By: Sarah Fasolo (@sarah.fasolon) SALT Marketing Manager
If you’re thinking about opening a salon, you’ve probably given a lot of thought to the kind of services that you want to offer, the kind of salon culture you want your business and staff to embody, and the kind of retail that you want to recommend and sell to your customers.
But have you thought about who, exactly, you want those customers to be? You should, because identifying your salon’s ideal client and target market is one of the most critical steps for running a successful salon! When you are successful in attracting your ideal client, it’s possible to boost customer loyalty, fine-tune your marketing plan, have more fun on the job (and less stressful customer interactions), and make more profit—and who doesn’t want that?
Keep reading to learn more about what exactly we mean by the term “ideal client,” as well as some tips that you can use to identify and attract that perfect fit person to your services.
What is an “ideal client”?
Not sure what we mean when we say “ideal client” or “target market”?
Your ideal client is the kind of person that you wish you could fill every single open appointment slot in your appointment book with. They mesh well with your salon’s culture, aesthetic, and brand. They appreciate the quality and level of work that you perform (and are willing to pay top dollar to get it). They love what you do, agree with what you stand for, and are always leave you smiling.
Your ideal client is someone you could see yourself hanging out with outside of work hours. She’s the reason that you got into the hair business to begin with. Your life would be so much easier if you only dealt with your ideal client.
The term target market refers to not only to your ideal client, but to everyone else who you might market your salon’s services towards. While your ideal client is likely to be extremely narrow, your target market is probably a little bit (but not too much) broader.
How to Define Your Salon’s Target Market
If you don’t have a solid idea of who your ideal client or target market is, you should start by asking yourself the questions below:
- What type of hair services do you love performing and want to specialize in? (For example: Balayage, foilyage, blonding, men’s cuts, etc.)
- How old is your ideal client? (This is typically a range.)
- Where does your ideal client shop? What kinds of brands does she love?
- What celebrities or influencers do your ideal client care about and follow?
- What social networks do they frequent? (Example: Instagram vs. Facebook)
- Where does she live/how far is she willing to travel?
- How much is she looking to invest in her hair?
Why is she coming to you as opposed to the countless other options available? (For example: Maybe another stylist damaged her hair, or maybe she’s looking for a stylist who will really listen to her.)
Tips to Attract Your Ideal Clientele to Your Salon
Once you know who your ideal client is, it should be relatively easy to make sure that all of your marketing efforts are speaking directly to them. Every social media post, advertisement, poster, flyer, video—everything—should be tailored to specifically speak to them.
Below are a few tips that you should weave into your salon marketing plan so that you can be sure you are only attracting that ideal client.
1. Build your ideal client into every aspect of your business.
Now that you have identified your ideal client and target market, you need to make sure that every individual aspect of your business is speaking effectively to them.
Does your salon culture align with what your ideal client finds important? Does your aesthetic and brand speak to her—or to someone else? Are you currently offering the kinds of services that she is likely to ask for, or do you need to consider adding services to your menu?
2. Focus your social media marketing efforts on her.
If you’re like most stylists and salon owners, social media is one of the most important ways that you attract new business. We work in a very visual industry—it only makes sense that channels like Instagram would work well for us!
Once you know who your ideal client is, you need to make a conscious effort to tailor your social media strategy towards her. Post photos of girls who look like her so that she can picture herself sitting in your chair. Post educational content so that they start to understand your different offerings and why they should come to you. Use their hashtags and their language and their words to start building that relationship from the earliest stages.
3. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments.
If after you’ve identified your ideal client you realize that you missed the mark, or that there is a better representation of the kind of person you want to work with, don’t feel like you can never make changes.
While you, of course, want to maintain a certain level of consistency, you also want to give yourself the bandwidth to make adjustments when necessary to refine your approach. Running a salon successfully requires a certain level of flexibility, for both yourself and your stylists!
The First Step is the Hardest
Identifying your ideal client can admittedly be an overwhelming process, especially if you have never completed the exercise before. But it’s important to know that the first step is always the most challenging. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes—we all do! Just get started, take the plunge, and know that you can make changes as you go if they are required.