I just opened a small, upscale, boutique style hair salon. Any ideas on how to market?


I have no experience with salons, but marketing is my thing. So I'll give you some suggestions of what to think about, followed by what to do.

Do you have clients already (let's say from your working days at another salon)? If so, you can start profiling them. You can ask them to fill out a form in exchange for a free gift (maybe one of those creams you use in the salon), or an entry to a raffle (where the prize is valuable).

In the profiling, you want to look out for which neighborhoods they live in, what kinds of activities they like to do, what kinds of social events they love to do, and their occupations.

Then, using each of those profile data, you can market to more prospects who share the same characteristics. For example,

- You can set aside a budget to send flyers to specific neighborhoods. In order to get people into the door, maybe you can offer a certain procedure for free in exchange for opportunities to win new regular customers. (You could theoretically do this with Groupon too, but you have less control of who comes into your door)
- You could set up joint venture relationships with organizations like ball room dancing schools, professional associations, etc. You could offer an exclusive discount with those groups to entice potential customers to try out your service. More opportunities for you to win regular customers.
- With certain demographic data, you can probably make the same offer by advertising on Facebook. If you target specific enough, you can get the price of acquiring the lead to be pretty cheap. You would have to figure out your typical lifetime value of your customers before deciding whether advertising on Facebook would be worthwhile.

One last thing, you can offer gifts for your existing customers if they refer you people.

If you have any more questions, I'm happy to chat with you. Hit me up on this platform.

Answered 11 years ago

Start with the low hanging fruit: Be able to be found. Make sure you're listed on Google+, Yelp, Foursquare and other location based listing sites and link them all back to your website.

Since your salon is upscale, you'll want to make that clear in all of your marketing messaging and consider including a pricing list on your site that says "Haircuts starting at $$..." etc.

The main thing to focus on is an exceptional website that represents the vibe of your salon - this is the first introduction to a potential client so they should be wow'd.

Best of luck! I work with a few salons and beauty schools here in Louisiana and would love to share more insight and ideas so let me know if you want to chat more!

Answered 10 years ago

Market to sororities (if there are any colleges/universities in your area). If their families have the money to pay sorority dues, then they've got the money for your services. You can "get in" with the sororities by getting in touch with the president of each one and offering free haircare and beauty workshops. Facebook ads. 50% off for first-time clients. Beautiful website, preferably integrated with your appointment booking engine. Strategic partnerships with local boutiques, wedding shops, high-end nail salons, and spas. Set up informal lunch conversations with the owners of those businesses and say, "How can my salon help you?" And of course you'll want to track and measure the ROI on all these tactics to see if they're really moving the needle. I recognize that strategy and tactics are different, so if you'd like to discuss your actual marketing plan, let me know. Cheers, Austin

Answered 9 years ago

try taking pictures of your clients when done and post to your Facebook page - get their FB info and tag the photo with their name - they get notified and share and all their friends see it

Answered 9 years ago

not sure where you are but look at partnering with beautified (app) - will drive users in door!

Answered 11 years ago

I would highly recommend internet marketing as the most effective way to market your boutique hair salon. With internet marketing, you can target individuals within your geographic location effectively and at an affordable cost. This can be done with an enhanced SEO strategy or content marketing. Write articles that describe your salon and market that through diverse platforms across the web, specifically in your geographic location (300-800 words).

I can provide many recommendations based on my experience with affordable companies and tips that can help benefit your hair salon. Many companies or individuals might recommend hiring a top marketing firm to help drive consumers to your salon, but I discourage this. You can easily do this yourself! Through my experiences working with small budgets, I have been effective in driving internet consumers to my sites from 0 users to upwards of 10,000 unique live users in just under 6 months. I would love to help you do the same!

Answered 10 years ago

Are you kidding me? You bet I have ideas. I also have strategies that you could employ and ways you can more effectively manage your salon to reduce overhead, cut redundancy, save money on taking payments, get more leads and referrals coming in as well.

If it were our family salon, I'd have people coming in daily or I'd go to my grave fighting for it.

Of course I have ideas on how to market, and I have all the love in the world for hair stylists because you're a service professional at heart just as many of us here on Clarity are.

But without knowing more about your salon: your demographics, whether or not you do weaves or clip-ons and extensions, your marketing budget (or lack thereof), whether or not you're online, what your resources are, and how driven you are, it's tough to essentially deliver a free blanket plan for your to put into effect.

I could write out a list of strategies you could put into place, write out a long list of practices to employ, write out a list of things you should do daily, but I don't know if you can do do them, want to do them, would be good at doing them, or if they'd necessarily even help because I don't know much about your unique situation.

If your salon is upscale, word of mouth and catering to each and every client with personal care is vital. Offer complimentary services in every way possible. Do you need a liquor license to serve cocktails? Some upscale mens salons offer drinks, video games, and are practically sports bars. I've been to barber shops that treated me like royalty...offering movies, video games, snacks, to run errands for me, all while having my beard trimmed. Needless to say, I wanted to go there often. So without knowing more or going to work for you for free (I'm only half-kidding here), my initial suggestion would be to double-down on personalized, customized customer care and offer as many complimentary services as possible and develop a classy, high-end website that allows for online booking, online payment, has stylist portfolios, their portfolios, maybe videos of them working and interviews.

Hope that helps. If you would like more, let me know. And best of luck with your salon.

Answered 8 years ago

Don't spend too much on promotions. This business typically runs on personal recommendations, so referral programmes work better.

If you are in a crowded market, offer something different that the others are not offering or not in a position to offer. Even simple things matter a lot - like greeting the clients when they walk in or walk out, send them a reminder after 3 months as a follow up. Maintain database and build heathy client base. Offer an attractive yearly programme.

Imp tip: This is a sure shot winner. Spend a little more and run a blog with interesting articles and send your clients as a weekly/monthly newsletter. Your client has to see some value; otherwise you have to just compete on price with other players in the market.

"Customer buy on price because they can't find extraordinary quality, convenience, service or value."

Answered 8 years ago

Hi - I just came across this and noticed you wrote this years ago, so I really hope your business is going well!! If you need inexpensive yet expert marketing, design or small business consulting services, please consider my agency, Bloominari. We’ve been helping small business owners like yourself for years and we’d love to help you out. I also provide free project estimates! Just wanted to send you this info in case your sales aren’t exactly as high as you were hoping. Let me know if I can help you in any way and best of luck to you!

Answered 8 years ago

Word-of-mouth! If you can get your clients to tell others about your services, you will win. Social media, advertising, and buzz are good ways to spread word about your salon, but buzz stands out.

Answered 8 years ago

- Create content, i.e. posts and videos to add to the site and youtube.
- Run ads on Facebook targeting your demographics and people that make money.
- run ads in search for people looking for boutiques and then bring them to a website that's as high end and modern as your boutique.
- retargeting - advertise to the website visitors after they leave the website through Google and Facebook.
- Add a popup box on your website to build your email list. Then email it weekly with promotions. Over time this will be your best performing channel.

Contact me if you would like to work with an agency or consultant.

Answered 7 years ago

Social, Social, Social.

Bootstrapping is the way to go.

Here's 3 key Strategies:

- Make sure you have a presentable website for the times

- You have established social profiles

- You have a small budget to start marketing within these social circles

Then from there, it's taking all 3 and combining them into a marketing strategy that will be hypertargted to your local audience.

Answered 7 years ago

You are in the type of business where personal recommendations carry the most weight. If you are located in a small strip mall setting, for example, walk around and introduce yourself to the other businesses on the property. Hand out business cards to the owners and employees and offer them a selection of one highly discounted salon services. Try to schedule appointments right away. Once these people have had their service ask them to post a nice comment about their experience on sites like Yelp - be sure to have your profile up and running on Yelp by then. Take photos as well of these first customers in your salon - with their permission. It is worth breaking even or losing a small amount of money to offer time-limited discounts to selected individuals in return for these social media positive comments and ratings to get you started.

Answered 7 years ago

Set up a booth in a public place, and find a cute little old grandma or someone who wouldn't normally be your customer and have them be your guinea pig: Live, in public. Record a video and post it on YouTube. You might even make the local news.

Answered 6 years ago

To be frank when o read this all I remembered was my childhood hair saloon place. And the reason I remember them is not for the hair cut but the barber would give children visiting his saloon a chocolate / lolipop.
And guess what even after all those years went by and we all grew up we still remember.
And he was famous back then for being nice with children and make them laugh.
A small way to make a difference but a long term relationship building.
And to make it a talk of the town of services among adults I have an idea which will garner all the attention.
What's common among celebrity hairdressers in the industry ?
I would like to offer customised solutions that would spread the word once I get to know the specifics.
Thank you

Answered 5 years ago

Leading salons such as Lakme, BBlunt, Enrich and Bodycraft are planning a seismic shift in day-to-day operations to inculcate safety measures, as they seek to woo back the fear-enveloped customer amid the coronavirus outbreak. The five-billion-dollar salon industry, which has been under lockdown for eight weeks, anticipates sales to recover only by fourth quarter. “Post Covid-19, salons will be expected to maintain a high level of hygiene as it is a high-touch industry,” said Sunil Kataria, the chief executive of Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL) which has a 30% stake in salon chain BBlunt. GCPL has always advised its partner salons to use one-time-use personal protective equipment (PPE) and disinfect high-touchpoint zones every three hours.
Top salon chains will ban entry of customer companions, children below 12 years of age and on-premise consumption of food and beverages, said the Beauty & Wellness Sector Skill Council (B&WSSC) that functions under the aegis of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. It counts Lakme, Enrich, VLCC, YLG and Naturals among its members. The industry estimates the number of salons in India at 65 lakhs, of which only 30% are registered. Like liquor retailers, salons may see serpentine queues once they reopen. Nonetheless, most organised players expressed no ambition to pursue at-home service model offered by the likes of Urban Clap. The new safety protocol will, however, increase their operating cost, resulting in a price hike and straining the customer wallet amid salary cuts and layoffs.

As Sunil Kataria says these are Post-Covid salons. Keeping this fact in mind there are 5 things that will guide you in marketing salon:
1. Brand Consistency: It is near impossible for salons to succeed from walk-in business alone. Potential clients need to know where you are, and why they should come to you. Building a reputable and recognisable brand is key to developing successful marketing strategies for your salon.
It is no longer optional to have a website for your salon, and moreover, an online presence. Keep this in mind while you read on a powerful salon brand online works the same as offline. You need a straightforward, continuous look, message, and feel. Upon seeing any of your marketing material, everyone should know what you do, and what you stand for. A potential client browsing your salon website, clicking through to your social media, and even walking through your doors, should find that it looks and feels the same. Everything you use to communicate to your clients should have the same vibe: emails, social media posts, SMS messages, salon signage, and even the way you talk on the phone. This is key to developing a memorable brand, and one that clients enjoy interacting with. Salons are all about image and when they are seeking out your services, so are your clients. Use this customer avatar guide to find out what your perfect client looks like and build an image that will appeal to that customer. You want clients you really click with, who appreciate your services, are happy to spend money and who will spread the good word to friends.
2. Website: A website effectively allows you to be open 24/7 for both new and existing clients. A successful website will inspire visitors to book an appointment. No matter the size of your salon or the services you offer, what you are providing to clients is an experience. Your services may be the same as the ones available down the road, but the experience is unique. This is what you are selling, and this is what you are promoting on your website. A salon website must feature high-quality images of both your location (inside and out) and your services. Remember to appeal to your target market: display a more creative style for younger demographics, and the opportunity to relax and relieve stress for older professionals. When your customers are looking at your website late at night on their smartphone, they have no tolerance for a display that requires pinch and zoom just to read what services you offer. Once someone leaves your website without making a purchase decision, there’s little chance of them coming back. Good website development ensures your website suits whatever device your customer is viewing it on. Acronyms can be intimidating, but SEO is not as complicated as it sounds. It simply means making your website as user-friendly as possible. That means making sure the content on your website matches what people may be typing into Google, and ensuring your website loads quickly and is easy to use.
3. Social Media: Whether we like it or not, people are glued to their phones and there are screens everywhere. If you do not rep your business in social media, you are not only missing the conversation people are already having about your business, you’re missing the chance to win new clients. Think of social media as a shop front for your business. It gives you the opportunity to put your business forward in the best light possible, and it shows potential clients an enticing snapshot of what you have to offer. Too often however, salons create brilliantly professional profiles, and then ruin them by posting trashy new headlines, gossip, and poor imagery. You should keep things light-hearted on social media, but it is important to approach it in a business-like manner. Starting a social account and leaving it to grow cobwebs does not do your brand any good. If you do not care enough to post frequently, why should anyone care to follow you? Social media is fast-paced, and the content is only relevant from one day to the next. Does this sound like too much effort? The good news is that if you are organised (by using a social media post planner), posting frequently doesn’t have to take a lot of time and energy.
4. Customer Marketing: It’s easy to get caught up in marketing to new clients, but often you’ll take your existing clients for granted. Big mistake! Who better to convince to purchase your services than those who have already been convinced before? A huge part of running a successful salon is repeat business. Online booking systems allow you to capture clients contact information, so here is how to put it to good use. Email marketing is not dead! Keeping in contact with clients through email newsletters is a great opportunity to share those bits of your business, that they might miss out on simply because they are not in your business every day. They will love being kept in the loop and you will benefit from the trust you build. You can have the best services and products, but if you are not communicating this value to potential customers, your hard work will have little reward. SMS marketing allows you to have two-way conversations with your customers through a device that they have on them all the time. Everyone loves getting a good deal. A loyalty system is one great way to keep clients coming back. Use the email/SMS marketing strategies to send existing clients special offers and you will be guaranteed an influx of regulars.
5. Word of Mouth: Businesses thrive on referrals and word of mouth, especially smaller businesses who have clients that are likely to know others in need of their services. It is imperative that you give your clients an incredible experience so that you hardly need to ask them to refer people, they’ll want to. Co-marketing is a partnership between at least two businesses or brands with the objective to share one another’s resources, and customer base. Hotels near your salon might be keen to refer your services if their guests ask about good salons or spas nearby. The hotel does it’s job by helping their guests find what they need, and you can benefit from a new client. Successful co-marketing campaigns generate “win-win-win” situations that offer value not only to the partnering businesses, but also to your clients. It is not unusual for people to go to a salon or spa together. That is the idea behind the popular ‘bring a friend’ promotion where a client gets a certain percentage off their service if they bring a friend. You can also run a referral promotion where a client gets, say 10% off for every friend who comes to the salon and mentions the client’s name. Word of mouth does not always mean offline. Good online reviews are a must for any business advertising online. 97% of customers read online reviews when researching a business. If they cannot find reviews of you, you might be knocking your salon out of the running. Opening yourself and your business up for online reviews might sound nerve-wracking. Giving people a forum to express themselves means that everyone gets to have a say. No business can please every single customer; so yes, you will end up seeing some negative reviews along with the positive. But even negative reviews come with a silver lining – a chance to handle them in a way that reflects well on your business and customer service. No need to shy away from any potential ‘bad’ press. Do not be afraid to ask your customers to leave reviews. It is probably not the best idea to ask when they are in the store, but it’s a perfect way to utilise follow-up messages.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 4 years ago

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