How to promote your hair salon

August 3, 2023

It can be difficult to know how to promote your hair salon. After all, there’s plenty of competition in your marketplace, and it’s a challenge to stand out from the crowd. Repeat business and loyalty counts for a lot, so convincing customers to switch to your salon – even if your offering is top-quality – can take a lot of time and effort. The good news, however, is that it doesn’t necessarily have to cost a lot of money if you apply the right ideas in the right ways.

This guide is full of hair salon promotion ideas, from social media and advertising to ways you can get yourself known in your community. Whatever your promotional budget and however long you’ve been operating your salon, we’ve got ideas that can help you take your business to the next level.

Social media

No doubt you will already have some social media profiles and a good level of community and engagement within them (if you don’t, then this is something you need to address as a priority!). However, it’s important to stretch your horizons beyond your own pages and be proactive in getting involved elsewhere.

For example, being active in local community groups can help you get in front of a wider audience. While many groups don’t allow explicit advertising of services (or at least ask for permission before doing so), there’s nothing wrong with making normal posts in conversations, and benefitting from the name of your business appearing in your username.

Guest posting

The same principle mentioned in the previous point applies to social media pages that relate to your industry. It’s worth getting involved in conversations and threads that are started by industry leaders and influencers, for a number of reasons. Firstly, it gives you the opportunity to learn new trends and techniques, but it also gets you in front of potential customers who are similarly interested in that kind of content. It’s an indirect way of marketing yourself, but costs nothing and can generate substantial benefits further down the line.

Blog and video content

Forward-thinking salons and salon owners are setting up their own channels on platforms like YouTube and TikTok, producing content that potential customers can engage with.

This content often isn’t a direct sales pitch in any way: it could be a masterclass on how customers can care for their hair at home, or on how certain cuts and styles are created. You can later mix up these videos with more overt promotional activities, such as any special offers and events you have planned, once you’ve built up an interested and dedicated audience.

Don’t underestimate the amount of time it can take to develop this content, but also remember that by involving your staff and the customers who visit you, there’s a lot of fun to be had, too.

Charge a fair rate

One way many hair salons attempt to stand out from the competition is to differentiate on price, i.e. charge less than other salons in the area and try to lure customers away. Amid the cost-of-living crisis, where people in general are trying to make savings, this can be an especially attractive proposition.

However, it’s easy to take this too far, and charge rates that are so low that you aren’t making sufficient profit, or you’re so overwhelmed with interest that you end up turning customers away. Ultimately, there’s a balance to be struck between customer value and profitability, so it’s important that you don’t get tempted into selling your skills and abilities short.

Personal branding

We’ve mentioned the idea of leaders and influencers in the beauty and hairdressing industry. What’s stopping you trying to be one yourself?

As a salon owner, you can have just as much success marketing yourself as you can with your business. This is especially the case if you’ve been known in your local area for a long time, and have a reputation for great styling. This puts you in a position where people are more likely to listen to what you have to say, and are more likely to visit a salon that you’ve put your own personal stamp on.

Working to get your face into local media and across your wider customer base can help you build your brand, from which you can then apply the social media and content strategies mentioned above.

Build a community profile

Connected to the previous point, you should also be proactive in getting involved in wider activities in your local community. If there are local carnivals, fairs or street carnivals, for example, then advertise in the programmes, hold hairdressing events on stage and set up a stand where people can come and visit you.

At the time, these activities can often feel that they aren’t worth the effort, because they often don’t translate into direct sales. But don’t underestimate the long-term benefit that these community events can generate: people attending will have you front-of-mind when trying to remember local hair salons, helping you get business instead of your competitors.

Traditional advertising

While social media is an increasingly popular and valuable option in promoting a hair salon, don’t neglect the power of more traditional and physical forms of advertising. Hairdressing is one of those services, similar to painting and decorating, or building work, where people will still look for local newspapers and business directories to find a suitable business. Even placing a poster on a local noticeboard with a special offer can still work wonders in attracting new business.

Market research

The key to traditional advertising (and indeed, several of the other promotional tactics mentioned in this guide) is to know your customer. If you can understand the type of customer that you attract, then you can market to them in the right channels and maximise the effectiveness of your efforts and spending.

For example, if your clientele is generally older, then traditional advertising like local papers and noticeboards will still have some value. Alternatively, a younger demographic means that you’re best off focusing mostly on social media and content. You’ll probably already have a good idea of your customer base from who you see coming into your salon day-to-day. But surveying your existing customers by email can help you get hard evidence on who you serve and how to target them.

Paid media

If you don’t feel that your social media posts are getting the attention or engagement that you’d like, then it might be worth considering a paid media strategy. This is where you pay for posts to be displayed in user feeds, normally marked as either adverts or promotional posts. You have the ability to refine the geographical areas where these are posted, meaning you can get the biggest bang for your buck.

Promotional events and sponsorship

This is probably one of the most investment-heavy ideas on this list, but it’s one that can really generate rewards if you get it right. You can designate particular days at your salon as ‘open days’ or similar promotional events, which can bring people down to your premises and learn first-hand about your offering. And for an idea that’s a little more out of the box, why not sponsor a local female sports team in a sport such as football, hockey or netball?

Cross-promote with other local businesses

The phrase “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” is just as true today as it’s ever been. Coming to agreements with other local businesses in your area (obviously not ones that are direct competitors!) can help you widen your potential customer base and get your message in front of new people. For example, you could partner with a local nail bar, whereby your leaflets appear in their premises, their leaflets appear in yours, and special discounts are offered to customers using both businesses.

Get your hairdressing insurance from Protectivity

As you can see from these ideas, some hair salon promotion ideas cost more than others. You may be tempted to make savings in other areas to find your promotional activities – but one area where you shouldn’t cut any corners is with your insurance cover.

That’s because if the unforeseen happens and you aren’t covered, the financial implications could cause long-lasting damage to your business. This applies whether you accidentally injure someone else, damage a client’s property, if you’re sued for negligence, or if someone who works for you is injured while doing their job.

Protectivity’s hairdressing insurance is specifically designed to cover you for these circumstances and more. Our cover includes public liability, equipment cover, personal accident cover, and employers’ liability (which is a legal requirement if you employ people). That way, you can promote and grow your business with confidence.

Our flexible policies are available from just £4.50 a month, making it easy to fit insurance in with your other expenses and business plans. Take a closer look at our hairdressing insurance policy today.