Being a hair stylist or salon owner is hard work. You’re not just a stylist, you’re a business owner, and with that comes many other responsibilities that “regular” workers just don’t face. You’re a conversationalist, sales person, accounting person, inventory manager, handyman, customer service rep, and an marketing specialist.
That last one, marketing specialist, is probably the most daunting (ok, so accounting may be right there with it). Marketing requires you to spend valuable resources of either your time or your money to get a result that, if done right, brings you more time and more money. Done wrong, however, and it’s a waste. We’re here to help.
Marketing is all about putting the right message in front of the right people at the right time. It’s about not only building your clientele, but also about keeping that clientele loyal to you. It’s about making an investment that returns 3, 5, even 10 times what you put into it.
First, you need a goal. Do you want your effort to attract new people? Maintain contact with current clients? Build your reputation as an expert? Each message should only do one thing, as it keeps the message simple and quick.
Second, you need a home base. This is the place where you will send people who act on your message. In the old days, the home base was your phone, and the ad would ask those interested to call you. Now, it’s the internet. This could be your website, Facebook page, Pinterest, etc. We recommend that you keep your goal in mind though. If you want to get new appointments, sending people to a page where they cannot make an appointment is like sending someone to a store that does not have a cash register! In this day and age, online scheduling is simple to implement on your site and even in your social media pages. In fact, for as low as $30/month you can make it incredibly easy for clients and potential clients to schedule time with you at their convenience.
Third, you have to create your message. If you’re looking for new appointments, the best thing to do is introduce yourself, with a photo if possible, or at least have a photo on the page to which your ad links. Nobody wants to set an appointment with a stylist they’ve never seen, unless they’ve been referred. In advertising, chances are you are going to reach people who have never heard of you. The key to your ad is that you simply want the person to click on it in order to get them out of one neutral environment and into your home base.
Fourth, you need to get the message in front of people. Pay per click advertising is extremely effective, incredibly trackable (even down to the question of whether the person who clicked did what you wanted them to do once they got on your site), and very inexpensive. The average stylist can open a Google PPC account and a Facebook PPC and be up and running in an hour or two. It’s really not hard.
Here’s how to do it.
1. Visit http://www.google.com/adwords and set up your account.
2. Click on “Campaigns” in the menu bar, and then “Create Your First Campaign.”
3. Follow the four simple steps: Choose your budget; create your ads; select keywords that match your ads to potential customers; enter your billing information.
4. Select “Search Network with Display Select – All Features” in order to get keywords and display ads.
5. Under “Locations”, add in the town of your salon and hit enter. Then click “Advanced Search” to see a map. If the coverage area is too large, reduce it by typing in the zip code instead of town name. If it’s too small, add other towns. We will further refine this later.
6. Click on “I’ll manually set my bid for clicks” in order to control your spending. Or, see what Adwords will come up with. You can change it later, before the campaign goes live.
7. Enter any daily budget with which you feel comfortable. Remember though that if you spend just $5 per day, your clicks could be used up before noon! You’ll miss a lot of people later.
8. Click save and continue to get to the next screen, “Create an ad group.”
9. Write your ad and Copy, write the site’s general url, and then paste the link the url from the webpage you want into the Destination URL box.
10. On the bottom of that page, enter the words that clients typically would use when searching for you. Terms like “hair stylist,” “hair salon,” “hair coloring,” etc. Don’t forget to put the names of the town in the search terms too, as potential clients often do that.
11. Click to continue through the billing process, entering your credit card information, etc.
In future posts, we’ll explain how to create display ads that are not just words, but include pictures from your webpage. Google makes that easy too, and you follow the same concept to target people.
So there you have it. In about an hour, and for as little as $30/month, you can have your ads appear to those who are searching for you.