Finding new clients is a fundamental challenge for all salons and therapists alike with the whole concept of attracting new clients a strategy that should be adopted by all.

There is a lot of competition out there, and because of this you have to keep creating awareness of your company and brand to the world outside your door – it is the only way people will know who you are and what you do.

Creating awareness and attracting new clients is almost a full time job in itself and it is a constant task that we face, not all of your clients will come from the same place so you need to think on a much wider scale. It is dangerous to just rely upon the clients you already have and not look at attracting new ones, after all what would you do if some of your clients moved away or stopped visiting you? Would your business survive?

Attracting new clients is essential for you to grow your business and perhaps increase your team and can also help you reduce your reliance on your existing customers and get more return from your products or services.

But where do you start? And how can you attract new clients without spending a fortune?

Social Media

The most instant and obvious route is Social Media. Facebook is a great way of increasing awareness to a wide audience through ‘likes’ you already have. Create a buzz and post a ‘like’ & ‘share’ scheme. You can take two routes – simply post some news and ask all of your likers to share it, or perhaps give them an incentive to share by offering a half price treatment. I recently tried this myself and I had 4 times as many views of that particular post than I have likes in less than 2 hours. The same concept can also be applied to Twitter, asking your followers to re-tweet your tweet. You could also speak to local businesses in the area that are also on Facebook and post on each other’s walls to advertise yourself to their customer base.

Internet Directories

Sticking with the internet, advertise your business on all directories and local community websites to keep spreading the word and increasing awareness.

Join up with a Local Business

An alternative way of attracting new clients is to set up a competition with a local business that services your target audience – such as a local hairdressers or ladies clothes shop – this will benefit both of you and create a lot of interest.

Recommend a Friend Scheme

Another fairly inexpensive way of attracting new clients is by offering a ‘Recommend A Friend Scheme’ to your existing clients. Your loyal clients will be more than happy to do this and if each of your clients recommended a new client to you – with the rules being that it has to be someone who has never been to your salon before – imagine how many new potential clients you would have? Again, I would suggest offering an incentive so perhaps a monetary discount or a free gift to both of them. This is a particularly good way of attracting new clients because people really value recommendations – I know that if I am looking for a tradesman, for example, I always ask my friends first who they use or if they would recommend anyone because I trust their judgement, and it takes the fear out of trying someone new or just randomly selecting someone off the internet or from a local directory. The same will apply to your clients and their friends when it comes to treatments.

Target your Audience

Target specific local, female groups such as W.I., Slimming Clubs, Mothers Groups etc. Women are largely your target audience and many of the women at such groups may not even know you are in existence, they could be going elsewhere – perhaps further afield or perhaps to somewhere they are not entirely happy with but don’t know where else to go. Offer a specific promotion or treatment package that is available only to their group – this will create a feeling of exclusivity and make them feel important.

Local press

Advertise in local magazines and newspapers, but before you do maybe do a survey amongst your current clients as to which publications they read so as you can invest your money wisely, advertising can be costly particularly if you don’t get any return from it.

Sponsor an event

Sponsoring a local event or supporting one by way of a raffle prize, for example, is another great way of telling your immediate local area who you are and that you exist!

Deliver leaflets

A simple leaflet drop targeting specific areas or businesses is also an instant way to remind people you are here or to introduce yourself in the first place – again offer an incentive to make them want to visit you even more.

 

Remember, your potential new client needs to see you in several places, so as they keep seeing your name and recognise your brand, before they are likely to book so keep at it and you will reap the rewards in the end.

Once the new client walks through the door make sure that they have a wonderful experience and want to return. Ensure that they receive exceptional customer service – just as all of your other clients do, make sure they are made to feel welcome, comfortable, relaxed and confident in your experience, knowledge and service.

You only have one chance to make a first impression and if you have gone to all of the effort, and expense, of putting together a programme of attracting new clients and put it in to action don’t let yourself down at the last hurdle.

by Marie-Louise Coster

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