I'd be inclined to do a couple of things on top of the usual print, radio and traditional advertising. For one thing, I'd seek out influential local people (I assume your target is mostly women.) I'd probably give a handful of them complimentary service and really make sure they had an amazing experience. I'd then encourage them (only if they liked the experience) to share their story with their friends. I'd offer these influencers free service for every 3 friends that came by and mentioned their referring friends name.
I'd also offer the towns most influential lady politician or public office holder free hair cuts for a year. Then I'd tell the media. I'd also create an event to launch the opening and invite people to enter their names for a free session. Or maybe complimentary hand massages while they wait ... better yet, how about a complimentary nail polish and hand massage while they wait. So many ideas ... so little time.
Have fun, and remember ... on top of all this you could ask those influential ladies to share their experiences on Facebook too. Ooh, see if you can get a local photographer to do complimentary head shots after the ladies have had their hair done.
Like I said ... I could go on. Have fun, and best of luck to you.
Call me if you wish to further this conversation and develop more ideas as part of an integrated marketing and launch plan.
I have no experience with salons, but marketing is my thing. So I'll give you some suggestions of what to think about, followed by what to do.
Do you have clients already (let's say from your working days at another salon)? If so, you can start profiling them. You can ask them to fill out a form in exchange for a free gift (maybe one of those creams you use in the salon), or an entry to a raffle (where the prize is valuable).
In the profiling, you want to look out for which neighborhoods they live in, what kinds of activities they like to do, what kinds of social events they love to do, and their occupations.
Then, using each of those profile data, you can market to more prospects who share the same characteristics. For example,
- You can set aside a budget to send flyers to specific neighborhoods. In order to get people into the door, maybe you can offer a certain procedure for free in exchange for opportunities to win new regular customers. (You could theoretically do this with Groupon too, but you have less control of who comes into your door)
- You could set up joint venture relationships with organizations like ball room dancing schools, professional associations, etc. You could offer an exclusive discount with those groups to entice potential customers to try out your service. More opportunities for you to win regular customers.
- With certain demographic data, you can probably make the same offer by advertising on Facebook. If you target specific enough, you can get the price of acquiring the lead to be pretty cheap. You would have to figure out your typical lifetime value of your customers before deciding whether advertising on Facebook would be worthwhile.
One last thing, you can offer gifts for your existing customers if they refer you people.
If you have any more questions, I'm happy to chat with you. Hit me up on this platform.
In addition to the other answer - it's important to clearly describe your target clients. Since it's an upscale, boutique style hair salon - outline where these types of clients (that would use your boutique) in detail: what is their yearly income, what are their hobbies, where do they go to dine, what are their leisure activities, where do they typically shop, what type of magazines do they read, etc.
Once you have clearly described your target clients in these daily terms - go to where your clients actually gather.
Another suggestion is to write articles that illustrate your expertise or that answer your target market's problems. Have you articles published in magazines that sell high in your demographics. Once the articles are publishd, you can have them framed and displayed in you salon.
Another suggestion is to discuss a problem that your target clients would have - and get on a local news program. If your topic is unique and interesting, it is easy to get a 5 minute interview in various local TV, Radio or cable program. You can then place the resulting videos on your website and/or have them playing (in a continous loop) in your salon.
Reach out to other business owners that are focusing on the same target client. Offer your location for networking meetings or catalyst events that are targetted toward your specific clientele. Collaborate with other businesses that share the same target client base.
It's important to fully understand your target market - so that you are not wasting your energies on people that are not interested in paying your prices or using your services.
If you like these tips, please let me know. We can talk more on this - if you would like.
Start with the low hanging fruit: Be able to be found. Make sure you're listed on Google+, Yelp, Foursquare and other location based listing sites and link them all back to your website.
Since your salon is upscale, you'll want to make that clear in all of your marketing messaging and consider including a pricing list on your site that says "Haircuts starting at $$..." etc.
The main thing to focus on is an exceptional website that represents the vibe of your salon - this is the first introduction to a potential client so they should be wow'd.
Best of luck! I work with a few salons and beauty schools here in Louisiana and would love to share more insight and ideas so let me know if you want to chat more!
try taking pictures of your clients when done and post to your Facebook page - get their FB info and tag the photo with their name - they get notified and share and all their friends see it
I would highly recommend internet marketing as the most effective way to market your boutique hair salon. With internet marketing, you can target individuals within your geographic location effectively and at an affordable cost. This can be done with an enhanced SEO strategy or content marketing. Write articles that describe your salon and market that through diverse platforms across the web, specifically in your geographic location (300-800 words).
I can provide many recommendations based on my experience with affordable companies and tips that can help benefit your hair salon. Many companies or individuals might recommend hiring a top marketing firm to help drive consumers to your salon, but I discourage this. You can easily do this yourself! Through my experiences working with small budgets, I have been effective in driving internet consumers to my sites from 0 users to upwards of 10,000 unique live users in just under 6 months. I would love to help you do the same!
Market to sororities (if there are any colleges/universities in your area). If their families have the money to pay sorority dues, then they've got the money for your services. You can "get in" with the sororities by getting in touch with the president of each one and offering free haircare and beauty workshops. Facebook ads. 50% off for first-time clients. Beautiful website, preferably integrated with your appointment booking engine. Strategic partnerships with local boutiques, wedding shops, high-end nail salons, and spas. Set up informal lunch conversations with the owners of those businesses and say, "How can my salon help you?" And of course you'll want to track and measure the ROI on all these tactics to see if they're really moving the needle. I recognize that strategy and tactics are different, so if you'd like to discuss your actual marketing plan, let me know. Cheers, Austin
Are you kidding me? You bet I have ideas. I also have strategies that you could employ and ways you can more effectively manage your salon to reduce overhead, cut redundancy, save money on taking payments, get more leads and referrals coming in as well.
If it were our family salon, I'd have people coming in daily or I'd go to my grave fighting for it.
Of course I have ideas on how to market, and I have all the love in the world for hair stylists because you're a service professional at heart just as many of us here on Clarity are.
But without knowing more about your salon: your demographics, whether or not you do weaves or clip-ons and extensions, your marketing budget (or lack thereof), whether or not you're online, what your resources are, and how driven you are, it's tough to essentially deliver a free blanket plan for your to put into effect.
I could write out a list of strategies you could put into place, write out a long list of practices to employ, write out a list of things you should do daily, but I don't know if you can do do them, want to do them, would be good at doing them, or if they'd necessarily even help because I don't know much about your unique situation.
If your salon is upscale, word of mouth and catering to each and every client with personal care is vital. Offer complimentary services in every way possible. Do you need a liquor license to serve cocktails? Some upscale mens salons offer drinks, video games, and are practically sports bars. I've been to barber shops that treated me like royalty...offering movies, video games, snacks, to run errands for me, all while having my beard trimmed. Needless to say, I wanted to go there often. So without knowing more or going to work for you for free (I'm only half-kidding here), my initial suggestion would be to double-down on personalized, customized customer care and offer as many complimentary services as possible and develop a classy, high-end website that allows for online booking, online payment, has stylist portfolios, their portfolios, maybe videos of them working and interviews.
Hope that helps. If you would like more, let me know. And best of luck with your salon.
Don't spend too much on promotions. This business typically runs on personal recommendations, so referral programmes work better.
If you are in a crowded market, offer something different that the others are not offering or not in a position to offer. Even simple things matter a lot - like greeting the clients when they walk in or walk out, send them a reminder after 3 months as a follow up. Maintain database and build heathy client base. Offer an attractive yearly programme.
Imp tip: This is a sure shot winner. Spend a little more and run a blog with interesting articles and send your clients as a weekly/monthly newsletter. Your client has to see some value; otherwise you have to just compete on price with other players in the market.
"Customer buy on price because they can't find extraordinary quality, convenience, service or value."
Hi - I just came across this and noticed you wrote this years ago, so I really hope your business is going well!! If you need inexpensive yet expert marketing, design or small business consulting services, please consider my agency, Bloominari. We’ve been helping small business owners like yourself for years and we’d love to help you out. I also provide free project estimates! Just wanted to send you this info in case your sales aren’t exactly as high as you were hoping. Let me know if I can help you in any way and best of luck to you! http://www.bloominari.com/contact/request-project-quote
Word-of-mouth! If you can get your clients to tell others about your services, you will win. Social media, advertising, and buzz are good ways to spread word about your salon, but buzz stands out.
- Create content, i.e. posts and videos to add to the site and youtube.
- Run ads on Facebook targeting your demographics and people that make money.
- run ads in search for people looking for boutiques and then bring them to a website that's as high end and modern as your boutique.
- retargeting - advertise to the website visitors after they leave the website through Google and Facebook.
- Add a popup box on your website to build your email list. Then email it weekly with promotions. Over time this will be your best performing channel.
Contact me if you would like to work with an agency or consultant.
Social, Social, Social.
Bootstrapping is the way to go.
Here's 3 key Strategies:
- Make sure you have a presentable website for the times
- You have established social profiles
- You have a small budget to start marketing within these social circles
Then from there, it's taking all 3 and combining them into a marketing strategy that will be hypertargted to your local audience.
You are in the type of business where personal recommendations carry the most weight. If you are located in a small strip mall setting, for example, walk around and introduce yourself to the other businesses on the property. Hand out business cards to the owners and employees and offer them a selection of one highly discounted salon services. Try to schedule appointments right away. Once these people have had their service ask them to post a nice comment about their experience on sites like Yelp - be sure to have your profile up and running on Yelp by then. Take photos as well of these first customers in your salon - with their permission. It is worth breaking even or losing a small amount of money to offer time-limited discounts to selected individuals in return for these social media positive comments and ratings to get you started.