A new year, a new strategy for your salon, right? Dreaming big is always fun, but keeping it real with a laser-sharp focus will also help bring some of those dreams to life. To that end, we're sharing four beauty salon business ideas to play around with in 2022.
Let's get to it!
1. Embrace video marketing if you haven't already. (Or up your video-making skills if you have.)
People love, love, love watching videos, including ones that brands release.
In fact, media product company InVideo reports that 9 out of 10 viewers want to see more videos from businesses. It’s also predicted that the average person will be spending 100 minutes per day watching online videos in 2022.
Watching videos isn’t simply a passive activity, either. Videos convert viewers into customers. InVideo says, "84% of people say they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video."
And the best part? You don't need to be a professional to shoot a good video. A smartphone, a couple of free apps (for editing), and a small investment in a ring light and lavalier mic are all you need to produce great videos that your clients and prospective clients will love. (You can get a decent ring light and lavalier mic on Amazon for under $100 total.)
Of course, you don't even need to get the light, mic, and apps to get started. Just grab your smartphone and start recording. Your videos might be a little "messy" at first, but that's OK. (And sometimes preferable. People love “real” videos, especially on places like TikTok.) Just get in the habit of recording.
For example, if you're in your salon and one of your employees has just done an amazing haircut, grab your phone and record. It doesn't have to be long—15- to 30-second clips are sometimes all people want to see. You can easily upload your quick vids to places like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok right from your phone.
If you want to take your videos to the next level—by adding music or an opening "slate" with your salon's info, for example—you can learn how to do so quickly by watching thisfour-part video tutorial on how to create awesome videos with your phone. The whole video series is only 25 minutes, and they're minutes well-spent. In a half hour, you'll learn how to record, how to edit, and how to upload (to YouTube, in this case, but you can easily upload to other platforms with a few minor adjustments).
Video content ideas for beauty salons:
- Tutorials: How to do cat-eyes, how to use a round brush, how to moisturize (you get the idea)
- Product reviews: Skincare, hair care, nail care, etc.
- Time-lapsed videos of services: Show a before and after of a cool look and the time-lapsed sequence in between
- Staff interviews: People love getting a sense of employees’ personalities
- Tours of the salon: Try for different times of day and different times of year (for example, show how you deck out the place for Valentine's Day)
- Quick tips, tricks, hacks: Tips for cleaning a lash curler, hacks for cleaning a hairbrush, etc.
2. Commit to consistent email marketing.
Many beauty pros collect email addresses, but they don't have a strategic plan for using them. Remember, the key to effective email marketing is consistent email marketing.
And before you ask, yes—email marketing can be extremely effective. As HubSpot reports "email generates $42 for every $1 spent, which is an astounding 4,200% ROI, making it one of the most effective options available."
So don't treat your email list as an afterthought. Regularly communicating with existing clients is one of the best ways to make bank. How so? Well, it's much easier to sell your services to existing customers than it is to go out and find new customers. It also costs less, too. In fact, HubSpot reports that it's "5-25X more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer."
The biggest mistake that we see salon owners make, especially smaller salons, is inconsistent communications between the salon and the customer base. Email marketing makes it super easy to stay in touch. Many off-the-shelf products have mobile-friendly email templates that you can quickly customize with your logo and brand colors.
To start, simply commit to sending out a communication every month. That's only 12 emails! Make each email truly valuable. Promote an exclusive offer to your email list, like a discount on a service or product. (This will also help you measure how effective your email marketing is.)
If you already do regular email communications and you want to take it to the next level, implement a birthday program and/or a referral program.
Birthday Email Campaign
Start collecting clients' birthdays (their birthday month is fine). Set up the email marketing software so that it automatically sends out a happy birthday email on the first day of the month to that particular month's birthday list.
Offer something special, like a discount that has to be used during their birthday month. (Most email marketing products make it easy to set this up so it’s automatic. But even if you had to do a manual send each month, it still wouldn't require a ton of work since most email marketing software will allow you to easily create mailing lists.
You certainly don’t want to over-email folks. But a regular monthly email and one special "extra" email during their birthday month will likely be well-received while helping to keep your salon front and center in their mind.
Within the emails themselves, ALWAYS make it super easy for people to book an appointment. Include a link to your scheduling system.
Refer-a-Friend Email Campaign
Create a list of your VIP clients and send an email asking them to refer a friend. If a friend books an appointment, your client will receive a discount on a service. You could even incentivize it further: "If five of your friends book appointments within a year, you'll get a free service of your choice worth X amount."
3. Keep an eye on industry trends—especially those with staying power.
Ah, trends. It's a word that can have positive or negative connotations, depending on your perspective. Some folks reject chasing trends while others love to jump on what's hot—often in an effort to satisfy clientele.
And see? That's what it comes down to, after all: What do your clients expect when they visit your salon? Even if you inwardly cringe at certain trends, if you want to remain competitive, you'll need to keep your eye on what's trending. Because if a client can't get that hot new service in your salon, they'll go elsewhere.
So what's hot as we head into 2022? Two words: Lash lifts. Two more words: Brow lamination. (And brow and lash tinting, too!)
Brow lamination is an alternative to microblading. As this story in Allure notes, brow lamination is a "procedure that temporarily perms your eyebrows upward for a full and fluffy look." It took off in the U.S. in 2019, but it doesn't show any signs of slowing down. Lash lifts are just as the name suggests—the procedure lifts your lashes from the base and into a lovely, flirty curl.
It's worth noting, of course, that salons would need state approvals from their State Board on facilitating these services based on licensure. But if you're attracting clients from social media, especially a younger clientele, be prepared for these requests because both are super-hot right now, especially on Instagram and TikTok (more on these social media platforms in a moment).
Other hot trends: the center part, which has taken center stage these last few years, especially with people under twenty-five, also shows no signs of slowing down. The "bixie"—part bob, part pixie—is poised to gain even more traction this year, thanks to celebs like Gabrielle Union and Anne Hathaway sporting the look.
The best way to stay up on what's hot is through social media—and listening to your clients. Honestly, clients will alert you to trends you should be paying attention to. For example, if you start hearing about a specific service over and over, pay attention. Turn to Instagram or TikTok to see what people are posting about it.
Carlene Knight holds cosmetology licenses in DC and Maryland and owns Salon Life Studio. She says one of the hottest trends that she saw in 2021—and that she thinks will continue this year—is the lace frontal wig with slick-backed baby hairs. She said soft waves with pin curls were crowd-pleasers as well. Carlene also has a trend wish-list: She'd love to see people embrace "sisterlocks." She says that they're much smaller than typical dreadlocks.
When it comes to inspiration and keeping up with what's hot, Carlene says social media is where it's at. "My go-to is Instagram," she explains. "You will find out all the trends on Instagram."
4. Up your Instagram game—and consider getting on board the TikTok train.
Speaking of social media . . . You probably have a presence on Instagram—and possibly Facebook and Twitter. For the last several years, Instagram was THE place for anyone in the beauty industry to be. But that newer kid on the block—TikTok—has taken over the internet, especially with younger Millennials and Gen Z, and especially within the beauty industry.
Elle magazine has this to say about TikTok: "Notably, it’s become an incredibly useful platform for the beauty community: from generating hype around beauty trends like #TeamNoSleep to educational tutorials on hair plopping, TikTok is buzzing with hyper-consumable content for skincare, haircare and make-up addicts everywhere — and it’s changing the way we buy beauty, too."
Even better? Unlike Instagram, you don't need a ton of followers to have influence. Elle reports that "Absolutely anyone (or any product) has the chance to go viral due to [TikTok's] unique algorithm, which rewards creative content."
- TikTok has over one billion active monthly users.
- Currently, it is THE most engaging social media app with users spending an average of 10.8 minutes per session.
- In the U.S., the biggest demo is Gen Z, which accounts for over 47% of active users between 10 and 29.
- But don't let that last stat fool you! As Backlinko states, "American adults using TikTok grew 5.5 times in the last 18 months, with a 2:1 female to male gender ratio."
Now, we're not suggesting you forgo other social media platforms, especially Instagram, which remains incredibly popular and effective for the beauty industry. (Check out the article we did on how to rock your Instagram presence.) But if you've been toying with the idea of TikTok, now might be the time to dive in.
Some hints and tricks for getting started with TikTok:
- Create your own business account on TikTok.
- Follow other beauty brands and study the type of content they're producing.
- Experiment with different types of content—think short, think fun. Definitely take advantage of the special effects AND music tracks. TikTok is famous for both.
- If you have employees, encourage them to TikTok as well. (Consider having a contest on getting followers or getting a video to go viral.) Ask employees to make sure they tag their fellow employees and the salon for greater traction. Note: You can even "duet" with other TikTok videos.
Want more TikTok help?
- Check out HubSpot's step-by-step guide for setting up your TikTok and posting videos.
- Check out TikTok's own tutorials on how to create an effective TikTok strategy and how to get truly creative on TikTok.
Bonus Tip: Experiment, experiment, experiment.
When it comes to implementing winning beauty salon business ideas, half the battle is simply trying out new things and monitoring results. What works for one salon might not work for another. Continue to experiment with new ideas to find the right mix of marketing magic for your business.
We wish you much success this year...and beyond!