This process will work for nails, hair, and false eyelashes.

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Building a clientele is one of the biggest things you can do as a salon/hairstylist. After all, it is the primary source of your income. More clients equal more revenue when clients become recurring customers. Having recurring customers will relieve the stress of worrying about where your next client will be.


 What do you do if you haven’t built a clientele? I’ll go over some quick, straightforward ways you can build your clientele fast without giving away your services for free. 


Note: If you have a steady stream of customers, but they aren’t turning into a clientele (repeat customer) Then take a look at this article on How To Retain Customers in a Salon. There might be a hole in your service if that is happening to you, and before you can build your clientele, you need to understand how to retain them. 

For everyone else, what steps can you take to build your salon clientele fast? Let’s go over them.

9 Steps To Build Your Salons Clientele 


  1. Develop an offer clients can’t say no to.
  2. Build a marketing strategy that will effectively get your message out. 
  3. Use local businesses to help get your offer out. 
  4. Make sure your salon has a good reputation. 
  5. Encourage past clients to recommend new clients.
  6. Run paid advertising. 
  7. Send offers by mail, not email. 
  8. Rebook current clients.
  9. Be on top of the Google Business Listing when people are searching for a new salon. 


These are what tend to work the best for salons that are wanting a steady flow of customers. Other marketing techniques will work as well, but to build and get clients quickly, this is what I recommend.


If you are looking at how to differentiate yourself from all these low budget salons and build a highly profitable 6 figure salon, I offer a free PDF on how you can achieve that. 

2 Steps you need before you can build your clientele. 

There are a few things you need before you can successfully build your clientele. I’ll list them real quick. 

  1. Easy online bookings – With technologies today, you need a way to have the customer easily make a booking. You can do that with a website, Facebook, Google, or other booking apps.  
  2. Information for the customer – Customers will want to do some research before they decide to come in. Make sure you have somewhere they can get the information they need. You can use Google My Business, Facebook, Instagram, Website, and other options. 

Develop An Offer Clients Can’t Say No To.


Developing an offer for the client is the first step in building your clientele. Giving a discount is the top thing salons offer. For some reason, everyone has accepted that it is a universal way to grow a business. I do not recommend doing that! When giving a discount as the offer, you downplay your services. It puts off a message that you are cheap, and it attracts cheap customers. You want to build a clientele for long term income, not give a discount to the customer that won’t come back when its full price. 


All offers need to be tailored to your type of customers. The more detailed the offer is, the more people will start to say this is for me. The salons that specialize and offer one leading service are known for that and attract customers looking for that service. 




You are offering to get a free trim when you get your hair colored. The only type of customer that will jump on that offer is people looking for a trim and a color. 


Offering a free beard trim when getting a haircut and wash. That will attract men with outgrown beards who need a haircut


Free lip waxing when getting a Hairstyle. Women who have problem facial hair.


The ideas are to give a service that’s quick, easy, and inexpensive to make the customer feel like they are getting a great deal. You can up the cost of the main price to cover the difference in time and profit. That will help a customer who is on the fence make a decision but doesn’t give you the cheap effect of 50% off all hair cuts. Make sure your offer is tailored to your customers so they can’t say no.


If you are a full-service salon, you may want to rethink who your customers are, and if being a full-service salon is hurting your business. Most full-service salons tend to be on the cheaper side, which attracts that type of customer. 

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Build A Marketing Strategy That Will Effectively Get Your Message Out.


Now that you have your offer set up, it needs to reach those who you have built the offer for effectively. These can be free or paid, I recommend doing both but if you are tight on money and need quick customers, do the free version. It won’t be as effective, but it will still help you achieve your goal. 


Marketing Strategy The Free Way

Social media has made getting information and sharing ideas, events, what you are doing so easy. Remember that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google are a business and make money off of advertising. They make it so only 10% of your followers will see your post, and for business profiles, it’s down to 3%. Don’t believe me? Look at an influence on Instagram that has 100k followers. Only 10% or less will engage with that profile. 


Here are some things you can do for free. 

  • Go Live and talk about your offer
  • Share it on snap chat, have everyone in the salon do the same. 
  • Make an event on facebook that has your offer. 
  • Have everyone in the salon share the post on their profiles. 
  • Make the offer on Google My Business Listing. 

Use Local Businesses To Help Get Your Offer Out. 


Using local businesses can be a powerful method if used right. It can feel uncomfortable at first approaching a local business to promote your offer. Once you get over that feeling, it can be a useful way of getting new clients into your salon.


When using this method, it can’t be any local business! It has to be a business that your ideal clients are currently going to. If your clients are mainly women who tend to wear high-end clothing, you may want to go to that clothing store they often visit. Maybe it is a makeup store visit. Think about what your clients like to do. They often tell you when you’re styling their hair. Chances are they’re the same type of people who love those services as well. Reach out to that business and do some cross-promoting. 

Make Sure Your Salon Has A Good Reputation. 


What is reputation, and why does it matter so much to your new salon clients? Before a customer acts on the offer, they want to see if the salon is a reputable place. Reputation goes beyond reviews; it goes to the whole look of your salon, Facebook profiles, Instagram, Youtube, and any other social media or business directory you use. Customers want to see that the salon will meet their needs and styles before they become a client. Most of the time, if you have “we serve all” reputation, you will attract those who are on the cheaper end vs. “we only serve hair color clients” and anything that would require the customer to have a complete service that comes with a coloring. 


Let me put it this way. If you break your bones, you don’t go to a general practicing doctor because they don’t have a reputation for treating broken bones. You end up going to an Orthopedic specialist because you know 100% that you have the best servers possible. Building a clientele fast must have this business shift and step if you want to retain the clients. 

salon marketing tips

Encourage Past Clients To Recommend New Clients 


Encouraging past clients to recommend new clients is an excellent way to build your clientele fast. 83% of consumers are willing to refer to friends or family after they had a good experience. If you have any repeat clients, I would ask them to send in someone who is looking for a new stylist. 


Did you know?

Referral customer converts 30% better than leads generated from other marketing channels. 

83% of consumers are willing to refer after a positive experience—yet only 29% do.

Only 30% of companies surveyed have a formalized referral program. Only 22% effectively scale their programs 

When using referral tools, companies are 3x more likely to accelerate referral generation and conversion.



I’m sure you have asked your customers to refer new clients into your studio but with all efforts to no avail. That usually happens when the incentives aren’t worth harassing their friends over.


 For me, I’m super picky about my fade haircut. If my friend came to me and said: “ hey, I got a haircut, and they did an excellent job.”  

My question to them is, “ Do they just do fades, or do they do everything.” 

My friend replies” They do some men cuts but mostly women styling “ 

I won’t even bother going in because of the reputation, specialization, and offer are not for my needs. Instead of just asking, dig into conversation with your client. Ask if they have any friends that are looking for your offer because that is your specialty. Then make sure your referral program is in line with your current offering and build off that. Make sure you reward your client for making an effort for you. It needs to be worth their time. Just ask yourself if you would get excited about your referral program. If not, spice it up some.

Running Paid Advertising

Running paid advertising to get a clientele has never been so easy. For those who have run some ads and don’t think they work, believe me, they do. One thing I do not recommend is boosting the post with facebook but use the ad manager to create a campaign. I only recommend running paid ads by yourself if you are an expert in ads. Otherwise, you will be wasting dollars. I hear clients talk about it all the time. Resist the urge to do it if you are on a budget. Use the free marketing options above. 


Those who can afford ads make sure all steps above are in place before doing so. Have an offer and target those who are most likely to accept your offer. Ads work; otherwise, you wouldn’t see any sponsored ads, tv commercials, or radio ads.

Sending Your Offer By Mail Not Email


Sending mail goes in line with running paid ads. Make your offer more personal by having direct mail going to customers around your business. Pros of using mail are most people have stopped sending letters/ flyers in the mail anymore and have transferred over to email completely. Cons are you don’t know who is getting the message. 


By using mail, it makes your offer feel real. Make the customer show the offer in person to get the benefits. It will also create a more personal touch to your local customers. It will also create excitement. Only send it to a select few to create a unique effect. 

Rebook Clients After The Appointment. 


After the clients’ appointment, they are in a rush to get out the door. Grab the jacket and leave; they have a busy life as well. Slow this down by rebooking the new client before you take their payment. Don’t offer a product at this point; focus on getting the next appointment. There are far more effective ways to sell products if you provide that. Make sure there are appointment reminders set in place so they can reschedule, and don’t forget to show up. There isn’t much to this one beside make sure you get that next appointment. You’ve worked hard to get the client into the door and spent time making them feel welcome. 


The average customer return rate for salons is 30% 


Customers not returning is mostly due to the customer, not finding the right stylist because most salon offers are the same. Still, make sure you keep the clients you have. 


Be On Top Of The Google Business Listing When People Are Searching For A New Salon / Hairstylist

When a customer is looking for a new salon, the first place they go to is a search engine and search “hair salons near me” or something similar to that. Being in the first three spots will increase your bookings as long as your offer is tailored to the customer looking to create that booking. You’ll be the first thing they see and most likely the first place they click on/ make a phone call. Being in the top 3 spots can take time and requires someone skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It’s not something you can do to build a clientele fast due to the time it takes to get to the number 1-3 spot, but if you are on the top, you will get the clients you need. 

Building Your Salon Clients 


Building your clientele can be hard and tiresome. It’s even harder when you look and offer the same thing as everyone else. By separating yourself from all the other salons, you can charge more, get more clients, and be a super profitable salon. Let go of your fear of missing all customers because you are missing the best customers by doing so. I promise you there are no shortcuts to build a clientele quickly. When you take short cuts, you only hurt yourself. Provide exceptional service to your salons’ clients and treat them all special and before you know it, you’ll be turning down work.

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A new High-value approach To getting the marketing you want without paying for anything out of your pocket upfront, increasing your revenue and profit while everyone else goes with agencies that take money upfront and produce no tangible results!

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About the Author

Caleb Grant

Caleb Grant is the founder of Blanc Ideas, a digital marketing firm founded in 2014. For the past 5 years, he has been deeply involved with the business owners and is shifting the way his clients think about their online presence as not only a cost-effective platform to reach their audience but also a system engineered to drive measurable business-oriented results.