Unlike any other industry, most stylists today live and die by their salon or their personal Yelp ratings. Here, we wanted to share a few tips on how to build your clientele from Yelp.
1. Keep your Profile Up to Date and Complete
Give Yelp all of the details you can muster about your business. Including everything from normal business hours to your salon or studio location can make or break you on Yelp and what they deem to be viable information when future clients are searching for businesses. The more information you offer and the more transparent you are about your business, the better.
In your business description, do your best to list your services and specialties. Often times, clients will search for “the best …” in my area. By listing these services, you’ve got a better chance of popping up in those specific searches.
Quick Tip: If you don’t have a dedicated website for your business, include a link to your Instgram profile or Facebook business page so your client can see all that your digital portfolio has to offer.
2. Engage with the Good and the Bad
Responding to each review in a timely manner not only makes your client feel good about helping you and your business, but also shows potential clients the intimate and warm experience that you offer in the salon with each of your clients. Yelp’s algorithm also takes these responses into account when they are screening for spam—by responding you're giving your own profile a leg up in the chances of being ranked at the top.
On the other hand, it is also super important to respond to most negative feedback as well. Don’t take it personally and do your best to acknowledge their frustrations and make it right. While they might just be upset that they couldn’t book you at the drop of a hat, making a concerted effort to right the wrong will often lead to an updated review or at least help calm the nerves of potential clients reading your reviews. Keep in mind that the internet is filled with troll and brand assassins that are just there to be rude, you don’t have to respond to personal attacks. Remember that engaging with the crazies will only make you look crazy.
3. Add to Your Profile
One of the best parts about Yelp is that business owners can add images. Be sure to add to your profile regularly and show off some of your favorite recent work. Be sure to post what you want more of in the salon so you can lay the foundation for your dream clientele.
4. Take Advantage of Yelp’s Ad Deals or Offer Exclusives
In our opinion, Yelp ads are generally expensive compared to Facebook/Instagram and Google Ad platforms, but generally new business or businesses that have never used their ad platform can get free credits to try it out. That said, if you are not ad savvy, Yelp ads are some of the easiest in the social arena so they might be a good fit if you’re looking to build up business.
5. Create a Reward for Loyal Clients
It’s against Yelp’s terms of service to pay your clients, or anyone for that matter, to leave you a review, but there is no harm in asking. And, you can definitely thank loyal clients with a little added bonus like a free additional treatment or a small discount on their next service.
American Salon is pleased to welcome the Business of Balayage, a collective of brilliant independent educators, as they share a series of business building blogs on americansalon.com. For more information, visit www.thebusinessofbalayage.com.