How to Market a Hair & Beauty Salon or Spa
Knowing How to Market A Salon or Spa is The Key to Success in The Hair, Beauty, Spa, Barbershop or Health Business.
Your salon or spa dream probably includes plenty of clients, a fully booked diary and time to enjoy the profits you are sure to make.
The difference between success and failure in the hair and beauty business is often down to marketing. It’s not enough to be a great stylist, colourist, nail technician or great at the host of other treatments you can offer. If no one knows your salon exists or can find your salon, you will quickly fail.
But if you follow the marketing tips I’m about to give you your chances of success are much higher.
I bet the first ones will surprise you and not many people know about many of the others.
How To Market a Salon
It seems obvious but not everyone gets their location right. Hide your salon down a backstreet and it not only presents the wrong image, it also restricts the number of walk-ins you’ll get. And in the early days walk-ins can make a big difference.
So a good location is important. But if you pick a prime site you will probably end up paying prime site rents or purchase price.
A good compromise is often the answer. Look for empty premises where footfall is good but the rent is negotiable. Once you are established your customers will follow you if you decide to move to bigger premises.
And location isn’t just about where your premises are located. Can people easily find your website and social media locations?
How to Market a Salon with Access
Having a great location is just part of the equation. As well as knowing where you are they need to be able to easily access the building. If you have steps or have no wheelchair access then you’ll be slightly worse off than those that have easier access.
Free car parking is another huge advantage in many cases. It may not matter in some city locations but it can make a huge difference in some town or rural locations. If a new client has two salons to choose from, and everything else is equal, the parking can swing it in your favour?
Google My Business (GMB) for Salons & Spas
OK it’s not just for salons but Google My Business is a way to get your business on page one of Google without paying a penny. Forget, for the moment, paying to advertise online, in magazines and elsewhere. Google will provide you with a high profile online presence, so you can be found on the search engines and on Google maps.
Of course it’s possible that your competitors will also appear but it’s quite easy to grab the top spot in the Google listings without too much effort.
The thing is it’s doubtful your competitors know how to use GMB, and if you follow the basic rules you can grab the number one spot.
Someone has to be number one …why can’t it be you.?
Look at the first screen grab. I searched for hairdressers in Exeter. With 130,000 people living in Exeter you’d be right in guessing there are a lot of hairdressers. But Google search for hairdressers in Exeter and just THREE of them get mentioned at the very top of Google.
The rest are nowhere to be seen.
Why did Google choose those three? Hint, they didn’t pay to be included in this Three Pack.
Now look at the next screen grab. This time I searched on Google maps. All I did was open the map app with Exeter on the screen and typed in the word … hairdressers.
This time we’d get a longer list. And it’s a slightly different list, although we get the same salon at number one.
Can you see any reasons why Google choose the salons it did?
How to Get to the Top of GMB: The Key to How To Market a Salon
You might have noticed that the number of review ⭐️ tends to be higher at the top of the list and then starts to tail away.
Google loves good reviews and rewards businesses that get them.
There are many other factors that play a role in getting recommended by Google. The next one is proximity. The closer you are to the area being searched the higher you tend to be in that search area But don’t worry, it’s not just based on location.
The next deciding element is based on the words used in the search. We call these keywords and they can be a single word or a keyword phrase.
To rank highly on GMB for keywords you need to include them in your GMB profile.
As mentioned earlier there are many factor at play in ranking on GMB. I’ve just listed three of the most important. simple as getting just one or two of them right, they work together to produce the final result and to learn more about this you can contact us for more advice.
Review Sites for Promoting Hair, Beauty & Fitness Businesses
Google My Business is a great review site, but it isn’t the only one. There are dozens of review sites that you should register with. Each gives you the opportunity for customers to say great things about you and your business.
Some people get concerned that they may get bad reviews. The reality is that if you provide a good service it’s not likely.
Of course sometimes we all get an off day and someone will write a less than glowing review. Don’t panic. Provided the rest are good it’s just one amongst many and people tend to trust those with a good review score more than those with a perfect score.
Whether you get a good or bad review always reply. A good reply shows you care what people say. It gives you chance to put the review into context as well. And it’s surprising how answering a bad review with an apology and genuine offer of help can sway a negative reviewer into an ardent supporter.
Whatever you do, don’t answer a review in anger. It just makes you look bad and the reviewer good!
Websites for Hair & Beauty Salons
Having a website is crucial. It’s not just that prospective customers tend to look on them for your opening times and phone number etc. A good website sits at the heart of all your marketing. It’s like the heart of your marketing. Without your marketing heart pumping away it’s like running a business on a heart bypass machine. You’ll be alive but not firing on all cylinders.
Read on for more idea on How To Market a Salon website
What to Include on a Hair & Beauty Salon Website
Firstly don’t think a website is going to cost you a lot of money. It can do, but it needn’t.
So plan what you want your site to include and choose a good web designer …. there are good ones out there but the industry is also not so good designers that overcharge and under deceiver.
If money is really short start with a very low cost site designed on WordPress. WordPress can be free if hosted on their servers or you can buy servers space from specialist providers. Don’t pay a web designer to host it as they rarely have the skills and if there’s a problem when they are on holiday and not picking up the phone your site could be crashed for weeks. Plus if they subcontract to a third party ensure they don’t charge you a large handling fee.
Assuming you find one of the good website designers their job will be much easier if you know what you want. Telling them you want a beautiful site isn’t going to help them much. You have to be more specific and that’s where careful planning comes in.
Decide what you want in terms of pages and either write some copy or get a professional to do this and obtain some photos and/or videos as well. Don’t just take photos from someone else’s site, that’s illegal. Preferably get a photographer in to take photos. This can be expensive but you might be able to work a joint venture deal. Or exchange photos for a treatment.
Website Essentials for Spas and Salons
The most important thing on your website is your telephone number and address. More people visit a website for contact details than anything else. You’d think it obvious but some websites forget to add them or hide them several clicks from the homepage. Ensure your phone number is on every page.
And of course you will need a homepage. This needs to encapsulate everything you do and provide access to all other pages via links and/or a menu bar.
You have a few seconds to convince a visitor they are on the right site. So make it very clear what you do. Use words like Hair Salon in [your town] eg Lucy’s Hair Salon in Exeter or Beauty Salon in Birmingham. The location being added into the headline you use on your site helps people realise they are on the right website and is a huge help with SEO (search engine optimisation …more on that later).
Next you need a series of pages on the treatments or services you offer. These are part of your website menu and will be called things like Start Cuts, Colour, Extensions, Bridal, Massage, Treatments etc. Just choose the words that suit you and your customers best.
From each of the menu items it should then be possible to click to the appropriate page when you want to start with a clear headline. Maybe something like …. Choose your colour highlights, lowlights with gloss, shimmer and translucent finishes. Then go into more detail about each one of the colours, finishes and processes you offer. Add photos and videos as appropriate.
Psrice lists. Don’t worry about your competitors finding out what you charge. They’ll soon find out anyway. Make it clear what each element costs and show how savings can be made if customers say, make a series of bookings or recommend a friend that books.
And if we seriously want to make progress on our How To Market a Salon quest we need to include our opening hours on our website.
Add another section on Special offers. Everything from treatments to products and equipment. And don’t forget to mention any referrals fee you pay existing customers if they refer a friend. Making this clear on every page can boost referrals.
And add another section on How to …. here you can show how to videos and tips on any topic you want. Saks are an example of a hairdresser that do this well
Galleries make a site much better. Somewhere add a staff gallery. Where staff can be seen and their specialities explained. A few salons I know don’t make the best of this section. Their stylists photos are blurred and their hairstyles aren’t as good as they could be. This is a chance to really show what you can do, don’t blow it.
Think also about adding a chat function, a FAQ section, links to social media and most importantly a booking diary …. not everyone uses them but in a world where everything from doctors appointments to supermarket shopping is done online it’s worth trying. Even if only for late bookings. It works for hotels so why not for you? Especially if you are in a holiday area.
Finally add a blog. Blogs are an opportunity to post news, tips, hints and answer questions. They are the core of any marketing campaign and are somewhere to send people from social media sites to do things like learn more and book an appointment.
Website Legals and More
In the U.K. we are legally obliged to include certain information on our websites. Things like our company registration number, address, VAT registration number, a privacy statement etc. Check the latest requirements with your web designer.
How To Market a Salon or Health Farm With SEO
Search engine optimisation, or SEO as it’s often called, is an absolute essential is you want your salon website to get on page one of Google and the other search engines.
The good news is most website owners are unaware how important it is. And even those that are aware are often poor at SEO.
So that means being the best in your locality at SEO isn’t too difficult. And being the best is likely to see your website at the top of Google searches locally. And as most people searching for a hair or beauty salon, or a spa, are likely to be local or are visiting the area that is exactly what you need.
What does SEO entail?
The first essential is to have some original content of value on your website. That’s why earlier I suggested you write some good content on each of your products or services. Ideally your content needs to add value to the reader. This can be as simple as explaining how to choose colours that will enhance their complexion, or how colours work, how long it takes for a colour to take and any maintenance between appointments. As you can see I’m not a colourist, but you are a professional and will be able answer the frequently asked questions (FAQs) that apply to each topic.
Each page needs to focus on what we call a keyword or keyword phrase. Simply put these are the words people type into a search bar to find a page like this. In my case I’m focusing on the words … how to market a salon.
If you type that into a search engine I’m hoping you will find this page. Maybe you did and that’s why you are here now.
Getting on page one of the search engines isn’t easy. Often there are millions of competing pages and only ten pages appear on on the first page of what we call the search engine results page (SERPS).
Then you need to ensure your site works properly. Slow loading sites are a real issue. People hate waiting for a site to load and if it takes more than a couple of seconds they surf off and look for another salon.
For search engines to index your site, and every individual page, they need to know it exists and be told when a new page or post is added. Its possible to automate this process so no big deal provided your web designer sets it up ok.
Every image on the site needs to have an “alt tag”added. Don’t worry about the technicalities here. It’s just like a label really and it helps the search engine to understand what the image contains. Add a caption and an appropriate file name ( not a image number, something that is descriptive and makes sense in English).
Each page also need a unique title, technically this is called an H2 tag.
You might have noticed that this page also has a series of subheadings. They are called H3, H4 and H5 tags, but don’t worry about that. Just write good English first and ask your web designer to apply the right tags. Or you can do this yourself, it’s very easy.
Look at the image below
It shows me making the headline above into an H3 tag. I just highlighted the words and clicked on to the numbered tag.
This site is a WordPress site and the image shows how to do it in WordPress. But other systems work in a similar way.
Social Media for Salons & Spas
The majority of people now have a social media account of some sort. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram … you decide which as there are over 100 options to chose from. To decide which suits you best you need to profile your customers and ideal customers. Here’s a short video that explains more, but simply put you need to know where your customers and prospects hang out as that’s where you need to be promoting your business.
Which social media platform you use also depends on what you want to post. Some like Pinterest and Instagram are visual where a hairstyle photos work really well. You can categorise them as bridal hairstyles and children’s hairstyles etc.
But if you want to add a few words then sites like Facebook are more suitable. And if it’s business styles then LinkedIn may be a better bet.
Social Media Objectives
There are a lot of experts out there that will tell you that you definitely need to be on Facebook, Instagram or whatever if you are to be successful. Usually they then try to sell you training or a service around that particular form of social media. Often that’s the only thing they know about marketing, so beware of their vested interest.
The thing is any form of social media that works for your business is good. It doesn’t matter what everyone else tells you or what your competitors are doing. They aren’t running your business and they aren’t running yours. And they are different businesses.
What is important it to avoid vanity metrics. These are things such as likes. Someone might agree that a style or treatment is fantastic, but it doesn’t mean they will buy it. Of course the more people that follow you on social media the better but it’s easy to get swayed by numbers when the only thing that really matters are the number of orders you get. Likes are vanity, money in the bank is want really matters.
Leaflets and Flyers That Promote a Salon or Spa
I recently received a beautiful leaflet through my door about a new salon. The photos were excellent, the words enticing … but they got no takers because they forgot to add an address and phone number. They assumed that everyone would know their name and where they were opening.
I sometimes tell people that most marketing doesn’t work. Not putting your contact details on a leaflet delivered through someone’s door is an example of why. And it’s not just leaflets, I’ve seen the same thing happen in newspaper ads as well.
Leaflets can be an ideal medium to promote a new salon or special offers. It’s one of those things that isn’t too expensive and can be “turned on and off” when things go a bit quiet. Ideal for holiday times when some clients will miss a regular slot.
Using PR to Promote Spas, Salons, Clinics and Health Farms
PR stands for Public Relations. PR is simply defined as how we manage the flow of information between us, as an individual or business, and the public. This can be done direct or via an intermediary such as a newspaper, magazine, website or newsroom. Though technically sending an email to a customer about an offer can be classified as PR.
PR Tools for Salons, Spas, Fitness Studios & Health Farms
The easiest way to get a story to the media is to write and send a media release. This costs nothing but the time to write and send it to the media. You can employ a PR agency to do this for you but it’s very simple to do it yourself.
I’ve written about PR on this website in my post about marketing a restaurant. But let me reiterate here.
Firstly your story needs to be newsworthy. The fact you are now offering a new treatment that every one of your competitors already offers isn’t newsworthy. What you need is a a story that sets you apart from the rest. Journalists joke that they’ve heard every dog bites man story in the world but that the Man Bites Dog story would interest them … especially if there are pictures or a video!
So you need a newsworthy story. And if you don’t have one you need to produce one.
For example, you could cut hair for charity. But it’s not a great story until you climb a mountain and cut hair for charity at the summit. You may not get many journalists climb the mountain with you but you could livestream the story on Facebook and arrange for your local radio and tv stations to interview you whilst at the summit.
And if you aren’t up for climbing a tall mountain then go on the roof of a local high rise or cut hair up a tree. Where you are isn’t that important. It’s having a story with a difference that makes the difference.
I was going to suggest you cut hair whilst skydiving as that would be a first. But when I Googled I discovered it had been done in 2007. Perhaps it’s time to try it again. And maybe add a manicure at the same time?
There are plenty of media release templates online. Just download one and send your story to your local newsrooms.
Does PR Work?
Definitely. I’ve been interviewed hundreds of times for radio, TV, websites, podcasts, national newspapers and magazines. You can see some of my best PR pieces here.
Don’t limit yourself to media releases. You can also use PR tools such as Newsjacking, Video, Audio, Advertorials, Social Media, Newsletters, Public Speaking, Business Events, Themed Events, Sponsorship, Joint Ventures and more to manage your news.
Contact me if you want help with PR.
Joint Ventures In the Salon, Spa & Health Sector
One of my photography friends works with other people in the hair, beauty, health and clothing sector to organise joint brochures, advertising and events. They hold a Fashion and More event each year and each of the benefits.
How about a Nail Night or similar. You get a product supplier to send in their demonstration team … or why not do it yourself?
During the evening you introduce new tips, hints and products and demonstrate techniques. You’ll probably need a small video camera (an iPhone is perfect) and a large screen or two to stream the video too. Otherwise no one can see the detail of your beautiful work.
Don’t limit yourself to nails. Run a joint venture with other shops in your locality. Maybe a dress and accessories retailer, photographer etc. And go beyond nails and demonstrate your specialities and mainstays.
How To Market a Salon With Free Samples
Giving away free samples is easy. Especially if you can convince a supplier to provide the samples.
But how about providing more than just product samples? Why not visit events, from street markets to wedding fairs and provide pamper session samples and consultations?
And if it sounds a bit expensive or even rash to provide a whole treatment at nil cost think how you can leverage this to effect.
If, as you work, you can use a headset and mic to provide a commentary you can draw in the crowds to see what is happening. The trick is to then have someone circulating and taking bookings for consultations and treatments back in your salon.
How To Market a Salon With Word of Mouth
Word of Mouth is the best form of marketing ever. Not only is it free, it convinces people. So encourage your customers to tell others about how good you are.
And don’t wait until they go home and forget to do it. Encourage them to use your photo booth and post online so their friends see how great they look.
And if you want to know how to leverage word of mouth to drive bookings through the roof contact me now. There are ideas that we just don’t have room to write about in this post.
How to Market a Salon with Referrals
Referrals are a bit like word of mouth. The difference is that we’re word of mouth tends to be between individuals referrals are more business orientated.
For example you get a hotel to recommend you as their preferred or associated salon and they include you in their in room promotional material.
This is a business arrangement. And likely they will want an arrangement fee for every booking they make with you. This way both businesses benefit financially.
How To Market a Salon With Advertising
When I ask people what marketing means to them many immediately mention advertising. And that’s partly why I’ve left it until last. My approach has always been to use free marketing where I can and then go for “paid for” marketing.
Advertising can be low cost, but invariably it’s expensive. The art is in running ads that deliver a good return on investment (ROI).
That means brand ads are out. Sales ads will give some return, but the best value is invariably to run relationship building ads. They pay, time after time.
It doesn’t matter if you run your ads in the printed media, on billboards, cinemas or online … provided they are profitable. As the old saying goes, “half my advertising doesn’t work, the problem is I don’t know which half.” Your aim should be to get every advert working for you.
The following advert will explain the three types of advert in more detail.
There is a formula for marketing any business. Learn from other businesses.
How to Market a Salon: A Final Word
Often we can learn from other business types. It might surprise you, until you think about it, but marketing a salon is quite similar to marketing a restaurant. Or at least the basic concept is. So it’s worth reading our post on How to market a restaurant, cafe, coffee shop etc. more ideas that can apply in our piece on how to market a pub
Time needed: 4 minutes.
How to Market Salons, Spa and Health Farms
- How to Market a Spa
Use the dozens of free ideas mentioned in the webpage above.
- How to Market a Hairdressing Salon
Start by defining your target audiences profile … it’s a bit like CSI … then take 10-15 minutes to read everything else in the post above.
- How to Advertise a Salon or Spa
There are only three ways to advertise. See our video at https://youtu.be/VYE8RDX2oSs or read the article by following the link above.
- How To Market A Fitness Studio
Marketing A Fitness Studio is very similar to marketing or promoting other health and fitness businesses.
The key is to first define your typical audience, then define exactly what you have that they want or need.
Once you have this you need to profile the typical customer so you can see where they hang out. Understanding what they like, view and read; which social media and websites they use and other similar things mean you can then decide where to promote your product or services.
How you do this is covered in the article I’ve written … see
- How to Market a Barbershop
1. Define & Profile Your Target Audience
2. Build a Website
3. Write Original & Useful Content
4. Use Social Media
5. Build a Mailing List
6. Regularly Email Your Website’s New Content
7. Use PR
8. Run Themed Events
9. Test, Measure & Improve Your Marketing
10. Read the Hundreds of Tactics & Strategies at https://www.mediaset.co.uk/how-to-market-a-hair-beauty-salon-or-spa/