From a business perspective, your best-kept secrets are often your salon and your services…and that’s not a good thing!
Today, it simply isn’t enough to be the best at what you do and thus expect to turn your business into a roaring success – no matter how many Facebook inspirational quotes tell you otherwise.
If your business is the best-kept secret in your trading area, then you’ll never reach your full business potential.
To reach your trading goals, it takes consistent, well-planned marketing that will let people know about your salon and what you offer; even after they’ve become your clients. But does that marketing have to cost you and arm or a leg?
No, it doesn’t. You have options to suit even the tiniest budget.
Marketing and Advertising. What’s the difference?
First, let’s get clear on one thing – marketing and advertising are not the same things.
Relying solely on paid advertising to grow your business could be very expensive. However, the good news is that many highly effective client attraction and retention marketing strategies can be implemented on a shoestring budget.
Let’s take a look at some of these easy on the pocket marketing strategies that you can use to ensure your salon and services don’t remain the best-kept secret in town.
Marketing for New Clients.
Not commonly known is the fact that most salons attract a reasonable amount of new clients organically – that is, without any form of paid advertising.
Having said that, clients can be notoriously disloyal and leave your salon on a whim, so it’s good to have some basic attraction strategies in place to top up your numbers and ensure you continue to grow.
Client Referral Program – Why not ask your existing clients who are very happy with your services to send in their friends and family? Naturally, you’ll want to encourage them to do so by offering a small reward, but when you consider the financial value of a new client to your salon, it’s a tiny investment for a worthwhile return.
Social Media – Done wisely, social media can provide a useful marketing platform allowing you to attract new clients into your salon or spa. The secret lies in building your fan base and then getting them to share, like, click and comment on your value-driven posts. Thi, of course, gets you additional free exposure to lots of potential new clients. Positive client reviews on your page is also a great way to build your reputation.
Magazine Writing – As a professional, you have lots of specialised industry-based knowledge that you can share with readers. By writing informative articles you can establish yourself as the local expert in your field which in turn will give your readers more confidence to visit your salon.
Consider approaching your local newspaper or magazine, and offer to write interesting articles for their readers in exchange for some free editorial or adverts.
New Client Website Vouchers – Your website is often the first place that a potential new client will go to for information about your salon. Sometimes, they need just that little bit of a push to make their first appointment, and this is where a downloadable voucher can accomplish just that.
Marketing to Keep the Clients You Already Have.
For me, this should make up the bulk of your marketing activities. What a waste it is to go to all that expense and time getting new clients through your doors, only to lose them to a competitor because they didn’t feel valued in your salon.
Keeping your existing clients happy means keeping your focus on them, and not assuming that because they’ve been coming to you for a while that they’re going to be loyal to your salon forever.
Clients are only as loyal as it suits them to be and can always be tempted away from you when you take your eye off the ball.
Here are a few inexpensive retention strategies that you can use to keep your clients happy and returning.
Loyalty or Reward Program – Simple to set up and worthwhile to run. Today, clients wanted to be rewarded for their patronage whether it’s when they fly, buy groceries or visit their preferred salon. A Reward Program gives them a reason to return to you rather than spend their money with the salon down the road.
Birthday Cards – When’s the last time a service provider sent you a real card in the mail with a salon voucher to use at your next visit? I think you’d have to agree with me that you’d be pretty impressed if you received this, and so would your clients.
We may share lots of other celebratory days with the masses, but to each individual, our birthday is our special day, and we love it when it’s acknowledged with even just a small gift.
Salon Newsletter – A fantastic way to keep your clients informed and to stay front-of-mind. You can use your newsletter to educate, make special offers and keep your clients up-to-date about what’s going on in your salon.
Done monthly, your newsletter maintains the connection with your client between her salon visits.
There are loads of inexpensive marketing strategies you can use to help gain and keep salon clients.
The main thing that you must remember as a business owner, is that no matter how good your salon and services may be, if they are a secret from the people you want to attract into your salon, then you won’t achieve the success you deserve.