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Contrary to popular belief and as Seth Godin famously says, “everyone is not your customer.” The winning strategy for boutique salons, and the most important step in marketing, is figuring out who your target audience is and determining why they would choose to visit your salon over anywhere else.

Not only is it more efficient and cost-effective to target a niche crowd, but also you’ll be more equipped to talk the talk of your audience if you narrow your focus to a certain group of people. Focusing your efforts on a specific group of people doesn’t necessarily mean you are excluding those who don’t fit into your target market. You are simply creating a message that appeals to the type customers who visit your salon the most often and bring in the most business.

Start With Your Existing Clientele

When thinking about your target audience, an easy place to start is with your existing clientele. Who are your current customers and why do they choose to come to your salon? If you have a diverse clientele, what types of people bring in the most amount of business? Look for common characteristics between your current customers – particularly those who bring in the most amount of biz – and determine what they have in common. With a clear understanding of your current customers, you’ll have a much better understanding of the types of people you want to see more of!  

Determine What Makes Your Salon Unique

Now that you have a good idea of your current customers, think about your salon and what sets you apart. As I mentioned earlier, it’s ok to try to reach more than one exact type of person, but your salon should not be designed for everyone. What is the experience you provide in your salon studio and who is most likely to be drawn to that experience? What problems do you solve for people, and who might be looking for your salon as the answer? Why is your salon studio different than the studios down the hall in your Sola? It’s challenging to market yourself if you don’t know what makes you different! 

Choose Demographics To Target

I put together a list of questions to help you assess your target audience. By answering these questions, you’ll gain a deeper understanding about the types of people you are trying to reach.

  • What age is your target audience?
  • Are they male or female?
  • What is their income level?
  • What is their education level?
  • Do they have a common ethnic background?

Think About Personal Characteristics

In addition to the demographics of your audience, consider the more personal characteristics, such as:

  • Attitudes
  • Values
  • Lifestyle
  • Interests

Ask yourself: “How does my salon fit into someone’s lifestyle?” Are they outdoorsy and prefer organic products or are they social butterflies who appreciate a more glamorous experience? The demographics and personal characteristics might help to determine things such as the types of retail products you offer, how you set your prices, and what lingo you’ll use to connect.

Consider Where They Hang Out

Once you have a good idea of the demographics and personal characteristics of your target audience, think about where you’re most likely to reach them. Where are they hanging out, both online, reading blogs, websites or surfing social media, and offline, in coffee shops, farmers markets or community events. Are they tech savvy? Will they prefer to communicate with you via text, email or in person? In order to reach your potential new customers, first you’ll need to figure out where to find them and then how to reach them.

Tell Your Story

Once you’ve identified your target audience and determined what they want, need and crave, you’re ready for the fun part! Now it’s time to tell your story.

As your salon studio evolves and you grow overtime, your target audience might change. So do your best to get ahead of the curve by always thinking about who you want to see more of in your salon.

 
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