Marketing… Now there’s a topic I could write a book about! There are literally thousands of different ways you can market your business to attract new clients. Some work, some certainly do not.
What I would like to share with you today are some of the common mistakes that we make when marketing our salon business, and my wish for you to shift your thinking so you are well equipment with a great starting point to opening the floodgates to your salon.
Firstly, look after the ones you’ve already got! Makes sense, right? It’s much harder (and much more expensive) to attract new clients to your business than what it is to look after your existing clientele.
It’s human nature to take the path of least resistance and the easiest way out of everything. Sometimes we do get too relaxed, complacent and just plain lazy. Every client that you have in your chair this week you need to WOW like you did on their first appointment. Making suggestions and showing your clients fresh ideas is a great starting point. Sounds too simple, yet it is very effective.
Treat all clients as if they are new.
Most salons lose as much as they gain. When I first start working with a salon business client, I get them to go back in the appointment book 16 weeks ago and look at the clients who were in that week but have not returned since. You might be very surprised!
We don’t want to be filling up a leaky bucket- pouring some in the top and it leaks out the bottom! You can often see trends after doing this process for a few weeks: Suzy (stylist) loses more than Karen. What is the reason for this? The list is very long and varied, however if you have a good understanding of your salon numbers, you may be able to pinpoint that leaky hole and make a plan to plug it up.
You need to be realistic about the outcomes of your marketing campaigns and what is actually possible. I find
there are a lot of marketing companies making huge claims about how many clients they can ‘throw’ at your business.
If it sounds too good to be true… well you get the point.
If your salon is currently looking after an average of 5 new clients per week and you are able to increase that number to 7 that’s a 40% increase! See it for what it is and be realistic in your expectations: quality not quantity is the key here.
Before you decide where to invest your time and money, you need to ascertain who is your ideal client. If your ideal client is a successful mid-30’s female who has 5-weekly trips to the salon to maintain her blonde locks, you need to make a plan for how your marketing is going to best ‘talk’ to this type of client. What will they look for? Are they bargain shoppers or do they value expertise and experience?
We can’t be all things to all people which is why I recommend to brain storm with your team about your ideal client avatar. Create a solid picture of the type of person that you want your chairs to be filled with and stick to a theme that best resonates with that person.
I was speaking to a client a few months back about what services she wanted to promote and what direction she wanted to take with her business. She could quickly tell me that if she never had to do another set of nails again that she would be very happy. However, scrolling through her social media feeds later that day, I quickly discovered that her posts were predominately nails, nails and more nails.
If you want to grow a specific area or service in your business, it needs to be the star of your marketing, not just another option on your price list. Most clients don’t have any idea of what you have to offer until you tell
them. Awareness is half the solution here.
We need to understand that there are 2 types of marketing: internal and external. Internal marketing is all about letting your current clients know of any services that you want to grow, and it also allows more of your clients to sample more of your menu. This pushes client loyalty through the roof because they have more reasons to return, not to mention the ultimate by-product; an increase in client average spend.
So what service should you choose? When you break down each service category on your menu and do a thorough cost analysis, you may find the services you have been promoting only have a very skinny profit margin. We can’t have that, can we?
It’s obvious that we need to be doing the services we love doing but if you were booked back to back with this service would you make any money? if the answer is ‘No’, I suggest you go back to the drawing board. This is business and a business needs profit to survive.
Me: “Show me your marketing plan please”
Client: “I don’t have one!”
Me: “How’s that working for you?”
Client: “Well it’s not…”
You HAVE to have a plan. Constantly chasing your tail and pushing out promotions at the last minute for Mother’s Day or because you are quiet does not work. Stop it! You need to set aside time to make a solid plan for where your newbies are coming from and how you are going to achieve this. So, what should my plan include?
• Monthly internal and external promotions
• A budget for every campaign
• Systems to track the results of your marketing
• Set times to brief your team about the plan and outcomes
Use this as a starting point and get your team onboard. A great suggestion is to use one of your staff meetings to brainstorm your ideas. When I had my salon, I would to a ‘brain dump’ session and write on butcher’s paper when we were in the planning phase. When you team are involved in the decision making, they have more ownership of the plan and will run with it.
Once you have your marketing plan in place, who do you give the clients to? It is commonplace to want to fill up the newly qualified stylist in your salon however this may not be the smartest move. You see, they need training on how to retain new clients and if you compare retention with your other team members, you may find that you are completely wasting your time and money marketing if your stylist is barely retaining any new clients.
Marketing is process where you cannot just rely on one medium to grow your business and one avenue doesn’t
necessarily completely outperform the other. You need to layer your plan and as one campaign finishes, another
starts. This is key to how you get maximum results in a shorter period of time.
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for a Marketing planner document that you can download and fill out to perform an appraisal as to where you are at with marketing in your salon business.
Jay is a specialist ZING salon coach. For more salon wisdom, email ZING at email@example.com, visit the website, find video tips on and live feeds on our private Facebook group ‘Inspired salon Collective’ www.zingcoach.com