5 Love-ly Salon Marketing Ideas

You can barely walk into a retail store in January and February without being hit over the head with hearts, heart shaped candy, heart-filled greeting cards and other manifestations of love promoting Valentine’s Day sales.

You might also like: 10 Ways to Make your Salon Marketing Plan Pandemic-Proof!

As the saying goes, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! Here are five ways you can use the love your clients have for your services to grow your salon, create interest, cement client loyalty, and increase retention.

5 Love-ly Salon Marketing Ideas

1 – Give Love Away

The love your clients have for your salon services is a direct reflection of the way they believe you feel about them. Infuse your social media updates and email newsletters with client-appreciation such as:

  • How you feel about them as a group
  • How you feel about VIP clients that change your day
  • Why you love your industry / job / being a salon owner, hairdresser or beauty professional
  • Invite your clients to leave a review for you or your salon on Facebook, Google, Yelp or another site this week (or this month) for a chance to win a gift card or a “perfect couple” retail duo

Try posting one thing you love about your clients each day on social media this month!

2 – Get Clients to Fill in the Blank

Use social media and email marketing to survey your clients asking them to fill in the blank: “The one thing I love most about being a client at (your salon’s name or your name as a hairdresser) is __________________. “

Use the responses as client testimonials on your website and in upcoming email newsletters and social updates.

Questions are a great way to spark social engagement! Stay on February themes and ask questions on social media such as:

  • What are the top 3 things you want in the love of your life?
  • What was your first (or worst!) date?
  • If you could only use 1 (hair) product for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  • What is your favorite wine and chocolate combo?
  • If you had to describe your hair color as a coffee drink, what would it be?

3 – Couple Up

Tell clients and prospects about “perfect couples” they can get from your salon, such as:

  • Retail product duos
  • Service / product duos
  • Service + perfect add-on/s
  • BOGO (buy-one, get one at a special price) offers
  • At-home retail based on services, hair types, conditions, etc.

4 – Referral Reward Booster

Extend a special offer or referral reward to clients who refer their friends, co-workers or loved ones to your salon in the next 30 days.

5 – Get Engaged Early

February is “Weddings Month” not because weddings are happening in February, but because brides and grooms who got engaged during the holidays or on Valentine’s Day, and who are planning summer weddings, are lining everything up right now. This is why you see bridal shows in local convention centers in February and March, not June-August when the majority of weddings occur.

If you want wedding gigs…

Bridal hair and makeup, pedicures, and for that matter services for the whole wedding party get booked months before the big day. Now is the time to use e-mail and social media to advertise your availability and line up summer appointment bookings that could translate into a super-full (and profitable) book of business.

Here are some things to try:

  • Partner with wedding planners, wedding flower designers, etc.
  • Use Instagram to show off bridal looks you have done in the past
  • Create a digital bridal hair look-book gallery on your website or as a Pinterest board
    • add captions that include your city/region name to make content more “findable” locally
    • share links to your gallery or Pinterest board on social media
    • share photo/s in an email to clients that focuses on bridal/wedding services
  • Reach out to local wedding chapels and reception halls for referrals or cooperative marketing
  • Hyper-targeted Facebook ads and/or boosted posts
    • targeted to women-of-a-certain-age (the average age of a first-time bride in the US is 25)
    • who live in your town / nearby cities, and
    • who have “interests” in weddings, brides, wedding gowns, bridal stores, reception halls, etc.

Hyper-targeting Facebook ads based on specific demographics increases your ability to reach people who fit your buyer profile/s while reducing the chances your ad money will be wasted by showing your ads to the wrong people.

Love these ideas? Download our FULL 2021 Salon Marketing Calendar

Success is no accident; it takes hard work, perseverance, study, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are yearning to do.” — Pele

February salon marketing ideas

4 Things to Consider when Pricing Salon Services

Pricing salon services correctly is vital! Even just a one percent improvement in pricing can result in an eleven percent increase in operating profit. (Harvard Business Review study)

Did you know that “price” is one of the 4 P’s of Marketing?

  • Product – includes both goods and/or services
  • Price – the cost assigned to a good or service
  • Place – where the item can be purchased, how it is distributed, etc.
  • Promotion – marketing, advertising and other activities that lead to sales

Also known as the “marketing mix,” each of these is impacted by both internal as well as external factors. For instance, when pricing salon services, you have to consider internal factors such as the cost of products and time needed to complete the service as well as external pressures such as local economics and demographics, and competitor pricing for the same or equivalent services.

To further complicate the process of pricing salon services, there is more than one way to develop your salon’s pricing model.

  1. Cost-based pricing – pricing salon services based on all of the costs incurred (supplies, products, and percentage of equipment, furnishings, rent/lease, taxes, etc.)
  2. Value-based pricing – pricing salon services based on what consumers are willing or expect to pay – consumers’ perceived quality or value

Pricing salon services without considering all potentially relevant internal and external factors is important. If the cost of services at your salon is out of alignment, you might find it difficult to effectively promote and sell them. Conversely, if underpriced, you could be leaving money on the table or undermining profitability.  Here are four things that should impact pricing salon services.

You might also like: 5 Things Successful Salon Professionals Do

4 Things to Consider when Pricing Salon Services

Costs – For your salon to be profitable, a myriad of costs should be reflected in pricing salon services overall, as well as individually, including both direct and indirect costs.

Individual / direct costs:

  • Time – how much of your time is needed for the service appointment
  • Products and supplies – all products or supplies consumed to complete the service

Overall / indirect costs:

  • Education – the cost of education to become and to remain a beauty professional (past and future), and to continue to develop new skills
  • Equipment and furnishings – what did it cost to furnish and equip your salon, and what future investments will you need to make?
  • Promotional – advertising, marketing, graphic design, collateral, etc.
  • Operational – overhead such as lease/rent/mortgage, payroll, licenses, utilities, taxes, cleaning costs, and other expenses required to operate a business

Knowing your numbers is so important! If you only price services based on time and products used, you may not be charging enough to offset operating costs, let alone enough so that you are setting aside money toward the future (education, repairs and remodeling, expansion, etc.) In addition, remember that most costs change over time, generally increasing year over year in many cases.

Demand – Some salon services never go out of style, others may change seasonally, come and go as trends, be more or less popular based on regional demographics, and so on.

If demand for a specific type of salon service is high but your pricing is lower than perceived value and/or competitor pricing, you could be leaving money on the table.

Conversely, if there is little or no demand for a specific salon service it might be time to take it off the menu and see if there is a more desired service that could be added.

Competitor Pricing – Do you know what competitors are charging for the same or generally equivalent salon services? How does that impact your pricing – and should it?

For consumers doing research, price is often one of their first impressions. Prospective customers will mentally compare your prices with those of other options they consider to be relevant (within the area they are willing to drive, in neighborhoods to which they are willing to travel, the type of salon brand that fits them, recommendations they may have received from others, etc.)

Value – If your salon services are priced higher than your competitors, how can you differentiate them so that clients perceive that the value they receive from doing business with you is (a) “worth it” and (b) superior to services of your competitors?

Price perceptions work both ways! Conversely, if your salon services are priced lower than many of your competitors, what are you doing to ensure they view the quality of your services as equal to (or even better than) the services they could receive by paying more elsewhere?

How are you gauging customer satisfaction? Low levels of client satisfaction in general, or relative to a specific aspect of your salon, represent opportunities for you to increase satisfaction and, in so doing, improve and increase the value which clients place on your salon services. High levels of client satisfaction might be a signal that you could improve profitability with a price increase across the board or on those services which client perceive as having the highest value.

Wrap Up:

When pricing salon services, your MRK Beauty Consultant can be an invaluable resource! They have a wealth of knowledge about salon services in general as well as in your area, including competitor pricing. They have the know-how to help you improve and increase client perceptions of value based on services, outcomes and the overall client experience.

If you are a beauty professional in Washington, Oregon, Idaho or Montana, we invite you to get in touch with your regional consultant and find out how MRK Beauty can help you grow your salon business from where you are today to where you want to be.

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10 Ways to make your 2021 Salon Marketing Plan Pandemic-Proof

COVID-19 and 2020 has dramatically (and maybe permanently) altered the landscape of the salon industry overall. Hairdressers, salon owners, salon professional manufacturers, wholesale beauty distributors, beauty educators – everyone in the industry has felt its impacts.

From closures to cancellations, you might be wondering how to create a new normal in 2021 that will support your salon business and enable you to connect with and better serve your clients. As you evaluate your 2021 salon marketing plan, there are ways to make your plan pandemic-proof so that you can safely serve clients and sell professional salon retail products.

10 Keys for a Pandemic-Proof Salon Marketing Plan

1. Reward and Recognize

Have you ever heard the phrase “reward behavior you want more of”?  Nearly every aspect of salon sales, from gift cards to retail to pre-booking to referrals can be incentivized. There has never been a better time for you to recognize and reward your best clients. Some of the ways to do this include:

  • Referral rewards
  • Referral contests
  • Gift card BOGOs (such as free retail product or $25 gift card with purchase of $____ in gift cards)
  • Social media shout-outs tagging clients in before/after photos
  • Social media contests and giveaways
  • Pre-booking incentives (retail discounts, free add-ons like deep conditioning, brow waxes, etc.)
  • Retail incentives (reward for every $______ spent on retail)
  • Letting a VIP client (preferably one with a large social following) try a new product or service “on the house” in return for a Facetime Live or other video review
  • Thank you notes to clients who leave reviews for your salon on Facebook, Yelp, Google, or some other review site

2. Promote Pre-Booking

Pre-booking clients 6-12 months in advance creates patterns and habits. Pre-booking puts clients with specific hair goals or whose styles are higher maintenance in the chair at the optimal frequency needed. It eliminates the possibility that your client may have to book with another stylist, and for the client, it ensures they will have services with the stylist of their choice! Pre-booking gives you more ability to control your schedule and to identify any slow times on the books.

There’s no downside! You can incentivize client pre-booking with a percentage discount on retail products or include add-ons at no cost, or at a reduced cost. You can also reward and recognize clients who made all their pre-booked appointments without cancelling or rescheduling after 6 months or 1 year for “perfect attendance.”

3. Touchless Payments

Make sure you have a contactless way that clients can purchase and pay for salon retail products. This could be especially important should your salon be subject to another temporary shutdown. Platforms like PayPal for Business, Square, or your own bank or financial institution may offer easy-to-use payment solutions which preclude the need for clients to come into the salon to buy salon retail, or which give them the ability to pay at the end of their appointment without using a communal touchpad or card processing machine.

4. Curbside Pickup

Offering curbside pickup is the perfect partner for touchless payments! Your clients can purchase the salon retail products they need safely and securely, and they can pick them up without having to enter your place of business.

This could be an invaluable service to offer vulnerable clients who have been self-isolating for the past several months to avoid exposure to COVID-19. It could also be an effective way to continue to sell retail should another temporary shutdown occur.

5. Embrace Email

Email is essential! Especially if you have clients who stopped going to the salon during the pandemic or greatly increased the amount of time between appointments. Email enables you to reach out to your clients to:

  • keep your brand top of mind
  • extend special offers to entice them back to regular appointments
  • reassure them of their safety by telling them how your salon social distances, cleans and disinfects
  • suggest retail products that can help them feel and look better for work meetings – whether those meetings happen at a worksite or virtually
  • convey changes to operating hours and keep them up to date during any temporary closures
  • send a thank-you email after their appointment expressing appreciation that they chose to do business with you, confirming their pre-booked next appointment, and reminding them of any products you recommended to them during their consultation or appointment
  • birthday emails with a free add-on, retail product or some other special offer

6. Establish Hours for Vulnerable Clients

Many retail businesses have special hours set aside for seniors, why not special salon hours for vulnerable clients? During these hours, vulnerable clients can be reassured that:

  • your salon was thoroughly cleaned and disinfected immediately before their arrival
  • that you are (even further) limiting the number of people on premises, and
  • that you are taking additional precautions (such as temperature checks for staff and clients) to help promote a safe and healthy salon experience

7. At-Home Kits

Offering at-home kits can help you sell more retail and support sales even during a temporary shutdown. Many salons and hairdressers are offering at home hair care kits with all of the products needed to maintain healthy hair and help clients with styling their hair for work, virtual meetings, and so on. While it’s not an ideal solution, some hairdressers are even offering at-home hair color kits along with video instruction and support so that clients can maintain basic haircoloring when they cannot have services in the salon.

8. Virtual Consultations

During the closures and limitations, some states even imposed time limits on the length of time a client can be in the salon for an appointment. This can constrict your ability to deliver the salon services the clients want. One way to get more time back for services is to conduct client consultations online via a video service like Zoom or Facetime. That way you will be ready to start the client’s service right away when they arrive.

This also gives you more time to prepare to recommend retail! You can introduce the idea of retail products the client needs during the virtual appointment. This will plant the idea so they may be more receptive to purchasing retail products at their appointments. You can also pre-package the recommended retail products to save additional time at checkout.

9. Video How-To

If you have a smartphone you have all the tools you need to connect with your clients virtually using video! Zoom, Skype, Facetime and other video platforms offer the ability to go live with your own video how-to sessions that might range from 30 seconds in length or 30 minutes, and record them for future playback.

Once recorded, you can download them for reuse in emails, on social media and on your salon website. Examples of video how-to that could help you book more appointments and sell salon retail products include:

  • Styling
  • Seasonal haircare
  • Salon professional product use
  • At-home kits application and product use

10. Display Distancing, Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols

Everyone – including your clients, vendors, staff, and co-workers – are concerned about health and safety to some extent right now! Establish protocols in line with local recommendations and requirements and communicate to your salon’s staff, vendors, and clients what you are doing to promote the safest environment you can in the salon.

5 Things Successful Salon Professionals Do

As a beauty professional you may already be wired for success in the salon industry. There are five things that successful entrepreneurs do differently than their peers, and these five things can fuel the growth of your salon business.

  • Spots solutions in problems
  • Continually reinvests in viable business ideas
  • Constantly invests in their own skills
  • Possesses compounding assets
  • (Always) plays to their strengths

Successful salon business entrepreneurs:

1. Spot Solutions in Problems

Salon professionals do this day in and day out! The client presents with a request, problem or challenge and the beauty professional offers:

  • Education – explains what the issue is in terms the client can understand
  • Advice – explains the best options to meet the client’s goals
  • Provides both short and long term solutions – what can be done now, and what the client can do over time for maximum results

2. Keep on Investing in Viable Business Ideas

Another area where salon owners, hairdressers and other beauty professionals are pre-wired for success. Salon professionals continually:

  • Add and evolve services
  • Try and conduct experiment with new products
  • Invest in a substantial amount of professional beauty and barbering tools
  • Stock their salon’s backbar and retail shelves with salon professional products that are ideal for their clients
  • Remodel and reinvigorate their salon’s interior furnishings, décor and layout

3. Invest in Their Own Skills

Beauty professionals are three for three! Whether working as salon owner, booth renter, salon suite renter or hairdresser, the salon professional’s skills are constantly evolving and growing due to their investments in:

  • Hands on skill-development classes
  • Theory classes
  • Personal research and testing
  • Other continuing education

4. Possess Compounding Assets

Compounding is the idea of earning interest on interest — the effect of which is to magnify returns to interest over time, the so-called “miracle of compounding.”

While skills and knowledge gained through continuing education might be the first compounding asset that comes to mind – an asset that produces a return on investment far beyond its actual cost – the salon professional’s technical skills are not the only assets they possess that are compounding. Some of the other assets that compound returns include:

  • Reputation – public and among peers
  • Word of mouth and referrals
  • Brand image (contributes to the ability to set pricing)
  • Followers and subscribers (as an influencer)

5. Always Plays to their Strengths

So many people who start their own businesses, opting for the entrepreneur life instead of the corporate track do so because – at the end of the day – they want to (a) build their own future instead of someone else’s, and (b) do what they love.

The more you refine your skills, building your reputation, word of mouth, image, influence and reinvesting in the tools and knowledge needed to grow, the more you will be able to spend your time doing what you love most – playing to your strengths. And the more you play to your strengths, the more likely you are to build your reputation, word of mouth, image, and influence – it’s a beautiful thing!

Adapted from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/246243

Digital Marketing with Hashtags and Keywords for Stylists, Salons, Salon Suites and Booth Renters

If you have ever wondered why some websites – and even some social updates – show up in results when you are searching online, it is because they contain the “keywords” you used when searching. You do not have to be an SEO (search engine optimization) expert to infuse basic SEO tactics into your website and social media.

Two of the ways you can do this are with hashtags and keywords. When you include hashtags in your social media posts, they can be found any time someone searches for entries under that hashtag.

Digital Salon Marketing with Keywords – How does it work?

What are “keywords?”  Simply put, anything that a real person searches for on a search engine, whether a single word or a phrase, is considered a keyword. For example, here are the search results when “MRK Beauty” is typed into a Google search:

find MRK Beauty online


Include keywords in your digital “real estate” such as your salon’s website and your social media profiles. Specifically, keywords like your name as a beauty professional, your salon’s name, your city’s name, the name of the business park where your salon is, and so on – any type of keyword a real person might type into Google when trying to find your business or a business like yours.

Adding these keywords to your web pages, blog content and social media posts makes it find-able when people search online using the same keywords. For instance, when you add the word salon (or salons in your city (inserting your city’s name) you now have keywords in your content that real people might search for online. Here’s how it works:

Someone just moved to town, they aren’t happy with their current stylist, or they are searching for a salon for some other reason. When they go to Google (or Bing or some other search engine) and type the words “salons in <your city>” or a  similar variation, your social posts, web page and other online content becomes find-able because you included the same key phrase.

Digital Salon Marketing with Hashtags – How does it work?

Think of the way hashtags work as similar to a digital file cabinet filled with file folders. Each of these file folders is titled with a single, specific hashtag, and all the web and social media content that has that hashtag is the digital content you would find in that folder.

hashtags in salon marketing

When you include hashtags in your social media posts (and even on your salon’s website), they become part of this find-able content. This can help introduce your salon services to new clients and help you grow your list of social followers or drive traffic to your salon’s web page.

Hashtags are your FRIENDS! They make it super-easy to come up with engaging social media content. Here are common salon hashtags you can use by day of the week to :

  • #SelfieSunday – a selfie – perhaps showing how you prep for the coming week or a selfie from an education or industry event
  • #SundayFunday – be human! Share an image of how you enjoy down time
  • #SundaySale – specially priced services or products
  • #MemeMonday – salon-related meme
  • #MondayBlues – haircolor, nail color, etc.
  • #MusicMonday – what tunes do you have on in the salon?
  • #MondayMemories – client throwback!
  • #MindfulMonday – how do you get your mind fully ready and present to serve clients?
  • #MotivationMonday / #MondayMotivation – share an inspiring quote or idea
  • #ManCrushMonday – share an image with a great men’s style
  • #ManicureMonday – share an image with cool manicure
  • #TipTuesday – share a product or service suggestion that addresses common client problems
  • #TopicTuesday – pick a common to address, such as “why pro color over box?”
  • #TransformationTuesday – share a before/after client look
  • #TuesdayTrivia – share a fun tidbit about your professional or brand story
  • #TuesdayTraining – something you learned in recent education or training going on in your salon!
  • #TeachingTuesday – tips for at-home styling and care
  • #WayBackWednesday – client or salon throwback
  • #WellnessWednesday – share a beauty health tip
  • #WisdomWednesday – share expert advice
  • #WomanCrushWednesday – share an image with great women’s style
  • #ThrowbackThursday / #TBT – post an image with vintage/retro style
  • #ThankfulThursday – something you’re thankful for
  • #ThursdayThoughts – what’s on your mind?
  • #FearlessFriday – fearless hair color or style!
  • #FlashbackFriday
  • #FlashSaleFriday
  • #FeelGoodFriday – how are you helping clients get ready for the weekend?
  • #FridayVibes – how is your team vibing together?
  • #FridayFunny – humorous salon meme
  • #FF aka #FollowFriday – shoutout to new social followers
  • #FridayFunday – something fun about your salon
  • #SaturdayShenanigans – experimenting with a new style
  • #SelfieSaturday – by yourself or with a client
  • #SocialSaturday
  • #ShoutoutSaturday – shoutout to a favorite client, peer or *cough* professional salon distributor *cough*
  • #SaturdaySpecial
  • #SaturdaySale
  • #WeekendVibes
  • #SmallBusinessSaturday
  • #SaturdayStyle

What’s your hashtag?

 Your name, your salon name, your city – all of these can – and should – be turned into hashtags that you use when you post images on social media. If you are posting an image of your work, a photo of your salon, a copy of your salon’s menu of services, etc., simply add #Salon (where “Salon” = the name of YOUR salon) and #CitySalons (such as #SpokaneSalons) to your posts.