Learn How to Market Your Salon
To fully establish your business, you need to be easily discovered – in person and online.
Choose an easily-accessible location for your salon. People often avoid areas with heavy traffic, especially if you’re only open during rush hour traffic and then close by 6 or 7. People will favor going to businesses with easy accessibility and visibility.
Nowadays, having an online presence is crucial. If someone is looking for a service, like joining a tanning salon or fitness center, the first thing they will usually do is a quick google search.
On these pages, list your hours, directions and flattering pictures of your salon and tanning equipment. Looking good to people online is the first step.
On your social media pages, post info graphics and content that is relevant to your targeted customers. Use social media to announce special promotions, new equipment and other information that will get customers coming through your door (read examples below).
Keep your digital presence positive and upbeat. People are turned off by negative content and it can quickly fuel a bad reputation. The best practice is to maintain a positive presence in the community and to NEVER criticize your customers.
In addition to having a welcoming location and strong digital presence, partner with other local businesses like gyms, hair salons, nail salons, etc. Through partnerships, your salon’s customer base will grow and grow and grow! Create flyers for your business partners to hand out to their customers.
If you’re starting a tanning salon, get to know your potential tanners. This is a targeted audience, and what they like and do will be able to help market your advertising towards them. This can include their age, demographics, gender, lifestyle of the area you live in, etc. If you live in a beach-like environment, maybe target your salon to be summer themed.
Once you have your webpages, have “call to actions” on the outside of your business’s location, on your social media posts, even in a local newspaper. This can include words such as “Call now”, “come in and learn now”, or “free consultation” with a coupon to initially bring people in the door.
When new customers arrive, show them value in signing up for monthly packages – such as free tanning sessions when signing a contract, a free bottle of lotion with a contract, or provide credits when they buy ahead.
When they’re in your location, make sure they feel comfortable and know what to do. If they are not pro-tanners, sit down with them for a minute and explain the tanning process, or hand them a brochure with details and give them a tour of your facility.
Once you get a customer, bring them back.
Marketing techniques can include email marketing, social media marketing, SMS text marketing. All these types will keep your customers coming back and develop a good social relationship with them. Just be sure not to spam your customers and post relevant content that you know your followers/customers enjoy.
Some tips to send out on social media or emails can be fun summer ideas, healthy eats, etc. Have tips posted on our board, TV, or have brochures, flyers, or tanning tips posters for them to read/watch while in the waiting room/lobby.
Marketing Special Examples: (Post on social media, note board, email marketing, text marketing, newsletters)
- Have daily, weekly, or monthly deals on lotions, eyewear, packages, etc. such as buy 5 samples, get 1 free. Buy 1 pair or eyewear, get one half off. People enjoy knowing they are getting their money’s worth. Have a contest/raffle every so often for free items or coupons like 20% off your next visit.
- Send out newsletters or share tips on a note board inside your salon such as “what you should do to prep for a tan” or have a video on your TV display.
- Have “lotion of the month” – meaning lotions that people like best, explain why some have bronzers, tinglers, etc. and which is best for that skin type. People love to learn about stuff they enjoy doing, such as tanning!
- Provide other helpful tips such as what causes pressure points – angelwings/bunny tails, sun spots, and blotchiness – and how to avoid them.
- Have a mixologist chart – have your staff choose new lotions to mix and try in new level beds and see which works out best. Tell them to teach your customers to change it up and make it fun
- Offer double dip sessions – something most places don’t do – a combination of sunbed tan followed immediately by a spray tan session. Sunbeds use UV rays to trigger melanin to darker your skin tone. While the pores are open, it allows the sunless spray solution to penetrate your skin. That way while you’re building you base tan, you can start out the color you desire with the sunless solution. When they spray tan fades, the UV tan will last and will keep you going – creating a deeper, longer lasting tan.
- Provide student/military discounts!
- Provide holiday discounts!
- Have a happy hour to bring people in during your slower hours. Ex: 40% off a single tanning session purchase.
- Start a loyalty program with individual tanning sessions, lotions, or eyewear. Buy 10 get-one-free, or spend $150, get a free tanning session or lotion.
- For them to come back offer deals such as bringing in a friend, you get 50% off.
- When they start out tanning, provide them with a first free pair of Wink-ease or a few sample lotion packets for them to come back and try again. Customers love leaving feeling valued with a gift like lotions, lip balms, or even a bottle of water.
Your customers are your biggest advertising tool.
Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool especially when used to your advantage. People trust their friend’s reviews or comments more than your own advertising, so offer a free service to someone who leaves a review or brings a friend or family member in. It promotes your salon and keeps your existing customers happy.
Reviews are now super important for google and social media. A lot of customers in today’s society, before going to a beauty, nail, or tanning salon, will look up the location, see what other people have to say, and even compare nearby locations. Try your best to encourage positive feedback and have every customer leaving happy.
People will tend to leave bad reviews more often than good reviews. This is because when people are mad, they want to share it, so no one else will try that location. If you receive a lot of positive reviews, potential customers will recognize your place of a business trustworthy and give you a chance.
A good way for your customers to positively spread the word about your new location is to have social media contests. Have your customers follow your page, share your contest post, and be entered to win something special. This way their friends will see a positive reaction to your social media and get them to click onto your site, and maybe enter the contest themselves. This gives them the perfect example to learn your name and try your salon out without even winning.
Gain your customers feedback!
If your customers don’t leave a review or only have a few returning customers, create a customer survey card in the room. When they leave, they can fill it out to see if they are noticing something you might not or leave a constructive comment anonymously. If a customer writes something note-worthy, it could be affecting your customers’ opinion of your business. This can only help you decide what to improve when starting out.
Make tanning a fun experience, not a chore.
Of course you can do this with contests and deals, but also make sure you have a friendly staff and a welcoming environment for anyone who walks through the door. You wouldn’t want to go to a massage place that was loud and has a rude staff. You wouldn’t feel relaxed at all. The same rule applies with your tanning salon. Allow your customers to enjoy their 15-30 minutes they are with you, so they don’t feel like it’s a chore coming to get a tan.
Make sure your staff is knowledgeable and offers friendly suggestions to your customers to keep things fresh. Allow your customers to trust you and your staff by being fully educated on the industry and process of tanning. Read more here.
How are you different than your competitors? Be better.
Compare your equipment, hours, pricing, location, who their customers are, who they are targeting, do they offer other services, are they on the latest tanning trends?
How do you compete? You can either decide to play off their weaknesses or you can play off their strengths. But remember, customers don’t tan your competition for its weaknesses, but for their strengths. Play off your strengths, and theirs. Is it your location, particular services, pricing, or hours? Even if their pricing is low, if you go even lower, they might look at your salon as cheap. But if you have the same prices, its comparable.
Diversify your salon. Add other amenities for tanners to use while they are waiting for a bed to open up. Offer additional services to your tanning packages for them to beautify their weekly routine and feel more pampered when they visit your business. Try adding red light sessions to tanning packages like Tiki Tan did.
Consider highlighting what makes your tanning salon different from the rest and try to incorporate that within your marketing mission. You want to make sure that you promote your business so it stands out among the rest.
Most of all, be unique. Have your own appealing style that will draw customers into your salon. What makes your tanning salon special and how are you going to show it?
If you would like help getting a tanning salon started, contact us here at ProSun. Email us at Sales@ProSun.com or call 1-800-874-2776.