17 free local advertising ideas for your hair or nail salon

In this 8-minute read:

  • Free local advertising ideas for your salon
  • Claim your online listings
  • Customer reviews
  • Social media
  • Webinars and videos
  • Share your knowledge
  • And much more!

Every business needs advertising in order to gain new customers and increase profits. But it isn’t always an easy or inexpensive task to take on. 

Get new customers and keep them happy with reputation management software. Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!

We know how important advertising is, and we want to help you get started. So, we’ve come up with a list of several free and effective ways that you can advertise your hair or nail salon.

1. Create and claim your online directory profiles

To improve your online visibility and take advantage of the power of online reviews, you first need to create and claim your online directory profiles on Google, Bing, Yelp, and so many others.

Adding your salon to these directories not only helps you get found by customers who are searching those directories, but it also helps the search engines to verify that your information is accurate across multiple trusted sources.  

Check out these tutorials to get started:

2. Get and respond to customer reviews online

When you have your online profiles set up, you can start getting customer reviews on those profiles.

Customer reviews are crucial for gaining even more customers for your salon. And the quality of your reviews can really make or break your business. 

Here are a few ways you can encourage your customers to give your salon an online review:

  • Ask them for one. After you provide a great service and your client is just thrilled with their new look, ask them if they’d be willing to share their experience with others in a Google or Facebook review. 
  • Put up “Rate us on Google” signs throughout your salon. These can be on the front door, at the checkout desk, or even cute stickers on the mirrors. This will remind customers that you would love to hear from them. 
  • Text your customers an invitation or reminder to leave your salon a review with a direct link to your Google listing or Facebook page. 
  • Give reputation management software a try. Solutions like this can help you automate review invitations and responses. 

When you do start getting reviews, be sure to respond to all of them within a day or two of receiving them. Say “thanks” to those who leave good reviews, and if you ever do receive a bad review, respond politely and professionally.  

Go deeper: How to respond to negative reviews

3. Set up a free website for your salon

Beyond your free directory listings, you should absolutely have a website for your salon. And you can totally create one for free!

Some free sites that we like to use include the following:

Keep in mind that if you do want to have your own domain for your website or will have a web hosting service, you might incur some small fees. But you definitely need a website. Read why every small business needs to have a website.

4. Improve your local SEO

Setting up a website and adding your salon to online directories are both key steps to improving your SEO (search engine optimization). This is how you show up higher in the search engines. 

There are several other free ways that you can improve your SEO:

  • Write awesome content on your website about your staff and services
  • Start a blog
  • Optimize your website for specific key phrases
  • Get other websites to link back to yours

Once you’ve done those, check out our guide: 15 free tips for better local SEO 

5. Create a blog on your website

Starting a blog is a great way to provide more content that you can use to advertise your salon, and, as we mentioned, it can help improve your SEO too. Adding fresh, new content to your website on a regular basis sends great signals to the search engines. 

Here are a few ideas that you should definitely steal for your blog:

  • How-to articles and videos
  • New trending styles
  • Hair/nail care tips
  • Best new products to try
  • New products you are selling

Ask your employees if they’d be willing to contribute one or two blog posts every few months and you’ll have plenty of regular content to share. 

6. Get on social media

We cannot stress the importance of social media enough. Hair and nail salons can really capitalize on so many opportunities from these free channels. 

Many people are reaching out to salons directly on their social media channels, particularly Facebook and Instagram. 

For such a visual profession, social media is the perfect place to show off your work and gain new customers who are looking to mix up their style. 

Here are a few tutorials to create your social pages:

7. Partner with local businesses

Partnering with other businesses in your community can be a powerful strategy for obtaining referrals and new business. You could partner with local bridal boutiques, wedding planners, or even florist shops to offer combined deals on your complimentary services. 

8. Try some email campaigns

Give email campaigns a try and see how they work with your clientele. Be sure to write a really compelling subject line and keep your email short and to the point. 

The most successful email campaigns usually offer some kind of promotion or deal for your customers to get it on. 

9. Get in contact with your chamber of commerce

Your local chamber of commerce is a great resource to take advantage of. They want to help small businesses in their community succeed, so typically they will offer marketing resources and add your salon to their website to help get the word out. 

10. Participate in community events

Volunteering in your community is the perfect way to get connected with new customers and spread awareness of your salon. People like to see local businesses getting involved and giving back to the community they live in. 

Here are a few ways you can do that:

  • Volunteer at a 5k
  • Participate in holiday parades and events
  • Help with city cleanup projects
  • Provide free haircuts to veterans

There are so many ways you can get involved. Just find the right opportunities for your salon and go for it!

11. Host webinars and Q&A sessions online

Webinars and online Q&A’s can help you provide value to customers and non-customers alike. Start a Facebook Live video to share tips about hair care, answer common questions that customers have, or show viewers how to do a certain technique that everyone should be able to do. 

Things like these videos and blog posts that offer some value to others are great ways to show that you know your stuff and that you are passionate about what you do. 

12. Offer fun deals

Everyone loves a deal. Tap into this reality and get attention. 

Offer cool and fun deals. You could do back-to-school specials, bridal deals, or any number of discounts that work for your client-base. Get creative and start a new promotion to catch people’s attention and get new customers. 

13. Start a referral program for your salon

Let your current customers advertise for you by creating a referral or customer loyalty program. Offer a discounted service for a current customer if they refer a new client to you, and offer that new client the same deal. 

Learn more with this article: The 6 elements of an effective customer loyalty program

14. Create short promotional videos 

People are visual. That’s why we spend so much time scrolling through social media apps. We like pretty pictures and cool videos. Take advantage of that by creating some promotional videos for your salon that show off your work. 

Biteable is a popular (and free) video software that we like to use. 

15. Start a YouTube channel for your salon

Create a YouTube channel for your salon where you can share all of the cool new videos that you just produced. Tutorials, promotional pieces, webinars–all of those are great for sharing on your YouTube channel. 

Lots of people love to look up hair and nail tutorials, so you may even produce a video that goes viral and gives your salon a lot more attention. 

16. Share your salon’s testimonials online

When you get new reviews online, share them. You can share reviews across social media channels or put a review feed on your website. 

You could also create videos of customers sharing their testimonial of your salon. These appeal to that visual side and help add a more personal touch to your salon by allowing customers to see someone sharing their experience, rather than just reading about it. 

17. Put up flyers

Flyers still have their place in the advertising world. Create your own flyers to advertise your new promotions or openings at your salon. Place these in high traffic areas like grocery stores, college campuses, and even your own shop. Canva is a great free resource to use for creating professional flyers. 

There are a lot of great tips here, but we don’t want you to feel like you’re completely on your own in this. If you find that you don’t have time for all of these free advertising solutions, there are services that you can enlist for a small fee to help you out. 

Womply’s reputation management software can help you help you save tons of time managing your directory listings and online reviews. Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!

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