Promotion for Pennies

Don't have the budget to hire a marketing or public relations expert to promote your salon? Do it yourself by tapping into your creativity instead of your savings account, says Debbi Kickham, co-author of the best-selling business book Off-the-Wall Marketing Ideas: Jumpstart Your Sales Without Busting Your Budget (Adams Media, 2000). Here, she shares a few inexpensive or free strategies you can use to get the word out.

Debbi Kickham
Debbi Kickham

GIVE A SCHOLARSHIP. Offer a scholarship to a student from a local high school, community college or beauty school. Even if it's only for $100, you'll foster goodwill, make a name for your business in the community, and have a good story to tell the media.

VISIT "DOLLAR STORES." You're bound to find inexpensive giveaways that you can offer to new and potential customers and to the media, as well. Make sure to put them in designer bags with your logo on them.

GET YOUR NAME IN PRINT. Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper discussing the issues and problems related to your industry. Include your name, title and salon's name, and you're on your way to free publicity.

DONATE YOUR TALENT. Offer to do hair and makeup for the local high school or college theater group's performances. They'll remember you when formal event season rolls around. Another idea: Offer to do the hair of the local access channel's news and TV personalities in exchange for advertising credit. —L.A.

For more marketing ideas, contact Debbi Kickham at [email protected].