The Australian beauty industry is a lucrative one with consumers spending a staggering $22 billion dollars a year on products, according to Take a Tumble. On top of that, Aussies shell out more than $4 billion a year on salon skincare treatments, manicures and pedicures.
While it’s hard to put a figure on exactly how many salons there are in the country, with numbers ranging from 21,000 to more than 33,000, competition is fierce, so standing out from the crowd is essential.
Your nail designs may be fabulous and your haircuts second to none, but make sure you’re attracting the right clients. This means being up on the technical know-how as much as on the latest beauty trends.
So how do your customers find you?
1. Personal recommendations
If you visit a restaurant and the food is fab, chances are you’ll tell your friends and family, and they’ll go too. If the steak is cold, the salad is limp and service is second-rate, there’s just as good a chance you’ll be vocal about it, and your friends will probably never visit, based simply on what you say.
Good recommendations are worth their weight in gold because people trust recommendations far more than they trust adverts. So, if you want to up the great feedback, treat your clients like kings and queens, and they’ll pay it forward by becoming your best brand ambassadors.
2. Online reviews
Hot on the heels of a personal recommendation come online reviews, with Capterra reporting that a whopping 98% of Aussies read a review before they make a purchase. Another 94% believe them to be trustworthy, which is a pretty big factor in deciding whether someone books with your salon or gives it a miss.
The go-to source for reviews is Google Reviews, followed by Facebook and Yelp. Google Reviews are part of the discovery journey when a potential customer searches online. As soon as they google ‘back massage Canberra’, up pops a list of local salons with star ratings from customers to inform their decision on whether to buy. Building up reviews takes time, effort and patience, but it’s worth it in the long run for your salon’s reputation.
3. Ask for feedback
Capterra also revealed that 56% of people who left reviews did so because they were prompted by the seller, so it pays to ask your clients what they really think. Sending feedback requests through an automated email marketing system or at your point of sale is a great way to get your clients posting positive reviews to help you build a thriving beauty brand.
4. Respond to reviews
Stay active on review sites, whether they’re Google Reviews, Yelp or Trustpilot. Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, lets customers know they’re being heard and you value their opinion. Remember, [harnessing the power of customer reviews means the difference between someone visiting your salon or your competitor’s.
5. Have a solid social media presence
Your social media is crucial to your marketing plan. Before-and-after photos make for popular posts on Instagram, while a stunning visual transformation video is a pretty impressive advert for your services.
Many potential clients, particularly millennials and gen Z, are active on social media, whether it’s Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat or TikTok. When they want a new hairstyle or a great set of nails, they’re looking for two things – a good choice of products and reasons to choose you.
Social media is a phenomenal way to showcase both, promoting what you do in a really creative and innovative way – think time-lapse videos, behind-the-scenes reels of your salon and direct links to appointment scheduling so they can book online the second after they like your latest post.
6. Create a Google Business listing
We probably don’t need to tell you how important it is to appear on Google these days, with 89% of consumers starting their buying journey online, according to Vividfish. Just as important is ranking well – if your salon is languishing on pages two, three or beyond, then you basically don’t exist.
When someone searches ‘salons near me’, be on page one, tempting them to pick you, and a decent Google Business listing will help with that enormously. Make sure your listing is up to date with the correct opening hours and address. Link directly to your most popular products and services, and add your glowing client reviews.
7. Create your own YouTube channel
While your competitors are busy creating social media content, remember the power of YouTube for attracting new business. Your customers are actively looking for videos on hair, make-up and massage, so your own YouTube channel is a golden opportunity to put out the content they really want to see.
It does take time creating content but with two billion daily users, it’s well worth the effort. No need to be a professional videographer either – a Smartphone and some decent lighting are enough. In fact, customers react more favourably to an authentic-looking clip of a hairstylist creating a new cut than to an overly edited video.
8. Run paid search ads
Organic searches are important, but remember paid for ads for your business. They’re a great way of pushing you to the top of a Google search results page and capturing new clients who might not ordinarily visit you. Yes, an ad costs you money each time someone clicks, so make sure your ad only targets people within walking distance of you and those who are far more likely to click and book through your online appointments system.
Making sure your customers find you is all about standing out from the crowd. Come up with some clever marketing ideas and use them on the features here, and you’ll have new clients booking with you in no time.