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How To Get New Clients In A Salon: 9 Simple Yet Effective Ideas To Check Out Right Now!

How to get new clients in a salon

As of 2021, there are about 78,000 beauty salon businesses in the US. With so much competition, getting new clients and retaining them is undoubtedly the biggest challenge for most salon owners.

While a good salon marketing plan might seem like the obvious answer to this problem, there’s more to it than just running online campaigns and offering discounts. Plus, dropping down your prices just to attract new clients is not really a smart solution, especially if the salon next door is doing the same thing. 

So, how to get new clients in a salon then? If you too are wondering about that, let us take you through these 9 amazing ways to keep your calendar all booked for the next season!

  1. Map Yourself on Google My Business. 
  2. Claim Your Yelp.
  3. Let Your Website Do The Desk Duty!
  4. Bring Your Social Media To Life.
  5. Ramp Up Your Referral Business.
  6. Team Up!
  7. Be The Host.
  8. Share The Deal!
  9. Remain A Keeper.

1. Map Yourself on Google My Business.

97% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses. Out of those, 83% of the searches are done using Google alone. Apart from that, it has been observed that 64% of consumers use GMB to get in touch with local businesses.

This implies that a huge segment of your potential clients is probably looking at your competitors when they search for something like Salons nearby. Losing out on so many possible conversions will probably be a huge deal, isn’t it? So why not simply get listed and draw in all that goodness?

Your Google My Business profile will ensure that when your potential clients search for your business, they can actually reach you- either at your web address or directly at your brick and mortar shop. 

Take a look at the search results for ‘salons in New york’, with an example to understand how you can optimize your Google My Business to fill up your slots! 

Google SERP for salons in new york

The below example listing has all the relevant contact details like the address, website link, phone number, open hours, an appointment booking link, and a service price card- all placed appropriately on their profile. 

Google My business listing for a salon

What you can do:

  • Fill out all the sections on your profile. It will save you from having to lose a potential client simply because he/she was able to find another business listing with all the desired information in a single place. 
  • Keep all the information updated. This ensures that any person who comes across your listing does not have to face the inconvenience of, for example, being not able to reach you because you somehow forgot to update your new phone number.
  • Add an instant booking link. It will make it super convenient for your clients to secure an appointment with you right from your listing. 

If you already have a salon scheduling software, you can easily incorporate a booking link with the help of Reserve with Google. If not, you will first need to choose a salon software to get your business registered on RwG

Scrolling down further, we can see how they have beautifully filled up their profile by uploading trendy photographs, linking all their social handles, and incorporating user-generated reviews and ratings. They have also added a Q&As section and mentioned their popular times.

Google My Business listing showing popular times
Google My Business listing showing review summary

What you can do:

  • Add interesting photos to show what you stand for. You can put pictures of your salon interiors, the ambience, your staff, and maybe a few happy faces too!
  • Mention popular times to make it easy for your clients to decide their convenient visiting hours. This way, it will not only be easy for you to manage the crowd but will also save your clients’ precious time.
  • Respond to all the reviews to build trust and connect with your clients. Show them that you care and encourage them to endorse your values. These will in turn act as effective testimonials for your business.
  • Put up a Q&As section to answer any additional queries regarding your services or products.
  • Add an Updates and Offers section to announce any upcoming events or deals.

Having an optimized online presence is an important first step for you when you aim to attract a fresh crowd and build a clientele as a hairstylist or a beauty salon owner.

It can greatly improve the local search engine optimization for your website so that it shows up on the first page when anyone searches for Salons near me or Hair Stylists near me, etc. Make sure to regularly update it to maintain relevance. 


2. Claim Your Yelp.

It is more than just restaurants!

Reaching a broad demographic, Yelp enables people to find local businesses based on consumer ratings and reviews.  About 45% of clients are likely to check Yelp reviews before visiting a business, making it super important for you to establish your space there. You ought to be where your potential clients are looking for you!

Besides, you can do a lot to make your salon stand out from the others. It enables you to add attractive pictures, demonstrate your work, show off your salon ambience and even build your own community forum right on your business page!

Take a look at the below example and notice how they have optimized their yelp page with all the up-to-date information regarding their services, contact details, ratings, etc.

Yelp profile of a salon

From above, we can see that the cover page mentions their open hours, core services, and a blue tick that says whether the business is claimed.

What you can do:

  • Claim your business. This ensures that your visitors know that you are who you claim to be. Getting your business verified will gain you a special blue tick that will act as a certification for your identity. 
  • Update regularly. Your contact details, physical address/es, and open hours are a few basic things that your potential clients might look out for before getting in touch with you. You must place all the desired information accurately on your page to avoid any inconvenience. 
  • Add a lot of alluring pictures. Show off your interiors, exteriors, and the services that you offer, etc. to pass on the vibe.
  • Add an Announcements section. For example, take a look at how they have also added a separate section for service updates in regards to Covid-19. 

Similarly, you must let your visitors know about any recent changes or additions to your service protocols pertaining to any social, cultural, or similar causes. Other than that, you could also make announcements about any upcoming events, deals, and offers. 

Moving ahead, the next section shows their participation in the community, the amenities that they offer, and other business highlights.

Amenities section on a salon’s Yelp profile
Services section on a salon’s Yelp profile

What you can do:

  • Communicate the facilities that you offer. Let your visitors know about all the equipment that you have in place for the things that are important to them or in some way, will help you provide them with a better experience.
  • Participate in the community that you build. Yelp allows you to build a community forum of your own on your business page itself. Your participation will encourage your clients to pitch in and share their opinions too. Be responsive and express your gratitude for all the support that you gain!

Apart from all this, you can also mention price range, add a Q&As section, enable community reactions, add your business description, mention neighborhood attractions, etc. and optimize your Yelp to make it rank.


Other online directories to look out for: 

Each new listing that you create will greatly increase your chance to be found. While Google My Business and Yelp might be the best options, directories are not limited to them. You can get listed on other salon-specific directories like Who Do You, Best Salon Guide, Beauty Seeker, and Groupon to reach a larger targeted audience. 


3. Let Your Website Do The Desk Duty!

Once they find you through your online listings, your website will be the next thing potential clients will look at prior to booking. Stats show that a business that does not have a professional website, could lose almost 70-80% of its potential clients.  

A website will not only build credibility but also act as an important distinguishing asset for your brand.

If you are new to this, you can build a basic website yourself by using various easy-to-use website building tools like Wix, WordPress, etc. If you already own one, make sure that you keep the following points in check :

  • Keep it clean, relevant, and make sure that it reflects your brand personality. It is best to use actual photos of your site and team rather than tacky stock photos that can make your website look like a mediocre one.
  • Add a clear and readable price card that is up to date. It is found that the price guide page is the 3rd most visited page on most salon websites. Any potential client will go straight to your price page. 
  • Avoid giving off an overly promotional vibe. It spoils user experience and hence might be a put-off for your potential clients. 
  • Aim to turn lookers into bookers! Give proper call-to-action buttons. A simple salon booking integration would do the deal for you.
  • Keep your website SEO optimized always. You can learn to do it yourself or a lot of businesses even seek help from a professional for the same.  It will anyway be a fruitful investment to gain more visibility from your ideal salon clients.
  • Integrate it with Google Analytics & GMB for valuable insights and wider reach.

Having an up-to-date website tells your potential customers that you value technology and the growth that comes along with it. It shows that you are well versed with all the trending and advanced techniques and products that are popular in the industry and that you are reliable.


4. Bring Your Social Media To Life

Networking is the key! Though everybody is well aware of it, branding on every social network is conceptually similar but yet quite different in its own sense. Make sure to build your business pages on at least two of these platforms- Instagram & Facebook. 

LinkedIn is another platform where you can share the professional side of your business and gain valuable insights. Similarly, both Snapchat and Tik Tok can be put to good use based on your target audience. 

The next important thing for you to understand is where your audience spends time looking for what. Once you have that on the list, here is what you can do:

1. Carry out fun interactive activities

Engage with your audience. Simply posting pictures of your services will make your profile look monotonous and mediocre. Make it stand out by building interaction and a sense of trust. For instance, you can:

  • Go live with your practice sessions & put up polls about the new looks that you create. This way people will know how passionate you are about your work and it can also act as a stand-alone exhibition of your skills. 
  • Hold live interview sessions with your staff and clients, give a tour of your salon, do fun behind-the-scenes videos, give beauty tips and product reviews, hold product launches and other events, etc. 
  • Ask questions. People love to share their opinions! You could ask things like:
    • What would you do in case…
    • What is the best remedy for… 
    • Your favorite hair products are.. etc. 
  • Put up quizzes revolving around:
    • The make-up sequence
    • Skin-care routines
    • Best home remedies, etc. 
  • Hold contests. Things like Comment to win, Tag your 3 friends, Lucky winners get a.., etc. That way you can also increase the number of visitors to your profile and build brand awareness.

2. Collaborate with micro-influencers

Micro-influencers are people with followers anywhere between a thousand to tens of thousands. These are people who share useful thoughts about daily life affairs and usually have most of their followers based in the city itself.

  • Look out for your local influencers. It could also be someone in your family or friend circle who might be willing to help you promote your business. 
  • Run influencer programs. Promote your influencer programs on all channels such that influencers themselves register with you in return for the exciting compensatory deals that you offer.
  • Set up Instagram-friendly spaces and selfie stations. Entertain them with free services, products, or exciting vouchers in return for social media mentions and re-directions that would help you build your salon clientele.
    For example, you could practice with them, send them your products, call them in for your events, etc. and ask them to click pictures at the stations that you set up.

3. Use trending hashtags

Grow your circle of reach. Hashtags make it easier for your audience to find you and help you build your brand. Moreover, they drive attention. People are compelled to scroll to the posts with similar hashtags once they find an interesting one. 

  • Choose only the ones that you find relevant. Too many hashtags can make your posts look crowded and untidy. Instagram allows you up to 30 hashtags per post. Whereas you can put as many on Twitter. 
  • Always research the trends beforehand and don’t forget to add local hashtags. Maintain a huge list of your location-relevant hashtags that you can use over and over to grab attention from the correct audience.
  • Avoid using overly popular hashtags which might make it difficult for your post to be distinguished. But at the same time, do not use rarely searched hashtags such that your post gets lost somewhere on the internet.  
    Instead, divide your use of hashtags into simple categories based on interests, locations, problems, moods, features, etc. 
  • Incorporate at least one broad-spectrum hashtag along with a few targeted hashtags. For example, something like #salon would belong to the broader category.

4. Build a community

Having a community around your brand can contribute to the brand’s success in respect of awareness and also pave the simplest path towards honest and raw feedback. 

Surveys and feedback forms work, but Social Native suggests social media is the best approach to organic research since it does not impact peoples’ candidness to respond as it might do in your traditional focus groups. 

What you can do:

  • Segregate your audience. Make social media groups and post relevant, informative, and interesting content.
  • Keep your channels open to user-generated content. Let the brainstorming kick in! Analyze their pain points, seek suggestions and scopes for improvement. 
  • Invite and involve them in your decisions. Let them know that their opinions matter. 
    For example, you could put up a poll for color options while you plan to renovate or take suggestions for upcoming events. This will give them a sense of belonging. And that is how you will be able to build loyalty. 

5. Join the vlogger league

We know it can be a little overwhelming to shoot videos regularly, but posting thoughtful content across your channels can do it for you. A huge portion of the population relies on YouTube for product reviews, beauty tips, and makeup tutorials.

Although Youtube will be of little help when your goal is to immediately attract more local clients, it will help with your brand building. Besides, you could always turn towards Snapchat & Tiktok to target a local audience. These are meant for short, funny, and engaging videos.

Next up, is Facebook. Though people are largely shifting onto Instagram for all their content, Facebook still holds the ground. It is perfect for sharing longer videos and it caters to a slightly older audience. 

Types of vlogs you could post:

  • How-to type
  • Product videos
  • Behind the scenes
  • Interviews
  • Case studies
  • Client testimonials 
  • Live sessions

Additionally, you can also invite influencers to your beauty vlogs, do giveaways, and build trust by responding to your audience to lift your brand name. 


6. Demonstrate & sell your products

Setting up social media shops can be an effective brand-building technique. That way, you can not only sell your products to a larger number of people but when someone who has already come across your channels plans to visit a salon, they will be more likely to choose you over others. 

For starters, Facebook’s marketplace could be the best fit for you as a salon owner. This is mainly because it allows local transactions and hence you can use it to maximize your sales in your immediate localities.  Which is wonderful, and free!

What you can do:

  • Create Facebook & Instagram shops where you can add items, upload pictures, add descriptions and prices for the products that you want to sell. You will need a Facebook Business Page for setting up a shop.
  • Customize it according to your brand personality and publish.
  • Run regular campaigns and demonstrate your beauty products to drive traffic and increase visibility. Be active.

Likewise, several social media platforms can prove to be relevant for your business as a salon owner. While it is smart to establish a presence on most of them, it will be constructive to always start slow and master each of them step by step.

Also while you’re at it, don’t forget to add booking links on all your channels to get more appointments flowing in! You can easily incorporate book now buttons on both Instagram & Facebook with the help of our salon booking software.


5. Ramp Up Your Referral Business.

Reward your clients for introducing their friends.

Your existing customers will prove to be a reliable source to get more clients to your salon. Remember, word of mouth is your strongest hand!

Run various referral programs to nurture your existing clients with value-adding rewards in return for the loyalty that they show by bringing in more clients and thereby improving your beauty salon business.

What you can do:

  • Reward your clients with loyalty points or promo codes for writing reviews, sharing purchases and service experiences on social media, etc. Online reviews are widely buzzed about and hence a huge demographic relies on them before visiting any business.
  • Give away a free service, or an exciting gift hamper to whoever brings in a given number of, say, new hair clients in a week. For example, you could give away a free pedicure to whoever brings in 5 referrals, etc.
  • Send your clients back with referral cards incorporated with introductory incentives so that they can share those with their friends and family.
    Reward them as and when every card is redeemed and don’t forget to send them a thank you note or an email when their referrals clock in.

That way you are also spreading the word along with retaining your existing clientele. It’s a double deal!


6.  Team Up!

Partner with other local businesses.

A salon owner shaking hands with other local business owner to increase salon clientele

Partnerships are win-win deals. They can help in building both brands. As a result, you can have exposure to their trusted client base and also build strong industry connections on the way.

Moreover, your products and services alone cannot fulfill all your customer needs. Forming strategic partnerships can help you fill those gaps even on a budget! 

  • Identify complementary local businesses. For example, as a salon owner, you could look out for spas, massage parlors, event planners, florists, etc.
  • Do proper background research about your potential partners before you get right to it. Answer questions like :
    • As individual businesses, will we both be willing to promote each other?
    • Will we be willing to refer each other to our clients and potential clients?
    • Will our team be capable of fulfilling customer requirements more effectively together? 
    • Can we both benefit from the partnership?
  • Reach out to them. The next step after making up your mind will be to approach them. You can either send them an email, contact them through their website, connect on LinkedIn, visit them in person, or through a business associate.
  • Make a proposition. If both parties are convinced in the end, you could do a few test campaigns together to understand if it’s working out.
  • Follow up with an agreement. Always get it in writing. Similarly, you could partner with multiple businesses at once either on a contract basis or seasonally. 
  • Hold events, contests, workshops, beauty exhibitions, etc. together with your partner businesses. You could even build interesting package deals together. 
    For example, you could sell a wedding bundle where you can give discount coupons to whoever books a wedding make-up session with you.
  • You could also consider partnering up with charities. It can give your potential clients a really good purpose for buying from you. For example, you could promote it like 10% of your transactions will go to United Way Worldwide or anything on the similar lines.

It might at first seem a bit difficult to see why someone would want to take a sideway and form partnerships like this at all. So it is important to align your goals and show them the direct benefits to sell it. Work together and help each other grow!


7. Be The Host.

Hold Events, Contests & Giveaways.

Events and gatherings that are full of enthusiasm and are also visually pleasing, are a great way of engaging your clients and attracting more too.  

What you can do :

  • Hold promotions, product launch events, and small fun activities in your salon and give away gift hampers or discount coupons. 
    If possible, host them such that they coincide with other events happening nearby. This will attract a good foot crowd and potentially help your salon get new clients. However, try to avoid large community events. You don’t want to compete against them.
  • Tailor in-store displays and demonstrations to understand clients’ interests and needs. It will help attract and engage your attendees. Give away gift goodie bags and hold lucky draws. Make it interesting!
  • Charity events are also a good approach for creating brand awareness and building trust. 
    For example, you could give away free services in public places– something like holding a hair donation camp where you cut hair for free, etc. This will help you grow your hair clientele tremendously. People tend to choose businesses that share a common intent. 

Make sure that your events are something that people would want to make time for. Work together with your team and brainstorm ideas to get more creative with your future initiatives.


8. Share The Deal!

Promote Strategically.

As we all know, simply cutting down on your prices and giving away too many discounts is not really a smart choice if you want your clients to return even for your regular price card. 

What you can do instead :

  • Give exciting introductory offers. What you can do:
    • Give offers for the first three or four consecutive visits. This will ensure that the new clients stick with you for a longer time, and subsequently increase the chances of retention.
    • Likewise, you can also tag a bundle of multiple appointments at a discounted price rather than enabling offers on a single one. This way your clients will be compelled to choose between a more optimal package. 
    • For example, you can build a package of 3 full body waxing sessions, and give your clients an incentive to stay with you for around 3-5 months, easily giving you time to build trust.
  • Create urgency. Give last-minute offers & lightning smart deals such that your audience wouldn’t want to miss them. As a result, you’d book out even faster!
  • Discount smartly. Apply discounts in such a way that they seem super tempting to your audience but at the same time also end up gaining you a profit. 
    For example, you could think of something like progressive discounts- give away a 10% off if the bill goes over 150$. This can lure your clients to increase their overall ticket. 
  • Identify your lean times based on your daily reports and analyze your client turn-ins to see where you could place your magnets. You can then build deals for slots booked particularly for those time slots. 
    For example, you can promote lunchtime offers if you’re situated in a corporate area. That way you can drive in a lot of professionals in their work breaks and your chairs won’t go empty.
  • Look out for the seasonal trends. Build special packages especially around the festive seasons and holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Other occasions like Weddings, Prom, Valentine’s, etc. could also bring in a good amount of traffic.
    For example, you could build a salon special Friendship Day package wherein a group of four can redeem an overall discount on facial services at the same time.
  • Find the right mode for your promotions. For example, you could advertise on the radio for 2-3 hours when people leave for their offices, and while returning. Or, you could advertise on school calendars around the prom season.
  • Always try to add value instead of reducing prices. Even if you draw in a huge crowd at once when you give out a 50% off, there is a very low chance that they all will return. Instead, aim towards improving the customer experience. Give value-added offers.
    For example, you could group a core service like a haircut with a complimentary short service like blow-dry. That is what will build trust and help you retain your clients.
  • Promote gift certificates. (Give away a 20$ gift certificate with every purchase of a 100$ gift certificate.) This will ensure that both the customer and their friends return. And there, you have a new client!

Success in different promotion tactics can vary from salon to salon. It is best to try and test each one that you find suitable. However, it is important to give your techniques time to gain the momentum that you expect.


9.  Remain A Keeper.

Run loyalty programs & retain your clients.

An average hair & beauty business loses between 10-25% of its clients each year (Lockhart Meyer). 

Hence it is of real importance to keep them coming back for more in order to maintain a steady flow of clients at your hub.  You can go through these loyalty program trends for your salon to set up one of your own. 

Until then, seize every opportunity to build your mailing list and stay in touch with your clients. You can send them personalized email newsletters with interesting content and remind them of all the relaxing time that they had spent at your salon while they got a massage or the beautiful show-off-worthy haircuts that you had given them.

Add a little something about your swoon-worthy deals which will make it hard for them to resist and they will be back in no time!


THE BOTTOM LINE

Finding new clients was never a day’s play. You need to be consistent with your efforts and give your schemes time to grow upon your client base. 

Now, while we have tried our best to collate as many cues as we can, you can only know which of them work best for your business when you actually try them out. Experimentation is the key! And we hope that the above tips will prove to be fruitful in your quest to get new clients in your salon and increase your clientele. 

Meanwhile, let us know in the comments section below if you have already tried any of the above ways to build a clientele and ended up with a salon full of clients!

Happy clocking up!


About Appointy

We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day. 

If you have any thoughts on this blog, or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below. 

We love a good talk!