In this day and age, we all know digital media is essential to the growth of your business — even if your business was once all about the foot traffic and word-of-mouth.
Still, too often, I speak to service providers — stylists, barbers, massage therapists, estheticians, and everything in-between — who don’t have an online presence. They don’t think of Instagram as a marketing tool or they don’t have an online scheduling app for their clients. And many skip over one of the most crucial of all to attracting the perfect client: a website.
Your Website is Your First — And Maybe Only — Impression
Think about it. When a current client wants to refer a friend or family member, they’re often sending links via text or email. Maybe the first thing they will do is send them either your Instagram account or business website.
From there, that potential new client will look at your website to decide whether to visit you or not. Do you have the vibe they’re looking for? Does your pricing fit with their budget? Do you have the type and level of talent they are looking for?
These are the questions they have immediately — and your website gives you full control over how you answer them. (Which is a lot more than we can say about Yelp.)
By telling your story through your website, you can not only attract more clients — but the type of clients you love. Let me say this: I am no web design expert. But I can tell you through my experience of creating a few websites, and from spending thousands of dollars to create one to spending only $400 to create one, I’ve learned so much along the way.
Here are my top website design tips.
How to Create the Perfect Website for Your Salon or Service Business
The Perfect Website Is All About Show, Don’t Tell
The goal is not to “sell” your salon; it’s to speak directly to your clients’ needs. Share with them the benefits of coming to your salon — not all of the things you offer and why you’re the best. Less “look at me”, more “I see you, and I know exactly what you need.” It’s all about the potential client feeling a connection and then deciding to take that next step to click that Book Now button.
Your Website Vibe and Feel Should Match Your In-Person Brand
Keep it consistent. If your salon has a boutique feel and you’ve gone with pale colors and vintage furniture, that’s a vibe. Your website should reflect that. Keep the feel and flow the same, so when potential clients look at your site and decide to come in, she/he knows what to expect. It’s a subtle way of making them feel comfortable even at their first appointment.
Another way of demonstrating your business feel is by adding a photo gallery of your work. This allows you to curate and showcase what you do best, displaying your personality even more.
Simple Is Best
The less content, the better. Too often, I get to a salon or small business website and there’s an Instagram feed, a rotating gallery of images, different fonts on different pages, and somehow…I just can’t seem to find a phone number or the salon hours!
Much like oversharing on a first date, too much content is a turn-off! Instead, focus on making the most important pieces of information easy to find, and be sure to convey your brand message in a way that your potential clients can relate to.
One way of doing this is to think through a mission statement for your business. If you had to sum up what makes you must-book in one sentence, what would it be? That should be the tagline that’s front-and-center on your homepage. This is a great way to be sure you attract your perfect client.
Use Your Own Photos
I would not recommend using stock photos if at all possible. It can take away from the personal feeling of your brand. You don’t want potential clients to go to another business’ site and see that same photo.
It always gives your website a nice touch if you have photos of your work, the inside of the salon, and action shots. Meaning you behind the chair or applying makeup. This sparks a personal connection, and it shows your true aesthetic. You want to make your website as personal and as homey as possible. Warm and fuzzy if that’s your vibe. Or beachy and breezy.
I know hiring a photographer sounds like an extra expense, but it is worth it. And you can even consider doing a service swap — you do their hair and makeup in exchange for an hour-long photo session.
Keep That Navigation Bar Under Control
The navigation bar is what’s listed up on top of the page. You really should have no more than five or six items listed:
- Location/Hours (or include this on your About page)
- Option: Social media links
That’s all you need. This website needs to be super easy for the client to navigate.
Don’t Forget the Promotion Page
Besides the Home page, Specials or Promotions pages tend to be the MOST visited page on salon websites. Does your website have a specials or promotion page?
Include Your Book Button!
…on every page. If you use Schedulicity, there are simple widgets and book buttons that you can fold into your site design! (While we’re on the topic: don’t forget to add a Book button to Instagram and Facebook pages as well.)
I could really go on and on. The point is: You don’t need to get super technical to create a great website. There are also great platforms you can use like Squarespace where you can host and design your site for a very reasonable price. (I only pay $215 a year to host my site.)
I hope this gives you some insight and some easy tips to create the perfect, yet simple website that converts potential clients into real clients in your chair.
Pro tip: Schedulicity offers website integrations so clients can book with you without ever having to leave your site!