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    28 Replies Latest reply on Jun 21, 2011 5:14 PM by JackieGold

    Marketing advice

    salonemploye Wayfarer
      I am a salon employee (stylist) with lots of ideas for advertising and marketing myself as well as the salon I work in. When we first opened, we had a lot of new clients that came because we were new. Unfortunately, the owners are banking on word of mouth, and are doing no advertising or marketing. No specials allowed, because they feel that this will only attract clients that are bargain hunters. I feel that, if you can attract 5 new clients for a special, and 1 or 2 stay with you for your great work, and refer you to a friend, you are ahead of the game. I am frustrated because I have always been about marketing, and realize that you have to be on top of your game. Any ideas on how I can convince them otherwise?
        • Re: Marketing advice
          I work with small, new and home busiesses and find that many of them do not understand the importance of marketing or are opposed to it because they fear it will cost them money. I would ease them into it by going to my website, which you will find on my profile. Go to 'Promote It' and find the article that I posted called 50 Free or Almost Free Marketing ideas.

          Really, offering some sort of discount would be best but if they cannot understand that concept then perhaps free marketing ideas are what they need. Getting the salon's name in front of as many people is best. Make sure if you and the other employees are on social media like FaceBook that you promote it there whenever possible.

          If the owners will not do adequate marketing and you feel that is your strength, consider going to a salon where your ideas are appreciated and encouraged.
          • Marketing advice



            I agree with what Aimtoplease says that the importance of marketing, in some niches, is lost. Business owners want to succeed, yet- they do not want to place the resources where it makes a difference. Sometimes, this is done, from lack of knowledge and understanding, and sometimes it has to do with persons not being in a state of mind of "abundance" but in a state of mind of constant "lacking."

            Abundance means that no matter what you need to do, you will find a way to do it, and know that you will get the results that you are looking for.

            On the other hand, a lacking mentality feels in a place of "not enough" and no matter how many resources there are (monetarily or otherwise)- the feeling that there is something missing will always be present. Therefore, these persons need to hang on to what ever they have- for fear of loosing it.


            This type of mentality leads to non-growth. Whether is on a business or personal level.


            So, if the owners belong to the first group- business owners that need more information about what marketing can do for them- then, you can help to educate them. First, you can do some basic market research and look into the websites of the top 3-5 competitors in your city. See what they are doing.

            Do they have coupons? Do they have testimonials? Do they have specials? Do they hold special events that foster community participation? What is their Unique Selling Proposition (meaning what is DIFFERENT in them that makes them unique in the market)?

            Together, with some freebie ideas from Aimtoplease- you should have some ammunition, to help your employers grow and expand, by sharing your knowledge.

            Now, if the employers, are on the other hand, coming from a place of lacking- then, you have a real challenge in your hands.

            In which all of have the choice to stay and ride along with their philosophy, or leave and find a place more suited to fulfill your needs.

            Good Luck!



            • Marketing advice
              fccgold12 Wayfarer

              Why not try to convince the owner to take advantage of Google free advertising. It might be they are afraid of cost of advertising.

                • Marketing advice
                  BizCoachDonna Wayfarer

                  There is lots of great info here!  When I first start an offline business - I let everyone know I am there - I walk around the area with flyers, go to local community meetings and if appropriate for my biz advertise. Now advertising may not be right for everyone - my husband is a paint contractor and gets a lot of business and then referrals from his ads. My friend is a housekeeper a gets about one new client a month. When I was a Loan Officer - this type of advertising didn't work - (ps - none of my clients offer just any discount - but some offer senior discounts and appropriate to holiday discounts or sales)


                  But, I would put some 'foot work' into it - walk around and introduce yourself - get their info and see if you can put them on an email list for constant contact and build relationships.(See if you can capture the emails and/or physical addresses of your present clients and what about referral bonuses?)


                  You'll do it if you are persistent and get your system going in this area -  You are on your way,
                  Biz Coach Donna

                • Marketing advice
                  BizCoachDonna Wayfarer

                  Hi, again, Salon Employee,

                      I noticed that your post states 'not answered' - and I didn't notice that you've responded to any of the posts to help you.

                    So,  Have you taken some of the suggestions here?


                  Or do you need other type of ideas?


                  The posts that everyone wrote here, seem really great with info -  But, I am curious as to how your story is progressing?


                  Happy Holidays!


                  Biz Coach Donna

                    • Marketing advice
                      BizCoachDonna Wayfarer

                      Another thought -

                      Demonstrating your value takes a lot of communication - Communicating to your prospects and clients means giving them information and news about your offerings and related activities, so that they can find out what your business does and the value it has to offer.

                      • Marketing advice
                        salonemploye Wayfarer

                        Thank you for your help. It is not for my lack of ideas that is holding me back, it is the owners not allowing the marketing and advertising that I want to do. I am willing to do my own marketing, but they dont believe in specials of any kind. I agree that there are some extremes out there when you drive by some shop windows that have signs for specials posted all over the place. But I have presented some ideas such as rewarding loyal clients, and providing new client packages with product samples, and insentives to recomend friends. As I posted below, I really like where I work for the atmosphere and people. So I need to make a choice. I have given myself a 6 month window, hoping that I can convince them about some of my ideas. I will keep you posted.

                      • Marketing advice
                        390Main Wayfarer

                        I fear for a business that does no advertising or marketing. Management Guru Peter Drucker famously said, "There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer....Marketing is the distinguishing, the unique function of business.”


                        He also said, "There will always be a need for some selling. But the aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous."


                        Unfortunately, many small business owners see marketing as a cost, rather than an investment. They're too short-sighted. They clearly don't think about the long-term value of a client. What's the value of a client that sticks with you for 2 or 5 or 10 years? Doesn't that justify a one-time special offer?


                        There has to be a plan. Owners have to measure results. They have to test their offers. They have to target the right audience. They have to reward loyalty.


                        Here are a few recommendations, based upon your situation:

                        1. Think about and calculate the long-term value of a client.
                        2. Treat your existing clients like royalty and keep them coming back. Create a database and email them regularly with offers and reminders. Reward them for their loyalty.
                        3. Encourage and reward your loyal clients for bringing in referrals. They'll want to share their great experiences with their friends.
                        4. Raise your prices, and make sure quality of care increases, too.


                        Good luck.




                          • Marketing advice
                            salonemploye Wayfarer

                            Thank you to everyone who replied to my post. I have not seen these replies as the notifications have been in my spam folder. I just happened to look for something and saw this today. I appreciate all of your information and advice. Much of the problem lies in the fact that the owners have done no advertisisng at all, have not built a website, and are not computerized in the salon. I built my own website, and one of the owners found it and asked me to take it down as they did not like the fact that I had prices listed on one of the pages. They want people to have to call for prices. My problem is that I really love the atomosphere in the salon (no drama, and everyone really likes each other). So I need to make my choice. As aimtoplease suggested that I go somewhere where my ideas are appreciated and encouraged and take a chance that there could be a place that I am not as comfortable with. Or do I stay and hope things change where I am. I have given myself a 6 month time line to make that decision. I will keep you posted.

                              • Marketing advice
                                Iwrite Pioneer

                                Salonemploye, maybe you don't have to leave. You are asking them to fly when they are content to walk. There's a lot of space in-between the two positions. Part of the reason that they may not want to advertise like you are suggesting is because they don't want to lose the things you like about the salon - the atmosphere. Step back for a second and think about how you can help them preserve the salon personality and increase business. Look at how you can fold your ideas into a less aggressive approach.


                                What about a loyalty program? Reward current customers for coming in and encourage them to share the news with friends. Maybe create events for clients like a "ladies night" where a group can come in together. Look into inviting a wine store to do a tasting - keep it closer to their personality.


                                You are not going to sell the owners on marketing by telling them that they are wrong. It is their business, find out what their real issue is and see if you can find a compromise that everyone can live with.


                                This isn't about being right or wrong as much as it is about doing what best fits this salon. The owners are trying to protect their salon's personality (brand). They are smarter than many other business owners.

                            • Marketing advice
                              jackysouer Wayfarer

                              you can show them the things that are happening online. I might groupon didnt become an overnight sensation because businesses were loosing money, did it?

                              • Re: Marketing advice
                                wordperfect Scout

                                As someone said, there is some good advice here, but it seems it is general advice.


                                By that I mean I think the main point might have been missed.

                                I quote from one of your posts"

                                it is the owners not allowing the marketing and advertising that I want to do.


                                I was also going to talk about BRAND and positioning, but IWRITE has beaten me to it!

                                So, I also tend to side with the owners, price cutting, specials are NOT always the way to go and they are right, if you begin this way customers come to expect it and you end up at the bottom end of the food chain scrambling for tidbits.


                                However, I am not saying marketing is useless, au contrair, it is my business too, but as they say; "horses for courses."

                                Another point, and I don't want to step on toes here, but, well, hairdressers, sorry stylists are a special breed, artistic and maybe temperamental, so maybe the owners resent you coming in and telling them how to "look after their baby."

                                OK, you don't mean to stick your nose in where it isn't wanted, I also suspect that maybe you are young and keen so may be your enthusiasm and drive for success has overrun your diplomacy.

                                So maybe, take a deep breath, back off a few steps and approach the owners from a slightly different perspective, listen to their ideas and wants and see how you can work in WITH them.


                                Uhhhm, others might be too polite to mention it, but their might be a "suitability" issue here.

                                Perhaps, just perhaps you really do not fit into the environment they want to create.

                                Ok, I am in China and stylists here tend to fall into two broad categories, the sombre, button down, [relatively] quiet uniformed staff, opulent surroundings, and the louder, rap or punk music, jeans and tee shirt relaxed dress code, showman ship style with eccentric hair styles young men and woman outside the doors "PRESSING" young women into taking a discount trial.

                                Personally, I prefer the former, my wife the latter, so.... horses for courses.


                                Lastly, and I repeat, I am not against marketing, but do remember that to sell one item per day at $100 is, in the long run, more economical then 6 or 7 at $20.

                                So first step might be to look at and inside yourself, be honest, look at the issues you might have hidden from us and decide if it is REALLY the place for you, then decide how to work with the owners to archive a common aim. Remember, in the end, it is THEIR business!


                                  • Re: Marketing advice
                                    salonemploye Wayfarer

                                    WOW! I think you missed the point.This is a business that hasn't done anything to build it's brand.  You quote me as saying  it is the owners not alllowing me to do the marketing and advertising that I want to do. And I am not young, I have collectively almost 30 years in the beauty industry. Yes, I am artistic, but I am not tempermental, maybe in my early 20's I was more so, but it was also a different business then. There was no internet so we depended on local newspaper paper advertising and mailings, in other words, marketing.I also have worked in Real Estate where the business is all about marketing and building your own personal brand. And I also said that I am not looking to do specials. I am looking to reward loyal clients, incentives to recomend friends, and a website that clients and potential clients can go to to see what is going on in the shop and be able to do email blasts. I am glad I am not in China, because here in the USA, we have more than two categories of salons. I know this is THEIR business, and I am not trying to tell them how to run it, I am trying to build my clientel after having been out of the business for a while.

                                      • Marketing advice
                                        wordperfect Scout

                                        Hi, good to get your reply and clarification.


                                        But you do seem sensitive for a 50 year old.

                                        You know, you asked for ideas how to convince the owners, so yes, what some of us are saying is maybe not what you want to hear, but at the end of the day, I have better things to do than antagonise people. I am just trying to look at things from the other side, which I know from experience, is not always easy when one is up to ones you know whats in a swamp of alligators.

                                        I guess this thread goes to underscore the problems that can arise when a bio is not completed, we have not too much idea about you and have to fill in the blanks as we go, in this case, obviously, incorrectly.

                                        Sorry about that.


                                        I don't think anyone here is disagreeing that marketing, what ever form is important to business, I certainly have not said so.

                                        What some of us are trying to say though is that maybe the way "YOU SEE IT" is not quite the way the owners see it.

                                        You have said you are not trying to tell them how to run their business, but to some of us it seems that way, so maybe, just maybe the owners perceive it that way also?

                                        IWRITE put it best when he said:

                                        You are asking them to fly when they are content to walk.


                                        He and I have both said take a step back, rethink where you are coming from and where the owners are and want to be and try to find a way to compromise. Take a less aggressive approach, as a marketing expert you know well that not all customers react favourably to the "in yer face" approach. Part of marketing, maybe the bulk is about wooing and seducing for long term gain, not bells and whistles.

                                        So try your marketing skills on the owners first, it is them you need to sell to first.


                                        The other option is as you have said; leave.

                                        Again, we know nothing about you but with your decades of business experience why not start your own salon and give rise to your marketing ideas there?


                                        And please I said:  'two broad categories," which obviously leaves a fair bit of room between  them.

                                        I used the extremes to try to illustrate that customers have differ tastes and requirements, but after 30 years I don't need to tell you that.

                                        So lets not let the China rhetoric colour our emotions.

                                        Personally, I would never use the Internet to look for dentists, hair dressers, massage etc, I prefer to seek opinions from others and go from there.

                                        Nor would I be influenced by discounts or coupons, but, I do belong to a VIP club where after a certain spend limit I can take advantage of a colour or perm or the like, which is something similar to that which you have mentioned.

                                        But, it is a falry safe bet for them as I don't think perms or colorings are my style now.

                                        Like you, in my 20 ies yes!


                                        Ok, so it looks as though broadly [that word again!] we are saying the same thing, but coming at it from different directions.

                                        Ultimatley you will make the decsion that best suits you, but if we have given you something to chew over [and hopefully not choke!] then it is worthwhile.

                                        Hi-Ho Silver! Away!

                                        Your move I believe

                                          • Marketing advice
                                            BizCoachDonna Wayfarer

                                            Whew - a lot of talking back and forth.  But has any action been taken?


                                            If you are happy there - and the only real problem then is that the owners aren't marketing? Does this mean you are not making the money you want and that's why you want to do marketing?


                                            And, why can't you do flyers and let the businesses in your area know about who you are and where you are working?  It does sound like the owners want to know what you are doing, so go over this first. I have worked as a sales person, but had to get approval for what I did first.


                                            Or start a blog - okay no prices here, let the owners know - and invite your own clients there to talk about what they want - then move with knowing what your target market wants and share that with the owners or with your own business. 


                                            And, someone said to get to know what it is your owners really want - what are their problems and what is your solution - once you become a marketer to them, you might start understanding what they are willing to do. Maybe it is nothing. But, maybe they will let you do something on your own, so that problem is solved -


                                            Have you written this down for yourself - like a mindmap - the salon in the middle and the issues - people - pluses surrounding the salon.


                                            It is a puzzle for you - have fun and keep yourself clear on your path. 

                                          • Marketing advice
                                            390Main Wayfarer

                                            Because you are trying to build your own clientele, I suggest that you focus on the factors that you control.


                                            Provide an incredible experience, ask for referrals, collect names for your own database, and send email reminders and newsletters and thank-you notes.


                                            Develop your own website ( that explains your approach and asks for appointments. Print your own business cards if you have to.


                                            Do whatever you can to promote yourself without challenging the interests of the owners.



                                        • Marketing advice
                                          transcribe Scout

                                          Good work and work of mouth really works. But for that you have to be patient. To attract more local customers, place nice hoardings and banners. Also distribute few coupons with some amount of discount among your current customers. It will definitely bring more customers.

                                            • Marketing advice
                                              salonemploye Wayfarer

                                              While I appreciate all of the advice, part of the problem is that they believe there should be no discounts or coupons to new or current customers. I am not big on signs in the windows and do believe to an extent that if you have a new  "special" every week, it only attracts the bargain hunters. But I also believe that rewarding loyalty, and seasonal discounts on specific days will generate new business. I think if you offer some special, and 5 new clients come in because of the discount, and 2 become loyal clients, you are ahead of the game, because you still have made 2 great clients that will recomend you to others, and you have still made money off of the 3 who came for the discount. They think all discounts are tacky and feel that word of mouth and good work is the only way to build a following. I have tried to do what I feel it takes to promote myself, but without their support and permission to do certain marketing, I am stuck, and realize that I need to make a decision in a few months. Will keep you posted.

                                            • Marketing advice
                                              BlueMonday Adventurer

                                              We use  What they do is simple and effective.  Basically we tell them where we want to send our message i.e. a zip code or two.  They compile lists/leads, create an email, send it then report the results.  We DO NOT offer coupons or discounts.  We simply let people in the neighborhood know who we are, what we do and where we are.  We have found that the absolute best way to build a business is by starting to market locally and expand outward.  Regionalemail is the only ad company we use and we can't say enough good things about their service.  Good luck!

                                              • Re: Marketing advice
                                                proresource Adventurer

                                                Why don't you see if they will let you create a Facebook page for the business? You can post beauty tips and review some of the products you sell. Then join some local business groups and ask people to "like" the page and recommend it to their friends.


                                                You could also profile the stylists and other employees so people feel like they get to know all of you.


                                                You don't have to give discounts to get customers - while discounts can help, I actually agree with the owners that offering discounts can set the wrong tone.


                                                But you can have a high-end image and still reach out to people and get referrals. You should be doing that.

                                                  • Re: Marketing advice
                                                    salonemploye Wayfarer

                                                    Thank you Proresource-I think that is probably one of the best responses so far. I did do a facebook page, but never thought of profiling the stylist on it. I am going to discuss this with the owners, and considering that they approved the facebook page to begin with I think they will like the idea of the profiles. I just wish they were a little more proactive so it wasn't left to the employees to do these kind of thing by themselves.

                                                      • Re: Marketing advice
                                                        proresource Adventurer

                                                        Well, I would look at it like this... You thinking of things like this that hadn't occurred to them will make you even more valuable.


                                                        The reality is that they can't think of everything. And it's a rare business owner who understands their business, can manage people effectively and also has an instinct for marketing and can keep up with the latest trends and tools.

                                                          • Re: Marketing advice
                                                            salonemploye Wayfarer

                                                            I understand what you are saying 100%, but unfortunately sometimes I feel like I am imposing when I make suggestions or ask permission to market myself. I can do some marketing on my own for my self, but anything that has their name on it needs to be put past them first. I don't mind doing the marketing, in fact I enjoy it. But the fact that they are not doing anything, and what I do doesn't just benefit me, it benefits everyone else in the shop, as well as the owners. I have offered to set up the website-which is non existant-but they keep saying that they are doing it-but 2 years later it still isn't done. Like I said before, if I didn't like it there, I would just go somewhere else. But I have worked in other salons with drama and backstabbing, and unfortunately, I have found that is more the norm in a lot of salons. I am not into all of that. I really want to find a way to make it work there and optomize my career there.

                                                              • Re: Marketing advice
                                                                proresource Adventurer

                                                                Certainly it would be nice if they did everything they could be doing to promote the business, but since they aren't, it is great that you are stepping up.


                                                                If you like the salon, then it's worth doing a little extra to make it more successful. Perhaps you can negotiate some kind of benefit to compensate you for the work you are doing. It couldn't hurt to ask.


                                                                But if they say no, you are still getting some of the benefit, and more importantly you are learning a useful skill (that can be employed wherever you end up) and giving them added incentive to keep you around and keep you happy.


                                                                Possibly one other way to look at it is that you might be interested in buying the salon from them at some point. If you do that, the more involved you are in operations ahead of time, the better.

                                                                • Re: Marketing advice
                                                                  BossLadyWhite Newbie

                                                                  Hello! Seriously,what is stopping you from attempting to open your own shop? It sounds like you definitely have the business HEAD and while money can be an issue for some when becoming Owner/operators, where there is a will there is most certainly a way! I am personally a new business owner with my husband but have been doing what I do for a few years now....just finally took the leap of faith to make our dream a reality.He works outside the home to make the steady money and I do the leg work during the day and he actually does more work on this business in his free time and when he gets home from the other isn't easy but it's what we love and soon enough-his 2-11pm and 7a-4p and whatever other hours he has will be a blessing to someone else because we will have our own! Just looking to encourage you-Best wishes!

                                                          • Re: Marketing advice
                                                            light Newbie

                                                            you are very kind to care for your boss/store owner, unfortunately some people don't understand their goodness even though u care so much for them. maybe you should open up your own business, so you can use all of your expertise. if you are interested doing a marketing business, feel free to contact me i can get you more information about it. take care and keep in touch!!

                                                            • Re: Marketing advice
                                                              JackieGold Scout

                                                              Have you thought about promoting your services on online directories? Like, telling clients who already come to the business to write a nice review if they've had a good experience with you? Sites like Yelp and other local directories have become a popular method of people finding your business and they aren't really "marketing" in the traditional sense.


                                                              Hope that helps.



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