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Mission: Business Beautiful

Ali Davidson


CLICK HERE The Silver Key to Building Your Clientele

No marketing strategy is the end all, be all, fix all

for every salon. If someone tells you they have the

golden key, don’t trust them unless they’re riding a


Every salon’s demographic is slightly different

and each salon’s unique selling proposition (USP)

is, well, unique. I don’t have the ultimate golden

key or a unicorn, but as a borderline obsessively

dedicated wannabe mermaid, I’m going to make

the bold claim I know a marketing strategy that,

regardless of a salon or hairstylist’s circumstance,

can work — and work extremely well. It may be

the silver key to building your clientele; I’m talking

about strategic partnerships.

Don’t tune out yet -- I admit, the idea of “stra-

tegic partnerships” does sound corporate and dif-

ficult and scary; I promise it is not.

You’re already familiar with the idea of asking

your current clients to tell their friends about your

business. Countless hairstylists claim referrals are

the number-one method that has grown their

business. This is networking. This is exactly the

same principle behind strategic partnerships.

Strategic partnerships are just slightly more

formal relationships. There are key people in your

community who are well connected. They know

tons of people, and, more importantly, the people

they know fall into your definition of an ideal cli-

ent. Think about realtors, personal trainers, Lift

drivers, bartenders, bellmen, teachers, and other

small business owners. Who else is well-known in

your community? Seek these people out.

Establishing a strategic partnership is as easy as

approaching a well-connected person or business

and simply introducing yourself. Let them know

you would love to establish a cross-referral net-

work to help grow both of your businesses.

Put some ideas on the table and be receptive

to whatever ideas they may have. Remember, this

is a two-way street. A strategic partner is far more

likely to be a fruitful source of new clients for you if

you are an asset to them in some form or fashion.

You can be beneficial to a strategic partner in

a number of different ways, such as referring your

clients to their business; providing complimentary

services for them; volunteering your time at a charity

they are passionate about or positioning your service

as a benefit they may pass along to their clients.

Here’s an example of how a strategic partner-

ship might work: One of the potential strategic

partners for hair professionals I mentioned is a

realtor. Realtors know everyone moving into and

around your area. They spend lots of time with

their clients and establish trusting relationships.

Moreover, they are always looking for more