Growing up as a child in suburban New Jersey, I don’t remember seeing any nail salons along the local roads and highways. My mother never mentioned having to go to a nail salon; when she had someplace special to go it was to her regular beautician, who would soak her fingers, remove her cuticles and polish her nails. How do I know this? Well…I was often dragged along with her to many a boring appointment. On occasion, I was bribed with the promise of a toy purchase, afterward.
There is Big Money in Long Fingernails
Today, professional nail care is a huge business. U.S. census data place the nail salon and spa service industry at over $35 billion annually. That figure doesn’t include the retail sale of related professional beauty products, which at least accounts for another $7 billion annually.
According to “Nails” magazine, following an industry slump immediately after 9/11, the nail salon industry began growing rapidly again in 2002. By that year there were already more than 368,000 licensed nail technicians in the United States and over 51,000 licensed salons offering nail services to women and men. Today, there are at least 500,000 nail technicians in the United States and Canada alone.
Those who set up shop in the nail salon industry can expect to earn $35,000 in the first year of the business. However, those located in a high-traffic spots can expect to earn up to a six-figure income.
Do More than Just “Scratch” the Surface of Successful Marketing
So what ensures your success as a nail salon operator? Ultimately, it is one’s ability to provide excellent services and create high levels of customer satisfaction. Having a good location may even be more critical, though. A high traffic location with good visibility will superbly position you to expose your business to many more new customers.
Please keep in mind that even the best “brick and mortar” location supported by some print ads is only a small part of your overall marketing effort. A quality web presence is also necessary to help with some of the heavy lifting when it comes to gaining significant consumer exposure.
Your website is your 24/7 storefront. It can help you make more sales, generate additional business leads, and display your talent to a much larger audience than you could ever imagine. When customers are looking for a new nail salon close to home, they will probably not find you by searching for your business name. They may not know it yet. But they will almost certainly “Google” you by your business type (nail salon) and location (your town). A search will most likely bring them to your website.
While others are searching for you, you and your business will be seeking a target audience of nail care consumers. Chances are they will be women and men, who live nearby or work reasonably close to your nail salon. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is very important if you want to be quickly and easily found among your local competitors. It makes very good business sense to place your website in the competent hands of skilled professionals, who possess this special knowledge and keep up with it.
Having your website come up on the front page of search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo will send a wave of customer traffic to your website increasing your appointments and expanding your e-mailing list. No question that this is a successful outcome for any nail salon.
Your Web Presence Must Be Attractive, Polished and Professional
Once visitors land at your website, what will they find there? Is it professional looking, easy to navigate, and customer-conversion ready with strong call-to-actions strategically placed, throughout? These are important considerations that must be addressed if you are to have an effective web presence.
To reach your desired call-to-actions (e.g. what do you want your website visitors to do next?), you must – first – be successful capturing your visitors’ attention and holding it long enough for them to follow-through and eventually do business with you. Is there anything more important than this being your overall marketing goal?
To keep your website visitors interested in your business and wanting to reach out to you through your website, you will need to keep them “entertained” with information that is constantly changing and routinely updated. Give some thought to some of the things many other nail salon website owners have included on their own pages:
Catchy titles Like “You Can Have Beautiful Nails Like the Stars” gets people’s attention
Quality photos and helpful videos
Useful beauty tips
Interesting content and unusual information that demonstrates your specialized expertise
Website “celebrations” to get customers in the holiday spirit
Video and written testimonials from your most satisfied customers are key influencers
Discounts and special incentives wherever and whenever possible
Features to benefit your customers such as online appointment setting tools
Website pages that load FAST. (This has even become a search-engine raking criteria. Slow loading pages frustrate and lose visitors.)
Frequent website updates with interesting and eye-catching content and graphics
If you are a decent writer or have someone else on hand who may be, one of the easiest ways to keep your website fresh and engaging for repeat visitors on a daily basis include a blog. You need not go overboard with your blog, either. Simply commit yourself to a post per week with a maximum of 500 words to accomplish this goal. Write about what interests your nail customers and demonstrates your knowledge and expertise in your field. Could be a new color, a new product, trends, photos of outrageous or amusing nail airbrush art, home-care tips. In addition, you can reasonably expand into other areas of beauty, makeup and skincare, as this is a logical extension.
Use your blog to give helpful information on a weekly basis. This is a key to attracting more people to your website!
By the way, don’t forget to promote your website, blog and any social media pages that you set up within your e-mail signature. Also, promote them in any traditional advertising mediums that you may already be using.All of this wise effort should translate into more business for you and for your growing nail salon.
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