Defining your target market is one of the most important things you can do for your salon. It can help you figure out what you’re offering, who you’re selling to, and how to attract them. And, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the game for a while now, defining (or redefining) your target market can help you make the most of your business, so you can focus more on the fun parts.
Your target market is the group of people who are potential customers for your salon. What makes them a “target” are the characteristics they share –it’s who you’re trying to sell to. Your target market can be grouped together by different traits that are relevant to your services. You’re seeking what’s called a “product market fit,” which is how well your services “fit” the people in your area who could potentially be customers.
For your salon, those traits can look like:
You’ve probably heard this one before, but it’s especially true for the beauty industry. Your target market is in many ways defined by where your salon is located. Much like a restaurant, you need to make sure there are people within your geographical area that are looking for and can afford the services you offer.
For example, if your salon is located in a suburb that’s mostly populated by families, your target market will probably skew older and towards higher incomes. If you’re located in a city, it might skew younger, and with newer tastes in trends.
There’s a lot of debates in every industry about how you can define your target market. Some say start with the market, while others say start with the business. General wisdom says to do something called psychographic segmentation, which is a fancy way to say building groups of people based on how you expect them to think or behave. These traits determine what motivates them to purchase your services, whether it’s a color treatment, a blowout, or a haircut.
These “segments” can help you build “personas,” which are basically generalized biographies of who your clients could be. Personas can help you understand exactly who your clients are, and can help you adjust your services, prices, and even the vibe of your salon.
With all this talk about segments and personas, it’s easy to feel like there’s pressure to be something you’re not. You didn’t open a salon to be a follower, so don’t feel like your salon has to be something for anyone other than yourself. Defining your target market is simply a tool in your toolbox to make your business as successful as it can be, while still being the authentic creator you are.
Your target market can arm you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about your beauty business, from marketing to pricing.
The key to marketing is knowing your audience. Your target market definition can help you discover what motivates your clients to go to a salon, so you can guide them to yours.
Using your target market research can help you understand how to talk to new and existing clients across all your channels. On social media, it can help you figure out what content to post and what to say, and in your email and texting campaigns, you can figure out what deals will appeal to them and when.
For example, If you’re servicing a young demographic in an urban setting, you should make sure your marketing reflects that. You should be active on social media, posting pics in urban environments, and using language and making references that resonate with a younger crowd. If your target market is looking for premium services, your marketing should make them feel like your salon is as luxurious as your services. Your photos, branding, and website should reflect the vibe they’re seeking, and match with what they expect to experience.
Another way your target market can help is with adjusting your salon’s experience to match with what your clients are looking for. For starters, consider what services they’re looking for or often purchase: you don’t need to offer a diner menu to make money, so offer what’s most popular for your clients and cut services that don’t appeal to them.
Additionally, if they expect a certain experience, add technologies or services to help achieve that. Younger people, for example, love to do everything online: so make sure your salon booking app fits into your website and social media seamlessly. Sending appointment reminders through the channels that matter to your clients is another way to adapt – for example, texting reminders instead of calling.
Target markets may sound complicated, but there are a few easy ways to get started.
The next step is getting the information you need to get started. You can conduct some interviews with clients, Google the demographics in your location, or dig around on local social media groups and hashtags to see what trends your potential clients care about. Then, you can start adding technologies and making changes with the information you need.
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