Marketing your business to a male audience

Salon business expert Liz McKeon encourages you to attract more males to expand your client base.

In the majority of salons, men make up a very small portion of the client base. In my experience it's generally less than 5%. However, we know that men are trying more treatments than ever before. 

A recent study found that 47% of men had had a salon or spa treatment in 2017, up from one in three in 2015. The market is growing and is a relatively untapped business sector for most companies I work with.  

I find that salon owners are often slow to realise that there may be an opportunity here but there are the enlightened ones who are developing new and innovative ways to entice more men through their doors. 

While no one could argue that more customers is not a positive thing, there does exist the possibility that a similar or even smaller investment in expanding your present clientele could yield a better financial return. This consideration aside, let's just explore how to expand your male salon or spa trade.

Like every other market category or clients, the challenge is always two-fold: firstly, how to attract the client into your business and secondly, how to then convert the client to a long term, lifetime client.

Here are my top 9 tips to increasing your male client business:

#1. Market to the men 
If you choose conventional advertising in your marketing plan, place your advertisements where men tend to read. Think about sports or business magazines or websites. Also, think gift vouchers, for example an ad promoting your Valentine's Day gifts in the weekend game schedule can be a very valuable way to entice the men in.

#2. Market your gift service
The most valuable male customer is the one buying a gift for someone special: wife, girlfriend, mother, sister. Remember what is well received will be repeated. Create an email list that is male specific for marketing your salon services as wise gift selections and make it easy for him to buy from you.

A recent study found that 47% of men had had a salon or spa treatment in 2017, up from one in three in 2015.

#3. Next upsell
If he is buying gifts from you on a regular basis, why not introduce a male price list. Have a separate ‘treatments for men‘ section; the treatments don't have to be different from the ones you offer to female clients, they just have to sound more masculine and focus on different benefits. Men are more focussed on the results than the protocol or ritual. They want results. 

#4. Create treatment packages for men
This will give the men the opportunity to enjoy multiple services in a single visit, expose them to more treatment options, while increasing your retail opportunities.

#5. Get the girls to do the selling
One of the easiest ways to him into the salon is through her – the wife, girlfriend or daughter who can see the benefit and do the selling for you. Christmas gifts, Father's day, birthdays: these are all great opportunities to introduce your services to men. Send out an email to your client base reminding your clients to think of you when they are thinking of buying for him.

#6. Go for the body! 
Most spas report that their number one male preferred service is massage therapy. Whether it is to relieve sports pain or reduce stress levels, men have sought out massage treatments since before Roman times.

#7. Invest in male skincare
Most men make excellent retail clients, so you might want to consider investing in skincare to meet the needs of your male clientele. Men are happy to purchase professionally recommended products and want your advice about how to improve their appearance.

Make sure your salon is inviting to male clients, and avoid overly feminine colours when decorating.

#8. Give it a male focus
Make sure your salon is inviting to male clients. Check you are communicating effectively and not the chit chat that women like in the salon. Avoid overly feminine colours when decorating. Have a pleasant aromatherapy scent that is appealing to both men and women. Being on display in a beauty salon is not something most men would want, so make sure they are in a private treatment area, where they can relax and feel comfortable.

#9. Try a ‘men only' day or evening
Book all of your male appointments in during the same time, as this will it easier for men who are nervous about coming to an all-female environment.

If you find attracting and building a male clientele increase your income, then you have a new market to build on. If not, you've tried, remember nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Liz McKeon is a successful Business Coach, Trainer, Author and Mentor, whose expertise lies in growing small businesses from scratch and taking existing companies to profitability.