Owning a home salon or barbershop has many benefits; the biggest one being that you don’t have to pay rent and other costs that come with a brick and mortar shop.
However, one of the biggest challenges you can face if you operate a salon or barbershop from home is finding clients, especially when you are just starting. Since your home salon is not located in a public area, you cannot rely on passers-by to be your clients.
Unlike a salon set up in a mall or on a busy street, you don’t have thousands of people passing outside your shop every day. This means that you will need to come up with a good marketing strategy to find clients.
Marketing any small business can be a daunting task for anyone especially if you are getting started. Luckily, there are so many ways that you can market your home salon today, most of which are pretty easy and affordable.
Why Clients Like To Use A Home Salon
The great thing about owning a home salon is that there is a growing demand for the service; you just need to find your clients. A lot of people prefer to get their hair done at a home salon instead of a public one for reasons such as:
- They Like Privacy
A typical salon or barbershop is a place where different members of the community meet to share stories and ideas as they get their hair done. There are many people who go to the salon specifically for the social aspect of it.
However, it can be overwhelming for people who prefer to get their hair done in a quieter, more private environment. A home salon gives such people the perfect alternative since they know once they book you, it will just be you and them. A home salon provides a spa-like experience for them.
- Personal Connection
Some people really like to get to know their stylist. A lot of people are reluctant to go to salons because they are not sure the stylist they get will impress them. Unless you have an appointment with a particular stylist, you might end up with a terrible stylist who makes your hair look terrible right before an important event.
In this case, a home salon is a better option for such people since once they’ve found a good stylist, they never have to gamble anymore with your hair. Plus, it’s easier to develop a good friendship at a home salon.
- More Economical
This is not always the case, but since home salons do not pay the costly rents and other operational costs that come with a shop, they are likely to be cheaper. Some people specifically look for home salons because they believe they’ll get a better deal.
- They Want To Stay Local
You may not think so, but many people in your neighborhood have been waiting for a home salon service to pop up. Going to the salon can be a hassle especially when it takes time to get there; you have to set up an appointment, drive there, find parking space, deal with people, and drive back home. Most of your neighbors may be willing to come to your home salon to avoid all this.
Now that you know why people want to come to your home salon, let us teach you how to find them. The following are 10 creative ways to market your home salon:
Visibility is usually a problem for home-based small businesses. It’s hard for people to know that you are running a business in your home especially since they are usually not expecting one in the first place.
As such, the first thing you need to do is to put up a clear sign on your property that tells your neighbors and passers-by that there is a home salon in there. Even if the people who see the sign don’t come in immediately, they will be aware from then onwards that your home salon exists and when they do need the service, they will consider you.
You should have a proper sign that is professionally designed and includes all the key details that you’d want people to know about your home salon such as your website, the services you offer and your contact information. The sign should also be big and visible from far.
In the modern digital age, it is almost impossible to run a business properly without a website. Most people do an online search before buying a product or service to know more about it and to find potential places where they can find the service. A website can act as a place where potential clients can find out all they need to know about you, your business, your services, and other things. They can also contact you through the website and seek answers directly to any questions they have.
Having a website, however, is not enough. Since you are running a home salon, you want the people in your neighborhood to find your website which means you might need to do other things to make your website visible to them such as search engine optimization, paid ads, among others. You also need to generate regular content to draw more people in such as blog posts about hair styling or hair care, videos about your services, among other things.
3. Door To Door Marketing
This is one of the oldest forms of marketing, but for your home salon, it can be better than the modern methods. Door-to-door marketing involves going to people’s homes and businesses directly to tell them about your home salon and why they should be your next client. It involves a lot of work since you will have to go to every home or business in your neighborhood and talking to all kinds of people. However, if you do it well, it surely pays off and it is almost cost-free.
Before you even start going door-to-door, ask for leads or work from friends, family members, acquaintances, former colleagues, and other people you already know. Let them know your home salon exists and ask them if they can use your services, or refer other people who need the service to you.
To be successful, it is vital that you take the time to prepare a clear, brief and convincing sales pitch. According to research, the average attention span of adults is about 10 seconds, and this is all the time you have to grab people’s attention. If successful, you have roughly a minute after that to sell them on why your home salon is ideal for them.
Remember that you will be talking to different people, most of whom don’t want to hear a sales pitch while others may not have the time so you want to be able to get your message across in as little time as possible. Also, you should always be respectful of other people when you visit their premises. If you knock once and they don’t open up, move on to the next place. If a person says no to your offers, thank them for their time and move on.
4. Facebook Ads
Facebook is one of, if not the most popular social media platform on the globe. With over 2 billion users worldwide, there is a good chance that most of the people in your neighborhood have a Facebook account. Facebook provides a lot of tools that you can use to connect with such people at little to no cost.
You can start and grow your home salon Facebook page slowly by sharing information about your business and some of the work you have done. If you are really good, your work can ‘go viral’ which means more people will see it and possibly come for your services.
If you want to expedite the process, you can use Facebook ads to find potential clients for your home salon in your location. The good thing about Facebook ads is that you can choose the target location where you want them to be shown.
For example, you can set up your Facebook ads to be shown to all Facebook users in a 50-mile radius from where your home salon is located. Also, compared to traditional forms of advertising, Facebook ads are a lot cheaper.
If you want to appeal to a younger audience, you can use Instagram ads in the same way.
Everyone loves free stuff. If you give someone the opportunity to experience your home salon services and they are impressed, chances are they’ll want to pay for it the next time. For instance, you can offer a free manicure for new clients or a free no-obligation consultation for first-time clients.
Don’t be afraid to give people free services even when it seems pointless at first. In today’s economy, people prefer paying for something they’ve experienced first. Plus, it gives you a chance to show potential clients what they can expect from you in terms of quality of service and the end product. You can also take the opportunity to explain your other services to them so that they can think of you when they need them.
Make sure you wow your clients during the free service so that they are inspired to come back and pay for it the next time.
6. Host A Class Or Event
A clever way to get the attention of your neighbors and local community members is by offering free classes or hosting an event related to your home salon business. For instance, you can offer a class on how to do simple hairstyles at home or how parents can do their kids’ hair. The class could be about anything as long as it gets your target audience interested.
You should print out flyers and post them all over the neighborhood especially in community bulletin boards such as coffee shops, libraries, local colleges, and other common areas. While most community bulletin boards may not let people post business adverts, they are usually more than happy to post flyers promoting a class or educational event.
Make sure that your class or event provides real value to the attendees, and it’s not just a trick to get them to come to your home salon.
YouTube is where everyone goes when they need to see videos about anything; funny videos, sports videos, instructional videos, and so much more. YouTube has made video content really valuable and since it’s free to start a YouTube channel and post videos, you should already have one by now.
You can make YouTube videos related to common Hair and beauty topics that people in your neighborhood would be interested in. Post about trending topics and topical news related to your home salon business to show that you are also in the know and probably an expert on some of those topics. You can also post videos showing how you do certain things in your home salon to give potential customers a good idea of what to expect if they come to your salon.
When making the videos, always ensure that you have great content and that you record professional-looking videos that are clear and high quality. Your goal should be to make videos that will inspire people to visit your home salon. You also want them to share the videos with more people in their social circles. Once you grow your YouTube channel, you will be getting clients even from different towns who may have been impressed by your services.
8. Brand Your Car
If you own a personal vehicle, you are wasting a huge marketing opportunity for your home salon if you have not branded it yet. A branded vehicle will help you create brand awareness for your home salon everywhere you go whether it’s the grocery store, picking up your kids from school, or you could just drive around town to get even more eyeballs.
If you decide to do it, you need to go all out. You need to make sure that your car is impossible to ignore wherever you go. Hire a branding professional to come up with a design that will immediately grab people’s attention and force them to take a closer look at your vehicle.
It could be costly or even make your car look ridiculous, but it ensures that everyone who sees the car knows about your home salon and how to get in touch with you. If you don’t want your vehicle to be branded permanently with paint, consider using magnetic signs or having it wrapped.
9. Set Up A Listing For Your Home Salons In Local Search Directories
Nowadays, when people are interested in learning about a certain business, they first search on the internet to find out as much as they can about it. Both Google and Bing offer a free listing for businesses.
When you register, it lists your business and shows information about it such as location, hours of operation, pictures, and other key information people look for. It shows your customers that your business is legit which boosts their confidence in you. You should also list your business on other business directories particularly those in the hair and beauty niche in your area.
Once listed, you should always encourage your clients to leave reviews about their experience at your home salon so that other people can be encouraged to seek your services.
To increase the chances that your customers leave reviews, send them a message thanking them for their business, and politely request them to review your business online. Include the link to where you want them to leave the review.
10. Local Trade Shows
Trade shows are a great marketing opportunity for small businesses. A local trade show is likely to be attended by thousands of people from your local community, most of whom have probably never heard of your home salon business. You can use the trade show to showcase some of your services and to convince people to visit your home salon for their future needs.
Trade shows can be an investment for your small business since you have to pay for the booth and other organizing costs, but the benefits will outweigh the cost since most people who attend will at least know your business exists. Make sure you have business cards and other promotional literature to give everyone who comes to your booth.
Bonus Tip: Guerrilla Marketing
Guerilla marketing is a form of advertising that leverages originality, creativity, and imagination in place of a big budget. A small business like your home salon with a limited marketing budget can use guerrilla marketing techniques to compete with the already established salons in your neighborhood.
Guerilla marketing techniques can really be anything; it’s up to you to use your creativity to come up with something that will grasp the attention of your target market enough for them to buy your services. For example, you can hire a spray paint artist to paint a graphic on your garage door that shows people passing nearby that there is a home salon there.
Most of the methods we have mentioned above are either free or require just a bit of investment to start. However, if you deploy them strategically, they can help you get a lot of new clients; even more than the traditional forms of advertising such as TV or radio could get. But be careful; you might have to turn your entire home into a salon with so many new clients!