When salon or barbershop operators help you showcase your talent as an individual stylist, they empower you to follow your passion and build a repeat clientele. As your reputation grows, the salon brand strengthens. Chairs are filled. Clients are happy. It's a win-win for all.

But building customer loyalty in the digital age involves juggling multichannel marketing strategies and customer experience. To manage successfully, you'll need salon support—and access to a digital toolbox.

Crafting a personal brand first.

As First Research reports, there are more than 80,000 hair salons and barbershops across the U.S., and each is likely to have multiple stylists. To win over the competition, you must develop a strong personal brand—one that complements the salon you rent a chair from but also allows you to be distinct.

Communicate why you're remarkable at every opportunity—from your marketing and product choices to the way you dress and act. It all counts. And you must promote your personal brand and services to your ideal customer. Say a salon specializes in coloring but you're a hair extension expert. By marketing to the right clients, you can attract the work you're most skilled at.

You should also be clear about services your ideal clients would want, how much they would pay, and which products would appeal to them. By tapping into your customers' personalities and preferences, you can tailor your messaging to make a stronger connection. You'll be better at using the same hashtags as your customers and posting photos and style tips that wow your audience.

Getting the word out.

You can attract new business by maximizing the salon's following and widening your reach through digital tools.

  • The salon's website. Include your bio on the salon's website and advertise your expertise. Ideally, the website is visually stunning, multifunctional, and integrated with online booking so customers can schedule appointments on demand.
  • Social media. Facebook and Instagram are the "go-to" social channels to connect and expand your network, but you should post to your individual account in addition to the salon's social media accounts. You could interact with your following more freely through your personal account, which is vital for building customer loyalty. Be sure to target a local audience with relevant news and link to your online booking system on every post. Urge followers to take action, such as visiting the salon's website or sharing your post.
  • Client reviews. You could improve your individual reputation and the salon's brand by asking for reviews. According to BrightLocal, 82% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, but it takes an average of 10 reviews to gain their trust. Reposting rave reviews or testimonials on social media and the salon's website can drive online traffic and client bookings. But it's important to stay on top of the online chatter. To do this, consider using an online review monitoring tool.
  • Promotions. Offering seasonal promotions on products and services can get new customers in and keep them coming back. If you use Instagram as your main marketing channel, you can take advantage of Instagram "Stories" for short-term promotions to create a sense of urgency around your offers.

You can also work with a complementary business, like a local nail technician, to promote each other's work. This kind of cross-promotion allows you to connect and expand your network, and raise your profile in the community.

Driving repeat business.

Staying in touch and rewarding clients are key to building customer loyalty and encouraging repeat visits.

Email marketing.

Emails offer an inexpensive and efficient way to stay in touch. If the salon runs newsletters, you can contribute to them by sharing the latest news, style updates, and product tips. Seasonal events or offers, cross-promotions, and word-of-mouth recommendations are great reasons to connect with clients.

Rewarding loyalty.

Rewarding loyalty starts with knowing who your regulars are. For this, you can lean on the salon's appointment-making software. More than a tool for booking appointments, this technology can provide insights into which clients or services bring in the most revenue. The data collected during the booking process can also help you and the salon stay in touch with customers via different channels.

Offering loyalty discounts for repeat business promotes goodwill and incentivizes clients to visit more frequently. You can take it to the next level with seasonal or birthday rewards, but this is easier to manage through a digital loyalty program.

Keeping it simple.

Implementing all or even just some of these marketing ideas may seem overwhelming at first, but integrated salon software makes it simple. The latest software takes care of payments, website creation, appointments, online review monitoring, marketing, and loyalty rewards—in a single integrated solution.

Owners can run and market the business more effectively while you can lean on its tools to connect with customers. It fosters collaboration, so both salon operators and rental-based stylists can thrive.

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