Posts in Salon Marketing
The 5 marketing mistakes that can hurt your salon business

Hey loves!  I just finished my largest online class I've ever held before and I'm on a little bit of a marketing high! I loved all of the questions and comments and I'm so excited for the new members of the Thrivers Society.  I left the class thinking about marketing and specifically marketing mistakes that I often see stylists making either out of desperation or just confusion.  

Marketing for hairstylists and salons can be overwhelming.  It's hard to know where to start or what to do.  Let me tell you, I've literally tried it all.  Even weird things don't make sense for hairstylists to be trying, but I am open to trying all marketing options so I've learned a lot of lessons.  Over the years I've learned what promotions work and what don't.  In an effort to save you some of the headaches I've endured, avoid these 5 marketing traps:

  1. Discount websites- Sites like Groupon, Living Social, etc are generally traps! You'll get an influx of clients who just want to get their cheap hair services and get out.  There are clients who see a new stylist every 2 months never looking to make a connection, just looking for the next deal.  I have found a way to make Groupon work so if it's really something you are interested in using, check out the Thrivers Society where I share my Groupon secret strategy.
  2. Buy 4 haircuts get the 5th free-This is crazy! Basically just reduce the cost of your haircuts by 20% and you'll accomplish the same thing.  I'm all for loyalty programs, but you should never discount a client's regular service to gain loyalty.  Instead, incentivize them with a specialty service or new retail product.  You'll save more money in the long run and get the benefit of introducing your clients to new products and services.
  3. Using Facebook to sell-The Facebook game has changed in the last couple of years.  Your Facebook reach has been significantly reduced and the more often you try and use Facebook to sell or promote, the less often your fans will see your posts.  Instead, use Facebook to share behind the scenes photos, introduce new products or services and celebrate special occasions.  Invest some money in boosting a post or using Facebook ads if you want to sell using Facebook.
  4. Not constantly running a service and retail special-Clients actually like coming in and seeing special offerings every single time they come in.  I ran a survey recently and the overwhelming feedback I received was that clients love special features and sales.  Take the time to plan out a marketing calendar for the year and offer something special all year round.  If you need a little help with your marketing calendar click here.
  5. No referral program-There is no faster, easier, more cost effective marketing strategy than a good referral program.  Your clients are like walking billboards for your business and you figure that each of your clients has, at the very least, 2 friends and some family members they could send in to see you.  Incentivize clients to send in friends and family and you'll be reaping the rewards of quick, easy marketing!

Stay tuned for more marketing tips.  It's my most favorite topic so if you have a specific question, send it on over and I'll do my best to help you!  Happy marketing! xoxo

Salon Marketing Ideas

One of the biggest questions I get from both recent graduates and established salons is "how do I get more clients?".  I know it seems like an impossible task sometimes.  You've done everything right; your salon is clean and beautiful, your team is talented, you carry the best products and offer amazing amenities, yet clients aren't pouring in your door.  The problem is that you can have the best salon on the planet, but if you don't market yourself properly it is all for nothing.  It's kind of like the whole "if a tree falls in the forrest does anybody hear it" concept.  You are one tree in a forrest full of hair salons so you've got to find a way to make sure everybody wants to let everybody know that your tree exists and it's the best tree on the planet.  Enough about trees, let's get down to it. 

I could go on and on and on about different ways I've used to market my salon that have worked well, but today I'm going to focus on the quick and easy ones that you could put in place this week.  Stay tuned for more elaborate, but even more effective ideas in the future.  If you haven't already checked out my salon marketing cocktail, click here.

  1. Network with your neighbors- We actually go out once a year at least and hand out gift certificates to all of the shop owners and employees within about a 1/2 mile radius of the salon.  People are always so thankful that we're thinking about them and we always get a few new clients this way.  You have to remember that people are bombarded with hundreds of salons to choose from and it is important to be the salon that does things differently.  
  2. Host an open house or anniversary party- Invite all of your clients on a Thursday or Friday evening to join you for a glass of champagne and ask them to bring a friend. All you need is a beautiful cupcake display, gorgeous flowers, some champagne, a handful of raffle prizes and your shining personality to host a successful party.  The point here is to connect with your clients and their friends on a personal level.  Most clients come see you because they love you as a person so the more you can connect, the better.
  3. Go back to college for the day- Not really, but kind of.  Take a stack of gift certificates and hand them out at a community college for a day.  You'd be amazed at the rate of return you get.  Most younger people aren't attached to a hairstylist yet so they are easily enticed to come see you especially if you give them a gift certificate.
  4. Donate to local organizations- Schools and organizations are constantly looking for donations.  I donate to over 70 organizations each year and we have an incredibly high rate of return.  Offer to donate product gift certificates to fundraisers, or better yet, your time to the local school play or other hair related event.  You'd be amazed at the connections you make this way.
  5. Above all else, use social media-Social media is growing insanely fast and will only continue to become more crucial.  As a society, we are relying more on the power of the internet to find what we need.  Be sure you are updating your Facebook and Instagram several times a week, have a beautiful salon website and a strong email strategy.

These are just a few quick and basic ideas.  If you have more detailed questions, don't hesitate to reach out to me directly xoxo



Using Instagram to build your salon or spa business

If you are familiar with my salon and spa marketing cocktail, you know how I feel about the power of Social Media.  Today's consumer checks you out on Facebook, Instagram, Yelp and Twitter before they even check out your website so having your social media package complete is crucial.  

One of my favorite social media platforms right now is Instagram.  I am torn between Facebook and Instagram when it comes to effectiveness.  I find that more females between the ages of 21-35 are on Instagram while more businesses and females between the ages of 30-50 are on Facebook.  Both have drawbacks and advantages.  For instance, Facebook allows for paid marketing opportunities which can allow for your advertisements to be seen by people who haven't met you yet. The downside is that paid means money and nothing beats free marketing.  This is where Instagram wins because you can get your message out to new clients for free using good hashtags and killer images.  More on Facebook later, but for now, let's focus on the magic of Instagram.

If you haven't created an Instagram for you spa or salon yet, run don't walk and set it up right now.  Visit or download the app on your phone or tablet to get started.  The program is free and you just need an email address and other basic information to start.  I have also found that many hairstylists have private accounts.  This is a waste of time!!! Your account must be public or your hashtags and any marketing potential won't do a thing.  

Essentially, Instagram allows you to post square photos that can be filtered and altered to create your desired look.  You can also add a description to each photo as well as hashtags which is what will help to expand your reach.  I see salons and hairstylists getting new appointment requests on their Instagram feeds all the time.  The overall goal is having a clean, uniform look with beautiful pictures and an consistent message.

My top 5 tips for using Instagram to build your clientele, spa or salon business are:

  1. Hashtags If you aren't hashtagging, you are wasting your time.  hashtags are essentially searchable terms and your potential new clients are searching for hashtags that interest them.  Some popular hair related tags right now are #balayage #blonde #hairsalon #hairextensions.  You can also hashtag the names of haircare brands or specific techniques to get great results.  Play around and search hashtags yourself a little bit to see what results you get to determine what will work best for your business.
  2. Stay on topic Your professional Instagram is just that, professional.  It is very okay to share an adorable picture of your puppy when she stops by the salon to visit or when your best friend comes in to get her hair done, but don't post a picture of the burger you had for lunch.  Selfies are okay, but keep those to a minimum too.  Your Instgram should show a sneak peek behind the scenes, but if you want to attract new clients it's really got to showcase your work.
  3. Choose your filters I've found that Instagrams with a consistent feel have a much stronger following than those who just post pictures without a plan.  Filters can be very helpful to bring consistency to your wall.  Play with the filters a little and choose 2-3 that you like best and stick with them.  I've also read studies that say cooler filters tend to get more likes than photos filtered to look warmer.  Something to think about.  
  4. Choose your style Decide how you want your feed to look and make sure that each picture you post is in line with that goal.  You might want to have all of your before and afters showcasing your guests wearing branded robes.  Maybe you want to get a secondary app that can create a split screen image showing the before and after in one square.  Maybe you want to show all profile shots or just the back of clients hair.  Whatever you decide, be consistent with every single image.  Feeds where the angle or style changes every time don't have as strong of a following.  
  5. Stay Consistent As I mentioned, Instagrams with a consistent feel draw a much larger crowd.  Decide when you are going to post and what your posts will look like and stick with that.  You should post a minimum of 3 times a week.  Once a day is ideal and more than twice per day is too much.  Guests also don't like their feed flooded with your posts so if you skip a few days, don't suddenly post 4 pictures to make up for lost time.  It doesn't work like that.  
  6. Pay attention to your likes Once you have 10-15 posts, start being very mindful of which photos have the most likes.  You may notice it is the before and afters.  Maybe it is the pictures of you working behind the scenes.  Whatever it is, make note and focus on posting more of those type of pictures.  One of my favorite Instagramers is @anothonythebarber916.  You'll notice that he doesn't get nearly as many likes when he posts pictures of his work as he does when he posts a picture of himself working or even at an SF Giants game grabbing a beer.  Instagram is a peek into your personal world so be sure you show that side of yourself.

If you want some Instagram inspiration, head to to see some individuals and salons who are doing it right!