We know how important it is to get new clients, and especially after last year, maybe it’s more important than ever. But where do you start?

Crossing your fingers for someone new to walk through the door probably won’t have the outcome you’re looking for. Neither will using the same two or three salon marketing strategies over and over again.

Last year, one of our most popular articles covered the top salon marketing trends of 2020. So, we compiled a list of 27 of the best salon marketing ideas and strategies to increase your clients. We like to call it: new year, new salon marketing strategies.

Whether you’re a hairstylist, nail artist, or esthetician, use these salon marketing tips to up your game in 2021!

27 Salon Marketing Strategies to Try This Year

Digital Marketing

1. Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews

We love reviews from customers because they’re absolutely free! Once an appointment is completed, send your client a follow-up email asking them to leave you a review on Google or Yelp. It’s important to keep those reviews updated, too!

2. Utilize paid advertising

Adwords and Facebook ads are going to be your new BFF in 2021. You’re going to want to come up first in the search results when a potential new client searches for a new salon! Not familiar? Here’s a great article on Adwords and Facebook advertising.

3. Get your salon in the news

Our resident beauty business expert, Nina Tulio, was recently featured in Salon Evo Magazine. Photo and magazine creds: @salonevo

Getting press coverage for your salon may seem like a daunting task, but there are a few ways to do it! You can take an ad out in your local newspaper, or you can cast an even wider net than that. A helpful website is called Help A Reporter Out, which connects journalists with actual experts, like yourself! If the journalist likes your response, they’ll include you in the article and often link back to your website.

4. Update your branding

Just like your hair needs a refresh every so often, so does your branding. Make sure your colors are consistent across your platforms, that you’re using easy to read fonts and colors!

5. Refresh your website

Now that you’ve updated your branding, you’re going to need to update your website too! Do you have easy navigation? Your correct contact information? Online scheduling available straight from your site? If you want new clients to schedule with or contact you, make sure it’s easy for them to do so!

6. Host (Zoom) parties or tutorials

If you didn’t use Zoom prior to 2020, you probably do now. And while in-person parties may be more fun, virtual parties or tutorials will have to do for now! You can host a happy hour, a hair or nail care tutorial, and more. It’s a great way to keep current customers engaged, and maybe they’ll even bring their friends. Here’s a complete explainer on how to make Zoom work for your fitness or service business.

7. Update third party pages

Make sure the sites that your business information is on, like Google or Yelp, is up to date! Have you moved recently? Update the address! Have your hours changed? Make sure those are available for clients, too! 

8. Offer online booking

This is a MUST for new (and existing) clients. You’ll no longer receive texts at 2 a.m for a booking the next day, and clients will no longer have to wait to hear back about your availability! It’s a win, win, and with Schedulicity, you can block off time for breaks, require a consultation, and much more.

Social Media Marketing 

9. Share behind the scenes footage

Not only would it be a great chance to show off your skills, but Instagram rewards its users for using the new(er) features, like Reels and IGTV. So, why not attract new clients and increase your Instagram engagement at the same time?

10. Experiment with hashtags

Instagram allows you to put up to 30 (!!!!!) hashtags on each post, and they allow clients to find you based on your type of content. We recommend doing some research on the most popular ones in your industry and seeing which ones stick for you.

11. Link up with local influencers

The influencer industry seems like it just keeps growing, and it’s a great way to get a little extra publicity in return for a free service here and there or some monetary compensation, depending on the influencer. If you need direction in building your influencer program, check out our Town Hall with Elizabeth Faye!

12. Update your interior for photo-worthy shots

One of our business’s photo-worthy interior. Photo and salon creds: @themanehaven

Bring out those new brand colors IRL. An updated interior will not only make your clients feel pampered, but it will also give them a great setting to take a photo of their new do (to post on Instagram and tag you).

13. Run a contest between your employees

Sometimes a little competition goes a long way. Let’s see who can get the most likes on their work, and make sure they don’t forget to tag the business!

14. Tag your clients in Instagram posts

With permission, of course. With this little trick, your followers will see the photo, and their followers will, too!

Discounts

15. Offer referral discounts

Why not have some of your clients do some marketing for you? Even $10 or $15 dollars off their next appointment for bringing you an additional client goes a long way, and it’s an easy way for you to show your appreciation for them!

16. Offer a family or group discount

This is a great incentive for clients to bring you MORE clients, and isn’t that just what you’re looking for?!

If you’re a Schedulicity user, you can set all sorts of custom discounts up via our Deal Manager add-on. Here’s how:

17. Loyalty programs or punch cards

‘Get Your 10th xx Free’ is a great way to get clients to come back at least that many times. And everyone loves feeling appreciated sometimes. Here’s our explainer on loyalty programs.

18. Holiday promotions

If everyone is going to get their hair and nails done around the holidays anyway, entice them to choose your salon! Here’s a holiday calendar to help.

19. Birthday promotions

And the one day of the year that everyone loves more than holidays is their own birthday. Birthday promotions are one way to celebrate with them!

With Schedulicity, you can invite all of your clients to add their birthdays to their accounts in advance, so you can automatically send them an offer during their birthday month. 

20. Partner with local businesses

Team up with another local biz to help promote each other! You can co-host giveaways, events, and more.

21. Free kids haircut 

Kids aren’t going to get their haircut alone, so you have a chance to get their parent(s) or guardian booked, too.

22. Free care product with service

The goal is to help keep your client’s hair healthy, right? So, the client will think they’re getting a deal AND you might even have less work to do during their next haircut.

Communication as Marketing Strategy 

Elizabeth Faye, the salon & small business marketing expert herself. Photo creds: @hairloveretreat

23. Welcome emails

This is a super-easy way to make your clients feel important. You can let them know about your booking policies to reduce no shows, safety procedures, and any upcoming events or promotions you’re running.

24. Send newsletters

Like the welcome emails, it’s a great way to let your clients know about any events or promotions you’re running, keep the salon at the top of their mind, and maybe even serve as a reminder that they’re due for an appointment.

25. Business cards

To show off that updated branding, of course, but you can also leave them in local coffee shops or other businesses to attract attention. 

26. Gift cards or certificates 

This is a great way for current clients to introduce you to potential clients, such as their family members or friends.

27. Send appointment confirmations and reminders

Definitely a must, especially when it comes to trying to reduce no-shows! A no-show is a quick way to lose money, and you can also alert your clients about your no-show policy in the reminder.