A salon with pink chairs is empty as its salon owners strategize on salon marketing success.

Salon Marketing 101: Essential Strategies for Success

One of the biggest challenges salons face is how to increase patronage, maintain client retention, and make their business known.

Because at the end of the day, you can be the absolute best stylist in the city–but if no one knows you exist, you're not going to get any traffic in and out of your shop. 

So, what's the best way to get the word out about your killer offers?

Focus on your marketing techniques to highlight your salon's value propositions, what makes you different, and why your biz is a must-visit. 

Keep reading to find a list of simple, yet powerful marketing tips that can help your salon reach its full potential.

KEY TAKEAWAYS: In this article, we'll share a few salon marketing techniques that all beauty pros should consider adding to their marketing arsenal. These basic techniques include committing to and sticking to a scheduled marketing plan, tackling a digital approach to your strategy, getting and optimizing online reviews, elevating your client experience, and beyond. 

Must-Know Salon Marketing Strategies to Implement 

Commit To A Marketing Plan

The first step in your marketing plan should be to implement the basic 5 W's: Who are you, what do you offer, where are you located, when are you available, and why should customers go to your salon.

People should be able to know exactly who you are and what you do. Always carry your business card or salon menus on you.

This gives you the opportunity to show your services, and people will remember you more easily.

Take Your Strategies Digital (You Need a Website) 

Nowadays, it's a bad biz move to exist as a salon or shop and NOT have a website. Why? Because this is the first place potential customer are going to go to see what kind of work you offer, check out your social proof, read reviews, and determine if you're the right salon for them. 

Ultimately, customers are less likely to put their faith in you if you don't have a site–in most cases, they'll go with someone who has credibility, social proof, transparent pricing online, and a digital presence (because that's where everything happens these days, BTW). 

A stylist works on her salon marketing plan while on her laptop.

Your best bet? Create a website for your salon, or if you are a hairstylist, create an online portfolio of your work. You don't have to be a web design genius nowadays to have a killer site.

There are plenty of easy-to-use platforms out there where you can design your own site, professionals you can hire within your budget to do it for you, or membership benefits from your fave insurance partners that help you set up your own customizable site. 

This gives customers a chance to visually get a glimpse of your salon and services before deciding to go.

Prioritize & Optimize Online Reviews

Don’t forget to create business listings for your salon on sites like Yelp and Google. Websites like these, where customers can read or leave reviews about your business, are vital. But it's not enough to just hope that your clients will leave you reviews–you need to come up with campaigns and follow-up email marketing tactics to incentivize these reviews.

Reviews give potential clients a chance to see what others are saying about your salon. They also help clients find your salon easily when they use search engine sites.

Once you start accumulating these reviews, it's important to optimize them, too! Use them on your sites, on your socials–everywhere you can! 

Create a Social Media Marketing Plan

One of the biggest (and free) marketing tools many beauty pros don't take advantage of enough is the power of social media. Most, if not all, clients are using their phones, tablets or desktop computers daily.

Social media can not only introduce your salon to a larger market, but can also create and maintain client relationships. Whether you are a salon owner or hairstylist, one of the most crucial marketing strategies you can implement is utilizing social media platforms.

When starting your brand on social media, you should at the very least research what social media apps your target market is using and focus on those.

Choose one or two social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok to post on daily.

On social sites, it’s critical to make yourself stand out.

There are literally thousands of salons and beauty pros on social media, so you need to make sure you are offering creative content that is different from everything else out there.

Find what works for you to show off your unique self and go with that.

Start Thinking About Discounts

One way to have great client retention is offering incentives. This doesn’t mean you always have to offer discounts or free services, but choose a date range for these special events. When done correctly, incentives can be beneficial for both reaching new clients and brand awareness.

Here are a few offering ideas.

  • Offer client referral discounts when a new client books with you, who was referred by an existing client. Decide what type of offer works best for you and implement it.
  • Loyalty programs are also a good idea. You can offer something as simple as a free add-on service after a client has visited you a certain number of times.
  • Host contests for clients. You can have contests on social media or in the salon and offer a prize for the winner, such as free products or a discounted service. Get creative with what kind of giveaway you’d like to do and start spreading awareness for your salon!

Get Involved With Your Community

We love a networking professional in this industry.

Try hosting beauty classes or events at your salon, at least once every one or two months. This attracts people who are interested in your industry, potential clients, and even other beauty professionals.

Two salon owners show off their new styles while talking about salon marketing tips that work for their business.

Beauty showcase events are a great way to advertise your salon. It gives the opportunity to show what services you offer. Local wedding expos, beauty trade shows, and even similar community events are the perfect place to advertise your salon.

Collaborating with others in your community is crucial. Social media collaborations with local businesses, community event sponsorship's, or even trading services with other entrepreneurs are ideal. It gives you the ability to cross-market to different customers and local groups.

Elevate Your Customer Experience 

Although customer service excellence is often not acknowledged as a traditional marketing tip, it truly is as important as any other. Bad customer service can ruin a salon’s reputation and repel potential clients. What kind of customer service you are known for can hinder or enhance customer patronage. The greater level of customer service you offer, the more client visits you will receive.

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