Do you want to promote your barbing salon and attract loyal clients? If YES, here are 20 powerful marketing tips and ideas for building barbershop clientele.
Due to the fact that almost all men like to go for trendy, clean-looking, and classy hairstyles, it is no surprise that modern barbers are really having a thriving business. In fact, in the year 2017, barbing was the fastest-growing profession in the United States of America, and it still is.
Men don’t just go to barbershops to get their hair cut; as a matter of fact, barbershops provide a sense of community and are venues for human interaction. The atmosphere that a barbershop evokes will most likely be present in a local barbershop small business as opposed to a branch of a corporate chain.
Having a steady stream of paying clients is the lifeline of every business with barbing not being an exclusion. However, entrepreneurs who wish to break into the barbershop business are faced with the challenge of building clients.
This does not come as a surprise because most people are attached to their current barbers and may be unwilling to try something new without being convinced. Also, there is stiff competition and generally, it’s never easy to start any new business, but it is possible for a new barber to build clients. So, exactly how can you build barber clientele? Here are 20 tips that will help you to do just that.
20 Powerful Marketing Tips for Building Barbershop Clientele
1. Offer Great Customer Service to Your Clientele
Without an iota of doubt, exceptional customer service is of paramount importance when it comes to making your barbershop clients happy. What makes this true is the fact that everything we do falls under customer service. Try your best to be friendly and courteous to your customers.
Good customer service can come in the form of greeting your customers when they walk in, giving them details of what they can expect (Someone will be right with you or there is a 20-minute wait or even tell them to help themselves to entertainment while they wait), among other things. By having good customer service, you are likely to build a huge barbershop clientele.
You also have to bear in mind that if a client has a bad experience with you (customer service wise), they are not only very likely to stop coming to your shop, but they are also very likely to tell their friends, family, colleagues or even broadcast it on the internet.
This will lead you to lose even more customers. In addition, some clients have attitudes themselves and feel entitled because they are paying you a few dollars. Don’t let that get to you. Remain cool and focus on your goal for that day.
2. Establish your brand
Simply because you are a small business does not mean that you do not have a brand. This goes far beyond having a logo for your barbershop business.
It includes the personality and values your brand represents, use of color, typography on your website and other printed materials, the décor and overall appearance of your shop, the style of the photos you post online, and of course, of your haircut. The brand that your business ought to have should be influenced by your target audience.
3. Use Social Media to Build Your Customer base
In times past, you could consider listing your business in the yellow pages and a few other publications in order to get more customers. These days, such an archaic technique will get you nowhere. Social media has changed almost everything about marketing businesses and goods in addition to how people perceive information.
Technology as always has changed the field of play. These days social media is the in-thing. It helps people to link up with their favorite brands and heavily increases brand awareness. The more they see you and your wonderful haircuts, the more they will want to be associated with your services.
The social media accounts you should have today are Facebook, so you can create a fan page for all the fans of your work and you need to have an Instagram account too. These two among many are all you need. Make sure that you update your account regularly with relevant posts and pictures. Use social media to exhibit your skills and what you can do.
4. Use flyers With Images of Your Work to Grow Your Clientele
Technology may be here to stay, but don’t forget that flyers can grow your barbershop clientele. They are still very effective.
You can create a full-color 4×6 flier and hand it out when you can. You can also give it to your existing clients so that they can help you to give it to their friends, family members, and colleagues. Cards are still effective, but people tend to tuck them away.
The full-color 4×6 flyer is great because you can put a few of your haircuts on the flyer and walk right up to people with that same hairstyle and say we are open around the corner. It’s also perfect because a lot of people hold on to them when they look good. Flyers are one of the most effective methods of getting new clientele for a barbershop.
5. Be presentable to Build Barber Clientele
Dress the way you want to be addressed is a very old adage but it still holds true today. You are your own best model. No one will believe that you can give them that fabulous haircut if you are looking trashy.
People tend to love a barber who has their hair well done. Therefore, you should also make sure that your hair always looks enticing and exemplary. Being presentable obviously goes beyond a good haircut, good grooming is absolutely necessary, right from your shoes, to your clothes, and definitely your haircut.
6. Over deliver
This works all the time. You can offer your clients extra services in addition to what they paid for, all for the same price. So instead of just giving a haircut, throw in a hot towel, warm shaving cream, shoulder, and hair massage, or even a facial.
Suggesting a trim of hair around ears and eyebrows are all things that are guaranteed to make your customers happy, convert new random visitors to regular customers, and it would help to get you awesome yelp reviews.
Even top brands such as Uber make use of referrals to boost their businesses and you can do so as well. You can give your customers referral bonuses or discounts whenever they bring in new clients. Make sure you offer superb services otherwise all this will be in vain. Some ideas for referrals include:
- Offering customers 50 percent discount on their next haircut for every new customer they bring to your shop.
- Offering a father and son discount
- Using social media to subtly ask for some help in building your business OR share pictures of your best work
- Ask your customers to refer their friends, family members, and relations to your shop.
8. Get licensed
Your customer will feel a lot more comfortable if they know that you have a license to operate as a barber. A license will also help to convince random customers to become regular since it will show that you are clearly a professional. To qualify for a barber license, you’ll need to take a state license exam that has both written and practical sections.
Depending on your state, your examination would have written and/or practical components, or both in the case of Montana, and it will be offered through the National-Interstate Council on State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC). Minimum requirements for licensure :
- Depending on the state, you must have attained a certain age, e.g. 16 years old in Texas and 18 years old in Washington D.C.
- In most states, you must be in possession of a high school diploma or GED or at least have completed tenth grade
- You may also need to pass a criminal background investigation and a medical physical
A barber license will allow you:
- Shave/trim beards or mustaches
- Cut/trim/shave hair
- Give facial and scalp massages with lotions, creams, and oils
- Singe, shampoo, and arrange hair
- Apply hair tonics
- Apply cosmetic preparations, powders, oils, antiseptics, and lotions to the face, scalp and neck
- Chemically straighten or wave hair
- Color or bleach hair
- Cut, measure, and fit wigs, hairpieces, or head caps
9. Choose an ideal location
Without an iota of doubt, the location of your barbershop can go a long way to determine how successful your business will be.
It’s not just location that you’ll need to think about though; you’ll need to think about a number of associated factors including your budget, the dimensions of your proposed space, the neighborhood, traffic patterns, area demographics, local zoning requirements, parking, physical characteristics, and lease terms.
It is not every location that is suitable for a barbershop. You should have your target audience in mind when you are looking for an area to set up your shop in.
The people you intend to cater to must be comfortable with the idea of coming to the area where your barbershop is located. Alternatively, you can be located in the vicinity of where your target demographic lives. You should also have these points in mind when choosing a location:
- Whether or not you have the capacity to match or better your potential competition without overstepping your budget
- Whether or not the market size is big enough to accommodate you and the competition
- Whether or not your target customers in that area have sufficient purchasing power
- Traffic patterns: You want to be located where there’s an abundance of both vehicle traffic and foot traffic. This is why, for example, you’ll be better off in a place where there are other retail businesses nearby, but not in the vicinity of a regional airport or Park.
- Physical visibility: how is anyone going to patronize your shop when they can’t even find you? Being very visible will ensure that your barbershop small business can attract attention, thereby encouraging people to want to pop in and see what you’re all about.
Great visibility will also complement your promotion and marketing efforts.
10. Make the first experience count
Most times in business, you don’t usually get a second chance to make the first impression and as such, you will have to make sure that the first experience your customer has with your barbershop is outstanding.
You can do this by making sure that the storefront and interior are beautifully designed, keeping the waiting time as short as possible when you can or apologizing when you can’t, having comfortable seats, easy payment, and of course a memorable last contact.
11. Word of Mouth
People value what their family and friends have to say about you, making them a valuable resource to help you build your clientele. If your existing clients love the services you provide, they’re your best advocates, so don’t be afraid to ask them for referrals and encourage them to tell all their friends about you.
12. Taking Care of Non-Customers
It is not unusual for people who are going to a barbers shop for a haircut to come along with others who may not need a haircut. This is especially true for fathers who would want to bring their kids along even though they won’t get a haircut.
You can offer them hot popcorn or a lollipop in the waiting area. This goes a long way with kids. Offer customers something that takes care of them while waiting. There are many ideas for this – may be a drink or even a car wash while you get your haircut.
13. Target different clientele such as men and children
Offer competitive rates on “standard” haircuts that most go to barbers for. Dedicate a portion of your salon just to children—not only will it help the stressed-out busy moms and dads relax a little when they come to get their hair done, but you may also end up cutting the kid’s hair as well.
You should however make sure that the kids’ area of your salon shouldn’t be within sight or ear-shot of your regular clientele
14. Upsell Existing Clients
Your existing clients can provide the most bang for your buck. You’ve already convinced them to come in your door. Therefore, you should take full advantage of this captive audience. By upselling your clients to more, better, and higher-priced products and services, you’re mining an existing market to earn more money per individual without spending any more.
In order to do this, you have to practice your elevator speech. Existing clients don’t want to listen to you ramble on about something for an hour while you’re giving them a haircut. They just want to get done and get out. But if you can perfect a short pitch for a product or service that gets a client interested, you may make a bonus sale today and several more in the future.
15. Offer New Services and Products
You can earn more money per customer and attract new clients by constantly revising your offerings. This can mean bringing in an aesthetician, or simply offering a new line of product; you have to constantly keep up with what your clients want.
Just make sure to spend time doing a little market research to find out what people want before you add on any additional expenses.
16. Ask Your Clients What They Want/Need
Before you alter any of your services in your Baber shop, try to get feedback from your clients. You can get feedback from your clients through the old-fashioned route and simply ask, but some people are uncomfortable talking.
Also, there is a tendency that they may say nice things because they do not want to hurt your feelings. To get the real nitty-gritty, you have to give them something in return. Create a contest. A simple comment box placed in-store with a low-cost prize will do.
17. Charge More
It may seem counterintuitive to try and create more business by charging more but it really isn’t. Most times, people tend to associate cheap things with low quality. You can use a higher price point to actually set yourself apart from the low-cost competition and create an air of exclusivity.
There are two things you must get right in order to pull this off successfully.
- Don’t burst your client’s price bubble (there is a cap to how much they’re willing to pay)
- Don’t forget to offer services worth what you’re charging (nobody wants to feel ripped off)
18. Get Listed on Popular Local Directories
The days of the yellow pages may be long forgotten memories but still, you can make use of local directories. Thanks to the internet, small businesses can be listed for free on local directories.
When a small business is registered on a local directory, people around the world can find it on the map and view its contact information. The best part is, you don’t have to pay anything to become registered on these directories. Some of the most popular ones out there are Google Places, Yahoo Local, and Bing Places.
As you can see, all of these directories are run by the big global internet search giants. Get on board today and claim your place!
19. Have an ear of good advice
When a customer is disgruntled or unsatisfied with what you have to offer and he/she tells you, you should try your best to hear him out. Resist the temptation to cut off the customer halfway even if what they are saying may come off to you as unreasonable.
If you cut them off, there is always a tendency that the situation will escalate and they will, in turn, feel like you are not prepared to hear them out.
Focus entirely on their complaint and try to listen raptly to what they have to say. If they are making the complaint over the phone, you should repeat the salient points of what the customer has said to them and then proceed to resolve the issue that they have raised.
A customer who complains should be encouraged because most people will not complain directly to the business owner about lapses in his brand, rather they will rather cease to patronize the brand. Therefore, you should be proactive about feedbacks, processing it, and adjusting your operations so as to counter whatever issue that the customer had raised up.
20. Be locally relevant
As the owner of a barbershop, you have to be grounded and familiar with the community in which you operate. This will help you come up with marketing and outreach ideas that organically make sense for people in your community.
It may seem difficult at first to build a clientele as a barber, but don’t lose your focus. Just make sure you take as much deliberate action as possible daily. Soon you’ll be having droves of dedicated customers who adore and always come back for your services and this will help you build clientele.
Always remember that in order for your barbershop to succeed, you constantly need to build its best aspects (customer service, product offerings, and marketing) in order to carve out your market share. Identify the things that aren’t working (outdated scheduling template, improper/broken equipment, and outdated products) and fix or eliminate them.
In addition, learn to promote your services as much as possible. This can be done through fliers, professional business cards, brochures, directory listings, and even newspaper advertisements. Do this regularly till you get frequent clients. You are not just looking for those clients who come to you when their regular barber is busy, you are looking for those who are dedicated to your services.