As a salon and spa owner, you know that your quality of work alone will not bring in business. If it did, you wouldn’t be reading this marketing blog searching for some new marketing inspiration (for your interest, we thank you!). Effective marketing takes some time, energy and money – all of which are at a premium for salon owners. The good news is that there are some simple and inexpensive ways to expand your marketing reach using the proven methods of word of mouth marketing using a new avenue – local partnerships.
Here are a few suggestions for teaming up on with friends in the business community for optimal local marketing. Add any ideas and campaigns you’ve done below to share the love!
Exchange business cards
This is a simple way to let people know about your business with something you’ve already got on-hand. Approach businesses in your area that you think you typical clients would visit and ask if they are willing to let you leave a stack of business cards behind. In exchange, you can offer to take a stack of their cards back to your salon. You may even prefer to do this with a brochure or special offer. Brainstorm places that your target clients frequent at your next team meeting – some places that may be a good fit for a business card swap include spas, gyms, beauty supply stores and even daycare centers. Increase the likelihood of the referrals by each offering a discount that is exclusive to the cards you swap with each other.
Sponsor an event
A great way to give back to the community that makes your salon successful is by sponsoring a local event like a silent auction or road race for charity. Events and sponsorships can take a bit more of a toll on your budget, but it is a bit grander of an activity with greater awareness potential. Quid pro quo, anyone? Don’t completely bow out from the idea, though. Approach another similar businesses (fashion boutiques, maybe) and ask if they want to split the cost of a sponsorship spot with you. Most event coordinators will appreciate that you want to contribute and allow the split-sponsorship agreement. Or, if it’s still too much to outlay cash for a sponsorship, approach the coordinators about donating your time and efforts for styling, etc. Great way to get your skills in front of everyone and not have to dip into the bank account. If you are sponsoring your own event, approach other businesses and find out if they want to donate products or services.
Promote each other online
A powerful way to move up the ranks of a search engine is to have other places on the internet link to your website. Talk to other business owners locally, or even outside your client area, about swapping links to each other’s business websites to boost online credibility. An easy way to add other business links to your own site is by having a “Places We Love” section or mentioning another business in a blog post, complete with the link to its website. Also think about supporting each other in social media endeavors. Retweet and repin content that benefits your client base and share links and photos, too. Or even do something as simple as commenting on local Facebook pages as your brand.
Remember, other small business owners are always on the lookout for local marketing opportunities, just like you. By approaching other businesses with your partnership ideas, you take some of the weight off their shoulders and bolster your marketing campaigns too.