Learning how to get new salon clients can be a tough thing to figure out! Hi there, Susan Wos here, I see this question all the time in forums so I gathered the best, (and timeless), tips and tricks for salon client building.
Building salon clients isn’t easy, let me just put that out there. In this blog post I will address both salon owners, independent beauty professionals AND those of us working in commission salons.
Because truthfully, it’s all the same principal when building and growing a client base. Just in case you are on the hunt for a new salon to work in, make sure to check out our salons hiring page to get access to great owners!
Now let’s dig into the top 16 ways to make salon promotions work for your business! Following the list of salon marketing ideas are specifics you can implement to grow your salon clientele, today!
To get more clients for your salon, follow these marketing efforts:
Ensure your salon client experience is second to none- without this you won’t retain new salon clients.
Get into a salon location that has a lot of foot traffic and or high visibility.
Incentivize current clients for referrals.
Create a referral program with salon and spa professionals who don’t offer the same services as you do.
Network in your community and create relationships with local businesses.
Create and maintain a good social media presence and implement beauty salon promotions.
Get a great salon website and do Search Engine Optimization.
Get online reviews on Facebook and Google to boost your visibility.
Do ads on Google and Social Media.
Stand out with unique services, excellent customer service and a high value proposition.
Have events in the salon to attract more clients such as botox parties, wine tastings, holiday gifting or art shows.
Partner with businesses and people with whom you can create a reciprocal referral system.
Utilize salon software that markets for you such as Style Seat or Vagaro.
Check into hair salon client building programs like VerVery in the Boston area.
As a last resort, consider Groupon or similar discount services.
The client experience is key to getting more people in your salon. Upselling clients can lead to more money but if client retention is low, you need to focus on how to keep more salon clients.
You know those awesome people who send clients to you because they adore you? We call these folks “feeders”.
Feeders should be put on a pedestal, pampered and incentivized to the max! Back in the day when I was growing my salon client base, I had a client named Erin.
Erin loved me, and coming to the salon SO MUCH she sent her family, friends and coworkers in to see me. Erin generated 20 hair clients for me, all on her own.
Those new clients sent their friends and before I knew it, I was fully booked! Clients like Erin are feeders and should be rewarded for the work they do for your salon business.
The salon client experience is key to gaining more business. Think of it this way: when you have a great experience in any business, how likely are you to recommend that business?
Or what about a bad experience? Rotten service or products? Would you speak negatively about a bad experience to others?
Gaining salon clientele starts with a great client experience. If you are not retaining salon clients, seek answers as to why you don’t have more return customers. Evaluate what the client experience is in your salon, and make adjustments from there.
A great way to know how your salon is doing is to send out an anonymous survey. This works well for both salon owners and independent hair stylists.
Create a survey on customer experience and expectations and send it out in an email. Do not require emails or names and take into account what the customer says about your salon.
Taking steps to improve the salon client experience will yield more loyal customers. It will also make current clients feel their opinion matters.
Having a loyal salon client base is a hairstylist dream! If you are getting a lot of first time clients with marketing efforts that don’t return, make effort to find out why they didn’t come back to your salon.
Sometimes people are just looking for a deal or they come in for a special occasion like a wedding and they have a salon they love. These is not the people you should worry about.
Find out why the clients you want to keep didn’t come back in order to improve retention rates in the salon.
Once your retention rates are high- over 80%, you know you are doing something right! Shoot for a 90% retention rate and seek to understand why your target customers choose not to return.
Not all salon locations are equal! Some hairstylists are lucky to find salons and suites that organically funnel in new clients, just by where the salon is located.
For instance, I once worked in a salon that happened to be on the outer edge of a suburban area that was growing like crazy. We were one of the only salons around, and definitely the only salon close to smaller towns.
We were the only convenient option that was higher end within a 10 mile radius- the new clients just poured in! If you are a new hair stylist and the salon’s location doesn’t lend itself to getting new clients, it may be the wrong salon for you.
It’s hard enough to get started in the salon industry- find a salon to work in that supports your growth and can help you build a great clientele.
When the salon is in an area where people live, work or shop, you are primed to receive more potential clients. Brand recognition is easy when people pass by the salon on a daily basis, your job is to lure them in!
If you have a salon or suites in an area where people are walking by, you are in an ideal position to build new clients. Consider standing outside and passing out shampoo samples, special deals, beverages or just greet people that pass by.
Everyone you meet should get your business card with an inventive to try out your services.
I guarantee you just this small gesture and subtle invitation to connect with the salon makes a huge difference!
Have you ever heard the term a closed mouth doesn’t get fed? The beauty industry is a crowded space, especially in esthetics, but clients don’t know this.
Unless you are actively talking about and promoting the fact that you want new clients, don’t expect people to guess that you need more. Finding potential salon clients may be much closer than you think.
The golden rule of client building: happy and loyal customers talk about you, why not make that conversation a stream of referrals?
A referral program is the #1 way to get more clients! It doesn’t have to be a formal program if you are already overwhelmed with salon business owner tasks.
Just getting clients to share your social media platforms or business cards is all the introduction you need to gain more business!
Reward clients for their personal recommendations with incentives such as free services and retail products. Factor these expenses into your marketing budget and you will find incentivizing current clients is the most affordable way to grow a salon client base.
If you are a hairstylist who needs new clients, partner up with a nail tech, esthetician or massage therapist who also could benefit from more business. The beauty business is full of nice people who would love a symbiotic relationship with you that provide similar services.
Chat existing clients up about the facial you got or take advantage of compliments you receive on your nails. Make effort to visit salons and spas that offer services you don’t provide and make new friends.
Potential customers are everywhere in other beauty businesses! The better your relationship is with other beauty pros, the more new clients you will receive.
Back in the day when I was a salon owner, our location was right next door to a modeling agency and a busy restaurant. THIS was the ideal position to be in as potential clients were floating around other local businesses.
When I started hiring hair stylists it made sense to develop relationships with my neighbors. Our budget was tight as a new salon but I wanted to get the new stylists busy!
We began to offer free blowouts for women who worked in the restaurant to create relationships with people who are in front of potential clients. This not only kept our newer stylists from sitting around, it opened the door for compliments on the waitress’s hair and they all came back for haircuts and color services!
The modeling agency next door offered a ton of exposure to young women needing to look their best. Every quarter our stylists would go into the agency during classes to offer hair and beauty tips to the models.
During that time we volunteered to keep the modeling agency’s cards at our front desk so they too could grow. We had models coming in droves due to tapping into our local audience.
While you may not have a modeling agency next door, I can guarantee there is one in town. Think outside the box and make effort in your local community, invest in other business owners and I promise it will pay off!
Social media can be a grind BUT it does pay off! Think of Instagram, Facebook and TikTok as the modern day portfolio.
Content marketing is king these days and that includes having a good social presence. Social media is the #1 way to attract clients by showcasing your unique salon experience.
Even if it feels like social isn’t paying off for you, keep posting and stay consistent with your salon brand identity. Current customers often use social media when referring new clients to you.
Ensure what potential customers may see is enough to draw them into your beauty business. Facebook is a great place to focus on reviews. Consumers read reviews and make decisions on if they will do business with you or not, sometimes solely based on reviews.
Did you know some salons and independent hair stylists’ websites are made so well that they don’t have to market themselves for new business? While we would never recommend you to attract new clients through a website only, a well designed site with search engine optimization is the absolute best way to create an evergreen, new client funnel.
Salon websites, (when they are done correctly), put you at the top of searches, in your target area. While the expense can be a bit much at first, salon websites and generate more new business for you, effortlessly, than any other marketing strategy.
If you are using salon software as a website- don’t! Read this article to understand why you shouldn’t use salon booking systems as websites.
If you like to write, blogging on a salon website about the services you provide is an excellent content marketing strategy. Search questions related to the services you provide in your area to see what comes up on Google.
Write blogs that encompass the services you do, along with neighborhoods around your salon. If you are consistent, new clients will start pouring in!
If you need help with blog templates, strategies or you would like blogs written for you, this is a service we offer. Contact us for a quote, today!
Capture Google reviews and reviews on your Facebook business page from all happy clients! People read reviews and make decisions based on what they see.
They even determine which stylist they want to go to, based on online reviews. Reviews give you exposure to a larger audience and are easy to get if you ask for them or offer deals for clients who give reviews.
Get Google business profile QR codes made and place them around the salon. Hand out cards with the QR codes at the end of your client’s next appointment and let them know how much positive reviews help you get more clients.
Ads are effective when they are done correctly however it is one of the most expensive salon marketing strategies on this list. Social media ads are more complex than search engine ads.
Advertising on Instagram and Facebook allow a lot more control when done in META. Boosting posts doesn’t typically pay off because the targeting options are more limited with boosted posts.
META allows you to take a list of an ideal regular customer base and replicate it to target a similar audience. This means an email list of customers, followers or website visitors.
Advertising on Google is effective when you understand what keywords potential customers are using to find hair salons like yours.
If you offer specialized or unique services, this is a great salon client acquisition strategy! Let’s say you offer a special hair extension service that other businesses don’t.
Promoting the service will attract new clients and help you focus in on your ideal clients. Consider giving an outspoken and highly profile family member who would benefit from your unique services, a free haircut.
Arm them with marketing materials to hand out whenever they get compliments on their hair. Talk with every local business you feel may have potential customers that would want your unique offering.
Make your salon stand out with high quality, niche offerings and I promise, ideal clientele will follow!
Almost everyone yearns for free, (or affordable), community events that offer high value introductions to new products and services. Take for example First Fridays in the crossroads area of Kansas City.
First Fridays encompass a celebration of the arts, food and allows business owners to showcase their salons to a huge audience, for free. People mill about listening to music, eating great food and walk from business to business checking out what they have to offer.
Barbers, stylists and spa professionals report: this is one of the best ways they get new clients! Take advantage of events like these and consider hosting events of your own.
Botox parties, makeup events wine tastings, holiday gifting or art shows are wonderful ways to collaborate with other business owners and get exposure to a ton of new clients.
Partnering with businesses and people to grow your business pays off in spades! There aren’t many service providers or business owners who couldn’t use a bit more business.
Start by thinking about friends and family that are business owners. Next, tap into businesses around you- remember the modeling agency story?
Leave cards in these businesses and pursue an active relationship that funnels new clients right into your salon. Local business are the way to go when looking to network and grow in the salon industry.
Networking events such as local meetups for entrepreneurs or women’s groups such as NAWBO are excellent opportunities to meet potential clients. Within the groups are people and business owners who are seeking partnerships with salons and hair stylists.
Be ready to discuss the customer experience and how you, (or your salon), are seeking client referral partnerships. Invite the people you meet in for a free salon experience and give them no reason to say no!
There are companies that help attract clients to your salon. Some salon software markets for you such as Style Seat or Fresha.
You will pay extra for these features but it’s worth it! Salon booking software allows online reviews for potential new customers to check you out before they reach out.
Focus on getting positive reviews and making your salon services easy to understand. Overcomplicating your salon price list can be a turn off, make it simple and easy for clients to book with you!
To get more clients for your hair business consider apps like Boston’s Best Salons, Yelp or tap into Fresha’s free client building program.
The fastest way to get hair clients is to sign up for a discount service such as Groupon or LivingSocial. Be warned this salon clientele are looking for a deal and are often not long term clients.
You will get immediate bookings with these discount types of services but you will not make as much. Should you decide to go with these platforms, raise your prices for these clients to make up for any losses you will incur from providing the discounted service.
It takes approximately 1 year to build a salon clientele in salons that provide most of the clients for you. If you are working in a salon that doesn’t provide clients for you, it can take up to two years to build a clientele.
If your client retention rate is high, it’s likely you will receive referrals from existing clients. Get more customers by focusing on the client experience and by marketing your salon on social media.
How long it takes to build clientele as a hair stylist depends on how motivated you are. The harder you try, or the more effort you put into seeking new business, the faster you will get hair clientele.
Offering discounts and promotions is a great way to incentivize clients to try out your salon. A first time customer deal takes away financial barriers and is enticing to budget conscious salon clients.
Be warned that sometimes people visit salons, just to get a good deal. For some salons, incentives are better to offer than discounts if want to attract a more affluent salon client demographic.
Understanding your target customer is important when marketing your salon. Not all beauty clients should come to you for salon services, attracting the RIGHT people is key to being happy at work.
For instance, if you are a high end BOHO type of salon, it’s unlikely you want to attract edgier clientele. Using strong imagery and words associated with your brand identity will help to attract the right type of customers to your salon.
Getting new clients with beauty salon promotions is accomplished by targeted ads on Google or social media, by in person meetings or events and referrals from existing clientele. Focus on your best and most affordable salon client acquisition strategy for the best results in beauty salon promotions.
The best promotions are those that reward current customers. Consider a contest where whichever current client sends you the most new business would get free services for a certain amount of time.
This way you are not only gaining salon clientele, you are rewarding current customers as well. Win-win situation!
Having a good online presence is key to attracting new salon clients. This means: have a great salon website, get positive reviews and make effort on social media.
Salons without an online presence struggle to get more clients than salons that put time and effort into an online presence.
Being active on social media gives new clients a frame of reference for what they can expect when they visit your salon. 9 times out of 10 a potential salon client scopes you out online, before they make an appointment with you.
Ensure your social media presence is on par with how you want your salon to be perceived.
It is very important to have an online presence for your salon. The most successful salons make effort to have a good salon website and engaging social media.
Salons that do not make an effort online struggle to gain new business and to hire experienced hair stylists.
Marketing yourself as a hairstylist can be achieved through incentivizing current salon clients to send their friends and family, through social media content and engagement, paid advertising on search engines or social media and with a hairstylist website that has great SEO.
Passing out cards, meeting people through events and networking and a referral program are traditional, and timeless ways to gain clientele. Traditional methods tend to cost much less in advertising expense and are the most effective when you are willing to put in the work.
To increase sales in your hair salon you can raise prices, sell more retail, add in boutique offerings such as earrings or clothing, become an affiliate for professional salon products, promote yourself as a hair stylist to get more clients and learn new techniques and services to add to the salon menu.
I hope you have found the information in this blog to be helpful! If you have any tips or tricks for getting new salon clients we have missed, please reach out to us and let us know!
The mission of Salonspa Connection is to provide you with as many free resources to grow in your salon career as possible.
Yours in service,