Hair stylists, estheticians, tattoo artists, and other beauty professionals rely heavily on word-of-mouth from happy clients to bring in new business. And it’s definitely one of the best forms of marketing out there. As an added bonus, it doesn’t cost a cent—just the effort to consistently deliver great service.
But savvy salon owners don’t just wait around for new clients to materialize and book appointments—they go after them proactively!
That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sitting on a big marketing budget, though. The good news is that you don’t need one. Sure, it’s helpful if you want to plaster a picture of your handiwork up on a billboard or get your name out there by being a sponsor at a local charity ball, but there are also plenty of free ways to market a salon.
Below are just some of the possibilities.
How to Market a Beauty Business Without Spending Any Money
- Find local Instagram users with big followings who fit your client profile and offer them a free appointment in exchange for a post about you and your awesome services
- Give a discount or offer some other incentive when existing clients refer new business to you; advertise the incentive in your salon or studio
- Hold a referral contest with a great reward, like three free appointments for the person who sends you the most new clients
- Show off your talent in action using Facebook Live; consider offering clients a discount in exchange for allowing you to broadcast their appointment
- Create video tutorials for DIY hair styling, nail art, makeup application, or other beauty tips, tricks, and hacks and share them on social media
- Solicit guest blogging opportunities with local bloggers who cover relevant beauty, style, self-care, or other topics
- Start a Facebook group for area residents for swapping advice related to your field; get your friends, family, current clients, and other noncompetitive beauty pros you know to join and help spread the word
- Offer a birthday discount; post about it periodically on social media, remind your clients about it, and remind them to tell their friends about it
- Partner with other beauty and wellness professionals to offer reciprocal discounts or other benefits to each other’s clients
- Pitch story ideas about current beauty or style trends to local journalists who cover human-interest and lifestyle topics, and volunteer to be their expert source; sign up as a source at Help a Reporter too for other potential media mentions