You might think that PR and branding is for the big fish in the pond – but you would be so wrong! SLBPR founder Sharon Brigden shares her essential marketing advice to keep you busy all summer long in our latest instalment of The PR Brief.
After the initial client bonanza we’re hearing that a lot of you are starting to experience some quieter days. It’s no time to rest on your laurels though – down time is crucial planning time, so that you don’t become overwhelmed further down the line!
Use this time to shout about summer hair. It doesn’t matter if more of us are staycationing this year, clients will still want to do it in style. Here’s where to start…
Create a series of beach-inspired how-to videos – braids, simple up-dos, how to use hair wraps for the beach – all ready to post on social. This is also a great opportunity practise your hair-up techniques after a year of no real big events! Include some content on heat protection too, both from the sun and styling tools. Demonstrate and talk about what products to use in different scenarios – this will also help boost retail sales.
If you offer hair extensions then this is the ideal time to show off your expertise. Promote getting great hair for the lifting of social restrictions, with temporary extensions ideal for parties, festivals and boho styles. Extensions offer so much than just glamorous length, so be sure to also highlight the benefits of extensions for adding texture to thinner hair as well as length.
Once you’ve created your content and imagery, be sure to send this information to your local press. Don’t forget to send images in a high resolution format, and ask your product houses for retail images to send as well. Promote via social and to local media your recommended summer colours – what skin tone and hair types they will suit – to reinforce you as THE local hair expert. Why would people go anywhere else when you have all the best advice?
You know how I bang on about planning; it’s important to also use some of these quieter times to create content for the future. If you are already doing up-do content then there’s no reason that you couldn’t do a few ready for Christmas – just get your model to change into a different outfit, go big on the make-up and add some sparkle, easy peasy!
If things get very quiet then try talking to your local media about running a summer hair competition – create a package of colour, cut and products to give the winner. If you are permitted to have the contact details of those who enter, use this to send them all information about your business.
In the same sense, I’m not a big fan of discounts but sometimes drastic times call for drastic action. It’s important to try not to discount your actual core salon services. Reserve this as a ‘gift’ for special groups such as NHS or local businesses/charities, or one-off promotions. Instead create a package or offer an add-on such as an extra conditioning treatment with every colour, or a ‘free’ styling advice service, where you show clients how to wear their hair in different styles, at the end of their appointment. Again, talk to your product houses about how they can help – they may be able to supply samples which you can give to every client who books in for a certain service. You can then promote it as ‘free goody bag worth £XX when you book a full head of highlights’ for example.
And if you are located in a typical staycation location then you should be making friends with every hotelier and B&B owner in the area. These are the people you should be giving proper discounts to – in return for them promoting your salon to their guests. Be sure you monitor the clients this drives to you so that you can see which partnerships are the most fruitful to your business and ensure you nurture them or cut off ones which aren’t working.