The Big Ask – How to Narrow Down Your Niche
Knowing your target market is crucial to the success of your salon, clinic, or day spa. With the technology available to you today, there’s never been a better time to narrow down and develop your niche.
In today’s age of information, consumers can readily educate themselves. Just a few clicks on Google and they’ve tracked down an amazing depth of info and have the exact experts they’re seeking in their sights. Lashes, tans, injectables, skin rejuvenation, hair removal, and whatever else they need is at their fingertips. Clients can find the answer to millions of questions without leaving their home.
Defining and developing your beauty niche will help you stand out online. Let’s face it: these days your business is what Google says it is.
The beauty industry is evolving and your business is either part of the progress or it’s not. Savvy salon owners are moving away from the general store (we do everything) beauty salon. Yes, our industry is being very tightly niched. Not convinced? For a moment, imagine the eye-rolling a brow bar, hair removal clinic, or dermal therapy specialist clinic would have caused just twenty-five years ago. They were unheard of!
Before you rush out and niche the heart out of your beauty business, I ask you this: Do you even know your target market?
Start here. Gather a list of your top 50 clients – the ones who spend the most money and time with you, the ones who frequent your business, and refer their family and friends.
Look for patterns, things that tie them together. Are they male or female? What age? Are they mums? The more you understand your target clients, the better you can communicate with and serve them.
Once you know your target audience go ahead and follow these three steps:
- Find out what they want.
- Go and get it.
- Give it to them, over and over again.
It sounds so simple! Yet many salon and clinic owners don’t get it. Let me help with these top three guidelines to keep you on track when getting to know your niche.
1. Discover what defines your niche market
Your client niche can be defined in a myriad of different ways: by your services, by age, by gender, by geography, by income, even by the TV shows they watch.
Let’s look at some “age” niches.
You might be a salon specialising in acne treatments. It’s unlikely you’ll have clients aged over 60 and your niche is probably further defined as teenagers and those up to 28 years of age.
Or maybe you’re known for anti-ageing treatments, in which case your target clients are likely to be 30-plus years of age.
A business focus on natural or organic products and services will probably appeal most to the 25 to 45 age group.
It’s not rocket science. It’s understanding that you don’t have to be all things to all people. Go back to your 50 fave clients and find out who they are and what they want.
2. Look for the secondary niche and tailor to suit
Every niche has a secondary niche – one that will help you to understand your client base even better.
At ZING, our niche is primarily women. We’ve also found that most salon owners we work with have both a business and a family. Our secondary niche is females aged between 25 and 45 years who are largely mums. What best defines this secondary niche? That they’re extremely time poor.
We need to address the issue of time first or they won’t get to where they want to be. So first we teach them how to implement systems and delegate tasks in the salon … and it inevitably helps them manage better at home, too. It’s why we use a lot of language centred on saving time and freeing up hours – it’s what really connects us to our niche market.
For your audience, it might be working with injectables and heavy-duty beauty for a client base averaging 35 years of age. Perhaps talking about Afterpay or other payment options appeals to this group. An older client base, say over 50 years of age, is more likely to be attracted to a direct debit plan. The key is discovering what makes your niche market tick.
3. Ask the right questions
You only need to ask! The most effective way to understand your clients is to pose questions around what you need to know.
Would you like to see more education around makeup? Are you interested in the different types of skincare available to you today?
Posing questions to your clients and listening to their answers should be part of every service. And, from time-to-time, a more formal survey is warranted. You could even use your social media platforms to get the answers you need. Target your questions, and ask away. Do our trading hours work for you? Would you prefer to visit our salon/clinic on a Tuesday evening rather than a Saturday morning?
One salon we worked with asked clients whether they struggled to remember when to apply what skincare product. They did! So the salon printed stickers with AM and PM on them so clients could easily label their bottles. Happy clients, happy salon.
Over to you. Set your salon or clinic business apart from your competitors – get to know the inside of your niche market then use what you know to reach out to clients, communicate in their language and deliver the services they’re seeking. Start now. Go!
Guest author: Lisa has over 30 years of experience working in Salons as apprentice, junior, senior and Salon owner. She has managed other people’s hair & beauty salons, and owned her own. She coaches other salon owners on how to be successful. Check out Lisa’s site.