Updated July 2016
Are weddings a highly profitable niche for your hair and beauty business or a “bit of a nuisance”?
Wedding hair and beauty is big business. Approached carefully (note these words), brides and their wedding parties can be a lucrative earner for your salon, spa or aesthetics clinic.
In the UK the average spend by a couple on their wedding is over £20,500.
(Source: You and Your Wedding)
Yet I regularly see businesses missing out on profitable rewarding bridal work because they:
- underestimate the potential
- target and attract the wrong brides
- woefully undercharge
If you offer an exceptional wedding service you can afford to charge generously for it. The trick is to attract well-heeled wedding clients who are happy to pay the right price for the right service. Brides on a shoestring are not your target audience. I give detailed advice and tips on targeting your ideal audience in this blog post.
A difference in marketing approach
There is a marked difference in approach between hair and beauty when it comes to brides and weddings:
Bridal beauty & aesthetic marketing
Beauty salons and aesthetic clinics are perfectly placed to maximise the full bridal marketing potential.
When it comes to looking good on the big day:
- 59% of brides say they intend to lose weight, (as do 35% of grooms)
- 39% of brides plan to have their teeth whitened for their wedding photos
- 6% are planning on having anti-wrinkle injections
Your marketing approach is long term and its aim is to start brides on a programme of treatments many months ahead.
Create and market a Bridal Beauty Countdown with laser hair removal, teeth whitening, skin rejuvenation treatments, facials and peels. As the big day approaches build in spray tans, pedicures, waxing and the all-important manicure.
Bridal hair marketing
Wedding hair, on the other hand, is more last-minute, and often on Saturday when the salon is already packed. I think this is why so many hairdressing salons overlook the profitable potential.
However, you still have ample opportunities to up-sell colour, extensions and conditioning services in advance and of course, the hair trial.
How to get brides to choose your hair or beauty salon
Let’s look at how to target your ideal bride and ensure she phones your business, not your competitors.
Here are 4 steps to market your salon, spa or clinic to ensure more brides book you.
Step One: Your marketing toolkit for brides
It is a girl’s big day.
She’s determined to be camera-ready and picture-perfect.
She’s devoted hours to researching every last detail and when it comes to her wedding look she must be certain in her mind that she can trust your team to make her look and feel fabulous.
If your brand doesn’t look fabulous and convey the right marketing messages you are not going to make the right first impression, inspire confidence and convey trust – marketing essentials if you are to attract more wedding business for your salon, spa or clinic.
Let’s look at your bridal marketing tools – do they inspire trust and confidence?
 Does your salon website ooze bride-appeal?
If the bride is searching for a wedding hair specialist near the venue then she’ll almost certainly start her hunt online. So your salon website better shout “talented, expert and totally reliable.”
Is your bridal section beautifully written, with drop-dead gorgeous professional photographs and focused on making her look radiant? Blurred shots, taken in a cluttered salon, and plodding copywriting will not convince her to share her special day with you.
I always ask brides if the salon can feature some of their wedding photographer’s shots on the salon website. As long as you credit them, wedding photographers are usually happy to share (and advertise) their work.
Do you have blogs featuring your Wedding Beauty Countdown programme, on the day make-up tips or honeymoon hair? Brides spend hours searching for ideas and advice so make sure you cover this.
 Showcase your bridal skills on your salon social
Inject some personality and fun into social. Share selfies of the bridesmaids, a cute picture of a flower girl having her hair plaited, or the mother of the bride after her professional make-up. Ask the wedding party to share on their social channels too and widen the audience.
If your team are attending the bride at her wedding venue, make sure they understand they must to snap the dreamy location, the bride and the fun.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve asked about photos to hear, “oh, we forgot” or “we didn’t have time”. Your wedding team need to take responsibility for helping promote their work and build more business.
 Does your hair & beauty bridal brochure let you down?
This is one area where you do need a well-produced, eye-catching wedding brochure. It doesn’t have to be big, but it does need to look the biz. You will be judged on it.
 Her Big Day salon experience
It’s the biggest day of her life, she’s chosen you and you’re charging a premium, so parking the bride in a corner of your busy salon and treating her like every other client just isn’t enough. It’s your job to make her feel super-special.
Give her and her party more space, a VIP room is ideal but not an option for many salons, so how about some pretty screens to give her privacy and a sense of exclusivity.
Offer a glass of bubbly, think about the choice of salon music and hand her a goody bag as she leaves brimming with mini-gifts for her honeymoon hair and beauty.
Okay, so you’ve put the marketing foundations in place, so let’s now look at how to attract more of those high-spending weddings…
Step Two: Build relationships with local wedding businesses
How are you at networking?
It may be a while since you’ve done any, but if you want more high-spending brides walking through your door you need to introduce your salon (in person and online) to local wedding venues, bridal dress shops, wedding planners, florists… you get the picture.
Building relationships is important as so much bridal work is gained (or lost) by word of mouth. Networking is when you need that polished salon brand I looked at earlier in this blog post:
- Take your salon wedding brochures. Ask them to display them and offer to reciprocate with theirs.
- Consider offering a small cost (but oh so desirable) upgrade to brides and wedding parties partners recommend.
- Follow up on your salon social media regularly sharing and mentioning your new wedding partners’ news.
- And whenever you get a referral a personal thank you goes a very long way. An email is fine (but never wowed anyone), so send a handwritten note or call them to show you how much you appreciate their recommendation. Make your salon or clinic stand out from the crowd.
Step Three: Attract profitable brides by word of mouth
Testimonials, referrals and social proof are essential to making that first great impression and building those feelings of trust and confidence in your salon and team.
Here are 4 ways to increase your salon’s bridal referrals: Share wedding testimonials on your salon website, marketing materials and social media channels.
Don’t have any testimonials? Then contact past clients and ask for just a couple of sentences about their experience with your salon. You need to demonstrate you’ve a proven wedding track-record if you want to charge properly for the time you invest in the job.
Find it hard to get online reviews for your salon or clinic? Try my in-depth blog post on why they are so powerful and how to get them.
Step Four: Offer a complimentary salon consultation for brides
This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how often this is overlooked. Always make clear on your salon website, social media and printed marketing materials that you offer an initial complimentary wedding consultation. [Interested in improving your client consultations? My blog post here is packed with actionable tips and ideas to help you deliver a perfect consultation.]
Brides feel secure that they aren’t committing at this stage and are much more likely to pick up the phone. Now you can showcase your wow salon wedding service.
Follow these 4 steps to attract more high calibre wedding business to your salon. Once you’ve tempted them to your complimentary consultation you can then seal the business. Profitably.