Marketing your hair or beauty salon can be an ineffective, costly exercise. If done the wrong way.

Done the right way, it will grow your salon, attract new clients and make your business more stable and profitable.

Interested? Try looking at these 3 areas to get you started.

1. Hold on to your hard-won salon profit

Don’t give your profits away lightly. It’s too easy to panic when faced with a quiet spell. Don’t automatically resort to salon discounts and price cuts.

When it comes to your existing salon clients, wherever possible, avoid competing on price alone. Give added value instead – a conditioning treatment with a colour service, an upgrade on a manicure or ‘buy one get one free’ with retail products.

It’s much more profitable for your salon both in the short and medium-term. Do the maths:

Short-term: it costs you a lot less to upgrade a service e.g. a file and polish to a full manicure, than to reduce the price. If you’re thinking of discounting then presumably it’s quiet in salon so your team would be sitting around anyway.

Medium-term: if your client likes the higher level service there is a fair chance they will upgrade themselves next visit. Increasing their average spend per visit will put do wonders for your profitability.

You’ll find making a profit far easier when you compete on those elements which make you different to and better than your salon competitors.

#Salon Marketing Tip: Discounts certainly have a role when it comes to attracting new clients. I know some advise against ever discounting but I disagree. In today’s competitive marketplace where you’re competing with suicidal Groupon Offers and every salon seemingly throwing discounts at their clients on social media I feel you do need to offer a discount to tempt new clients to try you.

2. Profitable salon marketing is personal

Don’t fall into the trap of giving your clients impersonal treatment.

The majority of hair or beauty salons score highly on customer care whilst the client is in the salon. But the moment they walk out of the salon door it all goes pear-shaped.

So where might you be going wrong?

Take a hard look at all your client marketing communications. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes and ask “are they as personal as they should be?”  Ummm?

Here’s a perfect example: letting your salon till software send automatic e-mail reminders to lapsed clients may let you tick the “done marketing for this week” box, but it is not treating clients like individuals. You need to make them feel super-special to gain their loyalty. But if they keep being bombarded by standard, auto-generated e-mail reminders they may well start feeling irritated with you for bothering them.

3. Profitable marketing doesn’t happen in fits and starts

Marketing your business needs to be a continuous, consistent activity using all the marketing tools available to you. Don’t wait until the salon is quiet and have a mad marketing blitz.

I really can’t stress this enough if you want to see results.

Here are a few ideas to keep you on track:

  • Plan ahead. Write a marketing plan for your salon business. It can be short and simple.
  • Get into some good marketing habits. At the start of the month blank out time in your diary every week to promote your hair or beauty business.
  • Create a ‘stop’ list and get rid of marketing systems, processes and routines which are holding your salon business back.
  • Recognise unhelpful self-talk. Replace that little negative voice in your head with positive messages. Swop “I’ve never been good at this”, “It’s bound to fail” with “I can”, “I will give it a go”.
  • If you have till software then make this the year you get to use it to its full potential. Call their help desk or your sales manager and ask for some free training. The information you can pull off this software at the click of a button is awesome. You’ll soon see where the gaps in your marketing are.

We’re just coming out of the worst economic conditions for over 50 years. Study after study confirms that in a downturn, those salons that keep marketing do much better than their competitors once the economy starts to pick up. So don’t give up now at the last hurdle.