How to Market your Salon for Bridal Services
Want a piece of that cake? Wedding cake that is!
Our post covers how to ensure you are putting in the right steps to market your salon to the booming bridal industry.
We look at ideas you can easily implement to promote your services to not only existing clients that are recently engaged but how to advertise your bridal services to anyone looking in your area for this all important part in their wedding planning.
We all know that weddings are BIG business worldwide.
In the UK alone, the wedding industry is worth around 10 billion pounds. Now, who wouldn’t want a slice of that?
The average figure for a UK wedding is a whopping £30,000 as found by Brides magazine – fom planning the engagement right through to the honeymoon, we’re talking pretty big bucks here and a lot of potential to tap into.
In this post, I am going to show you how to have your cake and eat it too, by showcasing a few ideas on how to cash in on this growing market.
Whether you take wedding bookings already, or want to start, consider these marketing tips if you want to be taken seriously and attract the lucrative bridal bunch.
Ensure your website is bridal friendly
Your website is often the first port of call that many potential brides will have with your salon, and first impressions count! However, it is often overlooked as a promotional avenue.
Many salon owners dedicate a large amount of time to the website as a whole, but fail to cover this niche.
Make sure you have professional photographs (Or at least fake it with professional looking) pictures displayed on your site. Not only will this showcase your potential but it shouts ‘experts in wedding hair’, which will bag you the all important brides custom, with a bit of luck!
If you have one stylist who specialises in bridal hair, make sure you attribute their specialist skills on their profile on your website or social media platforms. This will also help clients better understand the services you offer.
Testimonials are another great marketing strategy. They are a great way to gain trust and authenticity in your brand. If you are able to obtain testimonials from brides that you have previously worked with and, with their permission, add them to your website to help promote your salon.
Start them on a hair journey
Your marketing approach here, is to start selling your services long in advance of their wedding day.
Lets face it, most brides plan a year if not more prior to their big day. If they are starting on their quest to find the correct salon for their needs, make sure that’s you.
Now you may be asking ‘Wouldn’t the bride just stick with their regular salon for this?’
YES should be the answer! However unfortunately in some cases, if the salon has not branded themselves as an expert in this area, clients will look elsewhere.
Don’t make this mistake with your own, ensure your services are displayed and information easily attainable for your own blushing brides.
Now onto the journey, there is real untapped opportunity at your fingertips. You want to encourage brides to start on a programme of treatments leading up to the big finale with their put up on the day. I’m talking up selling: colouring, conditioning services, extensions (if you do them), the hair trial… you get the gist.
Salon Savour tip
Create a plan tailored for their hair, starting with the wedding hair end goal to determine how to move forward to achieve this. Will they need to grow their hair? In which case regular cuts and conditioning treatments will be the route you start. Are they happy with their colour or will they need to begin changing it to achieve the desired result in time for their big day. All of these factors need to be taken into account to ensure the bride has the hair of her dreams on the day.
Building your relationship during each visit solidifies her trust in your salon and brand. Extending the longevity of her custom in the future, past the day of her wedding to becoming a customer for life.
Network with local businesses
Channel your inner Rihanna and ‘work’!
What I mean by this, is Network. Hone in your networking skills by getting out there and introducing yourself to local businesses. A kind of ‘I scratch your back, you scratch mine’ kind of stance.
Salon Saviour tip
Offer them your business card in exchange for theirs and perhaps deals could be made in accordance with both parties. A trade off if you like, with local florists, wedding venues, dress shops, wedding planners, photographers, florist, bakery, the list goes on!
Remember, it is important to believe in the service your recommending because brides are basing their decision on what they see. So you only want to liaise with businesses that are going after the same calibre clients you are.
It is good to support your local businesses, especially if they can reciprocate this service. That way, you are both receiving free advertising. You could even feature links on your Facebook page, so brides can easily browse all associates and ‘marry up’ her appropriate choices.
Building foundations for stronger relationships go a long way, as a lot of bridal work is gained by word of mouth.
Go to local wedding fairs
Local wedding fairs are a great way to drum up business. If you have ever been to a wedding fair yourself, you may remember the variety of stalls available to browse.
This is a great marketing opportunity for getting your salon name out there. You could have your portfolios readily available for brides to flick through as well as a model with their hair styled.
If the space allows and you are able to set up a mini section with a mirror and your equipment you could offer free consultations for brides. Offering advice and answering questions is the perfect way to pique interest in potential customers.
You could also have packs made up with your business card in, a list of your services and maybe a miniature product. These packs are a great call to action because they have your business card inside, so brides are able to get in touch for more information. You could also have a clipboard for people to leave their details. Data capturing is ideal for you to follow up and remind them of your interaction.
Salon Saviour tip
A good marketing angle would be to have a Polaroid camera and snap a few pics of any styles tried out for your bride and pop it in their pack so they can refer back to it. This a nice little reminder and something a bit different to set your salon apart and stick out in the brides memory.
Wedding fairs often occur at weekends, namely on Sundays, which is another ideal opportunity – especially if you are not having to take time out of the salon to promote your business. Check when your nearest wedding fairs are being held and make enquires to set up a stand. Trying one will enable you to work out your return on investment and if they are worth attending in the future. Check out this guide from Bride magazine on how to get the most out of exhibiting at a wedding fayre.
Flaunt your bridal skills on social media platforms
Demonstrate your salons prowess by uploading photographs of previous bridal hairstyles as a sort of portfolio of the work achieved by you and your staff. Best of all this is all completely FREE, all it requires is some time to upload the photos.
Social proof is a key way to attain new bridal clientele or any new clientele for that matter. So if you want promotion from happy customers, just ask! Most people would be happy to leave a glowing review on your salon’s website (Providing your services have been authentic and infallible, which I don’t doubt for one minute).
It will help other brides find your salon online and spreads the word at no extra cost to either party.
Some brides will let you use photos taken on the day from the wedding event. With their permission, use these pictures as another great way to illustrate your work in action and continue to build on your salon business and brand.
Salon Saviour tip
A quick tip is to take pictures of each individual in the bridal party, and some group photos, then tag them individually on your Facebook page. This is great exposure for your salon as there will be more eyes on your business if they follow your salon page or tag you on their own social media.
Travel to venues for bridal services
“Get me to the church on time!!”
Does your salon offer out of salon services? By this I mean, do you or your staff travel off site to do home visits for brides?
This is another great opportunity to stand out from the crowd & the competition, if viable for your business.
Some brides would prefer to have their hair put up on the day at home, or even a local hotel if they are to wed there. As aforementioned it has to be feasible, if you have a small salon with few members of staff, it might not make sense to have half out at an event when they could be needed in house.
It can be a good move and prove lucrative if you are able to offer this as a service, so consider your options carefully. Remember, brides will pay over and above for the right person for the job, so make sure YOU are her first choice!!
Once your brides have found you and shown an interest in booking with you, here a few tips to help secure their custom moving forward.
Offer a free consultation for brides to be
This seems a fairly straightforward point to action right?! It is at this stage where business with you is hanging in the balance. She obviously has chosen your salon over the competition for a reason, so now is your time to shine as an salon.
It is generally good practice to have portfolios for each of your bridal hair artists, as the bride can browse through and get a feel for the stylist. She may have found your salon through your website and may have already seen what you have to offer. However, it is will still be helpful to have other images to hand to showcase the stylists talent, even if it is on their Instagram page.
If the bride to be has approached your salon as a result of finding you online – great news! This means you have already got over some hurdles, and are part way to securing their business.
What to include in the consultation:
The consultation will usually consist of the stylist and bride to be, chatting through ideas to determine what needs to be done to achieve the desired look, and work towards creating the tailored programme for her thereafter.
This service is generally free as providing both parties are happy with the plan, you are well on your way to bagging your bride. It is advisable to book in at least one practice session to try out the styles the client has picked out. This is another great way to reassure them that they are in great hands.
Salon Saviour tip
Don't forget to mention the other services that may be of interest to the bride. If she in newly engaged, she may wish to have her hair styled for her engagement shoot or for her save the date cards as well as for her hen do. These are all great marketing opportunities leading up the the grand finale on her wedding day and may help to win her business.
It's the little things that count
Picture your ideal wedding day. Would it have people waiting on you hand and foot? Or would it simply be to have some well earned ‘me’ time.
Now try and put yourself in the brides shoes. Its her special day, what could you offer to make her day extra special?
There are many avenues you could travel down depending on budget or how well equipped for wedding parties your salon is, there are plenty of options available. The world really is your oyster.
Here are a few ideas to get you started...
Champagne on arrival for the bride and her guests.
This is such a simple gesture, yet it goes a long way as it may ease her pre-wedding jitters! It also shows you have gone the extra mile.
A goody bag full of treats that may come in handy during the day.
You could include:
- A mini hairspray
- Some shampoos for her to try out. (They may come in handy in miniature size for her honeymoon).
- Maybe a 10% off voucher for a conditioning treatment for after the big day? This encourages her to return to your salon even after her wedding and hopefully continue to come back to your salon, even after the big day.
Refer a friend card and both receive a free blow dry.
Again as mentioned in my networking section, brides talk!! Any referrals boost your salon growth and open up the floodgates for more business through your door. It’s a win win!!
Tap into your full salon potential with these tried and tested tips to ensure your salon is the go to place for brides.
It is advisable to take non refundable deposits for big bridal parties. This is just to protect yourself when you are blocking out a large appointment slot. It is very unlikely that someone would forget their wedding hair on such a special day, but if the unthinkable does happen, you are covered for some of your losses.
From the brides perspective this is not likely to be an issue because she will have enough to worry about so a part payment in advance may be welcomed. This is a useful marketing angle for you if you position it in this way. The client only has the pay the remaining balance and the deposit secures their spot.