has the sole purpose of creating attention for your salon.
6. Boosted/paid for posts targeting only the local demographic on socials.
Just a couple. Do some A/B split testing. If you are unsure of how to run a successful advert that gets you clients, then you can grab our social media course at a discount for only $19. Just enter code ‘social19’ at the checkout.
7. Referral systems / Word-of-Mouth
Word of mouth is still one of the best (if not the best) forms of marketing. Where a lot of people lose on this, is they don’t encourage word of mouth, so you need to reward it and continually remind your clients about it.
Have a reward that inspires your clients to tell their friends (discounts off the next service, free gift, their friend gets a discount - there are a lot of ideas. Your best bet is asking your clients what would incentivise them and then delivering that as your reward system).
At checkout, after their service, offer that if they share a photo or mention on their socials about them being at your salon, they will instantly get a $5 discount - 99% of your clients will say yes.
Get customers to leave reviews on Google etc too. This helps tremendously with word of mouth too.
8. Getting full contact details and continually communicating with your clients regularly
This is so essential and key to your business!
Communicate after their appointment to ensure they are happy
Communicate to remind them they are due for a refill
Communicate when you have a sale
Communicate with interesting aftercare or tips (education)
Send a birthday card
Send a Christmas or holiday card
Remind them about your referral system
I personally go to dozens of different salons (for many services) and about 5% of them communicate with me after the appointment. I am often so surprised why everyone isn’t doing this!
It is CHEAPER to maintain customers than to acquire new ones. So it is a given that your energy should be spent on keeping customers and the key to that is to ask them to come back to you through communication.
9. Sponsoring/supporting local sports, schools etc
10. Finding groups in your areas
Like ‘Mum’s & Bub’s groups etc and going and introducing yourself to them.
11. Have a Google Business Profile
Customers can leave reviews, google you, its free (I think it still is?) and it a great way for customers to be able to find you. You can even run a couple of adverts to help your listing. Encourage customers to leave reviews also helps your listing.
Those are just some ideas on how you can ensure that every single household in your area knows who you are.
This is where your efforts should be directed to get more customers in the door. Not dancing on TikTok.
As an additional note … there is no ‘magic solution’ to just have people walk in the door. You need to get out there and DO something to create it.