When you want to grow your hair salon business while also managing the day-to-day tasks, you need marketing strategies that fit into your busy schedule, require limited know-how, and produce results that bring you more business.
This article covers how to grow your business with online marketing strategies specifically catered to local salons and stylists, including:
- Claiming your free Yelp Page and using it to its full potential to attract new customers
- Building a website that helps potential clients decide if you’re the right salon for them
- Using local SEO strategies to help increase foot traffic from people looking for hair care in your business area
- Using social media to connect with your target audience
But before you start online marketing, you want to identify your unique selling points and build your brand. This means figuring out what you want to sound like, who you want to speak to, and how you’re going to make a great impression.
If you feel like you already have a strong brand, you can skip to the next section below.
Developing and defining your brand
Before you start paying for advertising, asking for testimonials, or making announcements about what’s new at your salon, think about what makes your business unique and how you want to express that to your new and existing clients.
How to build a brand for your salon
Start by asking yourself two questions: What are your values and how do you want your clients to feel when they think about your brand?
What are your values?
Your motivations and favorite parts of your job can help you stand out from your competitors in a crowded market. Here are some examples.
- Are you a meeting place for your community?
- Do you use organic or vegan products?
- Are you the best bridal stylist in your local area?
- Have you worked to make your salon feel like the height of luxury?
How do you want your clients to feel when they think about your brand?
People want a stylist they look forward to spending time with and who they trust to make them look their best. But this means different things to different people. Are your dream clients more likely to ask for a bold and edgy look, or something softer and more traditional?
To build a strong brand for your growing business, you should use your answers to these questions to help you choose your brand elements. Brand elements include your name, logo, colors, slogan, typeface, and any images or graphics you’ll use in marketing. Whatever you choose, the elements should resonate with the values that define your work as a stylist and the way you want people to feel when they come to your salon.
Once you’ve decided on these visual elements, use them everywhere your clients see you: your shop front and signs, website, social media, business and appointment cards, automated reminders, email footers, and your free Yelp Business Page.
Let’s look at how the team at Studio Estrada in San Francisco approaches their salon branding:
- The typeface in the logo looks clean and modern—words many people use when describing their ideal hairstyle. The typeface also makes it easy to read and remember the business name.
- The striking pink color represents a bold personality. This attracts clients who want a unique style or to feel more confident after they’ve been to the salon.
- The color palette is simple—pink, black, and gold—and extends to the pictures of the products and the owner’s wardrobe. This looks cohesive and professional.
- The pictures of the salon interior and the owner do as much to define the business as the logo. These images can help potential clients see if your salon is the right salon for them.
The benefits of professional branding for salons
Using the same brand elements in every place where your clients can interact with you shows professionalism and personality. This can help you build a relationship with your clients, and grow your business.
What’s more, having a well-defined brand makes it easy for clients to recognize you across different platforms from your website, to your social media, to your Yelp Page, to your front door. Look at how Studio Estrada uses the same color palette, font, and logo everywhere, no matter in-person or online.
Ultimately, a strong brand is the backbone of your marketing strategy, which makes your business grow. Your brand helps customers find you, like you, and remember you when they need a haircut or when someone they know is looking for a recommendation.
With this in mind, here are four effective, measurable online marketing strategies you can put in place today.
4 online marketing strategies for growing your hair salon business
1. Make the most of your free Yelp Page
Every month, 80+ million people visit Yelp, many looking to find and compare businesses in their local area. 83% of users hire or buy from a business they found on Yelp, with 57% of users contacting a business they found on Yelp within a day.
This makes Yelp a great platform for attracting and gaining new customers—plus, you can list your hair salon business on Yelp for free.
If your salon just opened, you may need to add your business to Yelp. But many pages are created by Yelp users, so your salon may actually already be listed.
You can check by heading to Yelp for Business and entering your business name.
If your business doesn’t show up in the dropdown, that means it’s not listed on Yelp yet and you can create a new Yelp Business Page yourself for free. If it does appear, you can continue on to verify that you represent the business and then claim your hair salon page.
After you’ve claimed your business page, continue on to fill out or update your business information on Yelp. Ensuring your page is accurate and full of detailed info will help potential customers find and choose you when searching on Yelp.
First, start by selecting the business categories that define your business. Look under “Beauty & Spas,” then select “Hair Salons.” You can add up to three business categories, so if you also offer services in other related categories like makeup or massage, you can add these to your page too.
Once you select your categories, choose the specific services you offer so Yelp users can quickly see if you can fulfill their needs. You can add as many services as apply to your business.
Add your address so you appear in local searches and your opening hours so Yelp users can see if you’re available when they are. You can see how this looks on Steel + Lacquer salon’s Yelp Business Page:
You should also add pictures with captions to your page, whether they’re taken yourself or done professionally. Showing off your best work helps you stand out from the crowd and helps Yelp users decide if you’re the stylist for them.
Additionally, there are a number of other areas you can fill out to describe your business, including your specialities, history, owner info, and more.
Filling out all the information on your page encourages potential customers to put their trust in your skills and makes it easier for them to book an appointment. Plus, it helps more people find your business: Yelp Business Pages with a photo, website, phone number, and business hours get 7.6x more page views per month than those without, helping you get more clients for your salon.
Benefits of being an active business owner on Yelp
- Yelp users typically know what they want and are ready to engage with and purchase from the right business: 57% of users contact a business they found on Yelp within a day. Yelp is also known to have high intent customers; in fact, 83% hire or buy from a business they found on Yelp. If you take the time to make your page useful and attractive, there’s a higher chance they’ll consider your salon.
- Yelp reviews show new clients the types of experience others have had with your business (and nearly 70% of reviews on Yelp are 4+ stars). These reviews may give them the extra push they need to book.
- Your free Yelp Page puts all your details in one place. This makes it easy for new clients to contact you and for existing clients to find your details when they want to book again.
Get a free Yelp Page
Promote your business to local customers.Verify my free listing
Upgrade your Yelp Business Page
You can further customize—and attract more Yelp users in your local area—by upgrading your Yelp Page.
Upgrading your business page gives you extra features to tell Yelp users more about what makes your business special. This strengthens your brand voice on Yelp and can help you get more clients.
When you upgrade your page, you can:
- Include your logo to make the most of the effort you put into branding.
- Use Slideshow to choose which pictures potential clients see first.
- Select Business Highlights to tell potential clients about your values and unique selling points.
- Use Portfolio to show your best work, like this portfolio with notes from the stylist at The Salon Cypress:
- Remove competitor ads from your page and keep Yelp users on your page for longer.
- Set a custom Call to Action that lets Yelp users make or request an appointment, like Tulip Salon’s ‘Book now’ button, which links to their online booking portal.
And when you’re ready to add an advertising budget to your marketing plan, you can also advertise on Yelp. Businesses with Yelp Ads get 2.5 more leads on average, helping you reach more potential clients.
Benefits of Yelp Ads for small business owners
- Appear above search results so more Yelp users can see your salon listing. You’ll also be listed on your competitors’ pages and in prominent areas on both the Yelp site and mobile app.
- Define your target audience so your ad is shown to the Yelp users who are most likely to book an appointment.
- Set your daily budget and pay on a cost-per-click basis so you only pay if Yelp users click on your ad.
- You can cancel at any time. Using Yelp Ads is flexible and risk-free as you’re able to pause or cancel whenever it makes sense for your business and your budget.
Ready to try Yelp Ads?
Put your business in front of more customers.Start advertising
2. Set up a high-quality website
Another way to get new business is to create a professional business website with all the information a potential client might need to decide if you’re the right salon for them.
Tips for building a website for your hair salon
- Use a template: A website is often a cornerstone of a salon’s business online presence, but building one can seem intimidating. The good news is there are services that can make it quick and intuitive to build a website yourself. Platforms like Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress let you choose a template that fits your salon’s brand. The best templates for salons will reflect the branding you decided on earlier. It’s also a good idea to look for a template with plenty of space for images so you can add pictures of your best work to help your potential clients picture themselves in your stylist’s chair.
- Plan your website menu: A salon website has to be easy for the visitor to use. If a user can’t find the information they’re looking for, they’re likely to “bounce” off your site without booking an appointment. Start by planning your website menu around the information your clients need: your contact details, opening hours, and services with pricing. You should list this information under clear headings like “About Us” and “Products” so your website is easy to navigate.
- Let your visitors book online: You’ll be able to get more new clients by linking your website to an online booking portal so that people can book even when your salon is closed. Services like Booksy charge a monthly fee, but if the added convenience for your clients lands you even one extra consultation each week, it could be worth the cost.
SEO for salon owners
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It’s another important part of structuring your website and writing your content. Like website design, SEO can seem intimidating, but there are simple tricks you can use so your site starts to appear higher in search results.
- What people would search for if they were looking for a business like yours? “Hair salon in [your local town]” is often a good keyword to start with.
- Use headings to organize the content you write for each page. Where it sounds natural, use the keyword in your headings too. This lets the search engine algorithm decide how relevant your page is to the person who’s searching.
- Connect the pages on your site to each other by adding what’s called “internal links”—like putting a link to your “Contact” page at the end of your “About” page.
- Add external links to other sites, like your product suppliers, social media, Yelp Page, and/or booking platform.
- Fill out the alternative text box for the images you use.
- Complete the meta description for each page. This is the line of text that appears under the link on search engine results pages. Be sure to include your keyword in the meta description.
- Optimize your site for people browsing on mobile devices. This means writing concisely, avoiding pop-ups, reducing the size of your images, and choosing a template that’s designed for mobile use.
- Make sure your site loads quickly—this usually comes down to the size of the images you use on your site, especially in the beauty industry when much of your online content is based on visuals.
More resources on mastering SEO for your hair salon:
3. Implement strategies for local SEO
While you’re considering the mechanics of your website, it’s also important to include local SEO strategies in your marketing plan. These steps will help your business appear higher up in the list of external search engine results when people search “hair salon near me.”
Consider building these elements into your marketing strategy over several months.
- Right away: Check your NAP – your name, address, and phone number. These should be the same on your website, business listings, and every one of your online profiles. Check for spelling errors in your Yelp or Google business listings, especially if they were originally set up by someone else. Removing any mistakes makes the booking process smoother for your clients. You’ll also appear in more searches because businesses rank higher when their NAP is consistent across multiple pages.
- In the medium term: Remember that active businesses are typically ranked higher, so adding fresh content could move you further up the results page. This might mean updating your opening hours before the holidays or giving details of a new social media channel you’re trying. You can also use the posts or updates features on your profiles to announce news about your business.
- In the long term: Your local search rank could improve if other local businesses link to your website from theirs. This is known as building backlinks. You might be able to get backlinks for your site by:
- Listing your salon in a local business directory site
- Starting a voucher program that could be included in a local gift guide
- Donating a prize to a local event and appearing in their advertising
- Asking related local businesses with whom you have a prior business relationship with like wedding planners to include you on their list of recommended service providers
- Reaching out to local publications who might write about your business – like a blogger who could write about the best pampering spots in the city
This backlink strategy can be time-consuming and is sometimes outside of your control, but it’s an effective way to optimize your site and network with other people in your area. Since most of your potential clients likely live in your local area, it’s a good marketing strategy to invest time in.
Other local SEO tips for your hair salon business
- Add high-quality images to boost credibility and show up on local image searches.
- Monitor and respond to your reviews. Reviews (and your responses) on third-party platforms like Yelp contribute to your online reputation, which can influence local search rankings (and search rankings in general).
- Add relevant keywords to content visible to visitors (like headlines and image captions), and include them in behind-the-scenes places like your meta descriptions, alt text, and title tags.
- Avoid duplicate content. For example, if you create multiple landing pages for your hair products or salon services, make sure to write unique descriptions for each.
More information on mastering local SEO for your hair salon:
4. Build social media profiles to connect with new and existing clients
Salons and beauty businesses fit perfectly on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. These platforms are built around the idea of using pictures and videos to build a personal brand.
They’re another place for people to find your business for the first time, and they give you another chance to show the services you offer.
What’s more, if your clients connect with you on social media, they may spread the word about your business when they post about their new haircuts, essentially becoming brand ambassadors for your business and putting your name in front of a new group of potential clients.
Benefits of social media for hair salon marketing
The connections you make on social media can help you to grow your business in three main ways.
First, use your pages to strengthen your brand voice. A strong brand identity puts you at the forefront of people’s minds when they need to book or recommend a salon.
Second, make connections. You can have conversations on social media in a way you can’t on your website.
Your audience is especially likely to engage with your posts if they’re eye catching, entertaining, and useful. This is a great way to grab the attention of new clients and continue to build relationships with your existing clients between appointments.
And it’s not just clients you can make connections with. Social media also lets you network with other stylists and like-minded businesses, which could be a source of inspiration, helping you to learn new techniques, keep up with the latest trends, or even get referrals.
Third, social media can help you get new clients. Social media is a powerful tool for small businesses who want to grow locally. Spend some time searching on social media for salons in your city to see what kind of hashtags they’re using to promote their posts.
Inspiration for stylist social media posts
- Make posts or videos to answer questions your clients regularly ask
- Give tips for styling your hair between salon appointments
- Introduce yourself and the other stylists on your team
- Use before and after pictures to highlight your skills
- Use your image gallery to build a portfolio, especially if you have a reputation for a particular treatment, like color correction or cutting curly hair
- Introduce (and upsell) the professional products you use
- Review the brands your audience can find in the store
- Tell your followers about other services you provide
- Celebrate your wins, like if you’ve won an award or completed a training program
- Advertise any special offers you have
Tips for social media success
- Check your contact details: As with all your online profiles, ensure that your contact details and location information are correct across social media so your page appears when people search for businesses in the local area.
- Add a geotag: Go one step further and set up a geotag for your business by including your location info in the general settings tab of the Meta Business Suite. This lets your clients tag your business location when they post about you on social media. This allows potential clients on social media to browse client-generated content attached to your business location when they’re deciding if they should come to you.
- Make your salon “Instagram worthy”: Making your salon a great place to take selfies will encourage your clients to post about their experience. The space should be clean, uncluttered, and well-lit. Adding a unique feature like an accent wall, neon sign, or a statement piece of furniture could also encourage your clients to post from your salon.
- Keep things personal: When it comes to the content that you post on social media, you can strengthen your relationship with your clients by using their names. With your client’s consent, tag them in pictures and explain what they wanted to achieve when they came to your salon. For example, in a before-and-after post, you could say: “It was great to spend time with Chloe at the salon today. She wanted a shorter style to make her fine, wavy hair look thicker and healthier for the summer. I think we aced it.”
- Get the timing right: It can take a while to figure out how often to post on social media. You’re aiming for the sweet spot where you appear often enough to build brand awareness, but not so often that the audience starts to feel annoyed or you can’t keep up on your social media strategy. For local businesses, a daily Facebook or Instagram grid post is a good number to aim for. It’s also a sustainable number of posts for you to create, especially if you use scheduling tools to set up batches of posts in advance.
- Boost your posts: Finally, you have the option of “boosting” your posts on Facebook and Instagram through cost-per-click advertising. Just like with Yelp Ads, you set your budget and pay when people engage with your ad. You can track the results of your campaign by looking at the number of people who saw your ad (impressions) and the number of people who clicked on it (engagements) so you know whether it’s an effective use of your marketing budget.
A quick recap on growing your hair salon business
In every place you market your hair salon business, you should concentrate on:
- Showing why your salon looks like a fantastic place to spend time
- Ensuring your online profiles are easy to find
- Making it easy for clients to make an appointment
If you bear this in mind whenever you’re marketing your business, you’ll find that searchers aren’t just glancing over your content, but connecting with your business. It won’t be long before you see your salon’s profits and client list grow.
Take the first step with Yelp today and claim your business page.
More information about growing your hair salon business:
- How to write a hairdressing salon business plan
- How to create a referral program
- 6 steps for effective email marketing for small businesses
- How to write a beauty salon business plan
How do I get more clients for my hair salon business?
There are several ways to get more clients for your hair salon business, including:
- Setting up a referral program to increase word-of-mouth marketing
- Invest in social media marketing
- Claim your free Yelp Page and customize it
- Advertise your business on Yelp or other search engines (e.g., Bing or Google)
How can I increase my hair salon profit?
There are several ways to try and increase your hair salon’s profit, including:
- Grow your client base. Get new clients through various channels, like social media marketing, search engine optimization, online ads, and referral programs.
- Increase how much your average customer spends per visit. Refine your add-ons. For example, you can sell the hair products you use to style your client’s hair, along with shampoo and conditioner.
- Schedule your client’s next appointment at the end of their visit. It’s best to schedule your client’s next appointment when they’re in the salon with you. This helps make sure that your client will come back.
What makes a hair salon business thrive?
Running a hair salon business and growing a thriving salon business are two different things.
If you’re looking to really grow your salon, then you’ll want to make sure you’re checking these boxes:
- You’re using social media to promote your salon.
- You have a website full of salon info, including your location, the services you offer, and customer testimonials.
- You are using online marketing strategies such as local SEO and PPC advertising.
- You have set up referral programs.
- You are utilizing add-ons, such as beauty and hair products, to increase profitability.
How can I promote my hair salon business?
When you’re looking at ways to promote your hair salon business, focus on strategies that help bring new clients to your salon—and not just any potential new clients, but clients who are a right fit for the services you offer.
To do this, consider approaches that have a local component and let you customize your messaging.
- Promoting your salon on Yelp
- Promoting your salon on search engines, like Google and Bing
- Promoting your salon on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok
You can also focus on more grassroots methods like creating a referral program or creating events with other local businesses.
Additional resources to help you promote your hair salon:
The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.