Picture this: you’ve just purchased your barbershop and are itching to open the door to customers. The only thing stopping you? Finding those customers! 

Many entrepreneurs focus heavily on the business side of owning a business, i.e. figuring out finances, hiring and managing employees, while also nailing down products and working on 1,000 other things at once. But there is another side to business and sales: marketing. Specifically digital marketing.

Digital marketing is a cost effective way to generate business buzz and sales. Traditional marketing may include flyers, radio ads or TV ads, which are difficult to measure and often quite expensive. Most digital marketing is trackable, low cost and can be directly connected to sales.

Ready to get started? Let’s dive in!

Create a Social Media Presence

Instagram is one of the most popular apps on the planet and has a large niche of barber and beauty profiles. Instagram is highly visual, allowing you to showcase what sets your barbershop apart from your competitors. Post ideas include: before and afters, video tutorials, customer reviews, client spotlights and tours of your space.

Make sure you’re using all elements of Instagram, not just posting on your feed. Try using Reels and Stories as another way to connect with your audience in real time. 500 million accounts view Instagram Stories every day, according to Hootsuite.

Make Sure You (Or Your Business) Has a Website

Think of your website like you think of your new store front: it’s vital to your business. Your website houses all of the pertinent information about your business in a digital format, online where everyone can find it! Make sure you include your list of services and prices, testimonials, store hours and the best methods of booking an appointment.

If you don’t want to invest in a custom website, Squarespace offers great out-of-the-box options, as do many booking platforms. Whatever the format, make sure you optimize your website for Google! Here is a great article on how to optimize your website for local SEO. 

Invest in Client Referrals

Start with one customer and use them to build up a referral network, or start a loyalty program! Loyalty programs are an increasingly popular method of incentivizing loyalty. The model is growing among spas and blow dry bars, which would work well for barbershops too! Ideas for your loyalty program include: a refer-a-friend program where you give a slight discount to someone who successfully refers a client, a buy one get one free program for gift cards or a discount for someone who pre-pays for their appointments. 

Gather Client Testimonials

When was the last time you purchased something online or scheduled something without reading reviews? I know I always read reviews prior to booking or buying anything. Customer reviews are vital for generating trust among prospective clients. In fact, according to Qualtrics, 91 percent of 18-34 year olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 93 percent of consumers say that online reviews influenced their purchase decisions.

Generate reviews by asking customers to leave a review after the service, set up an auto text service via your booking platform, or use an email marketing campaign to generate reviews.

List Your Inventory on ClassPass

And finally, look into adding your inventory to ClassPass! You can sign up online in less than 10 minutes and list your business for free. This allows you to tap into new audiences and reach thousands of ClassPass customers in your area. If you’ve put your business on Yelp or another aggregator, it’s time to also add it to ClassPass.