Guest blog: how to market your services to your dream client group

Rebecca Barraclough, owner of Saks Beauty in Halifax, which won Professional Beauty’s Beauty Salon of the Year: North West 2016 Regional Award, shares her advice on attracting the “right” clientele to your business. 

Being part of the Saks brand, as a franchisee, means I know exactly who the target audience for my salon is and I’m provided with lots of marketing assets to help target them. The ethos at the heart of Saks is to make every customer look and feel special, with expertly trained staff delivering an excellent service.

However, for independent salons trying to build a database with the “right” clientele, it can be tough. You need to start by researching your area – looking at the competition and what they’re offering. I regularly go for treatments at other salons to see how their service and treatments compare to mine.

Once you’ve done that, then you can choose your audience but don’t diversify, otherwise your messages will become diluted and it won’t be clear what kind of salon you are.

Targeting your dream client group
First things first, set your beauty menu and work towards your team’s strengths and expertise. Some of my staff have services that they excel in, such as advanced skintreatments/peels and lashes, so we promote these by social media with high-quality before and after pictures.

It’s a great way to show off your work and online is the quickest way to grow your client base as it’s visual.As a result, our clients know they are receiving quality treatments delivered by an expert therapist who loves providing a particular service.   I truly believe that education is a key factor in building loyal clientele and the ongoing education provided by Saks is second to none. My team receive new knowledge on treatment techniques and business skills regularly and as a result, are inspired to pass their achievements onto our clients. I also research new treatments and as a team we develop new ideas within staff meetings to constantly excite our clients. 

I find setting out a continued professional development (CPD) programme for every member of staff keeps them focused and helps the salon continue to move forward. Look at the treatments within your salon where you could improve and then make one small change that will make a big difference. As a manger, you should also have a treatment regularly to monitor standards, so you can implement more training where needed. 

What to do and what not to do
I’ve learned not to become influenced by what the competition is doing and to not get involved in a price war. My best advice is not to be discount-led – be all about added value instead. Stay true to your talented team and remain focused on your target audience with the right treatments and promotions.

Also, make sure you look after your clients, especially regulars, as they’re the “bread and butter” of your business. Treat them like queen’s every time. Some of the ways we look after our clients are:

And don’t forget… look after your team and they will look after your clientele. 

Image: The Saks Halifax team with their Professional Beauty Regional Award