Create a Powerful Marketing Plan for Your Salon Business
A complete guide to marketing for your salon
As a salon owner, you have a difficult job. You have to worry about scheduling enough time for each customer so they feel like they are getting the best treatment. You also have to find an adequate space that fits your budget and is close to your customers. On top of all of that, you have to worry about getting new clients to schedule an appointment and walk through your door. That is a lot to think about. In this article, we are going to break down the basics of how to create a marketing plan for your salon so you can get the right customers and grow your business.
1) Understanding Your Target Market
As a salon, there are many types of customers you could go after. I mean, everyone needs some sort of haircut, right? Even bald guys might have massive beards that need to be trimmed every now and again. But If you think that everyone is your customer, the chances of you landing clients are really slim. In today’s world, there is so much noise out there that if your message isn’t hyper focused, it will quickly be overpowered by your competitors.
That is a scary thought.
When I sit down and create a marketing plan, I like to target three very specific people. The reason for this is that most businesses don’t have the resources to target more than three different types of people. Plus, even if they did, their message would be lost because it would no longer be specifically tailored to an audience. Three is the magic number that continues to work time and time again.
When you are defining your target market while creating a marketing plan for your salon, you want to understand everything about the person. Why?Because you want to speak directly to that person with every blog article, social media post, and every other piece of content that you put out.
As you develop your target market, watch the video below for important tips.
2) Knowing Your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats
A SWOT analysis analyzes the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that surround your business. By taking a minute and filling out a SWOT analysis, you will be able to focus on what will work in your marketing campaigns and ignore the stuff that is going to slow you down. As a small business owner, these will save you a ton of time and money.
When you are looking at your strengths, you want to look inside of your business. What do you have that another business might not have? Let me give you a couple of examples to get your brain thinking. If you have a beautiful salon set-up, this could be a huge strength for social media. Also, if you are great on video, this is another huge strength. Some other strengths might include: SEO skills, great camera equipment, solid clients, a large social media following, a large email list, and a great connection with product manufacturers.
When you list all of your strengths, you will realize what you should focus on to grow your business. Take a moment and write down five to ten of your business’ strengths.
Your weaknesses are the opposite of strengths. These are the shortcomings that your business has. A couple might be: no website skills, bad lighting in the salon, no camera equipment, bad location, and no team members. By understanding what your weaknesses are, you will know that if you pursue a marketing tactic that includes one of your weaknesses, it will be harder to complete and succeed.
When you sit down and write a list of all your weaknesses, be thorough. It is important to know what obstacles you will face as you prepare and launch a marketing campaign.
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Opportunities are very similar to strengths, but they are outside of your business. This is where you list all of your partnership opportunities and trends in the market. For example, if there is a certain hairstyle that you are really good at and it is trending on Instagram, that is a huge opportunity. You can showcase past clients with that particular hair style.
When creating your list of opportunities, think outside of the box. These are going to play a huge role in your marketing plan and overall growth.
Threats are very similar to weaknesses, but just like opportunities, they are outside of your business. These are things that you can’t control. To find a real world example of threats, we can look at Coca Cola and Pepsi. Recently, there has been a huge push for healthier drinks that have less sugar and more transparent ingredients. Even as two massive companies, they can’t control what the narrative is, but they can control how they respond to it. The same is true for your salon.
When you sit down and write a list of threats, think about everything that could damage your business that is outside of your control.
3) Creating the Perfect Marketing Plan for Your Salon
Great! You have made it this far. If you have created your target market and your SWOT analysis, you have accomplished a lot of work and you should pat yourself on the back. Now comes the fun part. We get to put it all together and create a marketing plan for your salon that will help it grow.
I want you to take a look at your SWOT analysis. What are three strengths that you have that you could use in a marketing plan? Let me give you an example of a salon so you can see how I would create a marketing plan based off of their SWOT analysis and target persona.
In my imaginary salon my SWOT analysis looks like this:
- We have a fantastic location
- We have a solid Instagram following of 5,000 people
- My team and I are really good at video and we have decent equipment
- We don’t have time to create an amazing marketing campaign
- We don’t have video editing software
- It’s really noisy outside of our salon
- The city we live in is growing at a 2% rate year over year
- My clients have a large social media following
- There are a lot of small businesses around the salon we could partner with
- A large department store down the street is closing down
- There is a lot of traffic around our building
- A restaurant with a strong odor just opened up a block away
This analysis gives me a ton of information. Let’s look at one of my three target personas.
Household Income: 120K/year
Relationship Status: Married
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
1. To look good and feel good about herself
2. To fit in with her friend group
1. She doesn’t want to seem like everyone else
2. She hates when she has to wait for her hair appointment
3. She has 2 daughters and she hates doing their hair
Great! Now that we have a target persona and a solid understanding of our business, it is time to put together a marketing plan!
4) Launching Your Marketing Plan
So how could we get Julie to come to our salon? Well, we know that most women tend to trust a friend or a personal review about their hair over an advertisement. But unfortunately, we don’t have a ton of online reviews. We also know that we have a fantastic location and a solid Instagram following. We know that most women like Julie have daughters and they are constantly trying to make their hair look cute.
So what we could do is hold an event. This could be a daughter/mom event or even just an event with friends kind of like the paint classes that serve you drinks while you learn how to paint. We would market it to Julie and her friends, since they are super busy moms and do not have enough time to relax and get girl time.
This plan aligns with our analysis. We have a large social media following and so do our clients. We could create a welcoming atmosphere where they would love to post about the event. It also avoids some of our weaknesses, such as no video editing software. By creating a live video for our social media audience, we don’t have to edit and we can still show our community the awesome things we are doing.
So far, so good!
Looking at one of our weaknesses — our lack of time to put together a marketing plan — we need to be careful that we don’t go overboard and try to bite off more than we can chew. One work around is to create a Facebook event and an event on Eventbrite. I would charge $15 for the event and I would start to market it on our social media channels and to our existing clients. I would create a deal where if they bring two friends, they get in for free.
Of course we could develop this marketing tactic a lot more, but you know your salon and you know what you are capable of. Get creative and build a marketing plan that will be fun and bring in a good amount of revenue.
5) Sticking With It
After you launch your first event or any other marketing campaign, it is important to stick with it. Your first event might only bring in 10 people and five of them might be current customers already. By sticking with your salon’s marketing plan, you will learn how to improve and turn that 10 into 30 women who all are like Julie (our target persona). Plus, you will learn tricks like how to generate all of your social media content from one event, as well as several referrals. You will build a list of clients that will never go to another salon because of the community you created.
All of it starts with a marketing plan. You would be surprised at how many marketing plans do not touch ads or the traditional means to market on social media. Get creative, think outside of the box and build your brand the way you want.