As national salons are set to be fully open soon, getting clients through the doors (for more than just the extended post-lockdown rush) is imperative and marketing is the key. Business consultant Phil Jackson from Build Your Salon shares his thoughts on knowing your audience and targeting your marketing for the best results.

I love our fantastic, vibrant industry but all of that creativity, all of that spark,seems to disappear when it comes to our marketing,” he said. “I think the most common problem is that we haven’t adequately identified who the marketing is supposed to be speaking to, and that can have serious consequences.”

“If you’re lucky your un-targeted marketing will just disappear without trace, but if you’re unlucky you may actually be alienating your target market by not talking to them in a way that they can relate to,” he added.

As a solution to this problem, Phil has a creative top tip. He recommends using client avatars, which are imaginary people that have a set of characteristics that you believe identify your target market.

“In my own salon, my most important customer avatar is Jenny and I know quite a bit about her. Jenny is 49, she’s on her second marriage and married to Rob, she has two children of university age. I know where she works, where she shops, the car she drives, where she gets her news and I know her broad political opinions. Most importantly, I know what she is dissatisfied with and how my salon helps her.”

“When I’m communicating with my clients, I don’t just write a Facebook post and I don’t just put a flyer together. I write a Facebook post specifically to Jenny, I put a flyer together with her in mind,” he said.

This marketing approach means you’re writing to your target demographic in a way they can relate to and it adds a consistent voice to all your marketing across all platforms, keeping a consistent tone with the same client always in mind, which builds your salon brand identity.

“The easiest way to get started is to have a look at the clientele that you already have then start to refine by surveying your clients just one aspect at a time. Have a checklist on reception and ask your ideal clients what radio station they listen to, or their favourite local restaurant,” Phil explained. “Over time your avatar will evolve and refine and you’ll get a better and better idea of who you’re talking to.”

“Have some fun with your customer avatars, it’s supposed to be a light-hearted exercise and bring a little bit of that joy into your market as well,” he finished.

So start building your avatar and communicating in a way that represents your salon best.