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 make sure clients have you on their radar in this latest instalment of The PR Brief.
Public relations is the management of your brand – it’s not just for big companies, it’s for every salon, and if you are freelance then it’s all about YOU. You are a hair expert. You may be a colour, cut or extensions specialist, or a great all-rounder in demand, and you should be shouting about it!
Thinking about yourself as a brand is crucial for both your immediate and long-term success.
You are an expert in what you do; think about what you offer and why you are popular. Don’t be afraid to ask your clients and friends what they love about you, and your services – use their words if you ae self-conscious about bigging yourself up.
Think about what makes you unique. It’s what we call a Unique Selling Point (USP) and it’s what makes you different or stand out from the rest of the hairdressers in your area. This needs to be highlighted in everything you do – across your social media, in all of your marketing materials, when talking to neighbouring businesses you want to work with. Your USP is like your DNA, it’s who you are.
Make yourself the voice of authority in your area. Your aim is to make your business the first place that people think of when they think hair. Use social and local media opportunities to talk about the hair solutions that you can offer — from helping thinning hair and adding volume and texture, through to colour expertise, hair extensions, bridal, grooming… Whatever it is you do, shout about it nice and clearly.
You know who your clientele are, more than you probably think. You know what they like, where they shop, their aspirations, celebrities they like, where they eat and so on. And the way you present yourself needs to reflect this. It’s not just about the hair services you provide, it’s about the experience you offer, whether they are coming to you or you are going to them. Make people feel pampered in their own home – you’re bringing that salon experience to them, remember?
Don’t forget that Covid caution is still present, so make sure you promote how you are operating safely. Clients will appreciate that you are taking care of them, on multiple levels, with full PPE etc.
It’s all the little things in the salon that make them feel this is where they belong. Building up your brand image doesn’t have to be only the big things; if they love reading Vogue then don’t have Take a Break on offer; if they all go to the local coffee shop then don’t offer instant coffee, reach out to the shop and arrange their orders. Make them feel special and pampered, but also in the way that this is what they deserve and should expect.
This is important because it is also subconsciously is building and reinforcing the brand in their minds AND – the biggie – your hair expertise. Your professionalism, your attention to detail, will have everyone telling friends, family and colleagues, all leading to new clients.
It doesn’t matter if you are looking after someone in their home – you are still the expert and should be dropping in little hints about what subtle changes they can be thinking about in the future to ensure they book you in. You can still provide those touches that set you apart.
Think about where you sit in your community, what you offer, and then be ready to shout about it.