How to attract new clients to your salon
Looking for new salon clients?
Need more business for your spa or aesthetic clinic?
Yet feel like you’re banging your head against the wall…
Put another way, in 3 years you may well lose around half of your salon client base.
In this post I’m showing you 5 tactics to market your business to potential new clients. Actionable ideas you can implement now to:
- ATTRACT new business
- BUILD your customer base
- GROW your salon
Sound good? Here we go…
Salons that succeed in attracting a constant flow of new clients do these 5 things very well:
- Target the right type of new clients.
- Piggyback on local businesses’ marketing,
- Dominate on Google.
- Use the 3 Rs.
- Make salon social count
1. Target your ideal new client
This is one of the most common salon marketing mistakes I see.
Salon entrepreneurs throwing time, money and resources at attracting the wrong type of new client.
Your ideal client is not:
Anyone who walks through your salon door prepared to pay you money.
Your ideal client is:
The person who is the perfect fit for your salon or clinic’s:
- Client experience
- Talents and strengths
If you want to grow your hair or beauty business profitably then target these ideal clients. And only these clients.
Why? Because your ‘ideal client’:
- loves the treatments you offer
- buys regularly from you
- is easy to service
- keeps referring you to their friends
And therefore these ‘ideal clients’ are highly profitable.
Why would you want coupon-clipping, awkward, time-sapping clients when you can have clients who love what you offer and spend their money freely with you?
You don’t want them.
So don’t market your salon to them.
Focus your new client marketing effort on targeting your ideal clients. They will convert into loyal clients more quickly and easily. And that’s what you want.
Want to learn more about identifying and targeting your ideal client? Then head over to my blog here.
2. Buddy with local businesses and introduce yourself to their customers
Networking used to be scary. Especially for the shy or new to town. I know. Networking breakfast meetings had me quaking in my shoes.
But those days are gone. Phew.
Instead harness the formidable networking power of social media. Love it or hate it, the advent of social media has meant business people are more willing to engage. To chat. To share ideas on how we can all work together.
I think Twitter is best for networking. I love the way Twitter let’s me effortlessly glide into other people’s conversations. Allows me to stumble across local business chitchat and strike up new friendships.
But don’t mind me. Use the social channel you feel most comfortable and confident with to find new chums locally.
Then team up and help each other. You piggy-back on their marketing activity and seduce their loyal customers. They do likewise.
Here are the 5 steps to a successful salon marketing partnership:
Step one: Buddy with the right partners for maximum new business
Sounds obvious, but look for businesses which target the same customer audience as you. Fashion retailers, restaurants, wedding dress shops, bars, health clubs, florists… you get the picture.
And don’t forget beauty salons and spas if you’re a hair salon, and vice versa.
#SalonMarketing Tip: Business partnerships are not quick-fire marketing tactics. You need to be in it for the long-haul. You need to build trust and strong relationships.
Step two: Attract new salon or spa clients with a persuasive offer
Decide on your offer before you approach the prospective business partner. Your offer doesn’t have to be a freebie. In fact, unless you’re a start-up, an x% extra free promotion usually works a treat. Not sure how these work? I explain in this post on getting the most from your salon deals and offers.
#SalonMarketing Tip: Think through all the practical steps and the offer terms and conditions in advance. This way you stay in control of the first meeting.
Step three: Explain how both businesses stand to gain new clients
You’ve decided on your salon offer so the next step is to approach the business owner. Explain how a partnership could thank and reward their clients, while opening up new markets for both of you.
It goes without saying that you must offer a high quality service at your salon or spa. No-one will promote a reward or gift to their loyal clients that isn’t up to scratch. Invite your potential partner along to your salon or spa for an indulgent treat. Let them experience just how ‘wow’ your salon is, and dispel any nagging doubts. (If you want to find out what your current clients think of your salon or spa experience you can download a free comprehensive Client Questionnaire here – created by us it’s ready to print-and-go.)
Step four: First impressions are key to attracting new clients
I always recommend getting your designer or salon marketing agency to write and design the marketing materials you want your new business partner to use.
Why? Because not everyone shares your high standards and you don’t want their sloppy Facebook posts, website offers missing vital terms and conditions or clip-art leaflets printed on cheap paper.
You are promoting your salon or spa to a brand new customer base. Don’t waste this golden marketing opportunity for the sake of a few pounds.
Step five: The right marketing tools for the job
Promote yourself to their clients. And vice versa.
- Promote your offer on their website
- Give your leaflets out to their clients
- Post your offer on their Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter
- Pop promotional posters up in their premises
- Hand out your vouchers out at their till
- Promote your salon offer via their e-newsletter
And then return the marketing compliment. Remember it needs to be a win-win experience for both businesses.
New Client Case Study
Let me show you how successful partnerships can be in enticing new clients through your door.
A client of mine, Lucy, opened a beauty salon a few months ago, just off the High Street. She couldn’t afford the rental for a more prominent position and, while it’s an up and coming street, it doesn’t get as much passing footfall as she’d ideally like. Attracting new beauty clients was becoming a headache.
Next door to her salon is an established handmade chocolate shop. Lucy approached the owner, offering a free classic manicure or pedicure to their customers.
The owner was thrilled to be able to offer her customers a manicure as a ‘thank you gift’. In a three month period (admittedly over Christmas and Valentine’s) 37 new clients took up Lucy’s freebie. 16 of these became regular clients of Lucy’s beauty salon, booking a broad variety of beauty services, not just nails.
Lucy usually charges £22 for a classic manicure so the chocolate shop owner had £814 of value for her customers. Of course, it didn’t cost Lucy very much other than time. And her therapists were quiet anyway.
Let’s say each of those 16 clients visits Lucy’s salon just 4 times this year and spends an average of £33 per visit:
16 new clients x 4 visits x £33 = £2,112 revenue in 12 months
Yes, Lucy gave her services away for free, but she’s a start-up and very quiet early in the week. we took care with the terms and conditions of the offer, the time of year we ran it and the business we partnered. That’s the trick.
Now your second key marketing tool for finding new salon clients… your salon website.
3. How to make your salon website a new client magnet
Internet marketing for salons is an essential investment if you want to attract new clients.
Social media hasn’t taken over the world. Google is alive and kicking. And if you want new clients to discover your salon online then you must rank highly on Google.
The stats prove it. 33% of us click on the first search result shown by Google. Just 18% visit the second result. And the traffic only reduces from there.
Is your salon website attracting new clients? Or frightening them off?
Having tempted prospective new clients onto your high ranking salon website is it up to the job? Your website’s main role in life is to persuade prospects to pick up the phone and book that all-important first hair or beauty appointment.
Here are my website essential ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ for hooking in those new salon clients:
- Today your salon website needs to be mobile friendly otherwise new clients can’t view it properly on their smartphone or iPad. And you wouldn’t want them reading your competitor’s website instead and calling them. Would you?
- Keep the design attractive, simple and easy to navigate. Clutter is off-putting.
- Include a price guide page – it’s the 3rd most visited page for salon websites.
- Ensure new clients can find your salon or spa. Have you included a Google map, nearest parking and post code for Sat Nav users?
- Is your phone number prominent on every page. Potential new clients are not going to go searching for it tucked away in your website footer.
- Make it convenient for new clients to visit your salon – shout about late-night or Sunday opening.
- Make a good first impression. Avoid poor copywriting, spelling and grammatical mistakes – they reflect badly on your hair or beauty salon.
- An Offers Page is a must. It’s the 2nd most popular salon website page. You don’t have to discount you can have added-value promotions if you prefer.
- Include calls to action to encourage prospective clients to choose your salon. “Call now, phone to book, enter now”.
- Start a monthly blog with hair tips, trends and advice. It’ll help you rank higher on Google and entice potential clients to visit your site.
- Measure your results with Google Analytics (it’s free). You want a healthy balance between new visitors (prospective customers) and returning ones.
Is your salon or clinic website in need of a refresh? Or perhaps you’ll looking for a new website? We’re one of the most experienced hair, beauty & aesthetic website teams in the UK. You can see just some of our website portfolio here.
We’d love to put our expertise to work to attract new clients to your website. For a chat about your website call 01386 751469 or if you prefer email us. We look forward to saying hello.
Moving on to your third salon marketing tool for acquiring new clients… social media.
4. Recommendation is vital to gaining new salon clients
Those salon owners who work with me know I’m an ardent supporter of Introduce a Friend systems. I believe they are one of, if not the best way, to attract new clients to your hair or beauty salon.
So it was no surprise when a recent client survey at Barrie Stephens’ hairdressing salons revealed 74% of clients felt recommendation was the most important factor when choosing a hair salon.
New research from BABTAC shows clients are twice as likely to try a new treatment if friends or family members recommend it, rather than their beauty therapist. When asked what inspired them to try a new beauty treatment…
Make them feel good if you want them to introduce their friends
So what makes a loyal client willing to stick their neck out and recommend your salon to their nearest and dearest?
The answer, as Maya Angelou famously said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
You need to make them feel fabulous about themselves. Wow them. And inspire a sense of trust in your clients.
This last one, trust, is often overlooked.
Trust is fundamental to getting new client recommendations
Your clients must feel confident that if they recommend you, their friends will have that same great experience.
It’s common sense really. Ask me to recommend a good restaurant I will only suggest one that I’m certain serves delicious food with excellent service – on every visit.
Why? Because no-one wants their friends sitting at a restaurant thinking what possessed Alice to recommend we came here.
4 practical tips for setting up a salon referral scheme
Harness this powerful word of mouth marketing and get your clients finding new salon customers for you.
- Ask them. It may sound obvious but many hair or beauty salons overlook this. I favour a simple card referral system so your client has something to pass on to their friends.
- I also think it’s important to be generous. 10% off is hardly going to tempt someone to spread the word. When you calculate how much a new client is worth to you over the period of a year it doesn’t make sense to be tight-fisted with your marketing incentives.
- Tell them. Promote the system on your salon website, social media, email marketing and even in advertise it in your washroom. Get the word out there.
- And finally, don’t forget to measure the number of new salon clients who come via recommendation. If they’re not being referred then you know you’ve got a big problem with your service, pricing or technical know-how.
Attracting new clients doesn’t stop at their first salon visit
The big day has arrived. After all that marketing effort your new client arrives for their first appointment.
Don’t blow this golden opportunity you’ve worked so hard for. Ensure they feel super-special. Because if you don’t they’re unlikely to give you another chance. And you’re back to square one.
It’s simple stuff – not rocket science. Try these five ‘WOW Winners’ to help you turn that new salon client into a lifetime client.
5. Use social media to build your salon client base
Social media alone will not drive new customers through your salon door. However, use Facebook as a combo with say email marketing and you’ve got yourself a powerful crowd-puller.
How to turn social media into a new client sales tool:
- As with your salon website you need to look good on Facebook and create the right first impression. A messy scrapbook of salon gossip and out of focus photos is not going to entice prospective customers to pick up the phone and book.
- Ensure your various social profiles are search engine optimised to help you get found.
- Just because you can do social media yourself doesn’t mean it shouldn’t use professionals from time to time. Take a look at the big salon chains and understand how much time, effort and money they devote to making their Facebook look and sound professional. They understand the power of a strong online social media marketing strategy.
- OK, so you’re on a tight marketing budget – how can you achieve this? Bring in professional help for specific campaigns to target new clients. For example, use Facebook campaigns and contests to collect email addresses – then promote your salon direct to the inbox of your competitors’ clients. Month in month out. Get in touch if you’d like some help with this.
- Use Twitter to contact potential new local business partners and build the relations I talked about earlier. Twitter lists are ideal for this. If you’ve not discovered them yet you’ll find more tips here.
- Make it personal. Reply to comments, natter on Twitter, make new contacts on LinkedIn. To get results on social media you have to work at the detail. You have to engage.
Moving on to your fourth salon marketing tool for finding new clients… word of mouth.